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What writers write when they 1) aren't writing, 2) are avoiding writing or 3) need a word count to convince their spouses they are writing.

Origami n' Stuff 4 Kids

Saturday, April 18, 2009

feed the bears, cull the stupid...

Is it too much to ask people not to hug the bears?

I'm sure even Neanderthals, whose bones reveal crushing fractures sustained during hunting, never wrestled game for the sake of Bambi needing a hug. And look what happened to them–gone forever, because they never thought to throw a stick at a mammoth rather than get up close and poke it in the eye. Every Cro-Magnon knows that just angers Barbar.

But you can't fault Neanderthals for being surly. After all, Barbar did have a nice suit and a spanking set of wheels.

Yet every week, some dope jumps a fence or swims a moat to cuddle with carnivores.

What was that woman thinking, cavorting with polar bears at the Berlin zoo (April 13, 2009)? Just four months earlier, a lonely man jumped into the cage of the zoo's celebrity, Knut. Luckily, the 440-pound polar bear was lured away with a leg of beef. Yet experts have the gall to claim it's Knut who is the psychopath who'll never mate. How ironic.

And at the Beijing Zoo, Gu Gu has bitten a third victim, a man who jumped into the panda pit to retrieve his son's–get this–toy panda. Gu Gu's previous victims were a teen who thought the cuddly icon needed a hug (he was mauled so viciously emergency personnel could see "the bones in his legs"), and a drunken man who bit the panda back. What's a 240-pound pseudo-bear gotta do to get some R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

Obviously these folks never head of Alaska's beloved Binky (1974–1995).

Orphaned near the Beaufort Sea and brought to live at the Alaska Zoo, Binky was notorious for mauling people. In 1994 an Australian tourist, obviously mistaking the bear for a koala, climbed over barriers for a photo up against the cage. With her peripheral vision compromised by her camera's viewfinder, she didn't notice Binky reaching its massive paws through the bars until it was too late. In a much publicized video, the bear caught the victim by the leg, mauled her, and claimed her shoes as its prize.

Hardy Alaskans do not suffer foolish visitors. A star was born. Binky merchandise was hot–bumper stickers, coffee cups and t-shirts with slogans, "Send another tourist, this one got away" and “Binky for Governor: Take a Bite Out of Crime.” The bear even inspired a children's book, "Binky's Trophy," written and illustrated by Millie Spezisly.

Not to be outdone, six weeks after Binky's Aussie appetizer two drunken teens squeezed through the fences around her cage and jumped into her pool for a moonlight swim. Announced an Anchorage editorial cartoon, "Hero bear prevents youth from drowning."

Let's hope they weren't skinny dipping.

©2009 Tammy Yee

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