Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I happened upon a television program this evening about a retired Anchorage schoolteacher who lives amongst a small army of black bears...with the occasional grizzly thrown in.

This guy is probably stark raving bonkers, but he seems to have a better understanding of bears and their relationship with the Resident Human in their midst than the late wide-eyed naïf Timothy Treadwell, who had an unfortunate (and ultimately fatal) habit of regarding grizzly bears as big cuddly pets. Better understanding or no, I have a feeling “Charlie,” our schoolteacher friend, will eventually end up as a Bear Entrée at some point.

The show got me thinking about a story that had flickered briefly through the local papers, a story that we mostly missed out on owing to our having been away in Florida on our annual Beach Vacation.

It appears that, while we were gone, our neighborhood was invaded by bears.
A resident of the East Hampton subdivision in east Cobb reported seeing the “mid-sized” black bear crossing a street Thursday morning. The bear, which was wearing a tracking collar, was also seen near a fitness club on Roswell Road.
Great. Just great. Bears in my bushes.

Jimbo (to name one obvious example) may harbor a perfectly legitimate dislike - even a phobia - of alligators and other Humongous Reptiles. But the chances of Jim actually encountering an alligator in his Union County, New Joisey neighborhood are slim to none. But here, in the happy confines of east Cobb County, just north of Atlanta, there is the very real possibility that I will go out to fetch my newspaper from the driveway one morning and have a Close Encounter with a bear.

Or a steaming pile of Bear Feces.

Because, after all, we know that bears shit in the woods. And even the Charmin people will tell you that if you have bears in the ’burbs, you’ll have b’ar stools in your back yards.

No comments: