Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Bear Market - Part 2

I wasn't prepared for what I saw next.

The whole van was rockin' like a frat house on Friday night.

Two cubs were inside while the mama stood on her hind legs, face pressed to the window pointing out the items she wanted them to throw out to her. They had entered through the driver's side window but she was too big and fat to fit. I feel her pain. But you can never be too fat if you're a bear. They don't spend anytime feeling badly about themselves because they don't fit in windows. In fact, they do this thing called "hyper feeding." It happens as winter is coming on and they will eat as many as 20,000 calories a day in preparation for hybernation. I think I did that last time I went to Baskin Robbins. I don't think I hybernated but I'm pretty sure I lapsed into a coma for a few days.

Now, you may wonder, "Why in the world did you two idiot dingbats leave the window open on your car?" And you would be perfectly right in your succint inquiry. That's why I hang out with you.

Here's how that happened. Grizzly went to bed first, with the kids. He figured I'd make sure everything was secure for the night, being the mom and all. I was staying up for a bit to sit by the fire with the dogs and have quiet time. I figured he, being the man and all, would secure our perimeters before turning in. So naturally, neither one of us did anything. We frequently work well together like this.

We had heard there were some bears around and half the sites had lock boxes. Ours didn't. We were told to keep food out of sight. Not a problem. We always kept everything in camping boxes anyway. Just so you know for your own personal information: a camping container to a bear is like gift wrapping a box of See's candy. It just heightens the thrill anticipating the creamy center.

As we looked out the tent we could see the bears having a heydey in the van. One of the cubs had thrown a bottle of cooking oil out to mom and she had ripped off the the top half and poured its greasy goodness down her throat, over her face, and onto her paws. She then pressed that same big fat face up against the windows of the van, along with plate-sized paws, and left lovely pressed-art pictures of herself.

The ground was littered with crackers, chips, pop tarts, flour, butter, pancake mix, and syrup. All of the items were in various states of having been demolished or devoured. I must interject that we do not normally keep all this c-rap around our home and I am an organic cook most of the time. However, camping requires copious amounts of Death Food in Boxes. (Sounds like a good name for a band.)

Grizzly ran out into the freezing night yelling and clanging pot lids. Of course the guns could not be fired. This is California. Guns are just for looks in a campground. You can't shoot bears or discharge a weapon. If we had left the guns in the car then the bears could have legally shot us, sat in our chairs, smoked a cigarette (not that we had any but they travel with them), and slammed back a beer to wash down the Ding Dongs.

But we hadn't left the guns in the car so the master mind of the heist ditched the babies and took off into the trees. The cubs scrambled around inside the van hunting their escape hatch, the window, and then bailed out as fast as their bloated bodies would carry them. The dogs were now awake. Reluctantly. I know I keep saying dogs and have only mentioned JoJo. Our other dog du jour was Lassie. Now Lassie was a four pound chihuahua who never really belonged with our family. My persuasive aunt had talked us into keeping this walking snack food but chihuahuas are not exactly your great-outdoors camping types. She spent most of her time in the mountains shaking and praying for death to overtake her. (We have since rehomed her with my aunt where she is receiving therapy for post traumatic stress disorder.)

With the bears out of sight we lifted the back hatch and surveyed the damage. It looked like a bomb had gone off in a Walmart. Camping boxes were ripped in half (what the heck? All they had to do was lift the lid, for Pete's sake!). Same for the ice-chest. Top removed at the hinges and it wasn't even locked. Bloody meat packages lay with only hints of what they once contained. Flour was everywhere. Bear hair hung from the ceiling. Bear musk hung on the air. Puncture holes decorated the interior and my emergency brake, now flattened out, had reported for its last emergency.

We knew they were watching from the perimeter. It was three a.m. We didn't want our car destroyed. What would YOU do? I know what we did. We swept off a spot on the back seat, rolled up the windows, and called JoJo to lay there and do guard duty until the light of day. She would forever after be known affectionately as "Bear Bait." You've never seen a dog with bigger eyes than one who is about to be left by herself in a car that smells like a bear is sleeping in there with her. I'm not sure we made the right decision. JoJo is positive we didn't. But the car was safe. At least for the rest of that night.

We still had another night to go. We knew they'd be back. And they were. This time we would be waiting for them. So would Bear Bait.

To Be Continued........

Copyright 2009


  1. Girl, I would have got the **** out of Dodge!! There is no way I would have stayed there, KNOWING there were bears.
    Poor JoJo!!

  2. I love it! Bear Bait! What a great camping story. Way better than snakes in the sleeping bag. Now that would scare the c-rap out of me, but Grizzly did exactly what they tell you to do as far as making as much noise as you can... although I would have had to change my drawers, myself. I can't wait to hear what you all and 'Bear Bait' cooked up for the next night.

    Love this cliffhanger!!!


  3. How did I miss this story. I must have had some of Libby's meds! i tried to go back and catch up but it wouldn't let me. My closest encounter camping was with a mama skunk and her babies. We ran!

  4. HAHAHA! Your description of how you guys work together totally cracked me up. We do that same thing. All. the. time.

  5. Great description, I was following along so vividly and with much anticipation!! WOW, I would have freaked OUT!! Can't wait to hear more.

  6. OMGosh!!!! I am crying, I am laughing so hard! I remember you telling this story some years back, but I have to say it was just as funny, maybe funnier the second time around. Can't wait to hear the ending.

  7. OMArrrgghh... this is hilarious (I know, hilarious at your expense)... but, this Edge of the Seat thing... how am I gonna sleep?? I'll probably dream of bears and your poor pooch.

  8. Twisted Fencepost: I'm too stubborn to leave! And JoJo deeply appreciates your sympathy!

    Reddirt Woman: So glad you're having fun with this! And we'd never shoot anything that wasn't trying to kill us but a warning shot sure would have driven them a little farther off. They KNOW they're safe.

    Sassydog: If you can't access back, google search "A Bear Market" Part 1 - should come up and that Libby is spreading the joy, apparently.

    NaomiG: Yes, it is a thing of beauty when husband and wife work like busted clockwork.

    Hafts Happenings: I wish you would have been there with us! (Bet you're glad you weren't.)

    Reg: You encourage me too much. That's how I ended up out here telling people all this stuff. It's YOUR fault! (Hey, got to hug your little girl for a bit tonight bless her little heart.)

    BZ: Hang on to your seat. More's a comin'!

    And to all of you who read this....sorry for all the typos and grammatical errors in the post. I have now gone in and fixed everything. I wrote and posted it so fast the smoke hadn't cleared enough to see and edit. It was a VERY eventful day around here and I'll post about that later, too!

  9. Robynn, now that my sides are split open, have picked myself off the floor and hacked up my right lung from gut busting laughter, you tell me I must endure a cliff hanger . . oh you, how dare you, you literary genious. I can't go to bed now, I want to know what is going to happen.

  10. OMG! poor Lassie...scared out of her skin..hope she's recovering from PTSD! And for JoJo!! Danged Woman! You are cruel!! I'm surprised she didn't run away to Auntie Ems too!! Getting there before Lassie!
    that she didn't do more damage than the bears...trying to escape!!!

  11. Oh..maybe now we know the REAL reason for you and Sons sleep problems wink... I will no doubt have nightmares tonight, thank you very much! So what the heck...I just won't go to sleep!
    Then I can be like the bears...CRABBY!

  12. OMG - I'm rolling around laughing while also on the edge of my seat. (No mean feat, I tell you!)

  13. You would think I would have learned by now, wouldn't you??? But noooo I sat here drinking my iced tea and just LMSLAO - just like an idiot...until I hit "Bear Bait".
    My screen... my poor screen ! And my keyboard! And now I have Lipton's dribbling out my nose as well!!! And when my old guy came in to see what was going on, all I could do was gasp
    "I. LOVE. THIS. WOMAN !!!

    BEAR BAIT..... PMSL!!!!

  14. OMG

    Such a good reason not to camp....

  15. what a great story! Poor JoJo - I don't blame him for being unhappy! And I don't blame you for not knowing what to do - I wouldn't have a clue!

  16. This would be a great children's book. It makes my vacations seem boring!

  17. Dave Teter: Here's a present in time for you, I hope. Your last installment. Enjoy!

    W.O.W. Yes, we are horrible people. Just ask JoJo.

    Lady Fi: You are talented. That's why I follow you!

    TM: My life would be incomplete without your spewing. It makes my day!!

    High Desert Diva: Slow room service is as close as some of my friends ever want to come to camping.

    Tabitha: Not knowing what to do has never stopped us from doing it!

    Treehouse: Great idea! I have several children's book ideas in the cooker but this one hadn't crossed my mind. Might have to tone it down a hair!

  18. Have you not heard of HOTELS? Marriott, Holiday Inn, Comfort Suites, etc. etc.

  19. I can't believe you stayed another night!!! Good grief! Okay I see I am still behind. Now to move forward and see if you have posted the next installment yet. Bye again.