20 July 2010


My mother's birthday was on Sunday and her and her partner (heterosexual partner I should clarify, they have an aversion to marriage) went camping in Yosemite.

Now, to me, this does not sound like a fun thing to do on your birthday but to my mother this is a sort of Holy Grail of fun times. To each their own and all that. Now, summer is of course prime tourist season in Yosemite but being the intrepid hikers they are they camped in the "backcountry" away from the majority of the teeming hordes. Away from the masses, but much
closer to the wildlife.

Let's pause for a moment and discuss the number one bit of wildlife that one might see in Yosemite... did you say 'a bear'? You are correctamundo. And when camping in Yosemite it is both required and wise to bring with you a bear-resistant container for your foodstuffs. My mother and her partner, being the responsible prepared hikers they are had just such a canister.

Picture the scene, the sun rises on early morning through the trees. Enjoying a bowl of warm oatmeal with her love, my mother's eyes drift past him to the bear-resistant canister. And to the three hundred pound bear who has instantly recognized what in the past has promised good eatings.

My mother's options were many at this point. She could have run. She could have grabbed the heated stove nearby and flung it at the bear. She could have rushed it while waving her arms.

She did none of these things. Instead, wielding her spoon like it was Excalibur itself she yelled "Go away bear!"


Go away bear?

I like to think at this moment the bear, duly chastised, hung his head in shame and shambled off. Later, in Ursa Therapy he recounts this episode. "I didn't even do anything to them, they just yelled and me and judged me for being a big furry ole bear. It's speciest is what it is," he sobs into a giant hanky.

My mother said that in retrospect she felt a bit like someone out of Harry Potter, casting a spell while she brandished her spoon.

You know that picture right there is art.

And it worked. That's the best part. My 100 pound if she's soaking wet mother got rid of a 300 pound black bear simply by sternly telling it to go away while threatening it with a spoon. Which, let's be honest, unless you're Alan Rickman a spoon is about the least impressive weapon you can come up with beside a wet noodle.

In summary, my mother is a badass and I never misbehaved as a child. Hell, I don't misbehave as an adult.

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