I had fallen asleep putting Mini-Me to bed, and my wife comes in to wake me. “There’s something in the garbage.”
Figuring it was a raccoon, I grabbed my spotlight, slipped on a trusty pair of flip-flops, and went out in the rain to run the little vermin off. I shined the light on the garbage bin, less than 50 feet away and illuminated not a single raccoon, but three black bears.
Readers, I know some people are afraid of mice. Or snakes. Or even spiders. But when there’s nothing but a few yards of empty grass between you and six glowing eyes looking up from a shredded garbage bag? THAT is fear. The three of them skedaddled off into the night, although I didn’t see where, since I had sprouted wings and flew back to the house, leaving one of my flip-flops dangling cartoonishly in the air until it fell back into the wet grass.
A few moments later, I figured it was safe to go out and clean up the garbage.
Wrong. One of them was back. Armed with a pistol as well as my light this time, I was no braver than last time. My brain sounded ‘Retreat!’ …and I obeyed.
I went out a third time…and no bear. I headed to the overturned can, Only to hear a snort. Loud. Close. Up. Boo-Boo had climbed one of the trees along the driveway. I could see him with the light, and he was NOT happy with my being close. I withdrew, and was going to call it a night. I’d clean up the mess in the morning. Then, I remembered I was on Ambulance call. My car…was directly underneath the tree that Boo-Boo was currently in. I inched my way toward the car, hoping to move it. Boo-Boo snorted and growled in the tree.
Have you ever had a bear growl specifically at you? Hair-raising. To make matters worse, I then realized that Boo-Boo in the tree wasn’t my main concern. Where the hell were the other two bears?
Readers, do you know what ‘pucker factor’ means? No? You’re Welcome.
Mine was high at this point. I needed to get to that car in case I had to leave, but I could only account for one of the three furry death-machines. It was dark. It was raining.
Summoning all of my bravery and foolishness at once, I charged to the car and threw myself in. I backed it out of the driveway and parked it nowhere near the garbage can.
After I got the car moved and consigned myself to the fact that I’d be cleaning up garbage in the morning I went back inside. If they wanted the food bad enough, they could have it.
My wife and I hovered near the window and heard my friend coming down from the tree. We spotlighted him and were lucky enough to see all three. As an added bonus, his mother is a local celebrity. She’s been around for a few years, and is easily identified by the fact that she has only three legs. I went from miffed that I’d be cleaning up garbage, to extremely happy that she was still around, and flourishing. Her two cubs seemed well fed and healthy, and she moved with surprising agility for missing a leg. As my wife put it “She could still probably f*ck you up.”
So, we listened to them continue to destroy the garbage can. The sounds soon faded into the darkness, but I’m not going back out there tonight.