July 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

A lot of us don’t spend enough time thinking about bear safety, because we have jobs. We take steps to protect ourselves from insects, but what about bears? They’re bigger.

Most of us get our bear safety advice from stories, such as the famous tale of Zahava “Goldie” Locks, who encountered three bears in their home, and it did not end well. On the other hand, you have to bear in mind (oy) that Goldie was technically breaking and entering. She’s not the good guy here.

But the bear safety lesson we learn from this story is that if you walk into someone’s house and they have legitimately hot porridge on the table, they’re probably coming back. At least don’t go to sleep.

Not that the bears were totally without fault. If you walk into your bedroom and see a home invader passed out on your child’s bed, the first words out of your mouth should not be “Someone messed up my pillow arrangement.”

Of course the story of Goldie Locks isn’t real. You can tell, because it raises all kinds of questions, like: When a real bear makes porridge, you think he just leaves it on the table and walks out of the house? Also, I always heard the bears left the house so the porridge would cool, but apparently, only one of them liked it cool. Another one liked it piping hot. Why did he go for this walk?

Wait—how are the porridges different temperatures if she made them at the same time?

So maybe we got the story wrong. Maybe they weren’t trying to cool it. Maybe it was Shabbos Erev Yom Tov, and the bears were doing that thing where you bentch after the liver and then take a walk and come back and wash for cholent. What do you suppose porridge is?

Point is, you might think that you’re safe from bears, because in general, you don’t venture into strange cottages in the woods and comment on the food. But in real life, the bears come to you.

Take the recent news story titled, “Bears Suspected in New Hampshire Car Break-Ins.” I’m not sure how the bears are breaking into cars. How are they getting their hands on coat hangers?

Bear safety tip: Never put coat hangers in the garbage.

I love how they say, “Bears suspected.” No one saw the bears do it. It’s weird that the first thing that comes to the cops’ mind is, “You know what? I bet it was those bears!” Sounds to me like the cops did it.

There was also a recent story of a bear in Canada who stuck its head into a birdseed jar and couldn’t get it out, so it was just walking around blindly crashing into things (“Oops. Sorry. Sorry.”) until it crashed into a cop car. Canadian cops don’t carry guns, as far as we can tell, but they do carry cell phones, which they used to call what the article refers to as a “bear technician.”

A bear technician. It sounds like someone you call when your bear isn’t functioning the way you want it to.

“Hello, bear technician? My bear keeps crashing into things. I think it’s because he has a container on his head, but I’m no bear technician.”

Bear safety tip: How come no one’s asking what happened to the birds?

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Boy there are a lot of recent stories!” There are actually numerous ways to stop bears, though, but most of them are not advised. For example, in January, police in New Hampshire issued a warning against using chocolate to catch bears. Apparently this became an issue after four bears were found dead within 50 feet of where a hunter had set down, quote, “90 lbs. of chocolate and donuts.” The medical examiner ruled that they died from a chocolate overdose.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure this is how I’m going to go. No one will even be surprised.

I’m not sure I understand the story, though. The state wants to ban using chocolate, because chocolate could kill bears. But aren’t these hunters trying to kill bears? In fact, I think chocolate is the more humane way to go. It should be in the death penalty: Death by chocolate.

So a lot of readers are wondering, “Well, if you’re not supposed to feed the bears chocolate, then what on earth are you supposed to do?”

I guess you can take them down with a smartphone.

Take the story of a man in Canada who was recently attacked by a polar bear. I should point out here that this is our second Canadian bear story. I’m actually going to Canada for a chasuna right after Tisha B’Av. Are polar bears really a problem there? I’m going to be in Toronto.

The bear grabbed him and pinned him against the door of a bakery. So the man took out his phone, turned it on, and apparently the screen distracted the bear long enough for the guy to get away. Then the bear walked into a telephone pole while texting.

Bear safety tip: Always bring your cell phone.

Or take the story of 73-year-old Carl Moore of California, who, in May, noticed that a bear was attacking his tiny, annoying dog. So he walked up, slowly, and punched the bear in the face. Hard. And the bear ran away, looking for its momma bear.

Bears—they’re just like us. You can punch them in the face.

So it’s really the bears who need safety tips about humans. Maybe I should write an article for bears, full of tips on how to deal with the elderly, chocolate and birdseed jars, and the dangers of locking oneself in one’s car.

We’re going to start with a lesson about locking doors.

By Mordechai Schmutter

 Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia, The Jewish Press and Aish.com, among others. He also has five books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected]

 

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