Friday, October 23, 2009

Bearly Surprising

From the files of "I Can't Believe This Doesn't Happen More Often" we are taken to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (which may or may not be where Borat was from) where we learn from AOL wire services that an " bear turned on its trainers, killing one and seriously wounding another." Uh-huh. Sounds about right. And?

See, this is where I was surprised to learn that a) there was more to this story and b) that it was being considered "a story". I don't know how much of a story it is that a bear gets pissed off because someone has the audacity to put ice skates on it, give it a Dorothy Hamill haircut (I'm assuming, of course) and force it to skate around to entertain the masses. But let's look into it and see what the media left out, shall we?

According to the BBC, "Bears on ice are common in Russian circuses. Some are equipped with helmets and sticks and trained to play hockey." Translation: This will happen again. It's just a matter of whether it will be in a circus or on an ice hockey rink.

Trained to play hockey?! Good Lord, man! What is wrong with you people?! What part of BEAR don't you understand?! Sure, sure, a bear playing hockey is cute; novel even. But that's why there are CARTOONS. We should be drawing cartoons with bears playing hockey instead of actually getting a freaking bear and making it play hockey!

What's the point of that, anyway? It's not like the bear could ever join a league, could it? You can't just have various Russian hockey teams decide that they're going to add a BEAR to their lineup one night, can you? I don't think that sounds wise at all. Again, it sounds wacky and highly entertaining, but what say some Russian fellow churn out a graphic novel of sorts and we go about being amused by the denizens of the forest in civilized situations that way, eh?

But I digress. Back to the mauling. "Kyrgyz officials said the bear turned on the manager, 25-year-old Dmitry Potapov, during a rehearsal." (By the way, the pronunciation of Kyrgyz is unknown and thus, completely unpronounceable. Can't they buy a vowel or something?) "The bear, who had skates on at the time, severely mauled another circus worker who tried to rescue the manager."

They feel the need to make it clear that the bear was actually wearing the ice skates at the time. It's as if they want to make sure that we know that the bear might not have just been lounging about on some sort of break or had refused to skate that day or something. No, the bear was officially wearing the skates. See, to me that only illustrates further why this happened. It's a BEAR. Bears don't wear skates. I swear! Look it up! You'll see. Lots of bears, but no....? Skates, that is correct.

Here's the part that always bothers me: "(Unpronounceable) police shot and killed the bear when they arrived on the scene." See, why did the bear have to be killed? The bear was only being a bear! That's what bears do! They maul people that make them wear ice skates and twirl about. It's right there in the name --- BEAR!!

And here is what all of these sorts of incidents always have in common. That would be the cluelessness of either the bloke writing up the account of the mauling or those investigating the mauling and telling the writing bloke of their findings. We always read: "It is not clear what caused the attack." Um, I think it's crystal clear.

You've got a bear, normally a denizen of the forest, being held captive by circus folk. The circus folk have somehow (through methods I'd prefer not to ponder and really don't want to know about, but a friend of mine says are really mean) managed to get the bear to comply to the point where the bear will ice skate and/or ride a bike, drive a little car, do a little dance, and probably make a little love and basically get down tonight. A bear, despite what we've all been led to believe, mainly by those Paddington folks who make 'em seem just cute as can be in a little coat and little hat, are mean creatures which will rip you limb from limb and then eat you from the inside out. They're mean effers.

What have we learned? Nothing I wouldn't think that we all didn't know before. Such a shame that the trainer (translation: bear captor) didn't read this blog. It could have saved his life.

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