Saturday, December 04, 2004

Bears, Hot Tubs, Bubble Bath

My brother, Roger, teaches computer security for a company in the Poconos Mountains. The Poconos area – long famous for honeymoons and mirrors on the ceiling – is mightily working to change its image from something like a bad Rod Stewart song to something more tourist-friendly and corporate. Me, I’d stick with the sexy image.

For instance, I have always assumed that my brother teaches all of his courses from a heart-shaped hot tub. Though the hot tub is filled to the brim with tasteful, flesh-covering bubble bath, Roger is always wearing his suit.

This is because nothing ruins a fantasy quicker than picturing your brother naked in it.

Roger’s class, however, is made up entirely of hot women wearing pajamas. Every now and again they stop to settle Windows vs. Linux debates with impromptu pillow fights – the way God intended Windows vs. Linux debates to be settled.

One night last week, my brother and two other instructors walked to their apartments after a night class. It’s cold in the Poconos this time of year, so they walked briskly and hunkered down in their coats.

Then they saw a man in a bear suit under a nearby street light.

This surprised Roger and he turned to ask one of the other instructors the most obvious question that comes to mind:

What is a guy in a bear suit doing on a Poconos street at ten in the evening?

Then, the guy in the bear suit stood up. His head came to about two feet below the ten foot street light.

Man, my brother thought, that guy is huge.

Then the thing snorted and a humungous cloud of vapor blew from its nose. This was not an eight foot tall guy in a bear suit. This was an actual bear.

So, the instructors ran. My brother describes it as something more akin to steady tactical retreat, but it involved moving away from the bear at a high rate of speed. Make your own judgment.

I love this story because I think it’s a telling one. I’m no ecology freak, but how separated are we from nature when three intelligent college graduates see a bear – in a mountainous, wooded area – and their first logical thought is…

What’s a guy in a bear suit doing on a Poconos street at ten in the evening?


Once safely away from the bear, the three men did the exact thing I would do in the same situation – they called animal control and alerted them to the bear’s presence.


Because nothing ruins your fantasy of civilization quicker than seeing an actual bear in the mountains.

1 comment:

Kay said...

Here, have some cyber applause. *clap clap clap*