A collection of essays, outdoor adventure stories, ruminations, wordplay, parental angst, and blatant omphaloskepsis, generated in all seasons and for many reasons at 64.8 degrees north latitude

Monday, August 31, 2020

Advice for the Pandemic, or Advice for the Bear that Pooped on the Trail Near my House?

1) Berry-picking is a safe, enjoyable, and healthy outdoor activity that can be conducted in a low-risk manner, but excess berry consumption can lead to digestive surprises.

2) Being somewhat territorial is perfectly natural during these difficult times.  It is best to be clear about the boundaries that are important to you, while remaining civil and friendly to your neighbors from a safe distance.

3) Children are different from adults in several key ways.  While these differences may provide interesting avenues for study, they should not be used as a rationale to place young people at high risk or use them as guinea pigs.

4) Rapidly gaining a huge amount of weight in the coming weeks – enough to render you virtually unrecognizable under dense layers of rolling subcutaneous blubber -- is an excellent idea.  Your survival prospects will be maximized if you are semi-spherical before November.

5) Cultivating as much body hair as possible is also an excellent plan.  Try growing a dense, impenetrable pelt.  This will be highly desirable for mating purposes as well as very important for survival. 

6) Crowded indoor settings such as malls, movie theaters, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are definitely to be avoided. 

7) If you are not wearing a mask when I encounter you, I will choose to believe that this is due to your own physiological limitations, rather than any ill-will toward human society.  However, if you then approach me, I reserve the right to become upset by your actions.

8) If you approach me too closely, I will calmly and slowly back away while talking in a reasonable but authoritative tone, never taking my eyes off you.

9) I will also raise both arms above my head, in an attempt to look as large and intimidating as possible.  I look very large with my arms above my head.

10) In some cases, especially when one or both individuals are breathing heavily, six feet of social distancing is nowhere near adequate.  Ten feet would be better, but to be perfectly frank, I’d really prefer several hundred feet, at least.  Maybe a quarter mile.  A distance best viewed through binoculars.

11) You should be able to find a comfortable and properly fitting mask in a size and style that suits you at numerous local retail outlets or online.

12) If toilet paper supplies become short, just carry on with your unrestrained crapping in the woods.

13) If food supplies become short, I would prefer that you do not eat my family.

Advice for the bear: 1-10, 12-13

Advice for the pandemic: 1-13



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