Terrible Mother asked last week what irrational fears we might have, and I’m feeling a little need to defend my own NOT AT ALL IRRATIONAL fear of bears. This is a current fear but it’s showing some staying power.
Here is my basic fear: I live near/in a pretty heavily wooded area, on a butte, at the very edge of town. Last year, a bear made its way down from the mountain (in Kansas, the butte would qualify as a mountain) all the way to the tasty garbage cans at someone’s house at 42nd Street; I live right by 53rd street, a much closer jaunt for a bear. My fear is based on the following rational ideas:
1). Bears are large.
2). Being large, bears are also lazy.
3). Lazy things would rather travel a short distance than a long one for tasty treats (I have some personal experience with this).
4). I have many tasty things in my kitchen, in my trash, and in my failing attempt at composting.
See? I’m like Bear Heaven. I also have glass sliding doors, and a vivid imagination, so that I can totally believe the following will happen: I will look up from my dining table some day, probably (knowing my luck) with a honeycomb in one hand and a raw steak (this is the irrational part) in the other, and that movement will disrupt the bear who is, until that moment, peacefully snacking on the plants and compost. He’ll see me, the steak, the honey, and the kitchen beyond and his beary eyes will cloud over with foodlust, and he’ll dash right through the sliding doors — because HE’S A BEAR and DOORS MEAN NOTHING — and after me.
I have an escape plan. It depends on the following:
1). Bears can’t get into cars.
This may also be part of the irrational, but it’s based on the idea I hold that The Car Is Always Safe (except in a tornado). And so seeing this article today, about a woman in California who survived a bear attack (!!!) and drove herself to a fire station makes me think the car escape plan is not so silly, after all.
I’m still considering keeping my honey in the fridge.