A Grizzly Attempt At Humour

I made a scary discovery this past weekend.

Our garden is out in the wilderness so we’re always wary of bears, particularly in early spring when they’re hungry and grumpy and in late fall when they’re foraging for enough food to last them through hibernation. This has led to me regularly jettisoning my dignity as described here: https://blog.dianehenders.com/2013/08/28/scuse-my-bear-behind/.

But it’s mid-summer, so I’ve been starting to relax a bit. I figured by now the bears would have moved on to higher ground, and it would be too early for them to be coming down around our place searching for winter provisions.

How wrong I was. I had just finished strolling happily through the woods to my garden when one of our neighbours came by and stopped to chat. “Be careful,” says he. “Fish and Wildlife says there are seven grizzly bears in our area right now.”



Needless to say, my trip back through the woods was accompanied by a wildly swivelling head, a sweaty hand on my canister of bear spray, and embarrassingly high-pitched off-key singing.

That might have been pretty funny to a casual onlooker, but it’s old news to anybody who’s read my blog for a while. None of you expect me to exhibit any kind of dignity or decorum anyway, so when I started to plan this blog post I thought, “Let’s see, what can I say about grizzly bears that’s new and funny?”

Y’know what? I got nothing. Nothing is funny about grizzly bears. Grizzly bears scare the shit out of me. If I ever met one in the woods, and I sincerely hope I don’t, I’d probably kak my drawers on the spot.

Nature may abhor a vacuum (though I’ve never understood Mother Nature’s objection to cleaning tools), but my nature abhors any situation in which I can’t find some humour. So my renegade brain immediately leaped to the challenge of making grizzly bears funny. Maybe a grizzly bear in silly clothes?

Eh, maybe not. There’s something about all those claws and teeth that just takes the giggles right out of it.

But then I thought, “Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. After all, grizzly bears must have their problems like everybody else, right?”

And this happened:



*After I drew this I realized it may be another Canadianism, so I decided to provide a bit of explanation for anyone who’s not from around here. ‘Does a black bear shit in the woods?’ is a rhetorical question that translates to ‘Hell, yes!’ Example: 

Friend: “Do you want to go for a beer?”  Me: “Does a black bear shit in the woods?”

So what do you think? Grizzlies: Tragic heroes of their own lives, trapped in fur suits and destined to be forever misunderstood? Or big-ass scary mo-fos with no sense of humour whatsoever?

I’m leaning toward the latter…

* * *

The deadline is almost here for draw winners to contact me.  Lee-Ann, if you’re out there, please email me before Friday or I’ll have to draw a different winner for the Spy Now, Pay Later signed paperback.  Thanks!

32 thoughts on “A Grizzly Attempt At Humour

  1. Pingback: The Terrifying ‘Bearrot’ | Diane Henders

  2. I’m getting to this post late as I was out of town and away from the Internet, so I really hope you haven’t been eaten by a grizzly bear in that time. If you have, well, it was nice to read you while I could… 😉


  3. How to tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly bear? Climb a tree. If the bear climbs up after you and eats you its a black bear. If the bear knocks down the tree and eats you its a grizzly bear.


  4. Does trilling loudly and off key not draw the bears’ attention to you, Diane? We don’t have bears around here, but if we did, I’d be perfect at singing like that to keep them away.
    Bears in silly hats is a good one to go for… as is bears dressed as celebrities. I like the artist one… everyone’s a critic!


    • Actually, Tom, I’m afraid of exactly that: I’ll run across a grizzly bear who’s a critic, and he’ll bite my head off just to make me stop caterwauling and disturbing the peace in his woods. 😉


  5. Nothing funny about Grizzlies. Keep your hand on the bear spray and sing in double volume. they deserve a lot of respect those majestic creatures and two football fields of distance for me please and thank you.


      • Black bears can grab a quick “attitude” too. Hubby and I were camping in the Atchafalaya swamp basin in Louisiana many years ago, loads of wildlife in there too btw. Saw many small bear paw prints but were told by local Cajuns that they were long gone out of the area. Next day we went to the river to fish and saw 2 darling babies close by. Before casting the first line here came Mama, mad as hell and quickly told us with her snarling, growling and fur standing up, “LEAVE, NOW!” Never try to run quickly through gumbo mud with rubber boots on. One thing about the swamp people, Cajuns , they don’t mind helping you out. Out and away from their territory. LOL


        • Yikes! Yeah, bear cubs scare me worst of all – not because I’m afraid of the cubs, but because I know cranky Momma won’t be far behind. And I don’t know what gumbo mud is like in Louisiana but if it’s anything like the gumbo I grew up with, you’d be lucky to take a single step without leaving your boots behind. I’d consider that a fair trade for keeping my skin intact. 😉


          • Yep, that good ol’ gumbo mud that makes a huge “schluuucking” sound as you lose your shoes, boots and probably socks too. Creepy area, that Basin, dangerous too if you aren’t very careful and get out before nightfall.


  6. Remember Gary Larson? The “Far Side” cartoon dude. He made Griz Bears really funny! Like the one about the nature photographer in a bear suit confronted by a group of real Grizzlies. Bear: “So-o-o…. you say you’re a real bear? Here’s a jug of beetle grubs – we want to see you chug’em!”
    Or: two pudgy pimply boys tossing a bear cub back and forth. The caption was: “…and the Anderson boys were never heard of again”
    Wish I could post the cartoons. too!


    • I loved Gary Larson’s cartoons! It’s so funny you should mention him – as I was writing this post, I was thinking about the one where the bears come upon campers lying in their sleeping bags, and the one bear says to the other, “Hey, look! Sandwiches!”

      Or the one where the polar bear is scooping people out of an igloo, and he says to his buddy, “Man, I love these things! Crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle!”

      Thanks for a fabulous blast from the past!


  7. I think ALL bears, and most exceptionally the Grizzley, are majestic, awesome creatures. I could watch them all day. From right at a football field away and with my binocs. I respect them and they’ll let me live to respect them tomorrow. Just sayin’.


    • I’m right with you there – a football field away, binoculars… and possibly a getaway car. I haven’t really worried too much about bear encounters in the past because as you say, they tend to avoid confrontation if possible. As long as everybody stays calm and backs away slowly, everything is okay. But unfortunately, aggressive bears are becoming more common around here as human/bear encounters increase. There have been several unprovoked bear attacks lately, so I’m extra-cautious. It really takes the fun out of being in the woods, though.


  8. Grizzlies are terribly misunderstood. You’d be grumpy, too, if everyone screamed and ran away when they saw you. 😉

    Oh, and my favorite saying around here is “Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do I.” (Which you’d know without asking if you could see my floors through the computer screen.)


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