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[at-l] Bear Repellent

> Joe says black bears aren't as dangerous as our fears make them out to be
> while Shane and Jim O argue that it only takes one to kill you. Both are
> correct. OTOH if I allowed all the things that *might* kill me to
> what I did, I wouldn't do much of anything.

Oh NO!  Don't you DARE come around here with your reasonable attitudes and
well thought out points!  Can't you see we're trying to be adversarial?

Actually, all I'm saying is that I don't walk around in the woods terrified
that a critter of any color is going to come eat me.  I know that the
incidence of being eaten by critters is low.  I also know that the incidence
of being eaten by critters goes up dramatically the closer you get to said
critters.  To talk about statistics is simply silly at some point.

Not too many kids get run over by cars in the street every year, yet all our
mothers holler at us to get out of the street.

Joe's contention is that cars - that is to say bears - just aren't
dangerous.  I wonder if he'd let his toddler lope off towards a bear of any
color and say, "It's OK.  Bears aren't aggressive.  Little Joe just wants to
pet him.  It's perfectly safe.

> Actually being frozen in fear all the time might kill me too. ;)

Hypothermia is a bear.

Wait...  I'm mixing my metaphors again, damn it.

> I respect any animal that outweighs me and/or has sharp teeth even the
> domesticated ones.

I like to use the skull crushing test.  If it's big enough to crush my
skull, then I'm going to leave it alone.  It lives there, I'm just visiting.

> Should you encounter a bear, as advised in "The Restaurant at the End of
> the Universe, DON'T PANIC! Panicking is one of those stupid things you can
> do around bears. Make yourself as large as possible by raising your arms
> over your head and shouting loudly. "GO AWAY" works although anything will
> do. Bears don't speak English anyway. Blowing a shrill whistle works fine

I like to just talk to the bear.  Introduce myself.  Recite a little poem or

This seems to have absolutely no effect on 'gators, though.  Or skeeters for
that matter.  Oh, and snakes.  I actually like snakes.  Tastes like chicken.