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Don't Rush Me

What does a bear do in the woods?

September 19, 2012 - While I am still gathering information on the good ol' boy network in Orion Township, real estate shenanigans and local residents getting thrown under the bus by the their elected officials, let's go back in time.

In 2004 I wrote this gem of a column. Enjoy. -- Don

* * *

Let me start out by saying, I feel its pain.

What do I have feelings for? It's something rather large, warm, fuzzy and cuddly (just like me). It is a bear -- a bear that was found passed out in a campsite after a night of binge drinking. Seems to me, I vaguely remember a night like that when I was in college, but things are kind of fuzzy so don't hold me totally accountable for precise reporting of said incident.

However, according to plenty of credible news reports, just last week this big, black and groggy bear was found in a campground 80 miles northwest of Seattle. All around the snoring bear were empty beer cans. Thirty-six beer cans to be exact.

Apparently the black bear got into campers' coolers and used his claws and teeth to puncture the cans. And, while this two-year-old bear was binging, it still had the presence of mind not to continue its bender by consuming lots of available Busch beer. (I wish I would have been as smart in college.) The bear tried at least one Busch, turned its nose up at the national brew for the mellow taste of local suds, namely Rainier beer.

I bet the marketing tycoons at Rainier are busy coming up with an ad campaign with black bears and Rainier beer. Maybe they'll call their mascot Randy the Rainier beer bear?

Some might say that a drunk bear is a sure sign of the apocalypse -- that the world as we know it is about to end. They would argue: Why else would one of God's innocent and natural critters try to numb itself by drinking itself into oblivion?

I don't buy that.

I tend to blame the beer companies, who mass market their beers to bears. (And, before I go any further I want to send a message to all those big, furry beasts out there who may be reading . . . simply, I want them to always remember WWSD.

Bears, before you put that brew up to your snout, think: What Would Smokey Do?)

Okay, enough of the public service announcements, let's get back to beer brewers. I think it is time we all come to grips with the inherent evils of a capitalistic society run by mean-spirited corporations (who have been given the keys to the country by those damn Republicans). A society that would allow large corporations to poison bears, is a society that is spinning out of control.

The devil-controlled beer corporations are at fault for this poor bear's drunken escapade. The beer-selling humans have long been courting brother bear with the temptation of alcohol.

Any of you old timers out there probably remember this little jingle of days gone by:

"Land of sky blue waters (then the echo), waters."

In their TV ads, Minnesota beer brewing Hamms used that jingle with a bear mascot for years. Come to think of it, most of their broadcast and print advertising was centered around that dancing cartoon black bear. (Which, upon further contemplation, could be racially motivated to keep the black bear down. White polar bears drink the wholesome goodness that is Coke-a-cola. Yogi Bear and Boo-boo were brown bears that were "smarter than the a-ver-age bear." I'll have to look into how many polar bears or brown bears have been used to advertise beer products.)

Regardless, for bears, the temptation never ends.

Today, even the good and gentle people of Canada are trying to peddle their poison to unsuspecting and innocent bears. For the last two or three years, Labatt brewers have used a man in a U. arctus horribilis (grizzly bear) outfit in their television advertising. In the ad campaign, the bear drinking Labatt's beer has all sorts of beautiful women hanging on him, while homo sapiens not drinking Labatts are ignored by all the chicks. The message is clear, drink Labatt beer, bear, and you can cross species lines and get all the pretty women you want.

Pure evil. I think it is time we pressure the beer companies to change their advertising, to stay clear of kids and bears and just stick to targeting journalists and other bad people.

Comments for the rather large, fuzzy and cuddly, beer gusslin' Don Rush can be e-mailed to:

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at:
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