Just the other day, I was sitting around thinking, if I could go anywhere I wanted to go, and money was no object, where is it that I would go? After bouncing several potential destinations around inside the cavity that contains my brain - it came to me in a moment of clarity.
I'm sure you can imagine my utter disappointment and inconsolable grief when I received the following news release in the midst of planning my early November trip to the rugged, uncharted wild of northeast Iowa.
"DES MOINES -- A black bear last seen in and around the Yellow River Forest in Allamakee County is prompting warnings from Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologists to avoid the animal."
Now I didn't need that extra warning. I have all intentions of avoiding bears. I will start by not venturing to northeast Iowa.
But wait just one minute. Isn't this America? Don't I have a right to go to northeast Iowa if I want to - bear or no bear? Beside, we have our own out-of-place Bullwinkle terrorizing the northwest Iowa countryside in recent weeks.
So I'm going. And I'm prepared, after reading the rules of bear engagement from the DNR - on the off chance that I run into Yogi lumbering around.
Allow me to share the bear rules as according to the Iowa DNR:
If a bear is encountered, people are advised to:
* Remain calm. Do not run. Stand still and talk to the bear in a calm voice
* Do not try to get closer to the bear
*If the bear does not get closer to you, slowly back away, talking to the bear in a quiet, monotone voice. Do not scream, turn your back on the bear, run, kneel down or make direct eye contact
* Do not run or climb a tree
* Watch the bear and wait for it to leave
Gotta say, this first set of guidelines seems a bit to passive for my taste, lets see if it gets any better. Continuing ...
* If the bear does not leave or approaches you, yell and wave your arms to make yourself look bigger. Throw objects, blow a whistle or an air horn. The idea is to persuade the bear to leave
* If the bear keeps advancing, and is getting close, stand your ground. Use bear pepper spray or anything else you can find or use to threaten or distract the bear
*If you are with others, stay together and act as a group. Make sure the bear has a clear escape route
Okay, the only one that even remotely makes any sense to me is the last one. But quite frankly, I'm not worried about the bear's escape route, I'm looking for my escape route.
So now I'm looking for some brave folks to go with me. A few requirements please. First, you must be slower than I am and be in poorer condition. That way, should we have to make a break for it, well I don't have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you. Oh yes, and you can't be a small person. I want you big enough that should the bear catch you, you fill him up so he has no desire to continue chasing me allowing me to continue on with my trip.
I'll be awaiting your call.
And finally, in the spirit of the holiday, just a bit of Halloween humor here.
From the book "Zombies for Zombies: Advice and Etiquette for the Living Dead" which was published in September 2009 by Zombie expert David P. Murphy, enjoy:
Zombie Romance Tips
· Ham is the new whipped cream!
· If teasing each other with touch is your thing, a lone feather won't cut it anymore; use a medium-sized bird or, if available, a Swiffer.
· Mineral oil: no. Lard: yes.
· She used to love rose petals flung onto her sheets; now try BacoBits instead. She'll be in your thrall.
· And for the ladies: just before bedtime, dab a bit of veal behind your ears. He won't know what hit him!
· If you used to hit the black market for bizarre aphrodisiacs, steer clear of whatever animal parts you thought were so frickin' effective. They weren't and the entire idea is beyond creepy.
· Chocolate works wonders under any circumstance. When you're looking for a gift for that special night of passion, check out the latest sampler box from the Gristle's After- Dark Catalog. Their chocolates feature yummy fillings and have strange names that can be quite arousing like Karmel 'n Kidney™, Bile Creme™, and Praline Bone™.
· Oysters: no. Goldfish: yes.
· Champagne. Of course, liquor is always an option. Use it copiously. It will relax both parties and take that considerable edge off. No one's advocating a black out here, but the next day's inability to recall salient parts of the evening might actually be a relief. At least, until all the meds are in play. I'm just sayin'.
For those looking for more up-to-date Zombie information, consult Murphy's newest release, "Zombies for Zombies: The Play & Werk Buk" just out this month. The Zombies for Zombies books are the first motivational guides and workbooks for the individual who has just been infected. Appropriate readers fall into the category of not quite a zombie yet, but sure will be in seventy-two hours.
Remember to vote Nov. 2. Your voice does count.