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The Saddest Bear of All
March 4, 2009 5:11 PM   Subscribe

The Saddest Bear of All. A children's book about a young girl's friendship with a morose bear. [via mefi projects]
posted by Effigy2000 (64 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
This must be secret geek brainwashing to convince girls they should unquestioningly love moody, fat, depressed dudes.
posted by matthewstopheles at 5:15 PM on March 4, 2009 [23 favorites]


where the hell is Ted Nugent when you need him?
posted by jonmc at 5:16 PM on March 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


On Saturday, Eva didn't see the bear. "Where is my friend the bear?" she wondered. Then she saw his feet, swaying gently above her...
posted by rusty at 5:17 PM on March 4, 2009 [12 favorites]


I agree with parmanparman's comment over in projects. "oh it's cute. could be longer."

I thought the story was nice, the artwork wonderful, but I have to admit I thought the bear was going to eat her.

And because I am an evil bad man wanted it to. do so.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:18 PM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing he was just hungry.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:19 PM on March 4, 2009


On Saturday, Eva didn't see the bear. "Where is my friend the bear?" she wondered. Then she saw him at the computer, commenting on Metafilter.

"Ah!", she exclaimed. 'So you're Hovercraft Eel!"
posted by Sova at 5:21 PM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nice.

But why was the bear so sad? I'm almost afraid to ask.
posted by Iosephus at 5:27 PM on March 4, 2009


He was a republican banker.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:28 PM on March 4, 2009


"But what can I do to make you happy, Mister Bear?" said Eva.

"Well...there is one thing that might be nice," said the morose bear.

"Oh, anything!"

"I have here a vat of honey. I'll tip it onto the ground, and then if you could, I don't know, maybe roll around in it?"

Eva thought this was very strange, but she wanted to make the bear happy.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:28 PM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Iosephus: "But why was the bear so sad? I'm almost afraid to ask."

: (
posted by Rhaomi at 5:33 PM on March 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


You know who else liked grizzly stories? That's right: He was an Eva Braun Bear.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:33 PM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


For starters, the story has a little too much of the "been there done that" type of vibe. I'm not sure if that's a fair criticism, but I've seen many stories do the same type of thing and feel a little more "earned." And I guess that's the real criticism and the reason people feel it's too short. The ending, no matter how true or possibly heartfelt, simply comes too soon and doesn't feel right.

And the biggest problem of all is that The Giving Tree already did this type of story so perfectly anyone who even attempts something similar should just kill themselves and get it overwith.

*And all this is a from a dude who finds bears to be the most adorable freaking thing in the universe.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:35 PM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


There's the elephant.

He's happy with his balloon.

Oh no, it's gone!

Where is it?

It's not behind the rhino!

Look in the alligator's mouth...

...it's not there either!

Oooh, the monkey's got it in the tree!

He brings it back...

...they all drink lemonade.

The End!
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:37 PM on March 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


He was a republican banker.

Well if he was a bear, then he'd be happy.
posted by gman at 5:37 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by Lacking Subtlety at 3:35 AM on March 5 [+] [!]

Do I even need to say it?
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:38 PM on March 4, 2009


anonymous: You are depressed and need the advice of an experienced therapist and medication. People on an online forum are not going to be able to help you. From what I was able to put together from your somewhat jumbled post (what's with the constant growling?), continuing on like this will only hurt and drive away your SO who seems to care about you a lot.

And now, the real conclusion to the story of Eva and the bear.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:40 PM on March 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh, he spilled all the jam! Silly bear!
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:43 PM on March 4, 2009


HTMFBA
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:44 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


So no hairy gay dudes, huh?

Bummer.
posted by greekphilosophy at 5:44 PM on March 4, 2009


Also I do like the illustrations very much. Forgot to mention that.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:44 PM on March 4, 2009


We should print this thread and offer it as a free PDF addendum to all the book buyers. I imagine for the next Mefiproject we can offer online trauma counselling to the buyer's kids and roll in cash.

Also: I was briefly tempted to offer for free "El Oso Moroso" as the title for the Spanish translation, then I realized morose and moroso are what you call "false friends". Then again, if the bear is indeed a banker, he is probably moroso (literally: "in default") by now, so...
posted by Iosephus at 5:46 PM on March 4, 2009


Also: please turn this into part of the March Interactive Fiction contest. Then people can act out their dreams of having the bear eat the girl, hang himself, see a therapist, or whatever else people need to project onto this silly ol' bear. And all with really really supercute drawings.
posted by greekphilosophy at 5:52 PM on March 4, 2009



And the biggest problem of all is that The Giving Tree already did this type of story so perfectly anyone who even attempts something similar should just kill themselves and get it overwith.


God. sorry. I've been reading some amazing fiction lately and it's filling me with despair.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:54 PM on March 4, 2009


"false friends" is a faux ami, or at least non-idiomatic -- in English it's called a "false cognate"
posted by jock@law at 5:56 PM on March 4, 2009


"...but after a while you'll die," the bear said.

sorry, actually this was amazing
posted by Rinku at 5:56 PM on March 4, 2009


It's an OK idea for a (pretty sappy) children's story but it needs some fleshing out. For starters, make me care about the one or both of the characters. All I was thinking was "for crying out loud, CHEER UP".
posted by DU at 5:59 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


up until that last line reading that was like reading Metafilter. Then it was like reading Metachat.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:00 PM on March 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


*sniffs*

What?! It's allergies, ok!
posted by brundlefly at 6:03 PM on March 4, 2009


ninja bear
posted by kliuless at 6:06 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


All Ursidae jokes aside, I'd like to say that for what this actually was (a Christmas present created for a beloved niece, and subsequently shared with fellow Mefites through Projects), this is pretty cool. It didn't need to be Winnie the Pooh and Pumpkinhead Too. Although I think that would have gone over better in my family.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:10 PM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, it's a targeted gift thing. If her name is Eva, she loves bears or there's some other special resonance for the niece, then yeah, this is awesome.
posted by DU at 6:14 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia tells me I'm wrong about false friend/false cognate. But I've heard linguistics professors use "false cognate" as an English term for that idea. I swear!
posted by jock@law at 6:24 PM on March 4, 2009


Lovely.
*sniffs*
posted by lone_one at 6:26 PM on March 4, 2009


Metafilter: the falsest cognate of all.

(For what it's worth it, I can't recall where did I learn of "false friends". I bet all my messily self-taught, who-needs-a-grammar English would drive those linguistics professors insane!)
posted by Iosephus at 6:36 PM on March 4, 2009


Sometimes you hug the bear, sometimes the bear hugs you.
posted by ooga_booga at 6:42 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't nobody show this to Werner Herzog.
posted by JHarris at 7:26 PM on March 4, 2009


Don't nobody show this to Werner Herzog.

Because then it would be a sad, sad vampire bear who just wants some of Eva's love.

Or were you thinking of a different Herzog film?
posted by katillathehun at 7:43 PM on March 4, 2009


The Herzog film? You mean the one about the guy who goes to live with the bears and the bears love him so much that they take him away to live with them, and the big bear god changes him and his girlfriend into bears and when people come across their campsite later they only find evidence of the human bodies that they molted when they became bears?

I LOVED that movie!
posted by Evangeline at 7:52 PM on March 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


Speculative fiction about Andrew Sullivan and Obama losing the election?
posted by ryoshu at 7:52 PM on March 4, 2009


Wikipedia tells me I'm wrong about false friend/false cognate. But I've heard linguistics professors use "false cognate" as an English term for that idea. I swear!

As far as I'm concerned, they're both perfectly good terms for the exact same idea. I am a linguist, but I am not your linguist.

posted by nebulawindphone at 8:00 PM on March 4, 2009


So no hairy gay dudes, huh?

Bummer.
posted by greekphilosophy at 8:44 PM on March 4 [+] [!]


eponysterical?
posted by geos at 8:26 PM on March 4, 2009


cute
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:59 PM on March 4, 2009


Real bear hugs are often fatal (not gory at all, but sometimes true).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:49 PM on March 4, 2009


I read this to my daughter this morning and she really liked it.

I wish it was longer and there were more stories like this -- the illustrations are awesome.
posted by mathowie at 11:11 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh Evangeline, I wish that was how it went.
posted by JHarris at 12:24 AM on March 5, 2009




(sorta NSFW)
posted by 5imian at 1:10 AM on March 5, 2009


On Saturday Eva went to a thrash gig and had unprotected sex with some scody drunken ratbag in a back alley.

On Sunday Eva died of venereal disease.

"Wilt and fade" sighed the bear. "Wilt and fade."
posted by Sparx at 1:22 AM on March 5, 2009


When I first read it, I kinda wished it was longer too. I think that speaks to the strength of the material; it's great and we wanted more before it ended. But I thought about it and I quickly realised that sometimes the best stories, the best jokes, the best things in life in general, are the short, sweet, simple things that hit you like a bolt out of the blue and leave you feeling better and more fulfilled than you did before you encountered it.

That's this to a tee, I think. It's over too quick but it's totally great just the way it is and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Imagine if Eva had gone back five, six, seven more times to make this bear happy. After a while you'd be like "Christ, fuck, this bear can't be pleased no matter what!" I think if it had gone on much longer the strength of the story might well have been ruined.

In short, and to borrow from another childrens story involving bears, I think the length of this story is just right.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:54 AM on March 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


scody is NOT a drunken ratbag!
posted by sciurus at 4:30 AM on March 5, 2009


Geez 5imian, and here I was feeling bad for bringing up that movie.
posted by JHarris at 5:39 AM on March 5, 2009


Geez 5imian, and here I was feeling bad for bringing up that movie.

All I am saying... my future kids are officially immune to bear attacks.
posted by 5imian at 5:46 AM on March 5, 2009


"Admit it," the bear sighed. "You're not here for the hunting, are you?"
posted by Spatch at 6:12 AM on March 5, 2009


"Mr. Bear, why are you so blue?"

"Eva...I'm a bear."

"I know, silly! That's why I think you're so snuggly and huggly!"

"No, Eva. What I mean is...we could never marry in Wyoming."

"Oh, Mr. Bear...That doesn't mean we can't live in sin as we have been doing for these past few weeks."

Fin.
posted by aftermarketradio at 6:57 AM on March 5, 2009


SAGE
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:26 AM on March 5, 2009


Reminds me a lot of Eeyore. Instead of cake, she should bring over a pile of thistles.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:05 AM on March 5, 2009


Perhaps the bear could have used some grief counseling, along with the cake.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:38 AM on March 5, 2009


Is this the second volume of a trilogy?

Volume 1: The Saddest Bear
Volume 2: The Saddest Bear of All
Volume 3: The Most Saddest Bear of All
posted by sciurus at 8:47 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


@Rhaomi,

That pic made me really, really sad.
Poor bear.
posted by bitteroldman at 10:42 AM on March 5, 2009


So, I tried buying a copy of the book via the lulu link at the bottom, but, lulu doesn't seem to let me proceed past the shipping info page, unless I change the quantity to 5 copies or more... This is my first time purchasing anything off lulu, so I'm wondering if there's some minimum-order type of thing, or, if there's something weird going on.

I suppose I could just order 5 copies and give away 4 of them though.
posted by yeoz at 11:07 AM on March 5, 2009


On the whole, I prefer Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat.
posted by ancientgower at 12:18 PM on March 5, 2009


@yeoz

I tried to buy it on lulu and couldn't get past the shipping stage either.

Now I am the saddest bear.
posted by Mjolnir at 1:09 PM on March 5, 2009


So, I went ahead and ordered five copies and I have since recieved them. Keeping one, and gave away one to a friend, so I have three extra copies, which I will also give away for free. Mjolnir, if you still need a copy, please let me know. Also, any two others who want a free copy can send me a mefimail and i'll forward one to you (Continental US only please). first come first serve.
posted by yeoz at 5:59 AM on March 18, 2009


Bear Pole Dance
posted by homunculus at 2:28 PM on March 20, 2009


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