Man and Bear
May 16, 2002 4:25 AM   Subscribe

"When a male polar bear and a human are face to face, there occurs a brief kind of magic: an intense, visceral connection between man and beast whose poignancy and import cannot be expressed in mere words. Then he rips your arms off."
It's rare for someone to pull off morbid and hilarious at the same time. Here's an example.
posted by Su (22 comments total)
That's... that's beautiful.

Perchance he is this Andrew Barlow?
posted by rory at 4:43 AM on May 16, 2002

Safety in polar bear country, courtesy of Parks Canada. Just in case you've finally stopped laughing and asked yourself, "hey, what would happen if . . . "
posted by mcwetboy at 4:53 AM on May 16, 2002

It's rare for someone to pull off morbid and hilarious

Not that rare, dong_resin does it about every time he posts here.
posted by luser at 5:23 AM on May 16, 2002

That is great writing. Perfect for work, and is now doing the rounds in my office.
posted by Frasermoo at 5:26 AM on May 16, 2002

Quoth Edward Gorey:

B is the Basil assaulted by bears
posted by LuxFX at 5:50 AM on May 16, 2002

Great piece. Did anyone else find him- or herself trying not to wonder how he typed this article without arms?

(Yes, I know there are myriad ways to do this - there's just something distasteful about the question itself).
posted by Sinner at 6:38 AM on May 16, 2002

This was funny, just not The New Yorker funny.
posted by briank at 6:44 AM on May 16, 2002

Remember to let the polar bear win at space chess...

oh wait, that's wookies, not polar bears...
posted by andrewraff at 6:47 AM on May 16, 2002

It's funny, but I found it more slight-grin funny than Coke-out-my-nose funny. Better than a lot of what the New Yorker runs in "Shouts and Murmurs," but it still didn't escape the section's style, which always seems like it's aimed at 89-year-old Upper-West Side doyennes who don't get out much, or Financial District slaves who think jokes about different kinds of wine make for a right rollicking evening.
posted by risenc at 7:16 AM on May 16, 2002

As a child, I used to delight in early-morning "polar-bear swims" at my summer camp. Now I don't even feel like swimming anymore, because I have no arms.

Damn that made me laugh. Maybe because it's a dead-on parody of Hugh Prather's "Notes to Myself" franchise.
posted by plaino at 8:17 AM on May 16, 2002

According to a man heading home to Northern Canada on the train, "I'm an Indian, so I don't have to be afraid of polar bears. My grandfather told me, stay out of the left hand of the bear. Almost all bears are left handed, so if you approach from their left side, they have to turn to attack. As long as you stay away from the left hand of the bear, you'll be fine." (Or were they right handed? I'm not sure.)
posted by sheauga at 9:04 AM on May 16, 2002

Great. Now my last words are going to be: "Or was it left hande--"
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:22 AM on May 16, 2002

Wait, Coke and polar bears! Oh, I slay me! Or at least I maim me.
posted by NortonDC at 9:30 AM on May 16, 2002

Polar bears are one of the few animals that consider humans to be prey. Most other animals consider us competition or predator.

I backpack every summer, and encounter bears. They always take off like a bat out of hell... and having seen how fast they can move, I'm completely convinced that if one decided to attack, my ass would be grass long before I could react.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:31 AM on May 16, 2002

Sorta reminds me of the stuff written by Bill Bryson.
posted by crunchland at 9:32 AM on May 16, 2002

That was very funny - yet now I can't get out of my head the image of this poor guy enduring the pain of having his arms ripped of by a polar bear, which is decidedly un-funny. It's horrifying.
posted by dnash at 10:32 AM on May 16, 2002

Mcwetboy: From Safety in Polar Bear Country.

'...The trick is to launch yourself forward, toward and away in the direction that its jaws are long as the person remains motionless the bear will bite only once which prevents any serious injury.'

Riiiight! Well that sounds OK, I'm sure it can't be that difficult, eh?
posted by Duug at 11:43 AM on May 16, 2002

And tigers.
And bears.

Oh my (arms are being ripped off)!
posted by Danelope at 11:54 AM on May 16, 2002

I just hope its not Andy Barlow from the fabulous electro-something duo Lamb ... That could really interfere with their tour plans. Something tells me he would have mentioned it in the online diary though... Very funny article.
posted by fellorwaspushed at 12:45 PM on May 16, 2002

Duug — "The only thing that worries me, Jim, is being the first one down that gullet."
posted by mcwetboy at 2:29 PM on May 16, 2002

help me. did this really happen?
posted by babychet at 8:39 PM on May 16, 2002

fivefreshfish... a grizzly can do 35mph so yep, your toast.
posted by imaswinger at 9:11 PM on May 16, 2002

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