If you’re reading this, I’m in Montana. Don’t ask me why, sometimes bad things happen to good people. Not that Montana is a bad thing, of course, that’s ridiculous, it’s a beautiful state, but with bears who are out to get me.
At first I was keeping what the insane call “an open mind.” Sure, I’d never been to Montana, but dozens of people who vacation there can’t all be wrong. Besides my family seemed enthusiastic. My daughter was excited to go because one of her best friends lived there and Young Ladrinka was excited to go because it’s where the Football Hall of Fame is, except that’s in Ohio and not in Montana, but what’s the point of calling yourself The UNITED States of America if you’re going to get all technical about what is where. But Young Ladrinka is now less excited and more despondent because apparently he’s some kind of a states rights freak.
Balancing out the family is Husbandrinka with his Lewis & Clark fetish and threat/promises that we will be visiting many sites important to the expedition and my step-son who told me that he Googled the population of Montana and it’s some number.
So there I was with my open mind, hugging random buildings in NYC as I prepared for this next adventure when suddenly and for no good reason I get an email from a Montana acquaintance and she says that she’ll lend us her bear spray so we don’t have to buy our own.
What the fuck is that about, exactly?
I immediately Google “Why the fuck do people in Montana need bear spray” and get a site that schools me on the use of bear spray on an angry grizzly bear (at 25 feet away! You may want to practice before hand because the spray comes out with great force!) I start feeling mildly lightheaded and faint (because it’s terrifying, not because I’m pregnant). And then there’s a section on snakes, but I’m sure that section is there to make people feel better about the bears and there’s only one poisonous one to worry about, so I’m liking my odds.
So I immediately email Kelcey, who lived in Montana, Annie who presently lives in Montana, and Husbandrinka, who hopes to survive in Montana. Husbandrinka’s all “I have no idea why someone would need bear spray” and also says some shit about how he thinks we’re supposed to spray it on ourselves to repel the bear which I know from the little I’ve spent on the Grizzlies & You website to be 1000% wrong. Kelcey’s more helpful in the “nice knowing you” and “don’t carry around a pot of honey” way and Annie tells me not to worry, but I can hear her laughing while distributing my photo to the local grizzly. So I’m pretty much fucked.
“Don’t worry, mom,” Young Ladrinka, the future cartographer, tells me and I sit him down to let him know that we will be staring death in the face pretty soon, so don’t forget to pack your toothbrush because they’ll probably be using dental records to identify us and we don’t want them to detect gingivitis.
“Oh, I’m not really worried,” I lie , “I just think it would be fun for us to learn all about bears in preparation.” And specifically what kind of guns work best on them because suddenly I’m a big proponent of the Second Amendment and the Right to Bear (OMG, if that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is, except that Guns & Ammo one I hope to see flashing at the Bozeman airport.)
“Like in order to get into character, I’m going to dress as Goldilocks,” I told him even though he had already lost interest.
“Goldilocks isn’t bears,” he said. “It’s wolves.”
“Excuse me?” I asked, making a mental note to enroll him in remedial fairy tales 101.
“Little Red Riding Hood is bears,” he explained.
Hopefully there will be no re-enactments on the trip.
I’ll keep you posted.
One year ago ...