by Marinka on August 23, 2012

I know that this is a humor blog, but sometimes life just isn’t funny.

Like when I was on vacation and realized that Husbandrinka was out to kill me. First he went the white water rafting route, then, as my friend Peajaye pointed out, he tried to kill me with boredom by making me tour all the Lewis & Clark sites and when I somehow survived, finally he settled on Homicide by Bear.

No sooner did we get to Yellowstone than he started dropping hints how we should All Go for a Hike. Naturally I assumed that he’d picked up some kind of yellow fever that led to that inane rambling, but he wouldn’t let it go.

“A hike?” I asked in a gentle yet firm tone that’s recommended for dealing with the deranged. “Really?”

“Well yes,” he said, “what did you want to do?”

Obviously this was one of those questions that doesn’t require an answer, but rather a one-way ticket to NYC and possibly reservations at my favorite restaurant. But I could see that this isn’t exactly where he was going.

“I don’t know, read maybe?” I suggested.

“Read?” he asked, as though he were the head of the Society for an Illiterate Society, “you came to Yellowstone to read?”

“No?”  I tried.

Incidentally, from the Shit I Couldn’t Make Up If I Tried category, here is a sampling of Husbandrinka’s reading material for our trip:

But for some reason he rejected my proposal that we all stay put and read and maybe color a bit, with a few word searches thrown in for good measure, so we headed out for a hike.

Here is what I like about hikes: Telling people that I went on a hike.

Because when you tell people that you went on a hike everyone looks at you with admiration and goodwill. Who doesn’t like a hiker? Hikers are fun and athletic and appreciate nature.

Look, I get it. It’s nice to be admired. But I found that the same admiration can come my way if I lie as much as possible. Like the time I hiked most of the Appalachian Trail.

What I don’t like about hiking is being killed by a bear.

I call this The Writing on the Sign That’s Affixed to the Board, or THE WRITING ON THE WALL, of short.

Am I prepared to avoid a bear attack? Funny you should ask! Because I was so prepared to avoid an attack that I was ready to get on the plane, train or helicopter and get the fuck out of there.

But, since Husbandrinka’s life goal by that point could be summed up by the word HIKE, I decided to read on.

Be alert for bears! Now how do you read this? As someone who is ESL, I read this to be “A bear can be absolutely anywhere at any moment, so while you’re casually hiking, a bear could be watching you! Have fun!”

So every scenic moment, which ordinarily would induce peace and Walden-like reflection

becomes the most terrifying game of Where’s Waldo? you’ve ever played.

Make Noise– Ok, I’ll have kids with me, so this one is in the bag. Except after an hour or so, they seemed to really quiet down. Something about being scared shitless.

Carry Bear Spray Husbandrinka was in charge of that. Yes, the same Husbandrinka who asked me if we should be spraying ourselves with it in order to repel bears.

Do Not Run Consider the Not Running done, since I assume it’s hard to run and have a heart attack at the same time.

As we begin our hike, I talk privately to my husband, not wanting to alarm the children.

“Listen, if there is a bear attack, I’ll stay back and …sacrifice myself,” I tell him, “you just get the children and yourself to safety.”

I say this because I think it’s important to have a plan and also because I want him to recognize my heroism and say that he couldn’t possibly accept my suggestion, but that he will tell everyone that I made it, and while I’m composing a press release in my head about my selfless bravery, he says, “oh, ok.”

Later, in the safety of our hotel room, he will tell me that he wasn’t even listening to what I was blathering on about when he said “oh, ok” (this is called the Insanity Defense, by the way) but I spend the rest of the hike thinking of how to take back my selfless sacrifice and direct the bear towards him instead.

I need to stop the story of the hike here. Not because it’s over, but my doctor is here and it’s time for my special pill. I’m excited because it’s the blue one today and that’s the one that gives me nice dreams.

I’ll tell you more about the hike later, when it’s safe.

And remember, a bear could be watching. The bear is always could be watching.

One year ago ...

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

August 23, 2012 at 8:46 am

I love the word “hike.” It makes purposelessly walking around outdoors seem so much more sane.


deb August 23, 2012 at 9:35 am

yes – that “where’s waldo” game is exhausting!—is he around the next tree? hiding under a bush? lurking in the tall grass? hopefully you didn’t miss out on the other attractions like getting trampled and gored by a buffalo, or perhaps falling into a seething pit of sulfer! yellowstone has so much to offer!

can’t help it – gotta add that i loved it!


August 23, 2012 at 9:42 am

“Do Not Run”? They’re kidding, right?

This reminds me of our fun hike in West Virginia last year, with posters everywhere of Wally the Woodchuck warning of unexploded ordnance. Or UXO, for those in the know…


annie August 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

Always remember the first rule of wildlife attacks – you only have to run faster than the person behind you.


the mama bird diaries
August 23, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Brilliant Annie.


Momo Fali
August 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

No, thank you. Don’t they have bear-proof golf carts you can drive? That’s the only way I’d be on that trail.


Annie Coppock August 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

You, my dear, are priceless!


Mexmom August 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

At least you did not encounter any religious bears, like this joke:

A pastor is hiking when he comes across a hugh black bear,he drops to his knees and prays”Oh Lord protect me” he looks over and the bear is on his knees too! He says Oh thank God it’s a Christian bear. Then he hears the bear pray-“Oh Lord thank you for the food I am about to recieve”!


Loukia August 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Yeah… one look at that sign and I’d be running in the other direction. Yay that you’re still alive!


August 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Yes, the smart ones stop hiking when they are old enough to read.


Alexandra August 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Oh, I can’t tell you how much I love how you make me laugh.

Getting excited about the little blue pill just about did me in.

I’m all for the nice dreams.

Marinka, there is no one like you: you are so very talented.


the mama bird diaries
August 23, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I like Annie’s wildlife survival tip. And that book is ridiculous.


Mom of A and a August 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm

just slip a jar of honey in his coat pocket…..


August 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Uh, you left out the most important part of the sign, the last line:
“There is no guarantee of your safety in bear country.”


JK August 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I FEEL FOR YOU! My husband has also been trying the “death by vacation” approach for years. The whole family is on alert. They never seem to intervene though…


Jonathan August 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Sounds like a racket to sell more bear spray!


August 24, 2012 at 10:51 am

But did the bears have VD? Confused.


Lisa Rae @ smacksy August 24, 2012 at 10:58 am

You are very brave. Or something.


Mary August 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I’ve always hated the word “hike” because it means you have to reach some destination and oddly there’s not a lot of time to wander around and look at stuff. People who hike say things like, “well it’s a three mile loop and we can do it in an hour.” I prefer the word “walk.” “Let’s go on a walk” is so civilized and rarely involves bears. Except where I live – Los Angeles. I’m not kidding.


August 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I hope this is research for your next children’s book.


deborah l quinn
August 24, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Were you channeling your inner Judy Garland? bears, and bears, and bears, OHMY! I agree with those who talk about “hike” versus ‘walk.” Hike sounds so…gore-tex and hail-fellow-well-met; walk sounds like what civilized people do whilst having conversation about Big Topics. Of course, Big Topics and BEAR don’t quite mesh.
Glad you’re safe. What a close call.


Magpie August 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I actually got up and went into the other room to having reading-aloud/show & tell with my husband and that venereal disease book.

Wow. That sounds dirty.


August 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm

This is exactly why I won’t scuba dive. I went snorkeling once and our guide got all excited, told everyone to gather round and then pointed out barracuda. I swam back to the boat.

If you can avoid a bear by not hiking, that’s like a win win in my book.


tracey August 25, 2012 at 10:29 am

I loved so much about this post it’s not even possible to write it all down.

So I won’t.

Glad you didn’t get eaten!


August 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Yogi always seemed so nice. I wouldn’t be worried.


Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
August 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I also dislike that about hiking. And the general uphill climbing in shorts part.


Lady Jennie August 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

You make me laugh. Glad you’re home in one piece. You are in one piece, are you not?


Jessica August 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm

My husband would appreciate this. I never realized there were so many people who were afraid of/adverse to hiking. I took him hiking when I was pregnant with my daughter. At one point, he asked me in all seriousness if he could cut me open and take the baby if I happened to be mauled by a wild animal.


September 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm

So jealous you got to stay in a hotel. We stayed at Fishing Bridge Village n Yellowstone in an old RV. They used to have problems with the bears at the campground but then they “relocated” the bears.


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