December 8th, 2008


unexpectedly, bears

I just got a piece of spam from Bear Trapping Holidays Inc.


The thing is, I can think of someone I used to know who might well be employed by Bear Trapping Holidays Inc. if his life took an undesirable yet plausible turn, though he'd be more likely to e-mail timprov than me.

(I'll bet its employees call it BTHI when they can. "What do you do?" ask their high school classmates at the reunion. "I do tech support for BTHI." And the ones who don't make suitably impressed sounds press further: "Really! What do they do?" "It''s in the entertainment industry." "Ooh, do you know Alan Rickman?" "Um. No.")

This reminds me of the letter I got from my godmother when I was in college. "Dear Marissa," it began. "Today I was chased by a bear." I went to a friend who came from up north like where my godmother lives, and I said to her, "Is this normal?" She said, "Oh, no. Nononono. Definitely not." I said, "Oh good." She said, "When it used to happen to my Girl Scout troop, what we'd do was...."

And then I stopped her to explain. See, things that are not normal are things for which you do not have multiple instances of occurrence with your Girl Scout troop. All sorts of normal things may not happen more than once to your Girl Scout troop. But I remain firm in the idea that if your Girl Scout troop was chased by a bear (or--let me be clear that I still consider this relevant--multiple bears) on more than one occasion, it might not be normal, but it was still more normal than it should be.

But possibly this is why Bear Trapping Holidays Inc. is sending spam around the countryside: to alleviate negative population pressure on the Girl Scout herds of the region. It's a humanitarian outreach, really. Just misunderstood by our modern-day cynical make-a-buck culture. It's too bad that I'm mostly done with my Christmas shopping, really. All sorts of people could have had a Bear Trapping Holiday. Sort of like the charity goats in Africa, but with a higher likelihood of mauling for the lucky gift recipients. It's hard to get mauled by a charity goat in Africa when you're in Minnesota, is the thing. The bears are a lot more visceral. Rather literally, if you're not speedy about it.