Friday, April 18, 2014

What God says when Jesus sneezes (and other worldly thoughts)

(850 words)
I without fail announce a cheerful “God bless you!” anytime I hear someone sneeze, even though I know it’s almost always a tactical mistake.

Because no one ever sneezes just once and it gets awkward if you keep chanting, “God bless you!” every time someone sneezes seven or eight times in a row and everyone is praying you’ll just stop spraying snot all around the room.

Maybe instead of the holy blessing we should all just start counting aloud and in unison, “1! . . . 2! . . . 3! . . .” like the person is doing public push-ups or something. 

Because a really powerful sneeze draws a lot of unwanted attention to people and the natural reaction is to immediately begin to try and stifle the sneeze, which could in extreme circumstances lead to the sneeze-stifler’s head exploding.

I’ve read the blessing custom comes from the 7th century superstitious belief that anytime someone sneezed it meant their soul was departing the body and the blessing would serve as a spiritual sort of anchor.

Today we know better.

We know the people who wind up most truly blessed are the ones who had the financial foresight to invest in the companies that make Kleenex and other disposable facial tissues.

“Geshundheit!” — German for “good health!”— is a popular alternative, and incidentally a form of what a lot of people say when they drink the things in short glasses that lead to big hangovers.

Me, I always say “Geshundheit!” any time I’m in a room where someone tries to appear wise by using the word “eschew.”

I’ve spent a lot of time recently wondering what God says when Jesus sneezes.

Does He say, “I bless you!” “Geshundheit!” Or being a father, does he counsel, “How many times do I have to remind you to sneeze into your robed elbow?”

I’m guessing He probably doesn’t say much.

I base that belief on the fact that the King James Bible has by one count 593,493 words in it and not a one of them is a direct quote from God Himself. It’s always someone saying “God said” or what the courts call hearsay.

And I hope my musings don’t come across as heresy. The words look similar but the distinctions could mean the difference between me being brought up on perjury charges or me being burned at the stake.

In fact, the majority of the Bible deals with prophets, fornicators, drunks, thieves, non-believers, adulterers, etc., telling their stories, so in some ways tonight’s Good Friday Happy Hour at The Pond will be sort of like Bible study.

And, understand, every Friday Happy Hour at The Pond is a good Friday.

I think the reason there is no exact count of God saying something is because He usually has guys like Moses speaking for him, a role that today is fulfilled by Pat Robertson.

Now, Jesus is another matter. Biblical scholars all know exactly how many New Testament words He is credited with speaking. The number is 2,026. 

By contrast, I in the ’11 story linked below, wrote nearly as many words about the night my fancy blue socks nearly got me killed in dangerous Hot Springs, Arkansas, biker bar.

It’s not exactly the Sermon on the Mount, but I think the piece still holds up pretty well.

As Easter approaches, don’t we wish we all heard a little more from God?

Some will argue He said all that’s ever needed to be said when Jesus rose from the tomb and there’s a lot of majestic poignancy to that belief.

But we have so many questions. Why are there wars? Why do people hate? How do you explain things like Cub fans?

My favorite question to God of all time came from my grandfather. He died at 97 about five years ago or almost 20 years after he told me he’d been praying every night that he’d be dead by morning.

He was sharp as hell right up to the very end, but was furious at his longevity.

“I’ve buried all my friends,” he’d decry. “My body’s breaking down. I’m sick and tired of being alive.”

He was a great man without being particularly religious. But he was very curious about the role or non-role God played in all he believed He’d created. I remember his anguished lament anytime he’d see someone, especially a young mother, die prematurely.

“How come God gave me so many years and He gave her so few?”

It’s a good question.

He had an even better one.

He swore when he’d get to heaven — and if he’s not in heaven I don’t wanna go —  that he was looking forward to asking God: “I believe you created heaven and earth. But who or what created you?”
Think about that one for a while.

Maybe it’ll all make sense when we die and meet our maker. Maybe that would make it all worth while.

Just in the nick of time!

Either way, may God bless you on this Easter weekend.

And I mean that even for those you not struggling with abnormally high pollen counts.

Related . . . 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Men getting hosed by low testosterone ads

With every commercial I become more fearful for the future. Levels are rising to dangerous heights. Things are getting hotter.

Too much global warming?


Too much testosterone!

We are in the midst of a cresting wave of commercials during sporting events that tell male viewers they are suffering from low testosterone. They imply everything will be rosy if we just got a doctor-prescribed booster shot of the stuff.

This would be fine, I guess, if they were removing all the gallons of surplus testosterone from troublesome men who have way too much and injecting it in men who were down a pint or so.

But this is not the case.

They are manufacturing even more synthetic testosterone and selling it to men they’ve shrewdly convinced are lacking.

The ads say the side effects of low testosterone are reduced sex drive, low sperm production, reduced muscle mass, and low red blood cell production.

The side effects of high testosterone are war, road rage, impetuous violence and, oh yeah, exploding population on an already crammed planet.

Seems like a high price to pay for raising one’s red blood cell count.

Of course, the red blood cell count isn’t the thing men are most concerned about really raising, is it?

No, with men it always comes back to the penis. 

The real, well, “thrust” of the ads preys on mens’ concern that their most recent erection will be their last. It’s something we just can’t kiss goodbye.

And, oh, just imagine for a moment how different history would be if mens’ joints allowed for that self-gratifying sort of contortion. 

For most men, getting the erection has never been that difficult. The problems result when we try and find someplace to put it.

It’s a confounding biological fact that women give men erections and then sometimes don’t want them back.

It’s really unfair. If a man gives a woman a really ugly sweater she can just ask for the receipt and take it back.

But there are many times when a man gets an erection and he doesn’t have any place to put it —  and a man can get an erection for reasons as varied as a sly look from a flirty female to sitting alone eating a donut. And don’t even think of slapping one on the Macy’s return desk. Believe me, that’s a mistake you only make once.

A typical male’s testosterone peaks when he is between 25 and 30 or what I recall as “The Big Asshole Years.” Back then I had one Spring Break that lasted from 1983 through ’92.

It’s a fact that the more any man thinks about his penis the more apt is he to behave like one.

By contrast the men with the lowest testosterone levels are universally beloved. They’re grandfathers — and who doesn’t love grandpa? They’re wise, cuddly and smell like they’ve been basting in Old Spice. You can put your young daughters up on their laps without having to worry the kids are going to get jabbed by anything that’ll cause them to go running off in scared confusion.

The poster child for the problems stemming from excessive testosterone is pictured above. He’s a dictatorial jackass. I’d like to see the Pussy Riot strap him to a table and fill his ass up with so much estrogen he immediately gives up his silly conquests in favor of afternoons watching The Lifetime Channel.

We don’t need profit-driven pharmacological giants deciding who should get more testosterone. That job should be up to our women.

Imagine a world where our wives and girlfriends decided how much and when we got our testosterone.

“Honey, I fixed the sink, patched the roof and mulched the flower beds. Do you think I could have a little squirt of testosterone so I could go golfing with the boys?”

“Well, okay, dear. But just enough for you to try and reach the par 5s in 2. I want you home and sober in time to watch ‘Dancing with the Stars!’”

You don’t need any Axion. And you don’t need risqué affairs, unwanted pregnancies, and all the macho posturing that’ll let people who’ve always thought you were a jerk know they were right.

You don’t need any of that.

What you need is a library card.

Side effects include wisdom, charm, wit and sophistication — all the things that’ll let you attract a fine woman who’ll help you find a really good place to put the things that often matter most to men.

Related . . .

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Me on TV & the day Palmer's people offered me a $70,000 job

I knew when the phone started going off at about 10:52 p.m. last night I’d made the cut. Friends from around the country were calling to say they’d seen me near the very end of the second installment of the Golf Channel’s wonderful biopic on Arnold Palmer.

It concludes tonight at 10 p.m.

We’d DVRd it and were about 10 minutes behind. So it was very exciting.

Sure enough there I was. It started with a voice-over played above a shot of the custom table top at Palmer’s office where he’d embedded medals from each of his 95 professional victories. I’m saying how after each victory he’d always tell the craftsman to drill an extra hole, so sure he was he'd soon win again.

The film then cuts to me saying something like “and today there are still two vacant holes waiting for Palmer’s next victories, ones this 83-year-old man is confident may one day yet happen.”

The whole thing takes 18.3 seconds. It’s very cool.

The entire sequence lasted about two minutes, I’m sure, but the producers graciously edited out all the “ahs,” “ums,” “ers” and times I yelled “Cut!” while I paused to scratch something itchy.

I rewound it about three times to allow my vanity its due bask and then once more to check something that was important to me in terms of accuracy.

I wanted to make sure the tag line didn’t imply I worked for Arnold Palmer.

It did not. It said, “Chris Rodell, writer, Latrobe, Pa.”

I do not work for Arnold Palmer, something that often baffles me because about two years ago people who work for Arnold Palmer offered me a job. And it was a prestigious full-time job with benefits, perks and a salary that we’d agreed would be in the neighborhood of $70,000 a year.

See, there was talk about hiring me to be a curator regarding the Arnold Palmer legacy. I got all dressed up and met a group of about eight people in a secluded section of the dining room at the Latrobe Country Club to discuss the particulars.

Two of my good Latrobe friends I’ve known for 10 years were there (they’re long-time Palmer employees), as were about six people from Florida whom I’d never met.

The Sunshine Staters were running the show.

About 10 minutes into this meeting, I realized I was being offered an important job, one for which I was perfect. I’d interviewed Palmer more than 50 times and had put together the comprehensive day-by-day timeline that is central to

You’re going to think I’m making up what I’m about to tell you. I am not. And the facts are without embellishment.

I shared with them my ideas about why Palmer is a transcendent figure, and how his legacy should be promoted so it’ll forever endure. I spoke with evident insight and polish, so much so that the attorney who was running the meeting at one point put his pen down and looked up from his detailed notes and said, “I have to say your ideas are giving me chills. You’re a tremendous speaker. You should be a college professor.”

In fact, I said, I am, which was true.

I was thinking how I didn’t know how this job interview could have possibly gone any better.

Then it did.

The meeting’s other key figure said, “We want you to work for us. But we want you to keep doing what you’re doing. We enjoy your blog and want you to keep writing as you’re doing now. Now, we’re going to go to lunch. You two sit here and work out the details and then come join us.”

If my wife had been there, this is the point at which she’d have begun hyperventilating.

Me, I felt like my time had finally come. I was being offered a high profile job for which I was eminently qualified. 

Then it got better again.

One of my old friends with the full attention of everyone pulled out a $100 bill and said, “And I want to buy five copies of your book.”

I say I was feeling confident, but at this point I did begin to feel a bit woozy like I was hallucinating. Never has a job interview with anyone gone so well.

The details of what followed remain burned in my brain.

The attorney asked how old my kids were for the purposes of the benefit package. I haven’t had benefits in 20 years.

“You’ll want a 401-K, won’t you?”

I’d never even considered it before, but now I desperately wanted one.

“Now, I want you to take the weekend and talk this over with your wife and get back to me next week with an idea for a salary.”

I said — and these were my exact words — “I don’t need to talk to my wife. I know what I want right now. Would you faint if I asked for $70,000 a year?”

He took off his glasses and said, “I’m not fainting. It’s not going to be easy, but I’ll see what I can do. I think we can justify it.”

What I didn’t say and what I thought was, “Man, throw in a couple free rounds of golf and I’ll settle for $20,000! You have no idea how difficult living without benefits and a salary has been for me and my wife.”

He told me he’d get back to me in a week.

Really, right then it was one of the best hours of my life, certainly the best hour of my professional life.

So we went to lunch where I was careful not to say much lest I blow it. Then we all departed with handshakes, hugs and goodbyes.

What did I do next?

I took that crisp $100 bill and drove right down to the local florist and spent a big chunk of it on a lovely arrangement. Val wouldn’t be home for an hour.

I kept the suit on. I’d for years been looking forward to a moment like this and I wanted to make a big impression.

When she got home, I gave her the bouquet and said, “Everything’s changed. I’ll have a salary, benefits and you and I are now part of one of the most prestigious corporate teams in the world.”

Her first words were, “I don’t believe you. This can’t be happening.”

A long-suffering wife’s premonitions are downright eerie.

I think she suspected the flowers and the good news were all a crafty ruse designed to snag me some quick cinch sex before the kids got home.

I think part of her still believes that’s what really happened.

Even if that sex hadn’t come to pass and — hallelujah — it did, I was destined for a really good screwing that day.

Because after almost two years I’ve yet to hear back personally from a single one of the Florida decision makers who’d dangled so much before someone so needy.

I was included in one mass e-mail announcing a vague eagerness to move forward, but not one call. Not one update. All my many follow-up letters, both electronic and snail mail, have gone unanswered, all my calls unreturned.

Not a single professional courtesy has ever once been extended.

Understand, this isn’t some faceless corporation. This is Arnold Palmer Enterprises. Palmer famously built his vast empire on a handshake deal with super agent Mark McCormack and I had a handshake agreement with a room full of people representing the man forever known as The King for how he treats everyone.

This isn’t behavior worthy of Arnold Palmer.

This is behavior barely worthy of weasels.

And let’s pause for a second to consider how low you’ve sunk when you’re getting business etiquette lessons  . . . from me!

I’ve for 22 years been a freelance writer. I’ve lost count of the times people stiffed me for pay, reneged on expense accounts and stopped returning my calls when they’ve owed me thousands of dollars. Pound puppies get treated better.

And the very worst treatment I’ve ever endured is at the hands of people who have an obligation to live up to the standards of a man adored and admired around the world?

The mind boggles.

So we persevere and remain ever cheerful in the face of every adversity, certain that one day something really good is going to happen regarding my career.

It’s something I’ve said each and every day since 1992.

Some of you might wonder about the wisdom of so publicly criticizing the business ethics of a conglomerate with whom I still work, that I might in essence be biting the hand that feeds me.

Well, in the last two years it really hasn’t been feeding me all that much to make all that much of a difference.

I think it’s because the hand’s been too otherwise occupied showing me its extended middle finger.

Related . . .

Monday, April 14, 2014

When stinkbug constellations are stellar

I know some of you may be checking into today to read my thoughts about the splendid “Arnie” show continuing tonight and tomorrow on Golf Channel. It’s been great, so far, but I believe in the next day or so I’ll be forced to address an egregious error on the otherwise meticulous show — and it involves me!

So if you came here today expecting Palmer, sorry. You’ll have to instead settle for stinkbugs.

A new unbidden pastime has crept on six legs into my life. You can partake of it for hours and all you need is a little imagination and a lot of stinkbugs.

For many, the latter exceeds the former in abundance.

So divining stinkbug ceiling constellations is a great way to kill time, that is if you’d rather kill time than stinkbugs

Killing them for me isn’t often an option because we have one of those high vaulted ceilings in the living room. I’d need to organize the family into one of those precarious human pyramids you see on “America’s Got Talent!” The crowd would roar if I could stick the landing after squashing the stinkbugs. 

We don’t have a ladder that reaches that high and shooting them would ventilate the ceiling and only allow more stink bugs to pour in.

On most nights the ceiling is dotted with as many as a dozen stinkbugs.

So I’ve always got stinkbugs on my mind, not to mention sometimes in my hair, my glass and once one morning in my Lucky Charms. Yes, I nearly unwittingly discovered whether or not stinkbugs are magically delicious.

At night, I lay back in my recliner and see the dark brown stinkbugs clustering on the white ceiling and think, say, that trio looks like it’s about to form Orion’s Belt.

Then the insects will head in different directions and form what looks to me more like Orion’s Butt, a perfect constellation for bugs rightly described with the adjective stink.

Many of you may recall that I’d long been a conscientious objector in the Great Western Pennsylvania Stinkbug Wars.

While everyone else, my wife especially, was in a fury about killing them, I’d try and reason with them and give them little pep talks. I’d cradle them in a fresh tissue and simply toss them for the porch, thus restoring the natural order by turning insects back into what I like to call outsects.

To me, they were insect underdogs. They had to overcome a bad name and bad history with people who believed they were incapable of contributing anything to society that didn’t smell bad.

I guess I felt a sort of kinship. The link’s not as illogical as it sounds, especially when you consider my daughters call me StinkDad after nights when we’ve dined on Mexican fare.

But whereas I used to just take them outside and warn them for their own good not to return or else my wife might catch them and flush them down the toilet, I now kill them in droves.

And now there’s a sadistic element to the slayings.

When it was 2 degrees outside, and it still feels like that was just last Thursday, I’d fling them into the snow and watch them paralyze in the chill.

But when I was near the fire, I’d just toss them there and lean in to see if I could discern a stinky little scream. And, yeah, I’d flush them down the crapper.

And I’d wonder which was the worse death.

How would I like to go if the situation were reversed?

Being burned alive would be comparatively quick, but horrifically painful, a terrible way to to die.

I’ve been at Steeler games where it felt like I was on the verge of freezing to death. It was numbing and depressing, especially when the stinking New England Patriots were beating the Steelers in the 2005 AFC Championship game, the one in which they admitting cheating to win.

I have to say I think be the option I’d prefer if the situation were reversed. In fact, the flush resembles many of the marquee rides you find at the popular water parks.

Well, at least the first part.

Of course, it’s preposterous for me to equate myself, a refined and intelligent gent, with the lousy stinkbug.

Stinkbugs are a scourge. They destroy crops, infest homes and cause nuisance problems for people around the world. So they’d deserve killing even if they were as fragrant as roses.

But instead they stink.

Sophisticates like me do none of those things.

At least not to anyone who’s outside of sniffing distance of me on Mexican night.

Relaxed  . . .

Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Arnie" spoiler alert: I'm on it

 . . . and so is Bill Clinton. And Donald Trump. And Kate Upton! You can check out the alphabetically-ordered list right here. I’m consider myself among the more prominent names on the list if for no other reason than mine will be the name that most people will look at and say, “Who the hell is Chris Rodell?”

So that’s really cool.

I have no idea when I’ll be on or for how long, but I’m guessing it’ll be tonight’s 10 p.m. episode on Golf Channel. 

I’ll update tomorrow, most likely. In the meantime, here's the report from the day they filmed me and the gang at The Pond.

Have a great Sunday. Hello Spring!

I’m happy to oblige the several people who weren’t there and were eager to hear a jiffy recap about what happened Friday when Golf Channel came to The Pond to film us telling stories about native son Arnold Palmer.

Friends wanted to know if it was fun. Did it go well? Did anyone say anything memorable?

Yes, it was lots of fun, it seemed to go well and I said something memorable about two minutes after I walked through the door.

First of all, I’d underestimated how big a deal this was going to be. I thought this would be a little filler segment they’d throw together in time for Palmer’s 84th birthday on Sept. 10.

Wrong. This will be a ballyhooed special set to air in March. It is expected to be a definitive Palmer profile.

To get it right, the network sent a real A-Team to town.

And by real “A-Team” I’m talking about three accomplished broadcast professionals, not Mr. T., Howling Mad Murdoch or any other paramilitary types resourceful enough to assemble things like cabbage cannons from rusty farm implements. 

And, sorry, boys, but that would have been much more cool and would have completely changed the character of today’s post.

It turns out I had the logistics all wrong, too. I thought my most likely contribution would be Palmer stories I told during on-camera interviews Saturday at the Palmer Marriott.

That was perfect. I’d planned to get in early Friday, get a good night’s sleep, write down some notes and be fresh and ready for my interview.

Well, that was canceled.

Instead, it was all set for Friday at The Pond.

I didn’t learn this until Friday when I stumbled into The Pond.

This was unfortunate because Thursday I had one of my best buddies from college visit for golf and sudsy revelry. We really whooped it up that night and Friday dawned with the predictable hangover.

No problem. I wobbled through the day content in the knowledge I had no obligations to appear presentable or thoughtful.

So I was surprised when I walked into the bar and stranger asked, “You Chris?”

I told him I was “a” Chris. This seemed good enough for him because he immediately began unbuttoning my shirt.

He was Alan the sound man. In short order I was introduced to Mason the producer and a camera man whose name I lost in the whirlwind.

The three were the rare tricky mix of cheerful and competent. I’ve known many cheerful incompetents and an equal number of competent sourpusses, but few who combine elements of both positives.

Mason told me I was going to emcee a sort of bar round-table where we swapped Palmer stories.

It took Alan less than a minute to cheerfully and competently put a live mic on me, just slightly less time that it took me to protest that I hadn’t shaved, wasn’t wearing my lucky shirt and would need a quick nap before I was ready.

Too late. The train was leaving the station.

I was thrilled to see a stool open right next to Dick. He’s Dave’s Dad and the great, beloved man who built the family bar in 1954. He’s 87. I say that not so I can say, gee, he’s still sharp as a tack, spry, etc. I say it so you’ll challenge the conventional wisdom next time you hear anyone say that only the good die young.

Mason wanted me to interview Dick first. It was all happening so fast.

“Are you nervous?” Dick asked.

I am, I said.

“Do you want a shot of whiskey?”

No, I said. I think that would be unprofessional. Why? Are you having one?

“Yes, I am.”

I told him I’d have a double.

It was nerve-racking. And then it got worse when I confided to Dick what I now recall as my most memorable line.

“You know,” I said, “my whole goal here today is to be witty and insightful enough that the Golf Channel crew will out of gratitude splurge for me to take my wife to a fancy dinner at the country club.”

The three cheerful competents all heckled from across the bar that wasn’t in their budget.

The live mic had broadcast my whispers into the crews’ ear pieces clear across the bar.

What’s great is there seemed to be many more memorable lines. The crew and Palmer assistant Cori Britt all seemed pleased that it had gone well.

I was pleased that no one razzed me too harshly about my role. In fact, most were very encouraging, again reminding me that The Pond is a gold mine of good-hearted people.

The recognition made me feel so good it almost healed my hangover.

As for other memorable lines, we’ll just have to wait see what makes the final cut.

Either way, who really cares? We had a great night, met some nice people and can now all look forward to the show’s March premier.

Memorable lines?

Frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn.

Now, that’s a memorable line. I wish I’d have thought about using it Friday. 

Related . . .

Friday, April 11, 2014

Our big bear's back again

It’s a nerve-rattling event we’ve come to expect every year about this time. The little duel suet feeder hung up outside the big picture window begins to jingle on a windless night.

The bears are back.

We’ve lived up in the woods for seven years now and we see a bear or two — sometimes a whole family — about once or twice every year. It never fails to excite.

This time was so exciting I nearly crapped in my jammies.

There’ve been times when bears have nearly pulled down the gutter to get at the bird feed.

This was no ruckus. It was methodically efficient. It sounded like it sounds when I re-stock the feeder, which I do about once a month when the bears aren’t around.

That was disconcerting because it sounded perfectly dextrous, like maybe the bear had over the winter grown a pair of thumbs.

I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the flashlight. I pulled open the curtains and could see nothing. This is typical. The bear is black and so is the night and the flashlight usually just reflects off the smudged glass.

So in order to see the bear we needed to gingerly creep out onto the front porch and hope none of the baby bears were out there straining to reach the door bell.

We opened the storm door a crack. We were both being very careful: Val because she didn’t want our annoying little yip dog to run out and get annihilated by a hungry bear; me, because I was fearful my wife of 17 years was going to give me a good shove and lock the door behind me.

I turned the flashlight beam over to the left. There it was.

It was enormous.

I’m guessing 400 pounds.

I’ve used the analogy before, but it looked like someone had parked a black Volkswagen Beetle two feet from our front window.

I understand the human tendency to exaggerate in these situations, but I’ve been to Steeler training camp many, many times and seen lineman whose weights are listed at 350. This was bigger.

It was like a bigger, hairier Casey Hampton.

And it seemed to better mannered than the often unruly Hampton. I mean, I’ve never seen a bear get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

And I’ve never seen a bear do what happened next. It strolled about 20 feet away and lay down broadside to his audience.

It was a beguiling pose I’ve seen in the swimsuit magazines, but never at the zoo or even on any of the nature porn shows.

It was laying down on its side on one elbow and daintily eating the suet square like it was a PB&J sandwich. 

I’m sure to another bear it would have been sort of sexy.

I zeroed the flashlight beam on the nearby animal’s crotch.

Val asked what I was doing.

“I’m trying to discern its genitalia.”

I’m glad she didn’t ask why because the answer would have probably sounded stupid.

But I really wanted to know if this was a boy or a girl bear. I guess I’ve always been fascinated by bear genitalia ever since I read years ago that expert zoologists at the National Zoo had been baffled why two giant pandas had for months failed to mate.

Then they realized they were both males.

How embarrassing — and not just for the zoo. Just imagine how awkward the situation’d been for the pandas.

Boy Panda No. 1: “I can’t explain it, but all this togetherness is leading to strange longings. Admit it, Steve. You’re feeling the same thing, aren’t you?” 

Boy Panda No. 2: “Shut up, Burt, and just deal the cards.”

I couldn’t tell with our bear either and a more intimate examination was out of the question.

After a minute or two, the bear finished the last morsel, and on all fours sauntered off into the woods out back.

So it’ll be a while before we put any bird feed back in any of the bird feeders.

I do not wish to turn our front yard into some kind of omnivore’s petting zoo, especially after recalling how our littlest one when she was 4 asked, “Do you think the bear would let me pet it if I gave it a cookie?”
No, when it comes to getting any food from The Rodells, the neighborhood bears are all out of luck. 

I’d say they’re screwed, but it seems wise for me at this point to leave it up to the bears to determine among themselves who’s doing any screwing.

Related . . .