Sometimes I get a hankering to move to Russia. No particular reason. But they have bears like we’ve got squirrels. I’ve always wanted to have bears wandering through my life like that.
Like all addictions, my bear obsession had a gateway drug: pickanic baskets. Once I was hooked on Yogi and Boo Boo, there was no going back. You’d think that Tipper Gore or my parents would have gotten that banned from afternoon TV, or at least had a warning sticker on it or something.
It wasn’t long before I was doing the harder stuff. You know, circuses and zoos. I’d pretend to go deer hunting and just wander around looking for bears to hang out with. I was a mess. My family started to notice things. You know, telltale signs. My nose broke out in honey blossoms. I was into Build a Bear for six figures. When I started to peruse Russian travel sites, my friends stepped in and staged an intervention. They tied me to a chair in a Motel 6, superglued my eyes open, and made me listen to a modified Teddy Ruxpin for 32 hours straight. They replaced the cassette tape in it with four hours of Yakov Smirnoff standup routines. Now I can’t see a bear without feeling an automatic sense of revulsion. It’s Pavlovian.
Pavlov? Say wasn’t he Russian? And that bear in the sidecar in the video, waving and smiling. He’s Russian too, isn’t he?
BRB, gotta check Expedia for something. No reason.