Monday, April 27, 2009

Arctophobia


Finals have rolled around once again; fun fact: finals are every other week at Baylor University. In about a week and a half, I'll be moving to Kenai, Alaska to start a summer internship in the Alaska Public Defender Agency. Also, my sister is about to have a baby. So, with final exams, packing, travel arrangements, and a new family member on the way, what's on my mind?

Bear attacks, of course.

I plan on doing a lot of camping this summer in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, so I've been doing research on bear encounters in order to prepare myself mentally for the possibility of running into one of nature's killing machines. The fear of bears is known as Arctophobia. (Side note: phobias are supposed to be irrational fears, and I don't really think that being afraid of something that can crush your skull with its teeth and razor sharp claws qualifies as being "irrational") While I don't necessarily think I have a fear of bears, I definitely don't want to be the guy who gets attacked by a bear during his summer internship. That would just be embarrassing. So I've been reading up on bear attacks in the area, as well as how to deal with a situation where you encounter a bear. Most of the advice involves making the bear aware of your presence, not doing anything to surprise the bear, and storing your things away so the bear isn't attracted to your campsite. My strategy is different. My strategy involves (a) bringing a gun, (b) greco-roman wrestling, and (c) a type of hug that I understand bears can relate to. If that doesn't work, I guess you'll read about me in the paper, either as the guy who got eaten by a bear while taking a crap in the woods (I understand bears can relate to this as well), or the guy who got arrested for shooting a park ranger that he mistook for a bear. Only time will tell.


I am coming for you, bear.

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