Those of you who've been following my blog for a while know I'm not the world's greatest outdoorsman. I never camp. Usually, camping is for masochists and drag queens.
However, my recent trip to the Amazon rain forest opened my mind. A bit, maybe, just a hair; a big ol' burly bear hair!
I'm ready to plunge into camping. But I have some preexisting conditions...
I told my wife I "have conditions." She sighed, said she knows I have lots of "conditions."
I paid no heed to her doubting Thomasina, 'cause I'm a brand new man.
I said, "Out in the wilderness, we'll need to rent a cabin. With a hot-tub."
"That's definitely not camping," my wife responded.
"Second," I said, on a roll, "I'm more than willing to give up TV! I can hardly believe it myself. I'm awesome! But we have to have WiFi."
"Yeah, right, that's not--"
"Finally, and there's no debating, I want to hug a bear."
Stunned, my wife just silently stared at me. Clearly, my new affinity for nature astounded her.
Look, as a new-born Grizzly Adams sort, there're three things about nature I know as fact:
1) Sticks shouldn't walk;
2) Squirrels aren't meant to fly;
3) Bears are the most cuddly creatures on the planet.
Here's the indisputable truth...
A) There are two kinds of bears: those found in the woods and those lovable lumberjack, hairy lugs found in gay bars, both worthy of hugs;
B) Kids don't ask for "teddy wolves." I mean, seriously...even lil' kids know bears are lovable;
C) Finally, they call really good hugs "bear hugs" for a reason.
This ain't rocket science.
I have to experience one of those once-in-a-lifetime bear hugs. Aww, I can't wait to get my paws around one of those big, huggable lugs!
My plan is to rub honey on myself (Winnie, the Pooh can't be wrong, right? Although, now that I think about it, I do wish Pooh would wear pants. Kids need to know they can hug bears and not feel weird about it.) and open my arms up to all comers.
I've got a really, really, really good feeling about this.
The new year is nigh (a word I've always wanted to use!) and to celebrate it, how about we all start being nicer to one another, regardless of how the world is being (non) run? Let's start with kind words, tolerance, acceptance. Maybe hugs. Especially hugs to cute strange critters, which you'll find an abundance of in my new horror short story collection, Twisted Tales from Tornado Alley. Um. Maybe lay off the hugs on these particular critters, though. Put out by the fine folks at Grinning Skull Press, take a tour of my imaginary bestiary HERE.