Wherefore Bart Thou?

I just got another voluminous text from a friend without thumbs. I can only imagine the amount of time it takes him to write these!

Bart - The Bear Who Found a Smart Phone

Hey there. Bart here.

My old pals at the DNR sent out this press release that kinda ticks me off – all about “nuisance” bears. If any particular kind of critter deserves the word “nuisance” in front of their name, it’s NOT the bears. I’d explain just who I’m talking about but you already know I’m right.

The DNR gives us a long list of things that people are NOT supposed to do – things that supposedly encourage “nuisance” bears. I hate lists.

* Do not leave food outdoors from barbeques and picnics, especially overnight; coolers are not bear-proof.

Why do you make more food than you can eat? And yes, we know how to open your coolers! If you ate what we eat in springtime, you’d need something cold to wash it down!

* Replace hummingbird feeders with hanging flower baskets that are also attractive to hummingbirds.

What makes you think I don’t like pretty things? Bears aren’t barbearians!

* Eliminate birdfeeders or hang them 10 feet up and 4 feet out from the nearest trees; use a rope and pulley system to refill them and clean up seeds that spill onto the ground.
Where bears are a nuisance, birdfeeders should be taken down between April 1 and Dec. 1.

This is perverse. You’re punishing birds because I’m fat.
Have you no shame?

* Pick fruit from trees as soon as it’s ripe and collect fallen fruit immediately.

Greedy! Who has time to do this?

* Limit compost piles to grass, leaves and garden clippings; adding lime can reduce smells and help decomposition

Love the lime. And add tequila for a Compost Margarita!

* Clean barbeque grills after each use, and store them in a secure shed or garage away from windows and doors.

I have never seen a human clean a barbecue grill. And believe me, I’ve spent a lot of time in the shadows, watching.

* Elevate bee hives on bear-proof platforms or erect properly designed electric fences.

You’ll get on a ladder with an active beehive? If you’re THAT daring, might as well be sure the electric fence is plugged in before you start to put it up. I’ll definitely watch!

* Do not put out feed for wildlife (e.g., corn, oats, pellets, molasses blocks).

Molasses comes in BLOCKS? WANT!

Here we go with another whole dang summer of you trying to keep me from having fun eating stuff. Just remember – I was not the one who asked you to stay out of the woods, and I definitely did not ask you to come without your food. You’re perfectly welcome to bring it here if you want.


Most of the other stuff they say about keeping your distance from me is true. I’m kind of shy and will go away if you give me the chance. But if you’re coming to visit me, be a good guest. I’d like a hostess gift, please. In fact, Hostess makes great gifts. I love Twinkies! Now they come in Chocolate Creme!

Just as I feared the last time he wrote, Bart has developed a Twinkie habit. Dang! Sometimes we have to protect our friends from the bad things they love. On the other hand, it sure is nice to see their faces light up when you deliver the contraband!

Fill in the blank – “Friends don’t let friends ________.

101 thoughts on “Wherefore Bart Thou?”

    1. Excuse me “Who don’t LET friends.” A little enigma is good, a lot is bad.
      Distracted. Daughter amd family just left to drive to airport for Disney cruise before her surgery.


  1. dont the parishioners think the preacher should stay and do something reasonable with the money foolishly spent on a lavish week in the sun? i remember the bit where the prairie home companion lutheren pastor was guilted out of his spring break year after year to the dismay of the wife.
    hope she enjoys it. we have done the disney cruise and it is delightful.


    1. I’m sure there is talk along that line. “If we can affords to pay her to go on a cruise . . . ”
      Kids are 9 and 7, about perfect. But Jonah is not bringing his tux. So I guess friends don’t let friends bring a tuxedo on a Disney cruise.


      1. mistake. the tux is perfect on the disney cruise for the dress up dinners they do. oh well they are gone now. they will love it. 7 and 9 is perfect


        1. Nope, pirates to the hilt (pun intended) as per his and his sister’s choice. Staying in a pirate suite tonight. Bringing pirate costumes. Cap’n Billy, beware.


  2. Bears are a delight to watch, although they can wreak havoc on a cabin. A mama bear and her three cubs once broke into my Lake Superior cabin and trashed the place. It took me three days to pick up all the debris on the cabin floor, including the mixture of oatmeal and soy sauce, the telephone that they tried to eat, pieces of the refrigerator they had chewed on, etc, etc.

    When I called my insurance company to file the claim, I got routed to a city girl who was obviously unfamiliar with bears but familiar with misbehaving teenagers. “What makes you think the damage was done by bears?” she asked.

    “Oh, these same bears have been seen molesting several cabins in the area. They even have a name, like an outlaw gang. There was bear hair all around the hole in my front door that they came through. There were bear tooth marks on my telephone and my wall posters. There were bear footprints in that soy sauce/oatmeal slurry on the floor and walls. They ate my plastic refrigerator crisper drawers, which teenagers rarely do. And, well, I became suspicious of bears when I found piles of bear crap in my living room. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I’m thinking it was bears.”


    1. I’ve been watching bears, specifically, Jewel’s Den Cam this year. Cubs are learning to climb trees now. Easy to see how mama bear’s claws could rip through screens, doors. And her “growl/alert to danger” noise makes me jump even when I am watching a clip where I know it is coming. I am glad you weren’t there when the bears came to visit.


        1. I love horseradish and planted one about five years go. After husband hacked it to the ground at the end of the first growing season, it never came back 😦 Now, lovage, that’s a different story.


        2. Well, your neighbors may disapprove in a couple of years–they spread like crazy. My gardener friend is still grubbing them out of her yard, ten years later.


  3. Good morning to all. Friends don’t let friends get too friendly. This applies to bears as well as people. Bart is kind of a friend of ours, but one that should be kept at a distance. I’m sorry if you are offended by my need to keep you at a distance, Bart. I just think the conservation people are right and I think even a friendly bear like you could be a problem if you got too close. There are lots of human friends that also can be a problem if they get too close or too friendly.


  4. friends dont let
    friends forget
    friends are always there

    they make some sound
    let you know theyre round
    in the early morning air

    theyre there for sure
    to help you cure
    the ailment of the day

    they always listen
    while you are pissin
    and moaning the day away

    me i grow weary
    of stories that are teary
    crying on my shoulder dont fly

    but true friends do care
    with comfort, there, there
    to cure the spit in your eye

    friends dont let
    friends forget
    that friendship is their most valued gift

    the world may turn
    sour or it may burn
    but if you are needing a lift

    friends are the thing
    that will bring out the spring
    in the most dire moment you face

    when youre lost at sea
    dont wallow in me me me
    the trail will provide a safe place

    no, you need a true friend
    that will be there til the end
    that will help make the sun shine break through

    here on the old baboon trail
    friends dont let friends details
    grow too large to overcome you

    when you need a small lift
    a baboony gift
    is just what the doctor perscribes

    the trials the ticket
    if youre wise you will pick it
    the friends on the trail send good vibes


  5. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Friends don’t let friends go blank. I cannot think of a thing except Carol Burnett–my hero, and Julie Andrews singing “Friendship” If I knew how to post the YouTube of it, I would. Don’t anyone give the instructions. My brain is full and it ain’t gonna happen even bearly.

    The 60’s era gowns are a hoot, too.


    1. OK, I was going to go out and find this to post for you, but there are 150 bzillion options since every single CB/JA special was called “Together Again”. Rats.


      1. The Buy has nothing to do with me and burying bodies…at least not yet. 😉 It’s a long-standing joke with by best friend and I that she needs to keep me around to remember where the bodies are buried (this is the same best friend who claims she can hide her own Easter eggs).


        1. Yep. Exactly. Similarly, a good friend will come bail you out of jail. A best friend will be sitting in the cell next to you saying, “man, that was fun.”


  6. Morning-

    I greatly enjoyed this posting. “…You’re punishing birds because I’m fat.
    Have you no shame?” Love it!

    Friends don’t let friends sleep in the shop when the building is supposed to be locked.
    Friends don’t let friends beat themselves up for very long.
    Friends don’t stay and annoy me when I’m trying to paint the floor.

    I noticed the ad this morning and thought ‘Oh yeah, I thought I saw something there yesterday’. Guess I’m not paying too much attention to them.


        1. Painting the floor is kind of a dead giveaway…that and the Snickers stains on your fingers. (Or am I remembering the wrong candy bar of choice?)


        2. And the ‘Code Red’ Mt Dew mustache I’ve been sporting I suppose… Snickers satisfies!
          Lisa in Minneapolis, send me an email: bkhain (at) aol.com


  7. ■Do not leave food outdoors from barbeques and picnics, especially overnight; coolers are not bear-proof. – Right. Coolers are not bear-proof. Neither are cars, cabins, or most bear-proof things. When camping, make sure that, after dinner, you pack everything up, drive back home, store and dispose of it properly, then drive back to your campsite and rest easy. Or as easy as you can knowing that you’ve just led the bears back to your home where they’re breaking in right now.
    ■Replace hummingbird feeders with hanging flower baskets that are also attractive to hummingbirds. – Right. Of course, to achieve the same level of nectar, you’ll have to completely fill your yard with perpetually blooming flowers which means you won’t be able to see the bears waiting for you when you go out to manage all of the flowers that have attracted more bees that built more hives with more honey that has attracted more bears. …hmmm….
    ■Eliminate birdfeeders or hang them 10 feet up and 4 feet out from the nearest trees; use a rope and pulley system to refill them and clean up seeds that spill onto the ground. – Right. Because most people are smart, able, and energetic enough to climb a tree or use a ladder properly to affix a pulley to a tree. Let alone devise this rope/pulley, block/tackle, forward pincer/reverse backspin system for refilling a birdfeeder. I sense imminent disaster.
    ■Where bears are a nuisance, birdfeeders should be taken down between April 1 and Dec. 1. – Right. Because, like any other wild animal, bears keep are completely predictable and keep a fixed schedule. Check with their PA’s if you have to make an appointment.
    ■Store pet food inside and feed pets inside. If pets must be fed outdoors, feed them only as much as they will eat. – Right, only as much as they will eat. Because dogs won’t eat as much as you can possibly feed them, then throw up, then eat that. And cats should just be able to slay the bear themselves.
    ■Clean barbeque grills after each use, and store them in a secure shed or garage away from windows and doors. – Right. Because sheds and garages are ‘holy ground’ against bears and the smells from a freshly used grill will certainly not be detectable if it’s inside your garage.
    ■Pick fruit from trees as soon as it’s ripe and collect fallen fruit immediately. – Right. Let’s reference the general populace using ladders safely and correctly again. What could possibly go wrong?
    ■Limit compost piles to grass, leaves and garden clippings, and turn piles regularly; adding lime can reduce smells and help decomposition. – Right. Tell anyone that’s got a compost pile that they should not add food products or the fruit they just broke their leg getting when they fell off the ladder. Ignore the fact that it’s quite probably one of the chief reasons that they have a compost pile in the first place.
    ■Do not add food scraps to compost piles; kitchen scraps can be composted indoors in a worm box with minimum odor. – Right. The worm box can be your new pets after the bear kills the pets you were feeding outside.
    ■Harvest garden produce as it matures; locate gardens away from forests and shrubs that bears may use for cover. – Right. Keep your garden in your living room surrounded by armed guards. Those worms from your compost box have light fingers…or, if they had fingers, they’d be light.
    ■Use native plants in landscaping whenever possible; clover and dandelions will attract bears. – Right. Because clover and dandelions are not native. It’s important to stop this illegal importing of clover and dandelions.
    ■Elevate bee hives on bear-proof platforms or erect properly designed electric fences. – Right. I’m going to grab a bee hive. Seriously. I’ll just pick it up and carry it up a ladder and duct tape it to a really tall tree. On a bear-proof platform. Next, I’ll be appearing at the Rennaisance Festival. Or, better yet, I’ll build an electric fence. I thought barbeques and the smell of sizzling flesh was supposed to be avoided.
    ■Do not put out feed for wildlife (e.g., corn, oats, pellets, molasses blocks). – Right. Because bears aren’t smart enough to know that once a week there’ll be a smorgasborg called trash day. (…we told their PA’s it was on a different day…hee-hee…)


    1. THis, combined with the compost Margerhita made my day. Thanks I needed that. It’s been a crummy week. Very King Lear-ish and dramatic in the office this week. Heads are rolling.


      1. You need an in-office Fool, perhaps? (Or just read Christopher Moore’s “Fool” – it’ll almost be the same.) If I find you wandering the streets looking disheveled and muttering, “blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!” I promise to gently guide you home, steering clear of anyone named Goneril or Regan.


  8. friends let friends walk around the house with goat-pellets stuck to their knees. oops. so much kneeling out there yesterday and during the night and morning that i have some permanent residents on my knees 🙂
    OT – Alba had triplets late yesterday afternoon. Steve is working on the blog telling the tales of the kiddings. Juju due april 20. we’re tired. but it’s warmer and sunny today. hope where you are also.


      1. the two bucklings will not be registered, so no format for them. still thinking. the doeling will be MeadowWild Top Cajeta (for the creamy caramel sauce we love and for her creamy caramel color). all are doing well.


  9. off to the twins on a sunny not cold april day game with my son who will take the st thomas bus and meet me there. life is good the day before friday the 13th.


      1. I was tempted to go today (assuming I could get a cheap ticket) but decided I had too much to do to “waste” the afternoon watching a ball game. So, I turned on the radio while I ate lunch…and I couldn’t tear myself away. The weather was absolutely perfect, too. I don’t know why I talk myself into being responsible so often.


        1. saturday should be another day game to enjoy if its sunny. cheap tickets are plentiful but who knows with the two wins. fickle fans unfickle as quick as they fickled so they may be back. 10 bucks wil get you in is my bet. 5 if you wait an inning


  10. Friends don’t let friends buy dumb stuff that people are hawking under the State Fair grandstand or at a Home Show.
    Stinginess (mine) vs. loving-to-spend (wasband #1) was one of the conflicts that we had. Starting out with wasband #2, I decided to prove to someone (to me, to him?) that it wasn’t an issue and that I could just spontaneously BUY something I didn’t really need or want.
    At a demo of cookware, the barker produced some delicious chicken. Even though we had just combined households and had plenty of cookware, we bought a set.

    Part of the problem may be that I don’t use it as it was intended (the spiel touted cooking without fat and it required clever adjustment of lids, etc.) but I find that I burn things, the pan sizes aren’t convenient and I generally just hate the stuff (partly because of how it was acquired). Fortunately, I kept most of my Farberware and that’s what I use most of the time.

    Perhaps stingy isn’t the right word. How about wise?


  11. From the internet:

    If you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow. If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder. If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow. If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile. But anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me. ~Author Unknown

    In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer

    A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out. ~Grace Pulpit

    Friends are kisses blown to us by angels. ~Author Unknown

    She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind. ~Toni Morrison, Beloved

    I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing. ~Katherine Mansfield

    Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive. ~Anäis Nin

    Friendship is one mind in two bodies. ~Mencius

    Friendship needs no words – it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness. ~Dag Hammarskjold


  12. My dearest friend, an old college buddy, is going through a long rough patch, and I’m at a loss as to how to help. She is constantly posting completely inappropriate, very personal things to Facebook. Almost daily I hide her posts because they are so crude and offensive. How do I stop her? I’ve
    called her and spoken to her about it, and yet she continues. It’s as if she’s hell bent on self destruction. Her posts are truly alarming, and I’m terribly worried about her. What can I do? She’s already seeing a therapist, and has been for quite some time, but I’m afraid it may not be a therapist that is pushing her to do some of the hard work she clearly needs to do. A friend doesn’t let a friend go through a crises alone; I want to be there for her, but just can’t get through to her. Any suggestions?


    1. Sometimes a person just has to hit the wall. It sounds like you have done about as much as you can do. Just let her know you are still there and be prepared to help her pick up the pieces when she crashes. Friends are people who show up.


    2. I don’t have any advice to give, just support. It’s awful to watch a friend go through rough times, especially when you try to help and they won’t listen or act to save themselves. Sometimes they pull out of it and remember that you were by their side through the worst of it. Sometimes they forget how hard you pulled for them. And sometimes they just don’t make it. Whatever happens, be kind to yourself and don’t take on blame you don’t deserve–you can’t rescue someone who won’t grab your hand, and you can’t fix other people if they don’t want to be fixed. Please keep us posted.


    3. drugs or alcohol involved? mental illness?
      Good friends do not ask good friends to drink from a cup of poison with them. Sounds as if you have done and are doing the best you can. Good healthy boundaries can be difficult, I have gone to a wall with friends but refused to leap and have limited my contact for the sake of my mental health. As a friend it sounds as if you would do anything to alleviate her pain/anguish and have tried, but at some point you must save yourself. trust your instincts and the delete button is good. You can then be a resource for her when/if she is ready. I don’t know enough to be more specific, just a shout out.
      Actually, I wrote “mental heath” and then corrected it to health. I am going to the garden
      now to work and explore my inner mental heath.


      1. Nan, I’m pretty sure we can rule our drugs or alcohol. Mental illness, I’m not so sure. She hasn’t been diagnosed with any particular affliction, but has exhibited some pretty extreme behavior over the years. She’s a hoarder, and I don’t know anyone who has more regre
        than she. She’s a bright, accomplished woman in an unhappy marriage. I have known and loved her husband as long as I’ve known her, so this is a particularly difficult situation for me.


        1. Sometimes people in unhappy situations feel better when they can help someone else. PJ, can you ask your friend to help you? You’ve been needing some physical help lately, yes? Does she live too far away to help you?
          My grandmother used to say, “People are crazier than anybody.”


        2. good luck with her. maybe if you forward her stuff where others who she doesnt know see it respond and she understands why it is not a good idea to send this stuff out that may make a difference. ill bet linda and edith would love to have a new case study on there dance cards.


        3. PJ definitely sounds like her solution is beyond what even a dear friend can provide. I hope that she can reach out for professional help or regain her wits enough to make better choices. Painful, painful to watch. Renee and CG have good advice. And #1 on your list now is to keep that calcium forming : ) Here is to sound, healing sleep.


      2. She lives in Illinois, Holly. She has volunteered to come help me, but I know she’d drive me crazy within a day or two, not to mention what she’d do to my husband. tim’s suggestion of reposting her stuff is a good one, except I’d be embarrassed to have that stuff associated with me. Much of the language is so foul and the sentiments pretty raunchy; not what I’d expect from a 65 year old woman with two kids in college.


  13. i didnt think to add my bear stories until about the 5th inning. newbies havnt heard these and wont because its late but the old baboons may remember my trek to the camp site in jasper in the canadian rockies. favorite campsite got partitioned off form the real world by putting up a gate a mile away for the camp site. clears out the riff raff when you have to hike in. it was initially set up as the starting point for the hike into the northwest territiory so when i discovered it there were many guys with a back pack full of 60 pounds of dehydrated food and a water purifier. true hard cores. that and hippies form ann arbor who had a quiet passed down tradition of hanging out for summer break in the most heavenly site i have experienced (celestine lake 5 miles outside the city of jasper for those who care to make note.) i hiked back in there with my bass player back in rock and roll days and he was an artist type so we had acrylic paints canvas, pastels oil crayons and a spot crying out to do studies. he wanted to go off to the mountain tops nearby and look form a new higher perspective. i stayed in camp and put my butt on a stump by the lake and started panting, the first time i saw the bear it rally freaked me out. not totally surprised me because the reason the 1 mile gate was put up is that a naivemap maker put this remote, primitive campsite in the rand mcnalley and people by the hoards showed up and left garbage and crap around that would take years to clear out. all in one season. people are something as stated above… well ii saw the bear ambleing into camp to see what was left by yesterdays campers and i freaked the bear out as bad as it freaked me out. it scooted off into the woods like i had stuck a firecracker under its butt. half an hour later back again and this time when i shooed it off it looked abit more hesitant and not at all surprised by my presence. maybe by my persistance but not my presence. i ended up getting out the cookware and beating the pan with the spoon to the point that eh pan held much less water when i was done. i finally got frustrated by the interupptions to my artistic time and decide to sneak around the bear and chase it through the camp and out the opposite side thereby establishing my supremecy. i got around behind it and banged th pan and instead of the slow hesitant retreat i got to witness how fast bears can move as she charged full speed past me (within 3 feet) to chase the two cubs she had brought to enjoy lunch and into a safe harbor in the trees behind me. i was thankful she chose to protect by instructing her cubs rather than by teaching them how to kill intrusive pests who may be dangerous. i apoligized and went back to my artists corner and she went back tot the woods, we had both had enough for one day. save the other bear stories for another day. night baboons. hope it went well ben. get some sleep.


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