Monday, October 23, 2006

In Which I Go All Doodles Weaver

One of the nice neighbor ladies who share our driveway called the other night, with the somewhat breathless news that a bear had broken into their trash the previous night. She'd happened to be awake about one in the morning, had heard some ruckus coming from the direction of their parking lot, looked out the window, and caught Brother Bruin helping himself to their comestible castoffs.

This came as no surprise to me. Bears, I've read, use our north-south mountain ridge as a migratory route -- cooler west side in summer, warmer east side in winter -- and I've found enormous, berry-husk-laden turds in our orchard before, of a proportion I'm unwilling to blame on the dogs. Or, for that matter, the children.

Our turn for an ursine visit came late last week. Wonder Woman awoke me with the news that she'd just cleaned up a swathe of torn-open trash bags and strewn bins that stretched from the garage into the orchard. We're keeping the trash in the garage now, behind lock and key. And no pic-a-nic baskets. None!

Others have a more profound -- if pretty amusing -- fear of these critters. These are Eastern Black bears, relatively timid vegetarians, who've lived on our heavily wooded mountain forever. If we (and everybody else on our road) keep our trash out of reach, he'll move back up the hill to his accustomed habitat.

When he goes, one source of heartache will go with him. Whenever bears enter my life -- as they so often do -- my hapless brain inevitably starts plunking a banjo, and this deathless lyric enters my head, never to leave again:
Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee
Greenest state in the land of the free...
When an earworm of this tooth-grinding persistence appears, I have to admit defeat and just go with it. My defense is to mess with the damned thing, turn the lyrics inside-out, make up new rhymes, see if I can't get something really filthy or profane out of it. I did this all day yesterday, as I went about my chores. This time, my muse was Doodles Weaver:
Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree
Built him a car -- spilt him a jar -- no, wait -- charred him a quilt -- gilt him a Czar -- no, that would be silly -- kilt him a b'ar -- that's it! -- when he was only three....
Don't know what I'm talking about? In a way I envy you: It's not every day you get to hear a Spike Jones number for the first time. This absolutely slays me, hope it does the same for you:

Spike Jones and His City Slickers play The Man on the Flying Trapeze!

PS: Holy Kazoozis! Doodles Weaver was Sigourney Weaver's uncle!

7 comments:

Will Divide said...

For some completely nuts reason I was thinking about/humming/mumbling Spike's Hawaiian War Chant only yesterday...

Eeeesh.

And be careful of the ol' bar stool, Neddo.

Akatabi said...

Your earworm keeps segueing into "Poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed." I loves me some Flatt and Scruggs. And Spike Jones, of course. Was Doodles responsible for the virtuosic gargle-trill in the pastorale section of the William Tell? Is it permissible to bring up yodelling?

H. Rumbold, Master Barber

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

Guess what? I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell!

david said...

Now I don't wish to alarm you Ned but bears is omnivores, not long-haired, smelly, pot-smokin', volkswagen-bus drivin' hippy vegetarians as you surmise. Granted, they don't usually eat anything much bigger than a rodent unless something else killed it but let's just say I wouldn't be taking too many long naps in the orchard if'n I was you.
I thought this line from the real wiki entry was pretty good, " One blow from a powerful front paw is enough to kill an adult elk. This is because bears are godless killing machines who live for no other reason than to inflict as much pain and damage as possible."

Kevin Wolf said...

Bears, huh? Well, any subject that leads to the great Spike Jones has an intrinsic level of interest for me.

Ah, yes. Ooodles Cleaver, er, Seaver, er, you know who I mean...

The Viscount LaCarte said...

Hey man - is that Gilligan with all them varmints?

Tom said...

I suppose that it's a good thing that my place of employment prints business cards for me, because if I had to buy them myself, I'm pretty sure that they'd say "King of the Wild Frontier" instead of "Medical Librarian".