Back Home Again in Indiana
Before Jesse and I got married and had a kid, we used to do wild and crazy things like on a whim, drive up to Asheville to have lunch at Outback. Some days the whim died with lunch, but other days the whim carried us on to Gatlinburg where we hopped on a death trap up to Ober Gatlinburg to pay our respects to the 70s before having dinner at Hard Rock (chain restaurants were our jam back then) and heading back home to Greenville. And that trip back home is where the real adventure began.
It was a dark night, as most nights are, and the windy roads of death were even darker. We journeyed down I-40 keeping a safe distance between us and nature as nature kept a safe distance between herself and us until she suddenly changed her mind and threw a bear at us. As we rounded yet another curve in the road, there appeared in the headlights a giant ass bear. And as driver’s ed recommends, we hit that sucker head on. As the bear tucked and rolled, I ducked and screamed while Jesse tried to figure out what the hell just happened.
We came to a stop and Jesse hopped out of the truck – as one should most decidedly not do immediately after one hits a bear and is unsure as to whether or not said bear is dead or just stunned – to assess the damage while I found the courage to open my eyes and discover that what I thought was going to be bear guts on my person was only a metal hanger (which made a lot more sense considering the window was never down). Jesse got back in the truck and as we waited on AAA, we watched a car lose a hubcap to the bear and then watched as an RV made mincemeat of the bear. At this point, the darkness was a blessing.
As we sat on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck and trying to make sense of our new lives as murderers, the sheriff rolled up as sheriffs are wont to do. After making sure we were okay, he told us, “I don’t know about y’all, but I grew up eating this stuff.” We told him he was more than welcome to all the freshly tenderized bear meat as we had heard it was high in cholesterol. I don’t know what ended up happening to the bear meat, but I like to think the sheriff took it home; he had been chewing a toothpick so I can only assume he had no money for real food.
I regale you with this tale today not to remind myself of the better times, but because today is our 10 year beariversary. Exactly 10 years ago today we killed Smokey. Are we proud? No. Are we ashamed? Not exactly. Are we going to run this story into the ground? Absolutely. In fact, I believe we already have.