Polar Bear Shot Down Over Front Range
It was February 1991 and I was riding my bike the four blocks or so to work on a frosty morning about 9:30AM. I was riding my touring bike in the snow because I'm an idiot, and as I looked to the west and began taking in the beauty of the Front Range covered in fresh snow, I saw something. Something moving. In the sky. It looked like a polar bear with a sign on it's side. A polar bear was slowly drifting north in the distance against the backdrop of the scenic foothills. I slid into the parking lot at work and approached the morning smokers, and asked them what they thought of the floating object. "It looks like a polar bear" they said in a deadpan, disinterested tone, and stepped on their butts and went inside.
Now maybe I wired differently than most, but wouldn't a floating giant polar bear migrating north on a cold Colorado morning get you to raise your goddamned voice above flatline? Nothing. Not a sausage from these goddamned people. I went inside and watching from the top floor as the thing drifted away toward Boulder.
The following day the Rocky Mountain News had a story about a polar bear being "shot down" in the north 'burbs. Huh? Yes, that's right. It was a fucking polar bear after all. Apparently February is "frozen food month" (why? I've no idea), and a local Sam's Club was advertising this momentus event with a giant nylon hot air or helium filled deal shaped and colored like a polar bear, like those Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade things that are tended by a dozen handlers with ropes. The polar bear had broken free and was at the whim of the prevailing breezes. True to form, a cop on the north side of town observed the "shoot first and ask questions later" policy that serves them so well, and brought down the beast with repeated applications of buckshot.
Labels: A window on Stucco's world