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Historically Speaking

COLUMN: From bacon to bears

  • 3 min to read
When the light came on

David Christy

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~ Doug Larson

Now, I don’t know who Doug Larson is, but I sure like his quote.

I tend to find quotes about things of historical import, or just to open a column and set a course on a tale that really has no rhyme or reason.

So, let’s talk about bacon.

I can’t dispute Larson’s quote, because I — like many, many of you — love the taste, the smell, the texture of bacon.

But, have you noticed, cooking it on a stove is not pleasant at all, other than the smell factor.

If you remember from your school days, the transitive property in mathematics states that if a=b and b=c then a=c.

Well, with bacon I have to deal with the intransigent property — where I am unwilling to change my view and agree about a particular thing.

In this case, it’s frying bacon.

I swear, bacon is the most difficult thing to cook without getting frustrated because it limply won’t do what you want in a skillet. It will flop around or scorch or fall on top of itself and make you use your fork to get it to comply with your knowledge of proper frying.

And please, don’t suggest a microwave.

Without fail when you fry bacon and it doesn’t comply, you reach down close with your fork and work at flipping a piece over, and get popped with hot grease. Maybe it’s that popping bacon grease is just attracted to my right hand. I’m sure there is a study somewhere about popping bacon grease, and there is a photo of my hand getting burned and me yelling out some expletive, which by the way I learned very early on as a printer’s son and as a printer myself.

Officially, a printing press will not run properly unless you assail it with cuss words. And if any of you out there in column-reading land ever worked on a Linotype, and had hot lead sprayed on an arm or leg, you will know what I mean about expletives.

So, my bacon tirade is now over, and on to something else that has been bothering me for years.

If you are going fishing, are a hiker, a runner or even a hunter, and you are out in the woods, in the wilds and mountains of Colorado or any of the states that can say they have a portion of the Rocky Mountains within their borders, then you probably have thought of this.

So, bear with me here.

You are hiking a trail in a wooded area of the Centennial State, say west of Denver. Now some of the mountain ranges in the United States have their fair share of pumas and mountain lions and whatever it is they are known in a particular region. A puma can jump 45 feet, including 18 feet in the air, and run in bursts of up to 50 mph. That’s right, they can outrun of car in bursts.

And a black bear, while looking lumbering and slow and almost clumsy at times waddling around foraging a campsite for food, can run 30 mph — the imposing and at times deadly grizzly bear can run at 35 mph. OK, the average human can run at a top speed of 15 mph.

Now, unless you are Usain Bolt — who has run the 100 meter dash in an insane time of 27.5 mph — you are supper for these three animals. That’s right, you may have an attractive job, go to church, have three great kids and a beautiful wife, but out in the wilds, you are food for a mountain lion or a hungry bear.

My favorite joke I like to use is that if you ever go bear hunting, always go on your hunt with someone you can outrun, just in case a bear decides you smell like a Frito-chili pie and chases after both of you.

“Harvey, he was a good friend. I always liked to hunt with him because there wasn’t a day that went by where he could beat me in a foot race.”

I know, a bit cold-blooded in the joke department, but true. Harvey should have stayed in better shape and learned to run.

Now, I have an unending supply of historical nuggets I can write about in this column every week, but now and then I like to get nonsensical and write about bacon and getting eaten by bears. It’s a distraction from COVID-19, from asinine politics, wearing masks, social distancing and people losing their jobs in a struggling economy.

Maybe, just maybe, getting out in the fresh mountain air would do us good.

And, I know there are some hungry bears out there that would appreciate it … LOL.

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Christy is news editor in charge of the layout desk and a columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. His blog can be found at www.tinyurl.com/Column-Blog

Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for David? Send an email to davidc@enidnews.com.

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3rd-generation journalist, Univ. of Oklahoma School of Journalism 1968-1972, OU Sports Information Office, sports editor Sherman (Texas) Democrat, editor weekly Waukomis Hornet, news editor Enid News & Eagle. Retired 27-year volunteer firefighter and EMT.

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