A black bear is being sought by New Jersey police on suspicion of stealing a minivan. Officer Dave Dehard came across the stolen minivan abandoned by the side of the road with dented door panels and a broken passenger window. Looking for clues..., Dehard found the front seat covered with drool, candy wrappers, and coarse black hair... Police theorize that the bear smelled candy..., smashed the window, then “accidentally released the emergency brake” while foraging inside, causing the vehicle to roll down a hill. ---The Week
“Mom, Dad, I theorize that a black bear smelled brownies, entered our home through the dog door, was attracted to your purse by the smell of gum, inadvertently swallowed a twenty dollar bill, lurched against the computer, accidentally linking to that porn site, which automatically linked to a couple other porn sites, and then exited through the mud room, probably picking up a six-pack of the Moosehead as he went. I knew you'd be upset about the mess, and I was trying to clean up, but I only got as far as vacuuming up a whole bunch of coarse black hair.”
“Sweetheart, I just came home a minute ago and found the place like this. I theorize that a black bear smelled that shaving cream you got on the rug the other day, entered our home via the chimney, found itself in our bedroom, spritzed itself with your aftershave, and then exuberantly rolled on the bed, dislodging that pair of somebody's boxer shorts which must have somehow gotten accidentally included with our dry cleaning. What a mess! I got what must be bear drool on my clothes when I came in, so I took them off right away. Ugh! Bear drool! So gross! Hold me!”
“Captain, my theory: looks like the perp was a black bear. Bear smells something in the evidence room, sneaks into the station house. Maybe hid in the back of a squad car, lay low in the garage until the day shift went home. Then made unsuccessful attempt to break and enter the evidence room. Grabbed and consumed snacks from the detective bureau desks. Then detected candy scent in that piñata of the commissioner the detectives have. While attempting to access the candy the suspect climbed onto a computer that was logged on, through the use of a back paw got into the discretionary fund, accidentally clicked with its claw to bet it all on European stock indexes, then, hearing a noise, exited out the side. Doesn't it seem to you like there's more coarse black hair than usual lying around? Too bad about the money. You wouldn't really expect good investments from a bear. Though of course if the indexes had gone the other way, he'd be a total hero.”
Editors—I hypothesize that a bear, attracted by the lure of publication, which the animal took for the scent of fame and for the deep primordial call of self-expression, made its way into a small office in the downtown area of a Western city, where it raked its long curved claws across a keyboard with a grace surprising in such a large creature--one typically thought of as ungainly, and one which does not invariably feed only upon the canonical “roots and berries,” but on rare occasions reveals itself as a formidable predator--creating a short work of apparently lighthearted prose. Accidentally releasing its own innate sense of literary restraint, the bear, or if not a bear, a person strongly identifying with bears, composed a brief fantasia addressing the human penchant for relentlessly deterministic explanations of animal behavior, and the equally marked human penchant to employ these explanations in self-justification. The innocent animal—and I knowingly use the term “innocent” for its several meanings such as “not cognizant of current normal literary channels,” and “free of the imputation of original sin,” and “hasn't killed anyone yet, or even hurt anyone, and knocking over dumpsters is hardly a felony”--then flicked a claw rapidly across the metallic device which it simultaneously found disquietingly natural and so familiar as to be almost invisible, sending the odd missive on its electronic way, exhaled a bitter gust that seemed to speak of the high mountain ranges, spun once in the office chair, and lumbered away, leaving the workspace littered with drool, candy wrappers, and coarse black hair.