ISSUE 13

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 If humans were as large as bears, driving would be awful, especially for people who bought those electric smart cars. They could be renamed “dumb cars” or “thoroughly inconvenient cars,” seeing as some people would have their feelings hurt if they were driving a dumb car. It would be funny to drive a dumb car, however. If the power steering didn’t work or the A/C started blasting in the middle of winter, the owner couldn’t complain. They were the idiot who bought a dumb car.    
 Of course, other pressing questions come up too: Can tires take the stress of a bear in the driver’s seat? Or would they just blow up? Would everyone start driving around in circles? Would cup holders become irrelevant? These questions would be tested by scientists and with real bears and there would be a TV show and it would be really interesting. Any show’s worth would increase tenfold with the addition of a bear, especially anything involving politics.
 Reporter: Mr. President, you’ve answered this question before. Now, however, with a live Kodiak brown bear in attendance, how would you respond to environmental concerns? Do take into consideration that recent legislation has severely restricted the annual salmon run and polluted this bear’s natural habitat, and “Pauly” here has eaten the last two politicians whose answers he didn’t like.  
  Look at it this way. We’d either have politicians who could wrestle a nine-hundred-pound mammal or a government that functioned around appeasing bears, both of which would be significantly more interesting than the government we have today. Probably not better, but definitely more interesting.  
  If we were bears, however, instead of being as big as them, lives would change significantly. Well, obviously, because you’d suddenly weigh a ridiculous amount and still be able to run forty miles per hour, which is faster than Usain Bolt, whom we could rename Usain Not-So-Fast-Anymore or Food, for short.
  So, forget AA and the job, ditch the support group and the therapy, give up your drugs and relax as one of the largest mammals in existence. Your life now consists of uninterrupted sleep for half the year and eating astronomical amounts of fish the other half. And yeah it’d be bad if you didn’t like salmon, but after eating fifty pounds of it per day, it probably wouldn’t matter anyways. Plus, if you get tired of the whole fish thing, you can always take down a caribou.  
   
  The potential for mauling people alone would more than make up for the bothers of driving. Instead of threating violence, you could follow through, and no one could blame you because you’re a bear and that’s kind of what bears do. Occasionally some virtuous soul might want to throw morality and standards of decency at you, maybe suggest counseling or a spa retreat.
  Reacting violently to your problems is really hurting you, they’d say in a calm, psychiatric voice as they laid a hand on your vast paw. You can’t go around tearing people’s legs off whenever they make you angry or sad. You have to talk through your struggles. Learn to react rationally and calmly… You know what? It’s probably all that gluten in your diet. And you hardly exercise... Yoga, you should try yoga. It’d be great because you could eat them too.
  Bears don’t need a dental plan or health coverage. What are you going to do? Call up Humana and say, “Hello, I’m a bear”? No. Even under Obamacare, bears are barely covered—even then the insurance premiums are ridiculous considering you may have eaten a couple of cans and gained thirty pounds, uh, yesterday.  
  As far as fashion goes, well, instead of pawing through the closet and worrying about what you’re going to wear, you could wear the same old knotty rug every day, and it’d be okay because everyone else would be wearing the exact same rug. Sure, it might be a bit warm in the summer, but bears spend most of their time in ice-melt, so… no longer a problem.
  Of course, there’d be stipulations. Some people don’t want to be a bear. They’d have qualms about eating other animals or having such bad breath or living outside or not having a phone or whatever.
  But why order pizza when you can walk into Domino's and get as many pizzas as you want? Who needs 911 when you are 911? Why call Jenny when she’s just going to mention the restraining order? Everything is all right because if you’re a bear, everything else is not a bear. And when you’re not a bear, well… you just wouldn’t understand.