Articles


It looks like a dog with a blanket on it. I'm not going to waste anyones time sending an officer out to check that.

Massanutten is a small community in Virginia, US, with a population currently comprising of two thousand old people, their cats, one Australian on a tourist visa, his beautiful partner, and a dog named Further.
Being an Australian, the town of Massanutten is like another planet to me. A heavily wooded planet founded by Norman Rockwell and colonised by John Deere tractor owners with a vision that included water slides and mini-golf.
Along with mini-golf, water slides, old people, cats, one Australian, his partner and a dog named Further, Massanutten apparently has bears. I haven't seen any yet but that is only, I assume, due to most people following rules outlined in section 9 of the MPOA Agreement which states:
No trash may be put out before Sunday evening. Any trash not in a secured trash container or trash dispersed by animals may be picked up by MPOA employees and owner may be billed for cost. Bear proof trash cans have been provided at Hopkins Park and the MPOA pool located on Peak Drive for overflow or early check-out trash.


From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 7 October 2010 11.04am
To: mpoa@massanuttenvillage.com
Subject: Bears

Dear Sir and/or Madam,
I have received a request for seventy-five of my dollars for putting my trash out for collection without securing it inside a bear-proof container. Due to a series of events the night before, I forgot to put my trash out and had to run it out the next morning after hearing the collection truck approach.
As regulations govern only actions within certain defined limits and thereby justify all similar actions that lie outside those limits, I request that my offence is changed from 'unsecured trash' to 'secured trash barring the possibility of bears formulating a strategy in which to take advantage of the few minutes between deposit and collection.'
Regards, David.
From: Patricia Jennings
Date: Thursday 7 October 2010 5.16pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Bears

Hello Mr. Thorne
Section 9 of the MPOA Agreement which you would have signed clearly states that trash must be secured.
The reason we have these rules is so that bears and other large animals are not attracted to the area. This is for everyones safety. All bear sightings should be reported immediately to the MPOA. A ladys cat was almost bitten by a bear just a few weeks ago near the mini golf course.
Patricia
From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 7 October 2010 9.12pm
To: Patricia Jennings
Subject: Re: Re: Bears

Dear Pat,
Due to the abundant supply of cats in the area, I'm surprised bears bother with the trash at all. As I have run over at least four cats this week and one of those did not put up much of a chase, it may be suggested that elderly residents and their cats pose more of an attraction for bears than unsecured trash. For the safety of all residents, section 9 of the MPOA Agreement should probably be amended to state that all cats, and their elderly owners, be kept in bear-proof containers.
While out walking this evening, I witnessed several cats having some kind of cat meeting on the sidewalk ahead of me. Possibly discussing the local bear problem. After reading that a bear recently ate a ladies cat in the area and hearing a twig snap in the shadows behind me, I decided to take the shortest route home by cutting through the Massanutten mini-golf facilities. Managing to scale the three metre fence via fear and a trash can, I slipped, caught my back pants pocket on one of the pointy metal bars, and hung there for several minutes before managing to wriggle out of them - dropping to safety and to the right of hole 7. Fashioning temporary legwear by removing my jumper and placing my legs in the sleeves, figuring they would look like Hammer pants to people driving by, I left the premises by climbing the papier-mâché boulders near hole 16, leaping onto the ticket hut roof and dropping down the other side to safety. If my shoes had not been soaked and slippery from the pond to the right of hole 7, I am pretty sure I would have made it on the first attempt. While not pointing any blame, I quite liked those pants as they fit really well and cost me around seventy-five dollars.
Also, as per your instructions to report bear sightings immediately, I have attached a photograph taken outside my premises a few minutes ago. I apologise for the quality but was fearful of getting too close due to the fact bears constrict and consume their prey whole, taking several days to fully digest. As I have a short attention span and would prefer a quick death such as removing my helmet in space, I request you send assistance immediately.
Regards, David.


From: Patricia Jennings
Date: Friday 8 October 2010 2.26pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Bears

I checked with Carol at the mini golf hut and no pants were found on the fence. I doubt any of that really happened. That looks like a dog with a blanket on it. I'm not going to waste anyones time sending an officer out to check that.
From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 8 October 2010 2.51pm
To: Patricia Jennings
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bears

Dear Pat,
If Carol from the mini-golf hut has time to check the perimeter for pants, why not send her? While issuing me a seventy-five dollar fine by justifying it is for the safety of others, you seem pretty quick to dismiss mine. As people rely on your protection from bears and your position consists entirely of not waiving fines issued to ensure the compliance of regulations that protect people from bears, you should probably send out a memo or something stating that we are on our own in an emergency situation. On the back of the memo, you could include instructions on making a pointy stick to protect ourselves with.
I own a gun but am unsure if a bear, shot with a Daisy .177 calibre BB air rifle purchased from Wal-Mart for $39.75, would be wounded or just pissed off. While testing the rifle last week, my offspring was definitely the latter. I have heard that the best way to protect yourself during a bear attack is to roll into a tight ball and cover your face but I am pretty sure a flame-thrower or a special suit that metal spikes spring out of when you press a button would be more effective. I have also heard that music soothes the savage beast but the last time I sang Whitney Houston's 'The Greatest Love of All' to my offspring, it had the opposite effect despite what I considered to be an excellent reproduction of her tonal range.
Although wary, after reading recently that a bear ate a lady and her cat in the area, I decided to risk leaving the premises in order to drive to your office and pay the fine. Unfortunately, possibly due to an unsecured Snickers bar on the dashboard, the bear is now in my vehicle and I am unable to do so. Please send assistance immediately as I have also run out of cigarettes and need to drive to the shop. If you send Carol, please ask her to stop on the way and grab me a pack. While you may not class this as an emergency or possible danger to others, you haven't seen me after two hours without nicotine.
Regards, David.


From: Patricia Jennings
Date: Friday 8 October 2010 3.18pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bears

I wont be sending an officer because your not in any danger at all. You have obviously just put a blanket on a dog while it is sitting in your car and taken a photo. If you want to express your opinion on trash collection rules you are welcome to attend the next MPOA community meeting which is held each month. Not understanding the importance of bear safety doesnt mean you dont have to follow the rules. I'm not even sure what your point is.
From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 8 October 2010 4.22pm
To: Patricia Jennings
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bears

Dear Pat,
My point is, barring the possibility of strategy formulating bears, stating my actions constitute a punishable breach of regulations structured to protect the community only enables you to be wrong with authority, not right.
Contrary to your statement, I do understand the importance of bear safety. Several years ago, I went camping with a few associates and thought it would be amusing to jump out of bushes while wearing a bear suit. Renting the only bear costume available, which was a koala, I altered it as best I could to make it look frightening by taping down the fluffy ears, adding sharp cardboard teeth and constructing two downward slanting eyebrows with electrical tape. While sitting around the campfire, I excused myself, donned the concealed costume and leapt out yelling 'Rawr'. Moments later, I realised the screaming and falling back off chairs was not due to wearing a bear costume but the fact I was standing in the fire while wearing a bear costume made of polyester. After a two-hour drive to the nearest hospital, I underwent three weeks of skin grafting on my left leg and six months hearing about how I ruined the camping trip. To this day, when anyone asks about the scars, I simply state "It involved a camping trip and a bear, I don't like to talk about it" which is true because I don't. While I was in the hospital, my mother went to my apartment to get some clothes for me and found my porn collection so it is a touchy subject.
Also, while I was able to persuade the bear to exit my vehicle by pretending to be an old lady looking for her cat, it is now inside my premises. Although not immediately evident from the attached photograph, the bear is sitting between myself and the television remote control, located on the cushion to its left. As this effectively cuts off my ability to change channels and The View just started, this should be classed as an emergency situation. If I wanted to watch a group of old women carry on, I would attend an MPOA community meeting.
Regards, David.

From: Patricia Jennings
Date: Friday 8 October 2010 5.03pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bears

Fine. I will waive the amount this time if you agree to make sure all your trash is secure in future.
From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 8 October 2010 5.16pm
To: Patricia Jennings
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bears

Dear Pat,
Regardless of whether you waive the fine or not, and despite conditional terms added to reassert authority, I will continue to secure trash correctly. Not because it is a rule, but because it is a logical rule to follow. Despite my continuing doubt as to the ability of bears to plan and execute manoeuvres requiring SWAT team precision, I will also do so regardless of the time frame between deposit and collection. Not because it is a logical rule to follow, but because it is a rule.
How about you agree to waive the fine and I promise not to email you the remaining eighty six photos of my dog dressed as a bear.
Regards, David..
From: Patricia Jennings
Date: Friday 8 October 2010 5.24pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bears

Agreed.

Contact


27b/6 Products


More emails, more articles, more exclusive content.
The Internet is a Playground Black Label Edition is available now. More...

Friends of 27b/6


27b/6 Sponsors


Stuff