|Bruno, Bavaria's Last Bear (killed 2006)|
Today the Bear visited the itinerant sawbones who sets up at the edge of the Woodlands. The Bear endured the usual litany of his lifestyle sins. Apparently some people consider "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse," merely a picturesque expression. The doctor made it clear that the visit was a tragic waste of his valuable time. Without question, the Bear is a lost cause as far as the medical arts are concerned, fit only to be stuffed and displayed in some humiliating pose next to Bruno in the Bavarian Museum of Man and Nature.
Perhaps sitting at a computer, gnawing on a horse's leg.
When, for a second time in a fortnight, the Healthy Weight Chart was shoved in front of his nose, the Bear snapped the doctor's hand off neat as a pretzel stick. What the Bear really means is that he distracted himself with a fantasy. What if the Bear treated his clients like doctors treat their patients?
Wavy dissolve to Bear in his office, seated with a nervous criminal.
Bear: "You know, you have quite a criminal history."
Criminal: "Ya think? But not all of those are convictions."
Bear: "Yes, well, I think I know the problem."
Bear: "You're a criminal."
Criminal: "Do you think I don't know that? My dialogue is even identified by the word, 'criminal.'"
Bear: "Here. Let's go over your criminal history in detail. Because the most important thing right now is to establish that you are entirely to blame for your problems. Let's just start with these juvenile records--"
Criminal: "Look. I know all that. But what about now? What are we going to do about my case? I thought you were a lawyer."
Bear: "--and at age 15, you stole 27 Lions Pancake Day signs. I mean, who does that?"
Criminal: "I don't care! Just stop. We're not talking about pancake signs. I'm charged with attempted murder!'
Bear: "Yes, I'm seeing a pattern. You're not one to finish what you start. You're going to have to make some changes."
Criminal: "No, you're going to have to defend me. That's the way this works. What, you only defend innocent people?"
Bear: "Well, as a matter of fact, yes. Innocent people are so much easier. There' s hardly any real evidence against them, usually. I much prefer them to criminals. Criminals -- no offense -- make me work, and they're not usually pleasant to be around."
Criminal: "And you call yourself a criminal defense lawyer? That's as stupid as a doctor who only wants to see people who aren't sick."
Bear: "Whoa, look at you get mad! Pretty obvious where those aggravated battery convictions come from. Anyway, back to this criminal history, because, after all, that is so much more important than what brings you here today. It really makes me feel superior to point out other people's foibles."
Criminal: "I don't have time for this garbage."
Bear: "Fine, then, have it your way. We won't talk about the past."
Bear: "Let's talk about coping with spending the rest of your life in prison."
Criminal: "You're not even going to try to help me, are you?"
Bear: "Of course I am! Insight into the way you've totally screwed up your life and have no hope whatsoever can be very valuable! And it requires nothing more than a smug attitude from me!" Bear starts laughing maniacally as criminal begins to weep.
Wavy dissolve back to doctor's office.
Bear sees doctor, on floor, face down in a pool of blood; there is a jawbone in the Bear's paw.
Wavy dissolve from brief violent fantasy back to doctor's office. Really.
Doctor: "So, we're going to get you set up with a nutrition and exercise program."
Bear: "Thank you so much, doctor! Please, I beg of you, allow me to leave my cane as an ex voto as I crawl out of your office. Who knew that everything that ails a bear can be cured with good old fashioned clean living! Deteriorating joints, crippling pain, hippophagy, yes, it's all so clear to me now. I deserve this suffering!"
And they say the Puritans all died off. Not at all. They just went to medical school so they can continue to work their killjoy zeal against the reprobate. The Bear prefers Belloc's poem:
Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.