This is not the main thing, which is at the end. But the Bear has been repatriated to the U.S. He isn't quite sure how happy the U.S. is to have him back. They did hang him out to dry in the Turk and Bear Affair, which you may remember as the Bunny Rabbit hack. But when the Bear's mate finally found his passport marking his place in Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West holding up one corner of the couch, and mailed it to his dacha in Moscow, they had no choice but to let the Bear back in the country.
He flew back courtesy of the Russian government, out of Domodedovo International, Moscow, in a very cramped business class seat on a British Airways A321 to a layover at Heathrow, London.
|To the left, BA pajamas. Unfortunately, not Bear-size.|
After many hours, he boarded a BA Triple Seven for a luxurious first-class night flight to Chicago. The in-flight entertainment system stopped working about an hour into the flight, but the Bear had picked up one of the new Kindle Paperwhites. Between eating, reading and sleeping (flat on his back) the Bear enjoyed crossing the North Atlantic. He was awakened during our descent to Chicago O'Hare.
The British Airways personnel sure are chatty on the PA. The Bear can honestly say he's had more, shall we say, interested attention in-flight. But you never know how much is the Bear Factor. The Bear does not know about you, but airlines of the West don't even try to compete with, say, Emirates. The Bear had the smoked salmon, which they kept coming, at least, at the slightest snarl, so the Bear really can't mark them down for service.
|Smoked salmon at 38,000 feet.|
Ground transportation was provided from Chicago to Zoar, as regional jets are not really designed with Bears in mind. The Bear was very happy to see his driver, bodyguard, and factotum, Red Death, a.k.a. the Shepherdess, a.k.a. the Bear's mate. Six hours later, the Bear was once more inside his compound, with newly beefed-up security funded by someone else. Now if the goats would stop knocking down the remote cameras.
Currently, the big complication is Foreign Relations and Intercourse, Title 22 of the United States Code. It does sound rather salacious, but it just means that as a Russian citizen involved in the usual Bear stuff, the Bear has to register under FARA, declaring his interests and activities on behalf of Russia. (Such as being rescued by Russia when the U.S. deliberately did nothing on behalf of its citizen?) Never fear, the Bear answers to no government, but will always say what he thinks.
But that's not it.
Something much bigger.
Don't bother asking. It's very hush-hush.
All in due time.
But today, celebrate with the Bear, who is back among the goat pastures of Zoar.
And has another, very special reason to be happy today.