Some Thoughts on the Grizzly Bear.

29 Jun

The weekend before last I spent in St. Louis, there for a few days to see the most excellent production of ‘Legally Blonde’ at the most excellent St. Louis Muny (go see something there! It’s a great place, and does some great theater). By day I had some time solo, which I managed to spend in true Anika Chapin fashion:

1. Arrive Thursday evening, about four hours late.

2. Friday morning, step on a bee. Spend morning with tomato on swollen foot (tomato really helps! I swear! Apparently it’s the acid or something – I don’t know. But for realsies, it works).

3. Saturday – wear sandals with terrible label placement, leading to large gross blister DIRECTLY ON BOTTOM OF FOOT. The same foot as the bee. Spend the rest of the day hobbling.

You get the idea. I sometimes wonder, without irony, if my lifelong avoidance of sports means that I must somehow even out the cosmic balance of injuries, hence my incredible capacity for injuring myself in stupid ways. But anyhoo, On Sunday, I managed to hobble over to the St. Louis Zoo, a great (free!) zoo in the middle of Forest Park. On the whole, the visit wasn’t quite the winner it has been in the past – there was a lot of construction, many of the exhibits seemed to be in the middle of a remodeling, and most of all, it was so hot, even the desert animals seemed to be over it.

However, one animal was certainly up and about. A large and imposing Grizzly Bear was pacing in circles in his pen, in a manner that said “the only thing keeping me from eating your lymph nodes right now is this stupid moat”. They are impressive creatures, Grizzlies – so large and clearly so powerful that it’s hard to believe anyone survives an encounter with them; that must be like a scooter trying to fend off a tank.

My favorite part, though, was when I looked down at the information plaque for the bear, and read it’s scientific name: Ursus Arctos Horribilis.

Can we just take a moment here to appreciate this? That must be the most badass scientific name in the animal kingdom. Scientific names are all about cool-headed classification, and yet the Grizzly Bear is so badass that whoever classified it was like “hmm, let’s see. Ursus, for bear. Arctos, for brown, and let’s see, how should we say FUCKING TERRIFYING?!?!?!” I can only hope and dream that ‘Ursus Arctos Horribilis’ only narrowly beat out ‘Ursus Arctos Just Crapped My Pantsus’.

Ursus Arctos Horribilis


The younger variety, Ursus Arctos Adorablus.


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