The Bears Take My Apartment

My mom says that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. I don’t know why you’d want to catch flies at all, but she says it’s good advice so I’ll take her word for it. I opened up a big jar of honey and put it outside by my back door to catch some flies. After fifteen minutes I checked if I had caught any flies, but the jar was empty. No honey or flies at all! Perhaps all these bears hanging around my back door ate the honey and scared the flies away. Wait a minute, I thought. “Bears!” I screamed.

“Hey,” said one of the bears. “Do you have any more of that honey?”

“No, sorry, that’s all I have.”

“Oh,” began another bear. “In bear culture, when you leave honey outside of a door, that means there is a party at that cave.”

Apparently I invited these bears over for a party. I didn’t think it would be wise to turn ten bears away.

“Come on in!” I said enthusiastically. “Of course this is a party. That’s why I left the honey out!”

I held the door open for all ten of them and they made their way into my apartment. My place was not made to accommodate ten bears, and they didn’t appear to be great house guests. One of the bears had opened up my laptop and was reading about berries on Wikipedia, while another ran a bath in an effort to catch salmon. I would need to get their attention.

“How about we all watch a movie?” I said.

“That would be wonderful!” replied a bear. They all gathered around the television while I scanned through my DVD collection and tried to find a movie that didn’t feature a violent bear death. I settled on The Muppets Take Manhattan, thinking that a movie featuring a nice and humorous bear would entertain them.

“Will we have any snacks for the movie?” asked a bear who had scored a prime spot on the La-Z-Boy.

“How about we order pizza?” I suggested.

“Sounds pretty boss,” replied a bear wearing my sunglasses. The bears wanted five large Hawaiians, except with chicken instead of ham and spinach instead of pineapple. “Oh, you want the bear special,” said the pizza man over the phone after I explained the order.

“Yes,” I replied.

When I hung up, the sunglasses bear said, “Did you get dipping sauce?” I shook my head. “That’s okay,” said the bear, “you can’t win ’em all.”

We started the movie. During the opening credits sequence one bear exaggeratedly checked his watch while another shouted out, “Is this a movie or just ninety minutes of credits?” This negative attitude all changed the moment they saw Fozzie Bear. I have never seen ten bears so enraptured. They loved Fozzie. Whenever he was on the screen, they would chant, “Fozzie! Fozzie!” They seemed to be ignoring the other characters at first, but they warmed up to the rest of the gang eventually. In fact, a half-hour into the picture you could barely hear any of the movie because all the bears were doing duelling Kermit impressions! But then the unimaginable happened: Kermit hit his head and lost all of his memory. He didn’t remember his friends, or the reason why he was in Manhattan to begin with (it was to put on a show, natch). The bears were devastated.

“Turn it off!” they implored. “It’s all too sad!”

“Kermit doesn’t remember his friends,” another cried. “What’s the point of anything anymore!” Over the sounds of sobbing, I tried to placate them. “Just wait,” I said, trying to be coy. “You never know what could happen.” I hummed a verse to “Together Again” but I’m not sure anyone got the hint.

It was now fifty minutes into the film, which meant the pizza — guaranteed delivery within forty minutes or it’s free — was free. The bears hadn’t complained once, though, which I thought was nice. When Miss Piggy hopped on a bicycle, the doorbell finally rang to announce the arrival of pizza. I stood up to answer the door, but a bear beat me to it.

“We got this,” said the bear, pulling a wad of cash out of his fur.

“You don’t need to do that,” I said. “Technically the pizza is free.”

The bear gave me a thoughtful stare and then told me, “Be nice to everyone you meet, for they too are fighting a hard battle.”

The bear opened the front door and greeted the delivery man, who was holding three large jars of honey along with the five pizzas.

“I thought you didn’t order dipping sauce,” the bear said with gleeful surprise.

“I didn’t . . .” I began to say, but then I caught the eye of the delivery man. He flashed me a thumbs-up, as if to say, “I’ve been through this before.”

We cracked open the pizzas and devoured them over the course of the rest of the film. The bears dipped almost every bite into the honey, and persuaded me to do that same. I had to admit that by this point I was having a lot of fun. Kermit gained his memory back, and then the gang got back together (again) and put on their show, Manhattan Melodies. When the movie ended, the bears gave a standing ovation. They tried whistling through their fingers, but bears can’t do that. My mom always said that sometimes it’s the thought that counts.

“Thanks for having us,” said a bear. “You are now a friend of the bears. We appreciate your hospitality and your friendship.”

I gave each and every one of them a bear hug as they walked out of my apartment. When the last bear made his way out, he turned to me and said, “See you next week for Muppet Treasure Island!”

Looks like I’m going to have to buy more honey.

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