By Charles Towne                                                                                                                                                  

It can be downright dangerous being around some folks these days, in fact, compared to some people, bears are very sweet, even-tempered, and sociable folks.

I was in the local Ace hardware store the other day and as I walked down an aisle I stopped and moved aside to allow this stranger to pass.  And, with a scowl on his face, pass he did.  He bulled into me, none too gently shoving me aside as he did so, and brandishing his cane as if to hit me, he exclaimed, “Git the h–l out of my way, you… go on, git!”

Now, as you can imagine my first reaction was surprise, after all, he darned near knocked me down, and in my own defense, I must say that it is not every day I am attacked by a blustering, bellicose and most belligerent rock troll!  And as you can imagine, my surprise turned to alarm as he brandished that heavy wooden walking stick in my face!

Hey, I was in the hardware store to get a replacement for a left-handed farfanoodle for my conglammerated glammersnit that had klunked when it should have klinked, not to have some rock troll accost me and threaten to pulverize my noodle with his shillelagh!

Luckily, the “gentleman” in question hustled past without smiting me, and as he went on his way he was mumbling something uncomplimentary about my ancestry.  This certainly surprised me because he obviously had information about my paternal stock that I was unaware of.

After my encounter with Mr. Knee Andurthall a very nice Asian gent, having witnessed the unfortunate event, approached me, and with great concern asked, “You o.k. sir?”  I assured him that I was indeed, “o.k.” to which, while shaking his head, he commented, “That man clazy!”  And I most certainly had to agree, that man was definitely “clazy.”.

In all of my years following and photographing bears, I have been bluff charged, cussed at, threatened, and run over, by them, but one might say that is what one would expect from bears, after all, they are bears.

Yep, you can give me a bear any day.


 Dear lord, please protect each of us from “clazy” people.  Help us to always treat others with kindness, mercy, patience and consideration.  Teach us father, reveal to us your will in all things that we may be a blessing, and never a curse to the others in your family.  Thank you father, thank you and praise you, In Jesus’ most Holy name I ask it, Amen.

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. Short, sweet and to the point. Knowing you well, I am happy you are really up on people and I would prefer you to a bear any day.

  2. Oh Herb, you only say that ’cause it’s true! Human folks are really some interesting creatures don’t ya know? Blessings on ya pal, Chaz

  3. Just perhaps that poor fellow was having a bad day! Have you ever had one of those days, I know I have, but I would have clouted you a good one with my shillelagh! A friend

  4. Dear NH, I guess I was feeling sorry for myself. You are so right. The world would be a better place if we were praying for each other wouldn’t it? Chaz

  5. Chuck, I learned something today. Never go into an Ace Hardware, at least one in your area! And by the way, I agree with Herb. I’ll take you any day over a big bear!!

  6. Don my friend, some of my favorite people are bears, but on the other side of that coin bears can be mighty unpredictable. But, on the other side of that coin people can be pretty unpredictable too! Oy vay, I am confused. Bless you pal, Chaz

  7. EJ, that poor soul had to be in his seventies and was likely a very lonely man. Dementia is on the increase worldwide. I thank Papa God that my darling is not mean. The memory loss is there but she is sweet. The bible tells us that if “we would have friends we must show ourselves friendly.” That is a pretty simple principle but most people are so defensive and ready to take offense at the least little excuse. Dear Papa God, please help us to treat others with love and compassion, the way we want to be treated! Blessings on you and your family, Chaz

  8. WOW!! Bears and people…..yikes!
    Yes, I agree that many people
    act like bears, unfortunately.
    So many people are hurt from things that have happened to them throughout their life.
    Hurt people… hurt people.
    I agree with you that we must remember to pray, pray, pray
    because we really have no idea what some people, or bears, are going through.

  9. It’s always catches us off guard when someone is unexpectedly rude or hostile. It’s good that you didn’t react or respond to him in like fashion. I find it sweet that the other man came up to you afterwards to check on you. It often seems to work that way. Cheers!

  10. I believe you are so right in your observation about not knowing whet others are going through. How many broken people are out there? Cn we make a difference? I believe so. Father Good, help us to be love to the world. Blessings to you CSG. Papa God loves you my friend. Chaz

  11. Dear Kristin, you are so right! But, when we are Christ-like that also catches people off guard, but in a positive way. I look back at that incident and wish I had been able to be a blessing to the man, but my humanity got in my way? I like to think that I learned something valuable that day. Blessings on you dear friend. Chaz

  12. Mr. Knee Andurthall Was fortunate that day to have taken his bad day out on you as another person may have decided to store his cane in a place he would not like. As “a friend” stated, everyone has a bad day once in a while, but the majority of us are courteous enough not to find it necessary to share our foul mood with others. On a side note, you should have called me as I have a spare left-handed farfanoodle for a conglammerated glammersnit I no longer need…

  13. Dear Mike, as difficult as you may find it to believe I was mistaken, it was not a left handed farfanoodle that I needed for the conglammerated glammersnit, but it was a right handed farfanoodle for a burned out hippydiddle on my thrangulated faraday cage. I appreciate your willingness to assist me in my time of dire need. Please give your sweet wife all my sympathies. Chaz

  14. Chaz my dear friend, everyone knows that when you need another left-handed farfanoodle for a conglammerated glammersnit, you go to a Tractor Supply store and NOT to a neighborhood Ace Hardware!
    Also, a shillelagh is an awsome cudgelusually of gnarled briarwood that the British government has classified as a deadly weapon! So count your guardian angel as being “on the job!” Further, I may be a bit prejudiced but not all people who use a cane are that contrary, just some of us!
    Last, I am forced by experience to agree with you, a bear or indeed any animal, is all too often to be preferred over human beings! A great story and a good lesson to start off the new year!

  15. Richard, on the aforementioned occasion, it was obvious my guardian angel was on duty. There have been so many times when He saved yours truly from great and severe bodily harm that I can’t began to list them all. Thank for watching over us old contrarians and protecting us from mayhem Holy Father. Amen

  16. I am very glad you survived that encounter Chuck, that old man is why there are gulags! Bears and wolves are symbols and quite common in my old country, except that the bears are usually riding unicycles! And last, I tie together two of your wonderful stories- it is better to be pooped on by a pigeon than by a bear! Happy New Year to you my friend, and try to stay out of such dangerous places in 2019!

  17. Dear Dimitri, Is it true that in your country bear poop is used for facials by the babushkas? Yes, I would say the same thing about bears that they say about elephants, it is a good thing they don’t fly! May you have a healthy and prosperous new year. Oh yes, how are the english lessons coming? Many blessings on you and yours, Chaz

  18. My friend, I do not know about the beauty treatment you talk about but I do tell you that babushkas have very much power and everyone, even the bears are scared of them! You cannot run away from babushkas!!!

  19. Dimitri, my dear Russian friend, I am commenting on your comment about babushkas because your comment about babushkas is worthy of a comment, and not to comment about your comment about my comment about babushkas would, in its own right be a comment, therefore I am commenting, not about babushkas but on your comment about my comment about babushkas… I am so confused? Chaz

  20. Well Dimitri, what can I say? If I tell you that I am a politician, (and we know that all politicians are liars,) I must not be a politician because if I say I am a politician I must be lying therefore I must not be a politician but If I say I am not a politician I must be a politician, so yes, perhaps I am a politician. Chaz, the politician who is not.

  21. I have been discovering over time that when folks get upset and nasty for small offenses or none at all there is something besides my small infraction that is really at the root. Sometimes, like in your story, there’s no opportunity to discover what it is, but the question, “now what is really bothering you?” often opens the door for communication. In either case, these folks are in turmoil and quite in need of our prayers.


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