One reader's idea 'to put a little fear in the bears'


This columnist thinks the return of the black bear to the western Maryland woods is a neat thing, a sign of environmental resurgence (TJI, June 8). But I have to tell you: Some readers disagree. They say the black bears have no fear of humans and humans need to do something about it.

Humans need to shoot some bears!

One reader, particularly adamant about this, thinks bears will continue to be a nuisance until we have "a limited hunting season to put a little fear in the bears."

Now wait just a Davy Crockett minute.

How does killing a bear spread fear among the estimated 500 other bears in all of western Maryland?

I figure this: You kill a bear, that bear's not talkin'. Unless other bears see him get blasted, and spread the word to other bears -- which sounds like something out of a "Far Side" cartoon to me -- then all we've done is make a rug.

Maybe hunters should kill mama bear in front of baby bear; that's sick, but it sends a message, right?

Maybe hunters could leave the bear carcass hanging from a tree with a little note pinned to it, warning other bears that this could happen to them, if they don't stay out of trash cans.

If it's gunfire or big noise that will instill fear in bears, hell, let's have a few guys go into the woods, fire starter pistols or throw some cherry bombs. Maybe, to make us all safe from bears, the state should book Biohazard for a concert in the woods near Deep Creek Lake. I know I'd buy a ticket.

A stand-up guy

Great news for Odenton resident and stand-up comic Michael Aronin: He won "Handicapped Star Search" on Howard Stern's national radio show Wednesday morning. Aronin, born with cerebral palsy, is an excellent stand-up guy. He beat out three other contestants on the Stern show to win a trophy, a pair of blue jeans, a gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse and a Sony PlayStation. Aronin was elated. He's hoping the exposure will win him a shot on a national television show. "Howard Stern is so nice," Aronin says. "He's outrageous, of course, but off the air he's a total gentlemen."

Aronin and his wife, Patricia, have a new baby, Sydney Elaine, 7 weeks old. "We were going to name her Sydney Dan, Dan, but changed our minds."

'Now and then,' this and that

The state prosecutor says he's not investigating Linda Tripp and whether she broke the Maryland wiretap law when she tape-recorded conversations with Monica Lewinsky. OK. But how about a grand jury look into that hairdo? It has to be a violation of Columbia Association aesthetic rules. . . . Among the better things to happen in Baltimore radio recently: The return of Tim Watts to the air. He is host of the Magic 95 weekday afternoon, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can tell Watts, formerly of The V, is happy to have the slot, and his loyal listeners seem quite pleased, too. Listen for "Now and Then," when Watts plays, back-to-back, two versions of an oldie, and then takes listener comment; it's an entertaining bit. . . . If you haven't seen the show of Mitch Gyson's dog portraits (with a few cats thrown in) at the SPCA on Falls Road, you'd better do it today and tomorrow. The paintings are supposed to come down after this weekend, though there's a rumor the artist might extend the show. Gyson has a unique style for a unique niche (canine portraiture). He has a talent for capturing a pet's personality with minimal lines and strokes, and just the right touch of whimsy. The man's a talent of high pedigree.

Taste-testing some wings

Over at Polk Audio, they've taken to food tests when they're not making and marketing award-winning speaker systems. We had the results of a Polk potato chip survey last month. This month, 20 employees of the company executed a taste-test of chicken wings from a handful of local establishments noted for them. (Though I don't see Tyrone's -- 100 wings for $24.99 -- in the survey.)

We might question the survey's comprehensiveness, but the Polk Volk would have to rent a room at Martin's to taste-test all the wings offered for sale to restaurant and barroom customers throughout the Greater Patapsco Drainage Basin. They kept their sample small, testing wings from Bill Bateman's, Bruce Lee's place in the Cross Street Market, the Purple Goose, Judy G's, and The Wingman. A turkey wing entry from Jennie O'Biggens was unfairly included in the survey and notched the top score in "meatiness" category, which you might expect. I'm throwing the turkey out; it skews the survey.

Here are the top three finishers in each of three rating categories: Overall taste: Bruce Lee's; the Purple Goose's hot wings, and Bill Bateman's original.

Meatiness: Bill Bateman's, the Purple Goose, Bruce Lee's.

Spiciness: Judy G's Toxic Waste; Bill Bateman's Wings From Hell; Judy G's Hot.

I'm surprised the Polk Volk didn't send in results of a beer survey the same day.

Obsessed with Beanies

Aunty Moo, a TJI reader in Linthicum, is among the Beanie Baby obsessed. Lately, she's been after Teenie Beanies, hitting every McDonald's possible, trying to grab a bunch of the small stuffed animals in the recent McBeanie promotion. (The chain had 200 million Teenie Beanies to give away this month; unlike last year's disastrous promotion, adult Beanie collectors have not been forced to buy kids' food to get a toy.)

Apparently, getting the one named Peanut was a big deal, and Aunty Moo finally notched one. She called me with the news over the weekend and, swear to God, she sounded like a woman who had just had an outer body experience.

Aunty was composed enough to note an oddity within the oddity of the McBeanie craze. An employee of the Mac's in the fast-food nirvana at the Beltway and Nursery Road scratched out a sign and taped it above the burger ready-racks behind the counter: "Worm and Lobster Only." To the un-Beanie-initiated, it might have looked like an expanded menu.

Pub Date: 6/19/98

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