"You pretty much have to expect, when you come into my office, that at some point you are going to end up talking about a grizzly bear walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon."
This is how it started. I assigned the Associate to give some information at our weekly meeting next week. The Associate then came to me to say that while he was more than willing to do that, he would in fact be in Yellowstone next week, camping.
At that point, Some Guy At Work came in and told the Associate that there are a "higher than usual" number of grizzly bear attacks in Yellowstone, which I pointed out assumed that there is a usual number of grizzly bear attacks per capita in the United States, something I do not take for granted.
Some Guy At Work then said that if there is even ONE grizzly bear attack that was too many, which I objected to on the grounds that one grizzly bear attack per year seems about right, given that we're encroaching on their grounds and all, and so perhaps humans should expect to be attacked on average about one time per year by grizzly bears, but Some Guy At Work maintained that even one is too high, at which point I informed him that his zero tolerance policy towards grizzly bear attacks was holding our schools back from providing a quality education, which is my platform in case I ever run for Governor: I plan on dealing with every question and every attack by pointing out that the questioner's attitude is what's holding our schools back from providing a quality education.
REPORTER: "Mr. Pagel, would you agree with your opponent that you are grossly unqualified to hold any position, let along governor?"
ME: "It's that kind of attitude that is holding our schools back from providing a quality education. I don't know why my opponent and you don't want our kids to get a quality education, but I won't stand for it. I want our kids educated!"
CROWD: *cheers wildly, elects me, fails to notice when I then take four consecutive years off for vacation.*
THAT in turn of course led to Associate saying that he was taking a gun and wasn't worried about grizzly bear attacks AT ALL, which led Some Guy At Work to say, AND I QUOTE:
"It's not as easy as you think to kill a grizzly bear."
WHICH meant that I had to interrupt -- had to!-- to point out that his sentence implied that someone thought it was easy, period, to kill a grizzly bear, since his claim was that killing a grizzly bear wasn't as easy as we all thought, and I considered that NOBODY in the room thought it was "easy" to kill a grizzly bear.
So I asked Associate:
"On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the hardest possible thing to do, how easy do you think it is to kill a grizzly bear," and he said:
"Do I have a gun?"
And then we got into a discussion of whether you would have a gun, how far off you might hear the bear coming, whether the bear was wearing sneakers or his work shoes, whether he had just come from a job interview, for example, and hadn't had time to change his clothes before going to attack campers. I mean, you can't exactly expect the bear to continue to want to make a living attacking campers, if EVERY BEAR IN YELLOWSTONE is getting into that field; he may want something quieter, like accounting, and you have to take that into account, so we finished up with this: I asked this hypothetical:
Q: "A grizzly bear attacks you, and you have a gun. What is the first thing you do?" and NOBODY got the answer right, because the answer is:
A: "You shoot the rifle out of his hand!"
I mean, if you DON'T do that, you're just asking for trouble. A grizzly bear with a rifle? I'm not messing with that.
Also, that was how I spent the first half-hour of my day.