If you give a bear cocaine, he’s going to ask for more cocaine.
When you give him the cocaine, he’ll probably ask you for a vodka chaser.
When he’s finished, he’ll ask you if you’ve ever thought about honey, like really thought about how great it is, how it’s all-natural and totally free, just a gift from the fucking earth, and how that’s so great.
Then he’ll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have white powder on his muzzle.
When he looks into the mirror, he’ll think what a great mirror it is for doing cocaine on. So he’ll probably ask you for more cocaine.
When he’s had a bump, he’ll tell you he has this incredible idea to open an upscale men’s salon in the forest. It’ll be called Getting Your Bearings, and it’ll have stylists who sharpen their own straight razors on bespoke leather straps, and an array of curated beard oils and styling pastes that smell like whiskey, and there’ll be a billiards table in the waiting area, and it’ll be totally rad, this is a real investment opportunity and you should get in on it now, on the ground floor, it’s gonna be so fucking amazing.
When you say an upscale men’s salon deep in the woods doesn’t sound like a very good business plan, he’ll say you never believed in his dreams. He’ll get a little weepy.
When you apologize and give him five hundred dollars, he’ll put that money straight up his nose.
Soon he’ll be in debt to the squirrels, the deer, and all his other friends in the forest who’ve invested in the salon, which is now called Bear Necessities. He’ll say he’s interviewing manicurists, but really he’s doing lines off the hood of a park ranger’s Jeep. He’ll introduce a fox as his business partner, but the fox is his dealer.
When the date for the soft opening passes and there’s still no salon, the forest creatures will start asking questions. The bear, red-eyed and jittery, will rant about permits and health inspectors and how he just needs a little more time.
He’ll start rooting through campsites and trash cans, looking for more cocaine.
When one day his friend the woodpecker finds him at the bottom of a dumpster behind a Dunkin Donuts, strung out and rubbing powdered sugar into his gums, the bear will admit he has a problem.
He’ll check himself into a rehab center called Think Pawsitive. He’ll get clean and go to group sessions and talk about his father, who went viral after breaking into a house and playing piano on a security camera, how the press called his father “Bear-thoven,” and how that put a lot of pressure on him when he was growing up.
He’ll take a personal inventory. He’ll do trust falls and make a list of wrongs he’s done to others. He’ll try meditation and accidentally hibernate for a few weeks. He’ll try art therapy and paint watercolors that are pretty good, actually, he really captures the way light falls through the canopy and dapples the forest floor, and he’ll feel good about himself for the first time in a long time.
When he gets out, he’ll make amends to the squirrels, the deer, and all his other friends in the forest. He’ll be relieved and grateful that they’re so supportive.
Back in the forest, he’ll get help from a substance abuse nonprofit called Bear Conditioning.
When he’s ready, he’ll invite you to meet him at a café / art gallery called The Den, where some of his watercolors are on display. You’ll tell him how good he seems, how healthy. You’ll tell him how proud you are. But he’ll seem distracted, repeatedly glancing at a fox drinking a macchiato in the corner.
He’ll stand up and excuse himself. He’ll go to the restroom. A few seconds later, the fox will follow him.
And chances are, if a bear is hanging out in a bathroom with a fox, he’s going to do some cocaine.