Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bear Wrestling: Claws, Paws, and Jaws

Gays are always up on the latest trends. Whether it is fashion, music, food, architecture, art, humor, politics, or health, we set the standard, and American culture usually follows (Gaga, anyone?). So, when the newest fad in physical fitness hit the airwaves, we were pretty surprised we hadn't thought of it first. Oh, wait, it's Bear Wrestling? No, we don't want to do that-- we'll leave that to the drunken fraternity brothers.

A pre-historic venture, humans have been engaging in bear wrestling for generations, although at that time it may have been more for survival than for entertainment. The first evidence of bear fighting as spectacle dates from the late 19th century, when traveling circuses began to exhibit man versus animal shows. Visitors were often invited into the ring with the promise of cash prizes for anyone who could take down the bear. Apparently, that sort of activity is still happening today. Imagine entering your favorite local bar, or strip club, or high school. Now factor in a 900-pound black bear named Caesar. For $10 you can go toe to toe against Caesar, with two possible outcomes: one, you could win $1,000, or two, Caesar will pierce and spill your organs. Also, there's usually lots of alcohol. This very scenario took place recently in Columbus, Ohio.

Today, the legal aspects of bear wrestling are decided on a local level. Several states have outright bans on fighting with grizzlies, like Louisiana and Alabama. Elsewhere, Ohio and Pennsylvania for example, bear wrestling extravaganzas still take place annually. So, if you find, as we have, that your favorite Results Gym is closing, just cross the boarder to a bear wrestling-friendly location and get ready to work out those glamour muscles. You might not be able to get engaged to the love of your life, but you can engage a bear in a neck-lock anytime.

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