My mates and I had spent many years planning a vacation together without our sweethearts. We loved our ladies, but we wanted to do some male-centred activities and pretend we were tough lumber-jacks instead of white-collar bankers in the City of London. We took some time scouting out the perfect destination where we could let loose and enjoy ourselves without having to take care of our feminine counterparts’ safety.
As fate would have it, I was playing a great game of blackjack while on vacation in America on a highly eventful day I will relate to you. Now, you would think that if someone told you that bears were present in the area that you would perhaps keep your poker game inside the cabin, but my friends and I were enjoying our smokes as we focused intensely on our game and paying no mind to the creatures that be in that neck of the woods.
Due to each of our individual interests in winning, no one paid attention to the rumbling in the bushes — that is, until we saw a bear cub walking towards us. Despite the numerous pints we had drunk to accompany our gambling, our brains functioned quickly enough for us to realize that where there is a cub, there must be a mother.
Without wasting any time, we quickly ran into our cabin and within minutes we saw a large brown bear saunter towards our blackjack table. You could only imagine what was going through our minds at the time. Who ever thinks they will not only see a bear close-up, but also live to see the bear eat everything on the blackjack table? We certainly didn’t when we told our wives that we would be okay on our own in the woods that were home to the nation’s most famous bears.
Our sandwiches that we had left out along with our mugs of dark ales and our fancy cigars simply disappeared from sight, along with a few cards and chips that were scattered across the table. One thing was certain, that bear probably went to be bed with an upset stomach.
While that trip was memorable for many reasons, such as our late night conversations about the universe and our existential crises as aging men, watching a big brown bear eat our blackjack table is one that will never be forgotten. Truth be told, I personally will always remember how close I was to winning that game and how much money was on the table that would have ended up in my wallet.
Watching a bear happily eat everything off a table may be exciting for some, but I sure did want to win big that day and was more disappointed in my monetary loss than seeing an amazing animal in front of me. One of the funniest things for me about the whole experience was watching my friend Greg cringe when he saw his £663 camera get knocked off the table and then crushed by the giant animal.
What made me laugh more than anything was the fact that he wasn’t cursing because of the loss of an expensive piece of equipment, but because he was wishing he could capture the moment to post on Instagram. He was pining over the loss of making a social media post-albeit an incredible one-than the fact that his camera was not a cheap one by any means.
That trip was more than just a great bonding time with my lads and a chance to enjoy a trip across America. We learned that we probably weren’t as bright as we thought we were. Who brings out meat and food in a bear infested forest and foolishly gambles their lives and money away in more than ways than one?
You can rest assured that our wives had a lot to say about our adventure when we returned home. While they still let us explore the world on our own every once in a while, they are sure to send us many reminders and messages to keep us thinking about what we are doing. You could say that our trip taught us more than just how much we had to go to improve our Blackjack skills.