Wild bear
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My search for inspiration nearly got me eaten by a bear

by Adam Capell

Finding inspiration is a catalyst for transcendence, whether you’re a writer, an artist, or even a Federal Express driver delivering a package. Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night was inspired by a dream. Maya Angelou was inspired by a teacher, and Gandhi by Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God Is Within You. Unfortunately for me, I don’t remember my dreams. I was never much of an academic and the last book I read was about a cocaine dealing dentist. So at this point my only real inspiration is to not deal cocaine out of my dental practice. No, for me the search for inspirado was going to be a lot more taxing than it was for Vincent van Gogh.

My writing partner and I had been stuck in a rut trying to finish our TV pilot. We saw months pass filled with blank pages and empty cartons of Pinkberry. One day, needing an escape, we watched the film Into the Wild. So moved by the story we decided the only way we could finish our TV pilot was to lose ourselves in the mighty forests of Yosemite National Park and let its beauty inspire us to create. That night we found ourselves at Target buying strictly the essentials: A Bowie knife, long underwear and five pounds of Archer Farms freeze dried blueberries. By early morning we were in Yosemite, without flashlights or really any camping equipment of any kind. Upon entering the park, the ranger sternly warned us of recent bear attacks. He urged us to keep our campsite clean and store all food in the “anti-bear” storage lockers provided, otherwise we’ll be inviting a bear attack.

Come nightfall we were absolutely terrified. My writing partner and I, well documented stress eaters, devoured the impossibly large bag of freeze dried blueberries by the trembling handful. Inevitably, a few berries would spill here and there. We began to surmise that there were at least twenty to thirty freeze dried blueberries on the ground several feet away from where we’d be sleeping. In a matter of minutes we were convinced that these bears were picking up the scent and they’d developed a real fondness for Archer Farms freeze dried blueberries.

Needless to say we made no tangible progress on our TV pilot. We did however spend the large part of six days writing taglines for a series of bear action movies, starring Steven Seagal as the bear slayer:

Bearly Legal — A boy scout troop is attacked by a pack of killer bears. Co-starring Ed Begley, Jr. as the ill-fated troop leader.

The Right to Bear Arms — Set in the backdrop of the Revolutionary War. King George III, deranged with untreated Syphilis, sends a ship full of deadly bears to control his colony.

The Bearing Straight — Stranded travelers are forced to cross an icy, bear infested waterway. Co-starring Powers Boothe as the doomed wagon leader.

Bear Down Chicago Bears — In a battle to the death, the Chicago Bears are forced to play football against a team of vicious bears. *Please note that Steven Seagal does not play the role of the bear slayer in this film. That role is tackled by All-Pro linebacker, Brian Urlacher.

Bear in Mind — A psychedelic odyssey through the mind of an actual bear set to the soundtrack of The Who’s Tommy. Steven Seagal reprises his role of bear slayer.

A Cross to Bear — Which presupposes that the Romans didn’t kill Jesus, and that bears did.

Bear Mitzvah — A boy’s right of passage is interrupted by a pack of savage bears. Co-starring Judd Hirsch as the ill-fated Rabbi.

It turns out the people in the campsite next to us worked for the SyFy net. With our permission, several years later they would go on to produce the movie Sharknado, which is loosely based on a composite of all of our films.

Adam Capell

About Adam Capell

Adam Capell is a writer, sculptor, classically trained concert cellist, sous chef and cat enthusiast. When he’s not doing all of the above he’s usually leg wrestling a drifter at a bus depot. Despite the rest of his body getting soft, his thighs are still rock solid. They have been featured in Men’s Swimming Quarterly as well as Women’s Swimming Quarterly.

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