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[TEN BEST]

by Eric Ginsburg

TEN BEST WAYS TO CAPITALIZE ONTRIAD BEAR SIGHTINGS

RANDOMLY COMPILED

Baseball team

The Greensboro Bats and the Winston-Salem Pond Giants are pretty top-notch minor-league baseball names, but Grasshoppers falls flat. Such a solid team needs some rebranding, and the name “Greensboro Bears” draws on local sightings, inspires more fear in opponents and would look better on apparel. The hats should definitely have ears, and I want to see masks for kids!

Bear claws

There are plenty of local bakeries, not to mention Krispy Kreme from Winston- Salem, that are really missing the boat by not selling novelty bear claws. These are black bears, so maybe drizzle dark chocolate on them. Better yet, I’m thinking a bear-claw food truck parked near where the massive mammals have been seen to capitalize on folks hoping to catch a glimpse.

Training

The proposed Greensboro budget (which was scheduled for approval Tuesday night) calls for several positions to be eliminated. But what if we hired one bear trainer and put some of our furry neighbors to work? We could use a few more bodies in the vacated crossing-guard positions or fill the void from a reduced Lankford Security contract. I bet a black bear or two could do a pretty good job keeping speakers from the floor at council meetings in order. Who knows, maybe one is even qualified to be the head of Downtown Greensboro, Inc?

Decibel level

Greensboro can’t seem to figure out its noise ordinance, and it’s ultimately because we’re measuring the volume all wrong. Sound shouldn’t be allowed to exceed the threshold for a bear’s menacing roar, adding local flavor to the dull ordinance and some practicality. If that sounds too unreasonable, we can solve the dilemma by turning the Center Pointe penthouse and rooftop dance floors into bear-spotting observatories. Venues can charge admission to recoup any losses.

The Grizzy

One local friend shortens the city’s name to “the Grizzy,” and it’s time for Greensboro to adopt the moniker. Sure, it’s the wrong kind of bear, but you’re not seeing the big picture. The city’s G-leaf logo is strong, but how much better would it be with a bear’s head inside the G, munching on that leaf?

Bear It All

Plenty of cities host a naked bike ride or run, but we can do one better: A nude triathlon. The annual “Bear It All” competition could start at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, include a run to the downtown greenway and wrap up with a bike loop of the trail (once it’s completed). Too racy? Some tastefully placed — and locally produced — bear stickers and loincloths could help.

Greenway cornerstone

A few people complained that the winning bids for two of the Downtown Greenway cornerstones came from out-oftowners, and I’ve got a solution. Assemble a team of area students proficient in robotics, and erect a gigantic, robotic bear as the “innovation” cornerstone. There could be bear cubs — a Southern take on the “Make Way for Ducklings” statue in the Boston Public Garden — but I want to see some sun or wind-powered movement in the design.

Bear beer

Ever heard of “schwarzbier?” It’s a German “black beer” with a chocolate or coffee flavor that’s ripe for a local spin off. Red Oak Brewery already specializes in German beers, and this dark lager could be easily adapted and marketed. Plus, Red Oak’s logo incorporates an acorn, which black bears like eating. Genius.

Forage Feast

Speaking of their diets, I see no reason area restaurants can’t come up with specials based on black bears’ consumption habits. For the more adventurous consumers, chocolate-covered ants or other insects. For the more conservative, a slab of trout on a bed of local greens and berries, with fruit dipped in honey on the side. Eggs, other fish and several kinds of meat and berries are in the mix too. Why not launch a regular foraging competition in the area, block off Elm Street, line it with a multi-block table and invite people to dine like Ursus americanus?

Reality TV

I almost feel bad admitting that Grizzly Man is a hilarious movie. Timmy Treadwell’s persona is infectious, but I just can’t feel bad for someone who died in the way — an admittedly gruesome way —that he probably wanted to go after putting himself in a position to perish. Are there enough stupid locals who want to try and get close to the bears spotted around town, who would also love to be the stars of a locally-produced reality TV show? I’m betting yes.

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