The Standard hotel recently was going to offer bear burgers (I was personally invited to try one and talk to the chef, in all seriousness), but the sad reality was there was a scarcity of bear meat. For those of you who were asking me to eat one with you, I feel I owe you all an explanation. I am the reason for the bear meat shortage. Well, me and 2011 Heisman Winner Matt Barkley, to be exact.
I called Matt recently and asked him if he was down to go to the woods and kill a few bears, maybe go to Home Depot (if there’s time). He was like, “of course I do” but turned down the offer because he had “practice”. To me that was ridiculous because if you are familiar with being arrogant, you don’t need to practice. Then again, to refuse a bear hunt to do something you don’t need to do to be good is REALLY arrogant. I was really proud.
Regardless, I showed up at his place in the middle of the night wearing my Kiffin visor and white windbreaker. These, as you may know from reading the blog, glow in the dark as they store the energy of the sun. It’s like a dying star walked into your room. I did my best Kiffin and told Matt he had to get up and practice.
By the time his eyes adjusted, we were already on the 5 streaking north into bear country. He wasn’t mad at all when his eye sight returned (like I said looking directly into the visor causes you to lose vision for up to an hour). By that time, we were near bear country and he was more concerned with loading all of our weapons. It was at that point I told him we’d be fighting with homemade claws I made. The point would be to fight bears with only the tools available to both of us. I also thought the Bear King would never catch on if the dead bears looked like the victims of bear-on-bear crime. It’s important to think like that when you are hunting IN bear country. If you find a bear drinking at your local dive bare demanding free cigarettes from the bartender and playing bad music on the jukebox, kill him with a barstool, a hand grenade, who cares. Cap his ass. Feel no remorse. There’s no excuse for smoking Parliament Lights and playing Wonderwall at 10pm. You’re an asshole, bear or not.
Anyway, it was late at night and we were sharing Kiffin stories by the fire (this one time, Kiffin wakes up in a room covered in blood and doesn’t even check himself because there’s no way anyone touched him in the showdown he can’t remember) when we are approached by a black bear wearing some kind of 90s tuxedo with a Mandarin collar (bears get most of their formal wear sensibilities from early 90s films, I think it’s a shout out to John Candy and The Great Outdoors). He tells us that we are in the Bear King’s forest and that we were to put out our campfire, stop telling Kiffin stories (never!) and leave before there were problems.
Not realizing I was the Bearfighter, I stood up and started to tell this bear off when Barkley hands me a piece of paper. By the time I can read it, he’s shot an arrow through it (with an old school longbow, it was nuts) and shot it into the fleshy part of the tuxedo bear’s thigh. “Take our response to the King,” Barkley said. It was pretty hard and a crazy accurate shot. It made me want to go home and watch Lord of the Rings. Also, I never realized how arrogant delivering a message by trick shooting a piece of paper with a longbow was. Kind of makes you feel like a tool for using post it notes at the office.
Anyway, the night got increasingly intense because I figured the note didn’t go over well. Matt was totally ready because he was drinking coffee and memorizing his playbook. I had done a rapid fermentation of some nearby tree sap and was knee deep in some forest bourbon. I was slow to react when the bear hitmen arrived, but luckily, going into his junior and Heisman winning season, Barkley had already taken out two of the bears.
Immediately I threw the bottle at the third bear and lit him on fire, which was more funny than anything. It was a total Bruce Willis move. The bear quickly put the fire out and turned around. He was now bald and looked exactly like Ed Harris. I had no idea how intimidating it would be until I saw it.
I scream to Matt, “you handle the other one, I got Ed Harris”. It was funny because Matt gave me a look like “he really does look like Ed Harris” before upcutting the other bear from at least six feet away. It was like straight out of Street Fighter. Shuruken!
Since Matt already had the fun of taking out 3 of the 4 bears, I decided I wanted to scrap with Ed Harris old school. So we just put our dukes up and did twelve rounds. Barkley was my corner man. The thing is, he kept offering to throw a pigskin through the bear’s face, but I screamed back “It’s not your fight, damnit!” in total A Few Good Men seriousness.
Eventually, I won the fight in a decision, which was only arrogant because the judges were all bears. I said something to the losing bear like “I loved you in Apollo 13” but before he could respond, an arrow streaked by with a note attached to it. It lands in the bear’s thigh and he reads it. It just said “Bruin” and the bear was so angry. I turned to Matt he just shrugged with his longbow in his hand. Apparently, bears themselves are really embarrassed that UCLA chose them as a mascot. I thought about it. I’d hate if it was the UCLA Zacks. I also thought about how lethal Matt is with a longbow and how I think this Robin Hood like delivery of post-it notes via arrow is arrogant and definitely going to be huge in 2012.
I sent the final bear home with a message for the Bear King (and a bottle of my tree sap bourbon which was okay because he was over 21 in bear years). I’d tell you what the message said, but it was personal. I’ll tell you later, Arrogant Nation.
We raced back to campus because Matt had practice. When I showed up, Kiffin was super pissed because Matt was only 10 minutes early and Kiffin usually demands at least 3.5 hours of earliness (it is hell for Layla to make breakfast because after a night at a fancy gala, she has to start making it the minute they get home, and that’s hard when you party as hard as the Kiffins do).
Kiffin was happy though when Matt gave his excuse. He said nothing, instead opting to throw a bear head 60 yards on a fade route right into Robert Woods’ hands, who was still actually running a route for Max Wittek. Arrogant. Kiffin was pleased. By then though, I was gone.
Happy Friday. Arrogant Nation is back.
[this was most likely fictional, but was also arrogant]