Bears, Mountain Lions, Aunt Bee and the Mankini


I’m about to go mountain biking with my brother in the actual mountains (not Kansas, where he lives – see Mountain Biking in Kansas) and we are facing a dilemma.

Who goes first and who goes last.

This is a big deal in the mountains because there are animals out there. It is kind of like being a scuba diver swimming in shark-infested waters. Is it best to go first and take the risk of surprising a lurking Great White, or go last where a stalking predator might strike from behind?

You see, when we grew up our Great Aunt (Aunt Bee) helped raise us, and she was afraid of wild animals. Every time we went camping she loaded us up with whistles (in case we got lost), snake bite kits, and a stern warning to not wander off alone where the animals (like bears) might get us. But her specialty was mountain lions. She was terrified of them, and by the time we left home, so were we.

That fear never left us.

So as we plan the mountain bike adventure, the order becomes important. Whoever goes first runs the risk of surprising a bear lurking around the bend. Whoever goes second is mountain lion bait.

It’s a big decision.

So it was pretty irritating that while I was thinking all this over and conducting a risk assessment on something that could have life-altering consequences, I came across an article on the internet that completely destroyed my concentration. It was about mankinis.

This is a mankini.

(Image by Allstarecho)

Apparently they are real and some people actually wear them. The number one description of a mankini in the Urban Dictionary is, “The source of my nightmares.” I could not agree more. My new hope is to live out the rest of my days having never seen one on a live human being. If they proliferate, sharks will be relegated to the number 2 reason people don’t go to the beach.

That being said, I will say one positive thing about them.

Suddenly the mountain lions don’t seem so scary.


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