We lived in Houston when Hurricane Ike happened. It hit Galveston first, about an hour from us. We gathered at a friend’s house and played video games and watched TV while the winds kicked up. The weather would soon rob us of our electricity and leave us to be entertained by the sounds of the earth being torn apart… But before that we were delighted.
We were delighted by Hurricane Bear. Oh yes. Hurricane Bear. It’s so stupid and yet I find it charming somehow.
Hurricane Bear was a teenaged boy in a bear costume stumbling around the shore in front of TV cameras just before things got dangerous. Here’s a clip:
Don’t you have so many questions? Like why? Where are his adults? Was he paid to do this? How did he get the costume? Is he a local? Is this his daily constitutional? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
These questions all surface on occasion and I remember Hurricane Bear. He is a fond memory of an otherwise traumatic family bonding experience.
But then a pattern emerged. Somehow… this was a thing.
Here’s a man jogging in a horse head mask before Hurricane Sandy:
And just from last week’s blizzard not one but two people adventuring in animal costumes. Here’s a dude shoveling up the remnants of Winter Storm Jonas:
And then a guy in a panda costume just rolling around in it, just like his real panda brethren:
I find this totally fascinating. I mean, who knew so many people out there had these full body costumes but also wanted to make the most out of the opportunity of a captive audience and a devil may care attitude.
I asked my husband why he thought this was a thing. His reply, “It’s a thing because not enough people have died doing it yet.” That’s probably true.
But here’s to you, Hurricane Bear: Trendsetter and American hero.