Pan-American Ursine Union Stages Valentine’s Day Protest

teddy-bearSOMEWHERE IN THE FORESTS OF CANADA, CANADA – As the only holiday commercialized more than Christmas approaches, sales of the popular teddy bear will reach into the millions. But despite their popularity, this historically lovable toy has attracted criticism from one sector of the population (besides the usual sector that wishes their sweetheart could surprise them with something a little more original). This year, the Pan-American Ursine Union, also known as the League of Bears, has launched a massive campaign against what they call “a century-old misconception about the nature and disposition of bears perpetuated by the continued misrepresentation of the species in the stuffed toy medium.”

“The so-called ‘teddy bear’ promotes an image of our people as ‘cuddly’ and ‘huggable’ when in reality we are fierce and unpredictable,” says PAUU spokesbear Adam S. Grizzly. “And think of other depictions of bears in the media. Winnie the Pooh, Smokey the Bear, the Chicago Bears–all supposedly friendly and harmless. This kind of negative stereotyping only leads to a culture steeped in misplaced affection for our species.” He goes on to attack public education for furthering the problem. “Listen to any grade-school science lesson on bears. They’d have you believe we eat mainly nuts and berries and timidly avoid human contact. If you took the time to get to know a real bear, you’d quickly learn absolutely nothing, because he or she would likely brutally maim you before eating you.”

Some bears expressed differing views on the subject. “Radical bears like Grizzly think they speak for all of us,” comments FEMA employee Smokey Bear, “but I feel our species benefits from a positive image in human culture, regardless of its accuracy.” North Pole native Nanook O’North said candidly, “Hey, I want respected as much as the next bear, but I ain’t complaining if humans want to walk right up to me and pet me. I don’t even have to hunt seals anymore.” However, Grizzly’s views are representative of a large faction of the ursine population, as evidenced by Snuggle Bear, mascot for a popular laundry detergent: “I’ve had six years of training in horror films, nature documentaries, and circus-style unicycle riding, but the only job I can get in Hollywood is as a freaking stuffed animal.” And noted bear scientist and historian Actual Factual Bear points out that “teddy bears are in fact named for Teddy Roosevelt, a human president and a staunch anti-bear activist.”

PAUU encourages all bears to show solidarity this Valentine’s Day by gathering in nearby urban centers to “scare the living hell out of people and return bears to their rightful place in the public consciousness.” Though teddy bear manufacturers remain confident that sales will be as strong as in past years, mainly as a result of “the incredible predictability and laziness of American males,” Grizzly and his brother bears believe they will land a considerable victory. “People are going to notice this. And it’s about time. We bears are a violent, bloodthirsty species. We don’t need to be represented by a beloved toy any longer.”

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