From the September 2012 magazine.

September 2012: Smarter than the Average Bear

She always thought she could outsmart the ranger. Then she met her match

In the spirit of the Twelfth Step, I practice the principle of charity when I sweep the sidewalk in front of the small complex of homes where I live. It was a great time for a little Eleventh Step prayer and meditation, until the city closed the end of our street because of roadwork and erected signs warning that the street was closed except for local traffic. I became fascinated with the drivers who suffered from the “Yogi Bear syndrome.” You may remember Yogi, the TV cartoon character who lived in Jellystone Park? He and his bear friend, Boo Boo, loved to steal the “pic-a-nic” baskets from campers, much to the consternation of the park ranger. Yogi thought he was just a little smarter than the average bear and could outwit the ranger; but alas, he always overestimated his own cleverness.

The drivers who ignored all the road signs advising that the street was closed to through traffic suffered from the same overestimation of their own cleverness that Yogi did. They dodged around the signs, looked puzzled, and then proceeded to do a three-point turn in the driveway. They thought they would be the ones to get through.

-- Carol K.

Sarasota, Florida

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