My husband, Keith, is quite the punster, and well-known for this talent. I love watching him with the tourists at Bear Country. He will catch departing visitors and say, "Was everything 'bearable'?" If they get it they'll laugh and agree. Or sometimes they'll come back with, "bearly", and he'll respond, "bear up"! Brad, the driver of the cart for handi-capped people, has gotten into the spirit. When he and we are parked on the sidewalk with our carts, talking, he'll say we are a "bearicade" to the tourists passing by. Keith loves to tell little kids that bear cubs have 5 paws, especially if they're with an older gentleman. They'll look at him in disbelief, and then he'll count on his hands and feet, "one paw, two paws, three paws, four paws, and a grandpaw"! Occasionally the kids won't get it, but the grandpas always do. In this picture he is talking about his paw pun with Zack, a 15 year old Bear Country employee who gives informative talks to our guests about the various animals they are seeing. He was also the "Mascot" in bear costume, and the applier of temporary tattoos to anyone he could convince needed one.
Another favorite pun is, "The Pope came to visit Bear country and he left speaking in 'bearables' ". (The Bear Country owners are Catholics who are very actively and charitably involved the community.) To parents with babies in strollers he'll say, "Oh, are you bringing us another baby bear?" or, "Are you allowed to take that baby bear home?" Most parents chuckle. Here is a picture of our favorite cub, "Little Bit", one of the 14 bear cubs on display this summer.
One of the most enjoyable parts of our job here is talking to tourists. Most of the time they are having fun, are excited about being here, and want to share where they are from and where else they've visited so far. We've kept track of state license plates within the park this summer and have gotten 49. We lack Delaware—still hoping! There have been people from different parts of the world, like England, Germany, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Brazil, Japan and China, and some others we don't know because they were speaking a foreign language unfamiliar to us, probably eastern European. It is so much fun to talk to all kinds of people from all kinds of places. We are blessed to be able to do that!