It was a crisp fall day, so the family and I headed out to pick crisp apples in the crisp air. A photographer just happened to accompany us. This was purely coincidental, as were our crisply coordinated outfits. That I’d purchased all the ingredients necessary for preparing a post-picking pie, well that was strategic. My plans were the best laid. The best! Alas, I didn’t plan for Bushy Bear.
No one really knows where he came from. He arrived sometime around the same time as the first daughter, but they never took to one another. He found his partner with the second, although he had to branch out to find a partner in crime. For that, he formed a strategic alliance with the dogs. That alliance proved fateful on that crisp fall day.
As we pulled out of the driveway, Bushy emerged from his seemingly inanimate state and went to talk to Bindi and Fuzzy. He had his own best-laid plans, and it involved borrowing the car. Bindi was against it, being slightly more cautious if not actually cautious in the literal sense. Fuzzy was down for whatever. Bushy promised them they’d go for ice cream “or something,” so they grabbed the keys and off they went.
Things went swimmingly for about two miles. Then the police pulled them over. Bindi was nervous about what the cops would have to say to a trio consisting of two mountain dogs and a stuffed pink bear driving an automobile, but Bushy was calm. No matter the situation, he could handle it and he didn’t like suggestions to the contrary.
As the officer approached the car, Fuzzy asked Bushy what he was going to do. Bushy responded, “Don’t worry, I can fix it.” “How are you going to fix this?! We’re about to get arrested!” Bindi replied. Bushy was resolute. “Don’t worry. I can fix it.”
On the inside, though, he was pondering whether that day was the day to get involved in a high-speed chase.
There is a fine line between adorable quirks and infuriating dysfunction. I live for danger.
— Brosephine Wires (@JoParkerBear) November 14, 2017
The officer, sensing that something was off, had her own concerns. She also wondered about her wardrobe choices given her line of work.
If I’m ever shoved into the trunk of a car, I hope it’s in the 1970s. I just don’t think I’d fit in a modern one. Especially in these shoes.
— Tippi Hedren Collider (now with more Birds) (@linanneblack) October 19, 2019
Bushy, sensing his own concerns, decided to play it cool.
Everyone has a secret technique they’ve thought about for jumping out of a speeding car should it be necessary. Trust me, yours is terrible.
— Jack Boot (@IamJackBoot) October 19, 2019
Although he thought about how the situation would’ve played out had he followed his dreams.
thinking about buying an 80’s police car to drive on days I’m in a really crappy mood
— Her Tall Boots (@fuzzlime) October 17, 2019
The officer was also thinking about her dreams.
I don’t go where I’m not wanted unless it’s as an undercover operative.
— TattleTaleSister Ⓥ (@TattleTSister) October 2, 2019
Meanwhile, we were picking apples, oblivious to the shenanigans Bushy, Bindi, and Fuzzy were up to. I was starting to regret my decision to bake a pie.
Being a pillar of the community sounds exhausting.
— Sardonic Tart (@SardonicTart) October 14, 2019
I began to wonder whether it was all worth it. The crisp fall air, the apples, the outfits, the smiling. There had to be a better way.
Thinking about becoming a cattle rustler.
— Ironballs McGinty (@IronballsMcGinT) October 10, 2019
Bindi, meanwhile, had other concerns, particularly as the officer was at the door.
Just once I want to be the evil mastermind. Is that too much to ask?
— ScaryPants™🎃 (@suzieQ0007) October 6, 2019
Bushy rolled down the window and smiled. You could say he had a plan, but you’d be wrong.
I act on impulse because it’s my only motivation.
— Our Lady of Shipwrecked Ghosts (@miss_propriety) October 3, 2019
For though he did not have a plan, he did have a mantra.
If you don’t cause all hell to break loose at least once a day are you really living your best life
— Tony™ 🐜🍯 (@tsm560) October 3, 2019
Fuzzy offered words of encouragement.
You’re the hero we need, if not the one we deserve. Or the one we deserve, but not the one we need. Either way you’re a hero, so just roll with it.
— RunwayDan (@RunwayDan) October 1, 2019
Bushy was calm. For one, any backup would have to figure out if they were on the lane, the street, the avenue, or the circle before they could get to the scene.
in my village there are 14 separate streets named after the band kajagoogoo
— Sunshine Jarboly (@SunshineJarboly) October 19, 2019
He rolled down the window and greeted the cop. Before she could ask him what the heck was going on, he dazzled her with an explanation, if one that fell short of a confession.
When you’re trying to make something happen in your life, I find it best to keep saying yes to opportunities and let the universe sort the rest out.
— de la soulless (@delasoulless) October 3, 2019
Then, he turned the investigation back on her.
i saw you last night at the abandoned drag strip, pulling a carpet-rolled body out of the trunk of your Mercury. we should be friends
— fightgeek (@fightgeek) October 21, 2019
And he didn’t stop there. Bindi and Fuzzy kept their eyes down, nervous at what was to come next.
You know what pisses me off? When I meet someone who’s been described as “amazing” and they can’t even make sparks come out of their fingertips, much less fly. *That* pisses me off.
— ES (@ESXIII) October 20, 2019
Bushy wasn’t done, however, and just kept going after the officer.
I did some research on you
-the most terrifying combination of words
— Shasta (@shastamaria) May 27, 2019
The officer attempted to counter his attacks.
look if you don’t work with me you’ll see me once a year, twice if you’re unlucky
— Ivsy (@Ivsy01) October 18, 2019
Bushy was incredulous. Didn’t she realize who she was talking to?
This just in, the fine line between brave and stupid has officially evaporated. Exciting times!
— Cat From Nowhe®e (@kv8) October 19, 2019
Then she realized she was arguing with a pink stuffed bear who was driving around with one dog riding shotgun and another dog in the backseat. She got back in her patrol car and headed off. No way was she calling that in. Bindi and Fuzzy breathed sighs of relief while Bushy just smiled.
I used to be a hurricane of bad ideas but I’ve been downgraded to tropical storm status.
— Bob Phillips (@BobTheSuit) October 21, 2019
That’s when Bindi and Fuzzy realized they didn’t know why they’d taken the car in the first place when they had ice cream “and something” at home, so they asked. Bushy was quick with the reply: “We’re going to pick apples!” Bindi and Fuzzy sighed.
You won’t like my advice.
— Crow Magnom (@distracted_monk) October 20, 2019
The dogly duo implored the bear, “The rest of the family is out picking apples, Bushy! They might see us. Also, they’re bringing apples home. What is wrong with you?”
I’m trying to lead by example, idiots.
— Jennifer Slopez (@JennSlowpez) October 7, 2019
They continued, “What do you mean ‘lead by example?’ You’re not even really leading, and you’re definitely not an example.” As always, Bushy had a response.
In a crowded field, I’m the guy with the headband.
— richie (@theregoesrichie) October 1, 2019
They begged him to be serious. He refused.
Oh baby, I’ll always be the storm in your calm.
— Ava (@avainwordland) September 28, 2019
He wasn’t listening anyway, he was enjoying the ride.
when i passed you in the right lane how did that make you feel
— b. (@bwebster76) October 4, 2019
A ride which came to a halt, thanks to a flat tire. The trio got out and got the car on the jack, but the lug nuts wouldn’t budge. Time was running out. If they didn’t get the wheel changed, they’d be caught. That’s when Bushy got an idea about how to get the tire iron turning.
There comes a point in every job when it’s time to get out the big hammer.
— Ricardo ‘Rich’ Cromwell (@rcromwell4) March 31, 2018
Meanwhile, back at the orchard, the family and I decided to check out the horses. Not just for the photo ops, but also to mingle with the people.
If you ever walk through a stable and you see an earnest, big-eyed girl clutching a Red Delicious and hoping against hope, that’s me.
— Annie Hatfield (@HatfieldAnne) October 7, 2019
Alas the apples reminded me of hard apple cider and I again started pondering what my next move would be if I had to give up supping at the public trough.
fuck it i’m gonna be a moonshiner
— JEFF NEWTON (@yonewt) October 6, 2019
I also filled out some forms online so my backup plan had a backup plan.
I recently became an ordained minister. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are.
— Sadie Smith 2.0 (@SadieSkyNinja) September 1, 2019
While making sure that my family remained crisply photogenic in the crisp fall air.
Once you’re officially a fashion blogger, it’s illegal to keep your sweater on both shoulders.
— Anna Grace (@graceupongracie) September 29, 2019
Not everyone at the orchard had received the memo.
I’m rocking that open-coffin, just glance and go away look today.
— Wondering (@stillwondering1) October 1, 2019
Back by the side of the road, Bushy prepared to whack the tire iron with the big hammer. Bindi and Fuzzy expressed reservations, but Bushy had a response.
I’ve never done anything stupid
— Bööb Jänke (@Bob_Janke) October 18, 2019
While I was having second thoughts about baking.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.
— antisocialsocialist (@gobmentcheese) October 22, 2019
Bushy got the wheel off, but Bindi and Fuzzy pointed out that a spare would be rather noticeable to us when we arrived back home. Bushy had a response to that, too.
Our best thinking got us here, fuckface, back tf off or I’ll Skyrim
— Buddawiggi (@MarkBuckawicki) October 18, 2019
Some members of the voting public started to express a preference for Bushy at that moment.
I hope Killbot comes to my house first.
— Insignificant Funds (@4SLars) October 18, 2019
Back behind the wheel, Bushy found a message saying, “Your ideas always end in disaster.”
I wasn’t even passive aggressive until they invented post it notes.
— Elen🎃 Hollow👻ster Jr. (@elunatyk) October 1, 2019
Not that he cared. His plans may have always ended adjacent to disaster, but never actually as disasters. When he said “I can fix it,” he was always correct. Although he wondered how the flipped over sugar truck would play into that day’s adventures.
Man I love a good “weird shit spilled on the highway by an overturned whatever” news story.
— Cabo 🇺🇸 🍳 (@Shot_Of_Cabo) October 11, 2019
I remained blissfully unaware of the potential PR nightmare going on with my dogs and the highest-ranking stuffed animal in the house. I also remained blissfully unaware of other pitfalls potentially awaiting me.
I take compromising pictures of my husband while he’s sleeping so I always have something to use against him.
— Jawbreaker 🔪💀🎃👻 (@sixfootcandy) October 21, 2019
While Bushy was avoiding the potential PR nightmare of us returning home to a car that had obviously been borrowed. He decided to pick up the phone. He had plenty to offer as payment, especially as his pockets were overflowing with the sugar he’d picked up from the overturned truck.
Stop avoiding your fears, call them back.
— Karen D. Lioness (@DeadLioness) August 8, 2019
As we headed home, the family suggested another photo op I mean activity, but I just couldn’t get excited about it.
I don’t know, man, I just can’t seem to get enthusiastic about seeing a play in a high school auditorium.
— Alpha Juliet (@hungary_eyes) May 31, 2019
If I was being honest, I would’ve had to admit that the reason was that I couldn’t compete with local theater.
*hand on shoulder*
Wait before you crank up the hyperbole.
— Mrs. Fitz (@PFitzpa) October 21, 2019
Besides, I had some photogenic projects to attend to around the homestead.
Well the power’s out time to break out my felling axe and establish dominance in my cul-de-sac
— Al Dente (@six_2_and_even) October 17, 2019
Nevertheless, I decided to consult with my advisor first.
It’s kind of crazy how my Magic 8 ball keeps coming up with STFU.
— Olive Gravy (@offbeatoliv) October 16, 2019
No one but Bushy knows who he called, but whoever he called delivered. The car again had four real tires on it. The smattering of feathers around the driveway was a bit curious, though. We can only assume the interloper told his story to someone.
And when it’s his turn for sharing high/low moments at dinnertime he’ll flap his wings and say “quack, quack” and I’ll guffaw, “Oh Belvedere, such wit!”
— C. A. Guardiola (@C_A_Guardiola) October 15, 2019
Given his success, Bushy started working on his next crazy scheme.
I’m working on a reboot of Night Court.
— Pasta Fazool (@chrisdowning) October 4, 2019
While forgetting another clue as to what had actually transpired.
just pulled in the driveway without gas in the car for the 12th year in a row.
— The Getaway Girl (@The_GetawayGirl) October 22, 2019
What Bushy didn’t mention to Bindi and Fuzzy was how perilous the situation had actually been. They’d gone inside to resume the quiet life of dogs that don’t go out on ridiculous quests, and to hopefully get some apple pie, while Bushy waited outside. As such, they missed Belvedere, who arrived wearing a tuxedo and driving an Acura NSX.
Belvedere was as incredulous as Bindi and Fuzzy had been, and as Bushy had been when they first ran afoul of the fuzz. But he was equipped with a tire and an air pump. What he wasn’t equipped with was the tools necessary to putting the tire back on the wheel. Bushy persisted. “The old man has an ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.” Somehow, he did.
With the evidence safely obscured‒or so they thought‒Bindi, Fuzzy, and Bushy decided it was time for a snack. They’d given up on the possibility of apple pie, so apple slices and peanut butter would have to suffice. They got the apples sliced and the peanut butter out, but that’s when they heard the car pull into the driveway.
Bindi and Fuzzy raced downstairs to pretend they’d been asleep the entire time. Bushy took his place on the couch, pretending to be an inanimate stuffed bear. They’d covered all their tracks, save one. The jar of peanut butter was still on the counter. Bushy trusted that would be blamed on one of the kids. It was not to be.
I could tell that something was amiss, though I wasn’t to discover exactly what on that crisp fall day. I didn’t know that the crisp scandals resulting from our various adventures would spell the end of my campaign and the beginning of one of my fallback careers.
I wasn’t apoplectic, yet. In hindsight, I should have been. But you know what they say about hindsight. It’s an opportunity to realize how angry you should have been. As a famous political strategist once said, “Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.”
On that day, though, I was feeling magnanimous.
Um excuse me, dudgeon is a spectrum
— Reticent Turnip (@ReticentTurnip) October 8, 2019
Richard Cromwell is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter, @rcromwell4.