“Bear!” said Shana. “Bear!” And, mere moments later, “Bear!”
We were watching a rerun of an old episode of BBC property show Escape to the Country. In fact, it was not so much a rerun as a re-re-re-re-rerun. In even more factual fact, it had probably run so many times that, if it were a person, its little legs would be about to drop off, poor thing.
Anyway, this particular episode was presented by the ever-wonderful Jules Hudson. And almost every bedroom he showed to his house hunters seemed to have a bear lurking somewhere, whether parked on a chair, lounging on a bed, or making itself a cup of tea while admiring a spacious kitchen.
One room felt strangely empty though. “I’ve got it!” announced Shana, using up her daily quota of exclamation marks in the process. “There’s no bear in the room to make it feel complete and cared-for.”
“I think I know what’s going on,” I said, after some thought. “A certain number of bears, say fifty or so, are hiring themselves out to whomever wants to show a property and wants to stand a good chance of making a sale. In the old days, homeowners were told to bake bread so the smell would entice buyers. Now, they use strategically positioned beasrs instead. Maybe the bears emit subliminal messeges such as ‘Buy this house or we’ll marmalise you’. And there’s something else.”
“What?????” said Shana, so keen to learn that she had dipped with gay abandon into the next day’s ration of question marks.
“Well, I suspect,” I said, “that all these bears have media agents who, for a small commission, place them into the various property shows on tv. And there are plenty of those, arent’ there?”
“True.” Shana agreed.
“The bears will command various fees depending on their colour, age, condition and so on. A white bear with a red bow might fetch twice the fee of a common-or-garden brown bear. Look carefully and you might even start fo recognise a few familiar bear faces. The little critters are, no doubt, paid handsomely, and all drive Ferraris and other such expensive cars. I wonder if we could get any of our own bears into this lucrative career?”
But even as I said it, I knew there was only one show most of our bears would be suitable for. Homes Under the bloomin’ Hammer!