"If you're allergic to animals, please let me know now, so we can work around that."
"I'M ALLERGIC! I'M ALLERGIC TO BEARS! AND I ALSO HAVE MY PERIOD!"
Yeah, that was my hand that went up, and that was my voice shrieking about being allergic, specifically to bears. Like, at some point in my murky past, I'd been deliberately tested for bear allergens. I got shots and everything. Oh, and yelling to the world that I was on the rag, even though I wasn't. The rest of the background pool looked at me with eyebrows raised, and laughed at me. Go ahead and laugh, suckers. I'll be safe up here in the bleachers, and you'll be bear snacks.
The filming got underway, with me cowering up in the topmost row of seats, shivering. The scene was about the beer that Drew & Oswald had invented, the one with caffeine in it. Can't remember what it was called on the show, as I only ever watched that one episode. (Yeah, to see if I could spot myself. Shut up.) And the gimmick is that the bear is drinking the beer at the beer convention they're all at.
So the trainer puts the bottle into Chuckle's massive paws, and the bear drops it. Again it's placed, again it's dropped. The third time, the bottle shatters, causing the bear to flinch and the trainer to jump back a good three paces or so. To get out of the line of fire for aforementioned massive paws. The bear's pulled off set. The set's cleaned up. The bear's brought back and given yet another bottle.
That one was dropped too.
It's now been half an hour since they started, and not a single frame of film has been shot. There's an executive confab, and twenty minutes later, it's decided that the back up bear will be brought in. Why that took twenty minutes to decide? Beyond me. Perhaps Chuckles had pull. Knew bears that knew bears. That one bear in The Bear? Yeah, totally his cousin. He had connections, maaaaan.
The back up bear, Poodle, is brought in, given the bottle, and he starts drinking out of it immediately. Before the cameras can roll. Oops.
Now, I should mention, the liquid in the bottles wasn't actually beer. It was sugar water. Still not great for the health of the bears, but better than alcohol. Could you imagine the chaos if a bear got drunk on the set? I imagine the Variety headline would look like this:
BEER BEAR CARRIES CAREY OFF, BARES ALL
Anyway, back to the story. The cameras are finally rolling, the bear is given his bottle, and, right on cue, starts drinking.
Awww. That's actually... kinda cute. Still scared the piss outta me, tho.
Finally, the scene is in the can, the bears are sent back to their trailer, and the rest of the day goes forward. Although I caught a lot of shit for my cowardice. From extras, cast and crew alike.
Eh, fuck 'em. I'm secure in my pants-shitting. I'm ok with that.
Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic follow up to "Baby Got Back" has serious unintended consequences.
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
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