park ranger bear comic

Bear Spray Stories Part 4: Marinated Meatballs

Alaska, Bear Spray Stories, Travel Cartoons

When the park rangers arrived, they found a man in the river screaming and crying with the intensity usually associated with a man who just watched his entire family slaughtered by a drug cartel. The rangers knew something unspeakable was happening as they rushed to the river to investigate.

But before we continue this true story, lets back up.

It was a day just like any other in the Backcountry Information Center in Denali National Park when a guy walked in with a can of bear spray on one hip and a gun on the other. The park rangers told the man that a weapon was not allowed in the building.

This led to a small argument, with the man spouting out references to the 2nd amendment, freedom, ‘Murica, and FOX news. The man was there to take a course on bear safety before venturing into the wilderness for a camping trip. He was already not well liked by the rangers.

Douche Gun Fox NewsThe next day the hiker got off the bus near the Toklat River and began his hiking excursion, bear spray on one hip, pistol on the other. He was loaded for bear, in more ways than one. There are differing stories to this day as to what happened next. Some people say the bear spray got caught on his backpack, others say that it got tangled in his mesh underwear. But this much we know is true: The man only made it a few feet off the road when the bear spray went off, unloading the entire bottle on his privates, marinating his meatballs in capsicum pepper spray.

loaded for bear

Bear spray on testicles

The man plunged himself in the Toklat River and began desperate lavage.

Bear Spray Levage

Meanwhile, someone called the rangers and announcements went out over the radio.

Park Ranger Comic

Bear spray park rangers laughingWhen the park rangers arrived, they found a man screaming and wailing as he tried to wash the pepper spray off his boy parts.

Park Ranger Comic

“I think water actually makes it worse,” declared one of the rangers, who called for someone to bring a bottle of orange soda he had at the station. He thought the acids might make an antidote. Lavage continued with orange soda, adding a citrus marinade flavor to the pepper marinated balls.

Park Ranger Comic bear spray park ranger bear comic park ranger comic

EMS was called, and as the man suffered in the river, updates were given over the radio.

“The orange soda does not seem to be working,” one announcement declared.

“The subject is now reporting that he is going numb,” said another.

Bear Spray

Bear spray park rangers laughingOne of the rangers said he had milk in his room at the nearby housing unit and went to get it, thinking it might alleviate the pain. But before he could make it with the cooling potion, EMS arrived, loaded the victim, and took him away.

Park Ranger EMT Comic

The bear spray victim’s hiking trip may have only lasted about 15 seconds, but his legend lives on in Denali. His crying and wailing are actually what makes the northern lights, in case you didn’t know.

Northern Lights Comic



If you are still reading, you are probably wondering what the heck this story is all about. Last year, I was in a dive bar in Anchorage talking to a park ranger and two co-workers. They told me the four funniest bear spray stories I’d ever heard, and evidently having too much time on my hands, I decided to draw them. To read parts 1-3, click on the links below.

Bear Spray Story Part 1: The Golden Grizzly Award

Bear Spray Story Part 2:  Almost Killed by Puppies

Bear Stray Story Part 3: Tear Gas

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Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~

34 thoughts on “Bear Spray Stories Part 4: Marinated Meatballs”

  1. Oh that was so funny my eyes are tearing up! The Northern Lights you say? Who knew? 🙂
    Nice social media icons at the bottom of your post too!

  2. Oh my! That is the best one yet. Can’t wait for the bonus feature. This is why people should have to pass a comprehensive written exam before reproducing.

    • Ron, you are right, he could have shot himself in the nuts with the gun instead. It is hard to tell someone who is suffering so mightily that air, wind and time is the only solution!

  3. Adventures in Kevin's World says:

    Quite possibly your best post ever.

      • Adventures in Kevin's World says:

        I want to hear this story told out loud by Mr. Schaner. I imagine he’d hilarious.

  4. Girl Gone Expat says:

    Sweet Jesus:) Very funny! And the illustrations are great. Loved it! Good for him it wasn’t the gun who went of, might not be much left of the meatballs then:) hehehe….

  5. Jeff, I don’t know which was funnier – the fact that this actually happened or your fabulous cartoons in MS paint! I was laughing at the details, like the subplot about the ranger trying out that hiker’s ultra-light tent. From your illustrations bear spray seems like a horrible bright red substance… fingers crossed both you and I will never end up on the receiving end!

    • Thank James. I am glad you liked it.

      A couple of thoughts:
      1. I have some follow up posts to do on bear spray stories. I’ve had several people email, Facebook or tell me drunkenly at bars about bear spray accidents they’ve had.
      2. Last year someone let off bear spray in a hotel room and I had to help with the problem. By the time I got there, it had dissipated, but our Moldovan housekeepers were screaming with burning eyes saying “IT IS A CATASTROPHE!!!”

      3. I made a few doodles of you today running through the streets of Hong Kong like a superhero on a speed-walkiing tour. Warning: I can’t actually draw real people that I know so you may look a bit funky, but you will also look fast!

  6. Pingback: Bear Spray Stories Part 1: The Golden Grizzly Award | Planet Bell

  7. Pingback: Bear Spray Stories Part 5: Invaded Campsite | Planet Bell

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