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The Hitchhiker's Guide to Bears

42 unbearable paragraphs

By Scott ChristensonPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

I asked AI to write a story about bears being more attractive than men, and after having a few Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, this is what it came up with. (This is also a precautionary tale about how pretrained AI's might use a LOT of copyrighted material!)

Chapter 1: The Unbearable Truth

Howard Dent, the perpetually befuddled protagonist of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, had always considered himself a decent catch. Sure, he was a bit forgetful (he once left his towel on a Vogon spaceship), and his fashion sense was questionable (neon pink socks with sandals), but he had a heart of gold. Or so he thought.

One sunny afternoon, Howard sat in the corner of the local pub, nursing his fourth Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. His best friend, Ford Prefect, leaned across the table, eyes wide with revelation.

“Listen, Howard,” Ford said, “I've discovered the secret to attracting women.”

Howard perked up. “Really? What is it?”

Ford leaned in closer. “It's bears.”

“Bears?” Howard furrowed his brow. “As in grizzlies and pandas?”

“Exactly!” Ford nodded. “Women adore bears. They find them rugged, mysterious, and utterly irresistible. It's science.”

Howard's mind whirred. “So, you're saying that if I want to win over Tricia McMillan, I should become a bear?”

Ford shrugged. “Worth a shot. Besides, it's better than your usual pickup line: 'Are you from Mars? Because your gravitational pull is affecting my sanity.'”

Chapter 2: Bear Essentials

Determined to transform his love life, Howard embarked on a quest. He studied bear behavior, grew a beard (which looked more like a moldy muffin), and practiced his best bear growl. He even changed his name to “Howie the Huggable Bear.”

His first date as Howie didn't go well. Tricia stared at him, wide-eyed, as he tried to catch salmon in the restaurant fountain. “I thought we were having sushi,” she muttered.

Undeterred, Howard joined a bear support group. The other bears—Grizzly Gary, Polar Pete, and Teddy the Troubled—shared their woes. “My honey left me for a honey badger,” Grizzly Gary sobbed.

Howard nodded sympathetically. “I feel your pain. Tricia prefers her bears with fur, not existential dread.”

Chapter 3: A Forest of Rejection

Word spread about Howie the Huggable Bear. Women flocked to the forest, hoping to find romance among the pines. Howard set up a cozy den with scented candles and a playlist of bear-themed love songs.

But the ladies weren't interested. They giggled, snapped selfies, and fed him granola bars. One even asked for his autograph, mistaking him for a mascot.

Desperate, Howard consulted the wise old oak tree. “Why do women prefer real bears over me?”

The oak rustled its leaves. “Because bears don't overthink things. They don't analyze their fur or worry about existential crises. They just lumber through life, catching fish and being adorable.”

Chapter 4: The Great Revelation

One moonlit night, Howard sat by the campfire, nursing a jar of honey. Tricia appeared, her eyes twinkling. “Howie, I've made my choice.”

Howard's heart raced. “Me?”

“No.” Tricia pointed to the forest. “That bear over there. He's rugged, mysterious, and utterly irresistible.”

Howard followed her gaze. A bear stood on its hind legs, wearing sunglasses and holding a bouquet of wildflowers. It winked at Tricia.

“Meet Barry the Bear,” Tricia said dreamily. “He's my new honey.”

Howard sighed. “But I'm Howie the Huggable Bear!”

Tricia patted his shoulder. “Howie, you're sweet, but Barry can climb trees.”

And so, Howard Dent returned to being himself—a bumbling human with neon socks. As for Barry, he and Tricia lived happily ever after, picnicking in the forest and discussing existentialism.

And that, my friends, is how Howard Dent learned that sometimes, it's better to be a bear than a bewildered bloke.


*Disclaimer: No bears were harmed in the making of this story. Howie's ego, however, took a bruising.*


About the Creator

Scott Christenson

Born and raised in Milwaukee WI, living in Hong Kong. Hoping to share some of my experiences w short story & non-fiction writing. Have a few shortlisted on Reedsy:

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Comments (3)

  • Kendall Defoe about a month ago

    Howard Dent? Well, that's one way to avoid some legal entanglements... Excellent work, sir!

  • This is fantastic! Your humor is on point, Scott!

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    I think it was a good story. Felt a little rushed at times but overall, coherent and engaging. I’ve actually drank (more than twice) Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters. Can’t remember what brewery makes it but remember loving it. They make several more that are satisfying to the taste buds, and I remember the artwork on the cans were fun and unique. I think it might be a Michigan beer. Now, I’m curious if I can find it in Ohio, lol.

Scott ChristensonWritten by Scott Christenson

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