Now this generally uplifting story is bound to become some kind of tell-all book or movie-show. A group of British adventurers/vacationers camping in Norway were attacked by a polar bear and showed incredible courage and fortitude in actually surviving. From the Independent of the UK’ s report:

“The remaining members of an expedition party rocked by a polar bear attack that left an Eton schoolboy dead are on their way back to Britain…Michael “Spike” Reid, 29, the expedition leader who shot the bear in the head during the attack in Norway on Friday, and 27-year-old fellow leader Andy Ruck left hospital this morning, a spokesman for the University Hospital in Tromso said.

Tragically, 17-year-old Horatio Chapple was killed in the attack. The eight uninjured members of the party have all returned to the UK. What makes this unusual tale of beating back the horrors of Mother Nature so delicious is the outstanding heroism of all the party members, and also some evidence of the strange British capacity for dry humor. Humor that can apparently survive anything, or find some sort of whimsical silver lining in the worst horror show or weather or sadistic monarchy. I’ve always loved British people for their stately manners and their fine language skills and their creepy, inextinguishable good humor. That last really is one of their traits, and it makes it easier to swallow the fact that this country, America, has essentially been ruled by British interests ever since we sprung from its womb carrying muskets and ledgers and colonial charters and magical Bibles. Really, look it up: Britain owns North America and has only superficially granted us independence, like some other of their properties. We are just the mighty garrison and money laundering arm. Also we are charged with many of the opium, and coca-based drugs production and distribution duties.

Anyway, this polar bear got punched in the nose and shot in the head for his trouble, and each member of the brave bloke party the bear attacked has a name written into the Holy Register.

“Patrick, 16, from Jersey, has been hailed a hero and found local fame after punching the 250kg animal on the nose in an attempt to fend off the attack, his father said.”

I cannot tell you what a “kg” is. I can tell you that the father of the polar pugilist is a funny man with that celebrated British humor. His son Patrick, who probably punched the bear in the nose because his head was inside its mouth, had something to say about dad back home.

“…his son’s face and head are badly swollen but…he spoke to him on the phone and he sounded well. “He said: ‘Dad, I’ve got a bone to pick with you, that bit you did in the paper where you said if the polar bear had glasses it would have gone for me because I was the chubbiest!’ All the nurses had been laughing about it.

“When he tells me off I know he’s getting back to normal,” said Dad.

Here’s to the British and Mother Nature and the family of Mr. Chapple.