OK, as a farewell, or at least “au revoir,” post from me (now that my wife got her CLN today!!!)
This post is by repeated request from Blaze, and out of respect and honour to her, what’s she done for others, and what she’s gone through. It was one of my off-the-cuff throwaway remarks, but she liked it so I’m posting it here.
The Sleeping Bear metaphor was in a response to a post on the Brock site, where someone who qualifies for a decades-ago relinquishment CLN (can’t recall if they’d actually had the interview yet or not), asked whether they should at the same time as their consular interview, or before the interview, or right after the interview, write to the IRS and ask about whether they should file six years of back tax returns and a form 8854, even though as far as they and US citizenship law are concerned they hadn’t been a US citizen since taking out (Canadian in this case, I think) citizenship more than 35 years ago.
My reply said something along the following lines:
“Imagine you’re hiking along a trail in the Rockies (I’ve done this several times in my life). You come around a corner, and there’s a big grizzly bear sprawled across the trail (fortunately, that’s never happened to me, though I have seen grizzes from a safe distance out there). The bear is sound asleep. You have three choices.
Plan A. Quietly turn around and go back where you came from.
Plan B. Very quietly and oh-so-slowly and cautiously walk around the bear at a safe distance, taking extreme care not to step on any dry twigs or branches or anything else that might wake him up, and keep going.
Plan C. Look around for the biggest, sharpest stick you can find, and poke the bear with it repeatedly to wake him up and to see if he’s really as big and mean as he’s reputed to be.
Plan C, should you foolishly follow it, qualifies you for this year’s Darwin Award.”
There can be variations on that story, but you get the idea. Don’t raise red flags that you don’t need to raise in a bull pasture, and don’t kick sleeping bears, if you want to live a long, happy and healthy life.
As an afterthought today, and based on what I always do when hiking anywhere in the Rockies: always carry a big can of pepper spray, attached to your belt where you can get it at a lot faster than those two women who were chased by a momma griz in Alaska yesterday, who had spray in their packs (no use there). Bears can move a lot faster than you’d think, especially if they’re protecting their cubs. And don’t climb uphill to get away or out of their way, go downhill. Downhill is an act of submission and won’t threaten the bear; uphill is what a predator or competitor would try, and it’s going to be interpreted as aggression. Grizzly bears, unlike black bears, attack when they feel threatened; they don’t retreat or try to scamper up a tree. Draw whatever metaphorical conclusion from that as you wish, but I thought I’d add this as non-metaphorical serious hiking advice from someone who’s done a fair bit of hiking, sometimes solo, in bear country. But do make a reasonable amount of noise as you hike, so the bears can hear you coming and aren’t startled by you. (Not a plan with polar bears, who do stalk humans, but a good plan for other bears most of the time.) That’s where the metaphor starts to break down a bit, I guess …
Anyway, for your reading enjoyment and whatever meaning you care to extract. This is not legal advice and I’m not a lawyer, as I always say …