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DULUTH, MN - Police are searching for suspects in the murder of Tenderheart Bear, one of the ten original Care Bears that debuted on American Greetings cards and television specials in the early 1980s. Tenderheart Bear was always the most popular Care Bear, known for helping people show and express their feelings. That agenda apparently didn’t go over too well with Twin Ports locals.
“I’m at the bar and this goddamn bear just walks up and hugs me, telling me I’m special and he hopes I have a wonderful day,” said Don Hardt, a local heating and air conditioning repairman. “So naturally, I punched him in the face. What the hell kind of thing is that to say to a person? You wanna hug me, it better be because you helped me land a record breaking walleye, and you better apologize immediately afterward for doing it.”
Northlanders tend to be very quiet and introverted, removing themselves from any situation that involves emotions or affection. Touching is especially off limits. Even just a pat on the shoulder is considered a very bold move that requires at least five years of friendship before attempting. Hugging, as Tenderheart Bear quickly learned, is only allowed if one of the two people involved is dying.
“Sure, I hug my wife, but not in public where people can see us,” said Thad Thiessen, a local fisherman. “I mean, I like my wife. I like her so much that I married her. She’s the like of my life. We are madly in like. I could keep explaining, but this is getting a little mushy and I don’t wanna be accused of being some sort of queer.”
Locals say Tenderheart Bear made an especially poor choice by starting his campaign of friendship at Curly’s Bar. He wanted to help people who needed it most, and immediately recognized Curly’s as a place filled with people desperately in need of hugs. However, the Care Bear failed to recognize that just because a Northlander needs a hug doesn’t necessarily mean they want one.
Within minutes of entering the bar, Tenderheart was thrown right back out again, with blood from a fresh wound matted into his fur and one of his eye sockets completely shattered. The phrase “Suptown poof” was graffitied on the trademark heart on his chest.
“That bear got wrecked!” said Frank Mesmezologonicalete, a retired farmer. “My buddy Don taught him where the floor is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone go down so fast. Christ, even the lift bridge stays up a few minutes before it drops. The only reason that shitty bear likes hugs so much is because he fights like a little bitch.”
After only a few days in town, Tenderheart Bear had visited nearly 37 different bars, getting his ass thoroughly kicked at every single one. Just as word was getting around town about the infamous groping Care Bear, Tenderheart mysteriously disappeared. His corpse washed up on the Lakewalk a week later hooked to a fishing pole.
“We believe the murderer to be rustic, as they attempted to use the Care Bear as a fishing lure,” said Officer Charles Wank. “That’s likely why the fishing pole was securely lodged in his anus. To be honest, that weird heart tattoo on his stomach was the only way we were able to identify him. All these ghetto gangbanger bears that roll in here from Chicago are like that. Care Bear Stare until they die. Literally.”
Unfortunately for locals, the killing of Tenderheart Bear has opened a Pandora’s box. Other Care Bears have learned of their friend’s demise and are desperately seeking vengeance.
“Get ready Northlanders, because I’m gonna make you wish the bear sneaking up behind you was giving you a hug,” said Grumpy Bear, who no longer has leader Tenderheart holding him back from his more violent tendencies. “I’m gonna slide my whole fist every place it fits, and a lot of places it doesn’t.”
Wish Bear, one of the most disturbed of the Care Bears, is known for making wishes come true and reminding people that even if they don’t come true, working hard to try to achieve them is still fun. Now her only wish is to destroy the human race. “BOW DOWN TO MY WITCHCRAFT, HILLBILLIES OF DULUTH!” said Wish Bear, extinguishing her lit cigarette on her own forehead. “FEAR MY WRATH, SWALLOW MY VENGEANCE, AND DRINK THE BLOOD OF YOUR OWN KIND JUST TO SURVIVE! I AM INVINCIBLE! MY EVIL KNOWS NOT THE BOUNDS SET BY THE LAWS OF FLACCID MANKIND!”
Police are working feverishly to determine the culprit, but literally every person in the region is a suspect. Men, women and even children in Duluth all equally despise emotion as if it were a deadbeat relative hanging around their porch, patiently waiting for a handout.
“Watch your back, shit bears!” said Davey Penn, age 8. “We don't like your kind here. Happiness, cheerfulness, jubilation - these things have no place in a town that’s forty below in the winter. Pent-up anger and brutally cruel sarcasm are the only ‘feelings’ we need in the North. Pack up all your friendship and hugs and get fuckin’ bent.”