My elderly mother lives alone. One of her main interests is the vegetable garden, which keeps her busy and fairly fit, but I guess I do occasionally worry that there would be no one there to help in an emergency.
Mind you, this headline from the BBC reasssures me that, while her garden continues productive, she has the means at hand to deal with certain dangers.
Only, I really do think it’d take more than a courgette to deter a ‘200lb (91kg) black bear’. (Some other sites are referring to the weapon as a zucchini, but both the BBC and the Telegraph call it a courgette.)
The BBC story includes a photo of the vegetable with a tape measure alongside; it measures 14 inches (approximately 35 cm for the converted among the readers). That isn’t a courgette. It’s a vegetable marrow.
Courgettes are delicate vegetables*, best eaten when they’re no bigger than ladies’ fingers. Surely the clue is in the -ette ending, which implies a small version of something. (I’ve often wondered if the French use the word courge for marrow, and assume it may be connected with our own ‘gourd’.)
In Spanish, a courgette is calabacín – again, with a diminutive ending ‘-ín’ – as opposed to calabaza, the word used for larger squash and pumpkins. I wonder if the story is reported in the Spanish press if it will say that the woman dió calabazas al oso.
From the RAE online dictionary:
dar calabazas a alguien.
2. loc. verb. coloq. Desairarlo o rechazarlo cuando requiere de amores.
Certainly she seems to have (s)quashed his advances.
* In fact courgettes are fruits. And the bear clearly wasn’t a Monty Python fan or he’d have known that if someone attacks you with a piece of fruit, the secret is to disarm your assailant, eat the fruit, and then kill them with a rather more effective weapon.
If you want to watch the sketch, it’s on youtube.