Not for Daniel Lambert though. He had to actually wrestle a bear. It would be nice to say that he wrestled a bear in defence of a dog but in all honesty nobody comes out of this story well.
Daniel Lambert was a fat man who, honestly, didn't eat all that much. He is very clear on this point, repeatedly stating that he didn't over eat and he abstained from alcohol. This is possibly in the style of somebody who eats fish or chicken and claims they are a vegetarian.
'I don't drink alcohol. Not at all. Just water for me for breakfast, elevenes, dinner, mid-afternoon tea, lunch, supper, kitchen supper, apres-ski. Nothing but water.'
'Beer isn't alcohol is it?'
He liked dogs. Which is nice. But he also liked to set his dogs chasing after rabbits and hares and he liked a bit of fox hunting. He was gutted when he was no longer able to follow the hunt. These were different times though and I'm not going to judge him too harshly.
He was a bit embarrassed by his weight. Or perhaps he was just sick of being asked how heavy he was. Whichever reason, he didn't want to be weighed. So some of his friends invited him out on a day trip, loaded him onto a coach and then weighed him and the coach together and did some cunning calculations to gind out what poor Daniel weighed.
The stories of Daniel wrestling a bear have different endings, depending on who is telling them. Some say that he came off worst from the encounter, but the official version is this...
Daniel was walking down the street where some Savoyards were displaying their dancing bears and dogs. All the ruckus and commotion caused a dog owned by an acquaintance of Lambert to fly into a frenzy and attack the biggest of the bears. The Savoyards were inclined to take the muzzle off the bear and allow it to do its worst with the dog, but Lambert remonstrated with them. His pleas fell on deaf ears and the bear was unmuzzled. Lambert snatched up a bear-wrangling pole and whacked the bear about the head, the bear had a go at him and it all ended in tears.
My favourite bit of this story, in the original text, is that midway through the fight, when it looked like both parties were going to retire, the author describes a second bear...
"a smaller bear had been standing upright against a wall with a cocked hat on his head"
Daniel Lambert spots this bear and reckons that it wants a bit of the action too...
"The beast, as if aware of its danger, and expecting to be attacked in his turn, instantly took off the hat..."
Now, I'm not saying that Daniel Lambert was a crazy drunk man, but a small bear wearing a hat, that takes off the hat in submission??? Possibly a bearded man wearing a hat? I'm thinking maybe Daniel Lambert had some psychological issues which he maybe needed to work out.
He needed to 'wrestle the bear'.
Still sounds a bit euphemistic to me.