Friday 30 November 2018

A True Toy Story

Whimsical Tarot

This music must be played, as it's relevant to the topic for a certain generation of BBCRadio 1 listeners:

Most children have one, I think - a lovey, I've heard it called: some stuffed toy, usually an animal of some sort, that has been a loyal and loved companion since birth or very soon after.

Destructo Boy has three: 2 stuffed dogs, the first one given him before birth by Belo; the 2nd is exactly the same - I found it in a tub in Woolworths by joyful accident and bought it immediately as a possible replacement in case the worst happened to dog #1. Nothing special, not expensive.

The third is a teddy bear from Laura Ashley - and it was not cheap; I bought it for him when he was about 5 or 6 years old on his express promise that he would love it and care for it forever.

Here are the boys:

As you can see, some have worn better than others. Here is Toby, the youngest:

And here is Barney:

And here is poor Arnie, firstest and bestest and mostest loved of all:

Barney was never an acceptable substitute for Arnie - there was some undefinable difference that no-one else could see except Destructo Boy. Perhaps his ears didn't rub as smoothly and as satisfyingly between the fingers. Perhaps his stuffing didn't roll as it should through the hands. Perhaps one eye was a micron more to the left. Whatever it was doesn't really matter - what matters is that he was Not The Same.

When he got up in the morning, Destructo Boy would often tuck the boys back in before he left for school. When I went in to check on him before bed, he would always have all three in bed with him, Arnie and Barney usually draped across his neck.

Suddenly I would find the boys at the end of the bed, not tucked in and at risk of falling to the floor.

Then they were down the side of the bed amongst the random detritus and dust of an active boy.

Then one day I couldn't find them. They were buried under a pile of rugby clothes. Dirty, muddy rugby clothes.

When questioned, Destructo Boy announced baldly he was too old for them now and had no need of them.

Friend, I removed them to the safe haven of a shelf in my bedroom, and I wept.


  1. Ah - it only gets worse, my love! But you get better at it. I too have a heap of teddies who have been loved (my dad's teddy, my teddy and Sonshine's selection of teddies). Toy Story has a lot to answer for <3

  2. Yeah, we boys do grow out of some toys - but, sometimes it's only for a while. There may come a day when he thanks you for saving them.


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