My children have always been fascinated by stuffed animals. I didn’t realize how big an issue it was until my 3 year old grand-daughter was playing with a huge stuffed dog of my daughter’s and ripped underneath the arms on both sides. Don’t ask me how she managed that but she did. My 13 year old daughter is the owner of the dog and was most upset. She used duct tape to seal the tears and now it looks like the 4 foot stuffed dog wears silver deodorant. As my daughter complained about her niece’s lack of care around her stuffed pals I began to take account of just how many stuffed animals we have in this house. There are hundreds of them going back to my wife. How did it get so out of control? It started with my son and a stuffed raccoon he named “Ricky the Raccoon”. Every night he needed to have the big (2 foot) doll with him when he went to sleep. Five years later his first sister came along and soon wanted Ricky for herself. That didn’t fly. Unfortunately they no longer made the big raccoons so I bought the 1 foot size they made and named it “Little Ricky”. She never took to him in the same way and the fight ensued. My son was also into Pokémon at the time and had won a 3 foot tall doll of Charmander. the little, cute fire Pokémon. His sister wanted it and he refused to share because he feared what she might do. It turned out he was right to be afraid. She took her markers and colored all over his belly and face one day. It was impossible to clean. Then my son and I were at a local carnival. I have never been good at carnival games and so I stay clear of them. One of the places had a Charzard, the more evolved form of Charmander hanging in the “Look at this prize that is impossible to win” section. My son said he wanted to win Charzard for his sister to make her happy and also so she would leave Charmander alone. I’m a considerate Dad but this was a money pit, plain and simple. It was raining and there were hardly any patrons at the games. The game had something to do with throwing rings and I knew there was no way to win. I also knew this person probably didn’t pay much for the doll and was currently making no money. While my son wasn’t looking I asked if business had been slow and the person said it had. I pulled out a $20 bill and said, “Here’s the deal. My son wants that Charzard up there. You can have this bill up front and we will play your game. But when the game is over, no matter what happens, we walk away with that doll. Otherwise we could just walk away now.” It was probably not the best deal either of us had ever made but on that rainy Wednesday we agreed. My son and I didn’t come close to getting the rings in the right places but at the end the fellow running the game said we were, “Close Enough” and he awarded us the Charzard. That was it. My son was beaming. He didn’t want to stay at the fair any longer. We drove home and when he saw his sister next, he gave it to her. She was so happy she colored on it too. A few years later that same daughter was into the Power Puff Girls. At one point she insisted we call her Bubbles after the blond one. At our local supermarket was a claw machine…an evil claw machine that held a large Bubbles doll. I tried to win it and I might as well have been throwing rings. My son tried to win it and had no better luck. Every time we went there we would each put a dollar (of mine) into the machine and be disappointed. One day we were paying for my groceries and there were some teenaged boys over at the claw machine. They had managed to capture the doll and had it thrown to the side while they tried for more. I excused myself for a minute and went to talk to the boys. They were frustrated because they couldn’t get the one they wanted and only had a “Stupid girl doll”. So I said, “Hey, I’ll give you $5 for that girl doll and you can keep playing.” They were on that like flies on honey. I came back with the doll and was a hero. Music played. People cheered. The crowd went wild. Ok Maybe I’m exaggerating a tad but she slept with it every night for years. Then her own little sister came along and wanted Bubbles. In a fit of anger the youngest one tore one of the pig tails off her head. That was major drama. Now that same youngest daughter is angry at my grand-daughter for tearing her dog. It’s funny how these cycles repeat themselves.
Fantasy fiction is my passion. This series embodies my love for a good story and action. You will find it to be many things, but not boring! Read what you love and love what you read...