A probable indicator that something is wrong with me is my habit of rescuing plushies. You know how it is: every so often, you find a plush toy that some thoughtless kid has let go of, lying in the roadway or in the middle of a public lawn somewhere. These days I would probably get twitchy about bedbugs, but especially over the years of my marriage, my late and ex being more tender-hearted than most men, we both saved a number of abandoned and often slightly battered plushies which I put through a refined rescue system, involving submersion, oxygen bleach, gentle scrubbing, sun drying, sewing and grooming (including new eyes and noses, when necessary). Webster Morse-Griffin, a forlorn teddy bear who looked as if part of his muzzle had been pulled off by some rotten child or overzealous puppy, received a smart-looking graft made of a piece of inside-out athletic sock and a velvet button nose off an old blazer; a tiny pocket-size rabbit who had lost both eyes, being pure white, got little red sequins and looked quite dashing. Capodilupo, a wolf cub plushie that I found in the gutter, possibly after a night of carousing, seemed intact though one friend suggesting steering him into rehab.
Now it seems like the rescue concept has seeped over into merchandising. You can get these plush toys with psychiatric illnesses; they come with a treatment plan and an explanation of why they are depressed and so forth. If you click the “Spiel” (story) link on the website, it will take you to an interactive video that is possibly the creepiest goddam thing I have ever seen associated with a cuddly toy.
My Albino Ex, who has a predilection for dinosaurs and cuddling pillows, sent me the link. I really am worried he might order the alligator.
I’ll stick to field rescues.