Friday, August 17, 2012

teddy bears with soul

"Beauty in the Pollution" by geezaweezer
ohhhh, my friends. we have found garbage-dump-teddy-bear nirvana. wha?

well, if you started with this blog from the beginning, then you may know our family's love for caspar babypants. those of a certain generation recall the band The Presidents of the United States of America (mmmm, peaches). this is the lead's kiddie alter ego. it weds the silliness of PUSA with the sentiment of PPDA (parents on poopy diaper alert). our not-yet-2-year-old equates "babypants!" with music. hop in the car, strap her in the seat, and before we get to the end of the alley it's "babypants? babypants? ba-by-pants?!?"

far and away our favorite song is "$9.99." (although you can buy it for 50 cents ... 50 measly cents, y'all!) i could explain, but with the artist's permission we're just going to share it here:



can you feel the love? (i've made and refined my own music-video version in my head but lack the talent to bring it to reality. for now, i'll stick to acting out "i'm a nut" for my girls, who already think i'm a nut.)

anyway, that's the background. we love the bear. so, imagine our sense of fortuitous surprise to find a book in our local library that shares the same redemptive sentiment and like-stuffed hero?

Dougal, the Garbage Dump Bear is about, well, Dougal, a tattered bear saved from extermination at the garbage dump. he goes on to live a fulfilling life, spending time with other outcast toys and enjoying too many ginger beers with the dump guys after work. (this is written by an Aussieginger beer is our ginger ale. non-alcoholic. or, at least, that's how the kiddos are to understand it. there's an inside joke for the parental narrators. moving along...) the story is an epic fall from tea-party grace, only to find mercy at the jaws of a bulldozer and, finally, lasting peace on the coast with surfing, a trampoline, and hip sunglasses.

it shares the same silly, imaginative quality as our favorite song, as well as its back-story. Dougal really was saved from a garbage dump by the author, while the songwriter of "$9.99" also used to "rescue" tired stuffed friends from the dump with his kids. "The song is inspired by that good feeling of saving a lost toy," he writes.

this makes me wonder about all the stuffed animals we've been picking up at garage sales for the aforementioned not-yet-2-year-old, who is fond of all things fuzzy. what's Hunnie Bunnie's story? she's awfully pristine for 50 cents. did she sit on a crazy lady's shelf for a few years? and what about Car Bear, the 25-cent purchase that resides in our car and is a bear. does our fuel-efficient SUV pale in comparison to the galactic spaceship he may have piloted in a previous life? and then there's Brown Bear. i know a bit of his back-story. when i was young, i guilt-tripped a lady into selling him to me at her garage sale for less than she thought he was worth by holding him close to me, tilting my head a bit, and batting puppy-dog eyes. with a look of "oh no you didn't!"-inevitability she caved like a popover. but how did Brown Bear feel? relieved to finally be played with? resentment at then being stored in a basket for a number of years? forlorn at the loss of his red neck bow by a grabby toddler? when i see my little girl cuddle him and rub her curls up against his fur, i'm thinking that bear is feeling pretty darn good – and is going to be around long enough to have even more stories to tell.




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