Animals are our friends, but pets can also upchuck on our white wall-to-wall carpeting, or tear up a new pair of pumps we just bought last week on sale. That’s why stuffed animals are often better friends than real ones. Got a question about our fake little furry friends? Ask Your Stuffed Animal Advisor!
Save the manatees–collect them.
Dear Stuffed Animal Advisor:
When I broke up with my boyfriend “Todd” a year ago because he could never bring himself to “pop the question,” I did not go out and get a cat like a lot of women I know. I was not going to end up like them, making popcorn on a Saturday night and watching Lifetime movies with fourteen pounds of fur named “Kitzi” on my lap. So I began to collect stuffed animals which as you suggest are a lot easier to take care of. They never escape outside and have to be lured back in by leaving a plate of food on the back porch like my girlfriends Mary Anne and Jeanie do whenever their cats run off into the woods. Also they don’t pee on the rug. The cats, not my girlfriends.
Now that I have joined the ranks of “virtual pet owners” I have a question. I have a growing collection of stuffed dogs, cats and turtles. I checked our local zoning code and it says nothing about legal occupancy for a one-bedroom apartment by unrelated inanimate figurines. Is 162 (not including me) too many, or can I get the “My Little Puppy Friends” special Christmas edition when it arrives in stores next week?
Miriam Urshel, North Hollywood, Florida
Your Stuffed Animal Advisor says “The more the merrier!” when it comes to the toy buddies that make our lives so rewarding when human beings like “Todd” prove incapable of making a commitment. Make sure you don’t block fire exits with your little furry friends, and you may want to buy a free-standing storage shelter to hide your “stuffed stuff” when nosy mental health professionals from local government bodies come snooping around.
Get the Grab ‘n Go Sixpack.
Dear Your Stuff Animal Advisor:
I am a guy, as you can probably deduce from my name below. As a boy I was excluded from many youth sports activities because of the crippling effects of Osgood Schlatter’s Disease, and as a result I remained attached to my stuffed animals longer than most young men.
I have now become engaged to a wonderful young lady–I will call her “Opal” because that is her name–who is a real “go-getter.” She was recently re-elected to a second term as County Prothonotary, the second highest-ranking official around here with plenary powers to issue and revoke licenses for fishing and all-terrain vehicles. Opal has her eye on County Commissioner, and a run for higher office would put her in the local “media spotlight,” which is pretty intense around here what with a newspaper and two radio stations, one “Classic Country” the other “Top 40” format. My concern is that some jerk reporter will find out about my collection–which is now in the high three figures–and try to make an “expose” out of it.
I am willing to take the heat, but I do not want to impede Opal’s career and so am wondering if I should switch to a more conventional hobby such as bowling or fishing.
Norman “Bud” Ohlrich, Keokuk, Iowa
The stigma formerly attached to adult male stuffed animal collectors has declined over the years as our society has become more “accepting” of our nation’s hobby diversity. I say turn what some people may consider a liability into a campaign asset by becoming an “out-and-proud” stuffed animal nut! Pollster Ed Francis of Mid-States Political Consultants says a lot of weird hobbyists are “swing” voters who can tilt an election against an anti-stuffed animal candidate in a close race.
Dear Stuffed Animal Advisor Lady:
Please settle an “e-commerce” dispute for me. I recently bought what was advertised as an original issue, limited edition “Furby” on stuffedanimalsauction.com from a seller named lloydinknobnoster. When the package arrived the thing didn’t look right so I turned it upside down and the label said “Fruby,” made in Deng Xiaoping City, China. I tried to stop payment but it was too late, so I filed a complaint with the webmaster who says there was nothing they can do, “lloydinknobnoster” is a “Platinum” member with an unimpeachable record.
I contacted “Lloyd” by mail–there are not that many people in Knob Noster so the postmaster knew who it was. “Lloyd” says I should be thanking him, not complaining, it’s a collector’s item. I said I wouldn’t take him to small claims court if he would abide by your decision and he agreed although he said he wasn’t waiving “sovereign immunity” whatever that means.
Curt Dwinnel, Hill Jack, MO
I’m afraid I’m going to have to side with Lloyd on this one. Furbies with the spelling “Fruby” down in the crotch where you insert the two “D” batteries are commanding top prices on world collectible markets. Apparently Chinese stuffed animal workers are only given one bathroom break per week and as a result sometimes lose consciousness while impressing plastic parts with basic information such as product name, serial number, and toll-free number to call if you spill something on the fur. I hope your new acquisition brings peace to your life. If not, please stay off stuffed animal websites for awhile as I’m bidding on a number of items and don’t want to get caught up in your legal hurricane, thank you very much.
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Take My Advice–I Wasn’t Using it Anyway.”