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I'm No.1, lady, and don't you forget it

by Vicky Chapman, NSW, Australia


As well as being a cataholic, I also collect teddy bears. Most of these bears reside at the end of my bedroom, in a display. Joel keeps buying them for me when I'm feeling a bit glum, or he wants to "apologise" for something. Bears are much better than roses - they keep much better, and besides they don't hurt if you take them to bed.

There is also "seal", a stuffed animal designed to look like a baby fur seal, which was purchased for a hideous price from one of those sellers that picks on people who are well into the hangover stage at the pub. I'm sure they are trained to single out young couples, and approach the man of the couple, who, if a half decent bloke, will look at the girl to see what she wants. Being a sucker, I would have made Joel buy a whole basket of "captive" bears, but thankfully (for his wallet) and unfortunately (for me) there was only Seal and "Honey Bear" in the "stuffed animal" collection left in her basket (the rest were red roses). After the purchase of both stuffed animals, we had to go home because the drinking money had been spent. Although the price was mindbogglingly marked up, and Joel was a bit sore about having the night out somewhat truncated, I still maintain that he spent his money on a much more worthwhile and lasting cause than beer.

Seal, not being a bear, isn't in the "bear display". He comes to bed with me. I don't always hug him and hold onto him like a kid does with their bear, but I have my moods, and sometimes I do. Shmoggleberry, naturally enough, hates Seal. If Shmoggleberry gets sick of giving Joel the Death Stare, he starts on Seal. Neither of them have dropped dead yet, but you can't give up hope.

Then along came "Chester Bear". He's the sort that has long, weighted legs so he can sit comfortably on a windowsill, so thats where Chester was put. Shmoggleberry didn't care one way or another, and continued trying to turn both Seal's and Joel's mind to jelly with psychic attacks. The Seal didn't care, and Joel seems to be immune. (either that, or the cat's first stare worked perfectly, but no-one has yet told Joel).

The blinds were finally installed a month or so after Chester's adoption, so he could no longer sit in the window sill. I put him on my bed to remind myself to put him into the display later on. Being the naturally energy-conserving person I am, I completely forgot until bedtime, and then it was too late. Chester came to bed with me, as well as Seal.

Now, I'm the first one to admit I'm a bit daft, a bit, well "funny". After going to bed, I started playing with Chester. I made him dance, I tickled his tummy, I crooned at him a bit. Shmoggleberry was waiting patiently to be given permission to get up on the bed. I gave him the "signal" by tapping the bed twice, and kept playing with Chester as if he was "real". Shmoggleberry gave Chester the Instant Stare of Death, which is more intense and immediate form of The Death Stare. I gave Shmoggleberry another cursory pat, and went back to playing silly buggers with in inanimate bit of stuffed furry cloth.

The sleepiness finally won over, so I hunkered down, Shmoggleberry near my tummy on the outside of the blankets, Seal near my chest on the inside of the blankets, and Chester tucked in near my neck, neither in nor out. When Shmoggleberry got up and started sniffing at me, I thought he just wanted another petting before going to sleep. I gave him another half-hearted skritch, and went back into that delicious place betwixt dreams and reality.

Spffft! Whop! Plonk! <wump wump> All in one go, Shmoggleberry hisspitted at Chester, had whopped him one so hard as to yank Chester out of the bed and onto the floor, and was now batting him up and down the hallway. I was too tired to get up, and thought that Shmoggleberry was just having a bit of fun.

Oh, how grievously mistaken I was. About half an hour later, a very battered, bruised and dead Chester Bear was duly placed on my chest by a very smug looking cat. Chester was a small, hand made, very expensive bear, and he now looked like a small explosion in a stuffing factory. Yes, I yelled at the cat, and I locked him out of the bedroom for that night. I sat up and tried to repair Chester as well as possible. I think I did quite well, considering, and Chester looks like a bear again. He certainly has a well-worn look to him now, and has a lopsided smile, which adds character in a way. He now resides with the rest of the bears, and I'm hoping there is safety in numbers.

Seal, being a bit bigger than Shmoggleberry has been "blatted" at a few times, but Shmoggleberry hasn't tried to take him on. He now resides on my bed, and is only snuggled when His Majesty chooses not to grace me with his presence. Joel, being significantly bigger and stronger than the cat, is still suffering under The Death Stare. I know Shmoggleberry's only biding his time until he gets that magic miniaturising ray-gun constructed behind the washing machine, and then, well, Joel will also be history, and Shmogglberry can take up his rightful place on the "King Of the World" throne.

Bastard Cat: Oh, bugger it, there's too many to count. Human: Yeah, right.


Editor's note:

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