Sunday, September 14, 2008

doing horrible things to cute fluffies

it had to be done. this fusion of furries, this melding of mammalia, this conjoinment of carnivore and was an absolute creative necessity. nevertheless, i couldn’t help but wince a little, slicing off their legs, slashing their seams, scooping out their soft, squishy viscera.

the whole gruesome procedure reminded me of the time when i was two or three years old, i awoke from a nap on my grandmother’s couch and she had extracted my transitional object (a stuffed dog named “flopsy”) from my quiescent clutches. i opened my eyes and there was flopsy, hanging upside down from a clothesline, de-fluffed, back seam ripped open, drenched and bedraggled from his stint in the washing machine. i never recovered.

it’s a good thing my mom didn’t witness the altered toy process, she might have fainted. she and i both anthropomorphize stuffed animals to a pathological extent.

the deadline for turning in altered toys is september 19; hence the libbit (pronounced “libb-it,” rather than “lie-bit,” to rhyme with “ribbit” and to avoid confusion with “liger”). the libbit was never given a proper name, for fear that i would develop an intense attachment and not be able to give it how kids in 4H don’t name farm animals bound for slaughter. however, if i had named them, i probably would have gone with either tebuggalus and teboddagaw, or radica and doodica. i brought hir (the lion is female, despite the mane, and the rabbit is male; so a gender-neutral pronoun is suitable) to the modern hotel saturday night and handed hir over to rachel. it wasn’t easy.

notice the lion’s fantastic don king hair. i sent both toys through the washing machine and dryer, and what had been a nice, fluffy, lion-appropriate mane became a matted afro. so i started brushing it out, but once it became apparent that it would be an afro no matter what, i decided to give it some direction, brushing it all straight up from the top of her head.

another significant detail, imperceptible from the outside: i switched the stuffing so that what was in rabbit is now in lion, and vice versa.

i hand-stitched the whole thing, so i hope whatever kid receives the libbit doesn’t try to pull the two apart…because that will work.

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