Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Rise of the Teddy Bears Has Begun.

I've been seeing an awful lot of bears recently. Not the kind that see a tree and think they have the right to climb it, only to be shot in the ass with a traquilizer by some human who just happens to have first dibs on the area. No, the cuddly kind of bear, the kind of bear children take to bed with them. Something's happening among these teddy bears, and I'm worried.

A robot teddy bear car navigation system has been unveiled in Japan, and this terrifying little monster of cuteness stands in your car and points its furry little paws in the direction it wants you to go. To the mall? To the ball game? the teddy bear picnic, where you're the main course. It nags you, too, asking where you've been, if you've been drinking, who that strange man was...and best of all, it features full on Hyacinth Bucket mode, where it randomly says, "Watch out!" even if there's no imminent danger. The bear will also play tour guide if you stroke its head. What kind of sick stuff is this? The Japanese plan to try other forms for their system, other than tiny teddies, to carry out this bizarre form of mind control...I hope they make a Hello Kitty version.

Then, from the people who brought you Down Syndrome Dolls, comes Benny, the anatomical teddy. Don't worry, Benny hasn't got a winky. Why, you may wonder? Because I guess kids can see those parts of themselves, and that's not what Benny is about. No. Benny is designed to help kids understand where bits like their heart and kidneys are, in case they need operations. Hopefully their operations won't involve tearing open the velcro strip in their chest and yanking out all the bits until the doctor finds the one that needs the fixin'. Benny is designed to help parents who have more money then they need and don't know where the spleen is educate their kids that it's always better to pretend our insides are color coded and fluffy rather than get out a book and look at a picture of exactly what is where, because possibly kids may get interested in the wrong parts. I'm sorry, but for $200, they could have included a brain. Benny has no brain!

I'm a little shaken up over all this new teddy technology. I always seemed to be a bunny person, myself, and I learned early not to let wild animals into your cars, because they will eat the wiring. Also, kids, never allow a grizzly bear to demonstrate where your rib cage is, grizzlies are not teddies. Grizzlies are friendly toilet-paper-loving forest dwellers, but teddies are out to get us all. Beware

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