Et voila! A post, as promised. In the early 90s, Northern Getaway was one of my favourite stores in the world. It had this awesome rainforest theme, and was stacked to the brim with neat shit, like sand lizards and sweaters depicting kung-foo frogs with the headline 'Marsh-all Arts'. It was also the site where I first learnt about anti-theft barriers. No, I wasn't a roguish thief or a miniature kleptomaniac, I just wanted to show my dad the cool toy I had found, and he happened to be standing outside the store at the time. I remember being so confused by how I was getting in trouble for nothing, but no blood was spilt that day. Crisis averted.
Also, what in the fuck are those anti-theft barriers actually called? I'm sure I know, but the words are escaping me right now. I typically just call them the 'beepy motherfuckers', a versatile phrase that I've also used to define cars and the Bee Gees.
One of the most frequent causes of expenditure at Northern Getaway came in the form of these delightful animals. Aye, a more specific phrase would be preferable, but Googling for 'animal figurines' just opens the floodgates to eleventy billion unrelated products, most of which belong to the Sylvanian Families. And unless these figures are just going through a nude, four legged phase in which they forego tea parties and quaint cottages, I'm quite positive they aren't Sylvanian.
Before I proceed, I thought I'd express that it was an utter pain in the balls to try and get all of these little things to stand for the photo. These motherfuckers are clearly drunk, and yet another reminder to never work with children or animals. At the front of said photo is the very first one I got, the little golden brown kitty I named Chester. According to the underside of his body, Chester is a somali cat. I don't know if I ever realised that at the time, because it was frankly much easier to just call him a tabby. Everything was a tabby back in them days, whether they were a somali, an abyssinian or a corgi. Made things easier for us simple folk.
I took Chester all over the house (most memorably to the supper table, where I insisted my parents refer to him as 'our dinner guest'), and of course, it led to me wanting every single one of the cats we could find, even the ones that looked incredibly similar, and especially the ones that were just differently coloured versions of the same species.
Hey look! Siamese twins.
After we had exhausted the bevy of feline figurines, we moved onto dogs. I didn't get as many dogs for some reason, either because I was obsessed with cats as a kid or the range of mutts was smaller. Can't remember which. Among the collection is an Alsatian I have recently named Baldrick.
All up, I collected at least 26 of these figurines. I might have had more, but these were the ones I could find. Much like an old southern hoarder, I may have twelve more cats and dogs lurking about the house somewhere. I'll be sure to update you if I ever do find any more, and if you ever do happen to care.
They're bound to prove useful in some educational capacity, so hopefully my fiancé will find a role for them in her classroom. I wouldn't be surprised if at least half of them go missing, because the more I look at them, the more I realise that these things are some really steal-able figurines. Christ, I want to put them in my pocket, and I already own them. Isn't it circuitous that the toys from the store I almost accidentally burglarised are strong candidates for petty theft? I like it. I mean, I like the symbolism, I don't like the idea that some little shit's gonna steal my schnauzer.
I also have other animals, not necessarily from the same series (maybe they are? I can neither prove nor disprove this), but with the same concept: animal figurines with their specific genus printed on their belly. These range from five-lined skink juvenile to dimetrodon to epipedobates tricolor to GIANT FUCKING TURTLE.
It was a veritable jungle in my bedroom. And I don't mean that in a sexual way. In that sense, it was more of an abandoned cave: lonely and damp.
At the very least, these things all did an excellent job of filling out my toy chest. You know how sometimes you had toys that you liked, but never necessarily played with? These were the quintessential also-rans, and I loved them for it. Other than Chester, of course, whose major claim to fame was joining my luncheons.
My new favourite, however, isn't the beloved old
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for you to meet the hideous bleeding lion.
Is it a haggard Simba after things had turned south in the pride lands? Or is it a battered Aslan, fresh off a most impolite shanking from the White Witch? It's hard to say, but anything is possible. Discuss amongst yourselves. Don't look at his bad eye.