Sunday, August 7, 2011

#0021: Shameful Furby

So there I was; flicking through my bucket of old toys with a look of deep consideration upon my face. Each one with its own strengths and flaws, each with a story to tell. Which would I select for tonight? To be clutched for that fleeting, treasured moment, before being rejected into the harsh reality of society forevermore?

Suddenly, there is the thundering of little pawed feet. Before you could blink a particularly laborious eyelid, my dog had hit the scene. Apparently it was time for him to come in for the evening, and I was standing between him and a good night’s sleep. Now, I had to rush things along, lest my selection of playthings be the recipients of fervent gnawing.

After plucking out a multitude of Ninja Turtles toys (as if I would jettison them!), my hand landed wildly upon our subject. Suffice to say, I care not for this toy. Frankly, he pisses me off a little. So you’ll have to excuse me if I’m not exactly a lingual dynamo during the process of trying to relay the mediocrity that is the shameful Furby.

Aye, he should be ashamed, shouldn’t he? He’s not even a real Furby. Why, they laugh and dance and sing! They were the hottest toy on the market during the Christmas season of 1998, and everyone remembers where they were when they first met their Furby.

Fewer people recall with such fondness, the day that their Furby died. In my case, it was in the middle of the night after he had flown back to Australia with me. He awoke with a fright, spouting some garbled gibberish before declaring that the room was filled with monsters. His final moments were tragic, held upside down with a screwdriver lodged up his rectum as my father removed his batteries for good.

Perhaps because it was the presumed procedure, or perhaps as a gesture of mercy towards this dying creature, my dad had seen fit to stick his finger in Furby’s mouth during this ritual. That Furby, he loved them fingers. ‘Yum’, he cooed, before finally perishing.

…This is all very touching, but ultimately irrelevant to our plasticky comrade here. I note with a degree of sadness that his colour scheme appears to mimic that of this aforementioned ‘true’ Furby, a bastardised facsimile of a toy much more grand.

To his credit, the shameful Furby is not without his own ability. If you press his tail, his ears close over his eyes in a true display of misery. This is a curious ability for him to feature, because of all the things Furbies did, closing their ears was not one of them. True, they’d wiggle them back and forth as they sang ditties and demanded to play hide and seek, but nothing like we see here. Probably should have just gone with blinking eyes or a closing mouth if they wanted to stay loyal to the formula.

In the same way that Shakira’s ‘hips don’t lie’, all secrets of a toy’s true origins lie scrawled upon their ass. Out of curiosity, I took a good look up the clacker of the shameful Furby, and was met with a familiar discovery. This Furby was in fact a Happy Meal toy from McDonald’s.

So many years, so many eras of toys, so much McDonald’s. Why was I not a fat child? I assume it to be the blessing of fabulous metabolism: a quality that has garnered much jealousy from other, less fortunate people over the years, their chubby fists clenched in rage.

As near as I recall, one of the other toys in this line had wheels. Again, completely inappropriate for the things Furbies were known to do, but much more exciting than my Furby toy. Wiggling ears are tricks for eccentric grandfathers, I want a Furby who’s a motherfucking car!!

…Can you tell I lost access to Photoshop?

Finally, there’s something unshakable about this here Furby toy. It’s… his eyes. Though they don’t feature the hidden mysteries of the festive white bear, they’re simply unnerving. They bulge out of his skull, locked in an intense stare more deadly than that of the mystical basilisk. Furbies were always a tad bit creepy, but this guy right here? Oh, he’s not quite right.

With all these facts considered, I should feel lucky, perhaps even grateful that I was able to separate myself from the shameful Furby before it was too late. His lacking skill set made him disappointing initially, but now I have seen a side much more sinister.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m beat, and headed off to bed. Like my dog, I’m ready for a good night’s sleep…

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