The trouble, and blessing with giant stuffed animals is that they appeal to kids for all sorts of reasons. My childhood friend Lisa had an enormous, plush, bean filled, black panther. One time when I slept over at her house, we took turns making out with the feline, directing, and grading each other’s performance. We were trying to mimic the “housewife” dream kiss between Luke and Laura from the show General Hospital. (Back then first and second graders watched soaps after school.)
It was a Friday night and Lisa’s mom fried up homemade French fries and Catfish for dinner. She served the meal on Ronald McDonald plates as she told us about the love triangle between Laura, Luke, and his new love interest, Holly. She knew the intricate lives of these people like they were her best friends, which left nothing to our imagination. We were probably too young for the adult themes but she really didn’t have anyone else to talk to besides us. Even my mom was too crazy for her, and she wasn’t that desperate.
I slept in my Pac Man sleeping bag that night; Lisa zipped up next to me in Strawberry Shortcake. The panther sat by our feet. I starred at toy’s glassy-green eyes until I fell into a light sleep. I remember semi-waking to the sound of her mom’s voice whispering. She was talking about me, “She’s gross. That’s nasty. What is she doing? Shsh, don’t wake her up. What’s in her hand?” I kept my eyes closed and pretended to be asleep. They stopped talking and her mother left the room. I went back to sleep worried that they were going to put ammonia under my nose.
You’ll have to wait and read my book if you want to know more about what really happened. And the same goes for all my stories.