Provincial Letters

Far from the mad crowds of the city, Blaise Pascal passed comment on the strange behaviour of this urban contemporaries in his Provincial Letters. The connection between them and this blog is somewhat tenuous.

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Location: Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

My star sign in Superstition. And I didn't believe in reincarnation last time, either. The only thing I can't tolerate is intolerance. I am a fanatical ant-fanaticist. I am bigotted only where bigots are concerned. I am a fundamentalist atheist. I'm proud to be a product of evolution; I know it in my genes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Posted @ 14:17The Girlfriend's Teddy

One : My Mission

Some may find the following disturbing, if you are of a nervous disposition, stop reading now. Some may find the following offensive, if you are of a teddy-bear-owning-girlfriend disposition, stop reading now.

Stephen King and Wes Craven have written some very scary things but they have shrunk from tackling the ultimate horror: the girlfriend's teddy. However, I am neither as squeamish nor as hesitant as they, I think the world should wake up and take notice of this terror lurking in our midst. It is not without some trepidation that I approach this subject: not only am I risking the malevolent wrath of the teddies themselves but also the mafia-like organisation known as the female of the species (a.k.a. people with bumpy fronts) who have been known to launch world-wide vendettas over far more trivial matters. But I will not shirk my responsibility and commitment to bringing this truly frightening matter to the attention of the world (even though I may have to go into hiding).

Two : First Encounter

The first encounter with a girlfriend's teddy is usually on that occasion when one has first gained entrance to the girlfriend's boudoir. This may not be for any nefarious purpose [I will use this euphemism henceforth to cover all the blush-making activities that can go on in bedrooms such as macramé, cataloguing stamp collections or listening to Rush albums, etc.]; one may simply be depositing one's coat on the bed that is being used as a cloakroom during a party or politely enquiring when we all switched to decimal time since there now appear to be ten minutes in an hour (as in "I'll only be 10 minutes getting ready..."). But this first encounter with the girlfriend's teddy-bear is truly frightening: the sneer, the up-turned nose and the glassy-eyed stare all conspire to say: "Hey, pal, don't you think you're anything special, I've been sleeping with her for years". It is at this point that many relationships end abruptly (although the comments about the time it takes to "just brush my hair and put on a new top" are a contributing factor); this, of course, is the teddy's game plan.

Even more scary are the owners of multiple teddy bears but this is one territory where I really fear to tread - which proves there are some things that should truly never be mentioned in public. Just imagining more than one teddy staring up at me from the bedspread at me is enough to give me nightmares for several months.

There is, obviously, no correct way of dealing with the teddy on this first encounter. Like the perpetual motion machine, the idea that a female could deem any act by a male as correct is the stuff of myth and legend: there is a vast body of fantasy fiction - written by males - which deals with this impossible scenario, but that is another subject for another time.

However, there are certain damage-limitation strategies which the astute male can adopt to ensure that the relationship proceeds towards the fulfilment of nefarious purposes. We begin with the things not to do.

Firstly - this should go without saying - asking the girlfriend why she has that moth-eaten hairy rag on her bed is not a tactic likely to endear one to either the teddy-bear or the girlfriend: indeed, this tactic has been responsible for a large number of admissions to Accident and Emergency departments. Secondly, do not try the grin of male camaraderie with the teddy-bear; do not attempt to bond with the teddy-bear: this is a losing strategy since teddy-bears bond with no-one except their owner (I have to admit failure in researching the existence of bear-on-bear bonding in the multiple-bear-owning-girlfriend scenario: I am not Superman after all). Thirdly, ignoring the bear is not an option: it may please the teddy but it will annoy the girlfriend and thoroughly scupper any chance of indulging in nefarious purposes.

So, what is the astute male to do? Firstly, smiling - not grinning - at the bear is acceptable. Secondly, always say, with a smile, something like "What a cute bear, have you had him a long time?" and, fixing your smile with the strongest superglue you can find, be prepared to listen to ten minutes (at least) of "What, old teddykins [or snugglepuss; or bobbybear; or whatever], he's such a cutsie, cuddly little darling thing, he keeps me company on my lonely nights..." [beware, this is not necessarily an invitation to indulge in nefarious purposes]. Thirdly - and this will require all your courage and a particularly strong stomach (it's best not to attempt this after drinking but sometimes that can help) - take the bear by the paw and introduce yourself: "Hi, teddykins, I'm [insert name here - you might want to lie], I hope we're going to be friends". [Excuse me, I need to go and lie down after writing that].

Following this strategy will greatly increase the chances of the relationship proceeding to nefarious purposes, however, the atmosphere is more greatly laden with sweat-dripping, gut-wrenching fear when nefarious purposes are, indeed, afoot.

Three : Living with Teddy

Well, not so much "living with teddy" and "what to do with teddy when nefarious purposes are afoot". I can only offer you guidelines in this matter and cannot guarantee their success.

Do not throw teddy on the floor, into the waste bin or out of the window: the girlfriend will not be pleased but will probably call an ambulance on your behalf.

Do not leave teddy in the bed, no matter how much the girlfriend insists, as he will try and join in (although you might be lucky, depending on your choice of activity: most teddy bears aren't all that keen on Rush).

Come to terms with the fact that teddy is going to see you naked and stare and sneer (macramé and philately are definitely improved by performing them naked; listening to Rush albums naked may be an improvement, all I can say is that it can be no worse than listening to them fully clothed).

Place teddy on the floor, kindly. It doesn't matter where: all teddy bears can see round corners and tilt their heads so that their glassy stare uses multiple mirror-reflections to form an impromptu periscope to watch the proceedings. Just accept that teddy is going to watch and is going to sneer at your performance.

Be aware that teddy will exact revenge no matter what you do or say. When you wake up in the morning with a bruise on your leg it will be teddy's doing and have nothing to with falling out of bed because you were tying a particularly difficult knot, energetically cataloguing an early 20th century Mauritius 3-cent blue with the pornographic watermark (which Stanley Gibbons makes no mention of) or attempting to understand the lyrics of (or, indeed, the reason for the existence of) 2112.

The girlfriend's teddy bear will always be there, lurking and smirking. You've either got to learn to tolerate it or take up train-spotting.

Four : Afterwords

  1. Sorry, Mark, for the jokes about listening to Rush; but you know it was bound to happen sometime.
  2. I originally planned for this post to feature pictures of the subject. However, the firewall on my internet connection prevents the downloading of such frightening images without a special government license.
  3. I have applied for armed protection by Special Branch in anticipation of the fatwah which I strongly suspect will be issued against my person by that proportion of the human population which can adopt the rôle of girlfriend.
  4. 2112 is an album by Rush if you didn't know (or hadn't guessed).


Anonymous Rach said...

To start, i wish to know why Mark gets such special treatment since i happen to be a Rush fan too (please dont hate me!)
And to finish, if 'girlfriends' with teddy bears are such scary things then ponder upon the male equivalent for a moment. Those such men who not only 'acquire' teddy bears but snuggle them each and every night...... YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE......
(Check the bed side draws if ever in doubt. Many men hide the creatures in hope of nefarious purpose)

Tue Apr 19, 06:17:00 pm BST 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fire....the natural enemy of teddies.
I haven't listened to Rush since I was a teenage delinquent. I'll have to give the old albums a listen, that is if I still have them.


Tue Apr 19, 10:15:00 pm BST 
Anonymous Pooh Beah said...

Time to come out the closet now you're a Trainspotter !

Wed Apr 20, 12:28:00 pm BST 
Anonymous editor said...

Apparently there are places where you can see pictures of teddy bears without a license. A particularly frightening image, can be found here (the accordian is the really scary bit).

Wed Apr 20, 12:29:00 pm BST 
Blogger Seany said...

I was once caught wearing my girlfriends teddy and think I got away with it, but I don't understand all of these random references to "bears". *Thinks* Hmmm... that was a responsible thing to post on the worldwide web...

Wed Apr 20, 07:03:00 pm BST 
Anonymous Rach said...

I fear that your warning about the music-loving bear was not servere enough. I made the mistake of checking out the link and, consequencely, im scarred for life...... Even more so then listening to Rush

Wed Apr 20, 08:29:00 pm BST 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2112 can henceforth be referred to as "48 minutes to 10"-Ian (who still can't get the deal with Rush)

Wed Apr 20, 11:22:00 pm BST 
Anonymous RockH said...

As I write this, (accordion-playing) Ed-the-Ted is holding said meeting to draw up battle plan regarding the taking of revenge upon non-bear appreciating riff-raff... Also Present are, Pooh bear, Old Bear, Tiddle-ums and One-Arm McGee... be very afraid...

Thu Apr 21, 12:51:00 am BST 
Anonymous Jeanette said...

Could be much much worse Roger she could be a doll collector instead..... now that is really scarey

Sat Apr 23, 12:26:00 am BST 
Anonymous rockh said...

Is a doll collector more scary than a accordion-collector?

Sat Apr 23, 01:10:00 am BST 
Anonymous editor said...

Doll-collectors, accordian-collectors... this some sort of psychological warfare?

I knew there would be revenge, but this is brutally scary. How do you expect me to sleep at night?

Sat Apr 23, 02:49:00 pm BST 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about an accordion-playing doll's teddy collector? (You must have seen that range...related to the Barbie's 'Little Pets' range, the more soughtafter and of course highly collectable ranges, 'Tinkling Tammy's Teds' and 'Squeezy Suzie's Soft Toys'...? )
You mean you can still sleep...with 24 special edition varieties of the above, arranged on the matching duvet and pillow case set?

Sun Apr 24, 12:49:00 am BST 
Anonymous rockh said...

Whoops, the above was from rockh not a nonny-mouse

Sun Apr 24, 12:50:00 am BST 
Anonymous Jeanette said...

That's just the point Roger. Be afraid ... be VERY afraid!!!! HEHEHEHE

Sun Apr 24, 07:00:00 pm BST 
Anonymous Rockhen said...

I think Roger is really a secret teddy-holic and he just wants us all to send him the pics of our sweetest most adorable little teddy thingums so he can print them off and have them up in his room to smile at him and keep him company...I've sent 2, what are the rest of u all waiting for?
Oh bless, Roger, you big old softy...

Mon Apr 25, 07:22:00 pm BST 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think I'll send a teddy c/o Tap & Spile, just for you Wojakins hehe ;)

Mon Apr 25, 11:06:00 pm BST 
Anonymous Rockhen said...

Think we should ALL take one with us to acoustic night...he can have them all on his table for interesting conversation while he waits to sing/play...

Tue Apr 26, 12:12:00 am BST 
Anonymous editor said...

Violence would be explicable and wouldn't have been unexpected but this is getting very frightening. The thought of looking at lots of teddy bears (I have just got used to the idea that photographs of teddy bears exist and am able to glance at one or two once in a while) is just too much...

...this just goes to show that my thesis was correct: there is extreme malevolence in teddy bears and their owners.

Tue Apr 26, 09:54:00 am BST 
Anonymous Rockhen said...

What malevolence could there be in little Woja Bear?
He is so cute, (haha he'll never find the explosive device in his right ear...!)

Wed Apr 27, 12:41:00 am BST 
Anonymous Rach said...

If it eases your conscience woja i will confess to owning a cutie cuddlie thing that i suppose would be classed as a teddy. Fortunetly i am not quite mad enough to share my bed with it.

Thu Apr 28, 01:06:00 pm BST 

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