“Hi! I’m Teddy Ruxpin. Can you and I be friends?”
Of course we can, Teddy!
Because I was bored, I was looking up old 80’s commercials and stumbled upon our old friend, Teddy Ruxpin.
Did you ever have a Teddy Ruxpin? That loveable, furry, talking little bear that fed you promises of best-friends-forever? You did? Well, know this: I hate you. I never did. And yes, I’m still holding a grudge.
I think it was 1986 when I first laid eyes on that magical bear. I remember watching the commercials and thinking how amazing he would be in my life. He had it all: plush, cuddly, had a cute outfit and fed you constant admiration. I was sold. So, I decided I had to have it. That was going straight to the top of my Christmas list. I figured I was a shoe-in for it. Santa knew I was good all year. How could that jolly man deny me my one, simple request?
Christmas came. As with any other six-year-old, I was supremely excited to open all of my presents. My parents were really good about having a lot of things for us to open, and they always had one “big gift”, which was typically your special present from Santa. Downstairs I went and saw a large-ish box. This was it! I knew it. Santa listened. All was right in the world.
I remember sitting down and tearing the shit out of the wrapping paper, as every kid does. I wasn’t even paying attention to the box; I just wanted to turn it over and see Teddy smiling at me. So, you can imagine my horror when I realized that I did not in fact get Teddy, but his degenerate friend, Casey.
You see, Casey was a robot. Made of plastic. No free movements. He was a fucking tape player.
I’m sure my horrified face and instant hysterics scared my parents. I searched all over the place for my REAL present; there had to be a mix up! But there was no mix up. The only mixing going on was going to be me putting a mix tape into this fucking robot. Of course, my older brother found this all to be too hilarious. My mother alleges that I didn’t tell her that I wanted a Teddy Ruxpin until it was too late (lies) and that the store was all sold out (more lies). My parents didn’t have a lot of money, so Casey obviously fit nicely into their budget.
After my melt down, I tried to see the bright side of it. At least his digital mouth would move to whatever was playing in his cassette player. He came with a couple of tapes, which I begrudgingly played. Those tapes never told me how great I was, and they certainly didn’t say he was going to be my best friend.
We went to my uncle’s house that night (who I hated). I was already miserable. I wasn’t looking forward to a night of torture of my sadistic cousin (who I also hated). But I had no choice. So I grabbed Casey and off we went.
Here’s what happened next: my brother and I were relegated to the basement with my cousins. I was the only girl, and am about 7-8 years younger than them. I was “playing” with Casey. The next thing I know, my brother had Casey in his hands and was putting a tape in. What tape? Kool Moe Dee. Poor Casey didn’t have a chance. He short-wired. Hysteria broke out. I was done.
Now, if you need me, I’ll be at my therapist’s office.