Sunday, November 1, 2009

The story of PRs

Alright alright.
The hidden-in-plain-sight thing in the Shootout post was Maurice, but you pretty much had to enlarge the pictures to see him. The clue was clicking through to the Swings and Autumn Leaves post over at Pink Rabbit Abroad, but nobody did that.
You probably wonder what is it with this plush toy.
Pipe down and I’ll tell you the story of Maurice and the Pink Rabbit Obsession.
There’s history there, so let’s begin at the beginning.
It started at the library. Our local branch, Serra Mesa, was quite small, but in the front room, facing the desk behind which The Librarian ruled, they made an attempt at a kid space, with low chairs and a low table. Eventually a large, very large, stuffed pink rabbit was added. For “ambiance”, I suppose. A kind donation. It was huge, not new, and frankly quite frightening.
A girl I liked was often there at the library, and, being the sort who doesn’t know what to do with myself when I like somebody, I delighted in tormenting her. At the least, it got her to notice me.
Anyway, this girl Marie was particularly sensitive to the horribleness of the monstrous pink rabbit inhabiting the children’s section of the library. It would move around, visiting the reference stacks, and Literature for Big People. Then it would migrate back to Children’s, and Marie would screw up her courage to touch it and push it out of sight. Sometimes I would hide it just around the corner by the drinking fountain and she’d go for some water and **ack**.
One day the library seemed blissfully free of its large pink horror. Marie was enjoying her books in peace. Then she went to the bathroom, opened the stall, and what was there taking up the entire space but the rabbit.
She was terrorized.
Scarred for life.
Anytime after that you could mention pink rabbits, or lime jello, and she’d tremble.
Some time later, after we became real friends, I started giving Marie pink rabbits. It’s therapeutic, isn’t it, to face your fears? A cute porcelain one for her birthday, a fluffy one for Christmas. For years and years the collection grew. Through college. Through grad school. Through marriage, and divorce (for me). Through moving across the country and back and forth again and over the sea.
Then one day, nearly 30 years after the initial episode, I saw Maurice at the flea market. Bought him, of course, for the outrageous sum of 50 centimes.
But for some reason, I didn’t send him.
The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain had just come out, with its peripatetic garden gnome, and I thought... Hmm. What if I had a stuffed traveling companion...
The rest is called Pink Rabbit Abroad. (Dot blogspot dot com!)


Barry said...

Ah, the secret of Maurice revealed at last! From terror and adversity to triumph over fear and oppression.

Maurice is my hero, and, besides, he's been to more places than I have.

Argent said...

Hehe. I have a little stuffed mole that can with a kids book and I'm trying to photograph him in various places. So far he's been to China, New York, London, Bulgaria, Andorra and Egypt. I blogger about him here.

Marie said...

I, of course, remember things a bit differently. The rabbit at the library was enormous - something like 4 or 5 feet tall (I recall calling it 6 feet, but that's probably been exaggerate by my smallish stature) - and if *followed* me. Once it was in front of the enormous dictionary on a stand in the corner.

Pink rabbits did in fact follow - one of the more memorable packages included 21 of of them for my 21st birthday. A few of the cutest ones remain but most have been donated to charity along the way. My daughter, now 4, is the new usual new recipient when something appropriate catches Nancy's eye and it's become an amusing in-joke. Another friend recently gave her a large stuffed pink rabbit because of hearing the stories.

Georgia follows the adventures of Maurice avidly, even though she has outgrown the slippers (which she adored)