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Aug 19

Strange Afflictions

Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 in Family, Little known facts, Philosophy, Strange and Unusual

I suffer from a strange affliction that so far, I haven’t seen others admitting to.  In fact, I don’t recall ever hearing anybody else talk about it.  I don’t talk about it.  It’s very strange and inexplicable.

Ever since I was very tiny, I’ve had this strange affection for inanimate objects.  It started with an inability to throw away things like sweet wrappers or receipts.  It progressed to severe hoarding and a disgraceful hazardous mess in my room.  Having moved house several times since childhood, I’ve since discovered the lack of sense behind this and came through a weird rite of passage cleanly.  I can now fill a bin-bag with crap I don’t use, as long as the binbag leaves my property immediately with no chance of re-claiming said junk.  I know I’m not alone concerning hoarding, it’s just that my reasoning might be a little bit peculiar.

It feels to me as though inanimate objects absorb a part of the person who uses them.  For instance, I remember when I was an ankle-biter, my mum drew a picture on my chalkboard.  I had to leave it there for weeks, unable to erase the picture, unable to play with the toy at all.  I still can’t throw out the reams of pages my two year old has scribbled on, and if I do manage to, this strange pain develops in the pit of my stomach.  I feel like I’m throwing away a part of her spirit.

Worst of all, perhaps, is when I find myself on a road, gazing with heartbreak at an old discarded teddybear in a ditch.  Some child loved that bear, then lost it.  It takes all the self control I posess not to pick up that bear and bring it home.  Films like ‘Toy Story’ really don’t help my situation at all.  Then again, perhaps this is why footage of disasters are infinately more upsetting when it contains abandoned toys.  We all have a deep-seated need to protect innocense perhaps.

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The Accidental Terrorist, however, is far more realistic.  He will happily ignore or even aim for toys left discarded on our road.  So many times have I heard that sickening crunch as a child’s toy or skateboard gets instantly converted to junk at the mercy of his tyres.  He has even done this in front of children.  So many times I’ve watched a child fall to pieces as it witnesses the demolition of it’s prized fire truck, it’s cries falling on the deaf ears of adults who are sick and tired of telling these children to tidy up after themselves.  I wonder sometimes how TAT can be so smug about torturing children like that, but I can see his point – let alone the funny side.  Sometimes I even envy his callousness.

I just can’t help but wonder what on earth this emotion is useful for.  My friends have witnessed my stepping on a toy and have heard me apologising to it.  Some people laugh, others take two steps backwards, others give me a hug. Some people even use it to change my mind about something.  ‘Do it or the bunny gets it!’ is a highly efficient negotiating tool with me.  A pair of pliers and a lost fingernail I can handle… a large scissors and a teddybear and I’m anybody’s.

I’m sure you’ve seen films with characters who have lost the plot, who host tea parties with their dolls and confide in their teddybears.  You might wonder how such a poor sod came to be.  Let this be an insight to you.  On the outside I’m calm, cool and collected… on the inside, I’m a stark raving lunatic.  Sometimes I think that all it will take is one more discarded teddybear perched on a set of railings with a spike up it’s ass to send me over the edge.

Here’s the twist… ironically, I find real live objects are quite easy to kill, as long as their death serves a purpose.  I’ll catch a fish and brain it on a rock quite happily, as long as I get to eat it with lemon and some fava beans afterwards.
Yesterday, I spent a full half hour hunting earwigs, chasing them into cups, then feeding them to my carniverous plants.  Watching them drown in extra terrestrial plant gunge can be strangely satisfying which is, grantedly mildly horrific, but then again, nature can be pretty horrific sometimes.  I’m just helping it along.

So, there you have it.  Two sides to a strange coin.  More aesthetically useful than practical really, like a kitten.

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Or like a teddybear with one eye missing.  That’s me.

Bring on the comments

  1. […] Efron Strange Afflictions » This Summary is from an article posted at K8 the GR8 on Sunday, August 19, 2007 Strange […]

  2. Grannymar says:

    I have news for you girl!

    You might be like a teddybear, but there is NOTHING missing.

    Keep flying!

  3. Granny says:

    I prefer crazy to callous any time.

    Would you consider giving TAT a taste of his own medicine and feeding him to the venus fly trap?

    It’s all about molecules. Read “The Third Policeman” by Flann O’Brien. The village bobby was three quarters bicycle because he had absorbed the bicycle’s molecules, through sitting on the saddle. It’s all perfectly explicable really.

  4. K8 says:

    Grannymar, you’re the proverbial wind beneath my wings. (Bleuarggh, sorry!)

    The fly trap is only a baby yet. It won’t be long before I’ll be feeding it baby animals, then dogs, then we’ll see about TAT.

    I just noticed I spelled ‘innocence’ wrong.
    How apt.

  5. Baino says:

    I always feel sorry for odd socks which end up in Adam’s ‘itty bitty bin’ They’re pathetic and useless without their partners and the odd boot that sits in the middle of the road. I once dressed all Clare’s Barbies that were sitting in her dolls cot because they looked cold naked. As for kids things, I’ve kept most in ‘glory boxes’ that I’ll give them when they leave home. I think it stems from never being given a teddy bear!

  6. Larry says:

    Strange yes, the desire to animate what is inanimate – an exercise in control? Projections onto objects are 100% our own, I think. It is good that we feel sorry for that part of us we have abandoned, the innocence, etc.

  7. Hails says:

    My mum always washed my teddy bear when I was at school and then tried to pretend she hadn’t touched it, and he hadn’t been subjected to the horrific washing machine ordeal, because it traumatised me. It’s like I feel the pain of inanimate objects because they’re incapable of feeling it for themselves.
    (I realise the not-wanting-to-wash-teddy reaction is pretty normal for a small child. However, when I was 21, some of my uni “friends” forcibly took my Eeyore and put him in the washing machine, on the grounds that he was “a health hazard”. I sat on my knees watching him go helplessly round and round, with genuine tears in my eyes.)

  8. Brianf says:

    Anthropomorphizing are we?

  9. K8 says:

    Baino; not even a cheesy valentine’s teddybear? You’re a great woman for the treasure stashes. I’ve really got to get around to doing that!

    Larry; maybe it’s a Darwin thing, to protect the young. I wonder if Darwin himself tucked his teddy bears in at night-time?

    Hails! Poor Eeyore :( Everybody loves giving me jip about puppychild’s blanket… she drags it everywhere and it is FILTHY. They claim it’s a health hazard but she’s hardly ever been sick!

    Brian, I hope you didn’t hurt yourself trying to spell that.. ;)

  10. What an intriguing post, K8. I’ll (probably regrettably) admit that I still have my teddy bear, but he’s tucked away in the attic.

    I had a friend in middle school (secondary) that would drown rats, and then, reanimate them. Now, he’s the president of a large corporation. I often wonder if he experiments with his employees. I wouldn’t work for him! :)

    I think that all of us have an obsession with life and death, and what happens in between the stages and afterwards.

    Fantastic post, K8.

  11. b3n says:

    I have a habit of not emptying my pockets. When I change jeans, I just pop all of the sh!te from one pair into the other. I walk around will full pockets all the time, mind you it does draw admiring glances from the ladies.

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