Allow us to get a little personal here. When we were very little, we had a brown, spotted Pound Puppy. He was our favorite toy, and though we eventually got many more stuffed animals, he was always the most important. Since we could put words together, we’ve always wanted to be a writer, and some of our very first stories were about him and his adventures. His name was Pudding.
We had a Pound Puppy-themed birthday party one year, and our love for Pudding eventually led us to browbeat our parents into getting us a real puppy from the pound – who turned out to be the best little yellow dog a boy could ask for (in fact, he was so cute that we actually did kick him once. And you thought that was just an expression).
We’re guessing that you had a similar experience with Pound Puppies – or, if not, with Cabbage Patch Kids, or Teddy Ruxpin. They weren’t girl toys per se, but they were gender-neutral friends on whom you could project any personality, story, or quirk. They, like you, didn’t have to care about lasers or ninjas or mountain bikes. They were just soft and comforting, and non-judgmental. You probably noticed that most of your guy friends didn’t keep their stuffed animals around as long as you did, but you didn’t care. You may have even promised yourself – or the animals directly – that you would never stop caring about them, even when you grew up. You would never, you imagined, let them gather dust in the attic, or be donated to the Salvation Army.
But then you went through puberty and cuddly flights of imagination gradually gave way to bids for more attention from your guy friends and hunts for sex scenes in the books on your parents’ shelves. And up into the attic your Pound Puppies went. But their influence still lingers. You think it’s any coincidence that you’ve seen every single Vin Diesel movie? Look at that mug:
It’s like Pudding is staring right at us, out of the past.