Friday, December 19, 2008

Stuffed Up

The all-powerful committee handling the office Christmas party this year decided that they would go along with a "slumber party" theme, so tonight was a rather strange affair. About a third of the office came in "formal" sleepwear: various pajama tops and bottoms, bathrobes, and smoking jackets. Another third came in the house clothes that they normally slept in: old shirts, old shorts, baby tees, and a couple of sweatpants.

I was of the last third of the audience, and we were those people who were either so stiff or so embarrassed that we came to the office in full semi-formal attire, and then barely made a dint of effort at the spirit of sleepwear. I brought along a pair of bedroom slippers — albeit slippers that looked like giant monster feet — and spent the evening looking as though I had just stepped out of the lunatic asylum. (My feet got a few compliments, though.)

Three days ago, however, I found out that we were permitted to bring accessories. So I dug through my collection of stuffed toys and brought four rather familiar figures along for the ride. You probably know three of them as the Lion, the Raccoon, and the little yellow pocket monster; The fourth was a tiny green plush turtle that I received as a gift earlier this year.

To be honest, they weren't my first choice, if only because they're so small that they probably can't be taken seriously as plushies that you bring to bed with you. My first choice was actually the giant gray penguin that you see as my icon; unfortunately, my sister was adamantly against the idea for some reason.

As a result, the merry trio (and their turtle companion) spent about twelve hours inside my little office. Just for kicks, I took them out of my traveling case a few minutes after I arrived, and posed them around my desk to see what kind of reception they would get. Pretty much everybody noticed (as most of my officemates know about my small collection), although a few of them did ask me why they were sitting there.

The lion and the raccoon didn't get as much attention as I expected. A few people did recognize them from their earlier appearance on my blog, but they were left alone for the most part. Everybody seemed to point out the bean-bag Pikachu in one way or another, though, and I suspect that his namesake's fame had something to do with it. A couple of them even asked if they could borrow Pikachu to pose at their desks; I imagine that he made for an excellent stress toy today. The green turtle was a little more nondescript; it sat on top of my empty inbox like some sort of eager young paperweight.

As the day wore on, more people began borrowing the toys. Someone made the observation that the raccoon looked a bit intelligent and dignified (which matched my recent thoughts), and it was more interesting to pose on one's desk. The lion got some comments about his mane (which constantly gets tangled and matted), which eventually led into some conversation about alternate hairstyles. Nevertheless, the lion spent most of the day cradled in the arms of female officemates, which wasn't too bad a situation for him.

The Pikachu went from hand to hand as a definite stress toy; It was as though everybody wanted to squeeze him at least once. I don't know if there was a lot of pent-up frustration running around the office today, or if it's something about bean stuffing. I finally got hold of him near the end of the day, however, after which I set him aside to prevent any further squeezing.

The little green turtle was stuck looking over my shoulder for the entire day, so much that I contemplated naming it right then and there. (But no, I haven't thought of a name yet.)

At around six in the evening, I finally managed to gather all four of them back together for the Christmas party. I didn't have any plans for them beyond, say, mere accessories, but I figured that they would probably be right at home. The three-hour sleepwear-themed event turned out to be an extremely busy one, however, so they did stay put throughout the whole thing — I eventually lined them up along a single table so that they could just watch the action. We had a little bit of time once the proceedings were over, though, so while I searched for leftover pizza, Mr. Lion demonstrated to the others whatever thing he did that attracted the ladies so much.

All four stuffed toys arrived home completely safe and sound (except maybe for the Pikachu), and they're now back in their original places around the bedrooms. It's been a while since any of them has actually been outside the house, I suppose, so this was probably an interesting experience.

I have a couple of other plushies that I'd like to take on a field trip one of these days. There's the neon-blue teddy bear, for example, who sits on top of a DVD player all day and doesn't say a word. There's the husband-and-wife-pygmy-hippo duo as well, who definitely need a break from reading newspapers and seeing their marriage counselor. Then there's the Mogwai (who comes with stern instructions warning me to keep him dry at all times, and never to feed him after midnight). And of course, there's Trevor, who still sits at the edge of my bed, waiting for the day when he will kill me in my sleep.

Then again, maybe there's a good reason why I only brought those aforementioned four toys out of the house...


Anonymous said...

Poor turtle... :(
Maybe he's just shy.
You should bring him more often than the others so he can learn to come out of his shell. :)

Sean said...

Ida: Good pun there. :)