Sunday, 23 September 2012

"I wouldn't say I'm particularly materialistic, but I'd rather lose a mediocre friend than everything I own."

You'd have thought that being a backpacker for a significant period of time would have lessened my love for material possessions, wouldn't you? Judging by a horrendous dream I had the other night in which my house burnt down and I lost everything I owned in a blaze of horror, this is obviously not the case. After being faced with the worrying realisation that this dream scared me more than a dream I had once where the sea tried to eat me, I began pondering on how obsessed we are as a culture with material possessions. When I voiced this thought to my sister, her response was, "I wouldn't say I'm particularly materialistic, but I'd rather lose a mediocre friend than everything I own." If you are an acquaintance of my sister, I suggest you seriously reevaluate your role in her life - if it's her owl money box over you, then you're not doing your job well enough. I think we should probably stop holding our stuff in such high regard - especially seeing as we don't even like half of the things we own anyway.

For example, I remember one Christmas when I was younger (1999, to be precise) when I pestered my mum for months and months to buy me a Furby. If you ever had a Furby, or, God forbid, you still have one in the house, I suggest you stop reading this post now lest memories you should have long ago repressed come screaming back and send you running for the nearest roof top.

Still reading? Right. Let us begin. It is December 25th, 1999, and nine-year-old me is over the moon at the arrival of my new Furby. He is a classic addition to the family, rocking a black and electric blue mohawk and a big pair of gleaming amber eyes. So impressed am I with my new gift that I spend the entire day feeding him (and by feeding, I mean pressing his tongue every five minutes to prompt a soft purring sound) and ignoring the rest of my presents. At bed time, he rocks himself to sleep and I settle down next to him, his soft, electronic snores lulling me into a festive slumber. The following day I am just as smitten with my new friend and it seems like Christmas of 1999 could not have been better. A few days pass, and, little by little, the Furby is starting to grate on me. His hungry cries become less cute and his robotic rocking is not as soothing at 3am as it is during the day. Finally, after an hour long feeding session that seems like it will never satisfy my Furby's needs, I decide I have had enough and am going to remove its batteries. To my absolute horror, however, when I go to take them out, I realise that the battery door is bolted shut with a tiny, tiny screw. Being a house full of women, it will comes as no surprise that we were not in possession of a tiny, tiny screwdriver and thus my Furby continued to wail until it was groomed and fed and cuddled. As my patience dwindled, my thoughts became increasingly desperate, and in the end there was only one road to go down: starvation. Now, before we go any further, I would just like to stress that I am not proud of the events that followed. I was a lone mother, raising this Furby all alone. I had hit rock bottom. I couldn't ask my parents for help - I had asked for this, I had begged for this, and Satan had responded. I had no other choice. And so I did it. I bided my time until one snowy evening when my mum popped to the Co-op and I seized my opportunity. I stole downstairs and crept into the living room, the Furby wrapped in three plastic carrier bags to muffle his cries. Opening the video cabinet, I shoved him as far back as I could, obscuring him from vision by building a video wall using Matilda and The Land Before Time as bricks. I slammed the door shut and ran back upstairs, my heart pounding. The next few days were some of the darkest days of my life. The weight of my actions hung, like an albatross, around my neck. I heard the Furby's cries everywhere I went. He was in the carols being sung on the street, the hymns in church, the theme tune of the hour long Eastenders Christmas special - my guilt was haunting me. My nightmare eventually ended on New Year's Eve when my Furby finally passed on. As dawn broke over the new millennium, he let out one last resounding wail and was still, silenced by death in a Morissons carrier bag, not to be discovered for years to come when a family search for Boggle unearthed his cold, fur-matted body, lying still amongst the greatest feel good films of the 90s and an old Scrabble board. To this day I can still see those amber eyes, staring at me through the dark, watching me, waiting... Just waiting...


hazeloakleigh said...

I'm at work, but as soon as I got the notification for this I had to read it. Another classic. I never got a furby :(

Thinking outloud said...

You will make a great mother some day.