Summer is hard for plush toys. While the kids are off at camp, or
setting up lemonade stands, or otherwise leaving us blissfully alone,
their bedraggled, stuffing-challenged bears, elephants, and unicorns
just lie there on the floor, abandoned. And on a hot August night, those
old toys are too furry to sleep with -- so they get tossed dismissively
across the room, where they all grimly reflect on the terrible lessons
of "The Velveteen Rabbit".
good news, inanimate objects! If you're at loose ends, and your owners
or their parents are absurdly wealthy and also just absurd, you may soon
be travelling around Europe -- courtesy of the "Teddy-In" travel
agency. This agency, which shouldn't be real but is, offers stuffed
animals the opportunity to visit Hamburg, Munich, Rome, Barcelona, and
Now, when it comes to your daughter's teddy bear, you're probably more
concerned that she'll swallow one of its eyes than that it's not worldly
enough. But if, in fact, you want to expose that bear to other
cultures, here's what you do: you book the tour; you pack the bear in a
box; you send it to Ulrike Böhmler of "Teddy-In"; and then you wait for
the bear's safe return, along with a set of holiday snaps Ms. Böhlmer
will take to document the toy's journey. And then, the next time one of
your friends remarks about his summer travel, you can off-handedly
remark, "Well, Sally's bear, Mr. Cuddlers, spent ten days in Barcelona."
This is guaranteed to end the discussion, and your friendship.
Oh, and "Teddy-In" is not the only stuffed-toy travel service. There are, apparently, several, sprinkled all over Europe.
such service, "Teddy Tour Berlin", doesn't just offer fabulous tours of
the German capital -- for an extra seven bucks, it also seems to offer
your plush toy a "relaxing massage".
That's part of the deluxe package, which costs a mere
one-hundred-and-eighty-six Canadian dollars. Throw in another forty
bucks, and your bear can go on "Teddy's Gay Tour", which will take it to
"the heart of queer Berlin".
answer to your tearful question: yes, all of the things I'm saying are
actually true. Which means that, if you want your children's stuffed
animals to see Europe, you'd better book soon. Because it's pretty clear
we're on the cusp of the apocalypse.