Wednesday, September 15, 2004

From the Witho archives...

....an ickle Witho Posted by Hello

Note the already stygian eyes, though the raven hair was not yet in evidence. Note also the no doubt polyester mauve dress and the beginnings of the "cheer-up-love-might-never-'appen"-inducing glower which would become a feature of Witho's innocent wanderings around Walthamstow as a teenager and young adult.

But I didn't bring you here to gaze upon my youthful visage, dear reader. Oh no, it is with anecdotes that I wish to ply you. You see, depicted above, clutched in Witho's chubby little hands, is a toy. A toy with a past.

This toy was of a rubbery plastic construction, formed in the shape of a cat. Ever the non-conformist, Witho ignored this feature, and named the item a "teddy". But not any normal teddy, ah no. This so-called "teddy" exuded sounds from its fundament when squeezed. It was, dear reader, a "squeaky teddy". *Was* would come to be the operative word. For Witho had a big brother and what, do you suppose, is the principal function of a big brother? I'll tell you: to spoil, maim and massacre the games of girls. Spray-painted dolls, fighting dolls, cuddly monkeys dangling perilously from the washing line, dolls with drawing pins poked into their ears (yes, there were lots of dolls in our house - I have two sisters...). The most common phrase to be heard chez the Withos in the seventies was: "Mum, [insert brother's name] is spoiling our game".

Plasticine. Or modelling clay if you're a Blue Peter presenter. Plasticine inserted into Squeaky teddy's posterior. The squeak, dear readers, was no more. From that day forth, the cat-shaped rubbery plastic figurine would be known as "Squeaky-not teddy"...

*wipes solitary tear from cheek*

I won't even tell you what he did to the Holly Hobbie General Store...

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