Hydrocephalic Care Bear


I maybe alone on this, even though I am praying I am not, but for some reason or another I wanted a Care Bear when I was a little kid. In the early/mid eighties these stuffed bears were quite the fad and girls as well as boys of my age had to have one. I think the same held true for Pound Puppies, Teddy Ruxpin and My Buddy, because I remember at least putting a few of these things on my Christmas wish list. Maybe there was a gender identity crisis among kids my age because a Pound Puppy and Battle Damage He-Man were neck and neck for best gift. Regardless, I wanted a Care Bear and I had no shame in asking for one. I take that back, begging for one.

Now I wasn’t a fruity kid or anything. I played in the mud, was the king of four square, liked bugs and sharks, was pretty sure I was Luke Skywalker for a while and had every GI Joe figure known to man but I also followed the fads. When Jam shorts were in style I wore them. When Yo-Yo’s emerged from the shadows of the fifties in the fifth grade I learned how to “walk the dog”. When Rebok Pumps were a must, my poor Dad shelled out $100 so I could inflate my sneaker tongue. And when a cartoon about Bears shooting care symbols off their stomachs meant every kid, no matter what gender, had to have a stuffed bear I was no exception.

I don’t believe I really wanted a Care Bear. I think it was more the idea of blending in. I worked pretty hard at being another face in the crowd and the last thing I wanted was unneeded attention. Not having a brother or a sister telling me I was an idiot all the time left me very sensitive to the ridicule of my peers. If there was ever name calling I usually left feeling confused saying, “I don’t understand how they can’t see that I am fucking awesome. My mom and dad always say that.” But I digress, if having a dippy bear would assimilate me than so be it. I added it to the ’85 Christmas wish list.

So Christmas finally came. Just like any other kid of my age it was a day that capped the year. If the two super powers of the Cold War decided to nuke each other it damn well better be in January because Christmas was not to messed with. That year I felt I was owed a few things. It was great to have a 7 year old sense of entitlement. But that year also came with a curve ball. The much anticipated 5am walk to the den to see the presents under the tree was quickly defused . Yes, the presents were there, the tree was still plugged in and the smell of scotch tape still hung in the air but there was a peculiar being sitting in front of the tree. I stared at it and with more time passing it became apparent that this was what it was. I got a homemade Care Bear.

It just so happened that the year Care bears made their debut to the toy market my aunt took up stitching for a hobby. I am positive that when the wish list was shared she took full advantage of the opportunity and volunteered to make it. For some reason my mom’s side of the family really like to make their own things. Now making your own chair, dress, desk, or canoe is cool but you can not get away with making the most popular toy in America from scratch. I know I sound caddy but let me describe it for you. Keep in mind I was a little dick of a kid. I’m better now that I’m 30.

Fist of all, he (it was a boy) was stuffed with styrofoam balls much like a bean bag chair. When hugged it made a noise that let you know your bear is surely dead. It was also clear that my aunt did very little research on the Care Bears because on the chest of my bear was not a heart or a four leaf clover or a cloud or even a rainbow. It was a truck. My bear had the “Care Bear Stare” of a truck. I don’t know what that would do in a care bear emergency. Maybe tow the cloud car? My God, I think I remember too much about these gay things….

I believe the best/worst feature on my Amish Care Bear was the proportioned head to body ratio. He had a head four times the size of his torso. Looking back on it I guess he would be a hydrocephalic bear but even then, it was a hard pill to swallow just knowing that if any one of my friends saw this my quest to be invisible would be over. Instead of being the nameless face in the crowd I would be an outcast. Just me and big-head truck bear. Oh the woes of an eight year old primadana.

The whole morning I was constantly distracted by my hydrocephalic homemade bear. The joys of new stuff was great but my eye was always drawn back to him. Later that night I retired to my bedroom without the protection of a Care Bear truck stare. Now that I am telling this story, I do feel like I was a little dick of a kid.

A week or so later I was back at school sharing stories of my new loot with my school chums. It seemed that everyone did pretty well but i had to tip the scale and proudly exclaim that not only did I get He-Man, GI Joe, an Ewok Village but I also got a Care Bear. Of course I got the unwanted attention of being the lucky kid with the most crap. It’s what mattered back then. So I wore that crown for a while. A while meaning until Friday. The teacher told us to bring in one thing for show and tell on Friday that we got for Christmas. I think you know where this is going.

I contemplated which toy I should bring in so I could still keep my meaningless position as the shittiest kid in school. I was stuck between the He Man on Battle Cat or my G.I. Joe tank with the bridge crossing thing on top. But I was oblivious to the fact that my Mom caught wind of Fridays events. As an active parent in my school she was what you called a “homeroom mom” and she had other plans for what I was going to show and tell about. When she asked me to show off my aunt’s impressionistic creation of a modern day Care Bear I quickly objected. This resulted in an order to take Truck Bear to school and that was final.

The morning of Friday I shuffled off to the school bus with book bag on back and retard bear in arm but before I got there I made the switch. I took out the books and paper bag lunch and tried to stuff the bear in the bag. No shit, the head was too big. After some frustrating stuffs I got him in and off I went. No one would be the wiser and I had a trusty Go-Bot in my pocket to show. It’s good to be humble when everyone already knows you’re the shit.

I wish I could remember how the rest of the day went but all I really remember was the show and tell event. If I had something extravagant to show off I would have been excited but I figured just a Go-Bot was nothing to raise your arm up so high that you would need to support it by your other arm behind the head. You know what I’m talking about. I sat through fifteen Care Bears, a few G.I. Joe’s and some Cabbage Patch dolls. So soon enough I went up to give a brief description of my robo-motorcycle but there was a look of confusion on my teachers face. I knew there was a problem about the time I got to “what I got for Christmas was…”. My Mom had informed the teacher ahead of time that I had a homemade bear that I was supposed to show the class. Ms. Simms (the teacher) asked, “Where’s your Care Bear, Billy?”. Sold out by the woman who gave me life.

I have had many embarrassing events in my life. When I was 16 I picked up my homecoming date and stepped in dog poop, only to track it into her parents house. I was running to class in college and tripped with my hands tucked in my book bag straps. My God, I spent an entire day mistaken for a retarded person at the Special Olympics. But that show and tell was my earliest memory of embarrassment. The long walk from the front of the classroom to my book bag is still as clear as yesterday. When I pried that huge head from my bag there was a gasp in the room and my efforts to be out of the lime light was ruined. Had I been quicker on my feet back then I would have told the class he was in fact a real Care bear. His name was Truck-Dar and was the evil sibling that didn’t live in the clouds with the rest of the bears but down in the fog….where he ate the bears that accidentally fell….. and he was a mechanic which explains his truck on his stomach….. and he was very smart….because his head is so big.

Well, I guess that would have made it worse. No, I stood up at the front of the class while Ms. Simms gave my monologue about how my aunt made this with her own hands. I looked around the class while the guys in the back held their heads down laughing and the girls curled there lips in disgust. And that’s when I began to feel bad for my Hydrocephalic Care Bear. Even at my weakest moment I thought, this was made for me. I began to drift from the fact I could be labeled as the kid with the freak bear and started taking pride in the fact that this was for me and me alone. I think that is pretty remarkable for an 8 year old only child.

I sat down at my desk and kept the bear with me the whole day. I no longer felt ashamed and found myself defending it to any snickers or jokes. That night the bear took guard on my bead to ward off any night terrors. He may be a deformed Care Bear but damn it, he was my deformed Care Bear.

Thanks Aunt Eileen. He was the best bear a guy could have. And he didn’t let the thing in my closet get me either.

16 Comments

  1. Glad to see you back and thoroughly amusing, as always. I always find your tales of woe sort of oddly endearing. The only mishap I had with my CareBear (Baby Tugs) was that I once left her in a freezer bin at the grocery store and didn’t realize it until I’d gotten home. Assuredly, every employee in the store must have been on the look-out when my mom called, because she did turn up later on. I think she’s in my closet right now, actually.

  2. I’ve been on a business trip so I have been out of touch. Plus I got a new PDA that has been giving me problems. 😦

  3. Wait — did you get the message I sent you like Tuesday at noon? Because that would be so sad if you didn’t, I sent it because I had an inkling you needed something that might perk you up from your day-to-day.

  4. Oh Will(It is will, right?)

    Im sorry, but between this and the sprite incident I feel like an asshole when I read your blog, all I do is laugh at your misfortune.

    I had umm, the lion..braveheart maybe?
    Possibly one of their relatives, who knows.

    Anyway, he died..I guess my dog was’nt too happy with all the misdirected attention.

  5. I am going to stop talking to you Billy. This is getting too creepy. That same freaking month I turned 6 and I got a homemade Wish Bear for my birthday. I was selfishly upset, because that was no toy to bring to show and tell.

  6. Wow. I had NO idea that boys were into Care Bears. That is wrong…just wrong, I say. But it makes for a good tale…so I’ll let it slide.

    My relatives were into knitting so on any given holiday I’d get some horrific knit replica of a popular toy – Gah!

  7. Your story make me feel bad because you actually learn lessons with your life experiences where as I am still an 8 year old child.

    That said, I didn’t have a care bare because some reason, while I watched the show, it just didn’t pick up in this area the way it must have else where. I did have pound puppies along with some other girl popular items, a My Buddy (thinking that was a for boys line to be honest) along with the same collection of GI JOES and not one but TWO battle damage He-mans. You know what that means? Doppleganger Fights!

  8. My sister got a homemade Cabbage Patch Doll. Her doll looked a little down-symdromy and while I remember feeling a little sorry for her, I was more of a show-off bitch because I had a REAL Cabbage Patch Doll. Man, I was a brat. Sure hope I didn’t emotionally scar my sister with that one.

  9. i wish we could see your special care bear! i had a homemade cpk and she was ugly as sin. lugging her around for a year made me appreciate it when i my parents finally got their hands on the real thing.

    glad you’re back too.

  10. Um, this was hilarious. Truck-bear? As a onetime Care-bear owner, I’m dying to know what she did for the red plastic heart on the butt (that was my favorite part…much like Xavier Robert’s signature on the CPK’s tush). I admire you for your courage to admit to beind a dick-child. Who among us hasn’t had our moments of shame as a child? I also love how you threw in the part about the dog-poop being smudged about your prom date’s carpet. That, in and of itself, could be a long, glorious post for you.

    I, like many others, had a homemade Cabbage Patch Kid (in addition to several legit ones)…I knew that she wasn’t like the others (in a no so good way), but was determined to make her “feel” special too. I always tried to include her in the CPK play sessions with my friends’ CPK’s, but nobody ever seemed to want her to be their boy CPK’s girlfriend. *sniff*

  11. I will blog about the poo on shoe incident at some point. It’s still too soon. 😐

    doho: I still don’t learn. Trust me, you are not alone.

    Amy is back!

  12. Remember how CB’s had that cute little curly tuft of hair on the top? Well, I would suck on mine at night…so after a while, it stuck straight up in the air (sick). Around the same time, my grandmother made my sister a CB. Wouldn’t you know it, years later my mom tossed my REAL bear, but my sister’s fake one still has a place of honor in the guest room.

    I also had two CPKs, and I remember taking one to a family friend’s house for dinner. The family had a 2 year old kid, who immediately fell in LOVE with my doll. Apparently, my parents felt that I was more than spoiled, having two dolls, and that the family must be really poor and couldn’t afford a doll for their child. They made me GIVE my CPK to the kid before we left for the night. I can’t remember if I pitched a fit or not, but I’m sure I made that kid’s LIFE.

  13. I had the RACCOON! Bright Heart Raccoon!
    I was estatic. I’d beat my brother and sister with his tail.
    My little brother had the lion-whose mane got VERY gross after multiple washings.
    And I can’t remember what my sis got- it may have been the elephant, but I really can’t recall.

    I took pride in the things I got.
    I was the kind of kid that didn’t ask for much. I knew that if I asked for very little then the hopes of me GETTING that ONE THING i asked for is very high.
    So- Imagine my Disgust when ALL I ASKED FOR is a CPK doll, and my parents get me some cheap knock-off who indeed looked like a little girl with Down’s Syndrome.
    That doll got a new hairdoo and some permanent fucking makeup, I tell you.

  14. I just….I just don’t know what to say to this. While I have an immense amount of respect for you as a human being for being brave enough to share your most embarassing moment with us, I’m conflicted because the 8 year old tha’t still trapped in me is desperately dying to make fun of you because you not only wanted a Care Bear for Christmas, but ended up with a water-headed one. I mean, that’s just priceless. I’m sure you knew coming in to this that you were going to get some shit for it, so here goes. I can’t hold back……YOU GOT A TARD BEAR!!!

    Ok, I’m so incredibly sorry for that, but it had to be done. That being said, I feel I, like most people here, probably owe you a story. You gave so much, now I’m giving back. When I was in the 8th grade I signed up for art class at school. There was some kind of mix-up and I got put into Home Arts instead, which was basically Home Economics. We learned stuff like how to make Monkey Bread, how to sew, and a bunch of other homemaker stuff. There were 3 other guys in the class with me that kind of got the same raw deal I did, and the rest were girls. Well, I think one of the guys actually wanted to be in the class–and it wasn’t because he got to be around a lot of girls. He didn’t really care about any of that, if you know what I mean.

    Anyway, one of the things we learned was how to cross stitch. Before the class I couldn’t tell you the difference between cross stitching and knitting, but during that semester I learned not only how to cross stitch but how to do it well. I like to think that I’m a fairly decent artist and am kind of artsy so I grew to kind of enjoy the creative aspect of it. That year, I actually made little cross stitch Christmas tree ornaments for people in my family for Christmas. The most embarassing part though, is that after the class was over I continued to do it. I started buying little cross stitch projects at Wal-Mart and they started getting bigger and bigger. I started getting interested in things like different thread colors and what kind of complicated patterns I could find. Now, being that my parents were divorced and I lived with my mom, she didn’t see anything wrong with the whole thing. Years later, after talking to my dad, he told me that for about a year or so there he was very, very concerned.

    I’ve never told anyone the story about my adolescent passion for the stitch, but there you go.

  15. My old bedroom I grew up in has care bear wallpaper. That’s a fact. Someday when I visit my Grandparents I will do a video tour of my old bedroom and you shall see. The wall the bed used to be up against has pencil sketches made by me of patches over their eyes, naked mermaids on their arms, piercings through their nostrils and their ears, all sorts of things. I also wrote “EL BARTO WAS HERE” from the simpsons. I want to show that in a video as well.

    I have a video I have to edit still I made on Saturday of me looking through a sketch diary I drew in when I was 17 and 18. ‘tear’ so many memories.

  16. OMG. I am cryng from laughing so hard. I loved those stupid bears. I had Sunshine Bear. I am glad your story ended with a change of heart from your 8 year old self!


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