Farewell to arms. (Well for a little while, anyway)

Some things really make to world seem right. I had one of those today. You meet nice people making bears, little packages of love as gifts for loved ones. Sometimes it can be a little bittersweet, like when making memory bears , stuffed bears made from the fabric of a dead loved one’s clothing but in a strange way, it is one of those little jobs that make the world a slightly better place, not much, but slightly.

 People bond with bears in a way they don’t with anything else and every now and then I get the odd photo and thank-you card turn up from every corner of the world.  A few years ago something incredibly wonderful happened. I discovered a strange toy When reading reading a book by Poppy Z Brite, it was called a Mr Bingle, a strange, hybrid Christmas character, comprised of an ice cream cone for a hat, a snowman’s body and holly leaf wings. It is only available from Maison Blanche in New Oleans and, whether consciously or not, it reflects that sort of mish-mash / gumbo quality that the city is famous for.  Of course, like the spoilt brat I am, I cheekily slapped up on facebook that I wanted one and got on with my day. Some months later I was surprised to see a large box arrive on my doorstep covered in usps stamps and stickers and inside staring up at me was a Mr Bingle. One of my American customers only went to the trouble of tracking down one of these elusive creations and shipping it to me. 

Fast forward some nine years and up pops a curious message from the same lady. “What’s your address now? ;-)”

That was about three weeks ago…

Today was a bad day, I hadn’t slept and what with my friend Pete’s funeral yesterday and other agro, I wasn’t having much fun. Then the door buzzer went. I scratched my head as the postman waved the large, brightly coloured, box at me. When I saw the, tell-tail, mint green customs clearance sticker the penny dropped who it was from. The shipping box alone was a thing of wonder, a scene from the Peanuts cartoons, with Snoopy’s feet poking out of an iconic US mailbox with a little flag. Then when I looked inside, I saw the strangest of things, it took a moment to work out what this strange creature was. It was a Krampus, a creature from Nordic folklore that was believed to eat naughty children at Christmas time. I suspected for a moment that this one had started eating itself as it was missing arm. Fortunately I found it wrapped up separately at the bottom of the box. Along with a lovely card reading… “If anyone could fix this guy and find him a new home, it is you!  Please save him!” What with the rest of the stuff in the letter, I must admit, I had a bit of a cry.

So, I fixed the arm back back on with a new joint and some, slightly gruesome, open head surgery and put the festive Yuletide child eater back in business. I named him Mr Spigot in memory of the famous enough Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, “only one leg” sketch and now he sits in a chair by the tv, happy in his new home after a very long journey. 

Some days it is had to believe it, but there are some lovely people in the world and I’m glad that I know a few of them.


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