Sunday, October 16, 2022

Teddy's Strabismus

As I was taking our sheets and some dress shirts to the laundromat yesterday, I passed this teddy bear sitting out on an abandoned bicycle near the high street. He looks like he has been well-loved.

Maybe that's why he's now cross-eyed!

Yesterday was a get-this-house-in-order kind of day. First and foremost, I cleaned and arranged the patio. Now that the scaffold is gone, it needed a good sweeping and then I moved all the potted plants back into their usual positions. The scaffold guys managed to leave behind a heavy metal clamp as well as a big board, but I just threw them away. It's an unwritten rule that every time a scaffold gets disassembled, parts of it are forgotten. I'm sure they're used to it.

I also trimmed the monster, which had been partly blocked by the scaffold and thus left to run wild for the past month. It's been driving me crazy, so I was glad to give it a haircut. I collected two bags of trimmings afterwards.

And of course I vacuumed inside and took care of all the potted plants. One of our rescue orchids spontaneously died. I have no idea why, except that it was never very robust to begin with. It's OK -- we have plenty -- but I'm letting you know that I do have my failures.

I also took Olga to the cemetery. No turaco. I think Olga put on some weight while I was away, so we've got some more walking to do!

I came across an interesting article yesterday about the urban myth of the school that installed a litter box for a student who identified as a cat. Have you heard this nonsense? It's a story that's been making the rounds, usually perpetuated by people who are hostile to LGBT identities. Some mother made the allegation at a school board meeting months ago that schools were installing litter boxes for "furry" students, and it was never true, but the story took on a life of its own. It has been repeated as fact by politicians and political candidates and podcasters. When we were in Michigan over the summer, Dave's mom said she heard it from someone who had a friend who worked in this mythical school. That seems to be the pattern -- it's always a friend of a friend who has personal knowledge of this situation, and yet no specific school or litter-box-using student has ever been identified because they DON'T EXIST. It's just a way for right-wingers to take the idea of self-identification to an absurd next level. It's baloney.

People are so crazy. The things we come up with! It's enough to make me go cross-eyed.


Andrew said...

Yes, I've heard that myth and immediately judged it as such. There have been some real classics over the years, my first from childhood of not swimming after eating seemingly quite plausible. Perhaps next, the ill effects of self pleasuring, or nuns warning female Catholic school students that talking to boys through a three metre cyclone fence could make them pregnant. What is a more recent one? I can't think of one but silly ones now come from politics as much as anywhere.

I've seen teddy's cross eyed look on a footballer as he was hit by a ball, but not on the head.

Keep an eye on YP comments. He is starting a merch promotion.

River said...

I never believed that "Furries" story.
Good to know the scaffolding has gone at last, you have your backyard to yourself again.
Teddy needs a pair of glasses.

Moving with Mitchell said...

And THAT is actually what made the bear go cross-eyed, too.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Yes I had heard that litter box myth. Many seemed all too willing to take it as fact. Even now, in spite of the contrary evidence, many seem all too happy to keep on believing it. In miniature it's all a bit like Trump's ridiculous claim that the election was stolen from him. And while I think about it, please tell your friends and work colleagues that London is about to be hit by a giant swarm of locusts - ascending the globe from Africa. It is expected that there will be no vegetation left in parks and gardens. Time to get ready. Big news organisations are not mentioning it for fear of causing panic.

Bob said...

Lots of Republicans are sharing the furries stories, of course without a shred of proof. I think it's a way to be anti-LGBTQ+ without saying it out loud.

Ms. Moon said...

I believe that the extreme right-wingers were vastly disappointed when same-sex marriage was legalized and people did NOT start taking goats and chickens as husbands or wives. So- you know- litter boxes in restrooms. Anyone who would believe this shite shouldn't be allowed to drive or reproduce. That's my opinion.
Your monster certainly can overtake things, can't it? Glad the scaffolding is down. What's the next project coming up for the Russians?

NewRobin13 said...

The world is going crazy. It is confirmed everyday by the ridiculous stories that people tell to confirm their utterly ridiculous beliefs. I think the 24-hour news cycle killed real news and now needs to be filled up with mind-numbing insanity.
That teddy bear looks like he just heard the news about litter boxes for kids who identify as cats.

Boud said...

There have always been stupid urban legends, but they get a lot more exposure now. So is that Gladly, the Cross Eyed Bear?? Old joke from misheard old hymn. For those who are reading with eyes crossed wondering wha'? It's Gladly the Cross I'd bear.

ellen abbott said...

I read an article about that, don't know if it was the same one but the author traced it back to it's origin. One school had a bucket of kitty litter in the lockdown room in case of an active shooter in case any of the kids needed to go to the bathroom. As if any of those kids would pee in front of all the other kids. So this stupid rumor is directly tied to republican refusal to do anything about curtailing the rampant gun ownership and rising gun violence in this country.

Elizabeth said...

Oy. I had not heard that story. This country.

Wilma said...

Sometimes I feel like Teddy looks.

Red said...

It's not understandable that people believe what they hear from a guy who heard it from a friend and on down the line. I wonder how much lower the average IQ has dropped in the last 25 years? Maybe I'll start a conspiracy on Shadows and Light!

Sharon said...

I had not heard that ridiculous story but, it doesn't surprise me. Nothing surprises me any more when it comes to politics. This upcoming election is down-right scary.

Margaret said...

It's terrifying what people believe these days without a shred of proof--or the opposite. They've been brainwashed not to trust fact check sites either. It feels like all is lost.

Allison said...

What people will believe is amazing to me. I can not wrap my head around the incredibly stupid stuff that is easily debunked, and yet they hold on to their wrong thinking. There's no point in discussing it, because they "know" it's true.

Kelly said...

I've heard that ridiculous story, too. I don't even give credence to stuff like that.

Sounds like you've had a productive weekend, including a walk with Olga. Don't body shame her for putting on weight! 😉

Linda Sue said...

just saw this- you probably did too,

The Bug said...

I had heard of the story but didn't even know what the heck they were talking about - thanks for clarifying it for me. It's amazing what people will believe. And also? WHO THE HECK CARES? If some kid wants to use a litter box I literally do not care. (Although I can't ever imagine that would be the case.)

I'm glad you got to spend some time doing homely tasks. You've inspired me - I'm off to clean my litter box, er, bathroom!

Debby said...

Yes, I have heard it. It is not true but try correcting a wild eyed believer. People get offended that you don't believe them. Crazy people trying to convince people that the nuts are on the 'other side'.

Janie Junebug said...

I've heard the stupid story about litter boxes in schools. It was on Facebook again recently with a photo of a teen in a cat costume--probably from some long ago Halloween. It's total bullshit.


Pixie said...

I always find it shocking what people will believe. My sister sends me crap sometimes, I check it on snopes and then direct her to the site. I have no idea if it changes my mind but it's all I can do. There is far too much crazy shit in this world. I suppose it's always been so but I do find it sad.

Jeanie said...

Yup. That litter box incident happened in my state, good ol' "Pure Michigan." We used to be a smart state. I don't know when we got so stupid. (That said, if you have a plumbing problem, I can personally recommend the litter box -- but use a pail unless you have better knees than I -- as a viable VERY temporary method. Especially at a cottage where neighbors might not be handy and it's too late to drive up to Burger King. I'm just sayin' -- and much as I like cats, you won't be finding me as a furry!)

I need to get out with the clippers and take down overgrown hedges, sweetpeas, sunflowers and more. I just want it to stop raining first!

Steve Reed said...

Andrew: We undoubtedly do inflict a lot of myths on our children. This, however, is a politically motivated deception.

River: So you've heard it too? I'm surprised it's reached all the way to Australia!

Mitchell: And you can't really blame him.

YP: The Republican method is to just keep repeating certain talking points until they essentially become true, whether they really are true or not. (Stolen election; crime in Democratic cities; poisonous vaccines; crooked Hillary; corrupt Anthony Fauci; and the list goes on...)

Bob: Yes, I agree. It's anti-LGBTQ and specifically anti-trans.

Ms Moon: There's a sense of panic that they're losing the culture wars, so they're getting desperate.

Robin: I agree about the 24-hour news cycle. It's a curse.

Boud: I laughed at your misunderstood hymn! LOL

Ellen: Yes, I've heard that theory as a possible source of the story.

Elizabeth: Indeed. It's crazy the stories that make the rounds.

Wilma: Ha! It would be an appropriate response.

Red: And yet I think this is how urban legends work. A "friend of a friend" allegedly has some experience and suddenly it becomes true, but can never be traced back to its original source.

Sharon: There is a deficit of critical thinking out there.

Margaret: Oh, yeah, I know! The fact-check sites are all a Democrat-run conspiracy in their minds!

Allison: I guess when you're a believer in conspiracies it's easier to simply assume that EVERYTHING is part of the conspiracy, rather than to shift your thinking.

Kelly: Dave says that to me all the time. "Don't fat shame our daughter!" LOL

Linda Sue: I hadn't seen that! Thanks for the link. I'll show it to Dave.

Bug: I don't care in theory, but it does seem like it would be a fairly gross thing to experience in a public restroom. Doesn't matter though because it's JUST A CRAZY IDEA!

Debby: Well, as I said above, if you try to reason with a believer they just assume you're part of the conspiracy.

Janie: So ridiculous. Social media is a curse!

Pixie: I used to send people to Snopes but I found that they'd simply write off Snopes as a partisan website -- effectively part of the conspiracy. (Still, I love Snopes and check it all the time when I'm trying to figure out whether something is real or not.)

Jeanie: Ha! I love that you have personal knowledge of this technique of bathroom management. LOL

Love from Peapods said...

That best looks like Nookie bear= a 70s ventriloquist Roger de Courcy used to have a well known act with him. That puppet bear would be quite sought after by collectors I reckon. I'm a mine of useless information! Best wishes Kim.