My favorite news story of the week: a survey showing that a third of all adults here in Britain still take teddy bears to bed. Think of three grownups you know. According to this survey, at least one of them still sleeps with a soft toy.
Okay, in that context it’s actually a leeetle bit creepy, but the fact that 25% of men surveyed said they take their teddy on business trips made me smile, bless their commercial little hearts. When I was a kid my dad used to work as a toy inventor (another story for another time), and one year when I was still young he and my mom took me to the toy industry trade show, where for the first and what I think remains the only time, in a crowded elevator I glimpsed a man in a three-piece suit casually take a lollipop out of his pocket and start eating it. The teddy bear news gave me the same sort of feeling.
(A thought occurs: Can you imagine if you were a businessman and your hotel room got broken into? With your teddy bear there? The more I think about it, the weirder this news is.)
More than half of the people surveyed, even if they did not actually sleep with a teddy, still had some soft toy from childhood. Makes you wonder about all those stories like The Velveteen Rabbit, and the most recent Toy Story film. All those stories about people growing too old for their toys–when at least half us never really do. (According to the Travelodge survey anyway–I’m skeptical about the rigor of their statistical methods, but it’s difficult for me to discount the heartwarming bit. Admitting this probably makes me a bad social scientist.)
(And yes. His name is Snowy. He lives on my dresser.)