Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Floppy Guy (or, Dreams that become Nightmares)

You know these guys? I don't know their real name, but we call them floppy guys. Inflatable…advertising…tube people? They are so strange and alarming. Anyway. I don't know how it happened, but Goldie fell in love with them. I think we drove by one once, and she was tiny and could hardly talk, but she started crying and saying "I want to see that guy again!" so we went back and she laughed and clapped in delight, and that did it. Now we all watch like hawks when we go anywhere, hoping to see a floppy guy we can point out to Goldie. 

She's always talking about them, too; about how when she grows up she's going to get her OWN floppy guy, and also a BABY floppy guy, and also a TURQUOISE floppy guy, and so forth. She draws pictures of them and reminisces about when we saw one last. 

So, you can imagine everyone's delight when a store just outside our own neighborhood got a floppy guy! Now we get to see him almost every time we go anywhere, and it's great, except when we drive by too quickly and Marigold starts crying, "I didn't say bye-bye to the floppy guy!" Sometimes he isn't outside, and Goldie says he's probably "having his nap."
One night we were parked in the vicinity, so we asked Goldie if she wanted to go see the floppy guy. Of course she did. But as we rounded the corner and made our approach, she started getting really nervous. The fan was loud, and the flopping movements made strange contorted shadows in the twilight. Goldie didn't seem to like the way her hero loomed over her. "I love that guy! He's too big!" she kept saying, edging away backwards. Sebby had to hold on to her tight to even keep her there long enough for a picture. She finally got brave enough to, while being held by me, touch the floppy guy with one finger. She squeaked and yanked her hand back.
Very, very pleased (and also terrified).
After a time we walked away, with Goldie murmuring, "I love that guy! He's so big!" in dubious tones.

The next day we drove by Floppy Guy again. He flopped toward us grotesquely. "Floppy Guy's not big anymore!" Goldie said happily, from her car seat. "I love him."

4 comments:

  1. How funny! What a cute gal. I listened to a podcast last year that talked about the history of these inflatable guys. It was pretty interesting.

    http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/inflatable-men/

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    1. I might have known it would be something SERIOUS.
      Ahem.
      I mean, I might have known you would have something pertinent and wonderful to contribute on any subject. This podcast is great. Thank you!

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  2. I love that she loves them! I have to admit, I have been mesmerized by floppy guys more than once...something about how they just keep getting back up after they flop down...

    Also, I am trying to understand how these fun posts, which show up on your Facebook account, don't show up on my notifications. And why people about whom I care less than I care about YOU are always been forced on me by my notification feed. A technicality that will shortly be remedied, I hope.

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    1. Facebook is so strange. Positively NO sense of humor. MUST be its diet. I can't understand why it persists in showing me millions of things I hate…
      the things she hates, baron?…
      and never anything I want to see. Thus, I have withdrawn from it in disgust. :)

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