This is Distinguished…and yes, his mouth is a pink curler.
I spent the Mother’s Day afternoon recreating a plush toy that I had as a wee one…
I named him Distinguished. I’m not sure where he came from, how he came to be mine (Christmas present, Birthday present, Easter???) It was 1965-ish. I was quite young. Distinguished was a big word for me, and I loved the sound of it. Of all things, I got the name from a Windex with Ammonia D commercial which had a slogan: “What does the “D” stand for?” “Distinguished.” (I have tried finding it on YouTube, but not yet.) There was a little fuzzy character that purred in response to the announcer, it was cute and funny, and I giggled my ass off every time, so…of course, the first fuzzy thing I get my hands on was christened, Distinguished.
Anyway…the good and the bad influences of television on the developing mind is a topic for another day…
The original Distinguished was chewed up by our dog a very long time ago (I was away at college) to say the least, that was a sad day…although I had outgrown my old fuzzy blue friend, he was being kept for sentimental reasons. He had seen better days, he had a permanent smudge in the center of his face where I tried to share my peanut butter sandwich with him one day (we had a picnic in the backyard once) and his green felt hands and feet were tattered to bits, his eyes had to have their pupils painted on because the originals wore off from all the hugging (so he could see, you see), and amazingly enough, his pink curler was still intact (even after the dog had her way with him.) There was no saving him, he was done. He has long since been buried at the Town of Lyons dump.
(They wouldn’t let me bury him in the backyard or in Phil’s woods.)
I never forgot Distinguished, and because I’m sentimental, I memorialized him in one of my novels, Dusty Waters, in which I described him as: …an alien from a faraway planet of blue fuzzy critters. In spite of his startling appearance, he is a benign little guy, often confused by the world around him, but happy to be here. That was him, totally him…I envisioned him lounging on Dusty’s bed, staring off into space, looking baffled and hopeful, perfectly innocent, his fuzziness a comfort. He was more than willing to put up with the antics of the other plush toys in the line up against the pillows…(it’s these little details that I love about writing…)
Since winter I began to acquire the components to resurrect Distinguished, and the last piece was the pink curler for his mouth, which came from my mom’s vanity drawer and so…it became the question of “when” was I going to put him together, sewing isn’t one of my strong points, I can do it, but I don’t like doing it. When I sat down to do it on that blustery afternoon, the day before my birthday, I was giddy. I set myself up with music to sew by (Indigo Girls.) And so, he took shape in a couple of hours of poking myself in the fingers with sewing needles, cursing tangled threads, and blue fuzz flying everywhere, all of this activity was fascinating my cats, so they wanted to help too, you see…
He is bigger than the original (he had to “grow” to accommodate my adult size) he’s soft and squishy (possibly softer and squishier) and I adore him! As I gave him his very first squeeze, I promised him that I would not get peanut butter on his face and then drag him around the backyard…the original never looked right after that and it always troubled me…but he was well loved then!
(If he was confused by the world of circa 1965, he’s going to be even more confused by 2016.)
I’m still finding blue fuzz on the floor.