The end of this series in in sight as we count down towards December 31, the day all ballots have to be returned—mailed only, you charming, anachronistic dinosaurs—so it’s time to start uncorking the really good bottles. And by good I mean, deeply weird and unsettling. It’s time to deal with the Edgar Bear:
To be fair, truly dealing with the Edgar Bear takes years of therapy we just don’t have time for here, so let’s break down some of its salient points:
AUGH. When I taught in Philadelphia, I worked for a time for an old, deeply Italian principal who hadn’t updated his wardrobe since the early 90s and was a fervent enthusiast of the sweater vest. His favorite was a little red and gray number that featured multiple textures and two different contrasting patterns on the front and the back, causing one of my coworkers to remark, “girl, that thing is awful coming and going.” So, too, the Edgar bear. We will deal with the horror of the front in a moment, but first I have questions about the back, specifically regarding the dashing tuxedo point to the tail. What shirt operates in this fashion, as a giant arrow pointing directly to the buttcrack? I have never seen such a shirt, not even in the darkest days of Donna’s ever-present handkerchief tops on 90210. Also, let’s walk it back to what the shirt-arrow is pointing to: a tail. Bears, last I checked, do not have tails, but rather gross little butt-flaps. Many native peoples have legends about what happened to the bear’s tail, which are a delightful source of cultural entertainment that this tailed monstrosity mocks openly. That is not a tail, that is a misplaced ear, and you should look away, children.
Speaking of children, let’s return to the front of the bear for a hot second. Children’s Hospital was ostensibly involved in this giveaway, as was our old friend Wal-Mart. You’ll remember Wal-Mart from such underachievements as this. One can only hope that no actual children at Children’s Hospital were given this bear, because speaking as someone who has had to spend a lot of time in hospitals looking after family members, I can tell you: no person working towards recovery needs to gaze upon this visage:
I think we just figured out Dinger’s origin story. Why is this so terrifying? Is it the eyes, those tiny black pinpricks that pierce your skin like acid rain? Perhaps the outsized, alarmingly pink mouth? Maybe it’s the thoroughly unnecessary eyeblack, twin wounds opening like that vat of Dip in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Or—and I’m just spitballing here—is it that putting a man’s face on a bear’s head is so wrong it feels like there ought to be a commandment against it?
Whatever horrors are upon this earth are by man’s own hand, and we shall pay for our arrogance. Just because you can make a jet pack doesn’t mean it can’t still fly too close to the sun.
The front of the bear suffers from the same jersey problem as the back of the bear, but this time instead of a protuberance, we have a lacuna. Why? Is it an effect to try to create the jersey tails? Because it really just makes it look like the bear had to undo that final button after eating a heavy pregrame snack. It reminds me of Lou Piniella, and how his jersey always looked a little sloppy, like he’d slept in it and also maybe gotten into a fight with a drifter on his way down to the stadium, and then maybe had slept in it again during the middle innings.
What is the hat even doing here? Why a hat? The hat just creates design problems when you have to figure out the ears, not that the designer here has shown anything more than a passing familiarity with bear anatomy. But I’ve been staring at this picture for fifteen minutes and for some reason it’s the hat that keeps bothering me. It’s almost like it was an afterthought, like it was slapped on there to cover up some greater horror underneath. What could it be? What could lurk in the intersection of hat-and-hairline-and bearline that was deemed unfit for human eyes?
(That’s an actual Seattle PI photo, by the way. Your guess is as good as mine as for why it looks like a Dalí painting after he’d been up for three days straight on an absinthe bender.)
Unlike some of the other items I’ve profiled during this series, there are tons of Edgar bears out there on eBay for you to gift a friend or enemy this holiday season. If you do purchase one for your own enjoyment I can’t stop you, but I would suggest you turn it to face the wall at night.