Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Welcome welcome welcome to the Big Blue House ... or not

I see this mouse in my dreams.

My son watches a lot of "Bear in the Big Blue House." If it's possible for a 3-year-old to have an obsession, this comes close. This is in many ways a good thing. For one, he could like Thomas the Train who, at last check, did not move his lips when he talks. I would imagine that would annoy me to no end.

So I'm happy he instead likes (OK, loves) Bear, who was created by the Jim Henson people and is funny and sings catchy songs. On the other hand, I've started to hear those songs in the strangest places, like in the shower and when I'm lying in bed late at night. I'm becoming convinced I can tell apart Pip and Pop, even though in all likelihood they're actually played by the same purple puppet. I'm starting to understand Treelo the Lemur, who talks sort of like a Tiny Tim record played backwards.

But beyond that, I'm concerned because the Bear franchise was recently purchased by Disney (known affectionately in my household as "That bunch of B------s!"), who are systematically releasing all the shows again in different boxes, so my son -- who, like many Bear fans, cannot read -- can see them in Toys R Us, think them new and attach himself to the display like a barnicle to the hull of a carp trawler.

And so, as we prepare for Bear birthday party number three (the 1-year-old event featured Clifford the Big Red Dog, more due to the law that all birthday cakes must now contain a cartoon character than any particular affection for the oversized mutt), I brace myself for more quality time with the big old Bear, and for Disney to find new and innovative ways to take my money in the process.

But mark my words: No matter what, I will not embarrass myself by engaging in any bidding wars to buy a cha-cha-cha-dancing Bear doll on eBay. Again.

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