It was a cardboard box in my garage. It was marked, “Sean’s Stuff.” That was it. Two words. It’s been sitting in my garage since the construction of the pyramids.
My garage looks like the aftermath of an atomic explosion. There are boxes everywhere, along with wounded furniture, elderly lawn mowers, arthritic hand tools, dead tennis rackets, and an asthmatic GE refrigerator.
I don’t even remember what I was looking for when I found this box. There were spiders inside. I am a well-noted spider hater. I released the spiders outdoors instead of killing them because it just didn’t seem sportsmanlike.
Also inside the box was an old deck of cards, comic books, a baseball cap, and an empty Schweppes ginger ale bottle. Then I found it. My old teddy bear.
He was a good bear. Actually, he was my best friend once. It is a natural thing for boys to call stuffed animals close friends. I have even met grown men who admitted to almost making a teddy bear the best
man at their wedding. Don’t force me to start naming names.
My bear was named Teddy just like every kid’s bear probably was. I should have named him something original like “Herman,” but there was a factory tag on his butt that read “Teddy.” So who was I to change it? A man is entitled to keep his name.
When I was a child, I remember one time I was sick with the flu, and I held onto this bear for dear life.
Late that night my father told me the story of how the American teddy bear got its name. At the time, I was borderline delirious. Hot. Sweaty. Out of it.
My father suggested that I drink ginger ale to calm my stomach. This was his answer for any ailment. To my father, if it couldn’t be fixed with castor oil, Mentholatum, or ginger ale, you…