Friday, November 11, 2011

This Dolphin Says WHUMP!

Snickers won a huge plush dolphin at the fair this year. It was one of those games where someone wins everytime and it was Snickers, Doodlebug, Sweet Pea and I playing. So the odds were pretty good that one of us would walk away with a prize. And sure enough - Snickers won! He chose a huge golden yellow dolphin that is about 3 feet long. He was ecstatic! It was stuffed with tiny little styrofoam balls so it was nice and light and made a soft shushing/hissing noise when you shifted it. He actually carried it around the fair all by himself for quite a while before I ended up with it.

But, as we discovered, that Styrofoam was dusty. Little clouds of Styrofoam dust ploofed out regularly. So much so that Snickers decided he wouldn't sleep with it for fear of suffocating on the dust in his sleep. So, it had a place of honor on top of his book shelves. But he really liked the thing and wanted to sleep with it so I told him I would replace its guts with some other stuffing that was less likely to kill him in his sleep.

He was a little worried but I reassured him - a single small incision and a little bit of time and Dolphin would be back up and swimming in no time.

So I set to work. I opened up the seam in Dolphin's tail and poured and squeezed and squished and dumped out about 17 cubic yards of Styrofoam balls. And of course, as is the way with tiny Styrofoam balls, and as is the way with me and my lack of aversion to making a mess, the operating room was covered in a half inch of Styrofoam balls that somehow missed the garbage bag. Now, we're not talking a nice even 1/2 inch layer across the floor. We're talking a layer on the floor, and on the chair, and on the table, and stuck to the front of the cabinet, and covering every inch of my legs from the knee down and static clinging from the tip of my little finger up to my armpits. Every nook and cranny within 3 yards of the surgery site had anywhere from a few little Styrofoam balls to a thick coating.

It was a mess!

It was disgusting!

It was glorious!

Like a warm snowstorm localized around me and the Dolphin. It was all I could do not to throw handfuls up in the air and twirl around, eyes closed and tongue out. But I had to draw the line somewhere.

So, after cleaning up the mess, vacuuming the floor, my pants, my shirt, the cabinets, the bookcase, the computer and the cat I then decided to shake out the Dolphin for good measure to make sure I got it all. Then, after once again  vacuuming the floor, my pants, my shirt, the cabinets, the bookcase, the computer and the cat I got out a bag of polyester fiber stuffing.

I stuffed and I stuffed and I stuffed. I stuffed approximately 20 pounds of stuffing into that thing.

Remember that nice shushing, hissing noise I mentioned? Yeah, that's gone. Gone into the huge garbage bag. Gone into the guts of the vaccuum cleaner. Now this Dolphin says WHUMP! It's quite an impressive sound!

I carefully sewed up the tail and Snickers was delighted with the change. If only he could lift the darn thing! But with perseverence he managed to wrangle it into his bed.

And while it's an improvement and he no longer fears suffocating on the Styrofoam dust in his sleep, he now has a new fear. He fears being crushed to death under the weight of the thing should it fall onto him in the middle of the night. Not to mention the forhead bruises and elbow contusions from accidentally bumping into the thing in the night.

I promised him I would perform a followup surgery - a liposuction - to remove some of the excess fat. Hopefully when all is said and done it will be 10 pounds lighter, soft and snuggly and no danger to anyone. Only time will tell.


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