This post first appeared April 4, 2008.
Yesterday evening I saw a Chrysler convertible fly by on Carondolet Street with a human-sized Tweety Bird stuffed animal in the backseat. To say it was a giant Tweety would understate the case given the small stature of the Tweety Bird cartoon character to begin with, and proportionally, Tweety’s head, when scaled up like that, is like half a dozen or more human heads. So there Tweety sat in the middle of the backseat, giant head looming there. But as the car sped past, a large–not Tweety big, but bigger than a baby–Teddy Bear rolled off the trunk, flying off and finally bouncing to a stop in the middle of the street. I pulled over. Four, five cars passed, each in turn avoiding the Teddy Bear. I grabbed the Teddy Bear and found it looked almost new, not dirty at all, though it seemed to have some sort of voicemaker inside that wasn’t working or needed a new battery, but all in all, a fine Teddy Bear. It would’ve been wasteful to just leave the Teddy Bear to become just more trash at the side of the road, and certainly a child somewhere would love to have it. It wasn’t the sort of stuffed animal my daughter would like, but I took it with me, figuring I’d include it in our next Bridge House donation.
I went to Breaux Mart on Magazine Street and bought a bottle of wine. Nearby, a hipster woman–she wore leg-length black leggings with endless light swirls and a matching top, a funky little hat, the whole ensemble dark and alienated, Gothish maybe–was fixing her young girl, who couldn’t be more than two or three, into a seat on their bicycle. I grabbed the Teddy Bear from my car and ran over. I said something like, “This is going to sound weird, but a few minutes ago I saw this convertible go by with a huge Tweety Bird stuffed animal in the back seat …” Here I’m thinking the huge Tweety bird probably means a whole lot more to me than everyone else. “And this Teddy Bear flew out of the car and landed in the street. It looks perfectly fine. I was going to bring it to Bridge House, but do you think she would like it?” I handed it to the mother. She looked it over and handed it to the girl, who promptly hugged it to her face. I started back to my car. If she had been an Uptown Mother (in the worst sense) she would’ve uttered the word “Emergency” into her voice activated cell phone, instantly notifying the police before turning her mace on me. But this mother told her daughter to say thank you and off they rode.