Black Friday has come and gone, and with all the madness I’ve been curious as to what this year’s must-have toy is going to be. You know, the one that all whiny five-year-olds want and soccer moms will have wrestling matches in the aisles of Toys R Us to get. A few years ago, the big toy that everyone had to have was the Furby–those creepy talking owl type things. Well, a few years ago during my junior year in high school, on a very bizarre school trip to San Francisco, I got bit by a Furby.
This trip was memorable for several reasons. My friend Kira set off the emergency exit alarm on the way there, John (the bus driver) got pulled over, we passed a car that had been saran-wrapped to a tree (which really isn’t that odd to see in San Francisco), and at the end of the trip a very nice gay man sang Christmas songs to us while we waited for the bus. Despite all of that, the most memorable part of the trip came on our way home.
The reason for the field trip to San Francisco was to visit the Museum of Modern Art. After leaving the museum, we had a couple of hours to kill before getting back on the bus. My friend Jamie and I decided to get some lunch and do some shopping. We decided to go into FAO Schwartz, which ended up being a very very bad idea. As we stepped onto the second floor of the store, I heard Jamie squeal, “Baby Furbies! I’ve always wanted one of those!” There was a mountain of Furbies in front of us, probably overstock from the previous Christmas, and they were on sale. Naturally, Jamie had to get one, and a little while later we were back on the bus and headed home. Here’s how the rest of the trip went:
“Does anyone have any batteries?” Jamie asked.
“I do,” I replied. “What do you need them for?”
“I want to put them in the Furby.”
Why I gave her the batteries, I’ll never know.
Brandon, another friend on the trip, gave Jamie his pocketknife in order to get the screws out of the bottom of the Furby to put the batteries in. As soon as the last battery was in the Furby came to life, and Jamie put the screws back in.
“Why did you put the screws back in?” I asked. “What if you want to take the batteries back out?”
“I won’t need to take the batteries out,” Jamie said. “If he gets annoying the instructions say to put him in a dark place and he’ll go to sleep.”
Ten minutes later…”Jamie, make that Furby shut up!”
The Furby had been talking non-stop and people were getting ready to chuck it out the window. Jamie put the Furby behind us and covered it with a blanket so it would go to sleep. According to the instructions, it should have gone to sleep in only a couple minutes. They lied. We tried piling blankets and sweatshirts on top of the Furby to block out the noise, but that probably just pissed it off. Finally, after Jamie had been yelled at by just about everyone on the bus to shut her Furby up, I suggested she just take the batteries out. Brandon gladly loaned us his pocketknife again. Jamie had put the screws back in too tight and was having problems getting them out, so I offered to try. This turned out to be another very bad idea. Apparently I had placed by hand over the Furby’s face, and as I was trying to get the screws out that evil possessed gremlin chomped down on my finger! I had been bit by a Furby. However, victory was soon mine as I finally got the batteries out and a wonderful silence filled the air.
So what’s the moral of story? Other than “don’t ever buy a Furby or any other creepy talking toy ever ever ever…,” there really is no moral. And I am happy to report that since that day, the Furby has remained battery-free.