captive teddies

The Most Disturbing Thing I’ve Seen All Day

Yesterday afternoon, Terry had to go out  to get some stuff for the powder room, because, oh yeah, did I mention we’re remodeling the powder room? We are. That’s why there’s currently a toilet in my kitchen. But I digress.

So, Terry had gone out to pick up some stuff for the bathroom reno, and… I’m making this sound more normal than it actually was. What ACTUALLY happened was that Terry ordered the stuff he needed for the bathroom online, and then he had it sent to our OLD  address by mistake: you know, the one we moved out of over a year ago? Obviously I can’t say anything about this, having done exactly the same thing myself (Er, more than  once, actually. And I STILL don’t know our phone number here…), but the upshot was that he really needed the stuff (he’d paid extra for next day delivery and everything: whoops!), so the courier company arranged for him to meet up with the driver and collect it. That’s how Terry found himself handing over his driver’s licence in a seedy  alley somewhere* in exchange for a box full of drainage pipes and bathroom sealant.

It’s also how he came to text me this image (which he sent once he had stopped, obviously: drive responsibly, kids!):

captive teddies

Now, I think we can all agree that this is probably one of the most disturbing things EVER. (Er, if you don’t know why I think that, you need to go and read this post first. It won’t make my sentimental attachment to teddy bears seem any more reasonable to you – quite the opposite, actually – but it’ll at least give it some context…)

Guys, I was so shocked I actually deleted the image by mistake, in my haste to respond to it.

“THE HELL?” I texted back. “Please tell me you’re following that truck to rescue those bears? Also, please re-send that image, because I’m totally blogging this…”

But Terry was on his way home by then, so he didn’t reply, and I had to wait an agonising twenty minutes or so before I could find out the fate of the bears. Who I naturally now think of as THE BEARS.

“THE BEARS!” I shrieked, as soon as he walked in the door. “What happened to THE BEARS? Had they been taken prisoner? Were they even alive? Or had the diabolical truck drivers attached them to the truck, like some kind of grotesque trophy – a warning to other teds, perhaps?”

“Oh, hi Amber,” said Terry sarcastically. “I’m good thanks. You?” Then he started going through his stupid box of tile adhesive, or meth, or whatever the hell it was, before revealing that THE BEARS had been on a council truck. “You know,” he said, “One of the ones that picks up bulky rubbish from the front of people’s houses?”

Well, this was even worse, obviously. These weren’t just any old bears: they were unwanted bears. Unloved teddies. Once treasured toys, which some hard-hearted person had actually thrown out onto the street, to fend for themselves. And NOW LOOK WHAT HAD HAPPENED!

How could they do it, those teddy owners? I mean, hell, I don’t like clutter in my house either, but we have one very important rule whenever we’re having a clearout, and the rule is this:



That’s why Rubin now owns approximately 3,821 soft toys, many of which are now almost unrecognizable AS soft toys. But they have faces, so they stay. Otherwise I’d lie awake at night imagining them in a landfill or – now that I’ve seen the true horror of what happens to homeless bears – strapped to the back of a lorry.

“I think the drivers of the truck had probably saved them,” said Terry. “Like, they’d been in amongst a pile of rubbish, and rather than just dump them with the rest of the stuff, they attached them to the truck?”

That made me feel a bit better. Now I can think of the truck drivers as heroes – the saviours of THE BEARS, who would otherwise have come to a much worse fate. Even so:

“Can we go out under cover of darkness and try to rescue them? ” asked.

“Well, we’d have to track down the truck, first,” said Terry.

And, you know, that wasn’t a “no”, was it?

Hang on BEARS! We’re coming for you!**

♥    ♥    ♥

*It was actually a suburban street somewhere, but it’ll be more exciting if we all just agree to pretend it was a seedy alley. With steam coming up from the pavements, and people silently raising their jackets to reveal the menacing outline of a revolver tucked into their belt. And the “delivery driver” has no teeth. And mad eyes.

** Totally not going to track down the truck and rescue THE BEARS. Seriously thinking of setting up some kind of soft toy sanctuary, though.

books by Amber Eve
  • Myra


    A great bare bear story 🙂

    October 24, 2014
  • Ghalia


    The one on the right looks quite happy, all things considered…

    October 24, 2014
  • Meredith


    I live in Arizona and see this type of weirdness quite a bit. The landscaper trucks here tie teddy bears and sometimes other toys to the backs of their trailers. I’ve tried to find a reason for it but all I’ve discovered so far is a strange sense of humor. Poor bears!

    October 26, 2014
  • Rachel


    I’ve seen a few council trucks with bears on them. The worst ones are where they put the poor things onto the front of the truck. THE FRONT!! Who gets squished first in an accident?! Those poor unwanted bears…people are sick! Having said that my new rescue dog decided it would be a good idea to chew my 30 year olf teddies nose off! I was devastated (I did find it and glue it back on) I phoned mum and she laughed….some people just don’t get it. 😐

    October 27, 2014
      • Rachel


        He’s been told, but then he just gives me those cute little eyes, wags his tail and jumps at me. I’ve had to move my ted out of the way. He has also put a hole through the top part of my new Hunter wellies!! Good job I love him, although the rescue centre did ask under what circumstances would I return him. I said under no circumstances…that was until he touched Ted. 🙂

        October 27, 2014