by Dale Connelly
The kids who collect Beanies will be all right. Its the adults who are frightening. The hardened adult Beanie collector drives a station wagon so packed with spoils that they need trailer mirrors so they can see whats behind them. They speed into parking lots, park across two spaces, throw open the door with the engine still knocking, and stride up to the counter to say, You got any of them monkey dolls? All I need is that one and that cat. And somewhere deep inside theres a tiny voice that says, This is sick. Youre twisted. You sap, why did you fall for this?
There is a reason, and I think its ancient. Its the hunt. The prehistoric urge to track something down and bag it before someone else does, so that you and yours can eat and propagate. Most people dont do that anymore—weve become softened by consumerism; we can buy what we need. But now these big corporations have found a way to tap the compulsion, to tie marketing to survival and re-create the hunt.
Thats why the beanbags are shaped like animals. Thats why otherwise reasonable adults find themselves milling around by the condiment counter mumbling things like, I heard they had Doby at the Shop N Save. Its the thrill of victory. The seduction of the chase.
—Dale Connelly is the cohost of The Morning Show, on Minnesota Public Radio.
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