MACK the MOUSE
Well gang, this post marks another milestone in my blogging career; it is my 200th post since beginning this blog 4 and a half months ago. My goal was to maintain a pace of a post for every day that passes. I wasn’t guaranteeing a new post every single day but if I missed a day I intended to make up for it. I’m currently about 70 posts ahead of schedule so that should give me some wiggle room. I will try to maintain this pace so long as you continue to visit. For my 100th post I reviewed what might be my coolest action figure, The Rocketeer (technically it was my 101 post). For my 200th post I wanted to do something special again but the Rocketeer is pretty hard to top. So as the 200th post loomed closer and closer I began wondering what action figure was cool enough to earn the spot. Well after some thought I opted to skip the “cool” factor as we’ve already topped that out and instead I went for the most nostalgic collectable I have, or the most loved if you will. I present to you Mack the Mouse. I know he doesn’t look like much but he’s been with me a very long time and of all my “imaginary” friends, he was my best. I have only the vaguest of memories of Mack coming into my possession as I was very young, like 3 or 4. I have a great aunt Mary that lives out in the country. At least that’s how we referred to the area growing up. There were farms and cows and fields everywhere and visiting her felt worlds away from my suburban life back home. Time seemed to slow down there. My siblings and I would spend our time there chasing the endless amount of cats around the yard, swinging in the hammock and gorging ourselves on the sweets that Mary continued to place before us. She makes the best marble cake. My most memorable experience at Mary was when Doug and I were riding the old wooden, paint chipped see-saw/teeter-totter that she had in her yard. I think we were actually playing G.I. Joe at the time. We weren’t actually teetering at the moment, Doug being heavier was sitting on the ground making his figures duke it out on the low end of the teeter while I was sitting stuck up at the high end having my own battle. Injured Joes would be slid from the high end to the low end and then we’d reverse positions and slide the figures back the other way. Good times. Anyway the sun was setting and we were contently playing away on the see-saw when a bat (the first I’d ever seen in real life) flew into my hair. Doug leapt from his seat sending me crashing to the ground and we both ran screaming into the house.
Anyway whenever the fair came to aunt Mary’s neighbourhood which was actually just Elderbank, not “the country” it was a big deal. It was the same crappy fair that went everywhere but at Mary’s it was combined with pig races and stuff like that and the whole thing was called the exhibition. I remember walking through the fair in the evening hours with the flashing lights and loud noises and feeling like I was in a magical place. Going to the fair now I realize how crappy and small it is but it still makes me nostalgic. The tilt-a-whirl still plays Bangles songs so it’s hard not to flash back a little bit. So on one particular trip to the exhibition I believe it was either my aunt Caroline or Valerie who were on a roll and won Doug and I a bunch of stuffed animals at one of those stupid carnival games. I seem to recall they all came from the same trip but I was super young so it may have actually been that we each got one animal one year and then got another one the following year . I don’t really remember but Doug can make corrections in the comments below if he remembers it differently.
So at the exhibition that day as I recall, Doug received two stuffed dogs; prizes passed along to him from a gracious aunt. Sport the baseball dog and Spike the fireman dog. I received Jack the big fat owl and Mack the Mouse with a Kardashian ass. I’m not sure why Doug got two cool themed dogs while I got the unemployed fringe animals but I was happy regardless. Doug loved both Sport and Spike but honestly I always favoured Mack over poor Jack. I no longer have Jack but I hope he’s doing well in whatever landfill he ended up in. Mack was my absolute favourite stuffed animal and I had many. I had popular “name” stuffed animals like Dino from the Flintstones and a lotsa-legs caterpillar which were popular for a time but Mack always reigned supreme. Doug and I used to pretend everything we owned was alive. It was like as if Andy from Toy Story knew what happened when he left the room and was in on the fact that the toys were ‘letting” him play with them. We imagined our toys had lives of their own beyond playtime. In “real life” all of our G.I. Joe figures were friends, there was no good and evil. Skeletor and He-Man hung out together in the figure drawer, there wasn’t any bad blood between them. Yes we were kinda weird. When Doug and I had chores to do or a drive to take we would choose a “buddy of the day” to accompany us and that was when the toys could be themselves and drop the façade of their character. Cobra Commander would sometimes sit by the sink and hang with me while I did dishes or I’d have Soundwave in my pocket while I raked leaves.
Though I don’t have statistics to back this claim up (Doug probably does) Mack was my most frequent buddy of the day. He joined me on all kinds of mundane adventures. Mack always had top billing of animals to cuddle when it was time for bed despite not being the fluffiest and having those scratchy wire whiskers. He was the best.
I’ve kept a few of my favourite stuffed animals but only Mack came with me when I moved out of the house into my first apartment. He’s been with me practically my whole life and seen me through good times and bad. Despite the fact that his nose has broken off, his whiskers have curled into a tangled mess and that he’s been cut open and re-stuffed by my mom at more than one occasion, he’s still my best imaginary friend. On his back I can still faintly read the words MIKIE that my Mom wrote on there when I was taking him to school for show and tell one day. When I watch the Toy Story movies and am moved when Woody reads Andy’s name on his boot, or brought to tears when the toys are almost incinerated in the third movie, it’s Mack that I think about. I can substitute Andy and Woody for Mack and I and I think that’s why those movies strike such a chord with me. I’m actually getting emotional as I type this. I think I’ll go give him a hug. 10 out of 10.