Ty Collector

Memoirs of a Beanieholic

Chapter 1

Rodney and SkittlesIt all began in 1999, when I received Rodney as a gift from Sondra. Rodney isn't a Beanie Baby, he's an Attic Treasure. Actually, Rodney isn't even "Rodney." His natural father, H. Ty Warner, originally named him Radcliff. But beanies don't like Ty-given names because they have to share their names with thousands of brothers or sisters who look exactly like them.

Beanies are much happier if you rename them when they join your family. A beanie with a unique name is appreciative, healthier and more alert. Most well-adjusted beanies are so happy, healthy and stress-free they outlive their owners.

We assigned Rodney the job of guarding our Honda so he would have a sense of purpose. It soon became apparent he needed company during the long hours of inactivity in the car. A few weeks later Gizmo approached us in a store and volunteered for the companion job. Gizmo was renamed Skittles and joined Rodney in the car. To this day they both serve faithfully as our 24-hour car guards. Rodney and Skittles also proved conclusively that an Attic Treasure and a Beanie Baby can not only work together but also become close friends.
Cheeks - computer guard extraordinaire
In December 2002, I received Cheeks as a Christmas present from Wanda Whitley, a secretary (oops; administrative assistant) at my workplace. Wanda said she had seen Rodney and Skittles in my car and assumed I was a collector. She told me she had purchased Cheeks in the USO office across the hallway from my office. USO office?  Across the hall? I had never really noticed. Considering the excellent job Rodney and Skittles were doing in the car, I assigned Cheeks as my office computer guard. Cheeks insisted on keeping his original Ty name. Just stubborn, I suppose.

The Geezers - Schlossberg posseOur posse was soon joined by "The Geezers," who agreed to watch over our luggage and other belongings whenever we travelled. The family was growing. The addiction was beginning to assert itself.

Cheeks did such a remarkable job protecting my computer against hackers, viruses and crashes that I decided to hire a printer guard. What better place to go hunting than the USO office across the hall. That was my next step (well, 8 or 9 steps) into hopeless and permanent addiction. The USO was full of Beanie Babies and Attic Treasures. They even had a Buddy or two.

Legs aka Spinner - printer securityThe USO club manager helped me select Spinner for the printer-guard job. Four dollars later and renamed as Legs, he joined the office crew. More guards followed. Soon there were well over a hundred assorted Beanie Babies and Attic Treasures watching over the office and repelling unauthorized visitors. Most of them had traveled only a few feet from the USO office to join me.

Friends and co-workers started giving me Beanie Babies as gifts. Near the end of 2003, I looked around the office at 350 or more stuffed companions and suddenly realized I was hooked. And the USO hostess was my pusher. I couldn't stop. The only thing I could think to do was move away from there. In June, 2004, I returned to the US with Sondra. We travelled by plane while our extended family went by ship (all except the Geezers who were under contract to travel with us).

One would think a change in location with the resultant isolation from the USO would cure my addiction. But it didn't. I was sharing a house with nearly 400 beanies begging me, taunting me, daring me to adopt more of them. I was afraid I'd never be able to stop.



... to be continued

Last update - July 15, 2010

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