Remember our friend the drunken teddy? Unlike his lovable cousin Winnie the Pooh, our fuzzy character is turning out to be a bit less adorable. Yes, he's made the national news this time. All he ever wanted is to find a place to sleep it off. The front steps of a police station seemed like a safe place. Until all heck broke loose.
This is how we last saw drunken Teddy. Sleeping it off under some bushes in a parking lot's landscaping. For a while afterwards Teddy did try to pull it together. He cleaned up and got a job. Which enabled him to buy a used bike. I gave Teddy some riding pointers. The biggest one being to always ride straight, of course. For a while I thought that riding and making new friends would keep Teddy on the straight and narrow.
Here's Teddy with his friend Hambone. They're getting ready to ride. For a while Teddy actually did clean up his act. He and Hambone logged quite a few trouble free and fun miles. Until Hambone had an appointment with a roasting oven. Being left on his own, Teddy found a different group to hang out with. At first they spent a lot of time hanging out at the mall.
You know how it is, though. With not much useful to do and, with peer pressure egging him on, Teddy found that old habits die hard. At first it was just an occasional dip into the honey pot. Apple cider left until it "sparkled", if you know what I mean. Next thing you know Teddy was strung out on those sweet, fruity, mixed drinks with toys in them.
Staggering out of the lounge at Denny's on Sunday night, Teddy spotted a convenient place across the road to tuck in out of the weather.
The wind was blowing a bit cold. Tumbling in the wind was a plastic bag. It rolled across Teddy who grabbed it and wrapped it around himself. The bag cut the wind chill and Teddy passed out. Only to be discovered by Oregon State Police office personnel as they reported for work at 8 AM.
Having never encountered a drunken teddy sleeping it off in a plastic bag before, they backed off and called a supervisor. Having the philosophy that one can't be too careful when confronted with a suspicious bundle these days, the parking lot was evacuated. The ramp leading up to the front porch where Teddy lay snoring was flagged off with yellow crime scene tape. The Bomb Squad was called.
Teddy woke up to being prodded by a terrifying apparition. What looked like an alien was standing over him. In the alien's hand was a scary device that hummed. The alien was running the humming device over Teddy's body. Teddy passed out. This time from fear instead of alcohol. When Teddy woke up later, he was spread out on a table. Sure he was being "probed" by the aliens in their Mothership, Teddy passed out once again.
Eventually things got worked out so that everyone was on the same page. Teddy realized that the police officers weren't aliens. The cops realized Teddy wasn't a bomb. The humming device was actually a portable x-ray machine. Now the question was where to go from here. Sitting in the front seat of a police cruiser, Teddy pondered the bad choices he had made up to this point.
It was time to make a decision. His next ride could be in the back of the police car with the destination sign reading "Zoo". The State Police Sergeant happened to be a Peter, Paul, and Mary fan. Softly playing in the background was the song "Puff the Magic Dragon". Suddenly, Teddy has his answer. He needed a child to love. The responsibility would keep Teddy on the straight and narrow. The exchange of affection would brighten both of their lives. The Sergeant agreed to let Teddy ride along with him. Sooner or later they would find a child stressed from the trouble that adults often drag innocent children into.
Teddy and the child could offer support and comfort to each other. It would be a win-win situation for them both. You may see Teddy riding shotgun with the cop when you're on the highway. I hope that they don't soon find a child. Children should be given the gift of maintaining their innocence. Unfortunately, life isn't perfect. Somewhere a child will need Teddy and Teddy will need the child.
Wave if you see Teddy in the police cruiser. If you don't see him, know he found his calling and be glad that he and a child found each other.
Notes: This is loosely based on an actual event. The first three photos are mine, taken with the G11. The two that look like newspaper photos actually are. I scanned them from the Albany Democrat Herald. The credit goes to the paper's photographers. As does the photo of the bear in the seat belt. The bear on the table is from an Oregon State Police news release. Here is the story and a couple of links.
What appears to be the good intentions of someone to donate a teddy bear to Oregon State Police (OSP) unfortunately led to a brief closure of the OSP Albany office Monday morning. The office was re-opened after an OSP bomb technician closely inspected the teddy bear left outside the front door over the weekend. The inspection confirmed it was in fact a teddy bear, and OSP now has the bear ready to comfort a child when needed.
On December 28, 2009 at approximately 8:00 a.m. an OSP office staff employee opening the Albany office for regular business spotted a teddy bear inside an opaque plastic bag which had been placed next to the front door. Unaware of who or why it was left there, the decision was made to keep the office closed until OSP bomb technicians could respond from Salem to examine it and ensure it was nothing more than what it appeared to be.
Within 30 minutes bomb technicians arrived, took an x-ray picture and confirmed it wasn't a dangerous object. The office was re-opened about 9:00 a.m.
OSP believes the teddy bear was left at the front door to give to a child involved in a traumatic incident. For several years, police and fire agencies use donated stuffed animals to give to children involved in a traumatic incident. Most donations are provided to OSP offices by local organizations, but sometimes people stop by OSP offices during regular business hours to drop off teddy bears and other stuff animals to help troopers comfort children when they need a buddy.
Just in time for the upcoming New Year's holiday weekend when troopers will be responding to many emergencies, the teddy bear has found a new temporary home in an OSP sergeant's patrol car. Soon, it will be placed in the hands of a child who needs such a buddy.
The OSP Explosives Unit personnel remind everyone that if you see a suspicious, unknown object or possible explosive device to leave it where it was spotted and not handle it. Move all people away from the area and contact your local law enforcement agency or OSP.
Photograph Source: Oregon State Police
Miles and smiles,