Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Touchy-feely giraffe

When we went to the Royal Norfolk Show early in our stay in England, we saw children everywhere carrying large stuffed toys, many of them as big as the children themselves. It was only when we went for lunch that was discovered that the tent was right opposite the lunch place.
Apparently they call stuffed animals plush animals in the US, and there’s a site called The Jungle Store where you can get plush animals of every kind. Being a giraffe fan, I checked out the choices for giraffes. There are some 178 possibilities, but far less when it comes to the plush kind. Some of these look rather like short-neck giraffes, if there such a thing, but there are a couple of delightful characters that have a proper long neck, or at least an attempt to make the animal appear that way. Their names are Orson Jnr and Orson Snr - the latter is the better of the two in neck length. He retails on the site at US$20.95, but I’m not sure that spending that amount of money on a stuffed toy is quite what my wife would consider to be an essential purchase.
It strikes me that plush is a rather odd word to use instead of stuffed, since it’s normally associated with the feel of the material something is made of (softer than velvet but feeling like it), or else (according to the One Look Dictionary) means characterised by extravagance and profusion, something that stuffed toys are really not usually characterised by. Perhaps plush toys are made of something softer to the touch than velvet.
Maybe I should buy that giraffe after all, to check it out.
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