Do you remember Furby toys?
They’re this oval-shaped fur-covered thing with pointed ears, and little bird-feet. The ears moved, the eyes had plastic lids that opened and closed, and it’s beak-mouth moved as it spoke a made-up language and English. If you picked them up or moved them, they responded to you.
(People sometimes use the phrase ‘creepy cute’ to describe something that’s both terrible and adorable. It’s a fine line, and this robotic mammal/bird isn’t one of those things for me. If you like them, more power to you.)
One of the things they said was “Furby loves you,” which I found threatening and stalker-ish. But when they came out, they were a must-have toy. My older sister wanted one, and I got one, too. I don’t know why. I suppose I wasn’t assertive enough in expressing my feelings of deeply horrified dismay at my fuzzy monster Christmas present.
Have you ever been given a toy like that? A scary, scary obligation that no one understands why you’re not enthused about it?
They remind me of gremlins, from the movie. And you know how that turned out.
Anyway, I got a gray-and-white one, and played with it a little, because I felt guilty about the time and money spent. But I really couldn’t get over my feelings of being creeped out, and I put it away in my closet. I unearthed Furby several months later, and picked it up and turned it over to take out the batteries.
And it woke up!
It said “Whee!” Which I’m pretty sure meant ‘I want to eat your soul!”
So I dropped it.
Anyway, my point is that now they’re coming back, to terrify a new generation of kids… The new ones are apparently voice and motion activated, which seems to me a dangerous step toward sentience and human-murder. Consider yourself warned.