I love my apartment. It’s got wood floors, brick walls, and insanely high ceilings. It’s a converted warehouse of sorts, and I have lots and lots of windows and space. On the downside, since it’s an old building, it gets pretty cold in the winter. I sleep with a space heater going full blast pointing right at me, and persuading myself to take a shower is a lengthy process, especially since the water doesn’t get too much beyond warm.
This and a recent post by a fellow blogger, adamsdaughter, reminded me of the winter I got a Furby. You remember Furbys? They were those stuffed animal looking things that had electronics inside that let them speak. They’d start out speaking Furbish, but you could teach them English somehow, in that magic way that toys have. Even though I was in college, I had to have one. I got a white one with blue eyes and named it, in my infinite creativity, Furby.
I always imagined that Furby liked to look out of my dorm room window at the Big World, dreaming furbish dreams, so I would perch him on my windowsill. Unfortunately for Furby, I forgot to take him off the windowsill over winter break that year. They turned the heating off in the dorms once all the students were gone, and poor Furby froze for about a month before I came back. To my horror, he didn’t respond to any of the usual ministrations, including turning him off and on. I put Furby on my desk and sadly shook my head at my carelessness. So many reasons why I shouldn’t be a mother.
Later that night, I was just dozing off when I heard a metal scritch scritch. I thought for a moment that I was dreaming, so I turned the light on and looked around. It was Furby, turning himself on! I swear I had turned him off. I still remember doing it. But he turned himself back on and from his mouth issued the most evil, demonic electronic gibberish I have ever heard. Apparently when you leave Furbys to fend for themselves in the winter, they become possessed by the henchmen of the netherworld. I backed away in trepidation; surely, it would stop on its own when the battery ran down? But the forces of evil are not defeated so easily.
From then on, at completely random intervals, Furby would turn himself off or on and make sepulchral pronouncements in a crazed metallic voice in what I could only assume is the language of lesser demons. I started to feel like a little kid who’s afraid of the dark, except that I knew I had good reason to be afraid. I’d turn off the lights to go to bed, clutch the covers to my chin, and stare at the shadow of the Furby until I fell asleep, wondering as I did so if Furby was predicting the conquering of the mortal realm by the forces of evil or merely commenting on the fact that he had an itch he couldn’t reach.
Long about the fourth time he woke me up with his demonic prophecies, I had to give him to my Resident Assistant because I was convinced he was going to suck my soul out of my body one night while I was sleeping. My RA was inclined to laugh at me–until she experienced first hand the wrath of the frozen, possessed Furby. I don’t know if she took him to a priest for an exorcism or performed her own Rite of Ashtoreth over him or what, but I never heard from Furby again. Though, now that I think of it, that particular Resident Assistant started acting a little odd not long after that. I put it down to the after effects of a break up, but I wonder…