Crowd: "Hi, Paul."
"And I sleep with stuffed animals."
Crowd: ::miscelaneous giggles::
"I am also a troll, and I will rip off your arms and beat you with them if you don't behave."
Crowd: ::sullen silence::
So, yeah, I sleep with stuffed animals, and I have been under a certain amount of pressure to say this for a while now.
Two reasons: One, as I have gotten older, cumulative damage to my elbows and shoulders has made it necessary to use artifical supports in many sleeping positions. I could use pillows, but stufffed animals are just plain more fun.
And that's the SANE half of the story.
The other half... Try, if you can, to think about what you know to be true about animal intelligence, and the amount of personality you perceive in your pets. See the disconnect? Somewhere betwen 50% and 80% of the personality pet owners ascribe to their pets is projection of their own feelings onto the animal's behavior.
Think about that. Your ability to enjoy your pet is at least half an outgrowth of your own neuroses. It's disturbing, until you get used to it, or it's disturbing if you harbor significant illusions of sanity. Dementia and I, having long ago thrown sanity to the winds, decided to whole-heartedly embrace the phenomenon. Instead of projecting an imaginary personality onto a furball that eats and defecates and demands attention on its own terms, why not just choose a stuffed animal that invokes the personality you want it to have, and get most of the benefits with none of the work?
Of course, it doesn't hurt things that I am a pretty damned good puppeteer, and can almost always get supposedly sane people involved in an animated conversation with a ball of fiberfill...
So one day in 1988 Dementia came home with a Hallmark Christmas Donkey (we're still trying to figure that one out, ourselves) and christened him "Dickon." And then in November there was a gorilla named 'Nold (shot for Arnold, as in Schwartzenegger), and since then...
Since then it has kind of gotten out of hand; 'Nold's "simian symposium" had seventeen members when we took them all to see "Mighty Joe Young"; there must be thirty gorillas, orangoutans, chimpanzees, and baboons by now. And then there are the platypi and the hippopotami and the dragons and the moose... You get the idea.
Of course it's crazy, but we have a lot of fun with them, and they never have to be walked, or fed, or bathed, and they never get sick, and they don't mind if you abandon them for a week...