the legend of ernie and shamu (or how many times can one say "shamu" in a single post?)

when he was a baby, ernie's favorite toy was a stuffed shamu. he used to carry shamu by the tail everywhere and sleep with his head on shamu's tummy.

and when he was about 4 months old (in march-ish of 2000), he ate shamu's tail and started to steal shamu's stuffing out of the resulting hole.

so i took shamu away from him because i loved shamu, too.
my uncle bought me shamu at walgreens in 1999 because i had flown to chicago for my grandfather's funeral and i forgot my toothbrush. so he went to walgreens and bought me a toothbrush and shamu because i had "the look of someone who needed a marine mammal"

[aside IM commentary
semaphoria: you still have that look from time to time.
me: don't we all?]

about 3 months later ernie found shamu again and he walked around with shamu in his mouth for hours (and tried to bite lumpy who wanted to sniff shamu). and i let him keep shamu until he found the hole where the tail used to be, and he started eviscerating shamu's fluff.

so i tried to take shamu, and he clenched his mouth shut and looked so sad. he didn't do the tug-of war thing that dogs do, he just didn't want to let him go.

it was the saddest thing i've ever seen

but when he tried to eviscerate shamu again, i took it away.

right now, tailless shamu lives on the bookcase in the garage at my mom's house in california.

[aside IM commentary
semaphoria: this is a very sad story, muffin.
me: i know, isn't it?]

and i don't have a single picture of ernie and shamu. but when i was living in california in probably 2003, i showed shamu to ernie again to see if he'd remember his childhood chum. he did. it was a repeat of the last time he and shamu were reunited (except for trying to bite lumpy who lived in florida at the time. and still does) from the not letting go to the eviscerating to both of us feeling sad.

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