Something here does not compute

by Henry Farrell on February 15, 2009


(readers who don’t have children of a certain age shouldn’t worry if they don’t understand this post).



Colin Danby 02.15.09 at 4:53 am

An alarming rabbit for any age.


Kurt Osis 02.15.09 at 4:57 am

Can you please explain this to those of us who have chosen not to have children.


Vance Maverick 02.15.09 at 5:19 am

I have a 4-year-old, and I don’t get it. Is the point that children will so foul it that “surface wash only” might as well read “discard after first use”?


salient 02.15.09 at 5:41 am

I can’t look at the tag without thinking it says “ape pellets” on line six, which is distracting, but let me take a wild guess: the “surface wash only / air dry” restrictions have ominous implications. Polyester stinks when it’s burnt.

Though come to think of it, why can’t you wash/dry a polyester rabbit like a polyester shirt or whatever? What kind of damage could that do that a child’s saliva couldn’t?


thompsaj 02.15.09 at 11:36 am

ooh, ooh! it’s “ages 0 and up”, right?


Nick 02.15.09 at 1:44 pm

Too subtle for me. I’ve got a 6-month old and a 3-year old, and I still don’t get it. “Ages 0 and up” is somewhat awkward wording, but the soft toy appears to be made for very young children. For instance, it has fabric eyes and nose, rather than plastic buttons. I guess I’ll have to look at the wording on the soft-toys for infants that litter our house.


Brett Bellmore 02.15.09 at 1:50 pm

If it’s anything like the Pooh bear we just put through the wash, (Our approach to laundering instructions is “survival of the fittest.) the ultra-cheap plastic film filler they use instead of fiber fill warps and crinkles.

And, yes, after being soaked with drool, surface clean only? Not on your life!


Henry 02.15.09 at 1:57 pm

I’m holding my breath until you tell . . .


Eszter Hargittai 02.15.09 at 2:09 pm

I find the bunny disturbing regardless of the cleaning instructions. (At some level it’s very cute, but what’s with the mouth?)


Jesus X. Crutch 02.15.09 at 2:55 pm

The PE pellets are supposedly safe as opposed to PVC pellets, which present a toxic problem (possible dioxin). Buying Chinese goods of this sort reminds one of internet downloads, do you trust the source?


Jason 02.15.09 at 3:06 pm

I don’t have children, but do they usually stitch bunnies’ mouths up like that? What kind of horror-show sweatfactory put that thing out?


Nada 02.15.09 at 3:07 pm

I was expecting that it was something like ASTM F963 assured that toys were lead-free, or something, but it looks like that standard prescribes a whole range of general safety tests, so I’m totally stumped.


Nada 02.15.09 at 3:12 pm

Aha, the rabbit in question is Knuffle Bunny, whose lamentable fate is to accidentally get tossed into the wash.


eudoxis 02.15.09 at 3:15 pm

I don’t think stuffed toys with pellets are deemed suitable for children under 3. The pellets can come out of seams (not the mouth on this bunny!) and wind up in noses and ears.


salient 02.15.09 at 3:25 pm

Nicely done, Nada


rea 02.15.09 at 4:07 pm

after being soaked with drool, surface clean only? Not on your life!

Oh, if it were only drool!


Henry 02.15.09 at 4:15 pm

Nada wins, needless to say (a Knuffle Bunny which can’t survive an industrial-strength washing machine is a contradiction in terms)


Dan Nexon 02.15.09 at 4:54 pm

For many stuffed animals, one should read “surface wash only” as “stick in pillow; wash.” But, yes, they cleary don’t make Knuffle Bunnies like they used to.


kid bitzer 02.15.09 at 7:20 pm

man, whenever i come to crooked timber i’m reminded of how deficient my knowledge of the classics is. i mean, stuff i just really oughta *know*, if i’m even going to hold my head up in polite company.

i just feel like such an uneducated rube around here, with you guys talking about jane austen and isaiah berlin and john rawls and knuffle bunny and stuff.

could you start a thread on what every educated ct’er has read? also, maybe a book event on knuffle bunny?


freight train 02.15.09 at 9:19 pm

I for one would pay to read a CT book event on “Knuffle Bunny.”


Henry 02.15.09 at 10:25 pm

“jane austen and isaiah berlin and john rawls and knuffle bunny and stuff” could be our logo. As for the book event – don’t tempt us. Seriously, I want to do something on Neil Gaiman’s _The Wolves in the Walls_ soon, and how I disagree with Farah Mendlesohn on its interpretation.


MH 02.16.09 at 12:11 am

Has anybody else seen the stage production of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” It really gives you the back-story on the bus driver and his motivation. But, I’m wondering why the pigeon had a British accent. Was that just a chance occurrence or are pigeons traditionally depicted with British accents (like say, ancient Romans)?


hrm 02.16.09 at 10:28 am

The pigeon is a Brit? I will have to adapt my readings immediately.


Dan Nexon 02.16.09 at 8:07 pm

But when will we be treated to Knuffle Bunny and Zombies.


nick s 02.16.09 at 10:28 pm

are pigeons traditionally depicted with British accents (like say, ancient Romans)

This reminds me of a discussion I had some time ago: I’ve always assumed that crocodiles and alligators have upper-class caddish Terry-Thomas accents; Americans seem to think they talk like rednecks.


Righteous Bubba 02.16.09 at 10:59 pm


Bloix 02.16.09 at 11:46 pm

Well, we know how crocodiles who live in Africa talk, because Rudyard Kipling tells us, and they do affect a caddish sort of tone:

‘Come hither, Little One,’ said the Crocodile, ‘for I am the Crocodile,’ and he wept crocodile-tears to show it was quite true.

Then the Elephant’s Child grew all breathless, and panted, and kneeled down on the bank and said, ‘You are the very person I have been looking for all these long days. Will you please tell me what you have for dinner?’

‘Come hither, Little One,’ said the Crocodile, ‘and I’ll whisper.’

Then the Elephant’s Child put his head down close to the Crocodile’s musky, tusky mouth, and the Crocodile caught him by his little nose, which up to that very week, day, hour, and minute, had been no bigger than a boot, though much more useful.

‘I think,’ said the Crocodile–and he said it between his teeth, like this–‘I think to-day I will begin with Elephant’s Child!’


Ken C. 02.17.09 at 1:05 am

I don’t know Knuffle Bunny, but from the synopses, it looks like it has that “Dad is a fuckup” theme beloved by sitcoms, TV ads, and the Berenstain Bears.


MH 02.17.09 at 2:07 am

And “Hippos Go Berserk” counts Hippos passing drinks and appetizers as “going berserk” at a party, clearly indicating that Sandra Boynton is a stooge of the rich tuxedo wearing hippo upper class.


kid bitzer 02.17.09 at 2:17 am

book event! book event!

we need a ct book event on “goodnight moon” and the entire margaret wise brown oeuvre. (the run-away bunny and extraordinary rendition).

a ct book event on the seuss corpus (hop on pop! mcelligot’s pool! oobleck!)

a ct book event on maira kalman (ooh la la! sayanora, mrs. kackleman!)

you’ve got a lot of work to do. get hopping.


Ted 02.18.09 at 5:29 pm

*spoiler alert*

In Knuffle Bunny, the titular bunny ends up in the washing machine, but since Trixie, the daughter, is “helping” her dad load it, he might or might not be the one who puts it into the machine. He does fail to realize on the way home that KB is missing, or that that’s why his daughter is freaking out, but I don’t think that’s the kind of error that would make him a fuckup – it would be a sin of omission rather than commission, right? Lord knows I sometimes lose track of the various dolls, blankets, etc my daughter is carrying around at any particular time.

And in the sequel, Knuffle Bunny Too, the error is not only not the Dad’s fault but he is willing to go across town at 2:30 AM to make things right for his kid.

Anyway, I like Mo Willems and recommend his stuff, if anyone cares what I think.


Ted 02.18.09 at 5:32 pm

Oh, and MH, *all* the hippos go berzerk – including the ones who came to work – and the tuxedos, if I’m not mistaken (I don’t have a copy here at work), are on the hippos doing the serving, not the ones being served. Seems pretty egalitarian to me. But maybe she’s being hippo-critical.


MH 02.18.09 at 6:53 pm

I looked before I posted. Not only do the workers keep their tray, but they leave by bus.

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