I’m pretty sure I’ve made some sneaky sly references about my obsession with my stuffed pink walrus named, Mookie. Let me tell you a little bit about her, and the other weird soft toys that I have a strange connection to, along with my plan to make Mookie famous.
Australian’s are known for being extremely nostalgic and love talking about the past. Sometimes, I feel like I basically still live in it. Either there or the future; neither which is a very healthy way to be, but eventually it’ll change and for right now, so be it.
My whole life I’ve been obsessed with my favourite movie, The Little Mermaid. That obsession extends to the character herself and has then blossomed to an infatuation with any kind of mermaid or under the sea creature, red hair, anchors, and the likes. I don’t really have a specific Ariel “thing” that I was attached to as a child, more just a collection. Like my toilet seat, my sleeping bag, my suitcase, numerous dolls and figurines etc.
While the interest with Ariel and The Little Mermaid is still, most definitely, the strongest and strangest connection I’ve had to anything, it’s not even apart of my soft toy collection. Okay, so that really didn’t have a lot to do with the whole “#makemookiefamous campaign”, but I felt like Ariel needed a mention if I’m currently talking about symbols from my youth.
My main soft “toys” (you’re probably going to get annoyed and frustrated, like many of my friends, because two of these items are not toys at all) are, Mookie (da walrus), a baby Minnie Mouse, a squishy green pillow named Mogu (that’s where people get angry, “you can’t name a fucking pillow!”, I disagree) and what is now a few strings woven together, Blankie.
Minnie came with me absolutely everywhere; majority of my childhood photos consist of her and blankie. I obtained a strong connection with her character and owned many other Minnie Mouse memorabilia, including a towel, a diary and a lot more.
Mookie is probably just as old as Minnie, but she was sort of absent for a while. When we picked up to move to Australia, my Mum was fairly picky about the concept of shipping stuffed animals to a whole new country when her youngest child was turning 12.
My grandmother used to work for really good quality toy companies, so we did have a lot of great stuffed animals that mum couldn’t conceive giving away. She made us all pick out a few from the lot that we wanted in our future, and packed them in a box. We had a very large container of our things shipped to Australia and the rest remained in a storage unit in our hometown. When unpacking, and not finding the box labeled “stuffed animals” and mum’s reply of, “I don’t even know what I did with those”, I began to be very weary of Mookie and her friends’ whereabouts.
Seven and a half years passed, sometimes it would cross my mind and a wave of panic would come over me; surely I didn’t throw her away or sell her. Mookie was by far one of my favourite toys and there’s no way I would let that pink little freak out of my life for good, it just didn’t seem fathomable.
While in Fairfield last year, Mum and her good friend, Denise unpacked the storage unit and drove all of it’s fillings out to Boulder, Colorado where my dad works and my parents are currently renting an apartment. During the “sorting” and “unpacking” of the unit, there piled up high, was a small brown box, a black sharpie scribble in my mum’s hand writing, “stuffed animals”. I ripped off the packing tape, not so smoothly, and dug through dense fur, beading and plastic eyes until I saw the colour I was looking for; the shade of dusty pink that I would never forget. I held Mookie tight, squeezing her far tighter than what’s appropriate for an 18 year old, and I took her straight home with me.
So now, along with my return back to the country, my friends have had to endure Mookie’s presence. She’s a little in your face, she’s always held close tight to me and features in majority of my snapchats and other forms of social media. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of my distant acquaintances were aware of her existence. But that’s not really an issue for me at the present time, since I’ve decided to launch the #makemookiefamous campaign. Being realistic, she probably won’t make herself known outside of the Illawarra, however the goal is high.
It all began when I took this polaroid selfie with her;
It then came to me; everyone needs a photo with her.
Everyone meaning the important people in my life and basically anyone that enters my bedroom and has an interaction with her. I might have gotten ahead of myself with whole “making her famous” scenario, thinking that one day she would star in a children’s book (I still kinda think this is plausible, but I may have been a little stoned when I came up with that idea).
After purchasing some more polaroid film, my idea had begun to blossom. Here are my current participants in the project;
Olivia and Mookie
They have a fairly good relationship, since Olivia is probably the most present in her life.
Tenaya and Mookie
Tenaya isn’t very impressed by Mookie, she’s told me on more than one occasion that she doesn’t like her tusks. She has a super weird obsession with her stuffed crocodile though, to the point that croccy has his own Instragram; @croccy_saltwater. So, she kinda gets it.
Harriet and Mookie
Harriet is convinced that Mookie is a boy and just genuinely confused by her existence.
Marcus and Mookie
The first blood relative who I’ve gotten to partake in this unusual charade (I can’t wait to see what my parents think). Mookie’s head got stuck like this for a while after, and I become very frantic while Marcus continued to laugh.
That’s all on that for now. Maybe you’ll see her in a children’s book or possibly Vogue one day, but until then, you’ll be sure to see Mookie on here and my Instagram page.