From a certain point of view, Beanie Baby® Stories is a book filled with “Heartwarming stories for Beanie Baby® lovers of all ages,” but there may have been no hobby more alien to human behavior than Beanie Baby® collecting. Nothing these people did made sense, and even today, years after the sad, dark life of mock capitalism they built for themselves crumbled into nothing, we have no idea why they became Beanie Baby® collectors. If I saw 300 grandmothers carrying Beanie Babies® and they all turned to me and hissed “We’re fucking them!” from the one giant grandmother they are swarming into, it would actually help it make more sense. Still, with artifacts like Beanie Baby® Stories, we can at least reassure ourselves they were, to a person, pieces of shit.
The stories and art about Beanie Babies® are compiled by Susan Titus Osborn and Sandra Jensen, who, if I had to guess by their names, are an aspiring serial killer and Richmond County’s record holder for Most “Suspicious Person” 911 Calls in a Single Year, respectively. They are not authorized or associated with Ty, Inc.; they are just two women who have no concept of happiness, personal growth, or mental health outside of buying more Beanie Babies®.
The stories are a page or two long and Susan and Sandra were not picky when curating them. If someone in the story bought or tried to buy a Beanie Baby®, it was included. Tilted Kilt restroom stalls have higher editorial standards than Susan and Sandra. There are multiple stories in this goddamn book about an old lady receiving a Beanie Baby® as a gift and enjoying it. There are stories about sick children smiling at their favorite Beanie Baby® one last time. These torturous anecdotes are “heartwarming” like watching a puppy drown under a sign that says “God is everywhere.” I have an idea: let’s see if you can get through one.
This poor woman kept buying Beanie Babies® because of any tiny coincidence and now she is literally trapped inside a room of only them. And that’s it! That’s the story “Hooked” by Mary Jo Hoch! This isn’t even a cry for help. It’s the death rattle of a human soul. It’s something a creative writing teacher would show you after saying, “This example is maybe a little obvious, but here’s how you could express the emptiness of consumerism using allegory.” It’s the novel a Foster Farms chicken would write if you could teach it to type, adapted for Beanie Baby® by Mary Jo Hoch. If a single person on the plane had this book in their luggage, 9/11 was worth it.
About 80% of the stories are about people suffering from tragedies or physical afflictions finding whatever comfort they can in buying stuffed animals. I don’t want to take that from them, and I honestly hope these sad people don’t find out how unmoved I am by their poorly paced stories about enjoying toys and no second thing. But when it comes to this next story, “Higgins Approves,” I would prefer it if author Diane Neal knew she wasted the miracle of life. This fucking monster. I want her to read “Diane Neal deserves to watch her Beanie Babies® get torn apart by every high school classmate less fat than her.” This barren sack of living small talk wrote a 600 word manifesto about checking with her kitty cat to see he’d let her keep a ladybug Beanie Baby®.
This isn’t entirely Diane Neal’s fault. This dried up dingbat was probably a week away from asking her iron lung to take her to the Mayor of Robots when she wrote that story. A lot of the blame falls on Susan and Sandra. Ladies, if you’re compiling a book of stories and one of them is, “My cat sniffed a stuffed animal and reacted to it like it was a stuffed animal,” throw your idea in the trash. You’re making garbage for garbage people. And nice fucking snake, Aaron Rucker, age 8. Now that you’re 29 you’re old enough for me to tell you to fuck yourself for adding your talentless scribbles to this saccharine case against American exceptionalism.
In this story, Laura Duvall, amateur stupid fuck, couldn’t figure out how her handsomely dressed teddy bear kept moving around the house! Most people with a daughter and a cat would think, “It was one of those.” Sure enough, it was, and sorry for spoiling the ending of “Disappearing Blackie.” This is nothing. This is a story you would tell a coma victim if the weather was too mild to comment on. This is what you’d say to a murderer to convince him you’re both already dead and in Hell. If someone held a gun to a supercomputer’s head and said “generate the saddest thing anyone ever said about the color black,” this is what it would print out before formatting itself.
Susan Titus Osborn contributes one of her own stories, but trust me when I say you don’t want to read it. She complains she’s too old to use a computer, and to help cope with all her unforced Windows errors she keeps a Beanie Baby® on her desk. If you told me this was a collection of suicide notes found clutched in the paws of a mint condition teddy bear, I’d say, “No fucking shit. You shouldn’t be touching that without a cleric.” You know what? Let’s get sadder.
This is a story written by a 12-year-old who entered a raffle for the opportunity to PAY FIFTEEN DOLLARS for a teddy bear. Great job. That’s not how raffles work, Melissa, and if you weren’t dumb as shit it would be a red flag. Is there a better metaphor for the grift these idiots fell for than this– a community of dumbshits who think a kid getting fleeced out of her money by a toy store is winning. And I want to warn you right now, there’s no payoff at all in this story. Melissa is going to just slowly decay while nothing she does or anything around her means anything.
This family was so desperate for the chance to pay $15 for a beanbag they asked their priest to enter the raffle, and a different priest scolded them for it. Do you have any idea how obsessed a child has to be with Beanie Babies® for a Catholic priest to stop having sex with them and explain God’s stance on Beanie Babies®?
So, let’s recap: some toy store is trying to steal money from the community’s dumbest goddamn children and God refuses to help, not because it’s amoral, but because He doesn’t care.
Wait, what? They didn’t even win the fucking raffle!? I wasn’t expecting a three act structure, but what is this goddamn story? Why did you bring any of this up, Melissa Marchionna (age 12)? Are you telling me you go to a church where eavesdropping priests will interrupt you to criticize your prayers and not one of them has ever explained when you need to shut the fuck up? This is one of those times, Melissa. Telling a story about not winning the worst raffle after trying to win the worst raffle is something a Nazi scientist would do while holding a clipboard that says, “Finding the Human Limit of Disinterest – Prisoner Trials.”
You don’t deserve this, reader, but we’re doing one more. Here’s “Grandapanda” by Ramona Jean Wolfe:
This is the story of a confused woman with an actual brain injury getting taken advantage of by her “friend.” This bitch comes to the home of a debilitated woman with a crate of toys to sell them to her? And the first one she pulls out is literally fucking named Fleece? I refuse to believe this book is anything other than Cold War era Soviet propaganda about the evils of capitalism. This is so on-the-nose it’s impossible to miss, but Susan and Sandra collected fifty others like it and called them “heartwarming.” This is a celebration of tricking pathetic lonely people out of their money. If you showed Beanie Baby® Stories to a sex trafficker eating a diaper they would say, “Ew, this book is gross.” I’ve never hated a book more than this and if this is the first 1-900-HOTDOG article you’ve read, please understand that’s a very serious thing for me to say. May your fruitless wombs cough out centipedes forever, Susan and Sandra. And Melissa (age 12)– you deserved to lose that raffle.