Book WTF: A Pocket for Corduroy

I remember LOVING “A Pocket for Corduroy” when I was a kid and it turns out that my kids love it too. I bought the book about a week ago and we’ve read it and its prequel at least a dozen times since then. Reading it as an adult, I keep saying “WTF” about a couple different things in the book.

Corduroy is Lisa’s favorite stuffed animal, or as she refers to him, her best friend. Despite the fact that losing Corduroy would clearly devastate Lisa, Lisa’s mother does nothing to help her find him when he’s lost. She shrugs it off like it’s not that important.

When the time came for Lisa to fetch her bear, he was gone.

“Oh, Mommy!” she exclaimed. “Corduroy isn’t here where I left him!”

“I’m sorry, honey,” said her mother, “but the laundromat will be closing soon and we must be getting home.”

Her mother doesn’t help her look around or even give Lisa a chance to look for Corduroy some more. He is her most favorite toy on earth and he may have been stolen, but her mother is totally ok with leaving him there. This bothers me. If Woof Woof were to disappear in a public place, we would search everywhere for him before we gave up. I don’t care how much of a hurry I was in, I would make sure that Woof Woof came home with us because my child would be devastated without her favorite “bear”. They didn’t even go up to the front desk to see if someone had turned in a bear! WTF, Lisa’s mother? That’s cold.

Then it turns out Lisa’s mom is a total liar. The laundromat wasn’t about to close AT ALL. Corduroy is hiding in a cave (an artist’s laundry sack) and gets dumped into a dryer. This means the artist had at least 30 minutes (or probably more like an hour since this was 1978.) to dry his clothes before the laundromat closed for the night.

Apparently the artist recognizes Corduroy as a living being, which has all sorts of implications I don’t like. Lisa’s mother is ok with leaving what is the equivalent of either a son or a pet behind at the laundromat? WTF is wrong with her? All sorts of bad things could happen to Corduroy. This is the big city! He’s just a little boy. He can’t defend himself. In fact, he ends up getting sexually assaulted by the artist. Sort of. Check this out.

The artist takes off Cordoroy’s pants!!!!! WHAT?!!!! I mean, he does it under the guise of giving the overalls a good drying, but if Corduroy is a living boy, as he appears to be in this picture/series, it’s totally inappropriate for a stranger to take off his pants in a public place. Now Corduroy is standing naked in the middle of a laundromat. And everyone is just ok with this?

SO WRONG. I mean, the artist is described as thoughtful and I guess if Corduroy complained of being cold, he could help him out by wrapping him in a towel or something. But Corduroy did not ask this man to remove his clothes. He was totally violated. This is exactly why you should never leave your small children alone in a public place, Lisa’s mother.

Corduroy has an adventuresome night in the laundromat Toy-Story-style, then Lisa comes searching for him (without her uncaring mother) the next morning. The owner of the laundromat finds Corduroy in a basket. See, Lisa’s mother, if your child loses a toy you can ask the owner to help you find it. You don’t just LEAVE and pretend like it doesn’t matter.

I hate Lisa’s mother so much right now. I mean, really? The excuse for not looking is that the laundromat is closing soon? SO LAME. If she’d asked the attendant, I’m sure the attendant would have let them stay past closing to look for the bear. And, like I said, it was a lie. The laundromat wasn’t closing.

Perhaps she was trying to teach Lisa a lesson about keeping track of her toys, but we’re given the message that Corduroy is alive. Lisa’s mother should know he could wander off. And even if she thinks he’s inanimate, how is she not worried that he wasn’t stolen or something? It’s not like he was lost in Lisa’s room. He was lost in a public place! And later undressed by a strange man!



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