Diatribe: Walking A Cabbage To Beat Loneliness Can’t Be As Fulfilling As Beating A Furby.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I once had a pet rock … well, maybe I’m a little ashamed. But I didn’t actually buy it … I found it in my grandparents’ back yard. I gave it a name and carried it around for a while and talked to it for a little bit. I think I might have made a little bed for it out from an old wash cloth and a cardboard box. It amused me for a few days before I moved on to my next childish adventure.
It wasn’t the worst “artificial pet” to enter my life. Many years later, our household was home to one of the more than forty million Furbies that were sold between 1998 and 2001. I hated that @8#!^% Furby. (We finally learned to take the batteries out of the blasted thing to make it stop blabbering. We could hear it squawking even if we put it in the truck of the car! With the radio on!!) Looking back, I think I would have preferred that my kids drag around a vegetable on a rope to amuse themselves rather than teach that miserable hamster-looking thing to talk.
Which, apparently, is a new fad in China where teenagers have begun to take leashed cabbages on “walks” as a means to cope with loneliness and depression.
“The idea is simple. You feel as lonely and as simple as a cabbage, so you begin to act like one and befriend one. And in that acceptance comes change.” – Chinese psychiatrist Wen Chao.
On the other hand, at least these teens are getting outdoors and socializing … albeit with other teens who are also dragging vegetables behind them. But, surely, they’ll look back and wonder “what was I thinking?”!
“I feel I can transfer my negative thoughts about myself to the cabbage, go for a walk with it and come home feeling better about myself. If I see someone else it’s easy to start up a conversation with them about their cabbage, and they are better than dogs as they don’t bark, or start fights with other cabbages, it doesn’t even need feeding, or leave a mess on the pavement.” – Lui Ja Chen, 17.
Surely, this fad won’t last too terribly long. Cabbage stored in a plastic bag in a refrigerator can last as long as three months. Washing vegetables before storing them, however, is said to considerably shorten their lives.
So does dragging them down the street at the end of a rope.
Cabbage walking almost makes a Furby look downright intellectual.
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