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Draft of the Toys

July 7, 2010

My girlfriend Stacy and I have an approximately two-year-old yellow lab named Clyde. He is a wonderful dog, a "beautiful animal" as my father says sometimes, and a source of almost constant entertainment for Stacy and me. Clyde is a loving animal, though it took him some time to warm up to me. My guess is that something bad happened to him before he ended up at the shelter that Stacy adopted him from, which understandably has given him some trust issues with meeting new people.

Clyde is a loving dog.
But, without question, Clyde is entertaining. On Monday night, during an impromptu comedy segment during dinner, I declared that it was time for the first annual Toy Draft. Clyde had 10 stuffed animal toys from which to choose, varying from toys specially designed for animals to great bargains that Stacy's mom Sheila found at various yard sales. The rest of his toys are in the "emergency room"; he tends to be a bit rough with them.

His four favorites received an automatic bye: two squeaking mallard ducks (both of which have been chewed until their squeakers no longer work), a squirrel with a squeaker, and this oddball toy that I dubbed "yellow bird" that he inexplicably likes. There was no real reason for this other than that they had already been played with and weren't in the pile.

In a moment of inspiration, and perhaps with my "Draft King" moniker in mind, I decided to have Clyde hold a draft for what toys he liked the most. He picked out a toy, and that toy was "drafted" by Clyde. He was allowed to play with it (mostly thrashing the toy around) before he was distracted and the drafted toy put up on a counter.

Pick #1: Turquoise Monkey
In a surprise move, Clyde picked out the turquoise monkey as his #1 selection. A relatively new addition to the mix, turquoise monkey hasn't seen that many miles. Clyde must have been looking at long-term value with that pick.

Pick #2: Three-Limb Bunny
One of his longest running surviving toys, Three-Limb Bunny lost a limb several months ago (which became its own spin-off toy for a time as Leg) but has remained a longtime favorite for Clyde.

Pick #3: Gray Hippo
Clyde went back for a newer toy again, picking the large hippo next.

Pick #4: Dave the Bear
Won from Dave & Buster's at Opry Mills (which is still closed due to the flood damage from early May) after a stellar night of hustling the marks in the trivia game that pays in tickets, Dave is an oversized toy that Clyde takes particular passion in thrashing about. He has already been sewn up once and he has enough small holes torn in him to where he might not last much longer.

Pick #5: Bone
In fairness to Bone (a stuffed half baby blue/half pink toy with a squeaker) was hidden until Hippo was drafted at the #3 spot. Clyde has chewed and chewed on that toy and it has held up remarkably well. Bone is a steady veteran in the lineup.

Clyde selected Glittery Duck with the sixth pick in the Toy Draft.

Pick #6: Glittery Duck
There is something a little odd about Glittery Duck, a stuffed toy with an odd sparkling look to it. Glittery Duck hasn't had much thrashing from Clyde, fortunately so since it doesn't appear like it would be able to handle very much of that business.

Pick #7: Bear with No Face
It has been a rough life for Bear with No Face. One of Stacy's mom's yard sale value buys, Clyde didn't care much for it having eyes... or much of any sort of facial feature for that matter. It has been through the ringer and is on the downhill slide of its career.

The final three awaited selection in the green room.

Pick #8: Hand
Obtained the same night as Dave the Bear (I told you we hustled them!), the officially licensed University of Tennessee oversized hand has not fared well under Clyde's harsh thrashings. It has been through the emergency room once before and likely doesn't have much time left until Clyde leaves it with a career-ending tear.

Pick #9: Elmo
Another yard sale bargain pickup, Elmo doesn't receive all that much attention from Clyde. As this draft has shown, Clyde is indifferent to his toys being officially licensed or connected with a long-running children's television show. It took some prodding for Clyde to make this selection.

Pick #10: Monkey Arms
This is the Mr. Irrelevant of Clyde's stuffed animals. Much like Leg was a spin-off toy, Monkey Arms is a spin-off from the Brown Monkey stuffed animal that Clyde thrashed into retirement. Despite being plural, Monkey Arms are two connected toy arms. Typically Clyde can be enticed into jumping around when Monkey Arms are held in the air above him, but laying lifeless on the ground Monkey Arms was of no use to Clyde.

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