Thursday, April 22

The Man Who...?

My dad has an enormous collection of Analog magazines. I should know, I had to put them back in chronological order when we moved. I would peek at them from time to time, reading a story here and there, or an article when it was passed on to me. Once I recall reading a story, and really loving it. Even re-reading it. I am reasonably sure I didn't dream it up. However, I have never ever again been able to find that story. Not with all my google-fu or through manually going back through the magazines. It has been about a decade since I read that story, I think, but the magazines go back to around the 80s so it is anyone's guess what era I may have been poking my nose into.
Just in case someone thinks this sounds familiar, or in case I forget as I get older, here is a synopsis:
The Man Who Once Made Bunnies (I am pretty sure that was the title)
This was about a man who loved children, and had a business of making stuffed bunnies. However he was sued, time and again, for "defects". A child bit off the nose and choked. A child was allergic to the fur. The glue was toxic when eaten. After years of being sued and changing the bunnies each time only to be sued again for something else, he was tired and cynical and had had enough. He started making a product called a "wire hug" that was basically a ball of razor wire. It was so obviously dangerous that he was never sued for it.
I don't know the ending, but I remember it being sad and thoughtful. A man disillusioned, and obviously suggestive of where our culture was headed (and now is).

Help! Cookies and Karma to anyone who can prove to me that this wasn't some haunting dream that I invented myself only to be tortured by its incompleteness.


scott vee said...

Hi. It's so nice to be remembered. That was "Last of the Soft Things" by S. C. Virtes (me) from the Jan 1997 issue of Analog. You summed it up nicely, including the overall melancholy I get whenever I try to understand the legal system. ;-)

I never thought of sending a not-so-serious story to Analog until running into Dr. Schmidt at a convention. It wasn't until 10 years later (July/Aug 2007) that I came up with another tale he liked, about a self-conscious soda machine.

If you can't find the actual issue, I have a few spares, or (if one more magazine might make the garage implode) I can send you an ebook version.


Sonya said...

I believe we have a copy at the parental homestead (I spent long hours putting the Analog collection in chronological order, against my will) but I would absolutely love an ebook version. Finally, the mythical story becomes a reality!
Thanks so much for stopping by and helping me out. I'll have to check out the 2007 issue as well. Who could resist a tale of a self conscious soda machine?
Thanks and thanks and thanks.
ps. I hope the phrase "The man who once made bunnies" is somewhere in that story, because it was absolutely burned into my brain. I was so certain that it was the title! I must now commence doubting all memories of my past. Alas.