Part of an occasional series: Things I Wrote When I Was A Kid
Guys. I am excited. I am excited because I finally got my hands on something I have been waiting to share with you ever since I started posting the weird and wonderful things I wrote when I was a child.
First, some context. Let me introduce you to a couple of my childhood friends.
You’ve met Bongo before. He’s the monkey. The lovely purple platypus on his right is his wife, Patti. They were the beginning of what became a fairly extensive collection of Beanie Buddies (those are bigger, fluffier versions of Beanie Babies, for those of you who were not toy collectors and/or children in the 90s). Bongo was my favourite toy and I was the oldest sibling so, naturally, he was in charge of all the other toys. I remember him at the height of his power as a fair and just leader, always ready to arbitrate disputes over imaginary items and co-ordinate efforts to rescue stuffed animals who had fallen out of bed-shaped pirate ships.
If you think Patti was content to live in her husband’s shadow, though, you are mistaken. Patti was going where no platypus had gone before: a magenta monotreme in the magazine market.
Welcome to Patti’s Gang.
I think this was created in 2001, which would make me (Patti’s editorial assistant) 10 years old. Here is a picture of me at that age so you know what we’re dealing with here.
I remember making this quite vividly, actually. It took quite a bit of effort – I mean, just look at that cover art – and I sacrificed a lot of computer time that I would otherwise have spent playing The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis or Catz 3. But I love that optimism: “Issue 1, Volume 1”. How many did I think there would be?!
Let’s dive in.
I don’t want to get your hopes up: these stories aren’t actually in here. But I’m thinking of publishing a writing guide called “Plot Like a Ten Year Old”:
Step 1: Choose an animal.
Step 2: Guess where that animal lives. That habitat is now endangered somehow.
Step 3: Choose a hilarious pun as your pen name. It’s okay if it is neither hilarious, nor a pun.
Step 4: ????
Step 5: Profit!
I suppose the target readership for this magazine was my sister’s collection of stuffed animals, because all of these were mine. (And also that postal service that collected from outside my room wasn’t all that reliable over long distances.) In fact, look what was also on the disc of old files my mum sent me!
That’s Bongo in the middle. The monkey that looks exactly like Bongo (except not at all, if you really know them) is Tango, Bongo’s brother, because I liked Bongo so much that my parents bought me another one. Bananas is the purple orangutan. Scorch is being squashed under that elephant, because just about everything gets squashed if you put it under an elephant. Sahara is the lion at the front. And Whiskers is under Bananas. Whiskers was my favourite toy before I got Bongo and she and Bongo used to date before she met Patti. Complain if you want to but I think we both know that this blog is destined to be at least 50% uninteresting details about my childhood.
Do kids’ magazines still have pen pal sections? I used to have a few pen pals when I was a kid, before I started making friends on Neopets instead. I guess it sounds kind of counterintuitive now, encouraging kids to write to strangers.
What if you miss one, you guys? There would be a hole in your collection! A hole!!
So, there you have it. What amuses me the most about this is that I remember regarding this as a finished project, when actually it’s pretty much half “welcome to this amazing magazine!” and half “wasn’t that an amazing magazine?” I was hyping something that didn’t exist. Much like someone who posts regularly to their author blog instead of finishing their damn novel.
No examples spring immediately to mind.