I’ve got bears on the brain right now. Ever since I decided I was going to get Zoë a replacement Paddington Bear to make up for the one that I donated to a jumble sale many years ago. OK – he had spent the last several years of his stay with us as a nudist, while a panda wore his duffel coat, his hat was lost down the back of the sofa and his Wellington boots had become a part of family tradition as each daughter eagerly awaited her turn to fill Paddington’s shoes. But now that the frenzy of fundraising for worthy causes (Women’s Aid and the like) had left me, I had come to regret giving Zoë’s bear away. After all I hadn’t even asked her if I could. And a Paddington in good condition can fetch more than £80 on EBay these days.
So I decided to get an old dilapidated bear and restore him to his former glory and present him to Zoë. I spotted a shabby nude one on EBay and thought I’d try for him, decided I’d pay up to £20 and started watching him. The last twenty minutes were nail biting. I watched the auction obsessively. He was going to be mine for £16. In the last five minutes I upped my bit to £21.45. In the last seconds I breathed a sigh of relief. In the closing seconds some total bastard sneaked in and snatched my bare bear away from me for a paltry £22.45. The word ‘incandescent’ was invented for such moments.
*Funnily enough the robbing bastard EBayer's handle wasn't Slippytit, but it wasn't far off it.