Monday, February 27, 2006
What the HELL is The Hedgehog of Depression?
A few years back when I worked for a vibrant and friendly tech firm, we were bombarded with treats during various holidays - secular, pagan - hell, sometimes for no reason at all. I'm not sure on which holiday the Hedgehog made its way into my life, but it arrived via Kinder Surprise. You know, the children's toy that comes inside an edible chocolate egg? The vast majority of the toys are small plastic dodads that you assemble yourself; sometimes they're puzzles, sometimes they're cars or trucks, and the like. Never, are they made out of wood. Never, are they morose-yet-adorable hedgehog type toys.
I must confess, the Hedgehog was originally given to a friend of mine, who then generously gave it to me since I was so smitten; coming up with the name was a group effort. I put it on my monitor where it sat for many years, watching me like some sort of deranged mascot.
For reasons that are still not all that clear to me, I have become very attached to the Hedgehog over the years. I think the appeal was that no matter how bad things got at work, at least I had a cheerless child's toy on my side. That, and trying to answer the eternal questions: who the hell makes depressed children's' toys, and why? Is it a German thing?
In any case, the Hedgehog made its way into my first novel and has now ended up as an icon on my website. I suspect that most people will wonder: What the HELL is that thing? There's the answer.