My post about panda dresses reminded me of a fashion fad from my childhood: clip-on koalas. For a year or so, it was de rigueur to walk around with a small, stuffed koala toy clipped to one’s shirt or jacket. They came in gray and tan. Eventually there was a clip-on panda too. I was obsessed! I’m not sure if the toys were originally designed for wearing. They make more sense as plant decorations …
… and are a super-kawaii way to deal with bad smells.
When I went to the San Diego Zoo with gorgeous blogger ENC of Observationmode in 2008, we observed real-life pandas and koalas, none of which looked very wearable. In fact, the real-life koala clipped to a real-life tree looked like he’d cut a bitch who disturbed his 23-hour-long nap.
Maybe it’s my koala history that makes me yearn for one of panda-dress-designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s teddy-bear coats.
Of course, koalas aren’t actually bears. They’re bear-like marsupials. And the cutest bear-like marsupial of all time — OF ALL TIME! — is the one who got in a bucket of water to escape an Australian heat wave.
That koala was so cute that Diane Sawyer reported on it.
But I don’t think the koala was saying, “Hey, you come here often?” as Diane suggests. He was definitely saying, “How YOU doin‘?”
I think Henry the dog looks a little like a koala.
My nickname for him is “Henry Bear” because “Henry Marsupial” just doesn’t sound right.
Got any bear- or koala-related memories? Share them in the comments.
UPDATED TO ADD: I initially didn’t include Sam the koala in this post because Sam, who was rescued from a wildfire by a firefighter, later had to be euthanized due to koala chlamydia. I thought it would be too sad. But I re-watched the video of her drinking water from the firefighter’s bottle and it is cute to the nth degree. Here it is.
Sam is now on display at the Melbourne Museum. The Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter, which helped care for Sam, is raising money for a wildlife hospital. You can email the shelter at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about sponsoring a koala.
UPDATED AGAIN TO ADD: I found a Moschino teddy-bear dress on 1stdibs.com for $2,800. Thank goodness it’s not my size so I don’t have to pine for it.