Billy has no intention of staying home if grot boy and I were going out on an adventure. As soon as we get the backpack out to go for a bike ride or a walk, he hops into it and makes himself comfortable, with his head poking out the top. Billy loves watching people and the strange things they did.
Our first outing with Billy was our usual weekend bike ride. He decided it was more fun riding with me as I zoomed down the hills much faster than grot boy. Billy and I would squeal loudly, as much from fear as fun, as we hurtled down a hill hoping the noise disappeared into the wind.
Billy also turned out to be very encouraging when it came to going up the hills and he quickly became my riding coach. Whenever I got tired or bored, Billy would chat away, telling me what fun we were having, which made the riding just a little bit easier. Grot boy complained, “It’s not fair, you always beat me because you’ve got Billy coaching you”. Billy and I would laugh because we all knew that grot boy really needed to become a lot fitter.
Billy also upset the lycra-wearing, A-type wannabee riders we saw on an annual fund-raising ride. Seeing a woman sailing past them, WITH a teddy bear AND on a mountain bike was more than their male egos could withstand.
Billy was a discerning bear and he quickly decided he didn’t want to go out with me when I went to work. He’d watch me dressing up in a suit, with stockings and high-heeled shoes, and concluded that work can’t be much fun if it requires such an uncomfortable outfit. I was quite relieved since a teddy bear like Billy would have quickly tarnished my serious, professional image.
But going out to dinner was different, and one of Billy’s favourite outings. He loved sitting on the dining table and having all the other diners looking at him and talking about him. As Oscar Wilde said, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about, especially if you’re a teddy bear.