I was just reading an extensive article on Peter Lanza, the father of the infamous Adam Lanza of Sandy Hook infamy. Early in the article it described all the "stuff" that he received after the shooting, mostly by way of condolence--candy, flowers, letter and Teddy bears. I was left wonder why on earth anyone would send an accomplished man in his middle years a Teddy bear as an object of condolence? I am somewhat similarly bemused when I see memorials put up for accident victims that include Teddy bears. I mean, the damn things are going to perish from the elements in short order. Now I have nothing in particular against Teddy bears. They are very traditional comfort toys for young children. Some of the best ones can be quite charming, even to a grumpy old man like me. However, I personally lost any interest in owning such toys around the time of my 10th birthday, as best I recall. I know they are often exchanged as gifts among adults, especially for Valentine's Day and such, but I could never fathom bestowing such a childish thing on my inamorata of the moment back when I was in Singleland. I know that some adults do like stuffed toys. I used the same hairdresser for many years. She had had a black dog that she had to put down for illness back around 1980. About 25 years later, she and her husband posed for a Christmas card with a toy stuffed dog--"a dog that can never die," as she put it. I thought she might have done much better giving a couple of real dogs good lives during that period rather than transferring her affections to an inanimate piece of cheap fabric and cotton stuffing. Another story, that I always got sadistic pleasure from involved my aunt. She was living with my great-grandmother because she couldn't get along with her sister, my future mother. She had a stuffed Scottie dog that she had incongruously named "Poi" because she was fond of things Hawaiian at the time. Anyway, the family went off to Europe, and my aunt left Poi with my great-grandmother. Soon after her departure, my great-grandmother ordered her "colored" (as she would have been called then) maid to burn "that dirty old thing," as she described Poi. "Ah don't know," the maid said, "Miz Joan powerful fond of that dog." Nonetheless, poor Poi went into the incinerator. Two years later, the family returned from Europe. The first thing Joan did was to betake herself to her grandmother's apartment (which was just around the corner from our family home). "Where's Poi?" she queried. "Oh, I had that old thing burned," replied my great grandmother. Joan, who would have been in her early 20s, exclaimed, "He was my best friend," and began weeping softly. Anyway, does anyone have any theories about this strange appeal of Teddy bears and similar stuffed toys to anyone much beyond the age of puberty?