Monday, August 22, 2011

Adieu pt. I

I simply wanted to spiral deeper and deeper into a web of convoluted white lies and half-truths. I thought it was a story far too tragic to be told but Crystal assured me this was a story far too hilarious not to be told. Combined with the fact that people have been buzzing lately about Guillaume-Marie's whereabouts, I’ve decided it’s time to come clean and let the cat out of the bag. The gopher out of the bag. The prairie dog out of the bag...

So after the 36 days of continuous travel, I finally arrived in San Diego to stay. I stayed in a cheap hotel near the Mexican border because it was cheap.

Still limping from the sprained ankle I acquired falling out of a bus in Japan, severely jet-lagged and probably still slightly hung over, I snapped one final picture of Guillaume-Marie, set my alarm to 11:45 am so I could get out by the noon check-out time and passed out on the squeaky hotel bed. 

At 11:30 am I awoke with a start to the sound of rapid Spanish and and incessant pounding on my door. Turns out check out was at 11 am. Disoriented and confused I shoved my things into my bags and stumbled out the door. It wasn’t until an hour later-- after hitting up a Ralph’s (neither Meijer NOR Publix) for a breakfast consisting of grocery store sushi (as I was still in Japanese Combini mode)-- that I realized Guillaume was still on the windowsill. Frantically, I called the hotel.

(worst sushi EVER, by the way.)

“Hi, my name is Melody and I stayed in room 121 and I think I left a small stuffed animal in the room last night. It’s small light brown gopher”

“Hold on, I’ll check with housekeeping [...] Yeah, so it's a mouse-thing?”


“Okay... oh... wait... um... hold on..... uhhh we need to verify that it was your room... actually... they... OKAYCALLYOUBACK!”

wait?! what? call me back?

and this was only the beginning.

Later that day I received the following voicemail:


They were not happy. I was not happy.

In a tear-filled state of despair, I weighted my options:
1. Go to the border-of-Mexico Travelodge and rough up the house keeping
2. Start searching all landfills within a 50 mile radius
3. The Internet!

The third option seemed like the most viable option. After a precursory browse through the internets, I quickly realized simply searching “gopher stuffed animal” would be a long and arduous task.

Realizing I had about 300 saved pictures of the gopher on my computer, I thought at least one of them MUST have the tag in some position where I could at least get the name of the company.

Finding loads of photos like this, where I could only find the washing instructions on the other side of the tag, was of course infuriating.

This was the best I could get. “.....INC” “.......L, PA.”


It must have been fate that somehow in the back of my mind I had even hear of Argyle PA, and additionally that there was only one toy company in that city! A stroke of genius luck! If I couldn't have Guillaume at least I could fool everyone into thinking I did, thereby escaping the haunting label of 'unfit caretaker' for the rest of my life! Unfortunately, little Guillaume was made in 2008. Clearly some changes to the model have since been made.


Dear BJ Toy Company,

I am writing to inquire as to whether or not I could purchase a stuffed animal sold by your company in 2008. I realize the request is rather odd, but my younger sister had this stuffed animal and it was recently lost and she is completely distraught. I’ve attached a photo. If there is any way I could purchase this exact model we would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you so much


The days wore on with no response. I was a nervous wreck. I couldn’t eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn’t concentrate on getting good stains of Rrp5. I pored my dilemma out to my housemate, JH, who shared in my lamentations. My life was quickly spiriling into a state of disarray as obtaining a stuffed gopher occupied my every thought and action. Guised interrogations about Guilluame’s return and whereabouts were thrown at me almost daily (*cough* Crystal and Matt).

After couple days I realized I had to take matters into my own hands... BACK TO THE INTERNET!

Here is a very abbreviated sampling of my search history for those couple days:
 images used without permission from

After probably a combined 3 hours of searching I stumbled across this website:

YESSSSS-- an oasis in the desert. A ray of light in an endless tunnel of darkness.

I decided to order two lest I ever find myself in this situation again and I happily pecked in my credit card number and address and thought smugly about how I was the Sherlock Holmes of the digital age.

Early on August the 5th a bright new email popped into my inbox informing me the gophers had just been shipped.
The following week, each day after work, JH and I would rush excitedly towards the door searching for the package. Eleven times we held our hopes high. Eleven times we were thrown into the depths of wretchedness.

Why is my life so difficult!?

The following exchange of emails, replies, and forwards occurred:
I thought that 'birthday present' pulled on the heart strings a bit more than 'i need to deceive all of my friends and coworkers'

I calmly forwarded the message to my roommate JH for advice:

Monday rolled around and I held my breath as I walked to the front door. There was no package. All that greeted me was the sorry looking welcome mat: a manifestation of my crushed dreams. 

I resigned myself to failure.

Goodbye forever, Guillaume Marie. You shall be forever missed. You shall be forever loved. We can only hope you are enjoying yourself somewhere in Mexico, munching on a burrito and taking shots of tequila with a sassy Latina paca.



  1. Despite how extremely tragic is, the blog post had my peeing my pants with laughter (not literally, I'm potty trained believe-it-or-not) and I can't believe you went through all that to try and get a replacement gopher. Please tell me the blog will some how continue with the ghost of the gopher because I'm going to be crushed if there are no more posts, ever.

  2. Agreed with Megan. This was the funniest thing I've read in a while :D...but so so sad!