At one point when I was roommates with Lauren, my mother sent me a box of knick-knacks from my old room in Sarasota — well, more accurately, the room at their house where my stuff went. It was mostly enamel boxes, a picture frame I never filled, and my old class photo, Grad photo, and the big school photo in the ravine from my Grade 12 year. You know — standard bits and pieces I wasn’t sure I needed, but she didn’t need them either, and it was her polite way of saying, "Hey, maybe if you don’t need these any more, then WE don’t need these any more!" Of course, she was also giving me a chance to reminisce about high school with alternating horror and fondness. I kept the pictures.
She also threw in a random My Little Pony that she grabbed from the box — in its way, a precursor to me doing this, I suppose — and it’s kicked around my house ever since. That pony is Cascade.
I wish I’d documented her condition when she arrived to me those
five years ago, because I am now not entirely sure how much of her
current coif is because of childhood shenanigans and how much is
because she’s been sitting inside a compartment in one of my end tables
through at least one, if not two, moves. However, that is some spectacular hair. In many ways it resembles my own bedhead when I have short hair.
That is so stylish.
And THAT is sort of Sideshow Bob in nature.
Her poor tail — it starts out all smooth, but devolves into the
kind of frizz that some curlyheads know all too well. If only My Little
Pony had sold some Mane & Tail product. I probably would have
bought a case of it.
Cascade came with a waterfall playset, a plastic thing with a green base that sort of looked like a meadow, a giant sun, and a rainbow that connected the base to the fluffy white cloud overhead — which doubled as a shower. It also provided bubbles so that you could create some froth, and a little orange plastic pal named Duck Soup. Because I lived in England, I got the "International" set, which is not the same as what was available in the U.S. — y’all got a different pony AND a different-looking waterfall.
This basically opened up a whole new world of bathtub fun for me. I had the Sea Ponies — oh, yes, we’ll get to those later — but when I saw there was a pony that came with a WATERFALL and seemed TAILOR-MADE for tubby-time fun, well, it was like someone had turned on a light in a dark room and scrawled on the wall was the phrase, "YES, THAT’S RIGHT, I AM TELLING YOU THAT THEY CAN GET WET! WOOO!" So any pony that didn’t have curly hair or fur or glitter usually ended up taking a swim with me at least once. This may account, in part, for her punk hairdo. The poor thing was always lying down somewhere while she dried.
As for her personality, well, let’s just assume I made Cascade really fun. I mean, the kid had her own waterfall to frolic in — I’m fairly certain that would’ve been popular with the other ponies. I can’t remember if she had a boyfriend, but when we get deeper into all of this maybe something will jog my memory. I will say that I’m not sure how often I played with her when I wasn’t in the tub. The bathroom was her domain, and people had to come to HER. So I’m guessing she WAS popular, actually, given that my bathtub most nights was a glorified stable.
This stuff would give collectors palpitations: "YOU PUT THEM IN THE BATH AND DIDN’T DRY THEM OUT PROPERLY AND LET THEIR HAIR GO ALL OVER THE PLACE OH MY GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??!?" To which I say, at that age, the idea of keeping them pristine so I could sell them never would’ve occurred to me — it was pre-Internet, pre-eBay, pre-CIVILIZATION — and the idea of PARTING with them was unthinkable. Back then, I suspect I believed I would be the only person in history to bring her pony collection with her to college, because dude, being able to play with them ALL THE TIME and not have to go to BED, are you KIDDING ME WITH THAT PARADISE? AWESOME.