Back in the early 80s when I was around 9 or 10, my slightly-older best JW friend relished telling me all the latest scare stories she heard about the satanic smurfs popping off of wallpaper, cutting babies with sharp objects, and running through kingdom hall corridors swearing. Wide-eyed with no critical thinking skills at. all. I listened and believed every single word. I was fully afraid of the lil' blue demons!
The craze in our 5th grade class at the time was collecting scratch and sniff stickers (remember these? Oh memory lane!) Well, of course there were also popular Smurf stickers, and everyone who was anyone had them all. Well actually, not everyone. In our 5th grade class, two boys were the collection kings because they had all the cool stickers and pooled their collections together.
By pure serendipity, I happened to get ahold of some very hard-to-get stickers and had some they didn't have, but very much wanted, so they invited me to join in their collective collection, become a queen in their sticker empire and enjoy royalty status in our 5th grade classroom. I jumped at the opportunity!
So, with our collective pool of stinky stickers, we decided that the fairest way of sharing our treasure trove was that each of us got to "hold" onto the collection on assigned days and take it home overnight and on weekends.
When my first weekend came up and I was thrilled to take the collection home. Well, except for knowing there were lots of scratch n' sniff Smurf stickers in the collection... that made me uneasy, but I was willing to take the chance.
Let me tell you... the entire weekend I had fear and dread inside me everytime I looked over at the collection sitting on my dresser. I was certain that those smurfs were going to come out of the sticker pages and torment me somehow. The anxiety I felt all weekend about the smurf stickers overshadowed any joy or pleasure I derived out of having the treasured collection.
I didn't tell my parents. I just sat all weekend with this big secret staring at me, hoping I wouln't be attacked by satan because I had silly scratch and sniff stickers with smurfs on them in my bedroom. I was afraid of printed ink on paper!
I ended up getting through the weekend without incident (just my anxious overactive imagination) and promply took the collection back to school. When I saw my two fellow classmate collectors I told them that I wanted out of the group and that they could keep my stickers. I was immediately releived to cast out the demons.
In retrospect, what a waste. And a great anecdote of how JW urban legends were indeed spread and seeding fear into the little hearts and minds of trusting children.
When I got married 10 years later, my JW husband told me some of the same recycled smurf stories ~ and still believed them. By that point I pretty much started getting wise to viewing those stories as gossipy legends that had no basis in any real experience.
Now I definitely know better. :) Imagine that.
Anyone else collect those stickers when they were little?