Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rot Rot The Pink Hedgehog: Phil Collins' Special Little Friend

It would be terrible to think that Phil Collins struggled through the torment and agony of his existence all alone. Yes, he had family, band mates, fans ... but even those closest to him couldn't always be the sympathetic, wholly impartial confidante he needed so desperately. He yearned for a stabilizing force, a dependable buddy who would stay by his side through thick and thin. One day, when he was roughly eight years old, in his family's attic, he discovered that buddy:
I didn't get on with the other children. Mother and father were quite occupied much of the time, and thus I found myself frequently alone. I would make up games to pass the time, such as counting the telephone poles, or turning the faucet off and on for giggles. One October afternoon, I pretended to play hide and seek, even though I knew no one would be coming to "seek" me. I crawled up into the attic, and after rummaging around in an empty mahogany cupboard, I found a porcelain teapot decorated with a floral design. My curiosity piqued, I opened the lid of the teapot, and there he was.

"Ooh! 'Tis bright, 'tis bright it is!"

Curled inside that teapot ... was a small pink hedgehog.

"Hello little fellow," I said.

"Put the lid on! Put the lid on!"

Instinctively, I shut the lid. But after another minute, I opened it just a crack.

"What are you hiding in there for?"

"It's cozy in here. I don't enjoy it out there."

"What's your name?"

"My name is only for my friends."

"Well I'm your friend."

"My name is Rot Rot. What's yours?"

"My name's Philip. Pleased to meet you, Rot Rot."

"Pleased to meet you Philip."

"I'm going to pull you out of that teapot."

"Oh, no, please!"

I reached in and lifted the furry fellow into my hands.

"I have a very sensitive constitution! It's too musty in here."

"Nonsense, you'll be fine," I said as I tossed him up into the air. "Think of all the fun we're going to have!"

"Ooh! Be careful!" I let him crawl across my shoulders. "I suppose this is not so bad." I scooped him up and plopped him back into the teapot.

"I'm going to show you to my mother when she gets home."

"Philip, that's a lovely idea, but I don't think she's going to be very amused."

"What are you talking about Rot Rot?"

"Well, what's exciting and magical for a young boy like yourself isn't always so interesting to responsible adults, is all."

"Nonsense! She'll be delighted with you." But sure enough, when mother came home, I told her about Rot Rot and brought her the teapot.

"That's wonderful dear. You've such an imagination!"

"But no, mother, look!" I lifted the lid, but she claimed to see nothing.

"It's just an old teapot, dear."

"What's the matter, mum, don't you see him?"

"No, Philip. Now run along and help father with the groceries."

I crawled back up to the attic. "I don't understand it."

"That's all right, Philip. I'll just be your little secret."

From that moment onward, I always had a friend with me. Through three marriages, 15 world tours, 7 platinum albums, six mansions, three decades of critical hostility, all the up and downs of my difficult career ... Rot Rot has steadily, loyally, been by my side.

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