Fall 2011: a brand new Disney Store opens in a local mall and I buy myself some plushies to hang out with me in my dorm room: Phineas, Ferb, and hat-wearing agent-mode Perry.
In January, I have to go to a conference for a school organization, and decide on a whim to pack Perry with me to keep me company around the new people that will be hosting my stay. He rides in my lap the whole drive between St. Louis and Denver, visits a zoo in Kansas, and gets his picture taken at the meeting point of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska - a true tri-state area! As soon as I get home from my trip, before I unpack anything, I turn on the TV for a whole weekend of new episodes I had missed while I was traveling: Tri-Stone Area, Doof Dynasty, and Excaliferb.
The next month, I have to help my best friend get out of a bad living situation and put her on a train to go live someplace much happier, but very far away. I decide to put Perry in my purse. In between getting my friend out and getting her away, we spend a night at a motel and Perry helps make it feel more like a home. We go buy my best friend her own Perry so we can both be comforted.
Both my dad’s parents die that spring, and we hold a memorial ceremony for them as soon as us grandkids are out of school for the semester. We stay the weekend at their farmhouse, everyone sleeping on couches and air mattresses on the floor, and there’s Perry at my side again. At one point everyone else is out on different points of the property and I’m in the house by myself, and Minor Monogram is on TV and it instantly makes me happier.
That’s the end of my emotionally wearying trips, but I keep bringing Perry along every time I spend the night away from home. Partially to see how long I can keep doing it without breaking the running theme, in his show’s own style of in-jokes, but also it’s just nice to have a constant companion like that. Like the song goes, everything is better with Perry. Perry has been with me to Kansas City, Chicago, San Antonio, Orlando, Minneapolis, and countless local friends’ houses. (Thanks for not making fun of me and my action mammal, guys.)
Phineas and Ferb stay on my bed at home because carrying one cartoon character with me is enough, but having all three of them together is the ultimate comfort boost. If I’m exhausted, lonely, sad, spooked, these guys are there to back me up. All the optimism, affection, and steadfast strength of the cartoons in a soft cuddly travel-size version. If I have them, what can’t I do?