The Care Bear Stare vs. adult goths

By Leila Sales

It was 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday night and I was riding the #173 bus with a bunch of my friends. This clearly sounds like we were going to do something cool, like go to a rave or something—raves are the pinnacle of evening entertainment, I think—except that half of us were wearing Care Bear costumes, and the other half of us were dressed as goths.

It was Scav Hunt. Obviously.

If you are one of those millions of trillions of people who think Scav Hunt is God’s way of punishing you for all your minor sins, then, by all means, cease reading now. This article will be just brimming with stuff you loathe, except for that tiny fact that you can’t loathe Care Bears because they are the physical embodiment of all that is good and loving in this world.

OK, so, we were on the CTA, going to a goth convention because our goal was: Cheer up goths. We kept making fun of them for their stupid “goth clothing,” like we weren’t wearing matching sweatshirts with stars and lollipops emblazoned on them. This ignominy did not stop us. “Stupid goth kids,” we said, “with their goth-kid…stuff.”

But then we found out that this was a 21+ goth club. So it was not stupid goth kids we were going to cheer up, it was stupid goth adults, which is actually a totally different story. You see, fascinating fact here, unlike teenagers, adults can kill you.

This was one of the reasons why we brought fake goths along with us: so they could act as bellwethers for all the real goths. If the going got rough, our goths could step in and say, “Hey, these Care Bears seem like maybe they don’t suck! Let’s not knife them to death!”

In order to pull off being role models for the entire goth community, though, our goths had to exemplify the true goth spirit, which I don’t really think they did. I mean, they spent the bus ride there stitching together Care Bear costumes and complaining that their black eye makeup was too thick. I think real goths would have spent the bus ride, like, sulking.

OK, I’ll be honest here: I don’t think I know any goths. Maybe they don’t sulk. Maybe they don’t ride buses, either. Maybe they travel everywhere in little space-bubbles that move almost at the speed of light. Who’s to say?

Unfortunately, none of us knew for sure, so when we got off the bus, we would point at every person who walked past us and loudly whisper, “Is that a goth?” Then we would yell to them, “Welcome to Care-a-lot!” because that is the Care Bears’ hometown. If a person seemed annoyed by our shouting, we would say, “Ah. She must be a goth.” And then we’d send someone running after her, shrieking, “Cheer up! Lucky Bear loves you!”

We also practiced the Care Bear Stare a lot, on fire hydrants and stuff. The way the Care Bear Stare works is: Someone yells, “Care Bear Countdown!” and then everyone chants, “5-4-3-2-1!” and then a blast of light explodes and the bad guys are vanquished.

That’s what happens in all the movies, anyway. In real life, you get to the “5-4-3-2-1” bit, and then you all just stand there awkwardly and hope you don’t get arrested.

Almost getting arrested is apparently another major hobby of Care Bears. In those many, many movies that I valued as a child, Care Bears and law officials seem to work together harmoniously toward a common goal. But in this modern day and age, police forces have moved on to more bureaucratic techniques, like owning guns. They no longer rely on us Care Bears to keep the citizenry in line. In fact, they kind of think that we are overly noisy and preventing goths from entering their club. This is a total lie, because we weren’t preventing anyone for going anywhere. We were merely trying to give them free non-satanic cookies.

The goths were suspicious of these cookies. “What’s in them?” they asked.

“Love!” we responded. “Sunshine! Jesus!”

Either they didn’t believe us, or they just didn’t want any cookies frosted with crucifixes. I cannot imagine why.

And I want to point something out to all of you doubters who say Scav Hunt is a useless exercise in lameness: we used Care Bear powers to bring joy and brotherhood into the counterculture. This is totally community service, and by God I want a presidential service award. Or at least, like, more points or something.