[Noun; ~ Pronunciation: /the/ /pan-duh/ /ih-fekt/]
- Definition: In the light of World Animal Day, I promise you that before today is over, you will all think of me every time you see a giant panda or a giant panda related item or picture. This is what I refer to as: The Panda Effect.
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”
– Anatole France –
Let’s run a little experiment here, shall we? What do you think about when you see the next picture:
Nothing in particular? How about after this one:
Come on, you ought to begin to get into the spirit by now! No? Let’s try a few more then:
Let the photos work their magic on you while I tell you a few funny little stories.
My best friend and I have decided not to buy each other souvenirs when we go on holidays separately, but one year she got back and said the following: “I know we promised not to buy stuff any more, but I saw this and I couldn’t resist getting it for you.” How often have I heard those words, they mean: I got you some panda items!
I once needed physical therapy for my leg. The therapist was making small-talk and I ended up telling her I had a trip to China planned to work as a volunteer in a panda reserve. Two weeks. Then she told me she’d seen a TV programme about giant pandas and she had told her husband she had a client who was going there. Her exact words were: “I saw this programme on the television and it reminded me of you!”
Want more? Okay then. When my nephew was two my sister was a bit worried about him, because every time he’d colour a picture he’d end up making everything black. I had her on the phone one day when she told me her son, J, was in the process of making me a birthday drawing, but she had had to throw away several because he kept messing them up with black.
I heard my nephew’s voice in the background, saying: “It is a panda for aunt Samantha.”
(After which my sister reacted as follows: “…Oh, that actually makes sense! Now I understand why he always picks white first and then black.” – *sigh*)
J also helped choose my birthday presents for last year and the year before. My sister explained how he got very excited when he spotted the panda items and personally selected them for me.
My family, my best friends, my therapist, heck all my ex-co-workers and even people I don’t like have all fallen victim to The Panda Effect: it’s when you see a giant panda (real or as an item) and the first thing you think about is me!
Someone asked me once why I love them so much, but I don’t have a real answer. Truth is: I love all animals, but somehow giant pandas make my heart skip a beat. They are just so cute, so beautiful, so precious. Even if they’re very aggressive in the wild, I still love them to bits.
When I was three years old my mother gave me a stuffed animal she got after buying washing powder of some kind:
This is Panda. She’s almost twenty-seven years old and this is her… fourth skin I think. I cannot even remember how many sets of eyes she’s had during her life, but I can tell you the only original bits of her are her stuffing and nose :3 I don’t care if people think she looks odd or if they find me sad for owning a ragged old panda doll, this is, and always will be, my number one item to grab when my house is on fire.
Research showed Panda wasn’t the first panda item I ever got (apparently my grandparents gave me a panda mug filled with Easter eggs when I was eighteen months old), but opening the box she came in is one of my first memories, so I always say my obsession started with her.
Now, if this confession didn’t put you right in the direction of The Panda Effect, there’s only so much more I can do to make your brains link giant pandas to my name:
Have a wonderful World Animals Day, and be extra nice to your pets 🙂 Mine may not be pandas, but together they sure could look like one! 😉
What’s your favourite animal? And what have you given your pets today?