A Build-A-Bear workshop may be "Where Best Friends Are Made," as the toyshop claims.
But the stores also have the capacity to breed mischief, thanks to naughty customers taking advantage of the personalized voice recording option–a popular feature.
"Build A Bear workers what's the strangest voice recording you've heard?"
These are examples of scenarios when a customer couldn't speak for themselves.
"I had a guy come in with loads of shopping bags. Flowers and chocolates. Typical gifts you'd get a girlfriend but WAY too many. He bought a bear and just recorded."
"Hannah, I'm SORRY!"
"He didn't seem in the mood to talk so I didn't pry but everyone in the store agreed it was a terrible idea. Reminding your girlfriend she's angry at you everytime she squeezes a bear."
The Private Message
"I can’t think of any truly strange recordings, but this did make me think of a semi-awkward situation I was in. A dad came in to make stuffed dog for his daughter. His partner was telling me that he was going through some sort of intense custody battle situation and didn’t get to see his daughter very much. He ended up going to like a separate part of the store (or maybe the bathroom? I don’t remember) to record the message. Like, the dude clearly didn’t want anyone to hear it. But then when I put the sound thingy in the dog’s paw and line it up correctly, I kept accidentally pressing it a bunch of times. It was basically him just telling his daughter how much he missed her—so nothing sketchy or anything like that. But I just felt super intrusive because it seemed like it was intended something really personal that I wasn’t supposed to hear."
"So just to be clear - this isn’t a judgment on the customer, just my awkward and clumsy-a** self."
"I heard a man there, he had made a 'sexy' recording for giving to his girl. Kinda creepy, but if it worked...."
A Bear's Purpose
"A friend gave a girl a bear, when asking her out, with the recording of his voice saying 'It is my duty..... to rock that booty.'"
Adult customers can be silly as mischievous children.
The Bear Doesn't Consent
"In high school at the time, making a bear as a gift for my best friend. Thought it’d be hilarious to put the little heart speaker into the bear’s crotch and have it say 'Don’t touch me there!' when pressed."
"Go to check out and this poor elderly woman working the register grabs the bear in just the right way that at least 10+ people around hear someone shout 'DONT TOUCH ME THERE!!!'”
"All heads turned. I thought I was going to have to resuscitate the poor cashier. Left and never went back."
"I was a customer. One voice recording I managed to hear was 'C*CK AND BALL' very loudly.
Beware The Volume
"I worked at BABW from 2004-2010. I can’t remember any build-a-sounds that were especially outrageous. My favorite was when the parents really didn’t care, so the kid would record something long, rambling, and odd. The sound costs $8 back then, so almost as much as some bears, but the parents would just shrug it off as the kids screamed some random message."
"If it was an important message, like a proposal, I would try to persuade people to just buy the sound box, then go record it at home, and come back another day to make the bear. People don’t realize that Build-a-Bears are hella loud. Those stuffy machines were basically vacuums and playing your build-a-sound while standing next to vacuum and gaggles of children is not a great representation of what you’ve just recorded. It is going to play back LOUD. We’d have people record in the bathroom regularly, which was better than recording in the store, but very echoey."
Oliver, The Sardonic Bear
"Customer, not worker, but John Oliver has a comedy sketch about when he moved from the UK to New York and he was feeling really lonely, so his friends got him a present: a Build-a-Bear that said 'You will die, alone, in a dark, cold room.' That's friendship for you."
"Well, my sister thought it was hilarious, so I went and did it for her. You get some weird looks at the store, but even as she moved across the country from me, she took it with her and cherished that someone cared enough about her to build a stuffed bear telling her she would die alone to satisfy her sense of humor."
"She named the bear Oliver."
A Parent Bonds With Their Daughter
"My daughter when she was 11- in a creepy voice, 'Get your Paws offa me!' We laughed like idiots, playing it over and over on the way home. Her mom did not share our humor. We still laugh about it 15 years later, but I'm pretty sure wife burned the bear."
"Yesterday, a high schooler came in and wanted to record anime moans from his phone. BaB vetoes some recordings..."
Get A Clue
"I mean probably not weird but I set up a scavenger hunt for my wife each clue solved gave her a letter collect all five letters and solve the cryptex."
"The clue I gave her was something like 'the beating source of life needs to be removed, do you have the stomach to do what you must?' I wrote the letter on the little heart they put on it and they sealed it up. I recorded the jigsaw quote I want to play a game' on the speaker and when she found the stuffed dog it had a picture of jigsaw and a knife."
"My bear didn’t say anything he just mooed like a cow. I also named him suitcase."
On the flip side, memorial bears are a poignant options for those in grief.
A Boy Memorialized
"My son works at BaB. His very first day of work he had to build a memorial bear. The mother and grandmother came in with a voice recording of the little boy who died of cancer. It was a recording of the kid saying he was brave and loved his life."
"I can't count the number of memorial bears Ive made."
"Most recently had a family bring in a recording of their grandma's heartbeat to make a bear for each grandkid."
"I think the weirdest one I got was a couple preteens recording a tiktok onto the build a sound. I'm not sure exactly what was on it, but they were really awkward about it, so I ended up turning the computer down really low so it didn't project through the whole store. I made an extra effort to not squeeze the sound as I put it in the paw."
"Us Bear Builders have lots of stories. Some good, some sad, some downright terrifying."
A Gift For A Bereaved Mother
"I had a lady come in to make a memorial bear for the mother of a baby who died, she put an audio recording of the baby crying."
"Definitely not creepy. We had our baby’s heartbeat recorded during an ultrasound and put it into a stuffed animal. My newborn daughter passed away a few weeks after delivery and now that heartbeat is something we have to remind us of her."
It's no wonder that BaB toys are so popular.
It's next-level roses and chocolates gift-giving option for all occasions.
Of course, it's also a huge opportunity for vexatious customers to exploit the personalizing feature for their dirty deeds.
Which customer are you?
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Many people lie or exaggerate about seemingly little things. For example, I've wondered if many are lying or at the very least stretching the truth about the number of partners they've had.
One of those strange things where half of the people are lying and making the number higher, and the other half are lying and making it lower.
It's funny, isn't it? But you do you! What do we know?
People shared some of their thoughts with us after Redditor SleepingOmibozu asked the online community,
"What's something you're 100% sure most people are lying about?"
"How much their side hustle nets them."
When it comes to side hustles, everyone is much more successful than they actually are.
"Steroid abuse in the fitness industry."
This is a big one. So many people who say they're natural are juicing.
"I have read..."
"I have read and understood the terms and conditions..."
Stop attacking me! I did not ask for this!
"That they don't..."
"That they don’t pick their nose."
Yeah, right. The number of people I've seen digging for gold in public is so high.
"Fully understanding the plot of the Metal Gear Solid series."
I stopped trying to. Do I get a cookie? I'd love one.
"How often they clean..."
"How often they clean their bed sheets."
I'm not even going to ask. I think I will be seriously horrified by the answer.
"If you're not busy..."
"About their productivity levels. If you’re not busy, you’re not a good person."
Yeah, whatever. This is as bad as bragging about not taking breaks at work. It's not a good look.
"So many lies."
"Their income. So many lies."
Many people feel very self conscious about their salaries. It's sad.
"Why they're late."
"Why they’re late."
I'm not late often but when I am it's usually because of something ridiculous where if I said the truth it would sound like a lie.
"Hating the word..."
"Hating the word 'moist.'"
I love the word moist and I won't apologise.
You mean there are still people going on about this? It's just a word, people. Calm down.
Life's a competition, apparently. Take what a lot of people tell you with a grain of salt. That's the best advice.
Have some observations of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
I once met a guy who, by all accounts, appeared to have given up. And by that, I mean that they had pretty much decided that life basically ended in the 1970s and early 1980s. He had no interest in modern technology, was remarkably out of the loop when it came to technology or even current events.
This was all very frustrating to witness, but he was actually proud of himself! Proud to not know much–if anything–about the modern world. (And then he complained about how he kept having trouble finding a job.)
It was quite the flex–an unimpressive one at that.
People shared some of their thoughts with us after Redditor metallicmuffin asked the online community,'
"What unimpressive things are people idiotically proud of?"
"Missing breaks at work for a company that wouldn’t care if they died the next day."
This is a big one. It's not cute. Take your break! There's more to life than work!
"Not eating any vegetables. Known a few people state it as if it's some kind of achievement giving themselves constipation."
Knew somebody like this. They wanted to go out on a date.
We did not go out on a date.
"Going into work while sick. Had a coworker who bragged on social media about having strep throat, but was still working because she 'values hard work.'"
Some people appear to have missed the memo that risking other people's health is not a bragging right.
"I know people..."
"Drinking a lot. I know people, grown @ss people in their late 20s, who will brag about passing out on their lawns because they couldn’t make it from the car to the front door."
To be fair, they're in their 20s and most people are idiots then. They might grow out of it!
"I once had..."
"I once had a coworker brag about how dark his pee is."
Are you seriously telling us that they bragged about their kidneys not working correctly?
"I've heard that..."
"Driving better when drunk. I’ve heard that ridiculous statement more times than I should."
If some people seriously believe that, then they should not be allowed to drive.
"I overheard a co-worker recently brag to a girl that he'd already had COVID three times and during his most recent bout, he went to the gym every day that he had it."
There are so, so many things wrong with that person's statement. Can you imagine? "Sure, I got COVID, but at least I didn't miss leg day!"
"I keep hearing people..."
"Not being able to cook. I keep hearing people bragging about how the only thing they can do is boil water."
If you've made it to adulthood and you don't know how to cook for yourself, there's something gravely wrong with this picture.
"Nothing surprises me..."
"Nothing surprises me more than when people are proud of their ignorance."
Knowledge is no guarantee of wisdom but prideful ignorance is proof of its absence.
"I worked with a guy..."
"I worked with a guy who, otherwise very smart, was extremely proud of the fact that he could remove the foil from the neck of a wine bottle without cutting it. He brought it up so many times I lost count. I just let him have it, though, because he seemed to need it."
Of all the things in this thread this is the most reasonable thing to be proud of.
Let's face it, it seems like a lot of people have made over-compensating a part of their personalities.
Sadly, they don't even seem to be doing that all too well, which means we'll continue to be largely unimpressed.
Have some observations of your own? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!
Who hasn't partaken in a trend everyone was doing at one point, but which quickly became passé?
Indeed, 90's children probably have mountains of POGs which are collecting dust in their parent's attics, and their parent's probably made every effort to hide any pictures of them attempting a mullet.
But seeing the long lineage of fads, from bellbottoms to beanie babies, we can't help but wonder what current trend people will look back on with regret, if not outright disdain, in the not-so-distant future.
Redditor stoopididiotface was curious to hear what the Reddit community thinks will be passé in a matter of time, leading them to ask:
"What current trend will be the most regrettable 20 years from now?"
I update my status much less often these days...
"Posting about almost every aspect of your life on social media."
"I posted some pretty cringe sh*t as a kid that is still floating around somewhere, and that was before social media became big."
"I can't imagine what it's going to be like now."- video_2facebook update GIF by Christina LuGiphy
Parenting should be a personal choice.
"I hope mommy bloggers who post constant pics and details of their children."
"Robbing children of privacy for likes and money is sickening."
"Don’t even get me started on ones with sick kids."- nikki_therese
Everyone was watching it... back then...
"I think people are just starting to regret naming their kids Danerys and Sansa."- Wazula42game of thrones boom GIFGiphy
Felt "kute"... will regret later
"Quirky misspelling of names."- Virghia
Natural beauty is destined for a comeback
"Too much plastic surgery, fillers and Botox on young people."- factchecker8515
"Holy sh*t, there’s no way that your kids won’t be horrified by those weird eyebrows."- DelicaEyebrow Raise GIFGiphy
Here's hoping actions will one day have consequences
"Ignoring criminal acts by politicians."- Max-lower-back-Payne
Contemporary views of education
"The destruction of public education."
"Squeezing and outright sabotage of public schools, prohibitive costs for secondary education."
"The normalization of being undereducated either through apathy or because of forces outside your control."
"The idea that opinion is equal to fact and that sticking to your original viewpoint is heroic."
"'Yeah, your studies may say that, but this is how I FEEL about it'" and similar arguments."
"The reason we are no longer a minor species of omnivorous hunter-gatherers is our ability to pass along knowledge to others."
"Each generation building on the achievements of prior generations is the path to progress in health, quality of life, equality, production and so much more."
"Worse yet, technology now is at a level where if the masses are uneducated, they are also powerless."
"Small groups of people with specific knowledge have become outrageously powerful and this gap in individual power will only get worse with advances in fields like AI and robotics."
"If we allow whole generations to grow up undereducated, it will be very difficult for them to understand and affect their world."
"I feel the exponential growth of wealth gaps across the world is a symptom of this deliberate enforced ignorance."- GrymEdm
Some things we'll laugh about, other's we'll look back on in disdain and horror.
And Ironically, we'll probably be enjoying another current fad which will be outdated in another five years.
When the global pandemic hit in March of 2020, everyone hoped that after two weeks or so of social distancing, cases would begin to drop and things would quickly get back to normal.
And though life is slowly getting back to what it once was, cases of COVID-19 continue to ebb and flow.
It almost feels like everyone must have caught COVID-19 at least once by now.
But even three years in and with multiple variants, there are still a very lucky, select few who have yet to test positive for COVID-19.
Redditor jwa8808 was curious to hear how those who have yet to see two red sticks on their rapid tests have managed to avoid catching COVID-19, leading them to ask:
"For people who have never caught covid even once, what's your secret?"
Having no social life comes with its advantages.
"I'm not very social even without a pandemic."- phorq
"Have no friends, lol."Season 5 Friends Tv Show GIF by FriendsGiphy
Fear of big crowds... and everything else.
"Social anxiety."- mungiga123
"Extreme health anxiety."
"It sucks since its unnerving but I took every precaution in the book to not get sick."- _Lost__LightHorror Reaction GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
You tell me!
"I really have no idea."
"I've been on building sites with people taking zero precautions, worked in London for a while, delivered into hospitals during lockdown, been surrounded by people who then go on to have covid a few days later."
"Not a clue how I haven't had it yet."- sammykoejoe
Best perk of a home office!
"Working at home and having no social life or sex."- I-P-Freely4ever
Pure, dumb luck!
'Neither me or my kids have been hit."
"The secret, I have no idea besides lure luck."- Hugh-MahnSt Patricks Day Illustration GIFGiphy
I can stay perfectly entertained at home!
"Don't go out."- To_enrich_my_life_17
Dilligence...or common sense?
"Wear masks, go out when you need to, get all the covid shots you are entitled to, stay away from ill people."- kitchen_clintonThe Grand Mask GIF by The Grand HealthcareGiphy
One can't help but sympathize with those too afraid to partake in outings and activities they enjoyed prior to the pandemic.
But hopefully the fact that they've avoided catching an illness which has taken the lives of over six million people worldwide is the comfort they need to feel good about their decisions.