Friday, July 16, 2010

What the Hell Happened to My Damn Puppets?

I had puppets. I first starting collecting my performers while still in grade school. I can remember putting on shows for the babysitter. She thought they were great...or so she told me.

I had a rooster, a dog, a cat, a talking, an unknown puppet (I swear I really can't explain its unidentifiable nature, but it was the joker, the wild card, of the dramatis puppetsonae, playing more roles than Lon Chaney could imagine). Oh, and that was supposed to be "tall king", not "talking".

In the days before YouTube, I dreamed of my own public access cable show, The Puppet Show! featuring my puppets. I'd wished at the time that I could come up with a clever name like Muppets for my puppets, but I couldn't because I'm not as smart as Ginx (that's also why I'm not a statist like Ginx is, because after all, only the most brilliant minds of our age know that we can't do without a big, intrusive government to solve our problems and keep us safe from the corporations that government created and sustains).

One of my puppets was an A&W freebie (well, not really, you had to buy something and then pay for the puppet, but the commercials said "only a dollar!" which was an amount that actually still bought something back then, but almost free in today's inflated dollar) from a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away. I was living with my dad in the Pacific Northwest in those days, and based on those incessant television ads featuring the A&W bear mascot in puppet form, we went one night to the local A&W and ordered a couple of burgers and root beers. As the waitress took our order, Dad mentioned the puppet.

"And we'll have one of those puppets, too," he said.

"Okay," she replied.

"And they're only a dollar?" he asked.

"Yes, one dollar," the waitress said.

"Let's get two if they're only a dollar," Dad said.

When the waitress brought our tray of food, we didn't see the puppets. On TV they looked kinda like this (only without legs):

In the TV ads the bear puppet was a riot (well, maybe at the time I thought so) with lots of funny expressions. But the main thing was he was filled out, with a fat face (like JFK after cortisone injections) and full head.

So, while we waited for her to bring our puppets, we dug into the burgers and drank our root beers. Then Dad grabbed a napkin from the tray and they was something underneath it. Whatever it was it was wrapped in cellophane and flatter than a pancake. There were actually two of whatever it was. I picked one up cautiously. It was a puppet! It was so insubstantial that it could fit inside the tiny package I held in my hands.

Somehow, even though I now had two of the miraculous and laugh-riot puppets in my hands, it felt like a let down. Where the hell was the puppet I saw on TV? It was like those TV Magic Cards they used to advertise back in the day. All kinds of fantastic tricks were possible with the special deck, until you got it home.

Well, my puppet show never got off the ground, and one day the old pups went into a box for safe keeping. Like many of my boxes, I thought I knew where it was, until...

"Hey, Mom, remember some of those boxes I left here? Yeah, I had one marked 'puppets'. I'm about to start a new YouTube channel, 'Nikkolas Jakson and His Amazing Anarchist Puppets'. What's YouTube? It's a puppet show promotion website. Now, where are my puppets? Threw them out months ago? Thought it was just a box of trash? How could you think that? I've had some of those puppets since I was a kid! Yeah, I know that was only yesterday, but why oh why did you do that? Now if I lose my job I'll starve on the street for sure! I had a chance to make it big with my puppets and earn a living making puppet videos, but what'll I do now?"

So, my puppet dreams have ended. Oh, I could buy new puppets, but have you ever seen the price on a quality hand puppet? They don't come cheap! And just when I'd finished my epic puppet script Ginx the Dog and DM the Joker: A Love Story.

Perhaps someday, when my empty box is once again filled with puppets, it will see the light of day.

Until then, I'll just continue blogging here.

1 comment:

  1. You'll have to finish it quick, cause I'm almost done with my magnum opus, Inglorious Basterds II: Nikkolas Jakson vs. Canada with DM as "The Atheist Hunter."


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