Monday, 30 January 2012

Ramblings: Muppetry


I’m so pleased that the Muppets are back, in spite of some childhood trauma which I sustained. I recall watching an episode in the late 1970s in which a large brown monster sang “I’ve Got You under My Skin” to a little lilac beast. I was a delicate child and was horrified when the cute little lilac thing got sprinkled with salt and pepper and eaten alive by the big monster. I was a very delicate child. I had nightmares about this.

In spite of that inauspicious introduction, I grew to love them and had a collection of Muppet Annuals, a couple of Muppet Show L.P. record and a set of Pelham puppets depicting the characters. I was totally and utterly in love with Miss Piggy. She was my kind of woman: strong and powerful, loyal to her man (Kermit) and had an amazing wardrobe of outfits. She was the biggest diva I’d ever set eyes on and I loved her from her trotters to her snout.

I decided I wanted to emulate Miss Piggy and my favourite manoeuvre was the karate chop. I’d lie in wait, holding my breath, and wait for a passing older brother or our poor put upon dog to pass by. I’d then jump out and in a high pitched throaty yelp shout “Hi-Yah!” whilst administering a light karate chop. I’d then slap my hands together, shake my imaginary mane of golden hair and be on my way. I loved that pig.

My poor puppets were sadly neglected and the Animal (complete with drum kit) was always in a tangle next to Beaker and Carla. I much preferred my little Dutch girl with the gingham and plaits. She was a jolly little thing and had her own wicker basket.

The Muppets L.P. was, however, scratched to pieces. It constantly spun round on the cranky old record player in my bedroom. The stylus (weighted down by a tuppence) was forever on and off the disc as I regaled my Hitler-a-like cat with my renditions of “Being Green” and “Halfway up the Stairs”. My favourite song was, naturally, the legendary “Mnah Mnah”. If you’re not privileged enough to know this song, I’ve included a link.

I’d pester my brother

“Go on!”

“No!”

“Please!”

“No”

“Go on”

“Just once then.”

I’d beat him down until he let me put the record on and I’d assume the role of the “Do-do-do-do-do” whilst he was “Mnah Mnah”. This involved me jumping out and doing a little dance to the tune. Amazing fun and I’d laugh until he cried with the tedium of it.

The sound of “Pigs in Space” being shouted was a common occurrence and my brother’s Beaker impression was second to none. I loved Kermit’s nephew, Robin. Of course a final mention must go to the grumpy old men, Statler and Waldorf, on whom I seem to have based my moany rants. Classic role models for the 1970s child.



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