The Past Still Haunts 2

October 1st, 2007

Yes, that’s right. This is the puppet team from my misspent youth. Misspent in that instead of drinking massive amounts of alcohol and getting in cars with boys and driving around town all night long. Instead of going out to the middle of some corn field with a bunch of kids my age and drinking misbegotten beer bought by some lonely desperate Vo-Tech guy.

Instead of doing anything NORMAL, I spent my formative years behind a puppet stage “doing puppets” with my mom and my sister and the other unfortunate people in this picture.

I found this picture on a recent trip to my parent’s house. I brought it home for the express purpose of setting it afire and destroying all evidence that I was ever involved in puppetry. But then I started looking at this picture…

This is my mom. Look how pretty she is. Even with that weird hat on, she is still very pretty. In fact, she is radiant! She is glowing! You know why? Because my mom loves puppets! They make her happy. They make her glow! They make her radiant.

Here we have April, my sister. The one with all the blue eye shadow. Note her facial expression. She does not seem unhappy. In fact, she seems pretty content. She has the grandma puppet. April was very funny with the grandma puppet. She was very good at creating all sorts of voices and characters. Go ahead – next time you see her – shove a puppet on her hand – and watch what happens.

Here’s April and I. Do you see a difference in the two of us? Can you see how one of us seems very satisfied, at ease, comfortable with her surroundings… and the other one of us seems…

Like she wants to CURL UP AND DIE RIGHT NOW PLEASE!!!! Do you see how I also seem to be THE ONLY ONE IN THIS PICTURE ABLE TO DETECT THE IRONY!!! The rest of the people in this picture are just ACCEPTING THIS CRAZY SITUATION. Like it is perfectly OKAY to have a professional studio portrait taken of yourself with a PUPPET ON YOUR ARM!!! I am the ONLY SANE PERSON in this picture! THE ONLY ONE! I just felt that should be stated. Even when I was fourteen, fifteen??? I knew that some things were just weird. I had an advanced understanding of what is truly bizarre. I could see beyond the “harmless puppet team publicity pic” into the realm of “Holy Crap! people are going to SEE this picture!”

I have been trying to recover from this particular picture and many moments just like it for the past 25 years.

Clearly, I still have a lot of work to do.


  • chocolatechic:

    bwahahahahahhaHave a beer, go to the corn field with the Doc and have fun! and even if you don’t have fun, the beer will help in the recovery.giggling……only because I did puppets too….briefly. I always did choir tours, and group sings…..

  • April:

    Your also the only one in the picture whole heartedly pissed off at everyone and everything in the world. If fact right after this picture was taken you probably had a big screaming match with Mom about something that was wrong in your world….I’m sure I remember that.

  • Rechelle:

    Now April – I don’t think I look pissed off! Just because I refused to cooperate with the puppet publicity shot and you just gave in and went with it- does not make you a lesser person. It does make you a GIGANTIC DOOFUS – but not a lesser person.

  • Mary:

    Wow. I don’t quite know what else to say, Rechelle, so I’ll just say…wow.Mary

  • April:

    I don’t disagree that I was a GIGANTIC DOOFUS, just look at that hair and that makeup….criminetly!But, you have to admit…you had some serious anger issues…do you recall this…”I hate you too! Put that in your bonnet and sniff it!” Yes, that was our mother’s response to you, the sweet darling teenager that you were.

  • Marye:

    you are like a soap i have been gone a long time , I come back, and you are still talking about puppets.Of course, I am still complaining I cant get anything …hey…I think this calls for chocolate.

  • Rechelle:

    April – It is not my fault that your house has termites. So put that in your bonnet and sniff it!

  • lsaspacey:

    The people in the apt downstairs must wonder if I’m choking. I kept bursting out with these sounds and then clamping a hand over my mouth throughout that entire post. Hysterical!!! By the way, you don’t look like you trust that puppet on your arm, like he’s up to no good.

  • cndymkr / jean:

    As good as the post is, the comments are even better. Thanks for the laughs, I needed it tonight.jean

  • Rechelle:

    I am starting to think that all those puppets around me in that picuture, are laughing their little puppet butts off at me. But wait – puppets don’t have butts. I guess they are laughing their little puppet…foam inserts out.

  • Sarah H.:

    You are living proof that a healthy sense of irony will aid in the survival of all sorts of non-normal situations.

  • lori:

    i’m ever so slightly FREAKED out by puppets. so, i’m kinda with rechelle on this one. you and april are a riot. thanks for the laughs!

  • Jennifer Adams:

    This post caught my eye and I still remember your reponse when you interviewed for the children’s librarian position and we asked if you had ever used puppets! It’s still the funniest response we’ve ever had, something like:”Ba, ha, ha, ha” – awkward silence from us interviewees, waiting for crazed laughter to die down…”Well, yes, my mother was a puppeteer… Ba, haa, ha…” Trying for a straight face. “Yes, I can do puppets. Um, I just didn’t really like doing it, and it was always kind of embarassing for me, having these puppets around and putting on weird shows…” More silence, then moving quickly on to the next question…AND YET we still made you use puppets and put on a puppet show anyway!

  • Rechelle:

    Oh Jennifer – I wish I had a video of that moment. If you only knew what you were asking me!

  • [...] there are eight puppets and you have to make them all talk at the same time.  Trust me, as the world’s most reluctant puppeteer, I can tell you that this is virtually impossible. [...]

  • Wow….that pretty much explains all your mental health issues… :)