Monday, October 25, 2010

A Tale of Two Marionettes

PEOPLE ask me if this blog is devoted to puppets, and I answer, Yes, indeed, it is! Since someone in a comment asked about two known literary puppets, and how they became such, I've decided to address the matter. Mind you, I don't have the full details of the story-- I'm certain the anonymous person who asked the question could provide more.
This is not the story of Pinocchio, which was how a puppet became a boy. This is a more tragic tale-- of how a boy became a puppet.

Toe isn't the main character of the story. He's not even the villain-- for of course the Puppetmaster pulling the strings behind the scenes is the villain.

Toe is only a marionette puppet. He was always a puppet, from the moment the Puppetmaster picked him out at the Puppet store, on sale, with big letters attached shouting out, "BUY ME!" Believe me, if the Puppetmaster hadn't got him for a bargain basement price he wouldn't have bothered. Toe was a garish-looking, untutored and unsmooth simple-minded puppet. The puppet's only possible appeal was its own brazenness.

Toe knew he was a flawed puppet, of inferior production and stock, and so needed a way to become useful to his master. Otherwise he'd be left forever backstage in his puppet box!

How to be useful?

A light went on inside his wooden head. He would help destroy the NPA, aka the No Puppets Alliance! This, back in 2005 or thereabouts, was how and why he maneuvered himself to meet Noe, who at the time was not a puppet at all.

Toe whispered in Noe's ear about how wonderful it was to be part of the Puppetmaster's traveling caravan, along with flashy other puppets such as Boe Boe, who was soon to run the new All Puppets All the Time APTML blog. (Unlike Toe, Boe Boe was one of the favored marionettes, and so didn't have to work so hard at all. His woodenheadedness was never an issue.)

See the colorful favored ones! Toe said to Noe. See how well they're treated! They're not independent. All is provided for!

Unknown to Noe, the Puppetmaster had already infiltrated two of his older falling apart and desperate to be useful puppets into the NPA, namely Hoe and Foe. Hoe and Foe whispered into Noe's ear about the wonderfulness of puppetry. Look at the wonderful examples! On display at this time was the most favored puppet of them all-- carrying somewhat of a resemblance to writer Jon Franzen, if truth be told, but with puppet eyeglasses which weren't stolen. Become a puppet, and you also can roll in money and puppet awards.

Sad to say, young Noe made the jump. He lost his independence. He didn't know that once you make the transformation, there's no turning back. Now sad Noe sits backstage gathering dust in a puppet box, all but forgotten. Despite his lack of a heart or a brain, Toe truly feels sad about what he did to Noe, and so will occasionally stop by after a performance to say Hello! And every once in a while-- coincidentally when the now-dissolved No Puppets Alliance shows signs of the weakest life-- Noe is allowed to prance onstage with the more favored, gleaming marionettes, to calliope music, if only for a moment.

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