The strangest epiphanies strike me when I’m shaving. This morning I realized, looking in the mirror with soap on my face, that over the years I’ve changed. We all change, I know that. But I’ve changed in a very specific manner. I’ve changed which Muppet I feel represents me best.
Let us start this journey in high school. Yes, I realize that many youth would have forsaken any thoughts of the Muppets by high school. But not all. Particularly those in show choir. My show choir experience was nothing like Glee. We did not sing Aerosmith, or Van Halen. We sang Neil Diamond, Chicago, Beach Boys, show tunes. And – wait for it – a Muppets medley.
I sang the Kermit part in Rainbow Connection. Which was kind of fitting. At that age, I was innocent and naive and was a bit of a dreamer. One who might sit on lilly pad with a banjo, metaphorically.
I actually sang this song in a Kermit voice. In public. I thought it was a success because some of the cute girls raved how charming my performance was. Thrilled, I thought this might be the springboard to getting a date. Turns out the only reason a cute girl would kiss a frog is because she was looking for a prince. Princes rarely hang around show choir swamps with banjos.
Fast forward a few years. I decided that if nobody will take you seriously, you might as well be funny on purpose. I always liked hats, puns, and some have compared my hair to fur. Fozzie is my best match. Fozzie is affable enough and tries hard. However, he isn’t particularly successful as a comedian. But he always bears with it. Waka Woka Wocka! Side note, I’ve seen no standardized spelling for this phrase.
Little known fact; during this period I wrote spec scripts for sitcoms and quit my job to drive to California in an attempt to land an agent. Somewhere in Oklahoma, my writing partner told me there was a misunderstanding. He only took a vacation. We had to get back to Ohio in three weeks. As Fozzie would say, “AaaahHHHHhhh!”
Which brings us to the present day. Which Muppet can I say I relate to best? One who I suspect in the Muppet pantheon is not even a protagonist. My eyebrows have thickened, but I’m not old enough to be one of the old fellas in the balcony.
Sam the Eagle is my guy. I dig culture, morality and patriotism in a non-ironic way. And that puts me at odds with large segments of the popular culture. I’m also nearly convinced I may be surrounded by weirdos. But I like the weirdos that surround me!!!