Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Puppet longevity

(Who's that infiltrator?!)

I hate to bring up a taboo subject, but here it is: puppets don't live forever.

I've had Trixie since 1994, when I found her at the Raven Bookstore, wearing a black pointy hat She's not one of THOSE, as we live in a place where some adults are afraid of witches. I cut her hat off and she took up her 111-year old personality. Trixie has been my main host puppet since then.

After a few years, her mouth began to get thin. I put in a patch. Then her fingers started to wear. Folkmanis still made the puppet, so I ordered another. I put the old Trixie in the puppet closet--how could I toss her out? Then the new one wore out so I ordered another. And another. The closet is a bit crowded now. A friend replaced the hands on one of them. I also did a bit of facial surgery, cutting a stitch that gave her a mean-looking brow. Amazing how smoothing that out made her look much more benign.

This year, I discovered that Folkmanis has discontinued this puppet. Yikes! Time for ebay! I lost a couple of auctions, then won one. The latest Trixie is quite wonderful, with even bigger hands than the other three. One more is being shipped to me to keep in reserve.

Baby's mouth is sturdier than Trixie's, but still, the first Baby got quite dirty from all those tiny hands reaching for her. I spritz them both with alcohol every now and then to try to keep the germs down. That does nothing for the gradue. I'm going to get a third one soon.

Last week I had my picture taken for the upcoming issue of Lawrence Magazine. I suggested I use a puppet, then went to the office for the newer, cleaner baby. Lately my sweetie and I have been watching episodes of Battlestar Galactica on DVD. There's a race of robots called cylons who can replicate themselves. As soon as I put the new baby on my hand, she said, "I'm a cywon!" Sheesh. Still, it would be easier and cheaper if these puppets could replicate themselves like the cylons. It might resolve some of those end-of-life puppet issues.


Phyllis said...

May you live long and prosper, doll. A new meaning to that ol' phrase, Spock.

Anonymous said...

The truth is out! Who knew? Finding Trixies on ebay must be like finding gold.

Deb said...

Two points:
1) I had no idea that Trixie had ever had any work done! Removed a stitch to smooth out that mean-looking wrinkle!?! Why not inject her with Potox (Botox for puppets)? Wow! Except with her, instead of a nip&tuck, she's just had a snip.
2) Stunned to see gradoo spelled gradue. You learn something new every dang day.

PriscillaHowe said...

I just found three new Trixies, but I held back and only bought one. I think that will be okay for a few years beyond the other new one. I can always have more reconstructive surgery done on the replicates.

About gradue or gradoo: Faith and I both suspect gras doux is an alternate (soft grease? ick). Remember when Jed Bartlett used it on West Wing?

Sean said...

Baby, there are only 12 models. Which number are you? I think you are a baby six.