(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.