Monday, May 26, 2008

What's A Semi-Weirdo Supposed To Do?

Nice big wheel he's got there, huh? This is the reason I begged for a green big wheel when I was a wee little gay boy in Maumee, Ohio. I got a red scooter instead...I've never quite recovered...emotionally, at least ;-)

Gonzo has always been my favorite Muppet. After years of reflection, and obscene amounts of research, I still cannot quite place my finger on the appeal. It has to do with his utter embracement of weirdness - off-putting, non-sensical, and unexpected. I think my sense of humor matches his perfectly (in fact, might my sense of humor actually have stemmed from our blue-pelted, big schnozed friend?). Whether its blowing his trumpet and tooting out green smoke/confetti/a fog horn/snakes/etc., getting shot out of a cannon, getting slapped by Miss Piggy, or just chilln' with Camilla, Gonzo knew who he was, and made no apologies for it. But there was always a sense of melancholy about him. A sadness that, though he knew what he liked, the "others" would never exactly see eye to eye with him.

"Come and go with me/It's more fun to share/We'll both be completely/at home in mid-air."

This song still touches me. Who could have sung it but Gonzo? He was definitely one of Henson's deepest and most versatile of characters.

When I say I was a fan, I'm not talking "oh ha ha, I'm a fan." When I become a fan, I go hard-core...

I dressed up as Gonzo for Halloween in 1st Grade. I owned a stuffed holiday Gonzo, and three of the late 1980's plastic McDonald's Happy Meal Gonzo figurines, and still maintain two of them in my lucky treasure's box (albeit with much of their paint worn off - come to think of it...was that lead paint? They were made in China...THAT sure would explain a lot about me).

I can remember vividly the day I lost the third at Crane Creek on the shores of Lake Erie (this really rad beach my extended family often visited in the summer). I dropped it in the water when I was playing the lake's sorry excuse for waves, and lost the poor little guy forever in the muck. I frantically searched through the glop and gravel for my lost friend, but to no avail. Crane Creek never quick elicited the same amount of joy in my heart after that day.

In honor of my blue friend, here's his swan song from Muppet Babies (I was OBSESSED with this show back in the day): What's a Semi-Weirdo Supposed to Do? Even in the tasks and activities he loves and excels at, it never seems to be enough. I ponder this trouble everyday. Hang in there, Gonzo - we'll figure it out someday.

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