Josh Hankemeier – The other day, I was reading some old articles on the Tough Pigs website. I came across one I hadn’t thought about in a while entitled “Muppet Fan Memories” from 2001. One section of that article I particularly enjoyed is “Muppets as a Way of Seeing the World”. Here are some excerpts:
Ryan: Sometimes when my mom made tacos I would pretend I was Animal and take a big bite out of the taco shells like Animal did with cymbals.
Zack: I used to go through my coloring box and name certain colors after Muppets — like Kermit the Frog Green, Miss Piggy Pink, and Rowlf the Dog Brown.
Ryan: I just thought of another Fraggle Rock one. When I was a little kid and I ate Cheetos, I would divide them up by size as either “Doozer Cheetos,” “Fraggle Cheetos” or “Gorg Cheetos.”
Jogchem: I called everything beautiful “Miss Piggy” when I was two, because I loved her so. For example, a nice warm soft fur coat on a really fat lady in the grocery store. My mom still talks about that.
These comments got me to thinking about how the Henson universe influences how certain concepts and words are defined for us Henson fans. If someone says “right hand” or “right hand man”, many Henson fans would think of someone assisting with performing Ernie, Rowlf or Cookie Monster. The word “whatnot” literally means “a stand with shelves for bric-a-brac, books, etc.” Henson fans hear that word and think of anonymous, interchangeable Muppet heads and a magical part of FAO Schwarz. The go-to term for “eat” on the internet is “om-nom-nom-nom”, but it came from Cookie Monster years before the internet was invented. Finally, if someone says “phenomenon”, Muppet fans instantly think (or say) “do-doo-do-doo-doo”.
Being a Henson fan has influenced the way I define things to this day. You could call it “Muppet Fan Slang”, I suppose. Whatever the case, I’ve written down some of these “Muppet Fan Slang” words I’ve used over the years. Some are obvious and some you’d have to be a hard core Muppet fan to get!
“Ah-ah-ah-ah-ahhhh!”: An appropriate thing to say after or during a thunderclap. Always emitted as a laugh with a Bela Lugosi accent.
“A loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter”: These items are to be repeated aloud several times whenever you go grocery shopping. (It doesn’t matter if these items are on your shopping list or not).
“Biff and Sully project”: Any type of construction going on.
“Boober-y day”: Doing laundry all day, especially when the weather is gloomy.
“Charlie’s”: Any restaurant where you don’t get what you order.
“Dear Nephew Gobo”: What you say aloud whenever you start to write to someone while you’re on vacation. This phrase is most appropriately used while writing postcards.
“Doozer sticks”: Breadsticks, pretzel rods, hard candy sticks or anything else edible and stick-shaped.
“Emmet Otter budget”: Not having much money, especially around Christmas.
“Gargle Gershwin”: To use any type of mouthwash.
“Guy Smiley curtains”: Any curtains that are hard to get through.
“I wonder where the other 11 are?”: Something to wonder aloud if you happen to see a single ladybug.
“Instant Wembley Hair”: When you get your hair combed just right before going someplace important. As soon as you walk out the door, a gust of wind hits you full in the face. Ta da! You now have Instant Wembley Hair, just in time for work or school!
“Miss Piggy blizzard”: An intense blizzard…One that’s cold enough to freeze your Winnebago!
“Telly”: To be overly worried or anxious (Example: ‘I’m all Telly about that exam I have to take this Friday!’)
“The Fam-i-ly Car”: Any car that belongs to your family. The syllables in the word “family” should be enunciated carefully. (If you can manage it, this phrase is best spoken in a high, squeaky voice).
“Yuccha!”: An expression of disgust, usually referring to food (such as dragonfly ripple ice cream)
“Zoot mode”: To lounge around and zone out.