Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Muppet Fail: Bad Weather Edition


Wet and wild comes to my neck of the woods this week...but it's snowy, icy wet and crazy driver wild. Why are there no muppets that deal with issues that surround bad weather? Aren't their helpful lessons that need taught to the public at large?

Historically, they've failed to win the affection of the people. For example, consider the case of Stan the Man, Super Neighbor: 


No human interference or weather anomaly will keep Stan away from his task of cleaning the neighbor's windshield or getting out in the driveway with him, shoveling like there is no tomorrow. 

Sure, the neighbors around Stan might want to roll out of bed on their snow day; maybe fix a cup of coffee and read the paper. They're not going anywhere in this weather. In fact, it might be a blessing in disguise as they plan their television binge watching schedule for the afternoon. The kids go outside to romp in the snow and the day just looks better and better. Pajamas might stay on all day long; it's recliner time. They work hard and deserve a break.

But good-natured Stan is there to lead, get everyone on their feet and out in the snow to work.

The scraping sound starts and everyone realizes that Stan the Man, Super Neighbor is finished with his sidewalk and driveway - now Stan is busy on theirs. Worse yet, he can see in the neighbor's windows and is happy to do so. It's perfect for intimate chats: "I got this buddy - I'll just work at it till you get out here. No problem."

Sure, the neighbors could pretend that they didn't need to shovel. They could ignore him while their wife scowls and gives them that "Stan is out there doing YOUR job" look. Actually, dragging their feet is working pretty well as they glance toward the driveway and see that Stan is about halfway done. What about my reading, they think; doesn't that need attention, too? There's a very important article about Bruce Jenner that they need to read in People magazine...they're not lazy, just concerned about Bruce.

"Hey, neighbor, I'm heading over to the widow Johnson's house...meet you over there!" Stan shouts. He whistles a Tony Bennett tune, minus Lady Gaga scat (of course).

One by one, the neighbors yank their coats and the coat hook off the wall simultaneously, put on their boots and scowl as they shovel in pajamas.

Why Stan the Muppet Fails:  Everything about Stan should work. He is neighborly; he is helpful. There's quite a bit of stamina in Stan as he trudges along, blue faced, snow encrusted and red nosed. You have to admit, he has a good heart. In subzero weather, he is annoyingly perky. Then again, there's a shovel and no one is paying attention to what is going on outside. In test markets, most participants beat Stan with the shovel and buried him in the snow.

Oh, well. The public wants what the public wants. Keep warm, peeps.

27 comments:

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    1. Ha ha ha ha...YES! Perhaps his brother....

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  2. Oh poor Stan:) My hubby does people's walks and has helped more than one person with their car but he is not Mr. Chipper:) The neighbours have seen my Mr. Hubby say very bad things to Mr. Snow plw man:)

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    1. Actually, I'm thinking of a specific person from my past, ha ha. He carried it beyond neighborly.

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  3. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    You'll be happy to know that Janie Junebug and I spent a quiet night meeting with our bible study group and therefore did not get into any mischief. (Even God rested on the 7th day.)

    I have a friend back in Pennsylvania who sometimes tells me about a neighbor who just might be Stan the Man. Whenever it snows he takes it upon himself to scurry around the neighborhood with his trusty shovel and clear driveways. The problem is he collects a fee for doing it. I think it began with people feeling obligated to thank him for his time and labor and paying him a little something. Over time it evolved into an expected payment of a fixed amount of money. Lately, my friend and other neighbors have promptly shoveled their own driveways before the guy shows up to avoid having to pay him.

    Your post also reminds me of how obsessed I used to be with basketball. I loved to play the sport all year round regardless of the weather. Before I got my own hoop at age eleven I played basketball at my friend's house around the block. I remember one particular winter day. A foot of fresh snow was on the ground but I was determined to play roundball. I trudged through the white stuff to my friend's house and knocked. His dad came to the door and I asked if my friend could come out and play basketball. Turned out my friend was not home but I volunteered to shovel the driveway if it meant I could used my friend's hoop. The father agreed and went to get his shovel. I walked out to the driveway to size up the enormity of my task. My friend's father reappeared at his doorway and hollered "Catch!" and tossed the shovel in my direction. The large, heavy tool speared the snow a couple feet in front of me and its momentum caused the handle to arc directly at my face, striking me just under my eye. It was a terrible blow and the man shouted an apology and asked if I was okay. I lied and said I was fine and proceeded to shovel his entire driveway for him with a blackening eye, swelling and blood running down my cheek. Ironically by the time I was finished shoveling I was so tired, cold and in such pain that I didn't even stick around to play basketball. I went home to a stunned mother who rushed me to the emergency room for treatment.

    Thank you, dear friend Cherdo, and have a terrific Tuesday!

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    1. You and I are alike in this way: we can laser focus on a "thing" and push beyond all obstacles. We aren't Stans, however; I hope we're a little more self aware, ha ha.

      The "Stan" (alias) I knew was genuinely nice with a caveat...it didn't matter if you weren't on board with his plan of goodness and light...there was zero chance of saying "no" to him. After a while, the persistence started to look like out and out manipulation...it turned evil...it was so pushy that you wanted to run him down with a snow blower.

      We told Stan to always wear all white (it was a running joke...it would be easier to say it was an accident when we accidentally ran him over with our vehicles...we promised to kick in $100 each to the person who manned up and did it).

      Then, a miracle happened. Stan was offered a transfer. Mrs. Stan was totally behind it. He took it and headed for....wait for it...ARIZONA. No joke.

      That's why I go to church. Miracles happen.

      Have a great day, Shadiopolis! We're iced in!

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    2. The Bible study lesson on Deuteronomy was excellent.

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  4. Dear Cherdo,

    If there is, somewhere,, a compilation of your posts, available for purchase, please let me know.

    If one is in the works, please let me know so that I may pre-order.

    If you have not considered, please let me convince you.

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    1. You know, funny you should mention it...I've been thinking that there must be some good use for my habit, ha ha. I'm not sure I have "the right stuff" but occasionally, I think about it.

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    2. (And thank you so much - I'm smiling at the fact you suggested it. You're too sweet.)

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  5. What Diana said ^ ^ I'd happily let Mr. Stan shovel away. Then bake him cookies.

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    1. Thank you, too! :-)

      You never, never ask Stan in. After he takes off his snow covered clothes, he practically picks out his own room. Then he tells you about every single day of his life...

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  6. Pretty hard to be neighborly in such cold, cold weather with all the snow. Some folks now have snow blowers they can use, and like to get them out of the garage a few times a year when there is actually snow on the driveways. Showing off, probably. Thanks for the fun!

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    1. And that is why this muppet would fail, ha ha. Overtly aggressive neighborly-ness.

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  7. It's funny--I'm listening to my neighbor bang on the ice on her car as I read this!!! What's really been fun is watching everyone lose their minds on the community Facebook page. People seem to eat this stuff up. "Don't get out in this!!! You'll DIE!!!" "How DARE you order a pizza? Why are you making someone risk their lives to bring you food?" The funny thing is, this is all starting to melt off the streets and these people will go from, "We're all going to die if we leave our houses!!!" to "Does anyone know a great place to get sushi around here?" in a few hours' time...

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    1. We live on a hill and consequently, the road is nasty when it ices up. Everyone ends up in a neighbor's front yard (btw, that house sold and the new owners removed the only thing that prevented cars from going into their living room...I hope they don't find out why the barricade was there in the first place!).

      TN, though we love it, loses it's ever lovin' mind when it snows - you know it's the truth! I'm a transplant and I poo-pooed it at first. Then I saw how Tennesseans drive, having no exposure to bad roads 98% of the time. Yikes!

      I'm just as happy to stay home and work on projects. I've got an endless supply. No Stan could make me come out today, ha ha, I'm getting stuff done!

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  8. I've never had anyone offer to shovel for free. But then I like shoveling snow. My own snow.

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    1. My dad offered ME to shovel for free sometimes...does that count?

      Stay warm, Mike!

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  9. Stan would do better to pretend the snow isn't there like everyone else!

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    1. That's all I'm sayin'...reality check - not necessary.

      Stay warm, Tart-lette.

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  10. Dear Cherdo, your post made me smile...thank you! We are not getting so much snow here in Montreal but the frigid temperatures have been here for a few days and apparently are here to stay for the next two or three weeks. Trying to keep warm here, and thanks so much, your post is helping me do just that. :)

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    1. What kind of world do we live in where Montreal isn't iced in and Tennessee IS? Ha ha ha. Thanks for your kind thoughts - stay warm, Linda! Nous ne devons pas geler ! (Or something like that!)

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  11. lmao I'm sure many want to take the shovel to him

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    1. Some days, you just want to sit inside and loaf. You know? A Stan-free day.

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  12. It's cold here. I think it's in the forties. We don't have a Stan, of course, but Hot Young Anthony makes me feel guilty when he cleans up my leaves every year. Not so guilty that I do it myself. In the country in Illinois, a man who owned the orchards and grew the produce for his produce stand out on a real road came around with his snow plow and plowed everyone's driveway when we had a bad storm. I called another neighbor and told her this man was plowing my driveway and I'd never even met him, and, you know, plowing snow is quite an intimate act. I asked if I should go out to pay him something. She said, No, this is the country. Neighbors take care of each other.

    I heard later than the guy with the plow worked almost non-stop for two days to take care of everyone's driveways, and the paths some people needed. That is kindness.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. In Ohio, we had friends like that. They'd just do it. We knew quite a few people with plows on their vehicles and it was awesome. "Stan" is a "everybody-do-what-I'm-doing-or-else-I'll-bug-you-to-death" kinda guy.

      What's the weather like in your neck of the woods, Janie? If you say warm, I'll be there by tomorrow. Yes, that is a threat.

      I love the discussion about the Jimmies of late night, ha ha.

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo