Monday, June 28, 2010

50? You mean, the new 49?

I became so sure that it was going to be a circular saw...

...but the package was way too light. When Lori picked it up and handed it to me, I was confused.

It was a little get together at a friend's house for my 50th birthday (which is today, by the way); just the four of us - my wife and Lee and Lori and I - having a rolling fondue feast though their house. Until finally, the fruit and chocolate dessert on the patio had the added attraction of a gift wrapped package.

Having been talking about being slightly tool-poor for a project I have, I was sure that my practical dreams where going to become a reality. The box shape had circular saw written all over it.

So imagine my stunned amazement when I opened it and found...

George. Uncle George. Grampa George. Professor George Budding. Or... who is this old man?

Yes, I have some wonderful friends who gave me a delightful puppet to encourage my crazy quest to be a ventriloquist. I am still searching for a way to say thanks to my dear friends. Words just don't measure up right now.

I am just so delighted.
***
And now the fun can really begin! 

Truth is, I've worked the voice part of ventriloquism a bit, but the real trick of the illusion can't really be worked on without a proper puppet or dummy. I was beginning to think that I was never going to have one.

So who is this old man?

My first reaction was that he's a wise old man, perhaps the personification of my latest vehicle for a post series , "Ask Professor Budding."  I think it's the wild white hair that's kind of Albert Einstein-ish that gives me at idea.

He'd also work out well for being an grandpa character for children's shows.

With a knit cap, he could be an old fisherman, or a longshoreman...

With a Green Bay Packer outfit, he could be the world's oldest Packer fan - the one with season tickets numbered one and two.

I could see him being a regular at the Budding Ventriloquist Bar and Grille, perhaps as a chance to recycle or re-purpose classic W.C. Fields jokes (Is that a way of saying you want to steal old material? To re-purpose a joke?)  Thought I will say, W.C. Fields was the one of the original and best "old curmudgeon" characters ever, and I'm not necessarily just wanting to jump into the grumpy/dirty old man comedy that so many do.

Maybe he reads poetry about Sam McGee and one-eyed old majors.

Just thinking out loud.  Got a feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of that now.
***
I definitely am going to keep a notebook with me at all times to write down thoughts and material. I'll strap it to my chest if I have to just to  make sure I am ready to capture every thought I have, hint of every bit of material that I can do with George.

This really does mean I can start serious work on putting together a ventriloquist act. Can you tell I'm excited?
***
I'm pretty sure George is George. We'll see.
***
Don't worry regular readers. I've talked to Max LeMonk, my monkey puppet. He understands there's only so much a monkey puppet can bring to the party.

Well, actually, he's kind of pissed.  But unlike his apian brethren, he chose not to throw poop at me in anger. He'll get back at me is some much more shrewd way.
***
I am, as of today, 50 years old. I have a monkey puppet and an old man puppet. And regular readers!

I can't wait to see what my second 50 years brings. I hope you all feel the same.

Pffft!

(Instructional Video for pronouncing "Pffft" follows.)

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