Hand puppets

Was sitting in sauna when the discussion turned to hand puppets.

Sauna is, by the way, the place where Finns chit-chat. (And after a bit of beer, pontificate on deep philosophical issues.) Just a tip if you need to get a Finn to talk: get him/her naked, wet and present in 100 C/212 F heat; that’ll do the job.

But hand puppets — well, the talk turned to the observation that in Russia, one can apparently buy hand puppet sets that contain all the characters necessary for acting out some fairytale — like the Granny, the Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood and the Woodsman. (Didn’t think to ask whether the Wolf puppet came with an, er, zipper. Silly me.)

After this, I speculated at length about the more or less distressing figures one could manufacture should a similar thing hit the vogue here in the west. Witness this:

  • School set: one teacher handpuppet, five fingerpuppet students. (Incidentally, these suggestions will now veer from “Aww…” to “Ewww!”; consider yourself warned.)
  • TV fun set: two anchors, a sportscaster, a weatherman and a zany special reporter with a collectible ethnic backdrop!
  • Government collection: All your favorite ministers and their secretaries in a handy-dandy extra-large bag — includes a blank one just in case! (Wait — “ministers and secretaries” fits both the American and the European model, though the titles of the actual office-holders and their invisible “helpers” are reversed. How curious.)
  • Heads of State set. Obama, Medvedev Putin Medvedev, Sarkozy, Merkel and Brown. And of course Halonen.
  • Iron Maiden set: fun with Steve, Bruce and others! (LP included; also 665 other popular bands available, from Aardvark Annihilation to Zikzak Apocalypse!)
  • Iron Maiden set (variant): fun with Margaret and friends! (Or would that be “Iron Lady”?)
  • War on Terror set. Bush Jr., Blair, Cheney and Osama bin Laden. (“Mommy, I don’t want to be Osama again.” — “Well, dear, just play Mr. Poo-Poo-Head then.”)
  • Movie-in-a-Bag — Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs! (Please note — blood sold separately.)
  • Great Modern Short Stories in Puppets #41: “The Call of Cthulhu, by H.P. Lovecraft” (“So, basically, they wanted to do the Thing cannot be described, the eldritch contradiction of all matter, force, and cosmic order, a mountain that walked or stumbled… in yarn?” Incidentally, that has been done. I just say there are places where no human hand should go, and the backside of the Sleeper of R’lyeh is pretty high on that list.)
  • Cops and Robbers set, Capital Punishment Edition (“A lovely little electric chair plus last meal paraphernalia included!”)
  • Amnesty International Awareness Hand Puppet set #5, the Genocide in Darfur. (“Really, I think it is in bad taste. And I fear my son’s not grasped the point they wished to illustrate. He keeps complaining because all the figures don’t have guns, or even clothes.”)

One Response to “Hand puppets”

  1. Barb Says:

    Finger puppet sets representing all the characters in Little Red Riding Hood are abundantly available in the UK.

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