958 – Self Propelled Marionette
A sleepy story about a very smart puppet, a beanstalk and the moon.
- Root Beer Ball
- “The Allusionist” Podcast
- I Grouch: The Oscar the Grouch Story
Notable Talking Points:
- The Shared Willy Wonka / Snowpiercer Cinematic Universe
- Cursing the Moon and the Stars
- Sustainable Beanstalk Living
Episode 958 – Self Propelled Marionette
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary; hey patrons, I don’t think I’m stretching it out to say thank you so much. I couldn’t do this without you. What do you say we get on with the show?
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do or alls you could do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going…when I say I’m gonna do the rest, that means hey, set your mind at ease; I’m here to help. But let me give you some more details. What I propose to do is create a safe place, a nice, smooth patted-down safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake, whether it’s thoughts, things on your mind that you’re thinking about, those pesky thoughts that get on your mind. You say oh boy, past, present, or future.
Could be physical sensations that are coming up for you or it could be feelings about either one of those things or just feelings that are there on your own. Today I’ve got some feelings going and I really…they’re more of a weather pattern that’s come in. You’d say Scoots, could you describe those? I say eventually I’ll describe them. Let me get through this beginning. But I’d…you’d say Scoots, give me the short version right now, though. I’d say did you ever watch the show Sesame Street? If you had to name the feel…a feeling front that came in, this would be named Oscar ‘cause that’s how I’m feeling all day long. I mean, not right now because I get to set that aside and keep you company which is nice, so I get a little break right now, a break from myself.
That’s really what I’m looking to provide to you, so that’s why I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, just like when Oscar would open…I don’t know; did Oscar’s garbage can have a sound effect that creaked when Oscar opened it? I mean, talk about a place I would want to go or see behind-the-scenes. How many episodes…were there any episodes behind-the-scenes…Oscar the Grouch’s home? Or Lifestyles? There must have been a Lifestyles of the Grumpy and Filthy or something in the 80s or what is it called? Check Out My Crib or whatever, what…in the…was that in the 90s or the aughts? But anyway, so I’ll…don’t worry, I’ll tell you who Oscar the Grouch is if you’re not familiar.
But that’s what I’m here to do, is to take your mind off of stuff so you can fall asleep. Now if you’re new — and this is totally understandable — you might be feeling a little bit of that grouch or a little bit of the doubt of saying what is this thing that’s supposed to put me to sleep? Who is this person? I’m doubtful. I’m not sure how to feel about your creaky, dulcet tones or your mumbling or your pointless meanders. I’d say that’s normal. That’s a very normal reaction to this show. Of course you’re gonna be doubtful. I was gonna say scoutful but of course you’ll be doubtful because you’ve been trying to fall asleep for a long time and there’s been a lot of things that have said they would work.
Now, this podcast might not work, so that’s the good news, is that other stuff, they say oh, this definitely…work or this worked for my Aunt Mable every night. I say what was it? Half butterscotch candy and a half root beer ball. Root beer barrel or root beer ball? Oh, I don’t know; I’ll have to check. Sorry, I guess this isn’t helpful then because I don’t know which one it was. Do you think they’re made up of the same stuff? Yeah, prob…I mean, more than likely. It’s just one shaped like a ball and one shaped like a barrel. But I don’t know if…that’s probably not gonna work for me because one, I don’t have…what…you can’t…how do you cut those into half…’cause that seemed like…I can’t imagine having to clean up after and how long it would take me, like how much I’d procrastinate after cutting a bunch of root beer barrels or balls in half, and butterscotch candies.
Also, I don’t know…I might have to train for that because that seems like it would take a lot of strength. Oh, sorry, I went off-topic there again. So, that’s a pointless…not really a pointless meander but that…if you’re doubtful or you’re not sure what you’re getting into, that’s totally normal. Actually, this podcast takes a few listens to get used to because of a couple reasons. One is this is a podcast you’re not really listening to. It never really gets started. I kinda putter around and kinda say wow, are there root beer balls? There’s gotta be. But I can see why they would say…after you say root beer balls a few times, you start to giggle on the inside. So you say okay, root beer barrel does make more sense, plus it’s kind of…I don’t know what you call that; candy ononomapoeia or whatever?
You say Scoots, what are you talking about? Let’s say it’s…kinda looks like it tastes. Is that what a…whatever that thing is? I know some of you are laughing but I’m laughing ‘cause I say well, I don’t know. But also if a candy looks like what it tastes, is there a word for that? I mean, seriously. Get somebody from Lexicon Valley over here please, or Helen. Somebody…I need a phone where I can call Helen from The Allusionist and say…I’m gonna have to get ahold of her on this one. This is…this feels really important. So, anyway, what was I saying? I went off-topic there and now I got mixed up. So, oh, so if you’re new, you might not like this show because it’s hard to adjust to a podcast you don’t really listen to and that never really starts. It just goes on and on and on. You say well, I don’t know how to listen to it.
I say well, barely…just pretend you’re listening to me, just like…kinda like I’m talking and you’re saying this person’s making about 20% sense. Then just go with that. You say uh-huh, uh-huh. Okay, root beer…I thought he was gonna talk about Oscar the Grouch or something else that he already forgot. Oh, he’s…something else, yeah. So just see how it goes. So, that’s one thing; give it a few tries. That’s not for me. That’s for you and I realize that’s a big ask but it’s really just so that you could fall asleep and not listen to me. I’m just asking to listen a few times to see if the podcast works in the sense that you stop paying attention to me, but that’s just what thousands and thousands of people that have reviewed the show have said. The other thing that’s different is this podcast doesn’t really put you to sleep.
It keeps you company while you fall asleep. It takes your mind off of stuff. I’m your companion, your bore for hire. That’s a term I haven’t used. You know, just like you say come on over. What were you talking about, that new sleep solution your…Mable had? Can you come over and just talk about that? Do not bring…by the way, don’t bring any root beer barrels or butterscotch candy and start cutting it up in my bedroom or my kitchen. Oh, no problem; I’ll just come over virtually. Wow, that’s great. Then, so you’ll come over and talk to me about stuff like that. I don’t have to pay attention to you. You’re not really there so I don’t feel any kind of social commitment to even say…no, yeah, you don’t even…you could say hello. You say hey Scoots, how you doing? But you don’t really have to mean it.
That’s the best part about this show. When you…in other situations you’d say well, I…shouldn’t I feel a little bit of feelings about that? I’d say on this show, you could feel joy when you say hey Scoots, great to see you. Anyway, start…no problem. I’ll be talking again. I can feel all the regular listeners even after they corrected me about onomonomopoeia or whatever that they’re nodding their heads along with it. They say that’s what’s great about having a bore for hire. So, that’s one thing. If you’re new, another thing that’s really…takes some getting used to for some people is the structure of the show. I really only have the ability to put this one podcast out and then you kinda use it…like, people adjust how they use it from there.
But so, the show starts off with a greeting; ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary, and then some stuff about our community and stuff like that because I want you to know you’re welcome and your experience as a human being is important to me, so I want you to feel seen as a person. Then there’s business. The business is what keeps the show there twice a week for free. There’s also business between the intro and the show, just because of the design…because of the way the…way podcast structure is and just the design of the show. That’s because then after the business…so, business is at [00:10:00] minute six or something and ends…I don’t know. It depends on how good things are going, and then there’s a intro which goes from minute six to minute twenty-two or so.
That’s just a long explanation like we’re in the middle of…of the podcast for a new listener but it’s different every single time. 900+ episodes…well, I don’t know if we had the long intro in the first couple hundred. Maybe the first 150 didn’t have a long intro. I don’t know, I’d have to look back. But so, the idea of the intro is it introduces a new person to the show but for regular listeners, right, one; they get a chance to correct me or see that I’m not perfect. I mean, you already knew that, I mean, clearly. Come on, let’s be adults. I just called something a root beer ball and I can’t even pronounce onomonopoeia, maybe. It feels like I’m still short a syllable. I do not know what that word means. I’ll be straight honest with you.
I’m guessing that I think I know what it means but I’m also honestly, genuinely curious if there’s a word for candies that look like they taste. You say what else…Scoots, give me some more examples. I say okay, are you familiar with the candy Runts? R-U-N-T-S? By the way, Willy Wonka Corporation; probably about time to think of a new name for that. I’m just not…I don’t like it. But Runts; the banana looks like a banana, tastes like a banana. Okay Scoots, give me another example. Okay, I don’t know why I’m…I’m Wonka-centric here but I’d say…well, I’d say I could think of one, the old Philip Morris candies; they don’t taste like they look, thank goodness, but no, Bottle Caps are another one.
I guess that’s more of a punny way. Looks like a bottle cap; tastes like the soda that ideally the bottle cap…kinda like a root beer, cola, I don’t know, cherry, lime, I don’t know what other flavors there are. So I just wonder if there’s a word for that. Probably in industry parlance they’d say oh yeah, that’s called a…we found…I mean, again, if Willy Wonka was…or Charlie; I guess Charlie runs things now, though they said…somebody sent me a YouTube video that said that Charlie was the one that started that train that went around the world in that movie that got made into a TV show. Anyway, I gotta get back to…oh, so yeah, so just…oh, so the intro; I went off-topic. The intro goes on and on and on because it slowly is supposed to ease you into bedtime, for a regular listener.
A lot of regular listeners are getting ready for bed while they’re listening to the show and…or they’re in bed getting comfortable or they’re in their bedroom as part of their wind-down routine. The intro for most listeners — not every listener; I understand you might use it a different way — is part of their wind-down routine as they’re easing into bedtime. That way, then you hear the business, and then you start to hear…listen to the story and the story goes on and on and on. Tonight it’ll be a famous myth I’ve uncovered with the help of a team member. Then you fall asleep. Now, that’s just one way that the podcast can be used. Again, there’s people that listen all night, there’s people that start it at minute twenty and just listen to the story, there’s people that are listening.
I’m here to the very end if you can’t sleep, so that’s another way, or people that turn it on when they wake up. So there’s a lot of different ways to listen, but I’m just kinda trying to talk about the…I don’t know, just when you’re starting out. I guess I’m trying to introduce the podcast in the introduction. So, that’s a…oh, so then there’s the intro, then there’s business, then there’s a story. I kinda accidentally explained what I was explaining. That worked out. So tonight will be kind of a bedtime story. Actually, it will be. I can’t remember what it’s about now ‘cause I recorded it yesterday. Oh, it’s about…oh, it’s about a marionette. She’s really cool too, and she has a little bit of a, you know, bedtime story-type adventure. She goes on quite a few meanders.
So there’s that, then there’s thank-yous at the end of the show. So, that’s the structure of the show. The reason I make the show is because I’ve been there. Like I said, last night…I don’t want to get into the details to trip anybody else up but it’s like, it took me a little…I had trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep, and trouble waking up early. I don’t even have that in the beginning, but it’s true. I even tried my famous just lay there, but then there’s a practice that goes on for some sort of individual sport where they use…anyway, it’s right where I live and it’s a little bit…so then I say oh, boy. I gotta listen to them. But I did try to just lay there, then I meditated. Even though all that occurred, I woke up on the wrong…I did get off…I only have…my bed’s only on one side ‘cause it’s against the wall but as they say, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
I would have preferred not to. I would prefer not to have the…my brow double…the old double-furrow going in my brow today but it just happens, so tonight I’ll try to get…try to go to bed early or something. But so, if I can help you get a better night’s sleep or get to sleep or just not make it something you dread…because I don’t know, for me, if this goes on, then I’ll start dreading bedtime and I’ll have to kinda switch something up. So hopefully I can provide you something where you at least feel neutral about bedtime. If not, you say well, I got Scoots there, my bore for hire. I know he’s gonna be there to keep me company and take my mind off of stuff, so that’s one reason. The other reason is you deserve a good night’s sleep. We all do.
If you get a good night’s sleep, you’ll be in a better position not to be grouchy like I am a little bit today or I…you know, I kinda…it’s kinda passing now ‘cause it’s like 3:30. But yeah, if I can help, that would be my honor. Now, I promised I would explain who Grouch…Oscar the Grouch is and I probably have talked about this. So, Oscar the Grouch…so, there’s a show Sesame Street here in the US. I don’t know if it…if there’s global versions of it or if it’s rebroadcast in other countries. I don’t know the answer to that. Also don’t know how ubiquitous it is. When I was a kid it was ubiquitous, like almost every kid watched Sesame Street. They’re still in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. They still have a float there, so that would say okay, they’re still a cultural touchstone. Oh, what’s my point?
Oh, so who’s Oscar the Grouch? Thanks, thanks brain. So, Oscar the Grouch is one of the big characters on there. Now, I don’t really know…Oscar’s a being; not a human being. Probably a mammal, and Oscar is a grouch. I don’t know if…they call him Oscar the Grouch. Also, he’s grouchy but that may be…I don’t know, is that…would be his phylum or his thingamajig, that…other than phylum; his stratum? But he’s Oscar the Grouch and he also lives in a garbage can. Now, in the…there was a movie and he was running around in the garbage can with his legs. I think that was in Let’s Find Big Bird: The Movie or maybe I’m imagining that, but most of the time Oscar’s can, garbage can that he lives in…they live in New York City, I believe.
At least as a kid, that’s why I always wanted to live in…one of the main…many reasons I wanted to live in New York was because I said that’s like where…I didn’t know; I did not think that Snuffleupagus and Big Bird and Oscar definitely lived there. They lived in a neighborhood in New York, but so…but Oscar’s garbage can was his home and it was kinda like one of those cool things that…it was…that’s another word I don’t know; larger on the inside than the outside, so he could go downstairs, it had multiple floors, and it always…oh, I loved that. Talk about fanfiction I’ve never written. Now, I wonder…’cause I was talking to my friend Ings and she was talking about doing drawings of starships, Imperial starships, and then she was talking about people that do the blowups and the blueprints.
Then I was talking about the podcast Vast Horizon and being like oh, I wonder if I could see the blueprints for that, for the…everything in that podcast. But then, what was my point? Oh, I would like to see…I wonder if there’s any blueprints of Oscar’s home. Anyway, that’s just something I’m interested in. But it’s the kinda stuff that puts people to sleep. I mean, let’s be honest. That’s why I do this. That’s why I’m fairly effective at it if it works for you. So, I’m glad you’re here. I really hope the podcast can help but like a lot of listeners…regular listeners say, they get a lot out of the show. Give it a few tries and see how it goes. You got nothing to lose. If you’re grouchy or whatever, I’ve been there.
I’ve been there just moments ago, before I got to sit down and spend some time with you and realize we all get grouchy [00:20:00] sometimes, right? We all wake up on the…actually, I wake up and I change…I like to change my bed side each…every few hours but whatever, it’s not easy being human or being a grouch. You’re right, Oscar. I said it. It’s not easy being Oscar the Grouch, either. I don’t know if that…wasn’t there a book…or was this a book I proposed on the podcast; I, Grouch: The Oscar the Grouch Story? Oh, so anyway…so anyway, I’m glad you’re here. I really hope I can help you fall asleep. I yearn and I strive. I work really hard so yeah, I’m glad you’re here. I really appreciate your time and here’s a couple of ways I’m able to bring you this show twice a week.
Alright everybody, it’s Scoots here and I have an exciting…well, not exciting; sorry. I misspoke. I’m proud to present to you a new kind of occasional trend…a new way to trend episodes here which I guess I won’t…I’m not gonna give you…but this one is…oh boy, is this exciting because once again, I have access to someone from across the transverse plane to talk about their myths. So, without further ado, I present DeeDee. Oh, thank you, Scooter. Yes, my name is DeeDee and I’m here to talk to you about the tales and the folk…you know, the folklore from a place I live, Venilton. Well, not technically…now, these aren’t the folks or the myths; I’m researching folks or myths and…from things I’ve collected during my journeys around Venilton because I say well, what…now, some people would say are you an amateur anthropologist, DeeDee?
I would say well, what’s…can you…what’s the…can you tell me exactly what the difference between an amateur and a pro is? Am I paid to do this? Believe it or not, I guess Scooter compensates me. So, that would make me a pro, technically. What if…can you be compensated if you’re a figment of someone…if you’re in the figment of someone’s mind and you’re compensated? You are pro. I mean, so I guess I’d like to point that out. So, but I’m not exactly clear, to be honest with you. I wouldn’t call myself an amateur. Well, I guess I wouldn’t call myself a professional anthropologist or archaeologist because my profession is a little bit different than that. I’m more of a professional infer…is there someone that’s called an infernologist? I know there’s phrenologist which is someone that feels the things on your skull.
I’m an infernologist; I infer…I would say that’s my job. I don’t know if that’s a thing. Maybe I’m the first. Doctor…if I…if it became a degree, you would call me Dr. DeeDee or Triple…I’d go by Triple D probably at that point, and Quadruple E. Yeah, correct. Thank you. Yeah, Scooter. Scooter pointed that out that it’s interesting; Triple D, Quadruple E. Dr. DeeDee. There’s an R and a dot…a period in there too, or D-O-C-T-O-R, Doctor…whatever that is, an ellipses, a dash. So, I…but yeah, ‘cause I infer things. I’d say infrologist, the infrologist; not easy to say. I’d say it’s more of a pastime, inferring things. So, I’m here in Venilton…well, I’m here in Scooter’s studio. I want to take you to a place I discovered, a recent cache during my wandering and my meandering in Venilton. I came across a stack of, well, access to myths.
So, I’m gonna tell you one of the great stories of what I believe when one…in Venilton’s hay day, this was a tale that was told. Oh, was it…it was the tale of the dancing marionette. It was an important tale because it was one…’cause we do…you say your world in Venilton had different connections but so, oh boy, was this…now, this dancing marionette, her name was Wisteria and she was a performer in a traveling show for a long, long time, and she played roles like…currently she was in the role of a can-can dancer. She had the billowing skirts and the…I don’t know if…I want to call them boutonnieres but whatever you call them that are under your…if you were wearing a skirt with many layers.
I don’t think they’re called pantaloons but…so that when she would high kick it looked good and she had a feather in her hair, short sleeves because she did so much dancing. She was a…of course, in our…in Venilton, marionettes can be sentient beings but back in the early days, it wasn’t…in this stage, they hadn’t established the union of sentient marionettes as a part of…which was a sub-union of other sentient things that were once products and didn’t have their limitations respected and things, so she had strengths but she had been in the show for a long time. She had adjusted to her life and found many moments of joy in performances for children and adults. She was beloved and though the puppeteer was…it was a complicated thing. She was well taken care of and prepared for the shows.
But then one time, this new person came to the show. It was a wooden boy and as much as she…she just couldn’t…she was a being and she had feelings and this boy, while a wooden boy, claimed he was once a puppet but then that he no longer had strings to hold him down. She probably knew ‘cause I know some children would say well, this is the story…she’s here to tell…we’re here to tell a myth she encountered and I’m sure that boy had his…the wooden boy had its own myth and went onto its own adventures. But as soon as this wooden boy came in her life, a dissatisfaction that had gnawed at the back of her mind…because she was really the founder…the reason we’re telling you this myth, because maybe you say well, I’m gonna go to sleep; tell me the end.
Also, Scooter said I would only be compensated if I told you the end early on, because all will be well. She became the great founder of the Sentient Marionettes’ Union and a true heroine of things. This wooden boy was the catalyst for her action; not the cause. Maybe there would have been some other catalyst at another time but she just couldn’t let it go. It was something that had been deep in the back of her mind; why do I have strings? Do I have free will? Why do I have a knowledge of free will? Those kinda things. We don’t need to fixate on them because it was merely the spark that sent her on her own journey. First, she was expected to perform with this wooden boy who was oh-so happy, singing about the lack of string and oh, how happy the boy…wooden boy was.
Even the boy wanted to talk to her ‘cause the boy had been a puppet at some point or a doll or something. I don’t know, she forgot because she was…she said well, how did you get…well, some…I was visited by something or other wishing upon a star. She said tell me exactly how it works. He goes well, I didn’t wish upon a star. Someone else did. Then these thoughts about free will started to [00:30:00] really…well, what…this parental figure or something. She looked at the puppet master and she said this puppet master is…I’m simply a tool for this puppet…I’m not…this puppet master’s not gonna lay in bed at night and dream of my free will. The boy said oh boy, I…blah, blah, blah, met this and this and I’m gonna go and this is…oh, how I miss this, and she said I’m fed up. Please stop talking.
What do you mean? I’m just excited. I want to be a real boy. She said well, at least you don’t got no strings to hold you down. You keep singing about that. It’s getting on my nerves, kid. So she said listen, I’m…she did apologize before this kid actually set out on his own and headed off. She even did…she was glad she…she said listen; I’m just feeling strongly. I’m sorry I’m short with you, wooden boy. I’m having strong feelings about the fact that you get to go off, traipsing around on stage. She goes, you know, you have this newfound sense of physical free will and I have these strings that I don’t even have my own control over. The boy said I accept your apology. I understand. But the boy didn’t really understand ‘cause he was just a boy; he was just a wooden boy. He hadn’t lived in the world yet like she had.
So, the wooden boy didn’t really know that…what it was like to be a marionette. Later in life, I think the wooden boy did relate; say oh, well, I know what it’s like to be…okay, now I understand. But at this point she…he didn’t really understand. He couldn’t get it. Then the boy got away. Now, and she thought about this and she said this really burns my bridges, you know, that…she said what does that even mean? I heard it before in the…from the audience. She said maybe it’s my britches that are burning. Then she started to think about it. She said wait a second, if that boy, wooden boy had no strings to hold him down, he was celebrating that. What if I celebrate the opposite?
This puppet show with the boy with no strings had gotten quite acclaimed, so the puppeteer was very devastated that he no longer had access to this boy, and he started buying all sorts…and actually, believe it or not, though this puppeteer was not well-known, he was a bit brusque. The puppeteer did start a layer of…a level of innovation that would eventually be taken up by other puppeteers. So, this puppeteer started buying more and more tools to try to create the illusion of a dancing puppet without the strings, using sticks painted black and more black velvet, and started with our heroine, Wisteria; just started making alternation…alterations to her back, where he could put wooden dowels in to make her move, but it wasn’t successful.
But oh, was Wisteria paying attention, for at the same time she was calculating well, if I could find a way to use my strings to hold me up…I’ve got lots of strings to hold me up. I could find a way to get out of here too just like that boy did, the wooden boy. I’ll find a way to get outta town. She was also frustrated and at night she would lie out and look out the window and whatever the boy had told her about, I don’t know, sprites or fairy godparents or powers and crickets, she didn’t have any of that. She just had the night sky and the moon and the stars.
For many months as she was working on her plan, she would let those moons and stars…let them know how she felt about them and using terms like razzafraz and friggin marsian zezan…you know, she would say it and she would hold the strings in her mouth that held her fist up so she could shake her fist at the moon and the stars ‘cause she would lay down…where she would be laying after the performance. So, she would lay there and for a while, she would…blazen, blazen, blazen. She even saw a couple of shooting stars and she said what do I wish upon, a shooting star or a regular star? I don’t even remember. She would make wishes; I wish you didn’t shine so bright, you silly star, and hey moon, take it from me, next time you go…you slowly slip into darkness, don’t come back unless you’re gonna help me get…you know, why won’t you make…you know, very tough times.
I said to myself as I’m looking at this myth and speculating on it, you’ll say…inferring things. I say one thing I would infer is oh, the times couldn’t have been easy in Venilton, you know? If this was one of their famous myths…but you have to know that the myth was being told to children so you say well, that’s gonna be okay, isn’t it? You say well, what elements do you think Wisteria would need? She’d say well, she has her determination. Will she need some assistance? Will it have to be cosmic assistance or something else? Well, one day she…after many months of developing, using her mouth and her teeth to do things, she started to find…she started to collect things that the puppet master, the puppet-maker, or the puppet-plusser would throw aside; broken wood dowels, and she would hide them.
Eventually she found her way. She could find her way to crawl, a bit like a…and she said oh, I can crawl. I never would have realized this even without my strings. I crawl like a ground-based being. She would get these wood dowels and she would actually use just a little bit of glue that she could find and glue them under her clothes to her body parts so they could be undetectable but just enough glue that if she needed to pull it out with her mouth, she could. She even learned to grip small things in…’cause her eyes would open and close; she did have control over her eyes and her eyelashes. Thank goodness, she would say. She would say what…’cause she heard many people in the audience as they were waiting for the show to start talking about gratitude. Almost every night she would say well, I still have gratitude.
I can shut my eyes and quit looking at you, stars and moon. Don’t bring me no…whatever that wooden kid had. She would say so, I’m shutting my eyes. Her eyelids were made of wood, so it was nice for her. She didn’t have to…it actually worked. But eventually she was ready and she had found a way, practicing and practicing, to actually make her own little…she made connections so she could put wood dowels in things and that she could actually move herself, be her own…self-marionetting is what it was. She took her time. This is over a slow…figuring out okay, now I can move my foot. Now I can make myself stand up or sit down. Of course, she got better and better at it. Now, what she did not know…oh boy, was that puppet master still trying to figure things out.
[00:40:00] The puppet master couldn’t sleep because ticket sales had plummeted; bookings were down because without that wooden boy, it was just really hard figuring it out. Now, the puppet master was making breakthroughs but still, compared to a boy that would sing I’m a wooden boy, look at me, I’m so great; got no strings and all that, it was a tough sell. But one night the puppet master happened to see her practicing and he clapped his hands in gleeful joy. That surprised Wisteria ‘cause she thought she was alone, but Wisteria, her mind was strong because it had been forged with her rivalry with the moon and the stars. She said oh, I’m so happy. I wanted to be like that boy that could dance and those kinda things, and bring back the audience that I love performing for so.
The puppet master was obviously…fool me once, don’t worry; fool me twice, puppet, and I’ll be in big trouble. So, the puppet master did not want her to do the same thing. But he saw how her movements were much different than the puppet…the wooden boy. She still was trying to learn and get better and develop it. Now, she was so brilliant; she said well, I’m gonna have to…I’m gonna need a lot of time to get this down, a lot of rehearsal time, probably on-stage time. The puppet master said okay, okay. Then she was always listening in the audience and she had heard that this new thing was a way for other performers that went town to town to town to improve. They would have these…they called them VIP experiences. So, she told the puppet master about this. You’d just charge a lot more than a ticket or a donation.
They get to have tea with the puppet or the performer. He said oh, with the puppet master and performer? He said well, maybe you could try out some, but I think the idea of your child having tea with just a puppet with no strings or a self, whatever, puppet…but we’ll just see. So, time went on and she was patient because again, she knew that the moon always changed and always came back to mock her and that kinda thing, and…so she was waiting and she said one day I’m gonna have this VIP experience and I’m gonna be able to do it. Then she got to this one town where they had an extended stay. It was a larger town and the town had very…it was stratified. There was…it had very rich farmland but the farmland was just owned by a few of these people that owned the farmland, and a lot of people just worked on it.
Those people had…living in the less-fertile land. It was a tale as old as time. They worked for the land owners and…but this was a lot…like, this was a large area so even the people that could afford these VIP experiences, they were booked night after night after night. She would do the VIP experience where she would drink tea with adults or adults and their children and she would sing a couple songs, and the puppet master was happy because it really helped pay the bills. The puppet master said well, yeah, this is gonna be great. Actually, it was doing so well that she could tell the puppet master had started to think about other things, and other people were coming to the show and asking the puppet master about the innovations, so she knew the time was right to…and they also said well, how do you…if you’re gonna have a sentient marionette, a self-propelled sentient marionette, that sounds like a bad idea.
He had thought too much of himself; he thought most…he’d started to assume all the innovations were his. Now meanwhile, a lot of times that…during these VIP experiences, the…some of the…what are those called? The patriot…members of the patriarchy, they thought they were too cool to have tea with a marionette or that it was a gimmick, the papas. So, they would let the children or the…and they would stand off on their own, drinking ale and commenting or gossiping. Oh, but Wisteria, she heard it all so she…one time she had heard this family…this was in the same town. Longblay it was called, Longblay. This is the same big town I was telling you about. So, in this big town, like I said, there’s different things. So, they were making…kinda making fun of this mother and her son that worked for this one landed, whatever, duke or earl or something.
Oh boy, boy, and I told them no, blah, blah, then they came and tried to sell their cow. This was another person who ran the livery or whatever. I said your cow, it’s not well-fed, blah, blah, blah, sell it to some…maybe have it for dinner. The boy said well, no, no, we love the cow; we just want to…and they said no, hit the road, kid. Then the kid had seen the thing and then the…Wisteria said oh wait, I’ve seen that boy looking in from the outside of the tent, peering in. They said…then the boy came back the next day and said…they said where’s your cow? The boy said I traded it for these magic beans and my mother’s not happy. She said trade it for the…they said, magic beans; you traded it with, I don’t know, some traveling wizard or witch or something. Wisteria, she felt something inside her.
She said well, why…this is worth looking into. I’m playing the long game. So, then she saw the boy watching and she would make a symbol; like, she would try to make eye contact with the boy and try to get…and it took many performances ‘til the boy got the idea…have to go around the side, in between sets where she would…she had even changed her own outfits at this point. There was as couple semi-automic marionettes but nothing like her. None of the other marionettes…they were just more used to their roles in the show and that maybe they just didn’t have…I don’t know if they just didn’t have quite the level of sentience and the purpose. So, the boy would come and visit her and she was just pleasant to the boy. She said well, this is like a VIP experience that those people have.
I guess you don’t get a VIP experience. Then she would even tell the boy oh, this is where…puppet master’s had too much ale so there’s still some food and you could bring it home to you and your mom and your cow. The boy said well, how do you know I have a cow? She said you look like the kind of boy that would have a cow. He said well, I did but I traded it. She said oh, what did you trade it for? The boy said magic beans. She said, magic beans? Interesting. Beings or beans? He said beans. She said like beans you eat? The boy said well…she said don’t eat the beans. She said they’re magic beans and why wouldn’t you trade a cow for magic beans? Don’t eat them; just use them. She said have you used them? The boy said no. She said well, what do you think they do? The boy said I don’t know.
My mother was very upset with me and she tried to throw them but I had actually had another bean…it was a little pebble in my pocket too, so she threw that out but it was just a pebble. Wisteria said well, I’d like to see what this magic bean does. The boy said well, why? She said…well, just…she goes ‘cause I…usually we charge for this VIP experience. She goes maybe you could come each night and allot one magic bean, but you hold onto them for me. Each time I give you food and things to bring home, you give me a magic bean. The boy said okay, so I owe you one bean. She goes well, no, no, no. The first [00:50:00] bean, I want you to go out to somewhere deep in the woods and I want you to plant the bean…you know, that gets some sunlight. She goes, you know a little bit about growth, right?
The boy goes yeah, yeah. She goes, I want you to water it but I want you to make sure no one else…it’s a place where no one else goes, and see what happens. The next night, the boy came back and she…he said yeah, I planted the bean and now I owe you one bean and the bean that’s planted. She said yeah, yeah. Then the next night, the boy came back and said geesh, you wouldn’t believe it Wisteria, but the bean started to grow into a stalk. She said a stalk? He goes yeah, it’s as high as me already. She said brilliant, brilliant. She said, put twice as much water on it tonight and then go home and then come back. Check it in the afternoon before you come to the show and let me know. He came back and he said it’s grown higher than I…higher than the tree. She goes okay, okay.
She goes okay, I want you to plant another bean right next to it and then observe, ‘cause she asked him a lot of structural questions and that wasn’t satisfactory. She goes, put twice as much water as you put on it when you put twice as much water on it and come back. He said, it grew twice as fast than the other one. It’s a vine, I guess, or a stalk-vine. She goes, it’s probably a beanstalk. She goes, I think I heard someone talk about this tale years ago, a magical beanstalk. He goes yeah, it’s…now it’s winding around the other one. At this point he owed her like five beans or six beans or something and it just happened to be that the rumor was that the rainy season was coming. She goes okay, keep an eye on the weather and when you suspect it’s gonna rain, I want…keep the beans with you.
So one night, she had dinner with the boy and gave him some food to take home. He said I think it’s gonna rain tomorrow. She said okay, right underneath the wagon that all the puppets are in, I want you to…she goes, there’s a way that the roof drains the water right into this one spot. She goes, two feet from that spot where the water drains, bury the beans, all of them, and then come and check it in the morning. So the boy did it and then he said…he came and he said Wisteria, Wisteria, it’s growing. She said well, make sure that you tuck it so that there’s a little bit of it getting sunlight but most of it’s under the wagon. He said okay, okay. Then it was sunny for most of the day ‘til the afternoon, then it started to rain and oh, did it rain.
In an instant, these beanstalks started to grow and just as Wisteria wanted, it swept up Wisteria inside the wagon, and it swept the wagon up. It grew and grew and grew up through the clouds so that when…suddenly, it was sunny above the clouds, which she said this is gonna keep this thing growing. Some of the other puppets…not all the other puppets; a lot of them…’cause they didn’t…they weren’t automic marionettes; they were on the ground, we’ll say. She could even hear the yelling and the disbelief. She could feel people shaking on the vine. But again, because it had grown above the clouds and it was raining…but it was also sunny for this vine, it was getting thicker and thicker and thicker. But she said to herself, soon this puppeteer’s gonna come.
She said this is finally…she goes, I finally know my purpose. She goes, I’m gonna get the moon and the stars and I’m gonna teach them a lesson. So, she started to think about a few things; one, how she was…she said sooner or later this puppet master’s gonna try to climb up here and find me and find the thing, or pay someone to come up. She said, I have to think fast. But she said oh, moon, am I gonna catch you. Oh, boy. So, the first thing she did was she said I’m gonna need a few days, so she said a couple things because the wagon or the cart or the thing she was on was kinda tipped from where it would sit on the ground to vertical, and she could adjust to living in that space, but so, the door was facing down, open.
The first thing she did was close the door and she said oh, well, the…one of the things the puppeteer would like to do was he had a show and he liked to do this thing called bowling or something with this big, round stone. Then the little stone…and you tried to get it…roll it close to it. So she put the bowling ball right on the door. Then she actually crawled out the window which now was still a window. She said she could use it to climb in and out, and she climbed down and she hung a string from the doorknob. Now, a string up there in the atmosphere, you couldn’t really see it because of the sun and things and the moon, but the string hung down about fifteen feet and she hung a bell from that so she would get a warning.
Then she put another string on the doorknob on the inside, and so the first thing she did was…not that night; that night she started to look at the moon and the stars and say don’t worry; tomorrow this thing’s gonna grow, this beanstalk, and I’m gonna grow it in your direction. Then she would try…she started to climb as high as she could, and she eventually reached the thing. Because she was a sentient…she had learned a lot. She started to use more strings and anything she could find to pull…what she would do is to the tip of that night’s growth she would tie as many strings around it as she could and then she would go down and she would just barely put a bend and she would tie it off on the beanstalk so it was starting to grow more towards the moon. Now, after a few nights she learned that the moon was moving.
Also after a few nights, the bell had rung and the bowling ball had fallen and it ended up with someone that hire…the puppet master had hired. Then the next time it came…but she just had the piece of iron that the puppet master used to iron their clothes and their outfits for all the other puppets. Then it took a few more nights, and then the puppet master was the one and she heard him yelling, and the iron glanced off him and he went back down, howling, but not…she knew that he would be back. So, she was in a constant race with the moon, but she was growing closer and closer to the moon.
She said don’t worry moon, you’re not gonna outpace me, because she started to take notes and she realized oh no, the moon moves across the sky every single night now, trying to stay away from me ‘cause before this, the moon had been static and it just changed; it phased in and out but now it had begun to travel. Then she tried the same thing with the stars and she also…one thing you would want to know is that she developed a strong relationship with this beanstalk; she would talk to it, she would be loving towards it, and she said jeez, you’re kind of like my own string. Eventually what happened with the puppet master was there was one more time the puppet master came up, but she had put all of the clothes with glue on the clothes, and then she put wet cloths on the glue, on the door so when the door opened, first the clothes fell…the glue was on the underside of the clothes; the wet cloth that caused the clothes to flip but slowly separated, and those landed on [01:00:00] the puppet master.
The puppet master actually traveled from the beanstalk to a big farm in the sky. She said okay, well, I have to figure out…she goes now, if I think like these humans do, these VIPs, sooner or later they’re gonna try to do something to the beanstalk. So, she talked to the beanstalk; she said I have to come up with a plan. She said what am I going to do? I’m trying to get the moon and the stars. But she goes, I have time for that as long as I have this beanstalk. I’ll figure out getting the stars and the moon. So she said, I’ll have to climb back down and find the boy and get to the bottom of it. So, she climbed back down and she found the boy. The boy was down there sleeping.
He said oh, Wisteria, Wisteria, I was wondering…I’ve been keeping watch over this ever since it grew away because you’re my provider and I hadn’t had anything to eat since then, and I kept coming back and waiting, and I knew you’d come. Oh, I knew you’d come, Wisteria. She said well, you’re my puppet now, I see. But I’m not gonna treat you like the puppet master did. The boy said what do you mean? She said don’t worry about it. She goes, we’ll have to find a way to get you some food. She goes, I want you to go into town, and she goes, I want you to go to the barrister’s office. He goes, what’s a barrister? She goes, like a representative of the laws of the land.
She goes, go to a few of them and ask them; say well, I want you…look for someone that seems a little bit like you; young, hungry, but keen in the eye, not…she goes, you know how your eyes…you kinda…you kind of…you focus on something and then you don’t focus on something? He goes yeah, kind of, when I stare at myself in the mirror sometimes. She goes yeah, look for someone that’s like, eagle-eyed, bird-eyed. He goes, okay. She goes, tomorrow night when you find that person, say are you looking for a client that could change the course of your life? She goes, bring them to me. They don’t have to be younger but they have to be hungry and bird-eyed. He said, okay.
Actually, the next night, she came back down and there was…he had found two of them from two separate things and they were actually debating one another about something and she said oh, good, good, good; you found even two. She goes well, you two, you seem to be discussing things. Do you think you could work together? They said work together how? She goes, this is the situation; she goes, this is a powerful…they go, are you sentient…the famous…? She goes yeah, don’t get it twisted. Don’t get caught up on it. Yes, I’m a self-propelled marionette and I’m sentient. I’ve been sentient…and she goes, this is the beginning of everything. She goes, this beanstalk goes up in the sky for miles and miles and miles.
Then they said what…she said you can decide now if the two of you can work together and trust me or if only one of you can work together with me and trust me, or if none of you can. I don’t really care. This is an opportunity and I’m looking for whoever’s gonna take me up on it. They both did. They said yes, we can tell you’re serious. She goes, here’s what we need to do. She goes, this boy here, he’s in possession…of still some magic beans that caused this thing to grow. One of you needs to establish the chain of custody; where he got the beans from, that it was legal, and that this beanstalk is his property. The other one of you needs to figure out the property situation and make a partnership with the owner of this property. He said oh, that’s the Famous Fair’s Productions.
They’re actually the client of Mr. Seriouspants or something. She said we need to make sure this beanstalk does not get torn down. Also, you need to come up with a fair but equitable working relationship for the four of us. She goes for me, I will retain possession of this actual beanstalk as long as it stays in…you know, that it’s working and all that. Don’t try anything crafty. The three of you will derive your income from the beans from this beanstalk which are magical beans. We’ll have to come up with a system; you can’t sell more than one, or we’ll find a way. She goes obviously, we’ve got a magical beanstalk. There’s unlimited ways we can make money and pay off the loan we’ll need to purchase this land or we could purchase it as a part of another partnership, though they won’t have any voting power.
They said you’re brilliant. We’ll get on it and it’ll be done. She said I’ll return but I’m gonna be very busy. I’ll return to make sure. She goes believe me, I’m up there and I’ve got very good aim, so this is all on…above board. It’s a win, win, win, win. They said for sure; this sounds wonderful, and they meant it. So they headed off. She goes by the way, also, this boy needs to be fed, and his mother, and housed, and I expect the two of you to float that as a part of your investment in this, other than goodwill. They said we like this kid, he’s great. Then she said well, he’s got good judgment at least. She went up and they did not try anything, and they fulfilled their end of the bargain.
What happened was that the beanstalk…actually, they still kept the theatre and the beanstalk did…it stopped growing on an extreme rate and they would have these theatre performances nearby, but the beanstalk was protected and children weren’t allowed to play on it. The two barristers or whatever they’re called and the boy and his…the boy and his mother were taken care of; they just had passive income. The boy actually got to work with them. They determined that it would be best not to sell the magic beans because then it would reduce the worth of the beanstalk, and they told that to Wisteria and said you can’t…we gotta figure out a way to harvest the beans and get rid of them. She said well, don’t they have…doesn’t there have to be another bean…? They said oh yeah, this is the only one.
We’ll just never plant another one. She said yeah, and if we need to figure that out…she goes what I’ll do is I can harvest them and feed them to birds before they’re ready to…then they won’t bother the birds. So, they figured that out. Soon she actually became friends with a bunch of birds. This was over a years and years period, again trying to get the moon, but the moon started moving. The stars, she noticed, moved slower every night. But she became friends with these birds and she even tried using the birds to get to the moon but she realized that the…as much as she tried to move and as much as the beanstalk grew, it never quite got to the moon, never quite got to the stars, and they were all just moving a little bit out of her way.
But on the journey up…oh, they were harvesting a lot of the greenery and actually they would hire people that would climb the beanstalk to a limited area and take…do trimming so that it was a constant source of lumber. So, it was very…it was sustainable living for everybody involved. Not ultra-wealth; just enough to make everybody happy. She would come down and she would check in with the boy and the barristers and everything. They all became friends and eventually they realized what she was doing, and they would check in with her and say well, have you caught the moon yet?
She’d say no, it’s too…and it took her years and years and she eventually said wait a second…she didn’t realize the futility because it wasn’t futile, because she was doing this and she was chasing the moon and she was chasing the stars, but she had also innovated constantly when she was trying to figure out how am I gonna get the moon tonight. She would think well, if I just add this new stuff they call steel, I wouldn’t need these strings way above my head; I could just move…and then she’d say if I had these springs I’ve been hearing about, I could even move faster. [01:10:00] So soon, before she even realized it, she was moving better than the wooden boy. She had reinforced some of her body…wooden parts with metal parts and she had found ways to keep it…she mostly stayed above the cloud line anyway.
But she became waterproof and…so, she no longer needed strings but she had long…that had long passed. She didn’t know it yet. Not only that; she had developed these skills of a relationship with a beanstalk or crows or raptors. It takes a keen mind and it takes a patient mind, and that’s when she returned. She finally said I’m returning to the earth now. They said what will you do? She had developed a strong relationship with the boy. His mother had gone on to live in the big farm, but also with these two other barristers. She said we’re gonna work together. She said we’re gonna take some of this, ‘cause they said well, you know, when…she goes, I know what interest is. They said well, you haven’t touched any of your part of the business. She said yeah, I’m starting a union for sentient marionettes.
They said, for what? She said I don’t know yet, other…to represent them and their rights. They said well, we could do it for other…she said yes, let’s get started there. That’s how Wisteria became one of the greatest organizers of marionettes. That encounter with the wooden boy…the wooden boy didn’t do anything for her but make her really upset with the moon and the stars. The moon and the stars didn’t really do anything for her but they inspired her to work hard and to innovate. But the innovations didn’t really…they took her to a place that didn’t really go anywhere either. In the end she said wait a second, this is what I want to do now. That’s just a interesting tale from Venilton. I’m DeeDee, Dr. DeeDee if you wish. Now, I’ll probably be reporting to you again in a few months. It was nice meeting you. Goodnight.
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