Talking Alligator Therapist Puppet™

I read there’s a talking alligator puppet
that doubles as a therapist.
He is realistically rendered, with velour ruching
and soft plastic teeth.
Sliding pole action enables his mouth
to open up and down, and his head swivels
when he says, in a gentle quizzical voice that sounds like
Vincent Price-meets-Elvis Presley,
“Let’s get crunk, bitches.”
His office is a riverback, where he crouches,
ready to join with two other puppets as supportive
“voices of reason.”
Three-way conversations can ensue between you and
wise-but-formerly troubled Hamster Puppet,
kooky hippie Guppy Puppet, and . . .
okay, by “you” I mean “me.”

I heard Talking Alligator Therapist Puppet™
has five funny stories to share where he:

1) defers college
2) assumes the role of a dead sibling
3) allows his kids to watch his credit cards get frozen
4) discusses how “Song of Myself” was inspired by
one family’s dirty laundry
5) decides to have an alias for some odd reason

He also wrote a book about life in small-town Indiana
during the 1950s,
and how he found other avenues to expand his
God-given talent for drawing hand-turkeys,
as art was not taught in his school.
I heard a story about Talking Alligator Therapist Puppet™
visiting a local bar to drown the stress of his divorce
in alcohol:
he sat down next to a mysterious stranger and said,
“How about some ‘No Strings Badminton’?”
This is just one example of his empathy
for other people’s experiences.

I figure Talking Alligator Therapist Puppet™
might be southern because “Puppet on a String”
was a song recorded by Elvis Presley for the movie
“Girl Happy,”
released on April 14, 1965.
Then again, he could be British
because David Bowie once appeared on a TV show
with a super-imposed puppet body.
Or he could be a musical theater person because
Talking Alligator Therapist Puppet Stephen Sondheim™
is frequently spotted these days on Sly Stallone’s hand.
And then I saw a video of Arnold Schwarzenegger
feeding a baby donkey and a mini-horse
while sheltering at home.
I don’t know how that’s related, but I have a feeling
all these things are designed to soothe our souls
in troubled times.

I hope I can make an appointment
with Talking Alligator Therapist Puppet™ soon
because I’ve heard he befriends goldfish and bullfrogs
instead of tearing them apart with a trademark
‘gator death roll.
Plus real therapists are boring.
Although, like real alligators,
they can be comforting and terrifying
at the same time, and
thus my confusion.

–Sharon Mesmer


Poetry

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