Billowy Blobs and Booby Traps
He still believes. It is not so much he believes that the good times will return; rather that these are still the good times. Presumably to get yourself out every show, to an ever diminishing audience, you need this denial. The venues getting smaller, the towns getting more undistinguished, the memory of the act less tangible.
Ten years on the telly. Somehow that seems to translate into a blink of an eye for most people, unless you happened to be the exact right age to have grown up with the gentle puppets, Billowy and Booby. But for most people it’s a minor quiz question, getting harder as every year passes; “How were Mr. Blobs and Mr. Traps better known?”
So for their operator and his rather uncomfortable screen presence they are still very real and very relevant, his only chance of an income. Those young enough to remember the show are now at an age where they are past the first nostalgia for their early years, and a long way off living exclusively in the past. They are too busy living to think about going to see this half-remembered has-been. He, meanwhile, is caught in the no-man’s land of ex-TV stars, where news of his death will be greeted by the words “Oh, is he still alive?”
But for now he has a performance to give, a few dozen people not quite sure who he or his frayed and battered companions are.
And just like his beloved puppets he is not dead; but not quite living.