I was told, after winning a new client, that my presentation had been “entertaining”. The person telling me this hadn’t actually been at the meeting, but they had heard and asked why?
“I used several glove puppets,” I replied.
I hadn’t, but it did remind me of my (rather too many for a boy) massive collection of soft toys I’d accumulated as a kid – including many glove puppets.
I have an early picture of me, aged four, throttling Sooty. As a kid, growing up in the sixties, many of the childrens’ programmes I watched invariably had glove puppets as part of the merchandise. I was never that interested in string-puppets (although Muffin the Mule had been legalised by the time I was ten in 1967) but my loyalty remained with things you could stick your hand into (I should have been a vet rather than choosing a career in advertising).
My favourite was Willie Wombat (still illegal in some States in the US) – Willie Wombat was to Tingha and Tucker as Knots Landing was to Dallas.
As an only child, and with a collection of glove puppets large enough to form several football teams, I would invariably re-enact big football games in my bedroom (although doing this didn’t stop me having bad eyesight!).
One evening in mid-June 1970 Willie and Wendy Wombat became Gerd Müller and Uwe Seeler and snatched three late goals for a very antipodean-looking West German team against an England XI consisting of Sooty, Sweep and Sue as the front three. No contest.
I’m still technically a member of the Tingha & Tucker Club. The newsletters have dried up due to Tingha and Tucker moving the America to work on a koala stud farm. However, if ever I feel nervous I simply sing Auntie Jean’s Wibbly Wobbly Way.
Next week: Why Twizzle defies every aspect of modern day health & safety.