It was a stormy day in Sauk Village! Billy Bump had not slept well though the night. He had watched his favorite television show, The Twilight Zone, and had experienced a nightmare based on the scary episode. The thirty minute program was titled, The Ventriloquist, and it’s theme stuck with him!
The, Ventriloquist, was about a ventriloquist and his dummy being extraordinarily successful in their Las Vegas programs. The key to their success was the total immersive experience of listening to the ventriloquist ask the dummy, sitting on his knee with his wooden legs and feet lifeless on the lap of his master, questions and the wooden figure… appearing to speak extemporaneously without aid from his human counterpart!
As the show progressed it was increasingly apparent that the puppet was the boss and the human was the servant! A chilling scene at the end of episode was the dummy asking the ventriloquist the questions and the human answering them, with his face painted as a, lifeless marionette!
So, as I said previously….it was a stormy and chilly day and Billy wanted his buddy, Steve, to come over to his house and to bring his marionettes with him for a puppet show!
Steve was a few years older than Billy and he was a good friend. Steve had a sister named Susie, that Billy had a crush on, as Susie would constantly hug Billy whenever they were together…and if she ceased hugging…Billy would do something cute…in order to facilitate the renewal of the hugging!
Steve not only could come over, but he could come right away…and Susie wanted to accompany him!
Soon there was Blackbeard and Punch and Judy and Pinocchio to entertain Billy as he sat on Susie’s lap! There was also Bozo the Clown, a Chicago icon, and a puppet depicting President John F. Kennedy.
Steve had a little stage that his marionettes performed on and he expertly maneuvered the strings attached to their limbs to cause them to appear lifelike! Billy’s mother, Jane, laughed in a girlish giggle that made Billy feel good. His mom was sad much of the time…and he relished when she was happy, either watching a marionette show or doing the Chubby Checker Twist!
President Kennedy began reciting his, ‘Ask not what you country can do for you…but ask what you can do for your country,’ speech.
Punch and Judy were a dysfunctional couple with Punch, often, hitting Judy with a club.
Blackbeard was his typical bearded self with firecrackers tied in his beard and a cutlass at his side and his continued pronouncements of pillaging and piracy!
Billy watched Bozo daily! He was a staple on Chicago morning television! Whatever Bozo said was funny and appropriate for the Chicago family!
Pinocchio began to talk about Italy and Collodi, Italy where he was born. He mentioned that Billy would visit there…one day with his wife and his friends. He saids the Billy would enjoy his later years and renew acquaintances that he thought long gone.
Pinocchio then went on to say that Billy wold enjoy writing in his golden years and that he would receive much satisfaction from the endeavor!
Then, Pinocchio began to speak of Billy becoming rich and famous and renown as a writer and a civic leader and that he would become rich beyond his wildest imaginations!
Then the marionettes nose began to lengthen!
Billy listened attentively as as did Susie and Jane and Danny, who he had asked to come over to enjoy the marionette performance! It was beyond his imagination to believe that a wooden marionette could prophecy his future, although the voice was Steve’s behind the stage.
Billy understood what the lengthening Pinocchio’s nose…meant! Something that Pinocchio had said…was a lie!
Blackbeard spoke up and said, ‘ye know mate that Steve is prone to fictional author embellishment…don’t ye?’
Bozo responded, ‘he he hee….little buddy….I wold not discount what Pinocchio told you…I have heard that he can see the future!’
Punch pronounced that, ‘Pinocchio is a know liar,’ while Judy uttered, ‘I like Pinocchio and he has a good heart…and he wants to be a real boy!’
Suddenly, Pinocchio was standing beside Susie and Billy…and he was human…and he said…’wake up!’