Train to CreepyTown — SOLS 16

I got on the A train the other night and slid into an empty seat … next to a ventriloquist. Why would that be necessary? Why, of all the people I could sit beside, would I have to find the one over-chatty ventriloquist? I was so with the young man at the end of the car who announced loudly: “Do NOT take that dummy out.” But of course, as soon as he said that, our friend the ventriloquist opened his case and pulled out a dummy.

I don’t hate ventriloquists. Not really. And he was talented. But really. They’re creepy, ventriloquists and their dummies. Creepy.

Let’s pause here. You may agree with me about the creepiness of ventriloquists and their dummies. You may not, but you may know someone else who finds them creepy. Fine. But I have to be clear. My feelings on this subject go deep, deeper, deepest. I so totally have pupaphobia. My puppet fear traces back in a perfect straight line to the movie Lili. No, seriously. That dream sequence scarred me. The only silver lining of this horror is the discovery of “automatonophobia” … which, really, is a way better word than pupaphobia.

Okay, back to business. You know how, if you don’t like cats or are allergic to cats and you go to a house that has cats, they come for you? They could have been asleep at the back of the hidden closet three floors away in the attic, and they come down and come running, looking for your lap? Yes, ventriloquists are the same. Because when that man on the train opened his dummy case, did he try to interact with the people who’d begged him to take out the dummy? No, he turned to me

Puppet Master: Say hi to the nice lady.

Creepy-ass Puppet: She don’t wanna talk to me.

Puppet Master: She’ll talk to you if you say hi. Say, “Hi, pretty lady.”

Creepy-ass Puppet: You think she pretty?

Puppet Master: She’s pretty.

Creepy-ass Puppet: She aight.

Yes, because not only do I have to be accosted by ventriloquism when I was just trying to get home for the night, I get a puppet who has what to say about how attractive I am or am not. Good times.

#NoThanks #NotHereForThis #CREEPY

It’s the Slice of Life Story Challenge! Head over to Two Writing Teachers to see what the rest of the slicers are up to … and to post the link to your own slice!

SOL image 2014


12 thoughts on “Train to CreepyTown — SOLS 16

  1. Oh my, that is some creepy, sassy puppet. So some pinhead gets to insult you through his puppet. Oh my.
    You have great adventures, and you tell a wonderful story. With suspense and drama.
    If I come to Brooklyn to meet your cats I promise to not bring a puppet. I usually carry a sock puppet in my purse in case a kid is crying. So I would be the weird old puppet sock lady.


    1. I love the image of you as the puppet sock lady, Pamela! I don’t know if I have adventures or if the adventures find me. My run-in with the ventriloquist was a product of riding the subway … and the subway and bus provide a lot of these stories!


  2. oh, definitely creepy. And definitely assaultive. But it did provide you an excellent story, and the chance to teach us all pupaphobia and automatonophobia.


    1. Isn’t automatonophobia a great word? And it makes some sense of my pupaphobia. I guess it’s a severe reaction to the uncanny valley. For me, it’s not so much that the puppets look too much like people. It’s more that they act like people. All in all, feh.


  3. ericamcmo

    Wow- what a slice. I love how you recall the dialogue exchange and also bring in the terminology to give us the background necessary to understand the impact this experience had on you.


  4. Ohhh, NOOOOOO!! I’m reading this to the whole family! We’re down here in Texas where we’d probably just get a gun and shoot ’em. Eat ’em for dinner, if not use them for firewood under the chuckwagon!

    Oh, MY!!!!


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