Archives for the month of: December, 2012

devils at loggerheads

The birthday was supposed to be a lovely day. Mouse had baked a cake, put a candle on it and invited everybody to have a piece. Now Mouse isn’t a big eater and the cake was very little. I would call it a muffin, more so than a cake, but for her it was a big thing.

So they all sat down and everybody commented nicely on the big effort Mouse had gone to, to make it yet another wonderful day, when Smug Little Devil arrived. He always seems to be the last one on the scene.

He took one look at the cake and said: “I thought we were having a Black Forest Gateau! What is that shrivelly little thing?” Mouse fought back her tears, but Devil, her old mate, came to her rescue: “What is it with you? Can’t you say something nice for a change?”

“Why?” Smug Little Devil replied “Am I not right? It is supposed to be a birthday cake. Does this look like a birthday cake to you?”

“It’s a cake, birthday or not” Devil replied.

“And I am a devil! I say what I want. Like it or not!” Smug Little Devil didn’t back down.

“But I am THE Devil!”

“No, you are a wuss! You should be called Wuss

Devil jumped towards Smug Little Devil horns down and really angry. He was ready to fight.

“Whoo hoo!” Witch butted in and commanded: “you both sit down now!” Strangely enough, they listened to her and sat down meekly at opposite ends of the table. “What is it with you two? Tell me! It’s not really about the cake, is it?”

Smug Little Devil immediately started telling  everybody that he thinks Devil is not a genuine devil, he is far too soft. While he was saying his piece we could see steam coming out of Devil’s ears. He didn’t seem too mellow right now. When it was his turn he told us that it pissed him off that Smug Little Devil had such a similar name. People might think they were one and the same, but no, they are only very veeery distant cousins. Smug Little Devil is still such a novice. He doesn’t know the ‘Code of Devils’ at all… really he is a disgrace to all devils as he uses his destructive remarks willy-nilly. He doesn’t achieve anything, but gets up peoples noses. In the  ‘Code of Devils’, first page, first paragraph, it clearly states to use unsettling remarks carefully for the greatest effect, basically when nobody expects it. Then people have to think about what was said. During Devil’s speech Smug Little Devil had his usual smirk on his face. It was so obvious he didn’t take any of Devil’s words in.

“So what can we do about it?” Witch asked. “Rename him” Smug Little Devil answered immediately and pointed at Devil “He is not worth the name!”

“I am Devil, I was the first one. I know the ‘Code of Devils’! No, you have to be renamed!” All the other Dedes cheered. “Yes, we love our Devil, he is the one!”

Philosopher said: “There’s no need to rename anyone. The horns of the little one will grow with his wisdom. Just give him a nickname for now, how about calling him Smutan from now on… short for ‘Smug Satan’… Anybody for cake?” and he leaned forward to take a piece of the plate.

waiting for birthday-2

Yes it is true, the first Dedes are turning 1.  It is difficult to pin point their real birth date. Isn’t that sad? All I remember is that it was between Christmas and New Year 2011 and it was raining! I vaguely remember their father, Procrastinator. I was supposed to tidy up my studio, but the pile of old newspapers wanted to be turned into something and this is how the story started. The first one that popped out was definitely Devil, quickly followed by Mouse, Witch, Deutsch Fraulein, Pig, Professor, Philosopher…. I can’t remember the exact order, just who was in the initial lot. Naturally I don’t want to rob them of their big day of celebration. Pity about all the other holidays around this time of year. Who cares, we decided to declare the 30th of December to be the Dede birthday.

Last night they were all hanging around a bottle of champagne we received as a Christmas present and waited for the clock to strike 12. You should have seen their long faces when I told them I am not opening the bottle as I am seriously concerned about their drinking. Remember the Christmas party at the park? Can you imagine anything more scary than a carload full of drunk Dedes? I can now! It is forty sober Dedes wanting a drink and coming for you, because you are the only one who can open the bottle.

“Just kidding” I relented and popped the cork. “Happy Birthday to all my Dedes!”

fairy and detail

We have the ‘Super Dede 2012’ result. The winner is… Mouse!

Congratulations!

Personally I am surprised, as her performance during the competition wasn’t entirely convincing. But looking back on the full year, she is certainly the one who most deserves this title. She works relentlessly on behalf of all the Dedes to keep the punters happy and organises events and celebrations. As I write this she is putting the finishing touches on the big birthday celebrations that start tonight: The first Dedes are turning ONE! But, pssst, I don’t want to give away too much …

Devil and Detail, the organisers of the Super Dede competition, had a hard time rustling up some interest in the prize giving today. Everybody is already looking forward to the next event. In their little Dede minds the whole competition thing is so yesterday…. Smug Little Devil commented: “The timing was just out! You should have had it all done and dusted before Christmas…”

Devil turned to him and hissed: “Shut up” and Detail added: “I am so sick of your negativity! Even if you were right… I just can’t take it anymore!” Smug Little Devil was totally surprised by the reaction he got: “Wha, wha, I am just trying to give constructive criticism!” I had to chuckle, as I felt it was about time somebody said something. But of course I couldn’t let on. I try hard not to take sides, even though it is really difficult at times.

There are more winners of course. Any comments to a post during the competition went into a draw for a signed copy of the original Dede puppet book  Hermit’s Web or the few friends I need, I hand-craft myself and two packs of Dede puppet postcards.

Detail had asked Fairy Godmother to do the honors and draw the lucky winners.

And here they are:

The book goes to Arindam. Congratulations and thanks for all your comments! You have indeed been a great supporter of the Dedes and not just during the competition.

The postcards go to Whichwillitbe and leopoldinealferi. Congratulations to you two as well.

I will get in touch with you all via email.

her fault

I arrived back home late last night.  I didn’t take any of the Dedes with me on my holidays, as they accused me of favouritism as soon as I picked one of them up to pack into a box. So I left them all behind. This wasn’t a good move as it was raining non-stop where we were and a bit of hands-on puppetry would have gone down a treat. Never mind!

When I came home, all the lights were blazing. I tip-toed into the house to surprise the Dedes. It was a really bad idea as I overheard their discussion. They were sitting around on the living room floor lamenting about the poor participation in the poll.

Smug Little Devil said: “It is really her fault isn’t it? She should not have gone away in the hot phase of voting.”

“Why, what could she have done?” Socialite asked.

“Don’t you know the old saying ‘out of sight out of mind’!” Smug Little Devil replied. “She should have reminded our readers throughout week that they should vote!”

“But she was somewhere with no internet connection and anyway… maybe we only have nine readers?” Foxy Lady pointed out. “No way” Mouse butted in, “we have way more than that…”

“You know how to use the computer” Socialite turned to Mouse now. “You could have reminded the readers!”

“I am not doing anything without being given a mandate. She didn’t instruct me to send out reminders.”

“So we are back to what I said… It is all her fault, isn’t it?” Smug Little Devil pointed out with his unpleasant smirk on his face.

“Give her a break” Philosopher entered the conversation “She is allowed to have a break from us from time to time… She has put so much work into us all year… Where would we be without her?” Tears welled up in my eyes when I heard this nice remark and I was about to enter the room and hug Philosopher, when Smug Little Devil countered Philosopher’s words: “That point of view is futile really… you might as well say where would we be if we had a more driven Master? I believe we could be out there known by heaps more people. We could go travelling and could have a new exhibition somewhere every month. You can’t convince me that she is best for us!”

This made me turn on my heals and leave the house again, so I could come back making a  big racket this time, announcing my arrival to even the deafest of puppets. They all came running out of the living room towards the back door and shouted “We are so happy to have you back.” Leading the pack was none other then Smug Little Devil. I won’t tell you what I thought…

We are very close to the big finale: the winner of the ‘Super Dede 2012’ competition will be announced tomorrow! If you haven’t voted yet, here is the poll again. When I checked last, Mouse was leading. To read a summary of their performances, have a look at the previous post.

finalists again

Over the last three weeks, our final five candidates have been through the wringer 3 times. It is now time to establish who had the best performance overall to find out who deserves the title: ‘Super Dede 2012’. The lucky Dede doesn’t gain anything from the win. There is no acting contract or monetary riches waiting for him or her… It was the taking part that counts. However, for the readers of the blog, any comment to a post during the competition goes into the draw for a signed copy of original dede puppet book: Hermit’s web or the few friends I need, I hand-craft my self. Additionally, there are two consolation prizes of a pack of ten dede postcards.

First of all, a big thank you to Devil and Detail for organising the event on such a short notice, they did a formidable job. Yesterday they were busy writing summaries for all five candidates to remind you what has happened and to help you with your voting. Voting is of course anonymous and the poll will stay up over Christmas (I’m going on a holiday to a remote place with no cell phone reception and dial up!). The winner will be announced next Saturday!

Happy voting!

Summaries

There were 3 tasks to fulfill. In the first week the candidates introduced themselves, in the second week they had to answer questions and in the third week they had to perform a skill.

Pig

pig one

Put forward by his mate Professor, Pig had a rough start as he had to battle stage fright. Not a talkative Dede at the best of times he answered the questions in round two very briefly. In his performance in the third week Pig used his weakness as a strength. The performance started off well, but was spoiled by a comment from the audience and ended in disaster.

Mouse

mouse one

entered the competition as she has to have her fingers in all pies… She started off with a hiss and a roar, very well prepared and rehearsed. Due to too many other commitments her second and third week performances were relatively weak. In the second week she accused the artist of depicting her unfavourably and in the third week a complaint was lodged by a fellow Dede about her insensitive skills performance.

Cash Cow

cow one

entered the competition as she thought there would be some prize money. She tried hard to be different but came across a tad frumpy and whingy. One commenter remarked she was not convincing, as her eyes didn’t match her anwsers. Her skill was a solid yoga performance.

Harvey

harvey one

The gambling rabbit, sort of tricked his way into the competition by employing a canvasser. His motive for taking part is to make friends and preferably to find a partner for life, but his performances left everybody speechless. His skill performance was a speed challenge that ended in a punch up with another puppet.

L’Artiste

L'artiste one

entered the competition for fun and to be able to tell the tale afterwards. He didn’t expect anything and just went with the flow. His performances were solid but without highlights. For his skills performance he showed us one of his artworks and he is now craving to slip back into solitude.

And here is the poll:

A very big Thank you to all our readers from Dietlind & the Dedes. Have a Merry Christmas.

cat arguing

Overall the Dedes are a mellow lot. Even Cat does not touch Mouse, despite it is totally against her nature. Sometimes we can observe Cat eying Mouse up and watching her every move, but she wouldn’t pounce on her. It is not that Cat respects Mouse, no, she doesn’t. Their lifestyles couldn’t be more different. Cat believes Mouse is a goody two shoes and a busy body. The truth is Cat just can’t be bothered with Mouse. Cat is a student of Urban Social Structures and has to roam around the neighbourhood a lot for her studies. Apart from this, she sleeps a lot and eats even more – as every good student does – and when the tom cats come out at night to party, she is there too.

Last night Cat came  to visit me. She does this very rarely. She keeps more to herself unless she is hungry. So I was expecting that she wanted to score a free dinner and invited her to stay for a bowl of my broccoli soup. But she declined politely.

“I have to say, I was incensed by Mouse’s behaviour today!” She was airing her disapproval of Mouse using a cat punching bag.

“It wasn’t a real cat, not even a stuffed one” I replied

“She truly hurt my feelings! And I want you to address it”

“That is between you and Mouse, I can’t interfere here. You know I try not to take sides.” I refused to help her out.

“But sometimes you have to take sides, for example when there is an outrages injustice”

I had to reminded her that she got six toy mice at her last birthday party.

“Yes, but that is normal, isn’t it?” she replied sulkily, looked at me like only a cat can, and slinked off.

She is another one I might not see for a while….

mouse and punch bag

Hurrah, we made it… Today is the day of the last contestant in the ‘Super Dede Competition 2012″ and it is Mouse! She still has to show us her skills. Ah well, we all know her skills, she is the best organiser one can think of. She really can work miracles. Apart from this, we don’t know much about her, she is as quiet as her proverbial church mouse relatives when it comes to revealing anything about herself. She is very good at talking about others. She is a great gossip and strongly believes “gossip makes the world go round, the world go round”.

Even though she is the best organiser in the world, she is pretty stressed in the pre-Christmas period. I have entrusted her with buying all my Christmas presents for the family, and this, believe me, is a major task. Right after Christmas, Mouse not only has to put on a big show for New Year’s, no, there is an even bigger event on the Dede Puppet Calendar…. an important birthday… Devil and fourteen of his Dedes mates turn ONE!  But please refrain from asking Mouse what she has planned for this big event. At the moment she is just  too stressed.

Mouse’s headquarters is in the kitchen and we were not surprised to be invited to meet her there for her skills performance. Mouse held a little speech on how badly the timing was for the ‘Super Dede Competition’, so close to Christmas. She never should have applied to become a candidate and she certainly won’t put her name forward for next year’s show.

“I didn’t have much time to think about what I can show you. Running around like a headless chicken is my forte, but all of you have seen this before. So I thought I’ll let you in on my biggest secret. I will show you how I de-stress!” She ended her speech and we were all curious. Then she opened the pantry door, hopped inside and disappeared into the darkest corner.

“You are not expecting all of us to hop into the pantry, are you?” Detail asked. We heard something rustling in the back. “No, no wait” Mouse called out from the depths of the cupboard. A second later she appeared with a huge punching bag in shape of a …cat!

“I do boxing exercises to keep my fitness up and to relief stress.” She hung the punching bag from the lamp shade and started dancing around it hitting it every so often. It looked very elegant, but I was surprised how vicious some of Mouse’s blows were. I  looked around for my friend Cat, who was somewhere in the crowd. She had quietly slipped to the back of the spectators. When everybody asked if they could have a go, she finally slid out the back door.

harvey cheating

The ‘Super Dede 2012’ competition is nearing its end with Harvey, the gambling rabbit, being the second to last to show off his skills. He had instructed us to assemble on the deck in front of the house. He admitted he had difficulties making up his mind about what to show us, as he has so many skills. Finally, he decided on demonstrating how fast he can run. He believes he is the fastest Dede on the planet.

Detail looked at her daughter Minor and remarked bitterly: “Some of us know very well how fast you can run”, but nobody took much notice of her. Only I looked closely at Minor and wondered if I could spot a resemblance there.

Smug Little Devil asked: “Is there a turtle in the house?” and Deutsch Fraulein (German girl) added: “If not, a hedgehog will do?”

Harvey was unfazed by all the comments and explained the procedure while limbering up: “I will run around the house ten times in 10 minutes. Should I fail,  I’ll shout breakfast for you all this morning. If I succeed, you will have to serve me breakfast in bed for the rest of the year. Does this sound like a fair bet?”

Personally, I have no idea how long it takes an average Dede to run around my house, but some of the Dedes seemed to think the offer was worth a bet. Obviously they were all quite hungry and were looking forward to their breakfast. They didn’t believe big-mouth Harvey would be able to do it.

“Who is counting the laps?” Smug Little Devil asked.

“You can do it, if you want” Harvey said confidently, while he got in position at the starting line.

“Okay… Ready, Steady, Go….” and off he went like a rocket, disappearing round the corner in a flash. It didn’t take long and he showed up on the other side.

Smug Little Devil called out loud: “Lap 1…. Lap 2…. Lap 3…. Lap 3….Lap 2…. Lap 4… ”

Gee it was boring. I decided to go inside and put the kettle on in the meantime. And there I saw Harvey coming in through the wide open front door, sliding down the corridor and jumping out the bedroom window….

I wasn’t there when Harvey and Smug Little Devil had their punch up, but breakfast is on me today.

cash cow's yoga

Just to update you about what happened yesterday... Pig had to be taken to the vet and was kept in over night for observation. Some of us actually thought Little Smug Devil was part of the show, but I can assure you he wasn’t. He really scared the pants off Pig.

Today is Cash Cow’s turn. The old girl has been walking on air since the Christmas picnic, when L’Artiste showed a little bit of interest in her. I think this might be the reason why L’Artiste all of a sudden craves for the solitude of his studio. He wanted to cheer her up, but didn’t expect her to become obsessed with him. She has been following him around ever since.

Anyway, her place to show off her skills was the yoga mat. We were all sitting around the thing on the floor, while she was showing us her exercises. The incident at Pig‘s performance was still haunting most of us and we weren’t really that attentive in the beginning. And then, to be honest, yoga is not really a spectator sport, is it? Though in the end, when she managed to tie her body up in all sorts of knots and finished off by standing on her head for three minutes, the audience was in awe. Good on you old girl, I say.

pigs modern performance

Pig had invited us to come back to the stage area where all the other performances had taken place. He had written out nice invitation cards and made it all very mysterious. Of course we were extremely curious, as we all know Pig is only good at one thing and that is drinking. While some of the puppets might have a social drink from time to time, Pig gets sloshed pretty much every day. It is a real concern for us all. Apart from this, we have no idea what his prowess is.

When we arrived, only Professor was on stage and next to him was a large object covered in black cloth. There was no curtain or anything else on stage, it looked all bare and cold. Professor introduced himself as Pig’s assistant and explained that Pig had the idea for this, his modern play, the day he was first on stage and froze.  The play is called ‘The Unveiling’. Then he lowered his head to indicate we should be silent.

After an extended period the Professor bowed and harrumphed and very slowly moved towards the big lump and carefully pulled off the cloth. Out came a pig wrapped all over in tin foil, with only a cut-out for the eyes so that we could see it really was Pig. It didn’t move at all. It just sat there, perfectly still, like a statue. Professor started wailing and dancing around the tin-foiled Pig. I honestly didn’t see Pig move, but then I paid more attention to Professor, who screamed and squeaked like he was on a spit. The show was  extremely harrowing and it send shivers down my spine.

Just as everybody started to settle into this strange spectacle, Smug Little Devil arrived in the audience: “Sorry I am late” he said, not even making an effort to lower his voice. Then he looked to the stage and continued: “So, is he finally ready for the barbeque then?”

You could see the panic in Pig’s eyes and his entire body started to quake with fear, but he couldn’t run. He was too tightly packed. Professor saw his distress and immediately started unwrapping (pigs are prone to heart attacks). Someone from the audience called “curtain, curtain”, but of course there wasn’t one. Now it was the audience’s turn to freeze as they watched in horror Pig struggling to get free.