Watch out for the puppet Mark!

mark-maynard-puppetI was sitting at the bar at Haab’s a few weeks ago, enjoying a beer, when thickly-bearded local troubadour Patrick Elkins sidled up alongside me and whispered in my ear that, at that very moment, a crew was assembled at the Dreamland Theater, busily working on a “Mark Maynard puppet.” Or, he may have said marionette. I can’t remember. I was just staring into his beard face, trying to process the information.

I guess that was my chance to stop it. I could have headed around the block to the Dreamland, banged on that expensive new door of theirs, and demanded that the abomination be destroyed. But, instead, I had another beer.

A little while later, I’d hear through the grapevine that the Mark Maynard puppet was created with a purpose. He was going to have a role in their big upcoming show about the history of Ypsilanti. I was also told that, instead of making a head for me, they’d be using the head of a fetal pig. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I received the attached photo this evening. Not only am I not porcine, I’m also incredibly skinny, and uncharacteristically clear-eyed. (The whites of my eyes, when not filled with blood, are usually a watery grayish pink color.)

The last time my likeness was offered up for mass consumption, it was in a comic produced by my ukulele-playing nemesis, Doug Skinner. He portrayed me as a sweaty, grunting lump of naked flesh. It was disgusting, but, I’m sad to say, relatively accurate. The Dreamland version of me is, in comparison, almost beautiful. There are no pit stains. There is no sense of impending doom in the face. The eyes are not full of blood. And the hands aren’t shaking.

As I know that people don’t see me like this, I have to wonder what’s behind this almost angelic representation. Could it have something to do with the fact that I, along with my fellow members of the Michigan Design Militia, voted not too long ago to award the Dreamland a grant for the production of this piece on the history of Ypsilanti? My guess is that they started out with a horribly disfigured monster of a puppet, and then felt too guilty about it. They may have considered the effect it would have on Clementine and then changed direction… Anyway, here’s the point of this post… I want to publicly thank Naia and the folks at Dreamland for bestowing upon me this great honor, and I want to give them permission to add bloody eyes, man boobs, and whatever else they deem necessary to tell the story of Ypsilanti accurately.

And, I should point out that, as of right now, I still have no idea whatsoever what puppet me will be saying on the 5th, when the show debuts. My hope is that there isn’t a graphic 5-minute tutorial on ball shaving, or something equally as grotesque, but you never know.

Oh, and, if you do go see the play, I want for you to keep the Anthony Hopkins movie Magic in mind. (It might be the fever talking, but how cool would it be if this puppet Mark Maynard started settling scores with my perceived enemies by night?)

This entry was posted in Art and Culture, Mark's Life, Shadow Art Fair, Ypsilanti and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Chris
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Proof that I lurk:

    A post so rewarding deserves an, “I see your Magic and raise you one, Audrey Rose”

  2. L
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Now that we have the puppet, do you think it might be possible to have him read the posts on video? I think that would be a nice option.

  3. L
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    We could also do a local remake of Magic a la Be Kind Rewind.

  4. Stephen
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I had nightmares about his cold, little hands around my neck all night. The thing needs to be incinerated.

  5. Chelsea
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    That is so cool! Are you old enough to remember Winchell-Mahoney? So reminds me of that.

  6. Kristin
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I think the outward-turned palms are a nice touch. They seem in pursuit of sympathy.

  7. Kelso
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Maybe this is just the first of a series of puppets. Maybe, during the play, you change, as Ypsi sucks the life out of you. You start like this, but you end like you are today, an utterly disillusioned, pathetic monster.

  8. Imatuckytoo
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I could have picked you out of a lineup. Good likeness, except for the few minor details you mentioned.

  9. Camera Girl
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    This is now the first thing that comes up when you Google “puppet mark”!

  10. Ed
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I remember scoffing at Muslims who were offended by drawn depictions of their their Prophet Mohamed, but I’m starting to understand it now. I feel like issuing a fatwa against the Dreamland.

  11. Burt Reynolds
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    That puppet is terrifying. I would poop the bed if I saw that thing in my room at night. No offense Mark., I would poop an equal amount if I saw the real you in my room at night.

  12. Ypsiosaurus Wrecks
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Stop drinking beer Mark – it may help you lose weight and alleviate your back problems. FYI – alcohol consumption contributes to inflamation…

    Also, the doll needs to be bleeding from the heart – to signify your sappy nostalgia for Ypsi’s glory days.

  13. Posted December 1, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I occasionally mention drinking beer on the site. I don’t talk about quantity, though. I’m not much of a drinker. I generally have two. And I only do that once or twice a week. Still, though, I’m sure you’re right.

    And I hope Puppet Mark doesn’t kill tonight.

  14. Robert
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I tried to warn you a couple days ago when you mentioned how Clementine was softening you up to the idea that jail wasn’t so bad.

    Now we know who she’s likely working with.

  15. Bill
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Can they make an evil one? You could have one on each shoulder.

  16. Posted December 2, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    So did anyone wake up and find tiny marks from puppet hands around their neck this morning?

  17. Aubree's alumni
    Posted December 5, 2009 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I certainly hope they included Red, the cool old bearded man who came to Aubree’s nearly every night (and day, I think!) through the 70’s and 80’s. And of course Bill and Sandy French and their reign as king and queen of Depot Town.

  18. Hedge
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    After reading you blog, I ate a cheese sandwich and had an enormous dump, lessening my weight by close to six pounds. Cheese is my secret. It’s a special blend. I would like to sell it through your site.

  19. Steve
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Can you tell us if there will be musical guests?

  20. Steve
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Sorry, I meant to post that in the other discussion.

  21. hotel infection
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I have seen this small man. He has come to me in a fever dream, whilst doing missionary work in Malawi. His face is burned into my mind. I have been searching for almost a year now for him. And now I know he is real. I need to touch his clothing. I have TB and desperately need him.

7 Trackbacks

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