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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Wembley - The Misunderstood Fraggle

I am SO excited about this edition of TUBE TALK THURSDAY because it's linked to an item that I recently bought for peanuts!  Would you like to guess what I bought?  Come on, guess!

Give up?  Okay.  I'll give you a hint.  Watch the video below.

Yes!  We're going to be discussing "Fraggle Rock" in this blog entry...or at least, we'll be doing a character sketch on one of the characters in this blog entry. 

This blog was inspired by this find that I discovered at a store recently.  (But, shhhhhh...don't tell anybody this, but I bought it at the competition!)

I found this at a store for just under ten dollars.  Granted, it is the last season of "Fraggle Rock" (I actually had no idea that the show ran for four seasons between 1983 and 1987), so I only have the last 24 episodes of the series.  But hey, twenty-four episodes out of ninety-six isn't that bad.  They're all pretty enjoyable.  But seeing an entire season of shows on DVD for under ten bucks - especially a show that I watched religiously during my early childhood - on sale...well, I couldn't help but snag it.

After all, it was one of the first shows that I remember where there was a character that had the same exact name as myself.  And certainly, I always found it fun whenever Uncle Traveling Matt made an appearance on the program.

But, just for the sake of this blog, let's just stick with the core five Fraggles that appeared in the program. 

Now, every single television show seems to have a core group of people who star in every single episode.  In the Archie cartoon series that is based on the comics, you always had Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, and Jughead.  Saved By The Bell had Zack, Lisa, Screech, Kelly, Slater, and Jessie.  And, Boy Meets World had Cory, Shawn, and Topanga.

Well, Fraggle Rock is no exception.  In Fraggle Rock, the core five are made up of Gobo, Boober, Mokey, Red, and Wembley.  And, I'm sure that most of you who watched the show had a favourite Fraggle.  The Fraggle that was most like your personality, and the Fraggle that you could identify with the most.

I know I certainly had my favourite Fraggle.  And, it might not be the one that you might think.

At some value, I liked all the Fraggles from Fraggle Rock.  I liked them all enough to collect the little vegetable car toys that McDonald's released as part of a Happy Meal.  But there's one that I can relate to more than any other.

Surprisingly, it's this one.

Yeah, when I was a kid, when Fraggle Rock was still popular, I remember during one recess, kids were talking about their favourite Fraggles.  The consensus was that Gobo and Red were the most popular.  But I always seemed to have a soft spot for Wembley.  Not a whole lot of people liked Wembley.  I think I was only one of four who did.  Only Boober seemed to be less liked.

I don't know what it was initially that made me like Wembley so much.  Maybe it was the fact that I thought Wembley was a wicked cool name (rumour has it that Wembley's name was inspired by England's Wembley Stadium).  I still think Wembley would be a cool name for a son...well, if having children is in the cards for me, that is.  The jury's still out on that one. 

But for another, the reason why I loved Wembley so much is because he and I were just so much alike that it was uncanny.

Granted, my hair has never been blonde.  And, I'll admit that my eyes don't nearly roll around as much as Wembley's did.  And, I don't think I've ever worn a Hawaiian shirt with banana trees printed all over it.  Truth be told, I don't pull off the Hawaiian look all that well.

But, I think if we were to take a look at what the name "Wembley" means in Fraggle language, maybe it'll reveal something about my own personality as well.  Let me get out my English to Fragglish translator...

Ah, yes...Wembley...from the verb "to wemble".

WEMBLE:  to go to and from between two things without making up your mind.

Basically, to wemble is to be indecisive.  And, boy oh boy is Wembley indecisive.

He is so indecisive that he will actually agree with both sides of an argument to avoid having to choose a side.  Wembley is certainly a Fraggle who wishes to be a peacemaker, but finds it incredibly difficult to maintain that peace when he is forced into making a choice.

Funny...I seem to have the exact same issue. 

You see.  I'm not a very confrontational person.  At least, not when dealing with people face to face.  I can call out bad behaviour with words without any hesitation, but when I try to take those words and speak them out loud to someone, I don't like doing it.  I absolutely hate it when people raise their voices at me, and whenever I'm in a situation where people are angry, I tend to either go into a mini panic attack, or I try to run away from the situation.  I don't know whether it was because I was surrounded by angry people in my childhood, or whether it was the unpleasantness of the louder voices (loud noises in general bother me), but when people are angry and I feel obligated to choose sides, I can't do it.  So in that sense, Wembley and I do have a similarity.

But, I still maintain that I'm not nearly as indecisive as Wembley is.  It doesn't take me long to choose what I will wear in the day.  Most of the time, it's either black or white due to my job.  Wembley has a hard time deciding what shirt to wear...and he only has two...and they're the same exact shirt at that!

But wait.  Wembley's got more personality characteristics than being indecisive.  He's also quite the cheerful Fraggle.  He's the first one to say hello to people, he tries to be in a good mood whenever he can.  I'd also say that he can be energetic whenever the mood strikes him.  I don't even think he needs to have a dose of caffeine or an extra serving of radish flavoured building blocks to get him motivated in the slightest. 

I guess I can consider myself the same.  I try to keep a positive attitude most of the time (even though sometimes it can be quite difficult to do).  And, I've been told on a couple of occasions that I could tone down my personality because I can be slightly goofy and crazy.  Anyone who I work with can probably attest to that fact alone.

But Wembley also has a personality trait that I also seem to share with him.  And I suppose it can be a bad trait to have.

We both suffer from "people pleasing disease".  In that, we try to find a way to please everyone and make everyone happy - even though in a lot of cases, it is an impossible dream.

Though in Wembley's case, I think he did a little bit better than I did in that regard.  By the end of each half hour episode of Fraggle Rock, any problems that Wembley may have had were resolved and everyone got along again.

But in my case, I find it a bit difficult.  I hate to describe myself as being insecure with myself, but I won't lie to you.  There are some days in which I feel incredibly insecure with myself.  I probably shouldn't feel this way.  After all, the one place where I felt the most uncomfortable, I've been away from for fourteen years now.  But sometimes I still doubt myself.  Am I the family member that people can be proud of?  Are people really my friends, or are they just using me?  Am I really doing a good job at work, or are those just lines people tell me in order to keep me there?  Is this blog really as much of a success as I hope it is?

All of these questions I've asked myself at some time.  Sometimes, more than once.  Sometimes every day over a month long period.  I wish I didn't feel this way, but admittedly, it's not that easy to find the on/off switch.

But one thing I can count on is that over time, I do find that switch, and I go on with life as planned.  That's all we really can do.

Just like my buddy Wembley did for four years on Fraggle Rock.

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