My Felty Doppelganger

From left, Ellen and Mike.

My wife, Ellen, describes our relationship as very similar to Bert and Ernie’s. And she’s absolutely right.

I’m Bert. While I have never considered collecting bottlecaps or becoming a pigeon fancier, I do have a rather large collection of Nixon political buttons and own two pet rats. Like Bert, I am also a fussbudget who likes things to be in their proper place.

Another similarity: Bert is the kind of guy who, without Ernie by his side, would live the life of a hermit, emerging from his house only to buy food and confiscate the Frisbees that accidentally land on his lawn. His death would be noticed only after the neighbors started to complain about the smell. Without Ellen, I could see myself moving in this direction. I wouldn’t necessarily be happy about it, but is seems like something I might do if left to my own devices.

Ellen is Ernie. She’s disorganized, peppy, sociable, friendly, and has an easy laugh. Also, she, like her Muppet alter ego, takes giddy delight in getting her Bert’s goat.

Look! Bert even likes goats! If Bert was real, he and I would be best friends!

But when night falls, things change. After the lights are turned off and the house becomes quiet, Ellen and I experience a sort of role reversal. Night is when the silly ideas start to fill my brain and I, like Ernie, have an insatiable desire to share.

“Ellen,” I whisper. “Are you asleep?”

“Mm,” she replies into her pillow.

“I just made up parody lyrics to the song ‘The Candy Man.’ The song from the Willy Wonka movie. The lousy one with Gene Wilder.”


“The Pickle Man.”

“Stop right there!”

But I have a song in my heart, so I sing: “Who can make the sun shiiiine, with cucumbers and briiiiine…”

Or I might want to discuss why Act II of The Music Man isn’t nearly as good as Act I. Or quote extensively from Wallace and Gromit. Or think up some titles for the most inappropriate children’s book ever. (My personal favorite: The Sluttiest Mennonite.)

Ellen, like Bert, is less than thrilled by all of this.

“I will kill you,” she says.

From left, Mike and Ellen.

I also come up with ideas that I can use, too. Good ones. My best ones. I share those, too.

I don’t mean to be a pest, it’s just when I lie there in the dark, my mind becomes so very fertile. This is why I love quiet moments. This is why, during the day, I become Bert the loner. And it is also why, at night, I come dangerously close to becoming Ernie the murder victim.

So! Let’s open up the comments section. Here’s a prompt: Which Muppet is your alter ego?

52 Replies to “My Felty Doppelganger”

  1. Yay, the Muppet post!! I have to say I feel a kindred connection with Oscar the Grouch.

    My husband is very Bert-like most of the time too, except when he suddenly morphs into Ernie, which makes me even more grouchy.

    Did you ever finish those Pickle Man lyrics? Because I would enjoy hearing them.

    1. I’ve always had a soft spot for Oscar. This is especially true now that I am a property owner – for now I can fulfill my lifelong dream of telling neighborhood kids to get off of my lawn.

      Yes, there are more verses to “The Pickle Man. ” Many, many more. In fact, the song is about as long as a Wagnerian opera – and every word of it is too idiotic to share. Ellen will back me up on this.

  2. I’d love to be Rowlf or Floyd, but I’m afraid I’m mostly Beaker . . .

    But I asked my five-year old which Muppet she thought I would be (yes, I’m fearless), and she immediately said, “Miss Piggy.”

    “Oh,” I said, thinking guilty thoughts about the bowl of ice cream I’d had for dessert and the several times I’d raised my voice today. “Um, why, honey?”

    “Because you’re both cute!”


    1. Glad you sought an explanation for that Miss Piggy comment. That could’ve created a whole new set of mother/daughter issues at some point down the line.

      Rowlf is wonderful. He is probably my favorite Muppet and is definitely the Muppet version of the dog I hope to one day own.

  3. THE LOUSY ONE WITH GENE WILDER???!!! Bite your tongue!!!! LOL

    Seriously, though, I make up parodies all the time. Yet no one ever appreciates them. Maybe we could swap parody critiques.

  4. In the classroom in which I’ve worked the most, music is a big part of the curriculum. We’ve often switched the words of favorite songs, incorporating the kids’ names into the songs to make it fun for them.

    As for Muppet dopplegangers, my hubby & I sound very much like you’ve described you and your wife, with me being Ernie most of the time. When I get really excited, I might morph into Beaker and my voice will get really high! 🙂

  5. Mike’s post today was brought to you by the letters B and E and the number 2.

    I think I might be Kermit – puts up with a lot, pretty even tempered, holds things together (Boy, I’m making myself sound really fun aren’t I!).

    1. Kermit is the lone sane Muppet in an otherwise insane world. I was always a big fan.

      I also admire that amphibian’s journalism skills. Sesame Street News is, in my view, the only media outlet that can honestly describe itself as being fair and balanced.

  6. That paints such a funny picture! You’ll have to start taking a dictophone to bed with you.

    My brother and sister would probably say I’m gonzo. I’m saying nothing.

    1. Just call him Snuffy, then. He’s a wonderful fellow – especially now that he’s finally proven to everyone on SS that he is NOT imaginary.

      And, by the way, I plan to discuss Snuffy’s vexing early behavior in a future post.

  7. I love this post! You and your wife are so cute, and you made it relate-able to kids with the muppets reference. I took a quiz and it seems I’m most like Count Von Count.

  8. Wow. What a fun post! I always loved Ernie. Bert was a bit of a buzzkill… but like you said, I guess we all play Bert or Ernie at one time or another. As for Muppets, I think I’d be Animal, maybe? He has more energy than I do, but he doesn’t waste his time doing stuff he doesn’t want to do!

  9. This was fun to read! Thanks for sharing 🙂 The muppets were the highlight of my evenings as a youngster. If you asked my kids they would probably say the Swedish Chef, random outburst of nonsense, or so they think, come out of my mouth when they challenge me. In my saner and snarky moments – one of the old men in the balcony…wish I could remember their names, they always cracked me up 🙂

  10. I love this post. My two year old is obsessed with Burt and Ernie (and secretly, I love to have the excuse to watch it again). I don’t know who my muppet would be. I think I’m like that claymation elf in Frosty the Snowman that doesn’t quite fit in because he wants to be a dentist. Except in reverse, because I’m a lawyer that wants to be a writer. LOL

    1. The elf you speak of is named Hermie and he was in the Rankin/Bass production of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Frosty was also Rankin/Bass but was drawn animation.

      There was a snowman in Rudolph, too, but he was of the “abominable” variety.

      In short, I am an animation geek. 🙂

  11. The Muppet I’m the most like is Fozzi Bear. It might be the terrible puns, or the rubber chicken. My family finds them unbearable, and will barely stay in the room when I’m baring my words.
    Case in point.

  12. Never mind the favourite muppet question…I could not leave this post without commenting…you and your wife would be the best dinner party guest, methinks. Adorable. (And with some catchy tunes to boot!)

  13. My husband is guilty of the “hey, I see you are snoring and drooling over there, but can I tell you about this thing at work?” ARGH!
    I had to make a journey to Sesame Place yesterday for research. I’ve decided I’m like the new guy Murray. He likes to try new things, gets super excited about small things, and busts a sweet rap.

  14. That’s a lovely post! Even though i didn’t watch the Muppet show as a kid (i wasn’t popular in Greece back then) i understand you and your wife have a unique relation! 🙂
    Hmmmmmmmmm who would i be….? Wasn’t the cookie monster in the Muppet show??? Cause that is definitely me! 😀

  15. On any given day, I am Bert, Ernie, Oscar, Kermit, Test Tube, the Swedish Chef, Miss Piggie, and, occasionally, Animal, all at different times. And then there are the two old codgers in the balcony. I do like getting in the wise cracks and puns whenever possible. I guess I could be my own muppet show, but I’m not nearly as cute as all those guys.

  16. This was hilarious! I’m totally Bert. It takes me forever to warm up to people, and once I do have my moments of pure insanity. But most of the time, I’m content to be on my own ruminating or reading or just doing my own thing. There’s nothing I like more than just being in the same room as my family or friends. I don’t actually have to talk to them. There’s something satisfying about seeking quiet in companionship.

  17. Adorable post (although you probably don’t like to be in the ‘adorabale’ category). I more like Bert, although the Ernie side of me pops out more often than expected. I think the older I get, the more willing I am to be goofy and funny around people. I don’t seem to care as much that they think I’m a bit weird. :+) Thanks, fun post (and yes, still adorable).

      1. Oh my gosh, I did???? (win the book?) YIPPEE!!! I didn’t know it. Remind me how to get back on David’s blog so I can see that. Yay, I never win anything.

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