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Friday, July 19, 2013

My Journey As A Muppet Fan Part IX: C is for Coma by Nicholas Napoli

My Journey As A Muppet Fan Part IX:
C is for Coma
 I couldn’t believe how clear my vision had become and as I looked around I found the path I was meant to follow. I began walking down along the pathway towards whatever was waiting for me at the other end. I had never felt so relaxed in my entire life and therefor I was in no rush to get to the end. I peacefully continued walking down my own yellow brick road as all my lives flashed before my eyes and funny thing is even my Muppet memories had joined me on this trip. The last memory I remember is having the shit beaten out of me by Kermit but after that my memories ended as I had reached the end of my journey. It’s funny how one misses those who have passed away years earlier who mean so much to us and when you finally reunite all you can think about is how much you miss those who you have now left behind.

As I approached the end of my trail the pureness around me only got brighter and brighter until suddenly it was too much to handle and I was forced to close my eyes. When I reopened them I found myself in the big bed where my Mom and Stacey had been sleeping on as opposed to the sofa I had been sleeping on in the living room. I was awake yet very disoriented but still managed to make my way into the living room where I found both my Mom and sister crammed together on the sofa I had been sleeping on all this time. Why was I in their bed? What happened last night? Why was Kermit so mean to me? My Mom then saw I was awake and immediately jumped up from the sofa and in five seconds was standing in front of me with toast and juice. “Are you feeling better Nick?” asked my Mom and I had no idea what she was talking about. My Mom soon filled me in on what had happened to me the night before. Apparently as I passed out on the street my sister Stacey was able to hail a taxi which picked us up and as it drove us to hospital I told the driver to take us to our apartment instead. I have no recollection of that at all and once we arrived home I went straight towards the big bed, took off my shoes and shirt and dived into bed. My poor Mom stayed by my side making sure I was breathing until she felt confident enough to go to sleep herself. 

These damn “inner-seizures” were beginning to ruin my life and each time they were becoming more and more frequent. I was really glad at this point that I had not returned back to my Rock yet because if I had I would have been stuck with no options as I had already gone over them all and none of them worked. Sadly we were heading back to our Rock the next day and I had still not found a cure on the bright side today I was going to Pinewood Studios!

A car was coming to pick us up at Cavendish Square ready to drive me to fulfil another of my life long dreams. I had still not met Dave Goelz, David Rudman, Peter Linz and most of the Muppets and today all that would be crossed off my bucket list finally completing them all. As we waited for the car to arrive all I could think about was how this stupid illness was ruining my life. Here I was on my way to the actual set for the new Muppet movie and instead of being happy I was nervous with worry that my “seizures” were becoming as common as going to the toilet and I find that disgusting. Soon I began to worry even more when the car didn’t appear to be coming and was convinced that we were waiting at the wrong location. The three of us were standing outside a beautiful old-style building and worried that we might be waiting in the wrong place I went inside to ask if anyone could confirm where we were. The irony behind all this was the fact that I had unknowingly walked into a clinic and was about to cross paths with an old friend.

Once inside the clinic I looked around and found the receptionist busy on the phone but soon something else caught my attention. On the counter there were pamphlets explaining what this clinic was all about. Upper Cervical Care was something I had heard about before but honestly had no idea what it was all about and even after reading the pamphlet I still didn’t quite understand it. After reading it over if I’m totally honest it seemed like it was something that might help me and at the same time I didn’t really see myself with many other options. At the exact moment I walked over to the receptionist to ask for more information the doctor’s office door opens behind me and out steps my Thai-food-Muppet-buddy Heidi. I couldn’t believe the coincidence, I thought Gibraltar was small but here I was in London almost a year later bumping into the same Muppet Fan who had joined me as I made a fool of myself in front of Martin Baker at Rasa Sayang.   I couldn’t believe Heidi had just visited the same doctor I had coincidentally stumbled upon thanks to the Muppets. After catching up with Heidi on the latest Muppet news I asked her if this doctor was any good to which she replied “I sure hope she is”. This is where it all became too much of a coincidence for me to ignore. The woman I had met the same day I had gone to meet the Muppets, the woman I had met only twenty-four hours after I had my great London “seizure”, the woman who witnessed my Fai food dinner fashion show disaster was actually the doctor! I bet you didn’t see that twist coming did you? I explained my situation to Heidi… I mean Dr Grant and for the first time a doctor actually listened to me. Unfortunately this was my last day in England so making an appointment would not be easy fortunately Dr Grant was able to find a free spot for me that very day. Did I want the appointment? Of course I did but at the same time was I willing to miss the Muppets for it? This was the hardest decision of my life and unfortunately for you guys I chose my health. Imagine how sick I must have felt when I was willing to pass up a visit to the actual set of Muppets Most Wanted over a Doctor’s appointment which honestly might not even work.

My Mom and Stacey were so disappointed that we weren’t going to Pinewood Studios but at the same time they understood that the main reason we had come to London was for me to get better… or was it the other way around?  The three of us stayed near Cavendish Square had some lunch and then went for my appointment which I had chosen over The Muppets… it better be worth it. This time when I came across Dr Grant I didn’t see her as my Muppet friend I saw her as the doctor I hoped would finally be able to cure me. Dr Grant had a few patients before me and asked us to have a seat in the waiting room where little did I know I was walking into one of the most inspirational rooms I had walked into in a very long time.

There was an elderly lady, a woman, a young man and a married couple and they all had their stories to share and they all shared them with such enthusiasm that it gave me hope for myself. The woman had apparently suffered a minor stroke when she was younger and had spent ten years of her life crippled in bed. Thanks to Upper Cervical Care she was now doing what she loved doing as a young girl, she was dancing again. The woman was then called up next and showed off how well she was feeling by dancing into Dr Grant’s office. I felt so inspired at that moment, I was so happy and then the rest of them told me their story. I was very interested in the young man’s story as he looked roughly my age and was intrigued to know why he was here. Like me he came across Upper Cervical Care after being fed up with his doctors for the past year telling him he had an illness he knew he didn’t have. The young man just as the woman had done moments before could not stop praising Dr Grant for what she accomplishes with immediate results. I was so eager to try this but like you guys I still didn’t believe with all my heart that it would work because I hadn’t experienced it this was simply what I had been told. Until you don’t go through an experience yourself anything and everything anyone can tell you means nothing to you until you finally go through it yourself. Eventually it was my turn and we were going to find out what was wrong with my brain… I hope it works.

Dr Grant was about to perform X-Rays on my head when all of a sudden (you can probably guess by now what’s going to happen) I began having a “seizure”. I fell to the floor and Dr Grant quickly rested my head on my coat and lifted my legs. Slowly the weird sensation past but I was left with no energy and felt so foolish lying on Dr Grants wooden floor. Next thing I know Dr Grant is sitting on the floor next to me and we’re discussing all our favourite Pepe moments. Soon I got so caught up in our conversation that for the first time after having one of my episodes I was still able to continue with my day without having to go to sleep. Eventually we got my brain scanned and Dr Grant got to work. I left that room knowing exactly what all the patients before me meant when they said you felt the results immediately. I was still not completely fixed but compared to spending a year feeling like shit, going in and out of hospital and feeling so weak I was much better and I knew it. That was now all in the past because right there and then I knew that I was back and stronger than ever.

Immediately I felt I had a clearer mind, my energy was back, my focus was in my control again. I had seriously even grown as I was now standing up straight, tall and proud and best part was I knew all this within the first minute. Was I right or was I wrong? Let’s just say that since then I have not had any more “seizures”…. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

I still have to go back every now and again just as you would do with a dentist, if you don’t  take care of your teeth eventually they’ll wear out. If you go to the dentist thinking your teeth are important just remember your body is far more important. That day my Muppet Fandom came full circle, my obsession with the Muppets had always been for a specific reason and today that journey was over. Within the last year I had accomplished my dream of meeting some of the Muppets and most of the Muppeteers which in a way allowed me to move on from the Muppets. I had finally achieved my dream as a Muppet fan and now that this was all over my Muppet journey could come to an end and with a very important conclusion.

Remember I said four people helped save my life? Well it all started with a man named Jim Henson. Jim Henson created the Muppets who continued living well after their creator was gone and never would I have imagined that the creation of The Muppets would save my life. The second person in this chain of events were my parents without my Dad I never would have become the obsessed Muppet Fan that I became. I know I was born to be a Muppet Fan but thanks to my Dad getting drunk one night and bringing home a Muppet Babies video mistaking them for The Ninja Turtles I became a fan that much earlier in life. Even though I was a Muppet Fan as young as the age of four I still had no idea what was available in the Muppet library but thanks to my Mom by age seven I had seen almost everything… except for The Muppet Show. I think had I not become a fan of The Muppets at the age of four I might not have been as obsessed as I am with them today. This obsession with the Muppets led me to becoming a huge fan of the third person who saved my life… The Muppeteers. Thanks to the wonderful people hiding beneath the Muppets I was finally able to live my dream of actually meeting The Muppets!

The cycle had taken years to come full circle but this mad obsession with the Muppets led to one thing, one person, the Muppets had led me to Heidi. The Muppets had taken me on a crazy journey that ended at Dr Grant’s office where I was given a second chance at life all thanks to the Muppets. WOW! That was deep, I need a cigarette. I walked out of Dr Grant’s clinic knowing I was finally able to properly enjoy London for the first time ever like your average tourist and that’s exactly what I did. Mom, Stacey and I had a great last day in London. We stopped a tree from falling on top of a family of squirrels…

I finally managed to take my picture at a place I regret having not taken one the first time around…

Mom and Stacey met royalty as they shopped around at Hammleys

I managed to add some extra merchandise for my ever growing collection

And at the end of the day feeling so healthy I found the confidence to make new friends…
I was so happy to be fixed again after being broken for so long, just like meeting The Muppets I never thought this day would actually come but here I was one healthy son of a Muppet. I couldn’t stop dwelling on the fact that I had passed up on a chance to meet the rest of my idols even if I did cheat death because of it but still it was a major bummer. I could have joked around with Fozzie, shot myself out of a canon with Gonzo, cooked with The Swedish Chef, sang with The Electric Mayhem and even got some fashion tips from Miss Piggy but I had thrown it all away in the hopes of staying alive.

Luckily I would soon be returning back to London for a check-up with Dr Grant and along the way my last Muppet adventure. Best part of it all is that you know what they say “third times a charm” so hopefully this time around I could meet the Muppets without making a fool of myself… again. I had met Bill Barretta, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson and Matt Vogel. I was so excited to return back in a few weeks but nervous that they would finish filming and leave before I arrived and luckily that was not the case. My Muppet journey might have come full circle but I had yet to meet Dave Goelz, David Rudman and Peter Linz yet I was in for a bigger surprise when I returned. Next time not only would meet all my old Muppeteer friends but I was going to be making new ones too.
My journey might have come to an end but my obsession was stronger than ever and I still needed to sneak my way into Pinewood Studios when I returned but first I had something else I needed to do. I now felt strong enough the climb up the Rock of Gibraltar and that’s exactly the first thing I did when I got home.

I’ve been a Muppet Fan since the very beginning.

And like the Muppets I’ll never change.


Hopefully I’ll be a Muppet Fan in my next life too.
- Nicholas Napoli
Thanking Nicholas so much for Part IX.
My Journey As A Muppet Fan Part X:
Life's Not Always A Happy Song

coming soon!


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