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Muppet Factory

The world is full of muppets. I’m one of them. In fact, everyone is at one time or another. People are always testing our limits, conjuring up get rich schemes, and generally abusing people’s intelligence by bullying them into submission, or not being reasonable.

No, we don’t live in a perfect society. Actually, far from it! Yes, we are encouraged to fit in to it and live the dream, but frankly believers often end up stretching the truth to influence others, stepping over the line to triumph and have the winning edge, commit crimes or money laundering, bribes, or corruption.


From the young age of five my older brother, on the first day of school, took me walking through the neighborhood and passing by shops on the way. On the second day I walked alone. Of course, in the 1960s in a London suburb there was less crime and generally it was safer to roam the streets.


However, throughout my boyhood education I got bullied a lot and consequently learned how to defend myself. From sixteen years on I was riding a moped and then motorcycle around town and in other counties, and countries. My first five years career path was spent in the capital. These experiences taught me to be street wise, or at least I thought so.


Every now and then we are tested. We have to use our intuition to avoid getting into a jam, or making mistakes. As we age, we become more experienced from knowledge and alertness. I could deal with telephone marketing and sales people, petty cons like being pickpocketed, disagreements that led to conflict, or when someone was trying to take advantage in some way.

Nevertheless, it can be hard to tell when someone is taking advantage of you, especially since it's hard to judge other people's intent. This is especially true if you are young, if you are an abuse survivor, or if you have a disability that affects your social judgment. If you suspect that something is wrong in a relationship, then something is probably wrong.


My Muppet factory experience came later in life when I was alone at home in bed asleep, and was woken up from the chime of a telephone call. The assailants tricked me with a woman’s voice that sounded as though it was my daughter, who I thought was clubbing. They spun a complete con which threw me off track and ended up in a seven-hour panicky adrenalin rush and costing me over $1,000 dollars.


Never drop your guard. Be cautious while defensive just in case some smart aleck tries to pull the wool over your eyes.


Have a great day!

Prof. Carl Boniface


Vocabulary builder:

Roam (v) = wander, travel, journey, ramble, meander, (ant) settle

Street wise (adj) = another term for street-smart. "I wasn't streetwise enough to figure out how to get through the park without incident." Or reflective of modern urban life, especially that of urban youth. "Streetwise fashion". Able to deal successfully with dangerous or difficult situations in big towns or cities where there is a lot of crime.

Getting into a jam (idiom) = in trouble or in a difficult situation. "Just a Minute" is the most common definition for JAM on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. JAM. Definition: Just a Minute.

Alertness (n) = attentiveness, awareness, preparedness, vigilance, readiness, (ant) inattentiveness

Con (v) = persuade (someone) to do or believe something, typically by use of a deception. "I conned him into giving me your home number." A con (n) = an instance of deceiving or tricking someone. "He is a con artist."

Chime (n) = ring, ding, sound, musical sound, clang

Panicky (adj) = frightened, scared, alarmed, fearful, anxious, unnerved, edgy. (ant) calm, cool

Drop your guard (idiom) = abandon one's habitual defensive or protective stance. "Companies cannot afford to drop their guard when it comes to protecting their information"

Smart aleck (n) = (derogatory/informal) a person who is irritating because they behave as if they know everything. "I'm sick of all these smart alecks from the big city running the show."

Pull the wool over your eyes (idiom) = deceive someone by telling untruths. To trick or delude, cheat, mislead


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