SDCC Story and No Knees on Muppets

Monday, July 25, 2005

Comic-Con story, real quick. Some guy comes up to our booth wearing black jeans, a black shirt and this wizard robe. He’s completely unresponsive to everything I’m saying, not even looking at me, as he uses his right hand to flip through Western Tales of Terror (his left hand stays hidden beneath his robe the entire time). After being awkwardly silent for five minutes, he looks at me and says, “I don’t like the art” and begins to walk away. I turn to Josh and say, “Hey, Josh, the Level 3 Wizard doesn’t like the art in Western Tales.” I always find it funny when someone in a costume comes up to the booth. At Mid-Ohio we had a Storm Trooper inquiring about Elk’s Run, one of my favorite con moments of all time.

So weird - it's been almost 6 months since I've been doing this site and last night I completly forgot to do my story or even plan for it. If it feels rushed I apologize, tomorrow's will be super bang-up.


In sophomore year of college we had a kid on our floor named Eric. Eric had several things going for him that made him the butt of our jokes.

For starters, he walked like he had no knees. If you try to walk without bending your knees, you’ll notice that it takes a lot of effort. Since Eric always walked this way, and it is unfathomable to believe that this was a conscious decision, we decided that he obviously has no knees. So, one of his many nicknames became No-Knees, logically.

The second target was his laugh. He looked like a Muppet when he laughed. When Eric found something funny, he would first open his mouth wide and scrunch his face, hold it there for a second. His head would then violently thrust around, his face still frozen in a gaping grimus, with no sound coming out. So, another one of his nicknames became Muppet.

And whereas there were additional humorous, minor traits that went along with Eric, the one that endeared the most to the pranksters and jokers within us was that Eric was absolutely clueless and never realized that we were making fun of him. Even when we were doing it right in front of his face.

The realization came when we were sitting in the lobby one day and Nico comes running over, half smiling, all excitement.

“Eric, man, you like reggae?”

“Uh…a little.”

“You gotta hear this.”

We all go into Nico’s room and he’s playing this Bob Marley derivative of some sort. It’s an ok song and Nico is sort of bouncing to it, smiling, obviously hiding something. The song is called “No Need”, it turns out, and when the chorus picks up Nico starts singing:

I have, no knees, to rely on.
I have, no knees, to walk with.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no knees…

His parody version of the song was being sung loud and clear as day. Everyone on the room, except for Eric, is laughing. Eric is just sort of bouncing his head and smiling in approval of that song. And at that moment, we realized Nico struck gold.

Max and I were sitting in the lounge one night, studying with a couple of other people, when Eric comes over. Instantly Max begins to talk about Muppets. He’s telling us how funny he finds Muppets, especially their laughs, and he imitates a Muppet’s laugh, looking exactly like Eric’s laugh. We all start to laugh, including Eric – who does the same exact laugh Max just did.

The repeat of the laugh sends us into a fury of uncontrollable laughter which feeds Eric’s laughing which in turn feeds our laughing. In between laughing fits we press on, saying how Muppets walk like they have no knees and continuously imitating the Muppet laugh. We must have done this for an hour, Eric present and laughing the whole time, and apparently never catching on.

From that moment on, every time Eric was present the conversation switched to Muppets and No Knees and he laughed along with the rest of us.

The following year we learned that the new freshman on the floor just didn’t get it and started calling Eric “No Knees” to his face, effectively killing all of the jokes potential.


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