When I was in middle and high school, my best friend Jason and I were inseparable, as best friends will be. Both headed towards careers in engineering, we would design and build concept airplanes out of balsa wood after track practice (we were both pole vaulters in high school), or just ride bikes together, or go to the park with a heavily-modified styrafoam airplane, built from a kit but with added accesories such as a second wing, lights, or even magnetic suspension. You know, the things kids did before Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter rotted their brains and sapped their internal creativity.
Well, somewhere along the way we invented the word flurgin, which was loosely based on the ramblings of the muppet the Sweedish Chef. Turns out flurgin does have a few Urban Dictionary definitions, but our word pre-dates Urban Dictionary. It pre-dates the Internet…
Whyyyyyyy??????? Why did the Sweedish Chef Muppet take such a central role in our lives? Why did the word flurgin pop out of this mental construct. Why? Perhaps psychologists would be able to weigh in on this, but for some reason the antics of the Sweedish Chef (who isn’t actually speaking Sweedish) resonated with us. After all, he’s just being himself, exploring his world the best/only way he knows how, and is perfectly happy to do so with or without anyone’s permission or approval. He isn’t self-conscious about his language, he isn’t worried that his creations have no chance of being edible or that every episode he makes a complete mess of his kitchen.
Maybe that’s why we identified with him; the subtle lesson to viewers that it’s ok to be different from those around you, and to forge ahead with solutions that others call “wrong” or “misguided”. How dare you challenge the accepted norm, the status quo.
Well, no progress was ever made adhering to the status quo.