The Union - October 18th, 2015
(Nevada City, CA) Over the last month, an unprecedented number of aging fraggles have converged again upon Calanan Park at the corner of Broad Street and Union in Nevada City. “We're just reclaiming lost territory,” admitted Thor Stowe of North San Juan. Many of these so-called and self-proclaimed fraggles, teens of the 1990s who would dye their hair the colors of the Muppet characters from Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock, now have professional degrees and semi-successful regional bands, yet duty has called them to the cause for aimless loitering.
“We didn't appreciate the transplant [marijuana] trimmers coming in and taking our role, but pretty much being dumb-asses about it,” said Matt Blanc of Nevada City. “It's a local culture that we have pride in, and we're taking it back!”
Officer Rodriguez of the Nevada City Police Department concurs. “It's good to get these thirty-somethings off Commercial Street, where they just impede and intimidate the elderly and young families with innocent children, and put them back in Calanan Park where they belong, just like it's twenty years ago.”
“It's been great for business!” exclaimed an ecstatic Jenny White, proprietor of a trinket store on Broad Street. “People as far as the Bay [Area] will come on the weekends to observe our native degenerate culture. They're like zoo animals!” She says this last sentence with affection, peppered with a bit of lust. One of the fraggles, wearing a NoFX t-shirt, dangling wallet chain, and baggy black jeans with metal belt-loops strangely going down the sides of each leg, begins to play erotically with the Monitor water cannon. “Check out the size of his cock,” screeches a female fraggle with a powdered face, as the male punk fraggle utilizes the water cannon as a phallic symbol for his virility. A crowd of Asian onlookers cheer and snap photos of the event, many taking selfies with the fraggle display in the background.
This is a far cry from the paranoid fear of fraggles that local businesses and upstanding citizens exhibited during the mid 90s. “Maybe we were wrong,” said Roger Winthrop of the now-defunct Broad Street Lighting, his gray beard shimmering under the quaint street lights. “Maybe they could have saved my business.” But instead of embracing the unique culture that the fraggles brought to downtown Nevada City, local business owners and community organizations fought for the removal of fraggles from all public display in Nevada City.
On June 23rd, 1998, the infestation was finally eradicated. The end of an era brought about the demise of a generation. “That was a sad day for all of us. That's when Nevada City kids started wearing Tapout shirts and listening to pop-punk. Like a bunch of Colfax tools!” raged a passionate Shawna-Lee Jenkins who recently relocated to Lake Wildwood. “When I removed the pale powder from my face for the last time, you can bet there were tears. But they were tears of rage.”
But on this triumphant day 17 years later, local fraggles and goths have converged upon Calanan Park once again. A boom-box blares a mix-tape comprised of Skinny Puppy, Cocteau Twins, The Cranberries and various other alternative rock bands. A group of 35 year-old men with self-cut hair, wearing frayed brown polyester pants and 311 t-shirts, form a hackey-sack circle. "You can always tell the poser fraggles," jibes an angry looking man. "They wear Dave Mathews Band t-shirts." The others in the circle laugh with a superior scoffing while dribbling the bean-bag hackey-sack with untied retro sneakers and indoor soccer shoes.
In 2015, Shawna-Lee Jenkins has been vindicated. The white powder base has been reapplied. She is wearing a self-made iron-on t-shirt design depicting a large photo of her retired Nevada Union High art teacher as he looked in 1996, captioned “Mr. Bastard.” She holds both middle fingers high over her head as she leers at a U.S. Forest Service truck making its way onto the on-ramp for Highway 49, not noticing the irony that the driver is younger than her. A group of blonde girls from Sacramento laugh as they take pictures of the event, posting them to their respective Instagram accounts.