Before You Leap

I just finished reading Kermit the Frog’s self-help book Before You Leap: A Frog’s-Eye View of Life’s Greatest Lessons. The book is somewhat autobiographical, as Kermit draws on his life experiences from tadpole to mature frog to offer advice to his readers. Good puns, bad puns, and nearly criminally bad puns abound, as you might expect from any Muppets production.

In this book I learned many new facts about Kermit. Here are a few of them:

1) Kermit’s last name is the Frog.

2) Kermit has 2,352 siblings (though he says “As with all frog families, the number of siblings is always approximate. We tadpoles tend to mix and mingle upon entering the swamp, making an accurate head-and-tail count almost impossible, except for tax purposes.”)

3) Kermit attended a public school where the mascot was the Phighting Amphibians; he earned an A in entomology.

4) I was shocked to learn Kermit was not really discovered by an agent in the swamp. Instead he left the swamp by bike to pursue opportunities in show business in Washington D.C.

5) Kermit decided from the beginning he was willing to work naked to make it in show business.

6) Fozzie Bear is Kermit’s best friend.

7) Kermit’s relationship with Miss Piggy is even more volatile than I thought. Throughout most of the book he seems genuinely afraid of her.

When Kermit delves into self-help he touches on subjects like: The seven dreams of highly effective amphibians, When bad things happen to good frogs, Don’t sweat the small bugs, and Finding your inner tadpole.

Some pearls of wisdom from the green guy:

On why it’s easy being mean: “Being difficult at times is part of what it means to be human–or amphibian, for that matter.”

On exercise and television: “. . . Most of what passes for exercise these days is boring, unproductive, and painful. Hey, if I want to be bored, unproductive, and in pain, I can sit around and watch reality TV.”

On finding love: “. . . As my friend Smokey Robinson sang, you better shop around. But watch out for heavily discounted items because all sales are final.”

On scheduling free time: “Why is it so important to find something to do with your free time?  Because if you don’t, someone else will.”

In a time when research deadlines and stress abounded it was good to bring a little levity into my life. I really need to watch Muppet Treasure Island again soon. . .


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