Ok, well technically Polkaroo has simply ceased to exist. My Polkaroo, that is.
For those of you who aren’t in the know, Polkaroo was a character from Polka Dot Door, a Canadian TV show that ran from 1971-1993. As you can clearly see from the picture above, he was a cross between a kangaroo and a polka dot… wearing… thing.
Polka Dot Door also featured memorable characters such as Marigold, Bear, Humpty and Dumpty, but it really was Polkaroo who stole the show. Polkaroo was an elusive character. He only ever showed up when the male host had left the room – prompting him to cry “Polkaroo was here? I missed him again?” without fail upon his return. Children across Ontario would scream “You fool! Why did you leave to run that errand? Didn’t you know Polkaroo was on his way?”
The male host was played by a variety of different actors over the years and while the cast often changed, one thing remained the same: Polkaroo’s schedule. He’d show up all late, using only charades and the one word he knew to communicate to the female host.
“What’s that Polkaroo? You want to go fishing?”
“PolkarOO!” *waves hands in flapping motion
“Oh, not fishing then? Swimming?”
You get the idea.
Over the years, my friends and I have often used the word Polkaroo to describe a mysterious person – someone others assure you does actually exist, but that you’ve never seen with your own two eyes. In university, it was Lisa’s class crush. She swore he was there. They shared notes, walked home from class together and had a blossoming love connection that only poli-sci 101 could nurture. She wanted so badly for me to meet him – to casually run into him on campus or “accidentally” bump into him at the pub, but it never happened. We even went as far as having me drive her to class and pick her up in the hopes of catching a glimpse of this mystery man, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
As time went on, I forgot about my Polkaroo. Then I got a new one.
Kate and I became friends in college – we had both graduated university and were adding to our degrees with post-graduate studies in communications and public relations at Centennial College. We became fast friends and had a great time making each other laugh throughout the school day. Occasionally she’d mention her friend Ashlee – a friend from her university days – who she swore was just like me.
“You’d get along so well,” Kate would say. “You really have to meet.”
So after months of Kate comparing me to her friend, we decided to take the plunge and become friends – Facebook friends, that is. We had grand plans for fun nights out on the town with the three of us, but they just fell through time and time again.
Fast forward four years. Kate and I are still in touch and Ashlee and I are still Facebook friends. As it turns out, Ashlee also knows quite a few people in my life – including (but not limited to) my high school friends, university friends and my brother. Small world, right? But here’s the thing – we had still never met. She was my new Polkaroo – showing up to weddings and parties I wasn’t at, front and centre in pictures with my besties and everything.
Last week though, that all changed. I was about to come face to face with my Polkaroo.
It all started on Facebook. I saw that my bestie’s status mentioned that she was going to a wedding on the weekend. I was also going to a wedding on the weekend. WE WERE GOING TO THE SAME WEDDING! The messages that followed the initial revelation were just as hilarious as you’d expect from two peas in a pod:
“I seriously can’t stop laughing right now… people are probably like WTF? How come you’re fb friends and you’ve never met? LOL”
“I know!!! And that we’re so excited to meet….like we’ve been long lost sisters or something! Oh my God, this is going to be hilarious. you are getting the hug of a lifetime! And I’ve creeped you enough times to recognize you in real life!”
We could barely contain our excitement. Finally, no more Polkaroo! And the meeting was just as magical as we had imagined. Although we didn’t exactly slo-mo run into each other’s open arms to the tune from Chariots of Fire, I did block her path as she dashed to the ladies’ room and lunged at her. Like I said: magical.
And it turns out we really do get along. It would have been a pretty epic disaster to find out, after all this time, I didn’t like my Polkaroo and she didn’t like me. As far as I can tell though, my friend and I are still besties 🙂
PS Congrats to Amy and Brett! It was a lovely wedding.
Love From Sarah