I’m Music Man Stan, and Daniel Tiger Isn’t Who You Think He Is (2024)

I’m Music Man Stan, and Daniel Tiger Isn’t Who You Think He Is (1)

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I’m Music Man Stan, and Daniel Tiger Isn’t Who You Think He Is (2)

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency Daily humor almost every day since 1998. Daily humor almost every day since 1998.

ILLUSTORIA MAGAZINE

February 22, 2022

by LauraWeissSmith

Music Man Stan, here, you may know me as the owner of the Neighborhood Music Shop in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. But you know what? I’m a whole lot more than that. I’m a man… with thoughts, feelings, and uncorroborated conspiracy theories.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to run a music store in a global pandemic? The last thing Katarina Kitty Kat’s mom wants is to hand her daughter a pair of drumsticks when she’s walking into her fourteenth Zoom call in the spare bedroom next door. Let’s be honest, we all know she shoved fifteen years of cat toys into that closet behind her. Heaven help us if the latch fails.

You know who else heaven should help? Teachers. Teacher Harriet and I started a pandemic support group last year and you know what? It’s not helping. Every time I tell Harriet how I feel, she sings me a song about breathing. I love her to death—and heaven knows she’s been through a lot this year—but I’m a grown man. Plus, I play the saxophone. So I know how to breathe.

But I digress. I’m here to tell you important news that very well may shift the power dynamics in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Are you sitting down? Good. Here it goes: Daniel Tiger isn’t who you think he is.

Little Dan Dan left a poorly drawn map of his side of the neighborhood at my music shop (without buying anything, I might add), and guess what? DANIEL TIGER LIVES ON A GODDAMN BEACH. He can walk out his back door directly into a sun-drenched paradise, obtaining instant, luxurious privacy when the other citizens of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe have to share a tree. And if he doesn’t like the sand texture that day, you know where he can go? To hell. Just kidding. Granpère’s house, because not only does Granpère have beachfront property, but he has a boat as well. That he apparently sleeps in? Even though his house is right there? Anyway, my point is, despite a single income the Tiger family is ROLLING IN IT. And yes, for those about to point it out, I do live in a massive museum/carousel, but I obtained my property completely legally and fairly: by my wife being royalty.

Everyone in the Neighborhood has their own theory about how the Tigers arrived at such everyday luxury. Why do you think Dad Tiger can follow his Tigertastic dream of that niche coo-coo clock store that nobody’s been in except close friends and family? Have you seen the hours? Open for two hours on a Sunday? If that doesn’t scream “front,” butter my butt, call me a biscuit, and serve me up with some veggie spaghetti. Really, Tigers, you expect us to believe you’re vegetarians? You’re not fooling anyone into thinking you’re harmless, everyone knows you’re at the top of the food chain. But, I digress. I’m sure Dad is just really into clocks. You know, like drug lords are really into… laundry.

While I’ve got your attention, I do want to address one community concern. The Tiger family has a corner on public transportation. They always have. The Neighborhood Friendly Investigators found that the Tiger family called on TTS (The Trolley System) no fewer than six hundred and thirty-five times last year, with enviable, wildly anomalous curbside service. Can I tell you how many times I’ve stood on the street with a pile of instruments to deliver, only for Trolley to affably arrive two hours late ringing his bell like nothing happened? I can’t. Because it’s too many to count.

In sum, I implore you to take a closer look at the Tiger family. Why are their curtains made of tiger skin? “Faux fur” they say and yet nobody can tell me what happened to Grandmère. Their inexplicable influence over our Neighborhood can no longer be ignored. In a land teeming with anthropomorphic citizens, I encourage you to resist the desire to be sheeple and start asking hard questions about the Tiger family.

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I’m Music Man Stan, and Daniel Tiger Isn’t Who You Think He Is (2024)
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