Robert Rosolanko – Plob the Middle Child


What the hell is a plob? I’ve been asking myself that for years now. I even did a “Google” search but found nothing. Of course, Google did ask me if I was thinking of another term, perhaps “plum” or even “blob”. But nothing that matched up with plob. So unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly what one is. For the purposes of this story however, plob is me.

It all started innocently enough. One day my brothers Joe, Pat, Nick and I were sitting around looking for something to do. I’m going to assume that if we had nothing to do, it probably meant that it was after dinner, and we couldn’t watch television (a privilege that I was assured every other child in the neighborhood had, but we were deprived of). I believe it was Joe who came up with the brilliant idea that we should organize how we made fun of each other. Brilliant! What an incredible concept! Even at a young age, my anal-retentive attributes were beginning to take form, and this idea appealed that side of my growing neurosis.

“We need to have names for each other, ones that rhyme” Joe stated. While this seems a bit complicated for a boy who was probably no older than 11, later stories will explain this fascination with show tunes and Broadway musicals. We all agreed and began to explore what our names should be. Our creativity flowed quickly, and we came up with these gems of genius:

“Moe” (for Joe)

“Fat” (for Pat)

“Pick” (for Nick, though that one could have gone in an entirely different direction, if you ask me)

Can you see where this is going? Plob was the moniker given to me. Soon after the names were given, the merrymaking commenced. “Hey Plob!” Joe and Pat berated upon me. “Yea, well you’re Moe!” I retorted. However, they would have none of that. “No, I don’t think so. You’re Plob! AH HA HA! Plob! Plob! Plob!”

I soon realized that I had been duped. I had unknowingly opened Pandora’s Box and released a name that would haunt my dreams and define most of my childhood: Plob was born.

In the years that followed, Plob was brought to most family occasions and holiday get-togethers. Like a wound whose scar will never disappear, Plob is now a part of me, a badge of courage so-to-speak. At times, it’s also like a rash that comes back when you least expect it. I can always tell when one of my brother’s relationships has gotten serious when the “significant other” knows the third youngest brother as simply, Plob.

Perhaps the ultimate tribute to my alter-ego was when someone (the perpetrator’s identity was never revealed) decided to immortalize Plob through art. What was the artist’s choice of expression? Watercolor? Sepia tones? Both good choices, but he chose to select chalk as the brush, and our driveway as his palette. And as any good artist knows, a great creation is a great creation, no matter where you steal it. In this case, the theft victim was Underdog.

Oh one day there was this Plob-Rob
He threw away a little frog
And then the frog threw away Plob-Rob
And then Plob-Rob turned into…UNDERPLOB!
UnderPlob! Speed of lightning, Strength of an Ant!

While I appreciated all of the obvious effort that went into this artistic expressionism, I knew at the time that Plob was more than just a passing fancy. It was to be a permanent part of my life. Some 25 years after its creation, Plob has taken on a life of its own. I’m seriously thinking about a licensing deal with Happy Meal toys and corporate sponsorships. I look forward to the day when my children and even my grandchildren will ask me with an inquisitive glow in their eyes:

Who the hell is Plob and how did you get such a stupid nickname?

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