Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Fascinating Species of Sesame Street: Honkers and Dingers

Scientific Classification:

Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Hominidae Monstrum Sonus
(Subspecies: Honkus and Dingus, respectively)

Anatomy and Physiology:

Like most Sesame Street monsters, the Honkers and Dingers are bipedal, fur-covered primates with round noses.  Both communicate entirely through producing sounds emitted from non-vocal sources.  The Honkers, which are taller and more slender than the Dingers, possess an air-filled nasal cavity that can collapse in on itself when acted upon by an outside force.  Lacking nostrils, the Honkers expell the transfered air through their sinus system and out a pair of open horns that protrude from the top of their heads, resulting in a "honking" noise.  The nose of a Honker can quickly re-inflate, allowing for a high honks-per-second ratio.

A green Honker, known as Homer Honker, has a job working as a car horn.

The horns of the Honkers grow awith the animal.  Therefore, it is possible to determine the age of a Honker by the pitch of its honks (young Honkers produce a high pitch, old Honkers produce a low pitch).

A Honker hatchling learns to honk.
(Notice that, unlike other warm-blooded animals, Honkers hatch from eggs.)

Dingers, like their cousins, also emit unique sounds from their heads.  However, this is regulates solely by a bell-shaped horn, similar in function to a table-top bell (like one that would be found on a hotel service desk).  By pressing the clapper, the bell emits a "ding."  The nature of these bells are so similar to the metallic counterparts that there is a widely believed theory that these creatures were the inspiration for such devices and the earliest bells were actually fashioned from the skulls of Dingers.

The iconic Gold Dinger, safe from Dinger-Headhunters.


Sources indicate that most Honkers emigrated from the Land of Honk, but no human has ever set foot in this reported country.  It is unknown if Dingers live there as well.

Currently, Honkers and Dingers live in heavily populated, urban areas, perhaps to allow the sound of their extremities to blend in with the loudness of their environment.


The Honkers and Dingers express all emotions through their respective sounds, rapidly pressing them ewhen excited and solftly pressing them for sadness.  It appears that the mere act of pressing ther facial instruments lifts their spirits, resulting in a boistrous cycle where the honks and dings get louder and more frequent.  Because of this aspect, many other species tend to avoid these creatures, preferring to move to quieter areas.

But not everyone is a harsh critic.

Some people, like local bath enthusiast Ernie, embrace the constant din, choosing to celebrate the chaos.

The annual Honker-Duckie-Dinger Jamboree

Humans in particular only seek out the Honkers and Dingers when their noises can be useful or tolerable, given the situation.  High-enrgy parties and other social events are very welcoming to the Honkers, while the Dingers serve a more practical function, replacing service bells and game show buzzers.

A Dinger used and abused for the purposes of slapstick comedy.

The fact that Honkers and Dingers cannot communicate with humans (outside of learning Morse Code) has brought great frustration to all species involved.  While Honkers and Dingers are accepted as part of the community with the same rights as humans, their vocal setbacks hinders them greatly.

Homer Honker learns to communicate in alternate ways when a prize is on the line.

Honkers, fortunately, have found a great ally in one of Sesame Street's odder residents, the Count.  He appreciates the sounds they make for they provide a steady rhythm and pattern for him to count with.  Honkers are known for their love of counting as well.  It appears as if they truly understand one another and take comfort in making one another happy.

Everyone has a purpose.

Perhaps the reason this species has flourished is that the music they create when they stay organized is appreciated.  Their tactical advantage for survival is bringing joy to others.  Like songbirds or the cries of whales, the cries of these creatures are beautiful and unique.  They are a valuable part of our animal kingdom.

A classic Honker tune, preserved for the ages.

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