him name is hopkin green frog
June 30, 2005 11:56 PM   Subscribe

Well, wow.

I don't know about it being sad, really. I like the resolution that the author came to, that hopkin will be forever lost, and we can enjoy him that much longer.
posted by bigtimes at 12:06 AM on July 1, 2005

Mmm, yeah, this has been done twice already.
posted by surlycat at 12:09 AM on July 1, 2005

Let's see... an austic teen is the kind of subject most people want to avoid, not focus on. The father says it would upset his son to discuss the frog, yet alone return it, so people would feel guilty to pursue the matter any further.

Yup. No doubt about it. It's a coverup!
posted by Davenhill at 12:24 AM on July 1, 2005

matt... matt matt matt matt matt matt
posted by Satapher at 1:17 AM on July 1, 2005

LOL. Right in the linked article: "Around this time, another high-traffic community website, MetaFilter, hosted two different threads concerning the frog flier and subsequent images. This image of the flier comes from the lostfrog.org site."

Best. Double. Ever.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:45 AM on July 1, 2005

I'm with FFF. Keep the thread, maybe he'll update the linked article with a link to this one.
posted by Plutor at 3:06 AM on July 1, 2005

Wow, that is a sad story. And well done, mwhybark. Personally I'm glad to hear the truth about this, even if it's over six months after mwhybark's blog piece. Good find, vaportrail.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:09 AM on July 1, 2005

This is easily as disturbing as Sam never getting home in 'Quantum Leap'.
Posted by: sizemore at November 22, 2004 12:46 AM

Well thanks a helluvalot for not posting spoilers!! I always intended to watch that last episode of Quantum Leap someday (even if I only watched a handful of the others.)

Wow, though. Really. Interesting conclusion. I wonder if the actual Hopkin Frogs will become collectors items?
posted by Shane at 5:00 AM on July 1, 2005

People are still getting the fliers?

I wonder what the kid has now for a "hopkins"
posted by amberglow at 5:10 AM on July 1, 2005

posted by Mach5 at 6:30 AM on July 1, 2005

Good find, vaportrail.

Good christ. I guess I can dig up lots of "good finds" by trawling the MeFi archives. GYWO, here I come!
posted by languagehat at 7:25 AM on July 1, 2005

Can someone explain these inconsistencies (if not, I call hoax)?

From Mike Whybark's blog, Nov. 22, 2004:

He was quite unaware of the interest in the frog and the flier on the internet. He reiterated that he did not think it would be a good idea to show the sites to his son....On his behalf, he asks that no-one send other Hopkins to the child. I was happy to hear that apparently I have been the only person calling them about the frog. Left unstated was the suggestion that future calls will be unnecessary.

Then from a response to the blog, dated two weeks earlier, 11/05/2004:

(from citizenkafka's lj)
The Most Important
I called up Terry, the tragically former owner of Hopkin Green Frog. His mom answered. She already knew about the website... apparently some people knew the story well enough to know it was originally from Seattle. She didn't seem angry. She wanted to know if I had put lostfrog.org up, but I explained that I had not. I explained that I had found the flyer and given it to a friend, and he posted a scan of it for a few friends. We never planned on it becoming a website, or having 421 hits on Google. She seemed very nice. I asked if Terry has a new frog, and she told me that he does. And on top of having a new frog, he also has a new frog puppet.

I told her that there's a lot of people out there that think Terry is special, and wish him the very best. She honestly seemed flattered by this, and said "Why, God Bless you!" (She also said "Such language!" when I used "ass" as in, "I hope this hasn't become a pain in your -") She was very polite, and I'm sure a good mom to Terry.

So rest well, ye Internet. Terry has a frog again.

All emphases mine. I am not a believer. I look still for Hopkin Green Frog. I will find his frog.
posted by beelzbubba at 7:34 AM on July 1, 2005 [1 favorite]

Ultimately, it behooves us all to find Hopkin Green Frog. It just does, so sharrup.
posted by Sparx at 7:41 AM on July 1, 2005

Hopkin Green Frog is the Holy Grail, the Fountain of Youth, the Luminiferous Ether, the Buddha on the Road...

You will find him in your heart, in your self of selves...
posted by Shane at 7:55 AM on July 1, 2005

(Hopkin Green Frog: Him pretty existential cool...)
posted by Shane at 7:58 AM on July 1, 2005

Good christ. I guess I can dig up lots of "good finds" by trawling the MeFi archives. GYWO, here I come!

Good christ indeed. The Lost Frog is a ubiquitous (or tired, whichever you want) meme that everyone and their mum seems to be familiar with, but I hadn't seen this follow-up anywhere else.

Lighten up, languagehat. I said "good find, vaportrail", not "Best.Mefi.Post.Evar, vaportrail".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:38 AM on July 1, 2005

I'm with FFF. Keep the thread, maybe he'll update the linked article with a link to this one.


BB: I did not speak to Terry's mom, but to his dad. The family is of an ethnicity that often emphasizes patriarchy and the adults clearly speak English as a second language. I didn't want to step on toes by grilling Mom or Sis or Granny.

Terry's dad told me what I recount - he was unaware of the web's interest, and so was Terry, and that was a good thing as far as he was concerned. I specifically asked if other people had been calling, and he indicated that no-one had.

However, not mentioned in the thread comments is yet another story of someone calling Terry's family. In this story, a forum participant (possibly affiliated with the very first site to post the image) called and spoke with Terry's sister. I can't recall the details of that interaction, but the poster noted that he was ecouraged not to locate and give a new frog to Terry.

Finally, Terry's dad did tell me that he has a new frog. But it's different, and although I don't recall this explicitly, I believe I must have asked if the frog was called Hopkins. Terry's dad emphasized that the frog was different. I was surprised to find I had not mentioned this in the original post. Presumably I decided that since the new frog was not Hopkin, it wasn't germane.

I believe that in all probability the other members of the family just never mentioned the calls regarding the appearance of the flyer on the web - remember that Terry was actively posting these flyers for at least six months, and that they included a phone number. Others must have called before the web got hold of it.

So in my mind, the different narratives associated with Terry's family boil down to internally consistent perspectives, despite the apparent contradictions. It's possible, of course, that Terry's dad actually was aware of the internet hubbub but chose to deny it in order to keep opur converation brief. Of course, over time it becomes more likely that the family will become aware of it, as well.
posted by mwhybark at 10:00 AM on July 1, 2005

A thing of beauty.
posted by UKnowForKids at 10:11 AM on July 1, 2005

Lighten up, languagehat.

Well, I may have overreacted, but I'm tired of the eager welcome that seems to greet virtually all double posts these days. However, I'll do penance by pointing everyone to Adam Gopnik's piece in the July 4 New Yorker, "Death of a Fish," which deals with a similar wrenching experience, this time with an actual (live, then dead) fish. Not online, but worth seeking out.

him name is bluie blue fish
posted by languagehat at 12:00 PM on July 1, 2005

I worked in a past life with mentally retarded and autistic adults. Let me tell you from my personal experience that they can be pretty fucking persistent and they can get VERY attached to an object, particularly one they've lost.

Can you imagine a kid repeatedly asking you "are we there yet?" except the kid is 16 years old and 6' 4"? Now imagine he keeps repeating "Who took my frog? Who found my frog? I'll find my frog." all day, every day for six months.

I can definitely understand why the father would like this issue put to rest before his son gets wind of it or even just hears the word frog.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:19 PM on July 1, 2005

Well, I may have overreacted, but I'm tired of the eager welcome that seems to greet virtually all double posts these days.

On closer examination, I missed the fact that this update was posted in-thread - I just scanned the headlines and assumed this was the first mention of mwhybark's piece. Sorry about that.

We could have a lengthy discussion about the threat/menace/mild virtue of UpdateFilter, but let's just say that I don't like it either, personally and in general, but do like this particular one because I hadn't followed the other thread.

Now I don't know what to think.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:59 PM on July 1, 2005

Er... I was saying "best psot evah" because the very link itself told vaportrail that this subject has already been on MeFi, and not just once, but twice before. The irony was too delicious. How on earth did he miss it?

I imagine the family is utterly weirded-out by having random strangers expressing an interest in their boy. It must be very intimidating, especially because they're not net-geeks. It must feel somewhat like being robbed, that loss of privacy and feeling of invasion.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:10 PM on July 1, 2005

Okay, I'll chime in. FFF, I didn't miss the fact Hopkin has been on Mefi twice. Nor did I miss the mention article I linked.

The reason I posted was, and is, that mwhybark did some thoughtful research. His work never made it to the front page of Mefi, I had never read it and apparently, some others didn't as well.

I checked the two threads I could find, neither linked to the article above. Admittedly I did miss the third which did have a link in the comments section.

The threads here are starting to look and feel a lot like the six year olds over at fark. I have a bit of a hard time understanding why mefites need to chime in to scream "This was posted last November!" "Poster is an idiot" "Waaah!"

If you don't like it, flag it. Why not just move on?
posted by vaportrail at 6:15 PM on July 1, 2005

I loved it. I was delighted to discover that things turned out okay, and that nothing weird ended up happening. I'm quite glad you posted it.

And I can laugh that you posted it without disclaiming the previous double. It was an amusing irony.

Sorry you don't see it that way.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:42 PM on July 1, 2005

The threads here are starting to look and feel a lot like the six year olds over at fark. I have a bit of a hard time understanding why mefites need to chime in to scream "This was posted last November!" "Poster is an idiot" "Waaah!"

Don't be a jerk, and try to avoid losing the last shreds of your dignity. It's not for the poster to say crap like that; you just come off as going "Waaah!" yourself. Leave it to others to defend your double posting (deliberate double posting, we now learn) if they so choose. This place is self-policing, which is how we avoid winding up like Fark. Suck it up and move on.
posted by languagehat at 6:01 AM on July 2, 2005

« Older Facsimile Art   |   Not enough money in the world.... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments