Communicating with Your Hero

     As Benny Blueberry learned, having the guts to communicate with his hero, Doug Gurwell, resulted in making his vinyl release party a truly memorable event. Peter Pineapple encouraged Benny to invite Doug to participate in the unique occasion when the friends learned that Doug lived nearby. “Friendship Changed Me,” the song Benny wrote for Peter, has meaning on several levels.
     In Living the Coconut Life, Peter’s friendship releases Benny from his world filled with rejection. Formerly known as a bully, Benny uses his vocal skills to turn peoples’ lives around while also using his connection with his Uncle Bert to provide exceptionably fun-filled experiences for his new friends.
     We all need to feel loved and accepted; Benny is certainly no exception. Sadly, none of the kids his age in Fruitland had any idea of how depressed Benny felt, especially at home. Thankfully, Peter Pineapple’s friendship became the relationship that altered the trajectory of Benny’s life. In fact, Peter urged Benny to record his songs. While the friends were casually discussing the preparation for the vinyl release party, a text from Benny’s cousin altered the arrangements for the special event.
     When Peter’s research made the friends aware that Doug Gurwell, Benny’s hero and idol, lived in the Los Angeles area, Peter urged Benny to email Doug. We can almost hear him thinking that Doug wouldn’t want to be a part of an event of a singer he never heard of before. Yet, as the emails are exchanged, we can feel Benny’s exhilaration. How can we forget how Benny ran to Peter’s home to share the awesome news that Doug responded to his emails, running and hoping that Mrs. Pineapple wouldn’t answer the door! The elation is heightened when Benny gives Peter Doug’s cell number for contact purposes during the release party.
     When Benny and Doug are sharing the same stage, we wonder if Benny is aware of how much selling Doug’s CDs is a blessing for him. Throughout the beginning of Friendship Changed Me, there’s a “buzz” of excitement about Doug Gurwell and his music. Various characters share how much they love his music, especially “Da Coconut, Man!” Yet, one reason Peter urged Benny to email Doug involved the lack of a touring schedule on Doug’s website.
     Although Doug never mentioned it to Peter or Benny, it appears that his participation in Benny’s Vinyl Release Party also benefitted his career. Benny’s gratefulness emanated on the stage, while briefly performing with his hero. Both Benny and his hero enjoyed the vinyl release party. Truly, it became the event that altered Benny’s confidence and willingness to try new experiences, such as making a dance video with Fifi Fig, another friendship that changed lives.