My daughter has reached the inevitable developmental stage wherein she anoints Big Bird the principal deity of her personal pantheon and, thusly, wants to do little else save consume manna (which looks and smells suspiciously like Cheerios) at the foot of the flat screen that serves as his flickering alter. Simultaneously, her parental authorities, mere mortals that they be, have reached a point where they no longer care what precisely she does so long as it doesn’t end in turning her sippy cup into the cutest Molotov cocktail you ever did see. This is a brief story, but it carries with it more than one moral.
First, Dr. Spock can bite me.
Second, I can, in fact, tell you how to get to Sesame Street. It involves a phone call to my dealer for a little bit of Snuffleupagus, if you know what I mean.
I won’t pretend to be the first parent to realize that Sesame Street is the sort of place that would benefit from either an exorcism or intervention by Beetlejuice. I mean, let’s meet a few select members of the cast, shall we?
There’s the eight-foot bird with inversely proportional cognitive ability and self-esteem.
There’s the landed gentry with numeric monomania.
And then there’s this… thing.
It speaks in the third person. It inspired (via the infamous “tickle me” doll) numerous attempted murders. And these days, it seems to have somehow got itself trapped in a hell of its own making. That, of course, is Elmo’s World, a previously unmentioned circle of the underworld within walking distance of Cocytus.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say they still haven’t got his dosage quite right.
I’m forced to conclude, at some point in the indeterminate past, it was determined actual script writers were expensive, which I suppose is understandable when you factor in the salary, benefits, and substantial amounts of alcohol needed to come up with stuff like this.
Regardless, “Elmo’s World” is a segment unburdened with plot or purpose. A realm where !@#% all can happen and directing serious inquiries at babies, which Elmo (their intellectual inferior) does every show, is a perfectly acceptable research method.
And then there’s Mr. Noodle. I’ve come to loathe Mr. Noodle.
Mr. Noodle and Elmo’s goldfish make up most of the remaining population of Elmo’s Fever Dream. I have no idea how they got there. My current theory, at least in regards to the first, is that Mr. Noodle was standing too close to the fuzzy red psychopath when the earth split open and the souls of the damned seized Elmo and yanked him back where he belongs. The experience, understandably, shattered Mr. Noodle’s sanity, and now he cannot put on pants or locate his ears in under three tries and without excessive prompting. He also appears to be suffering from some strange variant of Stockholm syndrome, as he routinely exhibits excessive exuberance in doing Elmo’s bidding. It’s meant to be cute, but I find myself frightened. In Mr. Noodle, Elmo has the potential of a perfect assassin. Of course, this assumes Mr. Noodle could figure out which end of the knife he was supposed to hold and remember he should shove it into the other guy and not himself.
To end on a timely note, I suppose I should weigh in on whether or not my daughter’s religious denomination merits continued public funding. This is difficult to do since ultimately I’m ambivalent, but I think we should at least reevaluate our funding of one Elmo and his personal plane of existence. It’s only a matter of time before he starts asking babies about our nuclear capabilities and tasks Mr. Noodle with building a warhead. Unlike, say, putting on one’s trousers, that’s not the sort of thing you want to do by trial and error.