Sunday, July 15, 2012

Life lessons and Sesame Street...

The other week I had the pleasure of seeing a production of Avenue Q done at The Arts Theatre here in Brisbane.  I saw the touring version when it showed a couple of years ago, and I have to say that it wasn't any better than the one put on by this teeny little theatre.  Good job, guys!

But after watching what its commonly referred to as "Sesame Street For Grown Ups", I started to reminisce about my youth and the lessons I learned from good old Sesame Street.  Of all of them, and as a daily viewer there were a lot, there's one that I think was the most important and valuable.

I could have learned to count or recite the alphabet at school, I could have learned different rhymes or fairy tales from my parents.  Sure, I learned them from Sesame Street, but the fact remains there were plenty of places I could have gained these skills.  But there was one lesson that I don't think I would have learned anywhere else at such a young age.

That lesson was that grown ups aren't always right, and it was taught to my by Mr Snuffleupagus.

My prime Sesame Street watching days were back in the late seventies and very early eighties, so this was back when everyone still thought Snuffie was just Big Bird's imaginary friend.  Every episode I'd watch as they played together, and then Big Bird would say he was going to go get a grown up so they could finally see that he existed.  He'd ask Snuffie to stay right there, he'd beg, he'd cajole, and every time, Snuffie would promise.  He'd swear he'd stay right where he was.

And every single god damned time, he'd get distracted by something and wander off before Big Bird could bring the grown up over.




Of course, the grown up would come over, not be able to see Mr Snuffleupagus, and either "pretend", which would frustrate Big Bird (and by extension me), or they'd say that he wasn't real.  Holy crap, of course he was real!  He was a god damned six foot furry elephant thingamabob in the middle of suburbia!  Surely someone should have seen him hauling his enormous brown shaggy ass up the street!

And seriously, Snuffie, couldn't you have just stayed in the one place for a few minutes?  Why did you have to get distracted by every stupid butterfly or every ice cream truck to go wandering by!

But as I said, this taught me a very valuable lesson at a very early age.  Just because a grown up didn't believe me, didn't mean I wasn't right.  And if I was right, I was entitled to trust myself and demand that others did too.

I honestly think that's the reason why, when I was accused a couple of years later of pushing a boy into the girls toilets (our primary schools most heinous form of bullying), I stood up for myself, told them that I most certainly did NOT push him into the toilets, and the teachers actually believed me.

Thank you for that, Snuffie.  You might have been a frustrating sonofabitch, but you taught me something that it would have probably taken me years to learn otherwise.

NB.  I didn't push the kid into the toilets, by the way, in case you were curious.  I've no idea who did, or why he chose to blame me.


  1. Replies
    1. It's quite possible! But I still think someone should have seen him walking down the street. He's enormous!

  2. And the award goes to.......... Well, you'll have to go to my page and find out silly :) Happy Weekend!! Smoochies <3

  3. I was around 8 years old, when I realized the concept of wanting to 'bitch slap' someone/thing. Oh Mr Snuffleupagus, how you frustrated me!

    1. There were moments when all I wanted to do was crawl through the TV screen and choke a bitch.

  4. Oh, that Snuffleupagus! He was my favorite character on Sesame Street. I was always so excited when he showed up, because he was so mysterious. I was shocked when I first heard that the grown-ups could see Snuffleupagus now. Even though it was frustrating that he was so elusive, that was his shtick!

    1. I always wondered how that went down exactly. Was there a big reveal? Was it a special episode?

  5. I never watched Sesame Street as a child. I've caught bits and pieces of it as an adult, but it just didn't seem that interesting to me. Now that I know about this dim-witted elephant, I think I am going to set up a date with YouTube.

    1. What can I say, he was part of my childhood. An annoying part, but part nonetheless.

  6. That's because he wears camo ;)