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.