"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." -Richard Dawkins

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mom to Henson, Come in Henson

Where, precisely, is the James Maury Henson that I grew up with? Alas dead, is the natural answer- one I will not dwell on. You see, my daughter shows interest in the television, now. An interest I would most willingly put to full potential by turning it on, clicking over to PBS, and relaxing for an hour while she learns her ABC's and 123's from the motley gang on Sesame Street, just like I did.

Sesame Street is a legend in its own time. In 1969, when my parents were barely ten years old, it was the most researched thing to ever grace the airwaves. A full hour- unprecedented!- of uninterrupted education for the preschool age bracket. Genius, in my opinion, for I defy you now, 39 years later, to find me a show that still does the same.

Well Ali, you say, Sesame Street is still on the air. And to that, my friends, I call shenanigans. For on November 18th, 1985, a week from my second birthday, Elmo showed up. By now, of course, I should know all about this fluffy crimson fellow who demands to be tickled (in the third person.) But all I care to know is this: He's too big for his fur, and I demand he return to the 80's tout suite for it was him and him alone who managed to singlehandedly (and may I add, with only three fingers) destroy the best show on television.

I don't think I realized just how desperate the situation was until Ro's Uncle Steve showed up after Christmas with a set of three DVD's that could rock your heartstrings into a sonata of grief so acute you'll sob woefully into your Wembly plushie. Was that what I thought it was? Yes, damnit! YES! The first five years of Sesame Street crammed into a tidy little package just ripe enough for my barely-two-year-old to begin digesting? Sheer brilliance on a tiny inner-city shaped sound stage. Bliss.

There it was, all laid out for us. Rubber Duckie, It Aint Easy Bein' Green, Ladybug Picnic, Everybody Sleeps, Doin' the Pigeon- the original Gordon, 'Fro and all!? Tears sprung to my eyes as the original chords of the intro began- Sunny Day indeed! I need none of your techo remixes! I need none of your Mr. Noodle! Here on three discs I have all I, or my child, will ever need again. Kermit, right where he belongs, in a khaki trench coat, delivering my News Flash...

...The little red baby monster is no where to be seen. ♥

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