Wednesday, October 04, 2006

El Mo

The Mo. (That's what Elmo translates to, right?)

His Royal Mo-ness.


I’ll admit it—I was a nonbeliever. A scoffer. A nay-sayer, if you will. It’s not that I had anything against a certain magenta Muppet Mafia boss (though I confess I find him a bit lower on charm than my old childhood hero, Grover), I just didn’t recognize the scope and vastness of his realm. I mean, I know he's on NPR game shows. He even has his own biography out, people (check out the dude who voices for Elmo. Should he really be that hot?). But I frankly didn’t buy the notion that the vermillion vendor of vowels had become part of the collective American gestalt.

I was wrong.

My child suddenly sees this siren of Sesame Street everywhere, even on his fabulous new boots; instead of accurately naming “Sponge-bum” as the character featured on said footwear, he insists, rather, that it’s “Elmo! ELMO! ELMO!”

But I’m getting ahead of myself: the episode with the boots wasn’t even our first Elmoment. No, that took place one night after I threw some disposable straw sippy cups into our cart at the store. D insisted on holding them, and since he acts as our own personal Customs agent during grocery trips, I obliged. He pointed to the afore-mentioned fiery-furred phoneme fronter and announced “Elmo.” Daddymatic and I looked at each other and said “Who? Who is that on your cup?” “Elmo,” he repeated, in the tone of voice that basically adds “you idiots” to everything he says.

Like other parents who discover such imaginary interlopers, we wondered where, where, WHERE he’d been introduced to the scarlet letter-monger, especially since, as I’ve mentioned, he resolutely refuses to watch TV. A friend of mine insisted that the knowledge and promotion of the squeaky-voiced squirt is an inborn trait, closely linked to whatever has hard-wired her daughter to Disney-princess-worship. Myself, I dunno. I tend to see it as something more viral, something passed on from kid to kid such that it doesn’t even require a child to be Sesame Streetwise—or even in any way knowledgeable about its context.

As long as the Elmeme doesn’t become a kiddie-themed HAL (and you thought the Matthew Perry voice in the Simpson’s house was annoying!), I don’t really care if it perpetuates itself. I mean, what could I really have against the crimson Kaiser of consonants? We could replace Baby Einstein with Elmozart. Elmozilla could be the new kid-friendly web browser. Starbucks could share the love and serve Elmochas, assuming they’d do some profit-sharing with CTW. I figure hey, if it helps the grand poo-bah of PBS, it’s gotta help promote high-quality kids’ programming, and I want D to have that and love it as much as I did.

(okay, I had a precious video of D naming all the Sesame Street critters on his sippy cup, but I'm in it and it was filmed the day before I finally sent the awful 'hair-met' packing, plus I look bloated, so if you really want, you can see it here but otherwise, I leave you with my son explaining that he is dressed in a 0-3 month-sized gown [stolen from his babydoll] because he is a 'tiny baby'. He gives no explanation as to why he's wearing the boots with it, however. Go figure.)

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos