I am a bad person. I can’t watch kids’ TV shows the way they are supposed to be watched.
I know that I could once. I could sit there, disbelief suspended, rudimentary logic turned off, mouth agape, and just accept it. I could do this even into adulthood. I wasn”t even stoned.
But not any more. Now, they just cheese me off.
I mean, look at Sesame Street. Can the adults stop mugging for the camera for one freaking moment? It’s as painful as a mid-season replacement sitcom featuring Tony Danza.
And why are some of these Sesame Street characters so beloved? Let’s start with Ernie. Ernie —- and I mean this is the nicest way possible —- is an asshole. He may mean well, but he’s obnoxious and inconsiderate. He’s always waking Bert up playing the trumpet or singing songs. He’s always getting in Bert’s space. I suppose you can’t expect much better when you pick a rubber fetishist for a roommate, but you have to admire Bert’s patience. I think after one week with Ernie he’d vanish and I’d be walking around in a new felt hat.
And Elmo. Don”t get me started on Elmo. First of all, if my three-year-old constantly refers to himself in the third person, has elaborate dialougues with doors, window shades, and a fish, and frequently receives command hallucinations from animate fruit, I won”t be heaving an oh-how-cute sigh. I will be taking him to the Price Club to see if they have Thorazine in bulk.
Second, what the hell is up with his friends? Hey, Children’s Television Workshop: I have news for you about Mr. Noodle and his brother, Mr. Noodles. If two middle-aged men with some sort of organic brain damage who frequently show up in their underwear are trying to hang out with my toddler, my response is not insouciant laughter. My response is long and painful conversations with the kid using anatomically correct props, calls to the police, and surreptitious checks to see if my Glock is loaded with hollow-points.
And finally, it just sucks that everyone can see Snuffy now. Way to piss all over my childhood, you bastards.
And then there’s Bob. Bob the Builder, my son’s latest non-sexual crush. Let me start with that frigging scarecrow, Spud. They are trying to make Spud cute and mischievous. They missed: he’s a bleeding sociopath. If I were Bob, about the ninth or tenth time Spuds spilled the paint or knocked over the ladder or hooked Scoop to Travis’ trailer hitch, I’d take him aside and quietly explain that people made of straw and old clothes should not irritate people with a complete set of acetylene torches.
And what the hell is wrong with Lofty? His cringing-dog thing really harshes my mellow. I don’t see why Bob and Wendy don’t take him back to the dealership and trade him in for a piece of heavy equipment without such crushing self-esteem issues.
Finally, we come to the Wiggles. First, I must emphasize that I am a progressive person and have no problem with a quartet of men in their thirties who live together, dress in bright uniforms, and are relentlessly cheerful and well groomed. I am fond of surrealism, in its place, and thus have no issues with the fact that they frequently dance with a dog, an octopus, and a dinosaur at the same time. I recognize that while drug humor is normally in poor taste, an exception can me made here. I am not even threatened by the spectacle of Captain Feathersword, a grown man who dresses up like a pirate in a girly blouse and carries a ‘feathersword’ that looks suspiciously like a mail-order marital aid. I have only one request for the Wiggles: please come here and let me explain how I feel about the percentage of my brain now occupied by your songs. That’s right. Come closer. Lean this way. This won’t hurt a bit.
You have to believe me: I don’t want to be like this. I’m just a bad person.
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