I need another moral issue to ponder like I need a hole in the head. But, I got one last week. And not unlike the Chick-fil-A crisis, I have to decide what ramifications my decisions on our consumerism will have on our family.
As I suspect with most families that have young children, Elmo has a special place in your hearts. Many of our children experienced Elmo laden toddlerhoods. I’d bet most of us parents can belt out “La la la la, la la la la Elmo’s World” in perfect harmony. (For the record, Mr. Noodle was/is creepy). Last week, an ex-partner of Elmo’s creator , Sesame Street Puppeteer Kevin Clash, made allegations- that he has since recanted- that Mr. Clash had an inappropriate relationship with him while he was a minor. This week, another accuser who claimed he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with the famous puppeteer while he was a minor filed a second allegation and $5 million dollar lawsuit. Mr. Clash is 52*.
Back to my Elmo memories. I remember the Oldest’s 2nd Elmo themed birthday party. I made Elmo treat bags out of red lunch sacks and scraps of construction paper. I painstakingly created Elmo ice cream cake cones with precisely circular orange noses cut out of Laffy Taffy with a hole puncher. (He was my Firstborn. Now we outsource kickball parties to the YMCA where the treat bags and decorations are included.)
My Middle child has this whole stuffed animal fetish going on, so we ended up with around 11 different sized Elmo’s most of which have survived his toddlerhood and have been inherited by The Nosy Meap.
The Nosy Meap shouted “Elmos!” (She likes to pluralize) before she spoke her brothers’ names. If she sees my phone, she breaks into a progressively louder “ELMOELMOELMO” staccato. I made the mistake of downloading Elmo in Grouchland in case I needed an emergency distraction device. Unfortunately, every time she spots phone, the sounds that emanate from her Lilliputian lungs indicate emergency.
Now, some of the good and fun in the land of Sesame may come to a screeching halt. Although Sesame Street officially vowed to keep the show going with Mr. Clash’s understudies, they anticipate sales in Elmo toys and gear will plummet. Which I believe translates to the signal to begin digging Elmo’s grave. Corporate partners will threaten to drop Sesame if Sesame doesn’t drop Elmo. You can find Elmo plastered on just about anything these days- diapers, sippy cups, and clothing. The Elmo deflection will begin shortly.
Don’t let the lights go down on Elmo! His inventor may or may not have made a questionable decision 9 years ago, regardless of his fate, we stand by Elmo proudly. Just check out our newest addition on the front yard…
*Let me make a suggestion- if you are in your mid-to late forties, try not to pursue partners who still get carded at CVS while trying to buy Marlboros. This should just be a general rule in life.