Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?
Lest you think us callous here at "The Gods Are Bored," we did say a prayer to the bored gods for all the victims of 9/11. And the estimated 42,000 people who will die in traffic accidents this year. And the African slaves beaten to death by their masters in the antibellum South. And our precious and favorite uncle, Dr. Richard Johnson, who died of melanoma at 53. We live and die with tragedy, make every day count.
And so, on we go, laughing through the Apocalypse.
Today's topic: The new girl on Sesame Street.
For years some people have complained that Sesame Street, America's premiere show for precocious tots, was too laden with male characters. High time to level the playing field, eh? Bring on the girls!
So the folks who bring you Sesame Street created a new character. Her name is Abby Cadabby.
Gasp! She wears a tutu, faerie wings, and she carries a magic wand that she's slowly learning how to use - with a few setbacks and misfires.
Well, you just can't please everyone. Now some other folks are complaining that Abby is setting a bad example for little girls. Surely impressionable tots are going to grow up devoted to wearing haute couture and -- oh no! -- going pagan.
Nonsense! Cries the voice of reason. Almost every little girl goes through a phase where she dresses up frilly like a faerie. They outgrow it. Emmmmm. That is until Senior Prom, when they dump $500 on a gooey gown. And marriage, when they dump six times that much on an even more gooey gown.
How did these practices get under way without Abby's evil influence?
As for Abby's creating a future generation of wand-wielding pagans, I suppose it could be done.
Nonsense! Cries the voice of reason. A muppet with a wand won't penetrate the prevailing cultural values of the United States of Amerika.
Wait a minute. Hold the phone.
My daughter The Heir was devoted to Sesame Street as a tot. She especially liked Cookie Monster.
What a sinister effect that Blue Menace has wrought on The Heir's life! She enjoys the occasional cookie and she eats with her fingers (even spaghetti). Now an upperclassman in high school, she serves as the team mascot for the Snobsville, NJ Fighting Wombats. She swaths herself in fur from head to toe and proudly struts her stuff at every home game.
Exhibit A: Snobsville Fighting Wombats Mascot, at left,
The Heir's dad and I hoped that these Cookie Monster-inspired antics might be just a passing phase. Surely The Heir would grow out of it and opt for the $500 prom gown. But zounds! She's talking about auditioning for the Philly Phanatic! Her life has been ruined - by Cookie Monster.
So watch out, Amerika! Those little girls are gonna be smitten with Abby. And when little girls get bigger (every day, thank heaven), they're gonna want real wands and workable everyday magick.
Will that be such a bad thing?
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS