Thursday, March 20, 2008

Meanness Personified

Late afternoons at the Scatmanse are spent relaxing, with me reading and the scatlings watching a video, coloring, running with scissors, etc. Today we enjoyed the wacky yet educational antics of Cookie Monster, Kermit, Grover and the other fuzzy wuzzy characters of Sesame Street. This particular DVD was a collection of songs and skits from the 1980s, the decade being obvious from the tight pants and mullets of the human characters. (To digress into a review of sorts, the bit with Robert MacNeil interviewing Cookie Monster, is pure comedy gold. The subject is "Cookiegate", in which Cookie Monster stands accused of eating Susan and Gordon's cookies. Kermit plays the smarmy lawyer whispering answers to his client. My kids wonder what the hell I'm laughing at. Alas, it seems the clip has been removed from YouTube.)

Anyway, the video has a segment of "People in the Neighborhood". Bob of course sings, meets various professionals and incorporates their jobs into the song. In this offing, the guests are Martina Navratilova (tennis), Barbara Walters (news correspondent) and Ralph Nader (consumer advocate). Yes, I agree that the "People in the Neighborhood" genre must have been reaching the end of its run on Sesame Street when this particular version was taped. But that's not the point here. Rather, let's focus on Ralph Nader's portion of the song. During the idle chit chat that always weaves its way into the presentation, Ralph offers a compliment to Bob on the snazzy red cardigan he's wearing. Bob replies that his aunt Mertle made it for him. "Well, has it been tested to make sure it's made properly?" asks Ralph. He then proceeds to yank off a sleeve, pop off all the buttons and scold Bob with, "Aunt Mertle knitted you a lemon".
At this point my daughter (aged 4) turned to me:

She: He's mean.

Me: Who?

She: Him. He ripped Bob's sweater. He's very mean.

Me: Yes dear. He is indeed.

Would you buy a used sweater from this man?


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