CreditIllustration by Yann Kebbi
Hard times for Muppets! Sad! Me think unemployment not easy for puppet with addiction issues. Me find unemployment very triggering. Me want to ask government, “Who is real monster here?”
Colleagues bad now, too. Elmo spiral into depression and eat his goldfish, Dorothy. Pepé the King Prawn worry about deportation. Miss Piggy now glorified geisha, forced to be active listener. Only good thing is most of us newly politicized. Me is totally woke. Use new free time to rally colleagues and to dialogue. Camaraderie good! Camaraderie powerful! During long hours together in unemployment line, you can really get deep, you can really go beyond the felt.
What strange to Muppet community is Muppets always like Donald Trump. Donald Trump always somehow seem like kindred spirit. Donald Trump seem like slightly more organized Fraggle. Yes, in nineteen-eighties, on “Sesame Street,” Ronald Grump character built tower of trash cans on Oscar’s turf. Yes, other time, on special, Joe Pesci play Ronald Grump and spit on Elmo. But mocking was gentle. Mocking gentle, and plus we give lots airtime. Donald Trump like airtime. Airtime is hair time. The letter “H”!
Me trying to transition into this new life chapter with grace. Me trying to find bright side: no more pledge drives, no more feeling old when realize all favorite TV shows are sponsored by river cruises. But sometimes cloud come over me in afternoon. Cloud of realization. Cloud of sad. More reflective now. Time makes puppets of us all. Bad!
Me talk to agent about possible second career as recording artist, because me often mistaken for gravel-voiced singer Tom Waits. Me think me has everything Tom Waits has, plus me is blue. Sad songs from blue person, very good, very meta. Agent laugh. Agent say more realistic direction is recovery memoir and TED talk. Agent say more realistic direction is therapy pet who visit hospitals—“Make-A-Wish but the meter is running, hon.” Agent also say that he get call about Cookie working as kind of Swiffer—some company want Cookie as a “electrostatic stanching shammy.” Now me laugh. Me think contemporary consumerism like virus that eat brain. Me unclear about meaning of “electrostatic stanching shammy,” but me pretty sure it mean rag.
So. Me trying to be big. Me trying to reap benefits of talk therapy. Therapist point out that Cookie strong because Cookie weathered changing attitudes about eating. Therapist talk about time, in 2005, when show had Hoots the Owl sing “A Cookie Is a Sometime Food.” Stupid song. Stupid song suggesting me had no jurisdiction or agency over throbbing id. That song the beginning of the end. That the singing on the wall. Me not like that song! That song just another unseen hand reaching up the Cookie ying-yang.
Now this new government hand. It not nice like Frank Oz hand. Frank Oz smell good, have light touch. Government hand rough, like that of teen-age boy. So now me take only route available: me wage cookie hunger strike. Me get Hoots the Owl to do duet of new song, “Bye-Bye, Biscotti.” Me get outside consulting firm to create slogan: “Nom, Nom NO.” Me tell world that “C” is not for cookie, “C” is for cauterize the wound that is direct result of rapacious governing. Me get sympathetic People cover in manner of survivor of rare disease.
Meanwhile, me send message to Washington via quiet assertion of strength. Me remind government that Cookie Monster have no eyelids. Me remind government that Cookie Monster always watching. ♦