Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Should Snuffleupagus be Seen?

Kids today have it so easy, what with their iTelephones, crappy hip-hop music, and the ability for all adults on Sesame Street to see Snuffleupagus. The first two I’m fine with, but the last one really chaps my hide. Growing up watching Sesame Street I always found it infuriating that no one but Big Bird could ever see Snuffleupagus. I use to say “Mommy, I’m infuriated! Why won’t anyone else see Snuffleupagus?” She would always simply reply with putting a Double Stuf Oreo in my mouth (To this day I can still taste the “stuf”).  

For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry, I get that a lot. Snuffleupagus is a big brown woolly mammoth type Muppet creature on Sesame Street. Big Bird, who is a big yellow bird type Muppet creature, with an obvious drinking problem, was the only character on Sesame Street that could see Snuffleupagus - for all of my childhood. And get this, it wasn’t because Snuffleupagus had some kind of invisibility power or that Big Bird had been hitting the sauce; it was simply because of bad timing. Repeatedly. All the time. Over and over again. Incessantly.

There they would be, Big Bird and Snuffleupagus setting Big Bird’s picnic table with food and plates, getting ready for a Sesame Street picnic, in which the entire street’s population was to attend. And two seconds before everyone shows up, Snuffleupagus realizes he forgot his frisbee or something and has to head home to get it. Leaving Big Bird looking looking like a fool when he tries to explain to everyone that Snuffleupagus was just there. Well... more of a fool than he normally looks. Simultaneously, six year old me is screaming at the television, “NOOOO! FUCK THE FRISBEE! STAY! STAY! JUST TWO MORE SECONDS AND THEY WILL SEE YOU!!! STAY YOU FRICKIN’ MAMMOTH IDIOT! STAY!!!”. I used a lot of exclamation points back then.    

But thankfully in 1985 the horror ended. Sesame Street finally decided to let everyone see Snuffleupagus and at last Big Bird was vindicated. Although the drinking problem has obviously gotten worse. I am very happy about this change and I’m sure Pat fully and one hundred percent-ly agrees. Right Pat?

Pat:  Is that really how you spell his name? Sorry. I didn’t really pay attention to the rest of what you said, ‘cause I was trying to make it right in my mind. That just doesn’t look like the way I would spell it. You sure?

Christian:  You think I would intentionally spell it that way if I didn’t have to? That many times! I looked it up on Wikipedia and they said that’s the official spelling. And wikipedia is on the internet so there’s no way they’re wrong. But yes, it is the most ridiculously spelled word in the history of mankind. It’s right up there with opossum and Humuhumunukunukuapuaa (Hawaii's state fish). And speaking of surprise spellings, I had to look up the spelling of my above Oreo reference, because I couldn’t remember if it was “Double Stuff” or “Double Stuffed”, and it turns out it’s neither? “Stuf” with only one ‘f’?  What is going on here?  I didn’t remember that and I ate those things well into my current age. It’s like my whole childhood is crashing down before me inside a spelling inferno.

Pat:  You probably didn’t know this (because I don’t think you choose to remember ANY of the important details of my life that I share with you in confidence), but the Humu Humu Nuku Nuku A Pu A’A happens to be my favorite fish, for it’s name alone, and I have been told by a few native Hawaiians that my pronunciation of it is much better than that of other Hoales. There’s a little something to be proud of, yeah?

Anyway, I’m confused again. What did you ask me? I can only think of Hawaiian fish and Oreos. Something about Wikipedia? I try not to use it. In education we tell students to avoid using it as a source in their research because you can never be certain of its validity. We also tell them to avoid using the pronouns “I” and “You” in their writing. It’s a sign of a less refined form of narrative and expository writing.

Christian:  Well... While we were in high school, and I was taking AP Physics (the AP stands for Advanced Placement and as I am sure you remember, you were not in this class), we were tasked with engineering and constructing small airplanes out of balsa wood. After weeks of designing, constructing, testing, and surviving two balsa fires, I completed my aviation marvel. I decided to name it after the fish of a randomly chosen state and lo and behold, Hawaii was the fortunate state to have their fish graced with my airplane taking its namesake. I grabbed a marker, scribed the name down both sides of the plane, and The Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Balsa Bomber was born. Unfortunately at this point, the airplane could no longer fly due to the immense weight of all the ink that was needed to write out this unfortunately long name.  

My point being, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa fish is much more personal to me than it is to you and Hawaii should have never been let into the Union. It would be a much more exotic vacation destination if it was it’s own entity, like Tahiti or Mordor, and not part of the United States.

Also, why are you bad mouthing Wikipedia? It’s a great source for research and fact finding. It’s how I learned that it was during the US Civil War that Neil Diamond first walked on the moon.

Pat:  I’m glad you were learning important aviation techniques in high school, and forgoing trivial matters like learning to respect the struggles of native peoples around the globe.

Hawaii? Not LET into the union, but FORCED, against their will by pineapple-loving god fearing Christians. Hmm...does that make you proud of your given name?

Tahiti? I BET they would like to be their own entity. ‘Til they are, they will remain a stifled possession of France.

Mordor? Actually, I don’t know anything about this one. I never read the books. But I bet that Sauron fella’ woulda’ loved him some autonomy from the rest of Middle Earth.

But I’m glad your fascist imperial balsa wood aeroplane of oppression made you happy.

Christian: Let, Forced, Tomato, TAHmato. My point is everyone knows Hawaii is one of the US’s 50 states but no one thinks of Tahiti as one of France’s 50 states. It’s its own deal and therefore it’s much better that Snuffleupagus can be seen by everyone.  Q.E.D.

Wait, what are we talking about? What happened here?

Dearest readers,

It looks like we may have strayed off topic a bit on whether or not Snuffleupagus should be seen by everyone. We figure it best that we just end it now before everyone, including you, is filled with regret. However, I do think we can all agree that it was completely Pat’s fault this happened. We apologize from the bottom parts of our hearts and tune in next week where we will do our best to tackle this still unresolved issue.

Soothing caresses,


  1. I have to say that Snuffy's trick of running out on Big Bird is very rude. I thought they were best friends! I wouldn't do that to you Christian. If Pat didn't believe that I existed, I would stick around to meet him. Except, I would hide and then when he was giving you a hard time, I would jump out at him.

  2. I'm sorry that your childhood is crashing down in a spelling inferno, but I have to disagree. I always liked it that Big Bird was the only one who could see Snuffy, because real life is hard and kids need to learn that.

    Sometimes everyone will conspire against you and break your heart, even your imaginary friends and what a better vector for that lesson than a dingy brown, freakishly long eye-lashed creature with a weird name?

    Kids are such pansies now.

  3. @Megiweg - Funny you should mention that. Pat actually doesn't believe you exist. In fact he's a little leery about whether or not this internet thing is real too. He suspects it's just an elaborate ruse I'm putting on.

    @Tumbleweed - It's looks like we are just going to have to agree to disagree then. Except for that part about kids being pansies now. They're total wusses.

  4. while i do not remember the partaking, i'm pretty sure i'm fucking high.

  5. i believe things when awry with the digression on snuffleupagus' name spelling. next question, how does one pluralize snuffleupagus? pagi? paguses? for another day.

    visiting via studio 30. following now.

  6. I showed Pat a picture of me! How can he think that I don't exist? I think he's the one that's high. And I think it's disgraceful that a teach is doing drugs. Drugs are bad.

  7. Also, I think that the plural of snuffleupagus is snuffleupagi.

  8. @alisha - Why does everyone always say that after reading our blog?

    @in bed WMW - Thanks! Good point. I know there are more than one of them since I think Snuffleupagus has a sister named Alice. Which makes me wonder why Big Bird calls him Snuffleupagus as if that's his name. It would be like if I called Pat 'Human' instead of 'Pat'.

    @Megiweg - 'Human' thinks the picture is made up too.