In a world without Sesame Street, there is a glumness, persistent as it follows all of us through every aspect of our lives.
In this world, cookies do not provoke a jaunty tune everyone knows. Nor do pigeons. Nor trash. Nor Captain Vegetable.
In this world, the word “Snuffleupagus” has never been uttered, and if you were to say it out loud others nearby might assume you were having a stroke.
In this world, millennials all cite Arthur as the pinnacle show of our preschool days, which is, like, fine, Arthur was a great show after all, but still something about it left us wanting.
In this world, Boomers did not suffer the Tickle Me Elmo craze, and every single person remembers the Christmas of 1996 as one of the most boring holiday seasons ever.
In this world, the likes of Roscoe Orman, Sonia Manzano, and Bob McGrath find success elsewhere on television and film, though never feel quite fulfilled in their craft.
In this world, Wicked took home the Tony for Best New Musical in 2004.
In this world, “big bird” makes us think of ostriches and albatrosses.
In this world, celebrities who want to teach children about numbers, letters, and feelings have to go on Caillou to do so, and man, it really sucks.
In this world, we never question who the monster at the end of the book is.
In this world, people stopped caring about rubber ducks back in the 80’s.
In this world, we all still love Muppet Family Christmas but it doesn’t have that special kick halfway through.
In this world, no one likes reading, and counting is tedious.
In this world, the sky is filled with clouds. The air, putrescence. There is no sun.
In this world, we’re all a little crueler.
In a world without Sesame Street, everyone born after 1969 is selfish, cares only of themselves. They do not know how to share, let alone show compassion. Anyone who does not look like you, think like you, love like you is a threat. Different is scary. Thinking outside the box, unnecessary.
In this world, we all become like the man who now sits in our white house – unfeeling, stupid, greedy, closed off in our own little boxes.
In a world with Sesame Street, we are made better. We are shown kindness at a young age, and creativity and wisdom are celebrated. Sesame gives us the weird and the silly, but also all of the heart and charm. It shows us healthy relationships, and also how to say “no”. Sesame gifts us knowledge and humor, music that stays with us for a lifetime, and decades of beloved characters, and it never asks for anything in return. In a world with Sesame Street, we are given all the tools we need to be confident, compassionate humans as soon as we’re able to walk, and it’s still there for us a generation later. It makes the world wonderful, bright, sweet.
And honestly, who would want to live in a world without it?
Click here to sing a jaunty song about pigeons on the ToughPigs forum!
by Julia Gaskill