Dear Elmo

Back when I liked you.

Dear Elmo,

You suck.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t always feel this way. In fact, before I had children — back when I was merely “Uncle John” — I actually liked you. A lot. You were a funny and irresistible little monster. Plus my niece and nephew LOVED you. Remember that holiday season when you were in such high demand? Well, I was one of the lucky ones who actually managed to get his hands on your red ass, chicken suit and all. I’ll never forget what a hit you were that year. The kids played with you for hours. But what I didn’t realize then was that their parents must have hated every single minute of it.

C getting her Elmo on.

No, my furry friend, I wouldn’t learn that lesson for quite some time. But learn it I would, when I finally became a dad. I will admit, though, even after spawning the tiny trio, it took a while for the disdain to set in, likely because the triplets adored you so. It’s hard for me to dislike anything which brings such joy to my children.

But it’s not impossible, my misguided monster. Hearing your little chicken-dance song 5,412 times certainly proved that.

“Elmo wants to be a chicken. Elmo wants to be a duck. Quack, quack, quack, quack.”

Well, which is it, Elmo? Do you wanna be a chicken or do you wanna be a duck? You’re quacking, so I assume you wanna be a duck, yet you’re dressed in a chicken costume, which would indicate a poultry preference. Not to mention the fact that the package you came in? It didn’t read Duck Dance Elmo.  It read CHICKEN Dance Elmo. So why in the duck are you quacking? You’re setting a horrendous example for my kids who could very well be acquiring a sense of entitlement by witnessing such behavior. I can hear it now. “I wanna do this. No, I wanna do that. No, I wanna do this. No, I wanna do that…”

As much as I loathed you in your chicken-dance format, there was a simple solution–hiding you from the light of day. Once I did that, I figured you were behind us. Until long-ass car rides came onto the scene. That’s right. Seven-hour drives to the beach with three fussy toddlers is quite an experience. To keep the peace we tried everything. But only one thing seemed to work. Your Best of Elmo DVD.

Oh the irony, Elmo. Hiding you at home brought me great peace. Yet, on the road, from a monitor behind my head and well outside my field of vision, you still managed to wreak a hell-like havoc on the vacation commutes I haplessly executed. Back in the good old days, three hours on the road meant we were in the middle of Spartanburg. But suddenly, three hours on the road meant that we were in the middle of the SEVENTH showing of your mind-numbing collection of skits.

Do you have to use that high-pitched voice, Elmo? Or rap. Do you have to rap? You’re about as gansta as an imaginary tea party. With princesses. And do you have to rock the third person all the time? Hmm? Because John Cave Osborne doesn’t like that. It bugs him. In fact, it bugs pretty much everyone and everything on this planet.

Telephone, Elmo. It’s Fran Dresher. She wants me to tell you that her laugh thinks you’re annoying.

Speaking of annoying, Elmo, Whoopie Goldberg? REALLY? What, Star Jones all booked up? And how ’bout your deal with Julia Roberts? Just hearing the two of you trying to scare each other is enough to make me wanna throw an apple at the monitor. Don’t worry, though. Should I ever lose control like that, no one would actually get hurt. Any apple thrown anywhere near Julia Roberts would do nothing more than harmlessly lodge itself into the top row of her preposterously large teeth.

Oh, and I think it’s nice that you gave the Unhappy Honker your last drawing, but if you needed at least one to display at the Monster Art Show, why in world did you give it to him?

I smell a dumb dumb.

And then everyone’s supposed to feel all sorry for you and return the dozens of drawings you just spent the better part of thirty minutes handing out as gifts? Again, not a great example. Back to the entitlement deal.

Yes, Elmo, you do suck. But, honestly? I’ve kinda enjoyed disliking you so. The acrimonious fire you’ve set within my soul has kept me warm for nearly eighteen months now. And that’s the real reason why I’m writing you.

Sadly, it seems the fire is going out. You see, A, B, and C no longer wonder where your chicken-dance doll is. They don’t enjoy your DVDs anymore, not even the one where you selfishly insist that every day be Christmas. (You’ve GOT to work on that entitlement thing.)

 

Sorry, Elmo, but you’re yesterday’s news. In fact, you’ve already been replaced. And wouldn’t you know it–you’ve been replaced by something else that’s red. And what’s more, much like you, your replacement emits high-pitched noises capable of giving me migraines. And truth be told? I’m kinda sad about it. My new foil, though similar to you in color and sound, will be nowhere near as fun for me to hate.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t hate it. Because, rest assured, I will.

And I can also promise you this. That damn thing will NEVER be allowed in the car. EVER.

So long, Elmo.

 

Move over Elmo, for this God-awful thing.

 

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • http://www.realmendriveminivans.com PJ Mullen

    Sorry, I hate Caillou more than I hate Elmo. The few Elmo toys we were unfortunate enough to receive with their shrill sounds managed to catch chronic laryngitis.

  • http://www.realmendriveminivans.com PJ Mullen

    Sorry, I hate Caillou more than I hate Elmo. The few Elmo toys we were unfortunate enough to receive with their shrill sounds managed to catch chronic laryngitis.

  • http://bwakeling.wordpress.com bwakeling

    I want an Elmo costume, and I want one now.

  • http://bwakeling.wordpress.com bwakeling

    I want an Elmo costume, and I want one now.

  • http://www.madd0g.org Mo

    Elmo definitely has issues, that’s for sure. I reckon some of his peers were into ducks, and some were into chickens, and somehow this transpired into providing him with that weird duck/chicken paradox.

  • http://www.madd0g.org Mo

    Elmo definitely has issues, that’s for sure. I reckon some of his peers were into ducks, and some were into chickens, and somehow this transpired into providing him with that weird duck/chicken paradox.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    Congrats on ditching the Little Red Monster, or um, Congrats on the acquisition of a Little Red Monster.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    Congrats on ditching the Little Red Monster, or um, Congrats on the acquisition of a Little Red Monster.

  • http://www.almightydad.com Keith Wilcox

    Elmo was yesterday’s news around here in about a week. First, unlike you, I never even allowed an elmo related product anywhere near the boys despite their pleading. I knew all about Elmo’s evil plans to worm his way into the hearts of my kids while simultaneously annoying the crap out of me. I sorta dodged a bullet there from the sounds of it :-)

    We haven’t done the recorder yet. But, the eldest wants to play violin. Does that count?

  • http://www.almightydad.com Keith Wilcox

    Elmo was yesterday’s news around here in about a week. First, unlike you, I never even allowed an elmo related product anywhere near the boys despite their pleading. I knew all about Elmo’s evil plans to worm his way into the hearts of my kids while simultaneously annoying the crap out of me. I sorta dodged a bullet there from the sounds of it :-)

    We haven’t done the recorder yet. But, the eldest wants to play violin. Does that count?

  • http://sahdpdx.com gylcol

    So far I have kept Elmo out but he is trying hard to get in the house. The boys are aiding and abetting/

  • http://sahdpdx.com gylcol

    So far I have kept Elmo out but he is trying hard to get in the house. The boys are aiding and abetting/

  • http://www.dcurbandad.com DCUrbanDad

    Hahahahahahahaha. The Mini-Kamp is having a love affair with Elmo. We are trying to turn her on to Grover and Kermit.

    The shaking Elmo is pretty awesome. Because well you get to shake him.

  • http://www.dcurbandad.com DCUrbanDad

    Hahahahahahahaha. The Mini-Kamp is having a love affair with Elmo. We are trying to turn her on to Grover and Kermit.

    The shaking Elmo is pretty awesome. Because well you get to shake him.

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    Awwww! I don’t hate Elmo yet… I guess we’ve got a few more months to go.

    Thanks for the hint, though. I wont be buying any of the above. :D

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    Awwww! I don’t hate Elmo yet… I guess we’ve got a few more months to go.

    Thanks for the hint, though. I wont be buying any of the above. :D

  • http://thesuburbanscrawl.blogspot.com Melisa with one S

    I LOVE ELMO. Sadly, my 15 yo and 17 yo are over him. :(

  • http://thesuburbanscrawl.blogspot.com Melisa with one S

    I LOVE ELMO. Sadly, my 15 yo and 17 yo are over him. :(

  • Lynn Joy Baack

    too funny- Elmo, drums, there will always be that special “toy” you want to throw out the window! I also spent many a 20hr drive from Key West to Memphis listening to one movie after another- obviously with numerous repeats. To this day, I have yet to see the actual movie, Big Daddy- but I know all of the words! It does beat the crap out of sibling fighting….you are in for so much fun!

  • Lynn Joy Baack

    too funny- Elmo, drums, there will always be that special “toy” you want to throw out the window! I also spent many a 20hr drive from Key West to Memphis listening to one movie after another- obviously with numerous repeats. To this day, I have yet to see the actual movie, Big Daddy- but I know all of the words! It does beat the crap out of sibling fighting….you are in for so much fun!

  • joslyne

    Mr. Noodle is my arch nemesis. When I take him out I could easily get Elmo for you too. However, I refuse to touch Dorothy. She seems like an innocent bystander in all this.

  • joslyne

    Mr. Noodle is my arch nemesis. When I take him out I could easily get Elmo for you too. However, I refuse to touch Dorothy. She seems like an innocent bystander in all this.

  • http://clarkkentslunchbox.blogspot.com/ Clark Kent’s Lunchbox

    Diapers and Elmo: Two things I am glad I don’t have to deal with. Hannah Montana & the boys peeing in public are my new challenges. It just gets progressively more complicated. =-)

  • http://clarkkentslunchbox.blogspot.com/ Clark Kent’s Lunchbox

    Diapers and Elmo: Two things I am glad I don’t have to deal with. Hannah Montana & the boys peeing in public are my new challenges. It just gets progressively more complicated. =-)

  • http://pegbur7.wordpress.com pegbur7

    O.M.G. That Fran Drescher thing was the MOST ANNOYING clip EVER…. kill me now!

    post however… funny! as always.

    BTW… you have been tagged my dear.

    http://pegbur7.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/i-done-been-tagged-too/

    Have a wonderful weekend. :-)

  • http://pegbur7.wordpress.com pegbur7

    O.M.G. That Fran Drescher thing was the MOST ANNOYING clip EVER…. kill me now!

    post however… funny! as always.

    BTW… you have been tagged my dear.

    http://pegbur7.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/i-done-been-tagged-too/

    Have a wonderful weekend. :-)

  • http://daddyfiles.com Daddy Files

    Are you kidding me? Elmo is a goddamn saint compared to the fresh hell that is the Wiggles! Those creepy pedophile bastards are crazy. One seemingly suffers from Narcolepsy and they all have the freakiest smiles plastered to their faces at all times. And then there’s a guy named Capt. Feathersword. It’s a phallic name but he sounds like he needs Viagra. And he talks like the gayest pirate Australia has ever produced.

    I’d take an Elmo Army over the damn Wiggles. Count your blessings.

  • http://daddyfiles.com Daddy Files

    Are you kidding me? Elmo is a goddamn saint compared to the fresh hell that is the Wiggles! Those creepy pedophile bastards are crazy. One seemingly suffers from Narcolepsy and they all have the freakiest smiles plastered to their faces at all times. And then there’s a guy named Capt. Feathersword. It’s a phallic name but he sounds like he needs Viagra. And he talks like the gayest pirate Australia has ever produced.

    I’d take an Elmo Army over the damn Wiggles. Count your blessings.

  • http://ciarasramblingsandwhatnot.com ciara

    i like elmo…sometimes *ducks from apple* but i understand how some kid things can be annoying. i’m gonna go along w pj on the caillou thing and little bear is one i could never stand. why was he the only character never in any clothes? wait for the teen years…you might be wishing for the chicken elmo lol

  • http://ciarasramblingsandwhatnot.com ciara

    i like elmo…sometimes *ducks from apple* but i understand how some kid things can be annoying. i’m gonna go along w pj on the caillou thing and little bear is one i could never stand. why was he the only character never in any clothes? wait for the teen years…you might be wishing for the chicken elmo lol

  • http://lifeofanewdad.blogspot.com Otter321

    Hilarious post!

    The loss of your favorite enemy made me think of the movie Swingers. Where Ron Livingston tells Mikey that you eventually get over the hurt of losing a girl. But when you do you actually miss the hurt because you lived with it so long. I am sure you will miss hating Elmo.

  • http://lifeofanewdad.blogspot.com Otter321

    Hilarious post!

    The loss of your favorite enemy made me think of the movie Swingers. Where Ron Livingston tells Mikey that you eventually get over the hurt of losing a girl. But when you do you actually miss the hurt because you lived with it so long. I am sure you will miss hating Elmo.

  • http://www.edathomedad.com Edathomedad

    Why do kids always love toys of tv characters that are the most annoying to parents? I gotta agree with PJ, we had to put a ban on Caillou. Now my daughters go to is Team Umizoomi. I am learning to hate them. A ban might be coming soon.

  • http://www.edathomedad.com Edathomedad

    Why do kids always love toys of tv characters that are the most annoying to parents? I gotta agree with PJ, we had to put a ban on Caillou. Now my daughters go to is Team Umizoomi. I am learning to hate them. A ban might be coming soon.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Elmo is long gone here, but I do admit to having had an incident with him once. Tripped over him in the dark and shouted out “Fuck you Elmo.” Moments later I heard my son say, “Truck you Elmo.”

    I was more than a little pleased to learn that by morning he had forgotten.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Elmo is long gone here, but I do admit to having had an incident with him once. Tripped over him in the dark and shouted out “Fuck you Elmo.” Moments later I heard my son say, “Truck you Elmo.”

    I was more than a little pleased to learn that by morning he had forgotten.

  • chriskoenig4324

    I’ll take Elmo over the Wiggles. Good lord. I hate those guys. Make me wanna shoot myself in the face.

  • chriskoenig4324

    I’ll take Elmo over the Wiggles. Good lord. I hate those guys. Make me wanna shoot myself in the face.

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad (Luke, I am Your Fa

    No television and Elmo is the first character Lmy guy took to. It was because of that damn quacking chicken Elmo at daycare. It was downhill from there.

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad (Luke, I am Your Father)

    No television and Elmo is the first character Lmy guy took to. It was because of that damn quacking chicken Elmo at daycare. It was downhill from there.

  • http://www.irrationaldad.com Joe @ IrrationalDad

    I’ve NEVER liked Elmo. Never. I refuse to ever buy an Elmo toy. I won’t deny him Elmo toys, if his grandparents or aunts and uncles buy them, but not from me and not with my money!!!

  • http://www.irrationaldad.com Joe @ IrrationalDad

    I’ve NEVER liked Elmo. Never. I refuse to ever buy an Elmo toy. I won’t deny him Elmo toys, if his grandparents or aunts and uncles buy them, but not from me and not with my money!!!

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  • Forlaniz3

    Hilarrrrrrroussss!!!!