This city has a problem. It's not just the bedbugs anymore, now it's the Cookie Monsters. It's also the Elmos, but mostly the Cookie Monsters. People, please have your Cookie Monsters spayed or neutered. There are so many of them wandering the streets now, that it's hard to even walk down the sidewalk without tripping over one.
Yesterday, I didn't have rehearsal until the afternoon, which meant I was free during lunch to pursue my food truck quest, which I will fill you all in on another time (probably tomorrow). First I stopped by the bank to get some cash with which to purchase said food truck items, and then I started walked down Broadway towards midtown. It was around Times Square when I saw my first Cookie Monster.
He was standing on the corner with his friend Elmo, each of them holding a fuzzy, worn out Christmas stocking in which they were collecting money from tourists in exchange for having a picture taken with the oversized muppets. This made me smile as I recalled the first time we took Ruby to Times Square and we saw an Elmo (maybe the same Elmo?) and went to meet him. The problem was, that Elmo did not speak in an Elmo-y voice. If you have ever seen Elmo, which you have, then you know that his speaking voice is very childlike, if that child has been doing speed and sucking helium. That Elmo, however, spoke with a voice more like James Earl Jones, if that James Earl Jones has been gargling gravel and choking people with the force. This terrified Ruby and she started crying, and now we have a hilarious story to tell about little Ruby and Frighten-Me-Elmo.
I didn't think that there would be more to my story than that, but as I approached the corner, I noticed something odd. There appeared to be a second Cookie Monster and a second Elmo standing on the same street corner. At first I thought, what a hilarious turf war fight that would be to watch, but, sadly, it didn't happen. They didn't seem to mind, or even notice each other. Personally, if I were a kid, I think it would destroy the magic just a tad to see two of the same of my favorite characters standing there. What would I say to Ruby? "Oh no, that one there is Cookie Monster, and over there is his, um, brother...Scone Monster."
I thought it was a funny enough sight, that I crossed the street and took a picture.
That was weird enough, but then, I'm not kidding you, on the NEXT block, there was ANOTHER Cookie Monster and Elmo! I though I must have gotten turned around, but no, there they were, Elmo and Cookie number three!
That was definitely weird, but I knew we really had a problem, when, just one block later, I saw this:
This poor Cookie Monster had lost his Elmo. Or perhaps it was the Cookie Monsters who were more of a problem than the Elmos. Maybe rampant Cookie Monster breeding had gotten out of control and now there were few options left. I'm not saying we should exterminate them, but we should probably find them good homes, and if you are a parent who does not want to answer the tough questions about why there are twenty three Cookie Monsters running around Times Square, I'm just saying, avoid Times Square.
I did actually see one more Cookie Monster, but I was in too much of a hurry at this point to find food trucks and make it back to my rehearsal to take a picture. And besides, this last one was with Minnie Mouse, and I don't mess with rodents in New York City.