Elmo should know... he is easily replaced.
At the bookstore today, the broken-armed story-telling girl told me I need to bring my kids back in early February becaues Elmo is coming! She yammered on about the event for a little bit. I didn't pay that much attention because that's about as exciting as Disney On Ice or some such nonsense to me. But later in the day I felt I should discuss it with my kids.
I said, "Would you guys want to go see Elmo in a couple of weeks?"
The kids were silent. I think it was out of courtesy, but they both finally grumbled, "Yeah."
I figured my daughter is two and a half and that's old enough to level with, so I said, "Actually, it's probably a guy in an Elmo suit. Do you guys want to go see some guy in an Elmo costume?"
Suddenly they were more alive than ever, "YEAAHHHHH!!!"
Let's hear it for grown men covered in yards of bright-red fuzz. Give it up, Yo. The broken-arm girl actually said you had to get tickets and they were only issuing 65, so there is a chance that it will be the "real" Elmo. Wouldn't I be the worst dad in the world if I showed up just to heckle Elmo:
Elmo! Kermit the Frog was a friend of mine. You are no Kermit the Frog.
Hey Elmo! The bathroom called. It wants it's urine-soaked rug back. Did you hear that? You stink, Elmo, like a urine-soaked rug!
You were a mistake Elmo! Someone on Sesame Street had a ratty slipper with the front of the sole peeling off. They tossed you in Oscar's trash can but he threw you back out!
And then my kids are bawling their eyes out as the Bookstore Security team is tossing me outside. I don't think they would ever recover. If I was half as angry and cynical as everyone seems to think I am, I would probably do it.
I saw Quentin Tarantino talking on Conan O'Brien about doing an appearance on Sesame Street and how he loved the Muppets when he was younger and how he had a crush on that blissed-out girl muppet in Electric Mayhem. He said he got to visit a warehouse full of Muppets and talk to them. He said it was bizarre because he didn't get to see the "animators" who moved them and spoke for them, the muppets just talked to him like they would in a movie. He said Rolf the Dog was kind of a bitter old man who complained about how he used to be a primary character and now he's a has been. If kids all over start to prefer some guy in a costume over the TV personality "Elmo" then he may be in there next to Rolf the Dog faster than you can say today's sponsoring letter.
(Speaking of Close Encounters of the Muppet kind... did you all catch this story about a woman who was murdered and stuffed in a shed with a bunch of lifeless Sesame Street puppets?)