Ernie Is a Jerk
For several months now, Jason has been pretty into Sesame Street. At first he only had eyes for Elmo, constantly talking about him and asking to see the same clips over and over again. But about two weeks ago his focus suddenly changed. More and more, he's been asking for Ernie. And Bert, actually, although it's only been a few days since he figured out that both characters aren't named "Ernie."
When I was a kid, I loved Ernie. He was one of my favorite characters. (The other was Grover, in part because my dad was really good at imitating his voice.) I still remember how hard I laughed at Ernie yelling "HEEEEERE FISHYFISHYFISHYFISHY!" Ernie was great--he was fun-loving and funny, and certainly more entertaining than his stick-in-the-mud pal Bert. Now, though, Ernie is, well... I kind of think he's a jerk.
I mean, seriously, here's a guy who makes a habit out of waking his best friend up in the middle of the night and then immediately going to sleep, so that not only does his friend not get a restful night, but he has to be alone through it, too. How upset would you be if your best friend woke you up at 2 AM in order to practice how he was going to wake you up in the morning? I'd be livid. And yet, every time Ernie decides to have a midnight jam session with his bugle, Bert just turns to the camera and sighs.
True, Bert can be kind of a grump sometimes. But wouldn't you be kind of grumpy if every time you sat down to read a good book, somebody came and not only interrupted you but invited a bunch of wild animals into your living room and then left them there for you to deal with? All things considered, Bert seems like a model of restraint.
So, I've reached a point in my life where Ernie is annoying and Bert is something of a tragic figure. And this is how I know I've gotten old.