In the recent furor over which kind of parent is cooler, more obnoxious or better able to sling vicious insults I’ve heard one phrase repeated over and over. This phrase might be heard within an article, found in a comment, or just heard in casual conversation but it is always said with sneering disdain, clearly setting it on its own small island amidst the sea of turbulent debate. This phrase? “Elmo and minivans.” I’m confused by this phrase as well as its vilification. Does it indicate a less than ethical cross-sell marketing campaign? Is it a cautionary term, perhaps to warn people about minivans built by underage puppets in third world countries? Can you dislike minivans and still like Elmo or are they always inexorably entwined? And what does this have to do with parenting? To get to the bottom of this and other burning questions I went right to the source. Here is a transcript of my intriguing interview with Elmo.
Me: Elmo, thanks for
meeting with me.
Elmo: My pleasure! Lattes yummy!
Me: So Elmo, there has been some indication that you have an ongoing relationship with certain minivan manufacturers. Can you tell us a little about that?
Elmo: What you mean?
Me: To be blunt, do you have a partnership deal with Dodge?
Elmo: That silly! Hee hee hee! Elmo no drive. Elmo too little.
Me: So you don’t have any deals with any minivan companies? No endorsements, commercials, kickbacks?
Elmo: What’s a kickback? Is that on bike?
Me: No, Elmo, that’s a kickstand.
Elmo: Oooohhh! Hey, hey, guess what?
Me: What Elmo?
Elmo: Guess where Elmo going tonight?
Me: Um, I don’t know… where?
Elmo: Killers concert with Telly! Elmo so excited!
Me: Wow Elmo! That’s pretty cool! I like The Killers, too!
Elmo: Yeah yeah! Dave Keuning rocks! Yay!
Me: Cool! Where are they playing… um, never mind. Back to the question at hand… can you tell me why you are repeatedly lumped in with minivans? And how does that make you feel?
Elmo: Who say that?
Me: Well, hipsters for one and…
Elmo: What are hipsters?
Me: Oh, you know, people who like certain cars, music, clothes…
Elmo: Clothes? Like Elmo’s vintage Vans with flaming skulls? Elmo got them on eBay!
Me: You bought those on eBay?
Elmo: Yeah yeah! On computer, with allowance. Elmo got allowance for doing chores! Hee hee hee! Ooh ooh, look! Flames match Elmo’s fur!
Me: Yes, they do, Elmo. Yes, they do.
There you have it. Sometimes uttered along with “Elmo and minivans” is also a mention of Costco. Next stop, an interview with their CEO to ask… why are they no longer carrying those tasty bumbleberry tarts? Darn it, those were good.
- the weirdgirl