Sesame Street Was Brought to you Today by the Letters G and R

What if I told you a collaboration of epic proportions took place this Halloween? Two icons of their respective genres teamed up to give the whole planet (residing in New Haven, Connecticut) a show they’ll never forget.

You’re wondering who. You’re wondering how. You’re wondering why tickets didn’t fuel bidding wars on E-bay.

I’m going to tell you about it. Don’t worry.

One rocked your world in the late eighties as the front man for one of the most inebriated rock bands of the era, and the other is a furry red fixture in every American household infested with children.

Axl Rose from Guns N Roses, and Elmo the Monster from Sesame Street.

They came.

They saw.

They trick-or-treated.

Kilted and belligerent, met furry and lovable.

“You’ll do anything to wear a kilt.” my wife said later that night as our son snoozed in a pile of empty candy wrappers.

“I was supposed to be Axl Rose. He wore a Kilt, sometimes.” I argued.

“You just wanted to wear a kilt,” says my wife. “…and take off that stupid wig; NO! Do NOT put it on the baby – you’ll wake him up; I SAID NO! Dammit TREVOR!”

She’s been contesting the validity of my Scottish heritage since we met many years ago. I embrace my past. I can’t say my enthusiasm isn’t bolstered by Hollywood’s portrayal of the proud Scotsman, though.

William Wallace in ‘Braveheart’,
Robert MacGregor in ‘Rob Roy’
Groundskeeper Willy from ‘The Simpsons’

One only has to look at someone like Sean Connery, to feel the pride of being descended from that race of noble, kilt wearing, caber tossing, haggis eating, sheep shearing, teeth kicking, bag-pipe blowing, golf inventing, Scots. We also perfected spitting when we talk as an effective form of punctuation, and more impressively, talking before we’ve even swallowed our beer – that’s why we often grow beards; to soak up whatever beer cascades from our mouths to be wrung out later over a dirty glass and given a proper burial in our stomachs.

My wife seems to think I have a borderline identity crisis. I think she’s worried that I’m not happy with me just being me. Being the Trevor she loves. She thinks I feel a burning need to perpetuate my identity as Trevor the Scotsman; painted blue and thirsting to drink the blood of the English. Newsflash; my ancestors were the jerks who fought on the side of the British against the legendary William Wallace, and subsequently had the plaid kicked out of their kilts. That’s the reason they moved to Canada. I’ve since heard from my mother that we may not even be descendent from those people; that we may be, in fact, Irish. Maybe Japanese, Inuit, Aztec, or was it Voldemortian? They who cannot be named. I don’t know, anymore.

In any case there are so many other, more disturbing reasons I’m not happy with Trevor. Reaching back six or seven generations to adopt what seems to be my most plausible heritage hardly seems an efficient way to suppress those things about myself which I detest. It’s much quicker and easier to drink.

I’ll admit that hearing hymns on the bagpipes makes me well up with tears. The Cadence to Arms, and Amazing Grace – they give me chills; but so does the voice of vocalist Andrea Boccelli, and I can’t even understand what he’s going on and on about.

I’ll admit that I love sweet breads and blood sausage. I also love bratwurst, yellow curry, Thai noodles, and processed chicken patties – all blended together and spread on wonder bread, no crusts thank you very much.

I’ll even admit that I liked wearing a kilt for a day; but I’d also jump at the chance to wear a matador’s costume, especially to appear in court for traffic tickets.

And finally I’ll admit that I do despise the English; but not the people; just the muffins. They burn in the toaster, and leave crumbs in my margarine. I love the Brits, and look at their past mistakes in much the same way I look at my own – with nostalgia and a little good natured shame.

I think that my wife has always been one of the lucky enlightened few who are content being themselves. She’s always been immediately popular where ever she goes; she exudes confidence from every curly lock of her hair growing out of her massive Eastern block head. (She’s descended from proud Austrian paint-by-number artists, and Czechoslovakian gypsies) She was always ahead of the curve when it came to fashion, music, and any other trend. As soon as everyone started following her lead, she’d switch it up and start a new fad. She knew what was cool, and was surprisingly benevolent to people who didn’t.

Contrast that to my experience in high-school. I attended three. I was a military brat, and we moved a lot. I can name fifty people I remember, but can count on the arms of my two pet octopi* how many remember me. I was always migrating from clique to clique, not being shunned by any of them, but not entirely accepted either. It was difficult, and I think a few complexes spawned out of my frequent lack of a group of idiots to call ‘the guys’.

*My pet octopi are named Duran and Duran

The most liberating moments in my life were the ones when I stopped caring what people thought, or, more accurately, what I thought they might be thinking. If I could give anyone going through that tumultuous time solid advice aside from the obligatory study, don’t do drugs, and don’t fake your own death, it would be this: Stop caring what your classmates think, because they’re just as clueless as you are. The coolest kids are the one’s that don’t let anything get to them. Be clean. Be polite. Speak softly. Speak kindly. Don’t tell people you’re awful at anything; they’ll figure it out. Just give it your best shot, and laugh at yourself before anyone else can. It is that simple, and anyone who says otherwise will probably end up writing for a living.

My wife ended up with me and I’m not sure how. Let’s face it. Trevor landed a wicked hot honey bear. High fives all around, people! High fives!

Seriously – She’s forgiven me for my nerdy past. For playing Dungeons and Dragons, for having friends throughout the country that still do, and who, to this day, excitedly drunk-dial me late at night to talk about their current campaigns. For playing tennis and wrestling instead of playing football. For drama class, and playing the clarinet in seventh grade band; for making pig-noises when I laugh, and she maintains, snoring when I’m awake. She’s stuck it out with me despite all past awkwardness, and all current awkwardness, and I suspect, will do so through all future awkwardness. That’s what truly cool people do; they like you anyway.

Sesame Street Was Brought to you Today by the Letters G and R

Trevor Penick

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

He writes from the standpoint of meditating on a possible identity crisis from which his wife has suggested he might be suffering. By the end, he liberates the reader from the standards set by society by encouraging them to just be themselves. Cliche? Nay, friends, nay. He reveals that anyone who shows heart won’t be laughed off the stage; many a troubled soul would benifit from taking his advice, as would many a confident one,as it provides validation to everyone.

Artwork Comments

  • crzadkiewicz
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