What Elmo and a Rock Can Teach Wyomingites About Patience, Imagination, and Gaslighting
If you were to check Twitter any day this week, you'd notice that, for some reason, Elmo was trending. Yes, Elmo- the furry, crimson-furred monster from the hit children's television show Sesame Street. And the reason he was trending was because of a years-long feud he has with a rock.
Yes, a rock. Not THE Rock; A rock. And honestly, we're on Elmo's side.
It all began in 1999. That year was when Elmo first met Rocco. But 2004 was the year that Elmo starred in an episode of Sesame Street that taught viewers how important patience, and imagination, really is.
In the episode, Elmo is playing with his friend Zoey. But Zoey has a new friend; a pet rock named Rocco. Now, anyone who lived in the '80s knows how good of a companion a rock can actually be, but Elmo was having none of it. And, to be fair, Rocco kind of started it.
Elmo, Zoey, and Rocco were hanging out with their friend Gabby, who had just made everybody cookies. Zoey and Elmo got a chocolate chip cookie, while Rocco got an oatmeal rasin one. Elmo politely asked Gabby if he could have oatmeal raisin instead of chocolate chip. Gabby apologized, saying she didn't have anymore. Elmo, thinking logically, said that was okay, he would just trade with Rocco and take his.
Zoey immediately came to her friend's defense.
"No no, wait wait Elmo," Zoey said. "Rocco says that he wants the oatmeal raisin cookie.":
Elmo responds about as calmly as one could in this situation.
"Rocco?" Elmo begins. "Rocco's a rock, Zoey. Rocco doesn't know the difference."
"Yes he does," Zoey retorts. "You can't have that cookie, Elmo. Rocco wants to eat it."
And, with that, Elmo loses his freakin' mind.
"HOW!?" he screams in Zoey's face. "How is Rocco gonna eat that cookie, Zoey? Tell Elmo! Rocco doesn't even have a mouth! Rocco's just a rock! Rocco's not alive!"
These days especially, it's easy to become angry with people; especially people with differing views. But whether it's a different political belief, or the belief that a rock is actually alive and has feelings, it's important that we all treat each other with respect, dignity, and kindness. Some Twitter users pointed out that Zoey and the rest of the residents of Sesame Street were gaslighting Elmo. For years, episode after episode, Elmo was the voice of reason while everybody went along with the idea that Rocco was alive. After a while, being made to feel like you're the crazy one, simply for being the voice of reason, could begin to take its toll.