Elmo: Homicidal Muppet

So I’m a little behind this whole Elmo book brouhaha, but I think it’s reached the point where I should comment.

Last week BoingBoing noted that copies of Potty Time With Elmo were said to be repeating the phrase “Who wants to die?” instead of “Who wants to try to go potty?”. One woman went so far as to get the local tv news involved – the video is on their site.

After watching the clip, I’m tempted to agree with the initial commentors that it sounds like the correct is being lopped off, so children are left with “Who wants to try”. Not at all offensive or blood-curdling, but I can see how one could mis-hear the little red guy. People do it all the time.

See and hear Elmo for yourself.

Later BoingBoing revisited Elmo madness with the story of a woman and an Elmo toy that spouts “beat up elmo” and “shoot his foot out.” You can follow the discussion of this topic at MSN or you can listen to Elmo, or both. I don’t care. More than likely it’s just another case of overactive imaginations: “Be like Elmo” and “Stick your foot out” are most likely the culprits.

Either way, as a parent, I find this situation highly amusing. I’m not always the most vigilant person about constraining my use of colorful metaphor, so maybe I’m not taking Elmo-gate seriously enough. In any event, I can honestly say that if I purchased a toy, Elmo or otherwise, and it said some kooky, crazy, depraved, violent thing, I’d bring it into the office and put it on my desk like a prize. Better yet, I’d blog about the whole damn thing and wait for the avalanche of crazy BoingBoing traffic to commence.

Maybe I’ve just been reading too much Dooce or perhaps seeing the Family Stone is still affecting me, but I can’t get myself too worked up over this nonsense. It’s funny and I might be a bit peeved if Raelyn started singing “Who wants to die?” but I think, despite my penchant for swearing, that I’m a good enough parent to do two things:

a) return the toy without getting snooty, litigious or self-righteously indignant
b) explain to my child that the toy was broken/defective and that we don’t say those kinds of things
c) exploit the situation for my own amusement/blog traffic.

Ok, three things.

Viva la Elmo!

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