Sesame Street wasn’t that big a part of my childhood. I saw the Muppet Show in the 70s and can remember Debbie Harry featuring in one show and it being a huge thing. Here in the US, Sesame Street is still huge, even though it has been around since 1969. I read somewhere that 95 per cent of all preschoolers in the US had seen Sesame Street by the time they were three. Sesame Street characters appear on boxes of biscuits aimed at toddlers, I don’t know who they are so I have to read the small print as it’s assumed you already know. I took a look at a box of cards that someone had in a local play space which featured Sesame Street. They are big on the alphabet but I recoiled at the American spellings and rather insensitively gave them back with a ‘but I want J to learn to spell the British way’. Not a good way to make friends. Anyway, the reason for all this Sesame Street talk is because today I was accosted by Elmo. We did a real tourist thing and walked through Times Square, which was bitterly cold but didn’t stop us gawping at the bright lights and neon advertising. Passing a major toy store, there were a lot of people dressed up as cartoon characters, which is a massive magnet for any toddler. Next thing I know I have Elmo on one side (he’s bright red and very furry) and Minnie Mouse on the other, both of whom have their arms around my waist and are encouraging R to take a picture of me, J and E. E bursts into tears at this point, overwhelmed by the proximity of these characters and I can’t escape. A swift exit via a few bucks and we are let go. I had no idea Elmo was so mercenary!