The Arena. It wasn’t really an arena—not like a giant sports arena—but it was the best they had. After President Romney led Paul Ryan through “The Street”, laying waste to all of the unsuspecting muppets and their buildings, not much was left. “Sesame”, for example, was crossed out on the pockmarked street sign and replaced with, “The Truth: The Hand is Up Your Ass!”
There wasn’t much. What Romney did leave behind was a warped sense of violent justice. “You have problems,” he sneered from under his wavy hair, “you take them to the Arena. Anything goes.”
And that was how they lost Snuffleupagus. Elmo, who had been one of the first to have his strings cut, had gone crazy.
“Can you tell me how to get…” he’d start singing softly—and then louder, wilder, eyes wide, “TO HELL!”
Even worse, his mind had reverted to imaginary slights from years before. “First there, then not there. Only Big Bird can see him. He’s a spy, a terrorist, a monster, that shit-colored elephant. Snuffleupagus, I’m calling you out!”
The remaining muppets laughed. After all, how did Elmo really expect to take on a behemoth like Snuffleupagus?
“Go away, little one,” Snuffleupagus said, all curled up in what remained of his yellow friend’s nest. “They plucked Big Bird, a tasty treat for one big political Thanksgiving, and now I’m all alone.” But Elmo wouldn’t. He taunted Snuffleupagus for days on end, calling him an “imaginary freak” and crying out that Snuff’s ornithological love was unnatural. Finally, only wanting to put an end to the pestering and to be left alone, he agreed to meet Elmo at the Arena.
On that fateful day no one showed but the two combatants. The muppets had other worries: Count von Count was on the loose, somewhere, hungry and vicious after the number supply had run out. There were whispers that he had looked “vampire” up in the dictionary and discovered what no one else had ever wanted him to know. “Vlood?” he had yelled out, maddened by hunger. “All this time and it was suppose to be VLOOD?”
Yeah. There were worries. Besides, the muppets knew that it’d be over in a few minutes, anyway. What could Elmo do to Snuffy?
Later on, after it was all over, everyone suspected Rodeo Rosie had been bought by Elmo. She stood silent in the shadows, waiting for her cue; and then she burst from the black running, yelling “Yeehaw!” and blasting away with her six-shooters. The worse part? She wasn’t bought for money; she did it because she was bored. She was seduced by excitement. Now the rest of Sesame Street knew what must have happened to Forgetful Jones, her longtime companion.
After the loss of Snuffleupagus they thought it couldn’t get any worse. They thought that right up to the day Romney returned and made Elmo his new Secretary of Education…