The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, March 07, 2005  

Why is This Supposed to be Funny?

The regular “Metropolitan Diary” in today’s New York Times includes the following entry:

Dear Diary:

The puppets in “Avenue Q” brought back many precious memories, including this one, which I’ve long wanted to share:

It was 16 years ago and my daughter, Emily Cooperman, age 2½, was an avid “Sesame Street” fan. Seated on the floor in front of the television, she spent a blissful hour watching her favorite show. When it ended, she continued to face the screen as a disembodied voice announced, “`Sesame Street’ has been brought to you by Playorena, sponsors of gymnastics programs throughout the tristate area.”

Emily turned to me, blue eyes brimming with tears. “Oh, Mommy, that’s so sad!”

Confused, I asked her, “What’s sad, Em?”

“They threw out the tristate area.”

Marsha Weinstein

Adorable! Just precious! The darndest things kids say! But . . . what?

Does any reader know wherein lies the implied precociousness of the quip sent up by Emily Cooperman Weinstein, or is it Emily Weinstein Cooperman? (I only ask because Marsha herself thinks it’s important. And does anyone really believe this is the first time Ms. Weinstein has shared this story during that last 16 years?)

I’m just not hearing it.

[Post-publication addendum (March 8): Reader M.G. writes: “I can’t get blogger to take a comment, so I’m emailing you: The little girl heard ‘threw out’ instead of ‘thoughout.’ It’s still not very funny.” And to that Rittenhouse responded and responds: “Oh. I see. That’s not even ‘not very funny,’ it’s not funny at all. And Mrs. Weinstein waited 16 years to tell that story?”]

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