Lessons in adulthood

I came home last night after seeing Avenue Q with my friends and my power was out (damn that construction!). Luckily I had a headlamp hanging on a doorknob nearby and it was late anyway so I got settled in for the night. Getting ready for bed by candlelight/headlamp is fine. The only thing that sucks about no power is no internet (and no open wireless networks near home either).

The musical was really good! We had a biggish group — eight of us, and every single one of us had a good time. We were talking about it well after we left the show — and some of us were still thinking of it today. My favorite (and possible spoilers coming up in case you don’t want to read ahead) characters were the Bad Idea Bears. Just imagine the cutest little baby puppet voices on Sesame Street giving you horrendous, unsolicited advice, then being really, really heartbreakingly sad when you don’t take it. For example: you’re depressed, your friends, the Bad Idea Bears, come to visit. In his sweet little baby voice, one says, you should hang yourself while the other one runs offstage, comes back, and in her sweetest little baby voice says (as she hands you a noose) with this piece of rope I found!. Their suggestions are so awful, but their enthusiasm is so contagious, and my goodness, you don’t want to hurt two of the cutest little baby monsters you’ve ever seen, do you?!

Ed said he heard something on the radio about how it’s supposed to be like life lessons for adults. It’s not just a parody of Sesame Street — it is Sesame Street fror adults. There are all these shows and educational programs about how to be a kid, a teen, a college student. What about when we leave college and we have all our fool headed ideas about what adulthood is like? Where are our educational programs about how to deal with our ever growing bills, or how to save money when you’re making minimum wage, or how it’s ok to have no idea what you want to do with your life even though you’re in your 30’s? What about those lessons, huh?!

Well, this show is it. It tells you straight up how a B.A. in English is a useless degree, how there’s a fine line between love and a waste of time, how everyone’s a little bit racist, depression isn’t uncommon, life is mundane, not everyone knows what their purpose in life is, the more you love someone, the more you want to kill that person, throwing pennies off super tall buildings is bad, the internet is for porn, everyone’s a little empty inside, and even well educated people can’t get a job. I feel so smart because I’m so familiar with all these lessons — it’s like reading ahead for the exam. Except the exam is every damn day. Thank god I have a good sense of humor and singing puppets are funny.

The show only runs until the end of this week (Sept 2) in San Francisco so see it if you can. You can find a list of other tour dates on the official Avenue Q website.

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