I happened to wander on to Sesame Street one evening about a week ago. It was about a half hour before sunset, after the buses had taken the kids away and the Children's Television Workshop team had gone home. The muppets had gathered in front of the building where Gordon and Maria had their apartments back in the day to discuss whether Mr. Cosby had any hope of continuing his career.

All of them, including Elmo, Miss Piggy, and the Snuffleupagus, were there. Since there weren't any children (or employers) around, they felt free to discuss the adult-themed subjects that concerned them. They were pretty bummed out over the fact that someone who had seemed to be a friend of theirs had been accused of terrible crimes. As I stood on the corner by the street sign, I happened to hear some of their conversation.

Count Von Count: Did anybody count the number of women who have accused him? No? Then I shall do so. One! Carla Ferrigno! Two! Joan Tarshis! Three! Linda Joy Traitz! Four! Victoria Valentin—

Bert: Hey, Count, can we do that later?

Ernie: He missed Kristina Ruehli anyway.

Kermit: Mm-hm. But so did SLATE for a while.

Cookie Monster: Maybe somebody will give Bill Cosby a part in a movie about Uncle Ream-us. Ha ha ha. Hoo boy.

Grover: I don't think it would be an A movie, nor a B movie, either.

Big Bird: Probably one of the letters further down the alphabet would have to be used.

Oscar (popping up out of his trash can): It happened on one of dem rape-it-dee-doo-dah days. Now that's the kinda day when you can't open your mouth without Bill Cosby trying to put some kinda drug into it.

All together (singing): Rape uh dee doo dah, rape uh dee ayy. My oh my what a rape-it-dee day. Quaaludes and laud'num comin' my way...

While the others sang the song, Oscar noticed me standing there between the streetlights. He turned toward me and said in a confidential tone of voice: "I bet the Scottsboro boys were guilty as sin, too. Heh. Heh." And down into the trash can he went slamming the lid closed behind him, while the muppets sang "Wonderful feeling! Wonderful day!"

After the song was finished, a Cute Little Girl Muppet pushed her way to the front of the crowd. Everyone else became very quiet.

Cute Little Girl Muppet: What does 'rape' mean?

All the other muppets did a horrified inhaling GASP.

Janice, the female musician muppet from The Muppet Show ran up and grabbed the Cute Little Girl Muppet.

Janice: Listen, young lady! What are you doing out of bed? It's way past your bed time, and you have to go to school tomorrow.

Cute Little Girl Muppet: But it's only five thirty... (voice trails off as Janice hauls the Cute Little Girl Muppet away).

The remaining muppets muttered in an uncomfortable fashion.

Miss Piggy: What is she doing here?

Bert: She got out of bed to check us out.

Ernie: We were singing kind of loudly.

Miss Piggy: NO! I mean Janice! Not her daughter.

Kermit: I remember her telling me, back in LA, about going to visit relatives on the East Coast. I didn't know they lived here though.

Cookie Monster: But.. But did you notice that the little girl did not ask what are Quaaludes and laudanum?

Cookie Monster stares over his furry shoulder in the direction Janice had gone.

It was starting to get dark, so I turned and began walking back toward my car.