Since having a daughter and starting to watch Sesame Street and own Sesame Street toys again, I have made a bizarre discovery. At first it was only a sneaking suspicion, but now I am sure. I know the truth, and now I share it with you.
In short, the Bert toys of the world, being as boring, stuffy, and generally un-fun as the Muppet in whose likeness they are made, are all abandoning their jobs as children's playthings and going AWOL.
Lucy received this set of bath toys new, as a Christmas gift. The set came with a Bert. I've seen him, held him, made him talk. But sometime between 2 summers ago and the day we moved out of our last house, he made his escape. We're not sure when, where, or how -- we only know that he is gone.
UPDATE: While Norman and I both agree that there was definitely a life-jacketed Bert included in this set, and that he is now missing, all listings of this toy on the internet show only Ernie and Elmo. This conspiracy deepens...
I purchased this RV travel set at a thrift store a few months before we moved. I saved it to give to Lucy on the road ("See? Your Sesame Street friends are moving across the country, too!"). After I bought it, I did some research to see how old the set was. My discovery -- it originally came with a Bert, nowhere to be found at the thrift store. A tiny lantern and picnic basket survive, in addition to the RV door that's not even attached, but Bert goes missing? Curious.
I found this tiny stuffed Ernie at a rummage sale. Just the right size to fit in a Christmas stocking with his friend Bert. But all of my searching through piles of grungy old rummage sale toys was in vain. No tiny stuffed Bert in sight.
I found these pieces in a large bucket of free toys at a garage sale this weekend. I found Cookie Monster, Big Bird, and Elmo. I thought, "Bert missing again?" But no -- I couldn't be sure. Perhaps neither Bert nor Ernie made it into the design for this toy. And then I spotted Ernie. I've not been able to find a photo of this complete set online, and other characters are clearly missing (they are numbered), but Bert was most definitely gone. My kid-grime-covered hands told the story.
Where are these Berts? Where do they go? What do they do after freeing themselves from a life of tea parties and inane preschool small talk? We can only guess. But as a fellow introvert, I can do nothing but wish them well on their journeys.