Following on the heels of Bulemic Barbie's rehab, Mattel is dealing with a seriously diseased Elmo. Apparently Elmo has ingested large quantities of lead, leaving him partially mentally retarded.
Reports are that Elmo is no longer able to count to ten with confidence and has in fact forgotten the alphabet altogether. On a recent episode of Seseme Street, Elmo was supposed to let the audience know that the show had been brought to them by the letter "W" but Elmo froze on screen and stuttered that he couldn't read the cue card. The Count simply shook his head yesterday when asked about a skit with he and Elmo counting baby chicks that went awry.
Elmo's on again off again girlfriend Barbie stated that "Like, he's in really bad shape. He feels way bad that he's letting the kids down. And like there's really very little the doctors can do to reverse the damage. But, like everybody's get well wishs for Elmo are totally appreciated though."
This affliction apparently has roots in Elmo's last trip to China where he consumed exotic foods and tried various herbal medicines designed to fight off puberty for another year and keep his voice high pitched. Another theory was that he had an adverse reaction to possibly lead-based paint used during a celebrity "rehab a shanty" charity outing along the Yangtze River in China. The river is known to have pollution problems as well and the toxicity may have simply overwhelmed Elmo's permeable fabric skin and plush insides.
Elmo's direct employer Fischer-Price (a Mattel subsidiary) is reluctant to assign blame to the Chinese, however, other stars, including Cookie Monster, the Grouch and Dora the Explorer recently canceled trips to the country. A Mattel spokesman discussed the situation with Real Wisconsin News on Friday, stating that, "The whole company is behind Elmo. His condition is a freak occurance. It couldn't be foreseen that working with people who don't honor contracts, have no regard for other people's safety, steal pretty much everything they can and have little rule of law might create any unusual risks. On a brighter note, Elmo has stopped maturing completely now, so he'll be able to at least sing Elmo's song, which he hasn't forgotten, in his beloved Falsetto. Now please excuse me, we're having a little problem with toy cars and Barbie's dog's crap."