Enter Lefty the Salesman. He's the shady, back-alley, no-good rat always fixing to earn a quick nickel. He often preys on the young and unintelligent to hock his possibly stolen wares. Living on the Street of Sesame means that most of his items are of the alphanumeric variety.
Just as good as the real thing....
Sesame Street was originally targeted to inner-city youth and played with the urban concepts many children were bound to encounter...including the mysterious trench-coated man selling illegal products. Although every puppet on Sesame Street is naive, Ernie often fell victim to Lefty's pitches.
His ruses usually fail and ultimately he tries to sweeten the deal with a signature song, his own "C is for Cookie" or "I Love Trash." He lays the slimy charm on thick with "Would You Like to Buy an O," the hustler's anthem.
Fortunately, Ernie almost always declines. He knows where he can get these letters and numbers legitimately. But wait a minute....there is something still fishy about this business. Watch this next clip and you may see the real issue at hand.
The letters....are ALIVE! In this magical world where humans and monsters and grouches and snuffleupaguses co-exist peacefully, talking letters and numbers are being slaughtered by the dozen! And nobody bats an eye! They are praised for being beautiful creatures one moment and become tacky trophies and tchotchkes the next! Ernie honestly contemplates buying all of these deceased creatures. What happened to them? Why are they becoming mass-produced? All so they can be hung on a wall for people to look at as a reminder of what they once were? What barbarians would do such a thing?
At least stuffed carcasses of Muppet animals can remain sentient in the afterlife.
Whatever is happening, no one is saying a word. Lefty makes sure to keep all of his business transactions on the down low. Although he crawls out from the city's seedy underbelly, his network runs deep. Noted politicians, respected celebrities, and furry lovable monsters all partake in this corruption. Lefty runs this city like a well oiled machine. He is the Tony Montana of Sesame Street. It would not be surprising to find that he has been supplying Sesame Street merchants with the bodies of the entire alphabet!
The blood of the innocent is spilled in exchange for a lollipop.