My Husband The Cookie Monster

My husband loves cookies. He can eat an entire batch over the course of an afternoon. He inhales cookie dough ice cream, rows of Oreos and organic “breakfast cookies,” which he claims are healthy. Whatever.

My husband also has a strange affinity for costumes, and so I can’t say I was too surprised when he came home one day with a giant Cookie Monster suit.

“Baby, it’s not Halloween ‘til the end of the month.”

“I know!” he gushed. “Let’s go try it out.”

And so we did. He stepped into the outfit, one leg at a time. I tugged the thick pelt snugly over his shoulders and pulled the zipper up to the base of his neck, careful not to catch blue fuzz in the teeth. He slid his feet into shaggy cobalt slippers and then picked up the mammoth head with blue-mittened hands. He lowered the furry noggin over his tousled hair, dancing blue eyes and big, grinning mouth until it came to rest on his shoulders — Cookie Monster doesn’t have a neck.

I stepped away. Two googly eyeballs stared back at me, and I couldn’t help but smile at the 6-foot-5 creature standing in our living room.

The head had to come off again to get in the car. He held it delicately in his lap as we drove downtown. We parked on Broadway, and I scurried around to the passenger-side door. Head back on, Cookie Monster slowly unfolded himself onto the sidewalk.

He sauntered straight into the local cookie shop. The employees behind the counter did a double take as the gigantic “Sesame Street” character approached the cash register. “Um, may I take your order, Mr. Um, Mr. Monster?” one asked. “Coooookie,” he grunted in reply.

Their attempts to be polite were short-lived. “Can we take your picture?” they begged. Actually I ended up taking the photo because they wanted to be in it, arms draped around Cookie Monster as if they’d been best friends since kindergarten.

Apparently the cookie clerks weren’t the only people who felt this way. As we left the store, Cookie Monster was mobbed by a group of young women in short skirts and high heels.

“Oh my God!” one squealed. “You’re my favorite!”

They hugged him and held his furry hands. They took photographs — with cameras, with iPods, with cell phones. “You’re totally my new Facebook pic,” cooed one girl with her arms wrapped around his woolly waist. I glared from a distance.

But I had to laugh when the girls were pushed aside (yes, attractive girls pushed aside in favor of a giant blue Muppet) by a bunch of guys. “Me want cookies!” one yelled barbarically. “C is for cookie!” A slew of “Sesame Street”-isms followed, and I wondered how anyone could remember lines from a show he watched as a toddler. But that question was soon answered: “Oh Cookie,” another young man moaned, his head pressed into my dear’s downy chest. “You’re taking me back to my childhood!” The camera flashes continued.

“Grover!” yelled a voice from across the street.

“No, you idiot, that’s Cookie Monster!” responded a different voice.

The reactions continued as he ambled along. High fives. Cuddles. Snuggles. Kisses. Smiles. Shrieks. Hugs. Handshakes. Pats on the back. Playful attacks. Free drinks. Dinner invitations. “Sesame Street” references. Trip after trip down Memory Lane. People saw Cookie Monster, and suddenly they were 20-plus-years younger.

Never talk to strangers, so the adage goes, but apparently if that stranger is Cookie Monster, it’s OK not only to speak to him, but also to touch him in any way that might or might not be appropriate. I guess there’s no way to stop warm, fuzzy feelings for a warm, fuzzy monster.