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Irish Voice Sport
When Grouches Meet
May 24, 2007
A STRANGE thing happened at the Irish Open at Adare Manor on Saturday afternoon, a very strange thing that will linger far longer in this mind than Padraig Harrington’s great triumph in his home championship some 24 hours later.
As play came to a close on Saturday in the third round of a tournament that has been blighted by ferocious weather in recent years, a blast from the past entered the media tent just beside the townhouses that sit just across from the clubhouse at the Limerick venue.
At first there were audible gasps of bewilderment in the summer air, then a strange sense of recognition as those of a certain age realized that the green thing stuck on the end of a man’s arm, a man with a goatee beard as it happened, was in fact Oscar the Grouch from the great Sesame Street.
Sure enough one of the great characters of many a childhood inside that tent had popped his rather furry head in to say hello and pose for a few pictures.
It turns out that puppeteer Carroll Spiney, a lifelong friend of the late, great Jim Henson, is a keen golf fan and enjoyed every minute of his time at the Irish Open to end all Irish Opens thanks to that Harrington win.
Naturally enough, since I’m old enough to vividly remember watching the very first Sesame Street in black and white on RTE television somewhere around 1970, I had to have a photograph taken with the legend that is Oscar.
And that’s when the funny thing happened. Oscar took one look at me, turned to Carroll and said, “I can’t have my picture taken with him, he moans more than I do.”
After confirmation that this is indeed the case from those seated around me, and then a little persuasion, Oscar changed his mind before he headed off in search of the nearest trash can.
So here you have it photographic evidence of the day Oscar met The Grouch!
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