I once spent a few months asking everybody I met whether, as children watching Sesame Street, they'd identified with Ernie or with Bert1. Out of dozens of people, I got only one "Bert"2.

What's neat about this is the fact that a lot of these people -- me included -- had thought all along that it meant something that they identified with Ernie. Ernie was the free spirit, the puckish one, the likable one! "Yeah, that's me!"

Yeah, right. Me and about thirty million other kids. Ernie and Bert are an archetype, is all. Each and every one of us has an Ernie Nature and a Bert Nature. The two struggle for dominance in our hearts. Ernie appeals more to children, but a healthy person is one whose Ernie and Bert natures are in balance.

1Yes, I used to smoke pot. Don't change the subject.

2He ended up at MITa.
aI draw no conclusions from this.

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