Before the box – The Oscar Grouch’s story

Every morning, Oscar The Grouch wakes up in a trash can. Oscar rises from the depths of his box, barely sticking his head out. The lid sits askew on his head like a hat. Oscar takes a look at the world around him. It’s a dump. A gang of street kids led by a 7-foot-tall yellow bird begin heckling him.

“Fuck you Oscar you fucking shit nobody likes you.”

It’s the truth. No one likes Oscar anymore. Oscar backs into his trash can and closes the lid on his head. It’s safer in there. When the trash can is closed, nothing can hurt it. Not the children, not the bird, not Snuffleupagus. But what Oscar is really hiding from are the demons of his past.

Oscar’s life hadn’t always been like this. In 1950, Oscar Rodriguez-Jackson married the love of his life, a human named Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez-Jackson went on to have 3 beautiful human daughters.

Oscar and Virginia raised their family in a small 2 bedroom house in Secaucus, New Jersey. By all accounts, they had the perfect life. Oscar worked full time as a friendly neighborhood milkman.

It was a humble life, but it was a good life. Her children excelled in school. Virginia cooked dinner for them every night. She washed clothes in big metal buckets and did all the cute little hobbies women used to do in the early 1900s to make them feel important.

It wasn’t until 1965 that things started to turn south for the Rodriguez-Jacksons. After decades of prominence, the dairy industry was about to meet its creator. It was of course Gatorade. Gatorade was invented at the University of Florida. They called him Gator-ade (helper) because he helped the Florida Gators football team stay hydrated. Suddenly, milk was no longer the only drink on the market. Milk slowly began to disappear from the backstage of college football games and was replaced by Gatorade. Longtime Oscar customers were canceling their milk subscriptions left and right. The milkman was old news. No one in Secaucus wanted to drink milk anymore. The Gatorade man was all the rage.

It wasn’t long before the golden Oscar bitch left him for the man from Gatorade. Oscar was overwhelmed and alone. He did not know what to do. Being a devout Muslim, Oscar Rodriguez-Jackson decided it was the perfect time to clear his mind and finally make the pilgrimage to Mecca he had always dreamed of.

It was a great trip for Oscar. He gained clarity. He became closer to God (Allah). Oscar finally felt ready to return to the United States and change his life. However, on his trip to the airport, Oscar shared a camel ride with a burly young Muslim businessman. Unbeknownst to Oscar at the time, the man he shared a camel with was a young Sadaam Hussein.

During the long camel ride to the airport, Oscar and Sadaam got to know each other. Oscar told him about his problems with the dairy industry in America. Sadaam told him about all the cool things a young Sadaam Hussein liked to do. Among those cool things was something called heroin. Sadaam was kind enough to share his needlepoint with Oscar, and they enjoyed a super cool camel ride. The heroine was great. Oscar was immediately hooked. He couldn’t believe he had never tried it before. Suddenly all her problems with milk and getting sucked off by the Gatorade man weren’t so big anymore. The heroine was exactly what Oscar needed.

[I ultimately decided against including my photoshop of Oscar The Grouch shooting up heroin]

It was then that Oscar had an idea. He could be selling heroin back home to the good people of Secaucus. The only problem was that he could get in big trouble for it. Oscar was terrified of prison. He was also not sure that his friends and neighbors would voluntarily become drug addicts. Oscar then came up with a brilliant solution. He was secretly cutting his milk with Sadaam’s heroin. That way he could keep doing the job he loved, selling milk door to door, and no one would even have to know he was getting addicted to drugs. It was win-win.

Oscar gave all the money he had to Sadaam Hussein in exchange for so much heroin, and he returned to the United States. First order of the day: Oscar had to win back his clients. Oscar cut 1000 bottles of milk with one gram of heroin each. He left free bottles of “Oscar’s New Milk” on the doorsteps of all his former clients. Gatorade was all the rage, but no one was going to turn down the free milk.

The next morning, a line formed outside Oscar’s door that stretched half a mile down the street. Oscar’s heroin milk was a hit!

It was the start of a crazy few years for Oscar Rodriguez-Jackson. He could barely keep up with the demand for his heroin milk. It was almost as if the more milk he sold, the more people needed his milk. Meanwhile, his neighborhood was completely fucked up. Everyone gave Oscar all the money they had in exchange for his heroin milk. He was making money faster than he could spend it. Oscar began buying all of Secaucus’ real estate. As his friends and neighbors foreclosed on their homes and filed for bankruptcy (due to heroin addiction), Oscar was graciously able to pay off their mortgages, own their homes, and charge them rent to continue living there.

Oscar had become a rich man. He went to lavish parties in the Hamptons, took weekly trips to Atlantic City with sheiks, and had a butler named Chives.

However, the high life was short-lived for Oscar. He burned the candle at both ends. As his heroin milk business grew, so did Oscar’s addiction. He began using heroin at a higher rate than he was selling. This caused serious physical and mental health problems. He started being grumpy all the time and started picking on kids when they tried to talk to him. The green fur that only covered his head now covered his entire body. His bank account began to shrink. He invested the last of his fortune in his friends’ Cigarette Umbrella business. It was a terrible idea. The company went bankrupt. Oscar has lost everything.

The bottom line came one weekend when ex-Oscars wife Virginia headed off to the Gatorade Awards in Jacksonville with her new hubby. She agreed to let Oscar watch the children while she was away. It had been a long time since Oscar had been entrusted with his children, so this was important to him. Virginia didn’t know that her life had gotten out of control. At least Oscar could try to be a good father. He decided to use what little money he had left to buy circus backstage passes for himself and his daughters.

As Oscar and his children fed seals backstage, heroin withdrawals began to set in. Oscar had a stomach ache. He had never been so unhappy in his entire life. It was then that he struck up a conversation with a sword swallower. Oscar asked the swallower what his trick was for swallowing swords. His thing was that he used a lot of heroin. Oscar asked if he could spare some heroin, but the swallower wouldn’t give him the drugs for free. That’s when Oscar did the unthinkable and sold his daughters to the circus. Oscar left the circus that night with zero girls and a belly full of heroin.

He couldn’t bear to live with himself. He couldn’t even bring himself to return to that Secaucus house. He just started walking. He walked and walked until he finally reached New York. He had become a big hideous monster. He hadn’t showered in days. It was covered in nappy green fur. He had a bad attitude. He was trash. Like the trash he was, Oscar crawled into an alleyway trash can. The trash was his home now.

For the past 50 years, Oscar has remained in this trash can. Every day he wakes up and is harassed by kingergartners. Snuffleupagus makes passive aggressive comments about his eyebrows. Big Bird drags his ball sack over Oscar’s face. The whole world hates him and wants him dead. Oscar can leave if he wants to, but deep down he knows that’s what he deserves. A garbage life. He is no longer Oscar Rodriguez-Jackson. It’s Oscar the Grouch.

Giphy pictures.

About Daisy Rawson

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