Christopher Lloyd is barely visible behind the line of worshippers. Some of them are dressed like Marty McFly. All you can see beyond them is a guy in a sweatshirt who looks, well, exactly like Christopher Lloyd.

And there is Carol Spinney! The man who was Big Bird, who was Oscar the Grouch — this man looks exactly like Santa Claus! He's talking to a guy with a horrible facial deformity, and I gather they've met before.

They take a picture together.

Suddenly, Spinney starts to sing. It's Oscar's song, in Oscar's voice. "I . . . love . . . trash," he sings, and I have a visceral flashback to being five years old. The color of the rug in the TV room. The dusty smell of the old sofa, sunlight coming in through the window. Safe for a while from everything.

"I love trash," Oscar sings. And we do, oh, we do.

S.I. Rosenbaum can be reached at srosenbaum@phx.com.

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