Can you tell me how to avoid Sesame Street?

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As a child, I had a recurring dream that Snuffleupagus was chasing me. Though sweet-tempered on Sesame Street, in my dreams, Snuffy was a sinister child-killer.

Sometimes when I was falling asleep, I would hear him “materializing” from within my lumpy pillow. It was one of those old, striped farmhouse pillows. In an attempt to stave off the beast, I would “knead” the lumps and, on a good night, “Dream Snuffy” would break up, disappear and let me sleep in peace.

But on bad nights, he’d emerge from my pillow and slowly – but relentlessly – stalk me in my bedroom, down the stairs, out the door and into the alley. Then I would wake up.

Though it was a recurring dream, its life span was short. Snuffy stopped coming to get me about the same time I stopped watching Sesame Street which is to say when I was about five or six years old.

That’s the dream I remember.

What I couldn’t remember as I was writing about the dream was how to spell “Snuffleupagus.”

When I wrote it the first time, I spelled it S-n u-f-f-l-e-u-f-f-u-g-u-s. It felt “wrong” so I looked it up and that’s when I learned it’s S-n-u-f-f-l-e-u-p-a-g-u-s. And that’s when I looked up “pagus.”

Pagus, according to, is used in the names of severely malformed, usually nonviable, conjoined twins. Here’s a list of those names and where conjoined twins may be joined:

Chest – Thoracopagus

Abdomen – Omphalopagus

Base of spine – Pygopagus

Length of spine – Rachipagus

Pelvis – Ischiopagus

Trunk – Parapagus

Head – Craniopagus

Head and chest – Cephalopagus

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The original Snuffleupagus when he debuted in 1971. Photo from

Cephalopagus twins are joined at the face and upper body. They share a head and a brain and cephalopagus sounds an awful lot like Snuffleupagus. But I’m not saying that to upset you or…get into your head.

Sweet dreams. -Connie

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