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As an impressionable child, I used to watch Captain Tugg every afternoon on Channel 5, transfixed as the salty dog sailed the Potomac in all kinds of weather while somehow managing to broadcast Popeye cartoons and Three Stooges shorts from his rickety tugboat. So hypnotized by the program was I that my parents decided that it would be fun to watch the show live. They were wrong. At first I was confused when we arrived at a downtown office building, instead of at the docks. Then, I was horrified as the tragic truth became clear: They were not dangerous cresting waves that caused the ship’s lantern to swing, but burly stagehands pulling a rope. Why, there was no ship at all! Just three fake cabin walls surrounded by lights, cables, cameras, and more burly men. My god, Fantail the Parrot was a puppet! After the broadcast, I was dragged to meet the Cap’n himself. As if I weren’t broken already, the sight of a 40-foot-tall stranger in thick orange makeup leaning his sweaty putty nose down to my face was the final terror. That image has haunted my nightmares to this day. So if you want to attend “Sesame Street Unpaved,” a behind-the-scenes lecture/demonstration with writers, composers, and Muppeteers explaining how big birds and green frogs can talk and sing and why Bert (pictured) is evil, go right ahead. But I would rather spend time with Miss Piggy than Frank Oz any afternoon of the week. Don’t bring the kids from 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, at George Washington University’s Marvin Center Ballroom, 800 21st St. NW. Free. (202) 994-7313. (Dave Nuttycombe)