*Written with the help of an eager beaver and kitty-kat. A winter's day, though more of a not-so-bleak and not-that dark Decem—er, January…. The Muppets took the time to relax in their apartment-like home, proud with the success of the new movie released about more than a month ago. The Christmas tree with its swaying tinsel and the wreath still upon their door meant that some holiday air still swept through the streets of Hensonville. Downstairs in Muppet Labs a carrot-cropped humanoid meeped happily while giving himself a few final once-overs. His colleague, a particular melon-headed chief scientist, had granted his assistant the day off. Good for him, as he'd already made plans for just such an occasion. He secured the sprig of Christmas green in his winter white labcoat. He tied the laces of his brand new boots, glad for having worn extra-warming radioactive striped socks. He wrapped his natty little powder blue scarf around his neck and up the re-enforced steel steps he climbed to the house proper. Closing the door behind him, Beaker trudged through the twists and turns of town until reaching the iced rink. On the way there, he heard a softly tinkling piano-born melody. It sounded familiar, as if from a half-remembered day when Muppets and education in mathematical fields went hand-in-hand. Waiting for the introduction to finish, he started singing softly to the tune's old charming lyrics. If you were to overhear a guinea pig's singing, you'd most likely hear nothing but undiscernable meeping. But to Beaker's internal ear the words came out as clear as if either you or me simply started singing. :Figure Eight. Is double four. And figure four. Is half of eight." Beaker could visualize the geometric contours of a perfect figure eight carved on the ice's surface. It wasn't hard for his mind to conjour a four after that, with a second upturned atop the first on the axis point, then have them vanish and replaced by a second eight. He meeped a cheerful "hello" to the rink's officer before promptly exchanging his flatly-frozen footwear for bladed boots. He heard a second voice with that same meepish translative quality his own possessed. "If you skate. You would be great. If you could make. A figure eight." She finished the double loop and came skidding to a synchronized stop before him. "That's a circle that turns around itself." Beaker looked up to find her smiling down at him. She was definitely an ice angel. The red tubetop dress and skirt she wore certainly didn't leave much to that naughty side of his mind for which he was sure Dr. Honeydew would "tss" or "tsk" at him, one was never sure when men chortled knowingly between each other. The dress however did sport an ivy garland along the edges, helping to convey the holiday appearance. As she leant down to peck him on the cheek, he staggered for a second under her milk chocolate eyes. "Mee meep?" she asked, concerned over his delayed reaction. He assured all was right, quickly slipping a small box into her hands. He'd bought a pair of silver cross earrings yesterday, avoiding all the madness the Muppets went through during the Christmas rush. Excited, she fastened them in place, running a long red gloved hand lovingly down the side of his face. She noticed the sprig in his coat pocket, half-dragged half-teased him about it back out onto the slippery surface. Beaker tried to follow, distracted by the holiday setting props around the border of the skating rink. The tune and the duo continued singing. "Eight times one. Is two times four." The squares on a nearby hockey-styled scoreboard lit up, reflecting the equations and their matching totals. "And four times four. Is two times eight." Whoever was running the electronics proved they were listening, as new calculations took the place of the former. Beaker spotted a signpost which made him wary. He knew the next verse of the song and dreaded it. He wondered if he maybe shared some of that newsman's rotten luck. While the journalist braved any number of odd objects materializing from the great above plummeting to conk his cranium, the hapless assistant had to endure whatever crazed new invention concocted in that madman's laboratory and its consequences. Sighing, he went on. "If you skate... Upon thin ice." He approached the rink carefully. "You would be wise," the figure eight loop began. "If you thought twice," there was no hope but to brace for it. "Before you made another single move." His girl deftly moved him out of harm's way. That did not however stop Beaker from hearing a definite cracking noise, followed by a ker-splash as an icy watery chill suddenly assaulted their bodies. They shook it off and began the intricacies of the Times Eight table. "One times eight is eight." Beaker took the lead, dashing another figure eight form into the crystaline covering. "Two times eight is sixteen." Extracted from the hole in the thin ice portion, a frozen ratcicle was being warmed by a cluster of four mice girls—dressed as backup for Beaker's girl—huddled around the poor soul who'd fallen in just now. "Three times eight is twenty-four." One of the members of the mice girl kickline proved true to her profession…. She erroneously kicked a barrel into Beaker's path. "Four times eight is thirty-two." This sent the lad flying into a candy-striped North Pole stick at the centerpoint of the rink's railing. He made contact rather forcibly, registering a 32 on the lighted bulb atop the structure. "And five times eight is forty, that's true." His girl came whizzing after him, bending down to collect him and give him another quick kiss making the pain momentarily forgotten. "Six times eight is forty-eight." If Beaker meeped in surprise at seeing a snow-furred Muppet monster show up at the skating center, he meeped even more sharply when it dove gleefully into the water widening the cracks in the not-so-safe area of the ice. "Seven times eight is fifty-six." The rink's officer came out to survey the skaters, molified to see no rough play taking place. "Eight times eight is sixty-four." An icebreaker ship sailed past, penguins onboard of course. "This place is getting weird," Beaker thought to himself. "Nine times eight is seventy-two," flashed on a weather balloon blimp overhead. "And ten times eight is eighty you know." A rinkside roustabout walked past the gliding couple along the outside edge, offering balloons to anyone who'd take interest in buying some. "Eleven times eight is eighty-eight." Beaker made the mistake of leaping up for an acrobatic feat. This had the unintended effect of stretching out his socks, along with his skating boots, legs and feet now resembling stiltwalker supports. "And twelve times eight is ninety-six." His date halted before the balloon salesman to grab a tank, filling up a bouncing 96 full of helium. Unfortunately for her it wasn't high enough to get to Beaker. But she did some cold calculations. "And here's a chance to get off on my new math tricks. Cause twelve times eight," a new 12x8 inflated, she placed that above the 96. "Is the same as ten times eight plus two times eight." She inflated the balloons resembling these equations, never questioning the fact that someone had made these math-based bouncing structures. "Eighty plus sixteen," she added that to the towering pile. "Ninety-six." With a second 96 inflated and placed at the apex of the construct, she hopped onto the arithmetic architecture. And bounced. And bounced. And bounced. With one last leap, she bounced up to grab hold of Beaker's collar, letting the downward push of gravity shove him back to his normal height. Rather than toppling over, she caught hold of herself, ready for a second go-round of the first verse. After a second kiss to stem the re-emerging pain from having crashed into that North Pole lamppost—who the heck had thought it a good idea to put that there?!—the duo skated contentedly. "Figure eight," they skated in unison. "Is double four," they made two fours, both right side up and above one another's steps. "And figure four," they reversed directions so that their fours were now mirrored yet still touching at the same time. "Is half of eight." Beaker made a half circle, his date waiting on her toepick to slash the other half. "If you skate, You would be great. If you could make, A figure eight." They continued circling each other in double looped harmony as the camera panned upwards so as to capture them horizontally rather than vertically opposite one another. "Place it on its side…," they trilled in a higher octave. "And it's a symbol meaning infinity!" The song ended long before the skaters did. Once in the changing room, Beaker admiringly admired the way his lover's long legs looked while she stretched out, removing her skates in lue of a pair of strappy red heels. When he returned from lacing up his own boots, he found her waiting for him in a comfortable fur coat. He really liked that red on her. No, it wasn't the deep red of smexy blood wine, more like the red of holly berries—like the ones you commonly find dangling above your head. They walked back to her place for some hot chocolate and maybe a little private nosh. Much later, lying on the sofa in his baby's arms, Beaker sighed a self-satisfied meepy sigh. Her name may be Icy, but snuggled comfy-cozy here in her embrace like this, he would bet dollars to doughnuts—mmm, he did love chocolate doughnuts—that he was the one melting under such warmth.