“Hey there,” said the studio doorman. “Looking good, Mr. the Frog.” Kermit looked up and waved. “Thanks, Ned,” he said. Ned’s smile was very big, and his blue eyes were merry above his bulbous nose. Kermit returned the smile but wondered at it. Ned was always friendly, but there was something— “Hey there, Kermit!” called a couple of young ladies from the soundstage next door. Ginger, the tall redhead, wiggled her fingers at him coquettishly. Darylynn, the diminutive blonde, winked at him cheekily. Blushing a little, Kermit waved back, turning to watch them down the sidewalk. Both of them were watching him, and he hastily put his eyes forward again. That was nice, Kermit thought. That doesn’t happen every day. Nervously, he looked around to see if anyone had seen that, but no one had—at least, not anyone who cared. The studio was bustling. Kermit signed in—again—and headed for his office. Holiday trimmings were everywhere, and there was an enormous tree in the lobby. Kermit stopped for a moment to admire the multi-colored bulbs, and saw a couple of co-workers coming up behind him. “Looking fit and trim, Champ,” said Lou, from the office down the hall. Kermit took his outstretched hand and allowed himself to be thumped on the back. “But you know that, doncha?” Lou said with a nudge. “Must be workin’ out,” said Charlie, who rubbed elbows with him chummily. Kermit was beginning to feel decidedly uneasy. “Um, thanks,” he said. He excused himself and walked down the hall. Up ahead was Mrs. Forsythe, the very correct administrative secretary of the big boss. Kermit watched her approach with relief. You could always count on Mrs. Forsythe to set a polite and professional tone. “Good morning, Mrs. Forsythe,” Kermit said. To his complete astonishment, Mrs. Forsythe sniffed at him disdainfully. When he turned to stare after her he found that she, too, was looking at him over her shoulder. Kermit fled down the hall, looking for someone he could trust. With a tremendous feeling of relief, Kermit found Fozzie standing in the break room, waiting patiently for the coffee pot to fill. “Hey, Fozzie,” said Kermit. “If you’ve got a minute, I—“ “Nice album, Kermit!” Sonya, from Accounting, managed to insert herself into the minute between him and Fozzie, flashing him a brilliant smile all the while. “Gee, um, thanks,” said Kermit. He would have moved back to give her more room, but there was no where to go. He pressed himself back against the counter and tried to suck in his stomach. “We, um, sure had a nice time doing it.” “Well it certainly showed me a side of you I hadn’t seen before,” said Sonya. Unaccountably, she giggled, then moved off with her cup of coffee. Kermit continued to smile fixedly as Sonya moved off, but he could find no explanation for everyone’s strange behavior. He was now getting positively paranoid. He took Fozzie by the arm and drew him back. Fozzie looked longingly at the coffee pot but followed Kermit obediently back toward the windows. “Fozzie, do I—do I have something on my back?” Fozzie looked carefully, finally shaking his head. “No,” he said. “I don’t see anything.” The receptionist from the 3rd floor walked by and gave Kermit an obvious once-over. The bewildered amphibian felt like hiding behind his hirsute friend. “Are you—are you sure, Fozzie?” Kermit asked. “No sign that says ‘kick-me’ or ‘kiss me, I’m really a prince’ or anything?” Fozzie looked carefully again, but finally shook his head. “Nothing. I don’t see anything,” he said at last. Kermit sighed and looked unhappy. “Then, does my back look funny?” “Funny?” “You know, Fozzie,” Kermit said, becoming exasperated. “Does it look, I don’t know, different from the way it usually looks.” “Nooo,” Fozzie said, baffled by Kermit’s odd behavior. “It looks just like the picture.” “Oh, well at least—wh-wh-what?” Kermit stammered. “What picture?” Now Fozzie was looking at him like he really had lost his mind. “Um, the picture on the Christmas album.” Maybe, thought Kermit, I’ve slipped accidentally into an alternate universe. He shook his head to clear it. “The picture of me and Miss Piggy?” he asked. “The one I approved for the front of the album?” “No,” Fozzie said. “The one on the back of the album.” “Fozzie, there is no picture on the back of the album. That’s just where they put the song titles and—“ Patiently, Fozzie took Kermit by the shoulders and walked him over to his office. He handed Kermit the copy of “The Muppets: A Green and Red Christmas” that had arrived that morning. Kermit looked at it, then at Fozzie. “So?” he asked. Relishing not being the one in crisis, Fozzie took the little plastic CD cover from Kermit’s hands without comment and turned it over. Kermit stared, then his mouth dropped open and his cheeks flamed scarlet. “But, but—who did, I mean, where did, um, oh sheesh! Fozzie—why is my backside on the back of this album?” Fozzie backed away nervously. Kermit was close to arm-waving hysteria, and Fozzie did not want to be too close when it erupted. “Um, why don’t you ask someone at the record company?” he suggested, edging for the door. All thoughts of coffee were forgotten. “I’m gonna do that,” Kermit snapped. He marched out the door, almost into the middle of a flock of young ladies from the secretarial pool. He nodded politely, blushing and stammering, then broke free and sidled—sideways—down the hall to his office as fast as his flippers would carry him.