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Eight Ball Rhumba

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by WebMistressGina, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm... To tell ya, it's kind of sketchy at best. Yes, Kermit's a southern frog from the swamps near WDW and Piggy's a country pig with that sense of bigtime star in her baby blues, and Gonzo's from wherever he came from. But Fozzie and Scooter? That's tougher to answer. Guess we identify Scooter as the city smart kid type and Fozzie as the best friend to the main frog. That's pretty much it, open to fanfic interpretation.

    Good chapter, though I'd prefer blank or dashed brakes instead of the smilies. That's just me. Keep posting, your story's definitely going somewhere, we're just coming along for the ride.
  2. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Okey dokie. For some reason, I see Fozzie as a small town boy, maybe cause he's all optimistic and a little naive; Piggy's shown she's got street smarts, even if she is born and bred country.

    Normally I use the horizontal rule, but the boards do not haves them :cry: What I might do is keep the smilies for the fun fics and use the big ole adult dashes or what nots for the more serious outings.

    Just started chapter 6, so stay tuned for the surprise ending of the Fozzie v Teeth match, the next sketch, a dash of jealousy, and a sprinkle of Hogthrob. All on Eight Ball Rhumba!
  3. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Hi-ho everyone! :)

    So I was on a crazy roll yesterday, by not only finishing chapter 6, but getting knee deep into chapter 7 as well. I wanna get as much done before my trip in May, which will hopefully signal my happy return to Denver! So without further ado!

    Chapter VI


    Against all the odds in the world – and that of Rizzo’s usually remarkable odds at casting the right winner – Fozzie had ended up beating Dr. Teeth in order to advance to the second round and put him against first round winner Andy Schweeb. The next match was that of the second doubles match, which would see the winner meet with Piggy and Rowlf in the second round.

    As the second of the doubles matches went on stage – that of Chris and Janey taking on Sgt. Floyd Pepper and Janice of the Electric Mayhem – a small tiff was working its way to a full head of steam backstage.

    “What do you mean you want Pigs in Space?”

    “Heir Frosch, we haven’t even rehearsed any material for a Pigs in Space sketch!”

    Kermit the Frog had the dubious and dangerous task of informing Piggy and Julius Strangepork on the inclusion of a Pigs in Space sketch, something that was completely unlike him as he normally only wanted skits that had been rehearsed and prepared beforehand to go on stage, especially on a show night. Unfortunately, Kermit hardly ever took into account the highly sensitive being that was Link Hogthrob.

    Already smarting from his spectacular and unfortunate loss in the first round’s first match, Link had all but been inconsolable when it came to doing the song he had prepared for the night; all because he had lost and the song was supposed to be his triumphant swansong to all the winners out there.

    So now, in order to appease him – especially when he complained about getting dressed up for the occasion and not even being on stage for more than fifteen minutes – he had been promised a Pigs In Space sketch.

    Which Kermit was now trying to convince his co-stars and crew to help him with.

    And it was not going very well.

    Which of course was when Link, already dressed in his Captain attire, came down from his dressing room to approach the group. “I’m here, faithful fans,” he announced as he made his way to the circle. “And I’m ready for my close-up.”

    “Oh brother,” muttered Piggy. “Hey, mush for brains, did it ever occur to you that we haven’t even rehearsed a Pigs In Space bit for tonight? What exactly do you plan on finding on Koozebane?”

    “Why that’s simple, First Mate Piggy,” the dashing captain replied. “There are a wide variety of interesting creatures on the planet that we have yet to make contact with.”

    “What if you did a tie in with the tournament?”

    The group turned to look at Amanda, who just happened to be standing behind the quintet. She shrugged and continued with, “The rest of the acts have played a part, so why not this one? I mean, it means you’ll have to improvise, but it could work.”

    “What a brilliant idea!” Link exclaimed, throwing an arm around the Whatnot’s shoulders. “It was a good thing you were here, Miss Amanda. I of course had the same thought before you voice it, so it’s almost like we’re on the same wavelength.”

    Piggy had a perfectly tart response to that, but was interrupted by Scooter’s own, “Your dials must be broken.” That only served to make the diva smile in appreciation, so much so she leaned over to Kermit to give him an offer.

    “Five bucks if you let Scooter hit him.” At the sour look her beloved turned to her, she countered with, “Suggestion.”

    Amanda smiled sweetly at the swine, all the way removing his arm from her shoulder. “Thanks, Mr. Hogthrob.”

    “Please,” the prima donna tutted, once again putting his arm around her. “All my friends call me Link.”

    “Sure.”

    “Now what was that thing you wanted us to do?”

    “Improvise?”

    “Right!”

    Several minutes passed without comment.

    “You do know what that means don’t you?”

    “Of course I do!” Link insisted. He thought about it for a moment before asking, “It’s where we save starving children, right?”

    “Piggy,” Scooter huffed, sending a look her way. “Surely you can lead your captain in discovering the wonders of improvisation?”

    Seeing where this conversation could head and that Link still had his, prompted the ever efficient Strangepork to usher the captain towards his own dressing room. “Ja, ja, Scooter,” replied the German sausage. “C’mon Linkie, you can help me with my costume. I’m afraid that I may have eaten too much strudel over the break.”

    “Consider it done, Scootie dear,” replied Piggy, giving a motherly pat to the stage manager’s cheek as she headed to her own dressing room to change. Kermit stared after her before turning to look at his manager.

    “I’m suddenly reminded why I thought this was a bad idea.”

    “Well it’s too late for that now,” came the retort.

    The frog could only shake his head and wish to the heavens above that this would be the last time in which his show would need to combat with another act within the same theater; he didn’t think it would actually happen, but he could hope and dream.


    :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:


    “And now PIIIIGS IIIINNNNN SPAAAACE!”

    The familiar image of the MSS Swinetrek filled the screen, as the cameras went into the interior, showing that the space genius Dr. Strangepork and First Mate Piggy were hard at work on something.

    “When we last left our crew on the Swinetrek,” the announcer continued. “Dr. Strangepork had made a startling discovery on the planet Koozebane…”

    “What’ve you found, Doc?” asked the first mate.

    “Our readings indicate that something is moving around down there,” the German scientist explained.

    “But we’ve never been able to accurately explore the remote possibility of life on Koozebane!” First Mate Piggy exclaimed.

    “Well, there’s something happening down there now!”

    “We’d better call the captain to the bridge,” Piggy replied, walking over to the communications system. “Capt. Hogthrob to the Bridge. Capt. Hogthrob to the Bridge, please.”

    The two waited for the arrival of their captain, however as the minutes ticked away, it appeared that he was a no-show. “Where is that idiot?” the second in command muttered. Just when it looked as though the sketch would have to go on without the captain, the bigheaded boar managed to make his entrance through stage right.

    “I heard you call, First Mate Piggy,” he replied, walking up to the rest of the crew. “Now what’s going on?”

    “Strangequack says he thinks he may have finally located life on Koozebane.”

    “How is that possible?” Link asked. “I thought we decided there wasn’t any life on Koozebane.”

    “Well, there’s something movin’ around down there,” Strangepork said.

    “Captain,” Piggy suggested. “Perhaps we should go down and check it out.”

    “Please First Mate Piggy,” the captain said. “As captain of the Swinetrek, I’m the one who’s giving orders around here. And as my first order of the day, I think perhaps we should go down and check it out.”

    “Why you little…”

    “Go and make your landings, Strangepork,” Link continued. “First Mate Piggy, prepare for an away mission. To Koozebane!”

    The Swinetrek zipped through the stars and space before making their landing on the formerly deserted planet of Koozebane. The landing was rough, as all of their landings were, causing the trio of pigs to bump into each other.

    “Watch it!”

    The planet of Koozebane was a grey wasteland of nothing, just rocks and rubble, with no foreseeable life what so ever. That of course never stopped the crew from exploring it anyway, wanting to ensure that they had explored every part of the universe, for pig kind everywhere. Upon landing, Capt. Link stood straight and began to head out for the surface, First Mate Piggy right on his heels.

    In any other instance, the captain would have gone first, followed by his second in command.
    Unfortunately, as was the routine between Link and Piggy, the two tussled for position to get out the door first, causing both to fall out and land hard on the surface below.

    “Hey!” Strangepork cried, leaning a portion of his body out the door. “Are you alright?”

    “I’m fine!” Piggy called up. “Link broke my fall.”

    “How’s Linkie?”

    “Fine,” replied the first mate. “His head broke his fall. He has enough fluff in it, it was probably a softer landing than I had.”

    “Link, are you okay?” asked Strangepork.

    “Finland!”

    “Terrific.”

    Link shook himself out of his stupor and stood up, only to fall back down when his foot slipped on something round. Shakily, he stood up, one hand rubbing his hand and his other holding the offending culprit. “Look at this,” he said. “I found a round rock.”

    “Well, it’s about the size of the rocks that are in your head,” Piggy retorted.

    “Hey!” the captain cried. “I thought you said I was made of fluff!”

    “It wasn’t a compliment!”

    “Well?” the good doctor asked. “Is there life down there or not?”

    Link held up the item in his hand, which turned out to be a yellow rounded ball. “What a funny colored rock.”

    “That’s not a rock, stupid,” the first mate huffed. “It’s obviously a ball of some sort.”

    “I’m certain this wasn’t here before,” the captain murmured. “Perhaps there’s been other people here that we haven’t seen.”

    “Who’d want to come to this wasteland?”

    Behind the two crew members, a couple of rocks were wondering what the fuss was about. “Hey, that’s not nice,” replied one rock. “That’s our home they’re talking about.”

    Before the other rock could reply, the yellow ‘rock’ that Link had picked up was thrown in its direction, hitting it on its rocky head. “Ow!” it cried. The sounds of a ship taking off was the only reply it got in response. “Well, how rude! Going around hitting people like that! The nerve!”

    “Hey, weren’t those folks the ones who broke in here a few years ago?”
    newsmanfan likes this.
  4. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Loves how the story's evolving so far. Good job with the Pigs In Space sketch, refering back to George and Martha's lone appearance on the show. Please continue.
  5. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    The madness continues! Here's the last act of the night, but that doesn't mean the show (story really) is over! Laggies and gentlefins, voys and mirls, quierdos of ball pages! The Great Gonzo!


    Chapter VII

    “Hey Amanda,” Kermit replied, coming up to the young host. “I was wondering if we could make a change to the tournament schedule.”

    “What type of change?”

    “Well,” the frog began. “We’re running out of time and I really want Gonzo to do his act. Well…to be honest, I’d rather have Gonzo do his act here instead of at your place of business.”

    Amanda chuckled. “I’m sure his act can’t be that bad.”

    “Oh, it’s not bad,” Kermit corrected. “Usually. It’s not that it’s bad; it’s that his acts are usually dangerous. Believe me, you don’t want to know the amount of insurance we have on him and the theatre.”

    The Whatnot actually gulped. How much insurance could they actually have on the…guy…thing? “That sounds ominous.”

    “It is.”

    Elsewhere, Scooter was doing his nightly checklist, while surreptitiously glancing up every few minutes to gaze longingly at the pool tournament’s organizer. Over the last few weeks, the manager had been trying to sum up the courage to ask the pretty redhead out on a date; the idea had been to just ask when everything was settled and they were closing up for the night. However, after the reception he kept keeping from the so-called Peanut Gallery, there was no way he’d be able to do so in private. And then of course, the chance that she would turn him down was almost too much to bear.

    Maybe it would better if he called her, but he only had the number for the pool hall and not her number directly and in the past, he had always gone down to the place…

    “There you are.”

    The Muppet looked up to note that Miss Piggy was coming right at him, a certain look in her eye. In fact, it was a look he had seen in her baby blues before; it was a look that led him to hiring a real minister for two different wedding sketches, contacting the newspapers in regards to the nuptials that hadn’t really taken place in Vegas, and getting his boss to sign a marriage license.

    And that look was aimed at him.

    “Moi is going to do vous a favor.”

    He was immediately suspicious. He had worked with Piggy long enough to know that anytime she wanted to do a favor for someone, there was some sort of string attached. Scooter, fortunately, had been lucky enough to usually be a part of whatever scheme she had planned, so…

    “What kind of favor?”

    “Shh,” was her reply. “Don’t ask questions. Now, here is the name of a fantastic men’s suit and tailor shop that Moi knows - ” she handed him a white card that had a name and address on it. “I’ve already taken the liberty of telling him you’d be stopping by tomorrow. There’s the time right there.”

    “Tomorrow?” Scooter asked, looking at the card again. Sure enough, there was a time of eleven in the morning penciled in. “What?”

    “Shh,” the pig said again. “No questions. Now, a driver will be at your apartment at precisely quarter till seven tomorrow night. Moi knows how vous likes to be punctual.”

    “Piggy, why…?”

    “Moi is still talking, Scootie dear,” Piggy interrupted, putting a finger to his lips to silence him. “I’ll go ahead and arrange dinner at a very sheik restaurant that Moi knows. Very romantic, Moi and Kermie have been there many times. Moi will talk to the chef about vous and date.”

    “Date? What date?”

    “Why, vous’s date with Miss Amanda of course!” she exclaimed, causing the stage manager to look around in embarrassment and fright. “What did you think I was talking about?”

    Here, Scooter leveled his own look at her. Being one of the diva’s favorite people helped that he could potentially even say what he planned. “With you, I usually have no idea,” he said, with a deadpanned manner. Her intentions finally hit his processor and he stumbled with, “Besides, Amanda and I don’t…I haven’t…”

    “Moi knows this,” Piggy again interrupted. “Which is why you are going to ask her after the show.” Pulling him closer, she whispered, “You know, the rat has twenty dollars that says you’ll chicken out, if you’ll pardon the expression. Moi of course knows that you will make every effort to dispel that horrible thought.”


    Muppet and pig looked at each other for a moment. “You’ve bet on me, haven’t you?”

    “Forty bucks,” the pig admitted. “And I would hate to lose, especially when we both know where that money will come from should Moi lose.”

    Scooter cleared his throat; he was very aware where that forty bucks would be coming from. “I’ll do my best.”

    “As another small, green being once said,” the diva continued. “Do or do not. There is no try. And do be quick about it, Moi knows how vous and Kermie like to dawdle.” With that, Piggy swept away just as she had swept in, like a tornado that passed through a town.

    “I feel like I’ve been mowed over by a tornado,” he muttered.

    “Been talking to Piggy?” asked Kermit, who had just as suddenly appeared on his right as Piggy had arrived at his left. “Wanted to let you know there’s a change in plans; Gonzo’s up next to end the show.”

    “Okay,” Scooter nodded. “Did he happen to mention what his act was? All I have down is that he plans on using his unicycle and is reciting something. I couldn’t get more out of him.”

    “Oh boy, that’s not good,” murmured the frog. “All he told me was that he was going to be balancing something while playing pool. He didn’t mentioned he’d be reciting something.”

    “Well…” Scooter began, but took a moment to think about anything horrible going wrong with Gonzo’s act. Which of course gave him a list of a hundred things that could possibly go wrong. “I think we should probably use the standard procedure when dealing with anything that involves Gonzo.”

    “Right,” Kermit nodded. “I’ll get the fire department, you make sure to have the hospital standing by.”

    [hr]

    “Greetings, peoples of earth!”

    The last act of the night for the Muppet Show was beginning, while the third match of the singles competition was just getting underway. The entertainer that stood on stage was dressed for a successful performance – red cape billowed out around his pink leotard ensemble that was crushed to his blue furry body.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, weirdos of all ages. I, the Great Gonzo, will now attempt my greatest of acts! On this night, I will ride this unicycle, while balancing this ball on this cue stick on my nose, while simultaneously and at the same time, play a rousing game of pool for this year’s seventh annual Cosgrove Cool Pool tournament! All the while reciting, from memory, the entire script of the greatest pool hall movie in history, The Hustler! My opponent, Mr. Manis Khuffler, will begin the game with the standard break. Mr. Khuffler, if you will.”

    Manis Khuffler, an odd furry yellow and orange monster, looked at the weirdo in confusion and a little trepidation. When he had discovered he would be facing the Great Gonzo for his match, he wasn’t sure what to expect; he had of course seen the show a few times and on some of those occasions he had seen the blue whatever perform. He certainly could say he had never seen anything like him or like his act, which was one part performance art, two parts daredevil, and hundred parts stupid and dangerous.

    Taking a deep breath, Khuffler took his place at the table in order to make the first break, all the while keeping an eye on the daredevil as he mounted a unicycle; while balancing a cue stick and ball on his hooked nose. Shaking his head, Khuffler made his shot.

    As with any of Gonzo’s acts, there didn’t seem to be an end to it. The game between him and Khuffler was actually a rather heated one, with Khuffler trash talking the weirdo while he was reciting lines from a 1950s movie, which of course only made Khuffler even madder. This was a professional sport and this fruitcake was making a mockery of it.

    Khuffler may have watched the Muppet Show, but he certainly didn’t know anything about the Muppets and he definitely didn’t know anything about this particular Muppet. If he had, he wouldn’t have been surprised when Gonzo decided that playing pool while riding a unicycle, while balancing a pool stick on his nose, which also held a cue ball on said stick was so very ordinary, so humdrum, so…

    Normal.

    Henceforth, the best way to liven things up was to juggle. With one hand. And using the balls he had already sunk into the pockets.

    While reciting The Hustler.

    In song form.

    I’m going to Kentucky.
    To Louisville, with a friend.
    Try to make some money.
    I need it! The money!
    I’ll be leaving early in the morning.”

    “What is wrong with you!?”

    “Eight ball in the side pocket!”

    “What!?”

    Khuffler was stunned to see that the Great Gonzo had literally played him under the table, leaving him four extra balls on the table while the blue Muppet only had to shoot the eight ball. Which he did, very neatly, in the left side pocket. “Yes!” Gonzo cried, noting his win. Knocking the stick off his nose, he quickly jumped off his unicycle and hopped on the table, holding said cycle in his hand.

    “And now, for my finale…”

    “Well,” Kermit quickly interrupted, looking behind him to see Gonzo standing triumphantly on the table, while Khuffler lay on the floor by the table, having been knocked out by the cue ball that had flown off Gonzo’s stick and struck him hard in the forehead. “I think that thankfully ends another Muppet Show.

    “But before we go, the tournament continues here for all, as well as next weekend when tonight’s winners go on to the second round. Thanks to my very special co-host, Miss Amanda Cosgrove!”
    Amanda came out on stage, waving at the audience. “Thanks a lot Kermit, for letting us use the theater,” she said. “And congrats to…um…Gonzo, back there…”

    “Don’t look at him,” Kermit whispered. “You’ll just encourage his antics.” To the audience, he said, “Make sure to check out the tournament next week, when our very own Rowlf, Piggy, Floyd, Janice, Fozzie, and uh…Gonzo there will be playing. Let’s hope they make a better impression there than they do here. And make you come back – please come back – next week to Muppet Show! Goodnight!”


    I of course do not own (or actually have seen) the great movie The Hustler starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. The show may be over, but the hijinks aren't. Stay tuned to see if Scooter grows his own cue balls, as well as the second round of the tournament!
  6. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Snickers at the line about the cueballs. Very much applaud the story so far, I do. Go, not loose Piggy her money you should not. Post more, you will?

    Cute to see the bits involving Scooter and Amanda, even with Piggy's 'direct' involvements.
    Thanks for this, good stuff all around.
  7. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Really on a roll today! This one took a bit longer as I couldn't decide if I wanted to feature the date between Scooter and Amanda or not. I decided not, just because I wanted to showcase the second and final rounds of the tournament. Heh, this little short chaptered fic of mine has blossomed (no big surprise there).

    I'm really gonna try to keep this under fifteen chapters. I say that, but...


    Chapter VIII

    The insanity that was known as the Muppet Show was finally over, for that week at least. If backstage was crazy before and during the night of a show, there was only a slight alteration after a show. The fire department and medical personnel had been avoided, though Kermit did manage to get some of the stage pigs to help carry Manis Khuffler out to his car. The frog was already dreading the fallout that was going to come from that.

    There were Muppets that could only be taken in small doses in order to avoid horrible situations; the Great Gonzo was one of those Muppets that could only be taken in doses of two minutes, any more could cause unforeseen consequences to all involved.

    The green director looked around for his stage manager, needing to get a rundown of the show at large. It was their usual routine after a show, when they’d count out ticket and concession stand receipts, go over any canceled acts that could be moved to the next week’s shows, and sometimes checking on anyone who dared get on the wrong side of the diva pig, the daredevil weirdo, the crazy demolitions expert, or was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    For Scooter, it seemed to be the right place at the right time – everyone was currently busy with other things and Amanda was right there, speaking to Fozzie about something. When the bear left with a friendly pat on her shoulder, the manager made his move. “Hey.”

    “Hey,” she replied, a smile on her face. “I can’t thank you enough for letting us have the first round of matches here. I know you probably got in trouble with Kermit.”

    “Oh, well,” Scooter stumbled. “It’s…it was fine. Boss Frog doesn’t stay mad for long.” Leaning in, he whispered, “It’s Boss Hog you have to watch out for.” The two chuckled.

    “Well,” the Whatnot whispered, stepping closer to him and putting a hand on his arm. “I still wish there was something I could to make up for any trouble.”

    Scooter’s mind went blank. This was it! This was the perfect segway to ask her to dinner, to keep the set up that Piggy had arranged. His mind was working overtime, coming up with a plethora of different responses, some honest, some downright romantic; the problem he had was that there seemed to be a short circuit between his brain and that of his mouth.

    “Uh…” he stuttered. “Um…you…me…”

    “Would you like to have dinner with me?” she asked.

    “Wha? I…no…my…”

    Amanda leaned back, taking his stuttering as a negative answer. “Sorry,” she stumbled. “I mean…I thought…”

    “No!” Scooter interrupted loudly, suddenly looking around to see if anyone had heard. “I mean, I mean…Amanda, I’ve been wanting to ask you out for a week.”

    The Whatnot giggled. “I had hoped you felt the same.”

    “I do,” he answered, honestly. “Dinner tomorrow? Seven?”

    “Perfect,” she whispered. Leaning in once more, she gave him a kiss on the cheek, uttering a sultry “Bye” as she passed him and headed out the backdoor.

    Scooter turned to watch her go, his heart light in the prospect of seeing the pretty girl tomorrow night. “Well?” a voice asked. “What do I tell Rizzo?”


    Smiling, the manager turned to the diva. “Two words,” he said, with a grin. “Pay up.” With that, he headed towards Kermit to complete their nightly checklist.

    “That’s my boy,” the porcine princess murmured. Turning, she began to make her way to the stage, where she knew the rats would be. “Alright vermin! The pig’s coming to get her pay! Where’s my money, losers?”

    :D:D:D:D:D

    Chase Cosgrove had been around for some time, so he was pretty sure he knew when someone had a crush. He had gotten the feeling sometime at the beginning of the month and as their seventh annual tournament went on and got down to the wire, he was getting pretty good at seeing that someone in his employment had a crush.

    By the week’s end, he had an inkling of who it was.

    By Tuesday night, he felt comfortable admitting it to himself.

    And by Wednesday morning, he was convinced.

    His daughter had a crush on the manager for the Muppet Show.

    He had immediately liked the younger Muppet – though he had to admit that Scooter was a strange name, only to be assured that it was just a childhood nickname – and thought he was very personable, but also professional when it came to putting together his own show, while helping to combine it with their tournament. Living in Hollywood, Cosgrove pretty much understood how those entertainment types worked, with their high class living and money to burn and spend.

    He had actually been a bit surprised by the young Muppet’s demeanor; he didn’t act like a celebrity, but he also didn’t act like an uppity lawyer or assistant who thought they knew everything and everyone. The kid had been helpful, had offered suggestions and ideas, took their thoughts into account and put all of their notes in one of those portable tab things that all the kids had now a days. Chase had been sorry about missing the tournament, but he had a business to run of course.

    Luckily, he had a few televisions set up so that people in the hall who wanted to watch could. Sundays were usually medium crowd, but once it was noted that the tournament was being played alongside the Muppet Show, a bigger crowd showed up if just to have a bigger group to watch TV with. He had of course seen the show when he had been younger, back in the day when the Muppets were only known for their zany antics on and off stage (before they were big movie stars) and he was happy to see that they were going back to their roots.

    And it seemed that even with a pool tournament happening in their theater and on their stage didn’t stop all of the craziness that was going on. The only weird thing – besides Gonzo’s act – was noting that there didn’t seem to be any of the crazy backstage stuff going off like it usually did; however he chalked it up to the fact that the tournament on stage was as much of a draw as that of the show itself.

    Wednesday morning saw him watching his daughter as she went about the office, humming and whistling and singing various songs or melodies. She had been out with Scooter two nights in a row that week and he knew she had plans on seeing him sometime before they would be hosting the second and final rounds of the tournament. To be honest, Cosgrove couldn’t help but be a little worried. The Muppets were known for crazy things and he was going to have a whole lot of Muppets in the building come Friday night.

    On one hand, it meant extra business. Holding the tournament elsewhere had been an experiment for everyone involved and he had to admit that the added exposure of the name dropping on local and national television helped to bring in more patrons. On the other hand, he’d seen the Muppet Show before and he had seen their movies and while the group may maintain that these two things were just entertainment based, he did wonder if some of these antics actually happened and just happened to occur with a camera rolling.

    “We all ready for Friday?” he asked, watching as Amanda went past him with a stack of papers in her hand. “And I’m talking about business, not that Grosse kid.”

    “Dad!”

    “What?” he smirked. “Like I can’t tell he’s got a crush on you or vice versa for that matter.”

    “You do like him, don’t you?” she asked, suddenly, her green eyes showing worry in them for the first time in a very long time.

    “He seems to be a good kid,” Chase replied, offhandedly. “But he’s a boy and you’re my daughter. That’s as far as I’ll take it.”

    The girl rolled her eyes good-naturedly. “As for your question,” she said. “Things are fine. Flyers are out and Kermit said he was more than happy to give a shout out about the winners on the show Sunday.”

    “Good, good,” the owner nodded. “Make sure we get all the peeps in here for the weekend. The name drop and having celebs is gonna bring the house down. Well, let’s hope not. I’ve heard about that blue whatever Gonzo thing.”

    “He’s actually very nice,” Amanda said. “Weird, a lot eccentric, but nice.”

    “Well,” Cosgrove sighed. “As long as that dynamite dude doesn’t come. Of the one that throws the fish. Or that cook of theirs. Or…”

    “Just the usual suspects,” she laughed. “I got it.”
    newsmanfan likes this.
  8. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Bueno! Here is our next chapter in the continuing saga of teasing Scooter.

    ;): Wait...what?

    Yeah. That's really the purpose of this story. And to get Piggy dressed up in a fedora and tie.

    :mad:: I looks good.

    You do indeed. Aw, it's times like this I wish I was an artiste as well as a writer. Sometimes what I see in my head does not translate well to what I write down. Oh well. So this chap took me some time, as I added in ideas and then took them out and then just made reference to them or decided they really worked best as their own little ficlet (I've now managed to make an outline for not one, not even two, but three highly musical Muppet moments)

    Anyway, the only thing to note here is that, after long contemplation (and mentioned in the last chapter) I went with the 'Scooter is a nickname' theme, which will be fully explored when I do a complete Scooter story.

    ;): Really?

    Yeah. I hadn't realized how much I liked you until I started doing this.

    :mad:: Excuse me, I thought I was your favorite.

    You are. Hence why I've dedicated an entire Adventure series to you.

    :mad:: You gonna get to work that?

    Geez, yeah I'm gonna get to it. I gotta finish this and that certain piece where you are the center of the universe, thank you very much! I will get to it when I'm good and ready, thank you.

    :mad:: You'll get to it now.

    You don't tell me what to do! You're just a clever icon manifestation to perceive emotional thought.

    :mad:

    I...I will start it next week. This weekend. That's...that's what I meant. Anyway, here's more 8 ball!


    Chapter IX

    With six of the normally headlining members of the Muppet Show participating in the Cool Pool tournament, Kermit was left with bringing in the second strings. Despite the assurances that they could easily be ready for a show Sunday night, Kermit wasn’t going to push it, especially when the final round of playing was to be played Sunday afternoon. He wouldn’t put the cast to something so short and under rehearsed (more like he didn’t want to put the audience through that).

    That of course meant he would need to fully push that night’s guest star and bring on acts he normally wouldn’t think of. Link had suggested pulling out a Bear on Patrol sketch, which was met with the fact that Fozzie wouldn’t be there; the pig had shrugged his shoulders and stated that most people were turning in to see him anyway, so perhaps they should rename it Pig on Patrol. Kermit had been adamant in vetoing that suggestion, but now he was thinking that maybe, just maybe, if all of his options were gone, he’d try that.

    As a very last resort.

    So far, he had – with great trepidation – okay’d the Swedish Chef and Muppet Labs, with a stray thought that he might actually give Lew Zealand his long awaited shot at doing his fish flinging act.

    Depending on who managed to survive the second round, he might be able to squeeze out some sort of musical act – if Janice and Floyd got knocked out, the Mayhem could perform and if Piggy and Rowlf got shot down, he knew Piggy wouldn’t turn down a chance to do a piece with her favorite piano player. Scooter had suggested that maybe they bring in a report on the tournament from the days before, as well as holding a winner’s circle for the winners of the doubles and singles competition.

    That idea actually had some merit to it, which would not only help out Cool Pool, but could perhaps gain a little measure of star power to the show as well. Already, there had been buzz on the fact that Rowlf and Piggy had eliminated men’s champion Mika Immonen and that the female champion of Allison Fisher with her partner looked to be a good competitor should the two make it past Floyd and Janice. And then there was the charity aspect – the winners had their choices of which charity they wanted to donate a portion of their winnings and Kermit knew that, as far as the Muppets were concerned, their choices were always charities that involved kids.

    It seemed despite his original misgivings, this idea of Scooter’s was actually panning out in the positive. Now he just had to get through the week of viewing acts, the rest of the tournament, and that of the show. A phrase popped into his head, but he quickly shook it loose.

    Never say piece of cake in the labyrinth.

    (8)

    The remaining rounds for the Cool Pool tournament were to be played the following weekend, with the second round going Friday, the third and final round happening Saturday, and then a friendly competition between the winners Sunday afternoon. Throughout the week, advertisements for the tournament had gone out, by word of mouth, flyer, television, and the Internet.

    Pool fans were eager to see who was going to win, as well as getting to see Mika Immonen and Allison Fisher in the flesh and for autograph signings; Muppet fans were drawn to the hall to see their favorite stars take on some of pool’s biggest stars in what looked to be a great weekend full of fun, friends, and pool. Flyers for the event proudly displayed the match ups for both the doubles and singles matches –

    The first match of the evening would put first round winners Rowlf and Piggy against their Muppet Show co-stars of Floyd Pepper and Janice, while Allison Fisher and her partner Louvus would take on Big Tony Little and his son, Little Tony. In the singles matches, Andy Schweeb would take on the surprise winner Fozzie Bear, while the Great Gonzo would try to show up or shoot down Muppet pool player Audra Smalls.

    That weekend proved to be the busiest that the theater had seen, with Scooter splitting his time between that of the show and that of spending time with Amanda and coordinating the acts that Kermit had green lit for the show that weekend. To be honest, he was actually surprised that his boss had said yes to that of Chef and Muppet Labs; if he thought the acts the week before could be troublesome…

    For the stage manager, his week – as hectic as it was – was still great in his opinion. His date with Amanda had gone great on Monday, so much so that they had agreed to meet the next night for dinner again. Scooter wouldn’t deny that he had been terrified on dining with the pretty Muppet. It wasn’t like he had a ton of experience having dinner with pretty girls, so he had of course turned to the one person he could count on to lead him through the fire.

    All of Monday had been spent in a text message war – his initial question of what he should do had sparked to an analysis on how he should dress, what to eat, and even the conversation that should be done. Thankfully, the whole ordeal was limited to one person; he hoped.

    DIVINE MISS P: It’s t-minus one hour before go time. Moi hopes you are getting dressed.
    SCOOTIE G: It’s an hour before go time. Why would I be getting dressed?
    DIVINE MISS P: *sigh* Has Moi thought you nothing about making an entrance?

    Scooter wouldn’t be the first male to not understand why a woman had to get ready five hours in advance for something that would only take maybe an hour or two, but his nervousness did cause him to consider that it be better to get ready early and then to take the hit and get the pass or fail from his dress coach.

    His appointed time with Piggy’s personal tailor had gone well, giving him an updated set of suits that he had been neglecting to keep. As the stage manager and assistant, Scooter was lucky enough not to be in the spotlight like his other co-workers, which meant that he didn’t need to get dressed up for special dinners or guest spots. That was the benefits of being the manager – he got all the recognition he needed with the knowledge that he was the person Kermit had to lean on the most, who Piggy came to him when appointments needed to be organized, that Fozzie included when working on a routine…

    His final choice of attire for Monday at least was that of a black silk shirt, with a red tie and matching vest, along with black pants and dress shoes. He had slicked his hair back a tad so it wasn’t the normal wildish look, took a picture, and sent it to the porcine princess.

    DIVINE MISS P: My, my, my! You actually clean up rather well!
    SCOOTIE G: You’ve seen me dressed up before.
    DIVINE MISS P: Yes, but not so debonair. Red is a good look for you. Wear it more.

    He was well aware that hadn’t been a suggestion.

    (8)

    Friday night was a party night, whether you were in Hollywood or not. It was a night for dinners, gatherings, premieres, and interviews and on this Friday night, it was the night for the second rounds of the seventh annual Cosgrove Cool Pool Tournament.

    Those of the Muppet Show performers who would participate had decided that instead of taking several cars at once, they should just carpool in one car. There was of course different interpretations on which car would be the one to get them to where they wanted to go; unfortunately for one Muppet starlet, the chosen vehicle was not the sleek black limo that she had lobbied for, no no, the vehicle of choice was that of the hideously outrageous Electric Mayhem tour bus.

    In hindsight, she would – eventually – realize that, with the amount of people and spectators that were coming, the bus made the most logical and cheapest solution.

    For the time being of course, it felt like a person affront to the very dignity, quiet, and grace that she – as a professional – that she aspired and lived to be.

    The rickety bus had been a staple of the band’s rise and performing status. Originally something that Floyd and Dr. Teeth had discovered in a junk yard, the group had gone about restoring it and decorating to match the style and being that was and is that of the Mayhem and their members. Despite its obvious ease at being seen from space, the bus was large enough to keep a small stage in the back in order to practice, as well as being able to sit just about every Muppet player in the business.

    It had not been the first choice that Scooter would have chosen either.

    Earlier, after he had gotten dressed for the night, he had received a text from Piggy informing him that they were on the way and would be there in about fifteen minutes or less. Noting that the drive between homes wasn’t terribly long, the sneaking suspicion – and additional worry – that perhaps Piggy was driving only seemed to heighten his nerves slightly. He had been in the car with the pig behind the wheel once before and had hoped to never going through that again.

    He was too young to die.

    However, as he stood outside his apartment complex awaiting the arrival of his friends, he couldn’t have imagined that he was going to die from embarrassment. He heard the bus coming before he saw it, the familiar rumbling of the engine giving credence to the arrival of a large car or truck; in most cases, the rocking music from the band usually covered the engine’s roar, but as they were short two members – not counting the fact that their band leader was driving – the playing that was going on inside was a bit more subdued than normal.

    Perhaps the playing would have tipped the go-fer off sooner, but the engine did have a distinctive sound or rather, at least one that Scooter was used to after all the years of knowing the band; very slowly, his head turned to look down the street as two massive headlights came into view, growing larger and larger, causing the appearance of a car driven spotlight to shine on the nicely dressed Muppet.

    “Hey, hey, hey!” called a voice from one of the open windows. “Check out the suit!”

    If the arrival of the Mayhem bus hadn’t clued him into a night of unwanted, unnecessary, and merciless teasing, the sounds of Floyd Pepper’s raspy laughter only served to make him take a deep breath before making his way to the door and up the steps into the bus proper.

    Where he was greeted with whistles and cat calls.

    “Me thinks the boy is dressed for absolute success!” crowed the driver.

    Scooter had to admit – privately, secretly – that he did look pretty good tonight. He had heard from both the tailor and that of her divine fashionista that red was a good look for him, so he had gone with the red dress shirt, open and without a tie, and covered with a nice black jacket and matching pants. It was probably the most adultish thing he had probably worn and that fact wasn’t lost on those were seated, looking and whistling at him.

    “We…we agreed,” he stumbled, fighting the growing blush that was rising to his face and cheeks. “We would dress for the occasion. I dressed for the occasion!” The last bit fell to make any kind of impression; of course those who were participating were dressed for the occasion, the same type of lounge, swing ensembles they had worn last week. Perhaps he should’ve gone in his normal attire; that would’ve made the drive from his home to the pool hall entirely more bearable than what he was about to experience.

    Piggy had all but pushed Kermit out of the seat they were sharing, shooing him towards the seat across where Fozzie was sitting, while both Janice and Camilla seemed to launch themselves over the seats in order to get to the one behind Piggy, which incidentally was where Rowlf had literally draped himself over the back off.

    “Come and sit right here, Andrew,” the starlet cooed, emphasizing the point by patting the reminder of the seat next to her.

    Scooter had to gulp at that. Sitting next to Piggy was probably the last thing he wanted to do, liking it to stepping inside the lion’s den with a steak wrapped around his neck. However, to her credit, in this situation, sitting next to Piggy was probably the safest thing he could do, as well as being the safest place he could be. Piggy had years of experience deflecting and redirecting the hardest of journalists, talk show hosts, and other media news sniffers that she could easily manage to get any dirt out of him concerning Amanda, while keeping the others off him.

    And she had used his first name, which usually signaled that she was in no mood for an argument of any kind.

    Resolving that the situation couldn’t get any worse than it was, Scooter wearily and warily took his seat next to the diva and prepared himself for the fifteen to twenty minutes of heckling, teasing, and all around merriment that was to accompany him tonight.
  9. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Aw, cute little update. Am interested to meet Audra. Sorry that ;) will be the object of teasing from his "friends" during the long ride to the pool hall. Nice to get some progress towards the replacement acts. Go get 'em :fishy:, :hungry:, :confused: and :eek:!
  10. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    ------------
    Whew. What a dynamo of chapters to sift through...

    Okay, your portrayal of the characters feels right, which can be tricky if you haven't had much familiarity with some of them, but Rizzo's trademark greed (see his namesake in Midnight Cowboy for favorable comparison) came shining...er...well, dimly gleaming through, as it were. Good job all around! Loved Link's "nightly cry." (I imagine his tailor loves the hankie-drycleaning business.) Loved Rowlf tickling another kind of ivory. And the betting pool turned askew by unpredictable Muppets!

    Gonzo's act had me in stitches (as I'm sure they often do him)...and your puns for Vet's Hospital were dead-on.

    :sympathy: Ya might say, they lined up just fine.

    Piggy would of course throw her considerable influence, style, and no-nonsense attitude into "advising" poor Scooter...good for him, though. Always good to have her on one's side...rather than on one's head. And your description of the first time it's happened to the boy was sweet and didn't ring falsely as so many first-crush stories tend to -- yayy!

    Incidentally...is Amanda perhaps the granddaughter of another Cosgrove made briefly imfamous on TMS? I refer of course to the News Flash on a certain flagpole-sitting record-breaker... :news:

    One small niggle: a "swan song" is NOT triumphant, it's sung by the loser, referencing the old myth about a swan singing as it dies...then again, that actually fits Link better, so let it lie!

    Curious what mishaps, mayhem, and monsters-eating-pool-cues may transpire next. Keep going!
    ------------------
  11. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    YAY! :) The one thing I of course worry about when starting up with a new fandom, especially with something I haven't seen in so long (despite owning 6 out of 7 Muppet movies, I think the last time I saw one was years ago) is whether I can do the characters justice.

    Glad that I could bring Rizzo across decently. He's one of those characters I worry about cause he's a secondary main character whom I haven't seen a lot of; add that with the fact that I hadn't realized he was an original Muppet Show character (unlike Clifford or Pepe).

    I don't know why, but Link makes me laugh. He's kinda like a really dumb, jockier version of Maxwell Smart. I think I'm gonna be using Link more. TMTM was on yesterday and I managed to catch it right at Baby Piggy's song - Baby Rowlf cracks me up every time, cause he's so cute and so involved in his piano playing. That's the reason that movie was my favorite Muppet movie as a kid (it's been moved down to #3 though)

    Out of both of those, you know the easiest was coming up with Gonzo's act? I already knew it was going to be completely outrageous, so planning it was easy, though I wish I had done more script singing (which I also found to be hilarious when I wrote it).

    I spent like an hour trying to find puns or jokes related to pool, but the majority were all about balls, which - while punny sorta - didn't really ring as something that Vet's Hospital would aspire to, so I actually think that's my weakest act there.

    However...I had the best idea last night. It all started with the statement that I was going to make Kermit as paranoid as possible when it came to working with those three. Because I have seriously come to the conclusion that the Muppet Show is just the puppet version of the Carol Burnett show, complete with ad-libbing like no one's business (looking at you, Vet's Hospital)

    I'm hoping to make it up with the next Vet's Hospital.

    Piggy's stuff with Scooter is also some of the easiest to do. The scene in the canteen and her doing him a favor were the first ideas I came up with and it made sense that, really regardless of who it was, Piggy would take a vested interest, but with Scooter it's a definite.

    The other night, I was thinking that the Muppets kinda had that band life/Rat Pack feel (you can Sam's Song for the Rat Pack thing). Like, when I was in high school, those who weren't freshman (usually the upper classmen) had our own 'freshmen' - those kids who were new to high school or to band and we just took them under our wing to make sure that we were the only ones who picked on them. ;)

    But I've the sense that the show was like that too - essentially, Kermit took a bunch of folks under his flipper, so to speak, and helped mold and shape them, and I think that's what happened to Scooter. He was a freshmen (14) when he started working there and in watching the first season where he is kinda annoying and bratty in getting his way because of his uncle, looking at him now, it's like 'whoa'.

    Which is also why I think Piggy likes him; he probably reminds her of herself and she's certainly grown from the um...piglet she was.

    Uh...I think it's safe to say no, cause I'm not sure who that is. I just happen to like the name Cosgrove, probably cause of the character from Freakazoid and I love Ed Asner.

    You know what, that was my bad, but in this case it actually works because Link would probably think it was something good. That was stupidity working right! :zany:

    I finally got started on the next chapter. What, you may ask, kept me from starting earlier? Well, first I got "Sam's Song" stuck in my head. Now, the good thing about that is, I discovered a really good Dean Martin/Sammy Davis, Jr version of it and...I'm gonna bring it back.

    Second, for the second time, I managed to get Lady Gaga's Bad Romance stuck in my head. That actually replaced Sam's Song. And it wasn't even the original one; it was the **** Chipmunk/Chipette version. So guess what? I spent a day and half listening to it. And what, you may ask, came of that?

    First and foremost, a really awesome dance number and the commitment of working it and/or Lady Gaga in a Muppet Show segment. It's gonna happen. When, I don't know, but it now needs to happen.

    Up next on 8 Ball -
    The Wild World of Muppet Sports!
    Piggy, Rowlf, Floyd, and Janice at the bar!
    The Electric Mayhem!
    Muppet Labs!
    Beaker!
    And why Kermit should never leave Piggy and Rowlf to their own devices away from the theater.
  12. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    You know, I just had a question of clarification.

    When reading the Muppet Wiki involving Floyd, it seems to make out that he takes particular delight in tormenting Piggy, which kinda seems to be a mutual thing between them. Other than the episodes where he's taking care of Foo Foo and when she leaves, I haven't seen anything that suggest that the two have some sort of rivalry.

    With that said, I certainly like the idea that the two of them love to hate each other (kinda like their version of Statler & Waldorf vs Fozzie). The term of Boss Hog (which I think I came up with?) I attribute to Floyd (though obviously, its made it's way around) cause I think that would be something he would do.

    I don't think they outwardly hate each other, but they kinda have a similar relationship that my friends and I do - one moment we're insulting each other, the next we're laughing and giving each other presents.

    Just wanted to clarify it. And yes, Piggy and Floyd will even have their own story together. :sing:
  13. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Hiya hiya hiya! :o as the bear would say. So sorry for the lateness of this chapter; it has been written up and ready to go, but like a certain Broadway play, I kept thinking it was missing something. And today, during a nap, it came to me that yes! It was missing something and I have filled in that something!

    Be prepared for a little sprinkling of 'spot the reference' and a really bad pun.

    So now, without further ado -


    Chapter X


    “Hello sports fans! This is Louis Kazagger, welcoming you to Wild World of Muppet Sports. This night finds us at the Cosgrove Cool Pool establishment for the seventh annual pool tournament, where several of your favorite Muppet Show actors and actresses have advanced to this, the second round!”

    The live broadcast, presented by the Wild World of Muppet Sports, had set up a table near the front of the establishment, where many of the fans and spectators had set themselves up to watch the competition.

    Louis Kazagger, long time correspondent for Muppet Sports, sat at a wooden table that overlooked the pool tables, doing commentary in regards to the participants. “Tonight’s second round looks to be even more exciting than that of the first!” his nasally voice exclaimed. For the home viewers – or those who were watching the event on television anywhere they could – immediately saw the pictures of all those who had made their way to the second round.

    “The tournament starts off with the doubles match between Rowlf the Dog and Miss Piggy against their Muppet Show co-stars Sgt. Floyd Pepper and Janice of the Electric Mayhem!”

    Several different video images were shown of the first round game between Rowlf and Piggy versus Pete Gartner and Mika Immonen.

    “Miss Piggy and Rowlf took a surprise lead by beating out champions Pete Gartner and Mika Immonen; the question on everyone’s mind is will they be able to continue the streak by beating out Pepper and Janice?”
    The next images were that of the game between Floyd and Janice versus that of Chris and Janey.

    “Sgt. Pepper and Janice played much in the same way,” Kazagger stated. “Easily eliminating their competition to advance to the second round.”

    Another set of images showed that of a human woman with blond hair playing alongside a rather tall, blue and green Frackle with a monocle over his right eye. “Our second doubles match consists of woman’s champion Allison Fisher and her partner Louvus taking on Big Tony Little and his son Little Tony.”

    Both Littles were two rather large and beefy human males, who seemed to have a pair of shades attached to the eyes because they never removed them, even at night. They were also nicely dressed in three piece suits and seemed to continually look over their shoulders as though expecting something or someone.

    “In the singles competition,” Kazagger continued. “Is Andy Schweeb playing against surprise first round winner, Fozzie Bear.”

    The next images were of Schweeb’s quick win over Link Hogthrob and Fozzie’s unexpectant win against that of Dr. Teeth. The images after that were of a small brown and white beagle with a black circle around her left eye and that of Gonzo’s performance art play style.

    “And lastly, the match that puts local favorite Audra Smalls against Gonzo the Great; this match will ultimately decide if the Great Gonzo can pull off another win without distracting his partner by his performance. Stay tuned as the seventh annual Cosgrove Cool Pool tournament gets underway!”

    :news:

    The crowd was a lot larger than Kermit expected, but he was happy to see that even those who had come out to watch the tournament were happy to have the crew there as well. The Muppet leader had been hard pressed to keep the group the size he did, thankfully owing to the fact that there was a show this weekend which help to keep the others’ minds occupied while he could come down here. Unfortunately, because it was the weekend of a show, he would only be able to see this round and wouldn’t know about the winners unless Piggy or Scooter told him Sunday.

    For a pool hall in a non-descript part of Hollywood, Cosgrove’s was a very nice establishment; not overly large, but not a small are either. Kermit didn’t make a point to hang out in pool halls or bars for that matter – unless a meeting designated it – so the frog had sometimes framed his approaches to these things from his experience in El Sleezo’s, the bar where he had met Fozzie.

    The building was split into two areas, one for those who were playing pool and other games, as well as sitting and drinking at the bar, while the second area to the right was designated for those who were coming to get a quick bite to eat or watching a sports game on the in wall televisions.

    Each was well lit, with large hanging lamps draped from the ceiling; the pool hall area had several pool tables set up, but also a variety of different games and activities, like a foosball table and several different arcade machines.

    “Hey, you made it!”

    Amanda waved as she came over to greet the group, spotting Scooter immediately. Dressed in a green blouse and dark pants, she looked lovelier than before and Scooter’s heart couldn’t help but beat a little faster. “My Dad can’t thank you guys enough for doing a couple of autographs while you’re here,” she continued, nodding her head to a table that was set up further down from that of Muppet Sports commentator Louis Kazagger.

    “Think nothing of it,” Scooter’s brain offered. “This is a good cause, it’s a fun game, with fun people; I couldn’t imagine not being a part of this. Of course, present company probably has something to do with that.”

    What Scooter’s mouth said, “Uh…” while at the same time, the pilots in his brain announced they were going down in flames.

    “Don’t mention it,” Kermit said, smiling. He had tried to save his assistant while on the bus, but the wall of lollygaggers was too thick to try and penetrate; and besides, the boy was with Piggy, which was about two parts good and four parts trouble. At least now, he could try to be helpful here. “We’re happy to come, aren’t we, Scooter?”

    With what remained of his rational thoughts, the signal went out from his brain to that of his head and mouth – the commands were to move the head in a motion of agreement, while the mouth was told to shut it. Scooter nodded happily.

    “Well,” Amanda replied. “It’s still nice. And you look great, by the way.” That, while meaning to include everyone in the statement, was clearly addressed to the stage manager before her.

    “This old thing?” the go-fer managed to sputter. It had meant to be a brush off on his attire, but then Scooter didn’t want her to think that he had just picked some clothes off the floor or the street or something. “Not that it’s old,” he amended. “I mean, I didn’t pick it off the street or something. Because I certainly don’t do that. But there certainly isn’t anything wrong with that if you do. Not that you do, of course, because I can see you clearly don’t; not that I’m making assumptions about you, because I’m not and you know what they say about assuming.

    “Which is to say that I’m not saying anything about assuming in your direction, because I’m certainly not implying…anything…of the sort, which would be completely rude and utterly uncalled for and…”

    In the few minutes before Scooter’s brain decided to get up and leave his head, taking every and any coherent thought with it, came the fleeting thought that he couldn’t remember the last time he had babbled like idiot.

    Which was the exact same thought that went through his companions’ minds as well.

    Maybe it was because, while hilarious in hindsight this would be at a later date, they liked him so much and they wanted him to be happy and that he was normally so unflappable in any other situation, the Muppets around him decided to put him out of his misery.

    By giving him a none too subtle, nor gentle jab to his kidney by a very amused Piggy. “What Scooter means is that you look darling, dear.”

    “Yes,” Scooter groaned. “That’s exactly what I meant.”

    Hearing her name being called from across the room, the Whatnot waved to the person before turning back to the group. Letting a hand trail down Scooter’s jacket lapel, she turned with a lasting smile before heading over to her caller. The seconds hung in the air and just by feeling alone, Scooter knew the group had taken a breath in order to start a conversation.

    “The first person to say something gets a fist in the face.”

    Again, as one, the group deflated from making comments.

    “Spoilsport,” muttered Floyd, as he and the others went to get ready for their matches or to hang out and watch.

    :sing:

    Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo had found an unoccupied booth that actually placed them pretty much in the front of the action. It helped that some booths had been roped off for the fact that the players would want to sit down, drink, or eat either while playing or watching the other matches. It gave the frog, bear, and whatever a good view of the proceedings, while also giving Kermit a good overall view point on all the Muppets who had come.

    Perhaps it was born from his childhood of trying to keep an eye on thousands of brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews or maybe it was from years of trying to corral some of the most talented and unruly people in the universe, but Kermit almost always tried to seat himself where he could watch what was going on, while keeping an eye on people.

    From his vantage point, he could easily see the pool table that was to the right of their table – the one where the competition would be taking place – while being able to see the small stage that occupied a portion of the pool and bar area; he could also see a portion of the bar, where Dr. Teeth was making a drink order, as well as the cozy table that was set apart from the rest of the group that currently held Scooter and Amanda.

    Had it really been years since Scooter had walked through the stage door of the Muppet Show? At the time, Kermit had thought him an annoying kid, sent by the theater’s owner to keep a watchful eye on the rambunctious group that was leasing the building. Truth be told, the frog had no idea that he would come to depend on the kid as much as he did; he didn’t even think he would last more than a week, much less decades later.

    Scooter’s not really a kid anymore, is he? came the thought. While his exuberance and happy go lucky attitude hadn’t changed, Scooter Grosse certainly wasn’t the same teenager that Kermit met all those years ago. He was a lot more confident, especially when it came to dealing with co-stars, guest stars, and backstage antics; he had always been technically minded, but there had been a talented individual underneath, someone who enjoyed the lights as much as the rest of them did.

    There were times Kermit wondered what Scooter would’ve done if his uncle hadn’t placed him with the Muppet Show. Would he have still gone on to work with Google? Or would he have taken over the businesses that his uncle owned? He didn’t know; in fact, when they had done their version of It’s A Wonderful Life, the majority of suggestions for what a world without Kermit would look like had been thrown out, off the cuff, and some of them had been pretty wild and outrageous.

    Oh, Gonzo’s and Piggy’s were actually very close to home (not that he would share that with anyone), but when Scooter suggested he’d probably be a go-go dancer in one of his uncle’s clubs, no one had really thought anything of it.

    Now of course, the frog couldn’t help but wonder; he always had the sense that Scooter seemed much more at home with them than with his uncle, that maybe they loved the young Muppet more than the businessman did. It was a silly notion and Kermit had never been one to pry and Scooter hadn’t been one to offer up any problems (at least, not as a teenager), but sometimes the frog wondered if things were okay or if it was just the Muppet being a teenager.

    The frog’s gaze lingered a little longer on the duo before turning back to watch the set up being done for the first of the night’s matches.

    Being backstage, he hadn’t the opportunity to watch how the matches went, though he had tried to watch Piggy and Rowlf play, but as what always happens when running both the show on stage and off, a problem with one of the acts occurred and needed to hurriedly be replaced. He had of course heard about how the odds had not been in any of their favors to make it past the first round, so being able to boast that six of their number had not only made it past the first round and onto the second, but it looked like at least two of them would hit the third and final round.

    Though he hadn’t seen anyone actively play, he knew instinctively that the doubles match between Rowlf, Piggy, Floyd, and Janice was going to be a good one. Pool skills aside, all four were friends – if ‘friend’ was the appropriate to describe whatever Piggy and Floyd had – and were evenly matched in their teams. Rowlf had always been the perfect laidback straight man, from Fozzie to that of the funniest of guest starring comedians. Piggy was his perfect foil to test his patience and they always managed to rise to the occasion (Vet’s Hospital not withstanding).

    Piggy, for all her grandstanding and diva status, could hold her own with anyone thanks to that brain she had under all of that glamour.

    Oh, the pig was highly intelligent when she wanted to be; that was one of the reason Kermit took her with him whenever he had to meet with movie or television backers and producers for business meetings (and why he tried avoiding having them with her by himself). While she sat there, batting her eyes and laying down sugar so thick it was ready made molasses, she was negotiating herself and the rest of them better positioning power.

    The execs would be so enamored with her, the full weight of what they had agreed to wouldn’t even register until long after they left or right when they were calling in those bargaining chips.

    Sometimes, Kermit brought her along just to watch her work.

    Piggy could analyze the smallest detail from miles away and when she put that skill into something that didn’t require some sort of star treatment, watch out! And with Rowlf’s easygoing manner, the frog knew the brown dog would keep a leash on his partner until the very last minute.

    Floyd and Janice, on the other hand, were totally mellow, much like the rest of the Electric Mayhem. Despite any perceived animosity between that of Floyd and Piggy, the two did like each other (he hoped!) and he figured that the two groups would definitely have fun.

    “Hey Miss Hamhocks, don’t go chopping people when you lose tonight. The owner’s gotta stay in business, you know?”

    “Well, he won’t stay in business long if he keeps letting people like you in. I didn’t know beatniks were allowed to socialize with the rest of us.”

    Yep, Kermit thought as he put a hand over his face in embarrassment. Good clean fun.

    :)

    Seated behind the crowd somewhat were Amanda and Scooter. Amanda often liked to seat behind the rest of the patrons, especially during competitions, as it gave her a chance to go over the administrative aspects for her father, without having to miss the excitement that went on throughout the bar. She always sat at the same place if she could, a little two seat table that allowed her to watch the entire back room where the pool tables and games were; this allowed for her father to sometimes work the bar, which gave him the advantage of seeing both rooms at relatively the same time.

    The turnout for the tournament was huge – she was smart enough to realize that it was the celebrity names attached to the program that gave them the most business, but she could spot a couple of the regulars who had brought along their friends as well. While she was sure that the top names in both men’s and women’s championship pool had of course drawn people in, Amanda was convinced everyone else was there for the Muppets.

    They must’ve struck gold to have the page, assistant, and co-star of both TV and movies walk into their place of business and ask if they needed any help with their tournament. The publicity had gotten her father to consider it, but for her the agreement had been supported by the cute yellow Muppet that had offered it. Oh, you had to have been living in a cave not to know who the Muppets were, but she had to admit that she almost didn’t recognized Scooter until she had purposefully ogne back and watch every Muppet incarnation she could.

    But even without the knowledge of who his legendary friends were, Amanda Cosgrove had found Scooter Grosse to be an attractive, funny, and intelligent man. She had been surprised to learn that some of his absences from the big screen were due to his being in college at the time and then landing a gig at search engine giant Google and then being at a TED Talk conference. With all of that, she couldn’t help but ask why he would return to the role as the assistant to a frog and a large cast of zany characters.

    “It’s someplace I’m supposed to be,” he had answered.

    She guessed she could understand that; after all, she had her own degree in business management which had opened a lot of doors and offered up a lot of opportunities, but she felt that her time would be better spent with helping her father run their business. She found she and Scooter had a lot of things in common – they were both only children, both hadn’t known their mothers for very long, they both enjoyed technology, both had gone to college in California, etc. In fact, the more time she spent with Scooter, the more she liked him and the more she wanted to know about him.

    And if dating had taught her anything, the more you want to learn about a person, the more you pay attention to the company that they keep.

    Being familiar with the Muppets did not prepare her for the actual insanity that could happen when around the Muppets. She had just thought their backstage antics or crazy ideas were something they put in for that week’s script for their movie or show. From their vantage point of the current doubles match between the four Muppet co-stars, Amanda was getting a true sense that the group never needed a spotlight in the first place.

    “Do they do that often?” she asked, leaning closer to her table companion. They seemed to be a lot closer now than when they had initially sat, seemingly making excuses to get near one another. Earlier, she had moved her chair closer as an excuse to show him something and then he had ‘oh so casually’ put an arm behind her on the chair in order to get a closer look at some paperwork. Boy, he smelled good!

    “Hmm?” Geez, she even smells pretty.

    Nodding to where it seemed Floyd and Piggy had picked up steam in their competitive insult championship, she repeated, “Miss Piggy and the Mayhem’s bass player. They seriously have it out for each other.”

    “Oh,” Scooter chuckled. “Yeah, they’re usually like that, but they’re friends.” At her look, he said, “Really! We all do it, it’s just they have taken theirs to a…whole new art form, as they say.”

    “It kinda does seem strange,” the young Whatnot murmured. “I mean, you hear Miss Piggy state in interviews that she just hangs around you guys cause you’re Kermit’s friends…” she ended the statement with an embarrassed blush. She didn’t want to speak of the diva pig; the starlet knew how to be woman and she knew how to roar.

    “Piggy knows how to work a room and everyone in it,” Scooter grinned. “That’s the reason we call her in when we need publicity or money. She tells people what they want to hear and see; she’s basically our marketing department. But when we’re not on…well, it’s Piggy, so she’s always on, but she’s got an off switch, believe me.”

    The way he said it – with not only conviction, but emotional context – had her believe it, too. Sure enough, when she turned back to watch the match, there was Piggy and the bass player standing and laughing at something before their insult match was back on.

    “Jan and I are so having pork chops for dinner.”

    “Keep it up, Pepper, and you’re going to be seasoning my stew later tonight.”

    “Whatcha havin’? Frog stew?”

    “I’m gonna have beatnik stew if you don’t hurry up and play.”

    “Beatnik stew?” Janice giggled. “Never heard that before.”

    “Oh I’m sure you could play it,” Rowlf replied.

    “Like, rully Rowlfie?”

    “Sure,” the brown dog said. “It’s an old New Orleans song from back in day.”

    “What?” asked Piggy.

    Rowlf looked between the diva and the guitarist and said, “You mean to tell me you haven’t heard of the Basin Street Stews?”

    And there was much groaning.
  14. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yay. Enjoyed the chapter muchly. Especially liked Scooter's quote from the Rainbow Connection. Also thought the depiction of Kermit having to be where he can keep an eye on everybody from his family—whether froggy or Muppetwise—was extremely touching.

    Thanks. More please?
  15. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -----------------
    Enjoyable. I like how much detail you're bringing in, examining the relationships between some of the Muppets, particularly Scooter and Piggy and why they've stayed so long with such obvious...weirdos.

    :concern: I resemble that remark.

    Great cameo by Kazagger! Now there's an underused Muppet if ever there was one. Hope we get to see some play-by-play as the usual Muppet weirdness gets underway along with the tourney games...

    Scooter's brain pilots should save the black box, and see whether this crash was preventable. Remember kiddies: don't fly stupid.

    I cringe at a forthcoming Gaga song...but eh, it's Muppets, I'll listen anyway!
    ---------------
  16. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    So long as it's Gaga, our sanity shall survive.

    *Hearing the pilots in Scooter's brain, if it's more Aliens:
    Game over man! End of the world! Save yourselves! Women and children first, after me!
    Or if it's more akin to Airplane:
    Look out, it's gonna crash! *Dives out of the control tower's open windows.
  17. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the Muppets are folks that you have to love. Well, if you don't want to cross Piggy you'll love them.

    When I decided to continue the tournament over at the pool hall, there was no one else I considered to do it. I'm still thinking stuff up as I go along, but as I haven't featured any pool playing since the actual show, I think I'll do the singles tournament.

    And in the immortal words of Charlie McCarthy, "You'll never guess who the winner is, folks!"

    I seem to be taking some of my own qualities into Scooter. ;) My mind tends to leave at the most inopportune times, in which something awesome should be forthcoming, only to suddenly come up with something, usually minutes, hours, or days later.

    Stupid brain.

    That scene, incidentally, is one of my many favorites from The Simpsons.

    You're spared, as it won't be in this one, though I'm still debating on the Mayhem playing during a break here. The downside to being a writer and a musician is that I have a tendency to imagine in music video format, which - when appropriate - finds songs into things I write.

    It helps that said characters are also musically talented. The point is, expect to see more Monkees, Beatles, Gaga, maybe some STP, The Who, Rhianna, Britney, and a bunch of other stuff that I will try to work in at some point.
  18. TheWeirdoGirl

    TheWeirdoGirl Well-Known Member

    I'm really loving this story a lot! It's just fantastic. There's a lot more that I could say, but it'll have to wait for some other time. Keep up the great work!
  19. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Good morning Muppet crew!

    I will hopefully be giving you all a one-two punch here, by getting up two chapters (or more in one day). And guess what? I think there might be a sequel in this because...I see a Muppet party. I see a zany, crazy Muppet party, as well as an excuse to kill several ideas at once. Debating, but that could happen.

    Anyway, here's chap 11 fer ya!

    Chapter XI


    “On the house, guys!”

    The four members of the first doubles round were all lined up at the bar, drinking in a celebratory win for the porcine pig and the musical mutt. The first match of the night had started the second round off to a fun and exciting start, with good natured trash talking, insults, puns, and all around comedy.

    But that’s what you get when the most cynical of the Electric Mayhem members was playing pool with the staff of Veterinarian’s Hospital.

    The game had gone back and forth, with Piggy and Rowlf leading at one moment and then Floyd and Janice leading at another; the game had come down to the eight ball for both teams and both had missed their shots at least twice, until Rowlf was able to make his in the side pocket on the third try, ending the game and putting both he and Piggy into the third and final round.

    Now, both teams were sitting at the bar, talking and watching the action that was taking place around them. While the second match of the doubles was going, it wasn’t nearly as interesting as what was happening behind the match. “So what’s up with our little Grofer over there?” asked Floyd, as he took a sip from his drink.

    Despite his normal efficiency at cutting down anyone that crossed his path, especially his co-stars, Sgt. Floyd Pepper was a very loyal and trusted friend; even when insulting them, the hippest of the hip knew he would never find better people than those that he associated with.

    He, along with the rest of the Mayhem (and all of the Muppets in general), had taken Scooter under their proverbial wing; the go-fer had been the first person Floyd had thought of when contemplating having a second bass player on hand. After the disaster that was the combination of Fozzie and Don Knotts, it was clear that Floyd was the only vibes player in the troupe and that of the only bass player.

    That needed to be rectified.

    Scooter had been the perfect student to learn an instrument – interested, hardworking, willing to learn, and persistent. The kid had grown on the group, causing Floyd to nickname him ‘The Kid’, along with his personal favorite of ‘grofer’, which was a play on his last name and that of his then position of being the show’s go-fer.
    Floyd had been in his usual place in the orchestra pit before needing to go on stage for the Mayhem’s set, so he had been unable to be properly introduced to Amanda, nor was he aware that his little buddy had a crush on her.

    “Where’ve you been?” asked Rowlf.

    “In the orchestra pit,” the bassist retorted. Leaning forward to look at Piggy, who was seated on a barstool next to the pianist, he concluded with, “We don’t usually get out to socialize much.” His comment was answered by a roll of blue eyes and a shake of a piggy head.

    “Like, that’s Scootie’s new cutie,” Janice explained.

    “Oh yeah?” Floyd asked, making a better show of trying to get a better look at Amanda.

    “Floyd,” Piggy admonished. “Stop gawking.”

    “And keep it down,” Rowlf whispered, elbowing the mustached musician. “She’s the bar owner’s daughter.”

    Floyd answered that with a chuckle. “Right on,” he said. “Didn’t know the guy had it in him.”

    “He’s a pretty lucky guy,” Rowlf agreed.

    Piggy leaned back to look at Janice.

    “Men,” they both groaned.

    :flirt:

    Scooter managed to tear himself away from Amanda only because she had to take business phone call within the bar’s office. The upside was that she seemed just as disappointed to be leaving him as he was to see her leave. Watching her leave, however, did take some of the sting out though.

    Deciding that he should at least spend some time with his friends and family who had been nice enough to bring him here, he looked around and spotted Kermit and Piggy sitting at a table close to the current match. He tried to decipher if the two were available for talking or if they were having their own private sort of talk.

    If there were two people Scooter had ever been afraid to leave, it was that of Kermit and Piggy. Oh, he knew perfectly well they could take care of themselves, but he liked to think he helped in taking care of them, in taking care of all of them.

    When Scooter had been taking classes, he was never completely away from the Muppets, just not in front of the screen like he used to be. It had been an agonizing decision, to go to college or stay with the group, but it had been Kermit who had told him he had to follow the same dream that had brought them all to Hollywood in the first place; the only difference was that Scooter’s dream was now that of college.

    While the goal was worthy, the climate that he was leaving behind didn’t seem to be a good one; it seemed that everyone was moving away from each other and the power couple seemed to be more at odds with each other than anyone could imagine or have ever seen. Piggy had built them a beautiful home in the Hills and though Kermit did move in, there had been speculation – both in the tabloids and their own little group – if the move was the frog’s idea.

    Scooter knew they were happy; if anyone had a better and deeper insight into the two, it was probably him (or Fozzie) and while they had their moments, Kermit and Piggy adored each other. That’s why it had hit him harder than he had realized when Piggy announced that she was leaving. He had almost turned down his internship with Google when she told him and only on the supposed threat of death that he had gone; he hadn’t been happy.

    Not one bit.

    Shaking his thoughts from a former time, the assistant decided that the two weren’t necessarily engaged in something, so he made his way towards them.

    “Hey Scooter,” Kermit greeted, smiling.

    “Hi-ho Kermit,” he returned, also smiling. Turning to his boss’ companion, he stated, “Ow, by the way.”

    “Oh I’m sorry, Scooter dear,” Piggy replied, matching the smiles that were around him. “Were you enjoying playing babble like an idiot earlier?”

    “Piggy!”

    “No,” was the assistant’s grumbled reply.

    “Okay then,” she retorted. “And you’re welcome.”

    “Yeah, well,” Scooter muttered, rubbing his side. “Next time, be more gentle.”

    “Scooter,” the diva huffed. “If there is one thing Moi is, it’s gentle.”

    “Yeah,” Kermit murmured. “Like a Mack truck.”

    “What?”

    “I said,” the frog stumbled. “I said is that a duck. Over there? But it’s…it’s not.” Kermit cleared his throat nervously, quickly turning to the younger Muppet in hopes that the death glare he was getting from his gorgeous girlfriend would dissipate. Eventually.

    “So Scooter,” he scrambled. “How…how’re things?”

    “They’re good, Boss,” Scooter nodded, trying – and failing – to contain a smile. “Turn out’s pretty good, right? And you thought this wouldn’t work.”

    “Alright, alright,” Kermit said, waving off the go-fer. “I concede defeat. You have, as per usual, managed to turn a completely hopeless situation into one of triumph.”

    “I thank you.”

    “Though I wonder what would’ve happened if you didn’t have a romantic interest in said pool partner, as it were.”

    Scooter send his boss a look. It was rare for Kermit to go after him in just a joking way, probably because, as his assistant, he had enough information on the frog to counteract any attack. Kinda like now.

    “Remind me where you live again,” he retorted. “It’s a big house, with a picture of you and your girlfriend on the gate, right?”

    Touché, the frog thought, leaning back in his seat. When was the last time he had done this with Scooter? “I’m sure Piggy would be more than happy to give you the name of the builders who constructed it,” he shot back. “If you were interested.”

    “Oh cute,” the go-fer nodded. “Cute joke.”

    “Boys,” Piggy replied, stirring her drink. “Play nice.”

    I am playing nice,” Scooter defended. “I’m always nice.”

    “So Amanda keeps telling us,” Kermit said.

    Scooter opened his mouth, a snappy comeback all ready when his brain changed tracks mid-contemplation. “Really?”

    Turning to his tablemate, the frog stated, “The kid does have it bad.”

    “I told you,” his companion replied. “It’s quite adorable, actually. In fact, Moi is going to do vous another favor, Andrew my love.”

    “Should I alert the Coast Guard?”

    Piggy chuckled in such a way Scooter knew he was toeing the line a bit. “Cute,” she said. “Cute joke. Anyways, Moi is certain that Mon Capitaine and Moiself would love to have a nice little tête-à-têtewith vous and Miss Amanda. I’m sure vous can find time in Kermie’s schedule to arrange it.”

    “How’s Saturday at seven?” the assistant answered immediately.

    “That’s perfect.”

    Kermit looked between the two, an annoyed look on his face. This was why he tried to limit contact between the two of them. “This is why I try to limit contact between you two,” he muttered. “You’re always scheming against me.”

    “We are not scheming against you,” Piggy huffed, with an eye roll. “Why do you keep saying that?”

    “You’re sitting right there!” Scooter exclaimed. “We’re scheming with you!”

    “Sheesh,” the frog muttered. “With friends like you, why bother with enemies?”

    :mad:

    “Welcome back to the Wild World of Muppet Sports! This is Louis Kazagger, coming to you live from the Cosgrove Cool Pool’s seventh annual pool tournament. Tonight we head into the second round with our singles competition; so far, we have our third and final match up in the doubles competition between that of Muppet Show stars Miss Piggy and Rowlf the Dog.

    “Meeting them in the third round will be the father/son team of Big Tony and Little Tony Little! Sitting with me now is that of Big Tony Little…Big Tony, how do you feel about your win tonight over that of female champion Allison Fisher and her partner, Louvus?”

    “Baddabing,” the large man began, his heavy accent coming clean and clear. “It was no sweat; ain’t no man or woman a match for me and Little Tony, capisce?”

    “And how are you feeling about facing the team of Piggy and Rowlf in the third round?”

    “Look,” the big bopper said. “Imma tell yous all right now – up till here, it’s been Swine Time and Dogs Playing Pool, but they ain’t come close to what me and Little Tony is gonna do to dems. So the pig and dog better watch out, cause me and Little Tony is coming and when we see dem tomorrow, the Littles are gonna have some hot dogs. Get it?” The larger man walked off, leaving Kazagger staring at him in confusion.

    “Well,” he said, turning to the camera. “There you have it, folks. Big Tony Little sending out his predictions for tomorrow’s matchup between him and his son with that of Miss Piggy and Rowlf. We turn now to that of the singles competition, where our first match will be Andy Schweeb facing Muppet comedian Fozzie Bear.

    “Fozzie is with us before he goes on, Fozzie how are you feeling before your match?”

    Fozzie, who had since purged himself from the jacket he had been wearing and had rolled up the sleeves of his dress shirt, pulled on his signature necktie in a show of nervousness. “Well Lou,” he began. “I gotta admit, I’m kinda nervous. Andy is a great player, so it’s a privilege to be playing with him tonight and that there’s such a great crowd around - ”

    Those who were standing around the table cheered for Fozzie, as he turned and waved at them. “I can only hope no one has any tomatoes,” he continued. “However, if anyone has green peppers, black olives, onions, cheese, and some pepperoni, maybe we can throw together a pizza. Ha! Wocka wocka wocka!”

    “Thank you, Fozzie,” Kazagger replied, sending a push towards the bear to get him off camera. “This is Louis Kazagger; stay tuned for the first of the singles matches on Wild World of Muppet Sports!”
  20. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Chapter XII


    The first of the singles matches was well under way, with the game coming to a very close tie. Fozzie Bear, the tenacious tenor of travesty, had surprised everyone with his somewhat decent and perhaps professional skills at playing pool, positioning himself as the front runner for the singles competition after his win in the first round.
    Up at the bar, the quartet that had gathered there were just as surprised, especially when they counted themselves among the bear’s closest friends. “Like, Fozzie is really killing out there,” noted Janice.

    “And not even on purpose,” chuckled Rowlf.

    The bear had taken it upon himself to do what he always did, crowd source the people around to test out his joke material. He’d actually be more hit than miss tonight and it only seemed to add to his concentration as his game against Andy Schweeb went back and forth.

    “When did our funny friend get so good at playing pool?” Floyd questioned.

    “He used to spend a lot of time doing stuff that kept him away from the Moopets,” Rowlf responded

    “That makes sense,” Piggy said. “I’ve always thought that Poogy person looked like she’d been hit in the face with a cue stick. Repeatedly.” The others chuckled at her rather catty response, but secretly they agreed with her. They had really dodged a bullet by having Piggy return to them and not having to spend more time with the fake starlet than they needed.

    “You need a saucer down there, Pork Chop?” Floyd rasped.

    “Not unless you want my claws in your side.”

    “Hey guys.”

    “Gonzo!”

    The blue weirdo and his long time chicken girlfriend made their presence at their bar, ordering some sort of blue fuzzy drink with a bowl of pumpkin seeds. “Wow,” he stated, as he watched Fozzie sink another ball in a side pocket. “I never knew Fozzie was such a good pool player.”

    “All that time in Reno, man,” Floyd said. “I wouldn’t mind taking him with me to Vegas; if he spent his time playing pool, who knows what else he’s potentially good at?”

    “Well, it’ll be interesting to meet him in the next round,” Gonzo replied.

    “What makes you think, like, you’ll make it to the next round?”

    “Are you kidding?” the weirdo exclaimed. “Have you seen my competition?”

    “Hey Gonzo,” Rowlf said, sternly. “That’s not nice. Audra’s a nice girl and she looks like a pretty good player. I’d be surprised if you managed to get past her to the next round.”

    “Okay, Rowlf, okay,” Gonzo amended, sending an infectious grin to his furry friend. “I didn’t know you were barking up the pool player tree.”

    “Oh, that’s cute,” Rowlf replied. He just had to buy the pretty beagle a drink. He didn’t think anything of it, of course, but then again he also had a lapse in judgement in the people he hung out with. “Can we get back to talking about Scooter’s love life? We were perfectly fine with that until you showed up.”

    “Actually,” Piggy corrected. “We were perfectly fine until Audra showed up.”

    “Shouldn’t you be working on baby figs or something?” That comment was rewarded with a punch to the arm.

    “Too bad common law isn’t recognized in this state,” Floyd stated, smirking into his drink.

    “It is in Colorado and Arizona,” Gonzo added.

    “I’m sorry, how did this conversation switch to me all of a sudden?”

    “What?” Rowlf asked, grinning. “You think you’re the only one who’s good at redirection?”

    “Well, redirect away from me.”

    “Yes, ma’am,” the dog chuckled. “Now back to Scooter…”

    Back at the match, Andy Schweeb was lining up his shot for sinking his last ball. He, like everyone else, had been surprised at just how good a pool player the bear comedian was. He wished he could’ve been more cutthroat with the bear, but he just couldn’t; the guy was a really nice guy. And he was pretty funny! Why were people telling him the bear was totally unfunny?

    In hindsight, even if he lost Schweeb could at least say he had been in the tournament. This was his third year and only the first time he had gotten to the actual finals and certainly, this was a year to remember. How many times would he be able to tell people that he had been in a pool tournament with The Ice Man or Allison Fisher and that he had personally played against several of the Muppets?

    “Hey Andy,” the bear started, stepping up to the table to take his shot. “What do you call a pool player underwater?”

    “No idea, sir.”

    “A pool shark!”

    “Oh like, totally lame Fozzie.”

    “Hey,” he shot back, looking up at the six that were seated at the bar. “Not all of us can deliver a hurricane of puns. It’s good thing you work in a hospital, Janice.”

    “Here it comes,” muttered Rowlf.

    “Like, why’s that?”

    “It’s puts you in proximity of the dogtor, get it!?”

    “Yeah,” Floyd chuckled. “But with a doctor like Dr. Bob, his patients are better off dead!”

    “Ah! That’s fun-nee!”

    “It appears that Fozzie Bear has taken the lead over Andy Schweeb, folks,” came the voice of Kazagger. “The comedian has managed to sink all his balls and only needs to the eight ball to win. If he makes this shot folks, he moves up to the final round.”

    What people didn’t know about Fozzie was that he had techniques in which to overcome some of his nervousness, especially when on stage. It had taken him a long time to get past the ever present presence of his hecklers and tormenters that sat at the balcony at the theatre; in fact, he had long since counted them as his biggest fans. Why else would they insist on returning night after night, year after year, if they truly hated him?

    When Kermit had first found him, on that stage at El Sleezo’s, Fozzie had dreaded going out every night. He wasn’t stupid; he knew some of his material didn’t fly right, but his determination for giving the people a laugh had to make for it, right? Well, the crowd at El Sleezo’s didn’t think so and several times he had barely made it off stage with his hat, fur, and life intact. That night when Kermit had come by had looked to be his very last.

    When the Muppet Show had started, the ordeal of having his jokes booed or worse was also a constant with him; there were times when the audience weren’t as forgiving as El Sleezo’s and that was only tempered by the fact that he was just one cast member in the bunch that they all hated in their entirety. That’s when he started to picture the audience as happy little stick figures, like the kind he used to draw on his wall as a kid.

    After a while, he could stand on stage looking at the audience as they were and after that, he could even hold his own against Waldorf and Statler. He even started imaging the audience with their old faces, if just to push himself to get them to laugh at one of his jokes.

    Upon returning back to their studios, their theatre, and their name, Fozzie had enthusiastically hugged both elder gentlemen and thanked them for their hazing and heckling.

    Why?

    If there was one thing Fozzie took from their years of heckling, it was a much harder shell than he had before. That certainly worked well when he had been in Reno and working with the Moopets; that was certainly an experience he never wanted to repeat ever again, even on the pain of death. The gig was just to get money to get by with, but there had been a ton of times where he wished he could just get out. At the beginning, the fantasy of Kermit and the others coming to rescue had been a comfort that had quickly dissipated after years and years of waiting.

    The crowds at a casino bar are nothing to write home about and they responded even less to his jokes. His technique of imaging them as his oldest and greatest of nemesis never helped and sadly, the Moopets were not the type of people to reassure him when he had really bad nights on stage. That’s how Fozzie started to wonder around Reno, getting to know some of the dealers at the blackjack tables, the waitresses who served drinks, and how he managed to find an interest in pool playing.

    Anything to get him away from those…people.

    And as with his joke telling, when playing pool, Fozzie just used his determination and his imagination by picturing the pool balls as his one-time stage mates, the Moopets. And the eight ball was his Miss Poogy.

    Gee, he really hated that pig!

    Fozzie was not the type of person to hold any type of hatred in his heart; if that was true, he would’ve been out of the comedy game decades ago, but the Moopets had pushed so many of the bear’s buttons he couldn’t help but feel anxiety and revulsion for the group. And the person he hated most was Poogy.

    While he and Miss Piggy had never been terribly close – well, as close as one could get by being friends with their best friend’s girl – the bear was fairly confident the diva at least liked him a little. Oh, she may have come off as the long suffering girlfriend and love interest to the frog and that she only hung out with them because they were Kermit’s friends, but Fozzie knew the truth. Piggy could be a real sweetheart when she wanted to be and she never scared him as much as Poogy did.

    In fact, even seeing Poogy on a daily basis made him miss Piggy all the more.

    He didn’t even want to contemplate what the Muppet Telethon would have been like had Piggy not returned. In fact, Fozzie thought he was the only person who thought Piggy would return, even after her talk with Kermit. Piggy was as loyal as they were. He was just happy the couple seemed to be back together; he really hated conflict and while very much used to their back and forth, he also hated seeing how miserable the other could get when they were apart.

    “Whatsamatter, Fozzie?” the eight ball taunted. “Can’t sink your ball in hole? I know dumbbells with bigger balls than you.”

    “Eight ball, corner pocket,” Fozzie announced, his eyes never leaving the smirking face of Poogy as it glared at him from the shiny black ball. “Sink this,” he retorted, hitting the cue a little harder than he had intended, but it made an impact by smashing into Poogy’s face and sending her to the corner pocket and into the ball shoot.

    The bear stood up, a bit stunned not only at the furiousity of the shot, but that he had actually gotten it in. It was only after being caught up in a hug by Rowlf that he realized he had just won and was heading to the finals.

    [hr]

    “Welcome back to Muppet Sports, I am your announcer, Louis Kazagger. And with me now is that purveyor of the performing arts, the Great Gonzo. Gonzo, how are you feeling tonight?”

    “Oh just great, Louis!”

    “In the last round, you managed to sweep away your opponent with a combination of skill and insanity. What will be your approach to tonight’s match up with Audra Smalls?”

    “Well, Lou, I’ve been forbidden to do anything too crazy, however a show with the Great Gonzo isn’t a show unless I’ve displayed some sort of performance art. So for tonight, I’m bringing the lights down just a little and slow it down just a little. Sometimes Lou, you don’t need to go big in order to go big!”

    The Great Gonzo walked off with a hearty laugh that was one part giggle and five parts maniacal.

    “Well, there you have it folks. The Great Gonzo promising us another form of his performing art. Stay tuned for the conclusion of our coverage to the seventh annual Cool Pool tournament.”

    [hr]

    Audra Smalls was a fairly quiet dog.

    Coming from a small litter, Audra had done very well in her school studies before taking a job as an admin assistant at a local talent agency. She wasn’t sure when she had first gotten into playing pool – maybe it had been one of her boyfriends that had shown her or a night out with the girls had led her to try it – but whatever the reason, the little spotted beagle found a type of comfort and relaxation that came with playing.

    Cool Pool was her normal hangout and she was usually once a week, if just to unwind after a hard day listening to the hopes and dreams of people wanting to break into show business; she couldn’t understand the mad rush people had when it came to wanting to be famous. What was wrong with just living life and watching the world go by at a slow to medium pace? That’s what she liked.

    For her to participate in this year’s pool tournament had been a bit of a dare from her co-workers and friends. She was a decent player, by the local standards, and it was the thought of playing against new players – not the money – that interested her slightly. Audra enjoyed being around people, especially enjoyable people, so she figured if anything she could meet new people while playing. She of course had no idea she’d make it to the semifinals or even the second round. And she certainly didn’t think that her opponent would be one of the famed Muppets from TV and movies.

    She knew of the Muppets and probably had a movie of theirs once or twice, but she had never met any of them. The beagle had been surprised when the brown dog known as Rowlf had bought her a drink and complemented her on getting to this second round. As she made her way to the tournament table, she passed him and some of the others as they stood at the bar.

    “Hey, good luck out there,” Rowlf nodded.

    “Thanks, Rowlf.”

    “You’re gonna need it,” came the muted response from either side of the piano player.

    “Ladies and gentlemen,” Kazagger spoke, his voice rising to get everyone’s attention. “We’re about to start our final match of the night. Hailing from our own fair city, the beagle beauty of pool, Ms. Audra Smalls!” The crowd clapped for their hometown favorite as she stood at the table and waved shyly. “And her opponent, that madman of Muppet mastery, the insane man of invention and imagination, the one, the only, the Great Gonzo!”

    “Ladies and gentlemen,” the performer began. “Tonight I’m restricted from my normal high class act - ” Everyone looked at everyone else at that statement. “But let it be known that the Great Gonzo doesn’t appeal to the sensitive and heartfelt beings out there. For tonight’s performance, I will be reciting some poetry. About pool. In haiku form.”

    “What’s a haiku?” asked Audra.

    “You don’t know what a haiku is?” Gonzo asked, his eyes wide in surprise. The little beagle shook her head. Patting her on the arm, the weirdo said, “Excellent! Ladies first, as they say. Audra, if you would.”

    The beagle stepped up to the table, alternating between seeing the best possible break and that of keeping an eye on the blue weirdo. She made a quick glance to that of the Muppets at the bar, hoping to get a little more information on what the actor planned to do, but they all just shrugged in her direction, as if to say, “even we don’t know what he’s planning.”

    Beagle breaks,
    Eleven goes into pocket.
    I am behind.

    "No fifteen!
    You traitorous dog!
    Now down two.

    "Ah ha!
    Thank you twelve.
    You’re my friend.

    "Beware one,
    Side you shall go
    My eyes on three.”

    “Please buy that poor girl a drink after this,” Piggy whispered to Rowlf.

    “Please buy that poor girl dinner after this,” Floyd added.

    “Like,” Janice jumped in. “Take this poor girl on vacation after this!”

    And the tournament rolled on.


    I'm completely in stitches after this, I hope you all know. I hope I did the haiku justice, cause I can't write haiku or poems to save my life. Will be starting the next chapter...uh...next!


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