Chapter Nineteen Of all of the Muppets, Fozzie seemed to be the most determined to bring their show from lack-luster to spectacular within the few hours they had before it was time to play the music. He took a quick stroll through most of the hospital and insisted that it was their duty to give these patients the laughter and entertainment they so desperately needed. “We should close it with ‘Make ‘Em Laugh,’” he said firmly. “Except we’ll do it bigger and better than they did in Singin’ in the Rain.” “They did that number on Glee,” Gonzo mentioned. “We’ll do it better than them, too,” Fozzie said. “I want all of us to be in it. It’ll be the biggest, the best, the funniest version of ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ that the world has ever seen!” “Or at least, it’ll have the most razzle dazzle,” Scooter said as he scribbled notes on his clipboard. “No, no, that’s a different number,” Gonzo said. “That’s not even the same musical—” “We’ll do that one, too!” Fozzie said, slapping his rag of a hat against his hand. “Gonzo, you take care of ‘Razzle Dazzle,’ and I’ll plan ‘Make ‘Em Laugh.’ Scooter, I need all the whoopee cushions, banana peels, and cream pies you can find.” “Right!” Scooter glanced up from his clipboard. “Sal, I need you to eat a bunch of bananas!” As it became more and more apparent that every patient who could possibly leave their room wanted to see the show, their performance space was moved from a waiting room to a spacious lounge near the main entrance. Patients who could not leave their beds could—and most likely would—watch the show from their televisions. And that was how Kermit and Jimmy watched it. Kermit sat beside Robin, Jimmy sat at the foot of the bed, and Sweetums sat on the floor, all looking up at the screen as the heart monitor steadily beeped behind them. On screen, the Muppets were singing. “When the curtain goes up And we hear the applause, It’s the moment we live for, And you are the cause!” And the heart monitor continued. Beep … Beep … Beep… Kermit turned his head. Was it his imagination, or did those beeps seem slower than they had been? “And we’re not gonna stop ‘Til we get to the top With a stomp and a shuffle, A skip and a hop!” Jimmy and Sweetums also turned and looked at the heart monitor. Beep… …Beep… “’Cause wherever we are And wherever we go, We’re ready to romp and We’re ready to roll!” …Beeeeeeeeeeeeeee— “NO!” Kermit shot to his flippers. Time seemed to stop, seemed to stand still. Somehow, suddenly, there was a doctor—no, two doctors—and nurses, and Kermit and Jimmy found themselves pushed into a corner, out of the way, while Sweetums was somehow pushed out the door. The television remained on. “It works together It works apart It goes without saying And it comes from the heart!” His heart had stopped. Little Robin’s heart had somehow stopped. Kermit felt like his own heart had stopped with it. Leaper had seen the commotion from the waiting room and now stood in the doorway. She screamed. And the doctors worked. “So raise an eyebrow And lift an ear. We’ve got you smiling We hear you cheer ‘Cause it’s the sound that we adore When you’re shouting ‘More! More! More!’” The doctor shouted, “Clear!” Kermit felt his head spinning. Was he holding Jimmy up, or was Jimmy holding him? “And when… The camera’s flashing I will pose a dozen poses! And when… My song is over I’ll receive a dozen roses!” The dozens of flowers and cards in the room didn’t matter now. No one even noticed them. But it couldn’t be over. It could not be over! It wasn’t. One shock was all it took. The beeping returned, unsteady at first, but quickly stabilizing. Kermit heard the beeps, the relieved sighs, the slap of a high five. But the doctors and nurses stayed, making sure those beeps wouldn’t go away. “We’re so glad that you’re here We can tell you we know ‘Cause we hold you so dear Yes it’s you that we love…” Kermit hugged his brother tight and realized they had both been holding each other up. He wasn’t surprised by that. “He didn’t go,” he whispered, his voice hoarse. “He didn’t go. He’s still here.” “Yeah,” Jimmy whispered. “Yeah, he’s here.” And the show went on, and the Muppets kept singing. “And we’re not gonna stop ‘Til we get to the top…” Eventually, the nurses trailed out. One doctor stayed and spoke with Kermit and Jimmy. Leaper returned to the waiting room with tears streaming down her face. Sweetums stood in the doorway. By the time the doctor left, the Muppets were singing “Razzle Dazzle.” Kermit and Jimmy stood beside Robin’s bed, staring down at the tiny frog under all the machinery. Jimmy sighed heavily. “Maybe Leaper’s right,” he whispered. “Maybe we are just dragging it out, and then … maybe … maybe we should…” “NO!” Kermit grabbed his brother’s wrists. “No, Jimmy, I—” He released his brother and turned back to Robin's face, gently rubbing his nephew's hand. “He's gonna get better, I KNOW it! I—I just know it…” He sank back down to resume his seat on the bed. “He's gonna get better…” He curled over, rubbing the young frog's entire arm now, ever careful to keep that ball in its place. “Aren't ya, Robin? You're gonna get better…” Jimmy stiffly watched his older brother. He took a firm, deep breath, took himself to Kermit's side, and hugged him. “Yeah,” he whispered. “You're probably right.” He squeezed. “I hope you're right…” Kermit wrapped an arm around Jimmy and guided his hand. “Here,” he said, placing Robin's hand in Jimmy's. “Talk to him.” He looked into his brother's eyes, a vague, determined hope shining through. Jimmy nodded and slowly turned to his son. He struggled for words for a moment. “Hey,” he whispered. “Hey Robin.” ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Even in its reinvented state, the show did little to erase Robin from the Muppets’ minds. At intermission, Fozzie and Miss Piggy hurried upstairs to check in. Dr. Livelong was stepping out of another patient’s room when he saw them coming and immediately moved to intercept them. “Any changes?” Fozzie asked instead of a greeting. Legally, Dr. Livelong knew that he wasn’t supposed to say anything. Legally, these two were not related to the patient, and therefore were not privy to any details of Robin the Frog’s physical state. But he also knew that Robin was a Muppet, and it didn’t take a degree in medicine to know that these two were very much Robin’s family. So he put a hand on each of their shoulders. “We had a bad scare,” he quietly, gently began. “He’s back to where he has been now, but his heart did stop for a minute.” Miss Piggy gasped and Fozzie gulped. His rag of a hat slid back into his hands. “It’s beating again now. It’s stable,” Dr. Livelong reminded them. “And you can go in.” So they did. Kermit was standing farther away from his nephew’s bed than he had in quite some time. Jimmy was sitting by his son’s side, holding his hand, occasionally talking in a low, low voice. Sweetums stood by Kermit’s side. Both of them turned when Miss Piggy and Fozzie came in. Kermit opened his mouth, but his friends spoke first. “We know,” Miss Piggy said, taking his hand in hers. “The doctor told us,” Fozzie explained, putting his hand on his friend’s back. “Kermit, do you want us to stay? We could call everyone downstairs and have them come up here, and—” “No.” As frail as Kermit looked, his voice was firm. “You have to go back to the show. It’s too important.” He looked straight at his friends, and somehow, in spite of everything, there was deep affection and even a tiny hint of pride in his eyes. “Dr. Livelong came in here a minute ago,” he explained. “He said the show is on in just about every room he passes. And he hears laughter—more than anyone’s heard here ever.” “But Kermie, if you need us here—” Miss Piggy began. “Yeah, I do need you, Piggy,” he said. He squeezed her hand and pressed a kiss to it. “I need you to make people happy for me.” He released her so that he could pull Fozzie into a tight hug. “I need you to make ‘em laugh.” Fozzie squeezed him tight. “We will, Kermit,” he promised.