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How I Spent My Summer Vacation (A Muppet Fic)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by charlietheowl, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Hey y'all. Thought I'd finally take the plunge into the fan fiction department. This story is going to be an extended series of one-shots about what happens to the Muppets when they have a summer without any projects to work on. No movies, no tv shows, no viral videos, no nothing. Everyone has the chance to pursue the project or work of their dreams, or just lie back and enjoy their vacation. What will follow will be several of their stories. Hopefully I'll get one part up about every two weeks, but I'm not making any promises.

    Most of the stories will be written as standard narrative, but a few will play with structure and format (like part one). It won't be anything unreadable though.

    Story will be rated PG for a bit of melodrama in one portion and some references to the "uncouth" habits of the touring musician in another portion.

    Without further delay, here is part one of How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

    ************
    AP Newsroom- Internal Memo
    Editing Department
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    THIS IS AN AP (Associated Puffery) NEWS RELEASE

    Los Angeles, CA (AP)- Everyone's favorite troop of entertainers are taking a much-deserved break for the first time in years. The Muppets have wrapped filming on the first season of the revival of The Muppet Show, and are taking the opportunity to rest on the laurels of their success, if only for a few months.

    "Well, we've had such a successful first season back on the air. It's exceeded all our wildest expectations, and you know how wild those can be sometimes," said Kermit The Frog in a press conference outside the Muppet Theater on Monday afternoon. "This success gives us the opportunity to take the summer off to pursue some side projects, or just take a vacation. We don't get very many opportunities to take time off, so this is a nice change of pace."

    When pressed for details about the plans of his fellow Muppets, Kermit demurred, stating only that "my friends would be angry with me if I spoiled their surprises". However, rumors are flying around the Los Angeles area that Miss Piggy was spotted eating lunch with the president of the Animal Broadcasting Company (ABC), and that the two discussed filming a pilot for a talk show. Miss Piggy's agent declined to comment on the reports.

    As for America's favorite frog? Kermit was willing to share his plans with the reporters, saying he was on his way to pick up his nephew Robin from the Muppet boarding house, and from there the two of them would be heading to the airport. "We're going to spend a couple of weeks in Hawaii. Robin wants to earn his Beach Exploration Frog Scouts badge, so I figured Hawaii would be a nice place to find some nifty seashells to bring to his next meeting."

    Kermit also assured fans not to worry about the Muppets' hiatus. "We'll be back to filming the next season of our show by late August. We've already got some great guest stars lined up. Some of them are even going to appear on the show by choice."
    ----------------------------------------
    Editor's Notes and Corrections:

    • "everyone's favorite troop of entertainers"- Give me a break-too exaggerated. Perhaps the "favorite troop of entertainers amongst unemployed penguins everywhere" or "the most popular group of talking animals since The Banana Splits" would be more accurate.
    • Kermit saying "successful first season"-share show's ratings later in paragraph-TMS drew a 1.2 X 10-to-the-negative-sixth rating share this season-consult with statistics department for proper formatting of scientific notation.
    • Remove any references to ABC. When we called ABC for comment, they threatened to sue us for libel if we printed anything involving them meeting with Miss Piggy. Don't need any other lawsuits today, so change that reference to "Miss Piggy was spotted coldly ignoring autograph seekers outside a children's hospital". That kind of thing draws in the readers.
    • "....to find some seashells"- Really? Seashells? Far too boring a topic. Perhaps change quote to read "to scout out locations for my secret wedding to Miss Piggy" or "to break up an international drug smuggling ring".

    Please turn in corrected article by 5 PM Wednesday for publication Thursday morning.

    Thanks,

    Associate to the Vice-Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief (West Coast Division),

    Alistair J. Hanratty

    --------------------------------------------------

    Coming up "next" in Part Two: Kermit and Robin head off to Hawaii to look for some really awesome seashells.​
  2. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -------------------------
    *snickering*

    Ah, playing with the great god television...my favorite wicked pleasure! This is a wonderful start to what looks to be a very tongue-in-cheek piece. While the actual article is funny, the editor's crabby notes really make it. Bravo!

    Looking forward to more! :)
    ----------------------
  3. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for commenting! I've always liked playing with formats when I'm writing, because it's a structured outlet for my more absurd joke and gag ideas. I plan on telling one Muppet's story via interview, and another story through a short play. But there will still be some nice meat-and-potatoes fic in here, though it'll be plenty goofy and spoofy.
  4. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Fun, Charlie. Be nice to my girl, please. Piggy get a bad rap here in the fan fic section....
  5. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Don't worry! Piggy's going to get her own chapter later on, and I have a very nice (and funny) plan for her.
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  6. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I've had a lot of down time this week, as there's not much going on in my classes (yay schedule week!), so here is installment two of How I Spent My Summer Vacation, featuring Kermit and Robin.

    ********​
    Travel agents often oversell the vacations they're trying to pawn off on their customers. What is called a "homey cottage" doesn't always have a working bathroom, and "luxurious green forests" are actually Superfund sites. However, there are some places in the world that are as beautiful as the airbrushed brochures and breathless descriptions make them out to be.​

    Kermit and Robin happened to be in one of those places, a perfect white sand beach with water so clear that you could practically see to the bottom of the ocean. Their neighborhood travel agent, a kindly middle-aged sheepdog, had suggested Eternal Bloom Beach Resort in Hawaii as having some of the most beautiful sands in the world, and Kermit was glad he believed her. Besides, the Eternal Bloom Beach Resort seemed like a much safer bet than the train trip to beautiful, scenic East Saint Louis that she also offered.​

    Kermit smiled as made his way out to the beach early one morning, watching and excited Robin eagerly make his way out towards the gentle surf with a net, magnifying glass, and waterproof-bound copy of Know Your Seashells. Robin was determined to get the Ocean Explorers Frog Scouts badge upon his return, and show all his friends the other neat shells and souvenirs he found on his trip. He was unlike most children who went on vacation, and Kermit found himself thankful for this, his mind flashing back to a disastrous trip he took with Miss Piggy, Andy, and Randy to Old Sturbridge Village, which ended up with the two of them having to buy out the Logan Airport gift shop to keep Andy and Randy quiet on the flight home. Evidently Andy and Randy thought Old Sturbridge Village was going to be an explosive theme park, and not the quaint historical site it turned out to be. That trip certainly took its toll on both Kermit and Piggy's wallets and patience. Robin wasn't like that at all; quiet, well-behaved, content with his seashells and Frog Scouts gear.​

    Knowing that Robin was safe down on the edge of the beach, Kermit began setting up his beach gear, which was graciously carried down by the resort's friendly staff. He plunked his umbrella in the sand, spread out his extra-fluffy beach towel (Only the best for my frog, said Piggy before he left), set his cooler aside with drinks and lunch for him and Robin, and got out My Life In The Theater Of Ghosts, an "autobiographical novel" written by friend of the Muppets/phantom Uncle Deadly. Kermit glanced at the blurbs on the back of the book. "A riveting read- just as gripping as superglue and slightly less harmful when ingested." "Hmmm," he said to himself. "Sounds like another The Grapes of Wrath."

    The morning passed by quietly, as Robin remained absorbed in his seaside spelunking, stopping only to breathlessly show Kermit his latest exciting find, while Kermit read through Uncle Deadly's book, which proved to be about as gripping as the underside of a well-worn slipper. But Kermit didn't mind, instead contenting himself watching Robin and the waves gently crashing onto the shore. It was so peaceful and quiet; there were barely any other people on the beach, which stretched for miles and miles. Quiet was certainly a change of pace from his recent life; the theater had been a madhouse towards the end of the season, as their network extended their final two episodes to an hour to fill in for the hastily canceled Trash-2-Cash, a game show where contestants rummaged through dumpsters looking for pieces of a treasure map. Evidently the raccoons residing in the dumpsters never received the proper consent forms, and when their lawyers called the network, the show had to be pulled. The gang was glad to be given an extra showcase, and came up with some of their best material of the season to fill the time, but it was even noisier and frenzied than usual on the set. Scooter running around trying to scramble for extra guest stars, Gonzo preparing twice as many stunts, Piggy demanding twice as many wardrobe changes, Fozzie rehearsing twice as many jokes. It was nice to get away from it all for a bit.​

    Thunk!

    Kermit's reverie was shattered by the sound of another umbrella opening right along side of him, and the sounds of a couple cooing with each other over the vista in front of them.​

    "Oh Jenny! This beach is perfect! But not as perfect as you!"​

    "Oh Jared! You're so sweet! I'm glad we found such a beautiful resort for our honeymoon!"​

    "Anything for you, snookums!"​

    Jenny and Jared exchanged a quick smooch before spreading out their towels and enjoying a day of sunbathing. Jenny bent down to get her suntan lotion out of her beach bag and took a quick glance over towards Kermit, who was back to slogging his way through Uncle Deadly's book. Her jaw dropped.​

    "Oh my gosh! You're--you're--you're--Kermit the Frog!"​

    "And I think you're Jenny. Nice to meet you."​

    "Oh my goodness oh my goodness oh my goodness! I'm such a big fan! You have no idea! My dance with my dad at my wedding was "The Rainbow Connection"! My brother and I dressed up as Scooter and Skeeter for Halloween three years in a row!"​

    "That's really sweet. How's your honeymoon going?" Kermit shot a quick wave over towards Jared, who wasn't entirely sure what was going on.​

    Jenny didn't appear to be listening. "I was so happy that your show got back on the air! I watch every Tuesday night at 8:30 and it's awesome! I loved the skit you did on the season finale with the singing giraffes and Rowlf. He's such an accomplished pianist."​

    "Thank you! Rowlf works very hard at learning all those songs. He's always rehearsing at our house."​

    "You mean the Muppet Boarding House? Gosh! That must be the coolest place in the world! All the Muppets together in one place! Wow!"​

    Kermit laughed to himself. "It can get a little crazy." He spotted Jared out of the corner of his eye awkwardly standing around holding a bottle of champagne, and wanted to get him involved in the conversation. "So where are you two from?", he said, shouting loud enough to attract Jared's attention.​

    "A small town just outside of-"​

    Jared was cut off by his wife's continued babbling.​

    "Oh my goodness is that your nephew Robin down by the water! He's so cute! I love "Halfway Down The Stairs"! I sang that for my junior showcase in high school choir. Got me a great part in the alto section!"​

    Jenny launched into a lugubrious version of "Halfway Down The Stairs", which attracted Robin's attention. He made his way back up to Kermit.​

    "Hi! I'm Robin. Who are you? You sure have a nice voice."​

    Jenny stammered. "Robin--the frog--likes my voice? My voice! Oh my goodness!"​

    "Do you want to sing with me?"​

    Jenny already had several shocks to her system since arriving in Hawaii from a small town outside of somewhere two days ago. Seeing the beach for the first time, seeing the heated towel rack in the bathroom, seeing the complementary wine and fruit basket left in the honeymoon suite. But meeting a real live Muppet! And being complimented by a real live Muppet! And being asked to sing with a real live Muppet! This was too much to take.​

    "Oh--oh--" Jenny swooned and fainted onto the white sands, while Jared threw the bottle of champagne onto the ground, picked up his wife, hastily waved goodbye, and ran back to the hotel with his wife over his shoulder.​

    "Who was that, Uncle Kermit," asked Robin. "I hope she'll be all right."​

    "That was Jenny and her husband Jared. Nice people. I think she'll be just fine."​

    "That's good."​

    "Never did find out where they were from. Oh well."​

    ********​
    Coming up "next": You know those little onion volcanoes they make at hibachi restaurants? Well, wait until you hear what the Swedish Chef does with them!​
  7. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -----------------
    I know nothing of onion volcanoes, but this sounds wonderful!!

    Lovely entry! Poor Kermit...the life of a celebrity frog is not without its nuisances... But it sounds like a wonderful vacation nonetheless. LMfuzzyyellowbuttO at the image of Andy & Randy at Old Sturbridge (eh, maybe they shoulda tried Colonial Williamsburg instead?), at UD writing a lugubrious and not-quite-gripping bit of infotainment, and at "Trash 2 Cash." Yay for Muppetational satire! I give it three frogs up! :):):)
    -------------------
    charlietheowl likes this.
  8. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    ----------------------
    *pokes with nagging stick*

    :news: Hey! That's not very nice.

    Neither is waiting. *exaggerated sigh, Spanish accent* I HATE waiting... I promise I will not kill you until you reach the top!

    :news: Er...I know you're part Cuban but what the hey are you talking about?

    *grabs clueless reporter, hauls him off to watch movie*
    -------------------
  9. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Part three will be up by the Super Bowl (this Sunday). Scout's promise.

    Even though I quit at age seven.
  10. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    One day before my deadline, here is the next installment of the summer stories. See if you dig this one!

    (Warning: non-traditional narrative format coming up.)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Los Angeles County Fire Department​

    Case Number: 2345-A​

    Date: July 12, two thousand and something​

    Summary of Incident:​

    On July 11, two thousand and something, Investigators Anderson and Cooper arrived at 234 West 19th Street, former location of the Sunset Hibachi Grill, at the request of Chief Williams due to a call reporting a fire. The dispatch time was 1300 hours, arrival at the scene was 1400 hours due to "wait for glazed cruellers at Donut Village". The investigators observed a concrete-framed construction, single-story, occupancy 250 restaurant. The investigation revealed that the fire had started in the hibachi table adjacent to the bar at the south end of the restaurant. All signs at the scene and evidence taken by investigators revealed the fire was likely started by an onion volcano gone awry at said hibachi table. The husks of the onion were found, along with the remains of an ornamental oil squirter shaped like what appears to be a samurai sword. A suspect was identified by thirteen witnesses, and was seen cooking at the hibachi table before the fire started. All twenty witnesses at the restaurant at the time of the fire, plus fourteen other people we found in the street, identified the witness in a police lineup of 1. The motive for the fire was cited as "willful negligence/too many levels on onion volcano".

    Laboratory Analysis:​

    The onion husks were taken to the lab and identified as onions. Green onions, specifically. I love Booker T and the MG's. Saw them on tour last summer. Cooked up a nice groove. (Chief's note: Get it! Cooked up a nice groove? Green onions? Ha ha ha I just kill them with my zingers!)

    Witness Statements:​

    Witness Number 36 (middle-aged male, at adjoining table): "The chef had been cooking rather erratically all evening, and strange things were happening at his table. He attempted to cut up some zucchini and grill it, but the zucchini jumped off the table, cursing wildly, insisting that the the VCLU (Chief's Note: Vegetable Civil Liberties Union) would shut him down. Very disquieting. I like zucchini."

    Witness Number 0 (aforementioned zucchini): "I know it's part of the job description, but I didn't sign up to be chopped like that! I need dignity, grace, style. That chef didn't have any of that, just tossing knives around and speaking in mock-Swedish. I jumped off my table and was turning in my resignation papers when I saw him cutting up Luisa (Chief's Note: Luisa is the onion). Onion volcanoes are only supposed to have three layers, but his had eight. I instantly knew there was going to be trouble, so I gathered my settlement check and headed for the nearby Whole Foods Market. They know how to treat a zucchini there."

    Apprehension of the Suspect:​

    The suspect was found sitting on the curb next to the burning restaurant arguing with a terribly scalded batch of bean sprouts in barely coherent sentences of something resembling mock-Swedish. When approached by the officers, the suspect tried to explain himself, but only succeeded in provoking the bean sprouts into a ferocious attack. After the bean sprouts were subdued and taken to a local hospital, the suspect was taken into police custody to explain story. Unfortunately, nothing the suspect said was able to be understood by the police investigators. Our mock-Swedish translator was let go in the budget cut of 1985, so we just had to guess at what he said. It was sort of like playing Pictionary! Just without the pictures! And with somebody talking!

    We were unable to understand a single thing he said. Oh well.

    Charges:​

    We approached the owner of the restaurant inquiring about charges for the suspect; however, owner said he would settle for just getting the suspect banned from his restaurant permanently. "I had been looking for an excuse to remodel."

    Charges not filed; case closed.

    Does anybody know a good chinese place?

    Chief Williams

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Coming up "next": Scooter answers the phone (trust me, it's more exciting than it sounds) ;)
    muppetsandpixar and newsmanfan like this.
  11. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Well-Known Member

    ...Why did I not know of the existance of these FANTASTIC stories before? :eek: :D

    This is awesome. Very, very awesome. I was at Safeway earlier today and was inwardly venting about the stupid headlines in the star-studded magazines on the racks next to the checkout, and how they overused the word "shocking" and its many variations, as well as being just a rumour mill. Then, lo and behold, I read the editors notes on the story, get to the last one, and laugh my posterior off at the irony. :D

    The second story makes me giggle too (if I was ever thrust into that situation, I'd totally be Jenny, haha), but the third one was side-splitting (especially when I got to the line about the cops and the donuts).

    In short, I enjoyed this immensely. :D
    charlietheowl likes this.
  12. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Ozymandias: Thank you! There's nothing more boring than the truth to a magazine writer! However, in the teaser department, later on, one muppet will beat the magazines at their own game. Dun-dun-dun!
  13. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -----------------------
    :hungry: Voon der yunyunshtuffs emploodie der boom-boom, un der shookeeny und no der chop-chop...

    Uh, yeah. What HE said.

    Clearly you set this particular episode where I live. Called in a gunfight on my front lawn once and it took the bored fat cop 45 mins to bother to show up and tell me it was probably a car backfiring. Hey! Maybe I could send the Chef to their next banquet! Heh heh heh... :concern:

    Great series! More! More!
    --------------------
    charlietheowl likes this.
  14. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Gunfights on your front lawn? My goodness! Sounds like you live in a bit of a tough neighborhood.

    I had some spare time yesterday to write, so look for the next part to be posted at the end of this week.
  15. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I'm back, and the same as ever! I've accomplished a lot today, so I carved out some time this evening to polish up act four of this fic for y'all.

    Again, I am fiddling with format here. See if you can figure out what (or who) the gimmick is this time.

    Also, I aged Scooter a tad for the purposes of the story, but nothing too major. So don't read if you can't handle mentions of high school graduation.

    ***​
    "Muppet Boarding House, Scooter Grosse speaking."​

    "Excuse me?"​

    "You expect me to fall for the old "refrigerator running" gag? Andy and/or Randy, I'm going to tell Piggy on you guys!"​

    "What! This isn't you two? Then who is it?"​

    "Skeeter! Oh my goodness! You got me! I didn't recognize your voice at all! Very impressive."​

    "I didn't realize you were a practicing ventriloquist. How did you find the time to learn that with everything else you were doing down in Costa Rica?"​

    "Correspondence courses, I see."​

    "Well, how is everything else? I know you've been busy lately, with your ornithological observations and everything."​

    "Wow! You already finished your research in one year! I thought it was going to take four or five!"​

    "Well, my goodness, I guess it isn't every day you discover a previously unknown species of bird and manage to teach it English."​

    "I see. Where are you going to present this research?"​

    "Yale and Harvard and Princeton invited you! Impressive. Do you like one over the others?"​

    "Yale offered you a faculty position already! Do they know you're only a high school graduate?"​

    "They're waiving the undergraduate degree requirements for you? Wow! I always knew you were successful, but I didn't realize even you had this in you. Color me impressed!"​

    "What have I been up to? Well, I graduated from high school a couple months ago- did you get the pictures I emailed you?"​

    "Aw thanks! Hilda did some alterations on my cap and gown."​

    "What?"​

    "Oh, you asked what place I finished in my class. I finished 27th."​

    "Out of 307. That's top ten percent!"​

    "Yes, yes, I know you it doesn't measure up to you, finishing high school in two years and all, but I still did pretty good."​

    "College? You don't remember? Come on, sis! I'm going to UCLA to study theatre management and english. I want to work as a writer for the Muppet theatre along with being a stage manager. Give me some better lines in our new sketches, you know!"​

    "What else have I been doing? Nothing too much. Just trying to line up some guest stars for next season."​

    "I went to orientation last week too."​

    "The campus is big, but I should be able to find my way around with my trusty bike. Plus I put a map of everything right onto my phone."​

    "That's not nerdy! It's essential!"​

    "Anything else? Well, I have been helping Sweetums with the garden, but not much else."​

    "Oh yeah! I have been working on getting my license! It's a lot tougher than I thought it would be."​

    "Everybody's been taking me on the road, but the best driver and teacher is probably Rowlf."​

    "Well, Gonzo has a bad habit of driving blindfolded, Piggy uses the horn too much, Fozzie gets too weepy if anybody beeps the horn at him, Newsie can barely see even with his glasses, Dr. Teeth drives a little too fast, and Zoot falls asleep at the wheel."​

    "Sweetums? He can't fit in any of our cars."​

    "He takes a unicycle everywhere. You should see him. His sense of balance is impeccable."​

    "I had a hard time learning how to parallel park, but Rowlf took me to a parking lot and told me we weren't going to leave until I could do it."​

    "He took out a lawn chair and a bottle of ginger ale and coached me through it. Only took three hours."​

    "I'm taking the test next week."​

    "Rowlf's car. I'd use the Studebaker but it actually doesn't have working tail lights. Or head lights. Or brakes."​

    "Gonzo pretty much drives it exclusively now."​

    "He shifts it into neutral. Lets it coast."​

    "Only three accidents."​

    "This week."​

    "What about you? Do you have your license?"​

    "Which license?! You're silly. I mean driver's license, what do you think I meant, helicopter's license?"​

    "Oh. I see. You actually do have your helicopter's license. That's cool."​

    "You're driving a helicopter right now!? You can't talk on your cell phone when you're driving a car! I'd imagine you can't do the same on helicopters!"​

    "Oh, I guess being on speaker-phone does mean that your hands are free."​

    "Where are you flying to?"​

    "What!? You can't be serious!"​

    "You're coming to visit! Oh my goodness! I better get cleaned up! My room's a mess, I've got all my textbooks for next semester all over the floor."​

    "I have my own room now, actually. Lips moved out into the Electric Mayhem bus one day. Said I was too noisy."​

    "So when should I be expecting you? Rowlf should be home from the studio later tonight-I could drive with him to the airport to pick you up. That's where helicopters land right?"​

    "Step outside? Why do I need to go outside?"​

    "Fine, I trust you. I'll go outside."​

    "Well, I'm in the backyard. Thank goodness we have a cordless phone now. Now what?"​

    "Yes, we have a nice backyard. Lots of space. I set up a badminton net yesterday! You'd be surprised how good Camilla is at badminton. Has a wicked backhand."​

    "How much space? I don't know? I was never much good at perimeter and area. A couple acres, maybe."​

    "So what airport are you going to be landing at?"​

    "I don't need to worry about picking you up-come on, sis, I can't expect you to take a taxi!"​

    "Look up-why? Oh my goodness! Is that you?"​

    "Guess I better get back on the deck! Try to watch for the net when you land!"​

    "Well, I guess I could get a new net. They were on sale. But Camilla will be mad!"​

    "This is so exciting! I haven't seen you in forever! I can't wait until everybody gets home!"​

    "Yup, I'm by myself right now, but Rowlf should be back from the studio later, and Sam went to the grocery store, and Piggy went out to pick up some proofs from a photo shoot a few minutes before you called."​

    "Yeah, I definitely see you now."​

    "No, I'm up on the deck. You won't hit me, just the badminton net."​

    "You're clear, you're clear. Gosh, I wish I had those colored sticks they wave at the airport right now!"​

    "Guess I can hang up the phone now! Gosh, helicopters are loud when they land!"​

    ****​
    coming up "next": We return to the world of traditional narrative as the Newsman ventures into the world of investigative journalism. :news:
  16. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Well-Known Member

    One-sided conversations FTW. :D Can I say just how much I love this series? Because I love this series. :)
    charlietheowl likes this.
  17. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -------------------
    *trying VERY hard not to howl at the cumulative silliness effect*

    Wonderful!!! Yes, the format feels a little forced...but your comedy is, er, peckable! Especially love the bit about Gonzo driving the wrecked Studebaker. Hilarious!!

    I do wonder, though, whether Skeeter has accomplished half the stuff she claims...although landing a chopper by herself in a yard is pretty cool!

    Can't wait for next installment! Thanks much for the laugh...even if I had to choke to stop it here in the library...

    ----------------------
    charlietheowl likes this.
  18. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Ozymandias and Newsmanfan: Thank you very much for your kind words and continued reading! And I hope I do the Newsman justice for you, Newsie; I've got big plans for him.
  19. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -------------
    I am, dear sir, all aquiver with an...tic..i...........pation!

    -------------
  20. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Hello again! After some time to take care of some business, this fic is back in business with the story of the Newsman and his latest adventures in journalism. Enjoy.

    **********

    "Five minutes to live!"

    "Thanks!"

    The newsman began to go over his lines in his head in anticipation of starting the segment. It was quite nerve-racking, but in a different way than he had ever experienced before. Working with the Muppet news always left him in danger of smashed by an anvil, torn into little pieces, or attacked by animals. Being out of the Muppet Theatre, he felt reasonably sure none of that would happen. But this was a big time news story and he was working for a big time show. Not just every reporter could be on 3600 Seconds, and Newsie felt that it was the highlight of his career just being asked to be on the show. Sure, it was the summer, and most of the regular reporters were on break, but that didn't matter. This was his chance to break into the big time, and finally be recognized as a legitimate reporter. Sure, the Muppet gig was nice; it paid well, the people were great, but the stories weren't the long-form pieces that every reporter wants to do at one point.

    Newsie adjusted his tie in the front window of the store where the news truck was parked nearby. Have to look professional, he thought to himself. Didn't want to look like that hack Fleet Scribbler, who had inexplicably landed a gig on Freshly Squeezed News, a local morning show. Newsie had seen clips of his "reporting" online and wished there was some sort of Hippocratic Oath for reporters, because Scribbler was certainly violating a lot of unwritten rules. Unprofessional appearance, slanderous accusations, horrific banter. The worst moment was when he claimed Queen Elizabeth was a Russian spy from "the Kremlin" because she was wearing one of those furry sable hats. Awful. Fleet Scribbler was doing more to set back the advance of Muppets in journalism than the time Piggy slapped Barbara Walters during an interview.

    Newsie began scanning the area around the store where he was reporting. It was "Auntie Margo's Organic Foods", what appeared to be a fairly sleepy, run-of-the-mill artsy grocery store. The kind of place where everything cost at least five dollars and the cashiers didn't have to wear uniforms because they were "too stifling". Newsie had been there before; it was a fairly short drive from the Muppet Theater and they had a pretty nice salad bar. He never thought that the quiet little store with the Paula Cole and Animal Collective playing constantly would have been such a hot bed of crime and scandal, but the production team gave him a wealth of documents and affidavits which turned him around. It was criminal to see that a grocery store would mistreat its most important resource. The food.

    In the front of the store, underneath a large awning lay massive displays of all sorts of fruits; apples, pears, pineapples, peaches, oranges, everything. Giant signs emblazoned with "SALE BUY FOUR GET ONE FREE" and other such bargains hung on the window-front over the stands. A normal display- right? But all was not what it seemed.

    "HEY! HEY! Newsie! Is that you?"

    Newsie walked briskly over to the display of peaches, scanning them to try and locate the one who had screamed at him.

    "Lucinda? Lucinda? Where are you?"

    "Right here!" She had rolled forward to the front of the display.

    "You ready for this interview? We go live in one minute."

    "You bet I've been waiting to expose this Margo broad for the lying, cheating, cold-hearted little…"

    "TWENTY SECONDS TO LIVE! NEWSIE GET BACK IN POSITION!"

    Newsie ran up towards the camera, smoothed out his hair, adjusted his glasses, had a microphone thrust into his hand, then had it turned so the logo faced the front.

    "FIVE FOUR THREE TWO ONE"

    "Hello, and I'm in front of Auntie Margo's Organic Foods. You've just heard the first part of the story about poor working conditions for the fruits on display in front of the store. Long hours, no breaks, only fifteen minutes for lunch, and the constant fondling from passerby without the opportunity to be cleaned. Now that you've heard from the brave store employees who told the story of the poor working conditions, we're going to let you, the audience, hear from the fruit themselves, to dispel any doubts that the claims of the employees were exaggerated or untrue."

    Newsie briskly paced over to the peaches, where Lucinda had perched herself right on top of all of her fellow fruits so the camera could better see her.

    "I'm here with Lucinda, who is the union representative for the produce at this store. Lucinda, can you describe the working conditions imposed by Auntie Margo?"

    "Let me tell you, this…this broad Margo, she's not the friendly neighborhood grocer she tries to be in her commercials! She's a slave-driver! She's a sadist! She makes us sit out here for hours without water breaks."

    "How often are you supposed to have water breaks?"

    "Ten minutes every two hours to get rinsed off. She won't let us inside unless we've worked for four hours! Four hours!"

    "What other grievances do you have against Margo?"

    "She lets her customers fondle us! Without wearing gloves! Imagine if people were feeling you up everyday for hours at a time? Dirty hands, dirty fingernails, YICCH!"

    "I wasn't aware that people need to wear gloves while handling produce."

    "Well, they should! I mean, look at your hands! Covered in germs."

    Newsie glanced downward at his fingers. Pssh, I use Purell, he thought to himself, but he returned quickly to his interview.

    "Now, Lucinda… hold on a second… my producer is signaling to me that Margo herself has pulled in to the parking lot. Perhaps we could try and get a statement from her live on the air, since she refused to provide on in advance."

    Newsie pulled himself away from the fruit and began walking towards Margo, who had gotten out of a large black Cadillac. She had obviously known the news trucks were going to be in front of her store, as she already had her arms extended in the classic "NO COMMENT" pose and was wearing an incongruously large floppy hat as to obscure her face. Or hide her face as much as one could when it was emblazoned across a nearby sign-front.

    "Margo? Margo? I'm with 3600 Seconds and we are looking for a statement on the allegations against your business."

    "No comment."

    "You do realize these are troubling charges of ill-treatment of produce in violation of fruit and vegetable bylaws."

    "No comment."

    "Lucinda has stated to me-"

    "Lucinda will be proven a liar," said Margo with a cold voice. "Now that will be my ONLY comment. Please vacate these premises."

    Before Newsie could even utter a response, Lucinda the peach screamed from the fruit stand.

    "Say that to my face!"

    "What?"

    "I said, say that to my face! Is your hat covering your ears?"

    Margo stalked over towards the peaches, while Newsie followed behind, frantically trailing the camera-woman. He knew not to say much right now, as his training had taught him to let the drama speak for itself. Such confrontations were not often captured live, and this would be a ratings blockbuster, and the kind of story that could really put a reporter on the map.

    "You're a liar."

    "Oh yeah? Well, see how you like being fondled by hundreds of people."

    "What?"

    Margo soon found out what that meant, as hundreds of peaches, apples, pears, and everything else outside flung themselves at her, sending her down to the ground in a pile of fruit.

    "See how you like it! Not so much fun is it!", yelled an anonymous pear.

    "You're my employees! Get off of me! MMMMH stop it!"

    Margo soon was completely muffled out by the steady stream of giddy fruit who jumped upon her, while a flustered Newsie took a deep breath and then stepped into the view of the camera.

    "Well, the fruit have certainly showed their disgust with Margo in full bloom today. I fully expect to see the police and SWAT team over here in a matter of minutes. Until then, back to you in the studio."

    **********

    Coming up "next": Floyd and Janice give the gift of music, but does anybody actually want it?
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