........................and somehow I keep churning these out. I don't own the television show mentioned in this story. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Congratulations Alice! You and Fozzie have won this round 21 to 19 over Jeremy and Lew, so you'll be playing for fifty thousand dollars after this commercial break! Stay tuned, because they're about to sit in the hottest seats on television when we get back on The All New 50,000 Pyramid!" "CUT!" A director yelled from the background. "Everybody take five and then we'll do the Winner's Circle." The contestants made their way off the set, leaving Fozzie Bear standing alone with Lew Zealand, who was the other celebrity guest on "Muppet Week". After Louis Kazagger landed the hosting job, he constantly pestered the Muppets to appear on the show, but the summertime proved to be full of conflicts. Lew was always available, so he eagerly agreed, and Fozzie, well he never really learned to say no. This terrified him though. All this money was on the line, and it depended on whether or not he could figure out good clues for "Things In A Waiting Room" or "Things An Angry Prairie Dog Would Say". He made everyone in the Boarding House rehearse with him in the weeks leading up to the show, even going as far to work with Beauregard to build a mini-pyramid to practice on. That worked well until Gonzo got his hand stuck in one of the boxes, which definitely ruined their practice round, amongst other things. "Fozzie! You're heading to the circle! We're talking big money here! Fifty thousand dollars!" "Don't remind me. I'm going to blow it up there, I just know it." Lew slapped him on the back, nearly knocking him over. "You'll be fine! You just have to keep your cool." "Lew, have you ever known me to keep my cool?" "Well, there's a first time for everything!" With that, Lew made his way to his dressing room, ostensibly to check on his fish. Meanwhile, Alice made her way back onto the stage. Fozzie gingerly walked up to her, trembling all the while. "You ready?", he uttered, nearly tripping over his own words and his own feet. "I'm ready but I don't know about you." "Well-" She cut him off abruptly. "Look, you hack comedian bear. I've got college loans to pay back, so you better not screw this up. I need fifty thousand dollars about as much as you need some fresh jokes. If you freeze up during this round, I'm going to take a sledgehammer to your car." "I rode here with Lew." "Well, I'll take a sledgehammer to something of yours. But those are the details- don't even think about screwing this up!" Fozzie trembled. Now it was absolutely certain he was going to mess this up. Alice was not the kindly law clerk she pretended to be when the cameras were on her. She should go into acting, changing her moods so quickly like that, he thought. Louis walked back onto the set, fresh from having his hair combed up for the tenth time today. "You guys ready? Come sit in the hottest seats this side of Death Valley. You've got thirty seconds until the cameras are back on." "Oh boy…" "Can it, bear. Sit your rear down." Alice nudged Fozzie into his seat. "THREE- TWO- ONE" "Welcome back everybody! We've got Fozzie and Alice playing for FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS! Quite the pressure situation, eh?" All Fozzie could do was nod, while Alice merely stared at Louis. "I trust you two know the rules; Fozzie's going to give the clues, Alice, you're going to guess. Don't say any of the words in the clue title, or else the round will end and Alice will not be able to win any money, and no one wants to see you guys blow this. You have sixty seconds. Are you ready?" "Well no-" "GO!" Fozzie was jolted by the sound of the first category turning around, catching him completely off guard. "Oh…oh…I…I…" "Vowels?" "CORRECT!" yelled Louis from the side of the circle. Fozzie still found himself lost in a sea of nerves and visions of his collections of self-help books being smashed by sledgehammers, barely noticing the turning of the second block around. "Oh man…oh man…I'm going to be in so much trouble…." "Things Someone Says After they Just Committed A Crime?" "CORRECT!" Fozzie's heart was still pounding, and he went to wipe sweat of his brow, knocking his hat off of his head. "My hat! My hat! Where is my hat! I need my hat!" "Things People Say At The Haberdasher's?" "CORRECT!" "Cut! Cut! Cut! Stop the tape!" "Filming Terms?" "CORRECT!" Fozzie finally happened to glance at the board, noticing that they were somehow on the fourth block despite him barely paying attention. For the first time in forever, he was able to take a small breath. "Gee, we're almost at the top." "Things Mountain-Climbers Say?" "CORRECT! One more to go!" The anxiety hit Fozzie again. There was one category separating Alice from fifty thousand dollars, and him from being able to sleep with all his teddy bears tonight. It was now or never. "Come on, Fozzie, you can do this, let's get it together Fozzie." "Things the Habitually Over-Anxious Would Say?" "CORRECT! You just won fifty thousand dollars!" Confetti dropped from the ceiling, and Fozzie found himself being mobbed by Alice and her friends in the studio, who quickly trampled on stage. "Youdidit youdidit youdidit!" "I did?" "I got my fifty thousand dollars! Thanks!" Louis jumped in to the fray. "Well, Alice, how does it feel to win fifty thousand dollars?" "It feels great. I had the utmost confidence that Fozzie and I could do this, and we pulled it off." ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Coming up "next": We wrap up the individual stories by taking a look at Sweetums in his natural habitat: a college classroom?