Chapter 9 It had been unanimously decided that everyone, from Sesame Street and the swamp, would meet at the Boarding House for dinner every night and then those who happened to also be Muppets would carpool back to the theater. Scooter was relieved to return to the Boarding House; maybe here he could find a way to escape the relentless desire of Prairie Dawn wanting to help him in every task he underwent. Scooter walked into the Boarding House quickly, trying to ditch Prairie as they unloaded the bus. He speed-walked through the living room and caught the attention of Bean Bunny, who had arrived on the earlier carpool. “Oh, hi there Scooter!” Bean said with a smile to the go-fer. “You look like you’re in a hurry, what’s up?” Scooter didn’t stop walking as he answered the rabbit. “No time to stop and explain, Bean, so follow me,” he said. Bean shrugged and hopped along behind the Scooter, who was still moving at an alarming pace. Scooter made his way into the kitchen and looked around in all directions for pulling open a door beneath the staircase. On the door, there was a small sign that read, “Wipe your feet, please! You may have stepped on a shrunken Beaker on your way to Muppet Labs, and we’d like to collect him if you did!” Scooter didn’t stop to wipe his feet as he quickly descended the stairs into Muppet Labs. “Close the door behind you, Bean!” Scooter called up to the rabbit racing to catch up with him. Bean did as he was told and continued to follow Scooter into the basement. When they both reached the bottom and entered the main lab area, Bean confronted Scooter again. “Scooter, what are you in such a hurry to hide from?” Bean asked. “Prairie Dawn,” Scooter said blankly. “She’s been following me around all day trying to help me go-fer coffee and go-fer sandwiches—it’s driving me nuts!” “Oh, on the contrary, mister Scooter,” Dr. Bunsen Honeydew said, appearing from behind his work desk, and scaring the boy and his bunny. “Our psychological examinations have proven that you, and everyone else, is already crazy for living in this house!” “Munmoubtedly,” Beaker chimed in, popping up from underneath the a large, hardly inconspicuous tarp in the back of the lab. “Aww,” Bean cooed. “Well I think it’s cute, Scooter.” “Then you deal with her,” Scooter said. He turned his spectacled attention to the tarp and inquired to Bunsen about the contents being hidden underneath it. “What’s underneath the tarp?” he inquired (like I said). “Oh, that?” Bunsen asked nervously. “Why, it’s nothing—nothing at all, mister Scooter, just—just my lunch!” Scooter snuck a glance at an upside down clock on a wall (another failed [or, in Bunsen’s lack-of-eyes, successful] endeavor of Muppet Labs). “It’s seven pm,” Scooter said suspiciously. Bunsen fiddled with his glasses nervously. “Erm, I’m going by British lunchtime,” he said. “Mee mo, mee time!” Beaker said, pulling out a teacup. “Ooh, do you have any crumpets?” Bean asked excitedly. Scooter smirked. “Oh, I see now,” he said, nodding. “So you’re going to eat lunch at three in the morning, like most Brits?” Bunsen scratched his bald honeydew melon shaded (and shaped) head. “Is that what time they eat lunch?” he asked. “Ah ha!” Scooter declared. Beaker jumped in shock, causing his head to retreat inside of his lab coat. “Give it up, Honeydew, we’ve cornered you with logic,” the go-fer said, pointing an accusing finger in the direction of the bumbling scientist. Bunsen whimpered. “Oh, please mister Scooter, mercy! We beg of you! Don’t tell mister Kermit that we’re hiding something, please!” Bunsen begged. Scooter frowned, well now he felt like a jerk. “I’m sorry Bunsen,” he said, pulling Dr. Honeydew back to his feet. “I was just kidding, of course I won’t tell. But you might want to find a better hiding place for whatever it is—just in case Kermit comes down here.” “What is it, anyway?” Bean asked, edging closer and closer to the tarp of mystery. “I would recommend that you refrain from touching it,” Bunsen said quickly, gliding over towards the hidden machine. “I will, however, tell you, since you’re being so merciful. Come now, Beaker, the tarp.” Scooter and Bean looked at each other and shrugged in unison. The two of them stood behind the desk and watched as Beaker pulled the tarp off of what looked like, in essence, a gigantic hamster wheel with an electric generator attached to it. (Oh, and the tarp fell on Beaker for comic relief.) Scooter scratched his head. “You’re not going to clone a giant, mutant hamster, are you?” he asked Bunsen worriedly. Bunsen chuckled. “Of course not,” Bunsen said. “That would be too normal for our taste—and besides; it would make a quite awful wedding present for mister Kermit and Miss Piggy.” “So you’re giving this machine to Kermit and Miss Piggy as a wedding gift?” Scooter asked. “I don’t think you could get Miss Piggy to exercise on that thing if you paid her,” Bean said. “I think it depends on how much you paid her,” Scooter said with a laugh. Bunsen giggled. “No, no, we’re not giving them the machine, we’re giving them what comes out of the machine!” he said. Scooter leaned down towards Bean’s ear. “I bet it’s a toaster,” he whispered. “And contrary to what you might think, this is not the Muppet Labs Toaster Generator,” Bunsen said. “We had to axe that project.” “Mee mo mee!” Beaker yelped. “Indeed, literally, it went on quite a rampage,” Bunsen said solemnly. “But what comes out of this machine, could, in essence, generate a toaster if it felt like it!” “Felt like it?” Scooter asked. “This machine creates a living, thinking, feeling… thing?” “Precisely! A fully-fledged creation with its own thought process,” Bunsen said, making it sound spectacular. “It was quite a nuisance last time we created it, but I think this time we’ve worked out all the kinks.” “Last time?” Scooter asked. “Kinks?” Bean asked. “That’s a cute word.” “Why, yes, we’ve tried this very same experiment before, you see,” Bunsen said. “In fact, Bean Bunny, you should remember the last time we tried this!” Bean blinked. “Me? Really? Why me?” he asked. “Me mo mow moo meel,” Beaker mumbled. “Because last time this creation came to life,” Bunsen said, “it nearly caused you to run away—forever!” Scooter gasped as Bean’s eyes widened with excitement. “You mean… it’s Waldo?” Bean asked. “You found Waldo?” “More or less,” Bunsen said. “You see, Beaker and I set out on an expedition to Walt Disney World about a year ago with our sights set on recovering our missing creation. We disguised ourselves by creating our Muppet Mobile Lab and roaming the park. But by the time we recovered our friend Waldo he had been through Space Mountain one too many times and was not really feeling like himself.” “Oh no,” Bean said, “but you think you fixed him?” “Oh, yes,” Bunsen said. “And may I say, I think we’ve done a bang-up job.” Scooter ducked habitually at the words “bang-up.” He realized nothing was going to explode and recovered himself. “Who is this Waldo guy anyway?” Scooter asked. “He was part of our 3D movie,” Bean said cheerfully. “Don’t’cha remember? You were there, Scooter.” “Sort of,” Scooter said. “I wasn’t all-there back then.” “Well you’ve at least gotta remember Waldo,” Bean said. “He stole the show!” “If we hadn’t sucked him up with the VacuuMuppet,” Bunsen interjected, “he probably actually would have stolen the show.” “Mee mo crazy!” Beaker blurted out. “Well, statistically, yes,” Bunsen said. “But I am also statistically crazy, Beaker. Now what does this tell you about statistics?” Beaker gulped and had to use his hands to force himself not to shout anything out at his employer. “So, wait, let me get this straight,” Scooter said. “You’re giving Kermit and Piggy… Waldo for their wedding gift?” “Exactly!” Bunsen said happily. Scooter sighed. “I suppose I have to ask why.” “Fireworks, of course!” Bunsen said. “I think they’ve already had enough sparks between them,” Scooter said. Bunsen chuckled at Scooter again. “No, Waldo will turn into the fireworks after mister Kermit and Miss Piggy have been wed!” Bean gasped. “You’re gonna blow Waldo up?” the astonished bunny asked. “Yes. It was Beaker’s idea, actually,” Bunsen said. Beaker’s mouth fell open in awe of Bunsen’s acknowledgement of his idea, and then he nodded slowly. “And that is why Beaker will run the wheel to operate the machine,” Bunsen said. Beaker continued nodding, and then stopped suddenly. He sighed heavily and then nodded again. “You’re gonna run it right now?” Bean asked. “Well of course, now that we have a captive audience we might as well do a test run,” Bunsen said. Scooter pulled up a chair. At least he had something to do while he was avoiding Prairie Dawn. Bean sat down on the floor with his legs crossed and waited for the show to start. Beaker moved, his entire body shaking, to the over-size hamster wheel and took his place. He bent down and tied his shoe, and then nodded to Bunsen. Dr. Honeydew moved over to the generator connected to the wheel and started turning a smaller wheel on the side and flipped a myriad of switches. The hamster wheel began to turn slowly and Beaker began to run. The wheel slowly picked up speed and so did the Beaker. “You’re doing great, Beakie!” Bunsen called to his assistant as he monitored the generator while flipping the necessary switches and pushing the proper buttons. Electricity started to generate above the wheel and connected to a wire, powering the generator. Cogs began to whirl inside of it and the wheel was, by now, moving faster than Beaker could keep up with. The hapless (and helpless) assistant tripped over his own two feet and was now being carried around and around and around and… you get the idea. Suddenly, lights on the machine started to turn on. Yellow, green, red, blue—they all illuminated the dimly lit basement. Even more suddenly, a giant open-ended pipe extended slowly out of the top of the generator. Scooter was now on the edge of the chair he’d pulled up. Lighting started swirling around the new pipe and a glowing aura began emitting from it. Bean was shaking excitedly, nearly jumping up to the ceiling. The aura coming from the pipe suddenly grew larger and much brighter. It shot up to the ceiling and bounced off of it, flooding the room with a blinding light. Scooter and Bean shielded their eyes as the light exploded into the basement. Silently, Bean wondered if this would affect his cute, little bunny tan. As the light slowly settled, Scooter moved his hand back down to his side. He looked forward when he could see again, and what he could see was not at all as spectacular as he would’ve expected. It was a tiny—tiny blue… thing. The creature looked like a cross between a boat and a clown. It had a bouncy red top hat and a rather long red nose. The blue thing grinned a huge toothy grin at Scooter. “Hi there,” it said in an overly perky overtone. “I’m Waldo. Waldo C. Graphic. The spirit of 3D!” The little 3D bug thing laughed and then proceeded to fly manically around the room. Bunsen laughed giddily and jumped up and down. “It worked, Beakie, it actually worked!” he said. Beaker didn’t honestly care, however, considering he was still spinning around in the wheel, wishing he hadn’t eaten those hot wings for lunch (the real lunch, not the British lunch at three am). “Waldo!” Bean shouted gleefully. “Welcome back, pal!” Waldo zipped over to Bean and gasped. “Bean! My little bunny buddy!” he said. “If I had arms, I’d give ya a hug! Since, I don’t, I’ll just give you a hand!” The little blue creature spun around at lighting-fast speed and had suddenly morphed into a hand. With fingers (and a thumb). “Gimme five, pal!” the hand said to Bean. Bean laughed and whipped his hand out to smack Waldo’s. Scooter’s mouth was completely open. If there was a fly in the basement, it would’ve certainly flown into it. (However, the only fly in the basement was completely blinded by the light of Waldo’s emergence.) “Take a picture, four-eyes, it’ll last longer,” Waldo said. He then morphed instantly into a camera and flashed a picture of Scooter. “I… I think it’s dinner time,” Scooter said after a second. “Ooh, dinner?” Waldo asked. “Great, I’m starved!” “Oh, I don’t think so, Waldo,” Bunsen said. “You have to be kept a surprise for mister Kermit.” “What?” Waldo asked, appalled. “That’s boring! C’mon Honeydew, let me fly free! I’m a caged bird!” Upon saying that, Waldo transformed into a canary in a cage. “Yes, well, I’ve heard that caged birds have lovely singing voices,” Bunsen said. “I do wonder why, though…” Beaker recovered from his whirling experience and was now approaching Waldo with a plastic hamster ball. “What is it with that guy and hamsters?” Waldo asked, darting around the basement. Scooter stood up from his chair and shook his head. “Well, good luck guys,” he said. “I’m going to eat dinner.” Scooter jogged up the stairs like kids tend to do and opened the door at the top. “Scooter—no!” Bunsen shouted. Waldo zipped right out the crack in the door. “Suckers!” he called back as he zoomed off through the rest of the Muppet Boarding House. Scooter sighed as Bean ran up, laughing, to chase after Waldo. “It’s gonna be a long, long four months,” the go-fer said. ~-~-~-~-~ Kermit smiled as he climbed the stairs with a plate of food in his hand. He listened with joy as his friends and family from all walks of life (and all species) intermingled at the dinner table. He was extremely glad, for the first time since they’ve been there, that they were here. It was much easier to slip away from an extremely crowded dinner table than it was from the normally only very crowded dinner table. Kermit slipped into his bedroom quietly and sat in front of his desk, putting his plate to the side. He cracked his knuckles and opened his lime green laptop. He turned the computer on and opened up his Word Processor. The frog’s spindly green fingers flipped down on the keys wildly as the titled his new project and put his name on the top. It looked something like this: THE NEW MUPPET MOVIEWritten by Kermit the Frog andJason SegelDirected by Kermit the Frog andNick StollerKermit stared at the computer screen. He reached over and took a drink out of his glass of water. He stared at the computer screen. He reached over to his plate and took a bite of a French fry. He stared at the computer screen. “This is gonna take longer than I thought,” Kermit said with a sigh.