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My Time to Meet the Muppets

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Fan Art' started by MollyArriba, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. MollyArriba Member

    Thanks. Dr. Teeth is WAY hard, seeing as half the time he uses words that I'm pretty sure are fake. I made a pretty weak attempt on the Dr.

    Also, physically, they're pretty tough to put adverbs on.
  2. MissMusical12 Well-Known Member

    I'll be honest, I'm not the greatest at writing dialogue for Dr. Teeth as well. :sympathy:
    MollyArriba likes this.
  3. MollyArriba Member

    Sorry I've not been adding to this. I've just started college and things are kind of hectic right now. I'll work on it when I have more time on my hands.
  4. MissMusical12 Well-Known Member

    That's fine. Understandable, my friend. :halo:
    MollyArriba likes this.
  5. MollyArriba Member

    Alright, I'm planning on updating sometime tomorrow! This next part is looking to be Gonzo-heavy, so be forewarned; sappiness is in the forecast.
  6. MollyArriba Member

    This one is DEFINITELY on the long side, but I had a blast writing it. It's a bit dramatic in the end there, but come on! We all have dreams, don't we? We all have VERY specific ways that we want these dreams to play out. I wrote my ideal, and it's very much cheesy and impossible and toots my horn more than it should be tooted, but hey! This is my imagination. If you think it should happen some other way, make a story! :attitude:

    :o I'm kidding, of course. Enjoy!

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

    Part 7

    It was the end of week two in The Muppet Studios. I was sitting in the Guest star dressing room set wearing the costume from "The Way You Look Tonight," getting ready for my scene with Gonzo. The last thing I’d shot had been a bit with Kermit where I'd come off stage after the “The Way You Look Tonight,” number. In it I had once again asked where I could find Gonzo, and then gone up to my dressing room.

    I had watched them shoot a few other scenes since then: one had Kermit talking to a very frustrated Gonzo about how his acts were getting ridiculous and that he needed to find me and give me back my dress (Gonzo had been wearing the closing number dress at the time, so I believe it took place right after his trapeze stunt with Fozzie), another with Kermit and Piggy about her backup pigs, who had continued to cause mayhem (in the beginning of that scene, The Electric Mayhem had swaggered off stage, so I assumed it was after the “Little Drop of Poison,” number), and another that was Muppet Labs.

    I’d been thrilled to meet Beaker and Bunsen; growing up they’d always been my mom’s favorites. Just the way Bunsen talked and the way Beaker panicked somehow always made her laugh. They were very much how I thought they’d be; Bunsen insisted on trying to tell me about the latest Muppet invention, and Beaker kept giving me signs of warning to not take anything Bunsen gave me, his eyes full of fear.

    When I wasn’t at the studio I’d been practicing my song for Gonzo as often as I could. I’d been editing it, taking things out to make it shorter, and completely losing my mind over it ever since Kermit told me I could perform it on the show. I’d written the song when I was seventeen years old and nearly forgotten how to sing it.

    I had expected to receive a script for my scene with Gonzo in the dressing room, but I had never been given one. When I asked Kermit about it, he’d told me to just fly with it.

    So there I was, waiting. I had a nervous ball in my stomach, but something told me it was going to be alright; over the past two weeks I’d seen so many of my dreams come true and faced more excitement than all the rest of my 20 years combined, but now I felt very much at home. I still felt a thrill when Kermit bobbed toward me, or Scooter peaked his spectacled face around a doorway, but the nerves were gone, along with the formalities. I felt no apprehension about saying Kermit’s name, and I wasn’t wary of joining Rowlf whenever I saw him singing, or hugging Fozzie when he tried to tell me a joke and ended up embarrassing himself. I’d even had a rather lengthy conversation with Floyd about the influence of indie music, and I’d played my ukulele with Janice as we sang, “Got My Mind Set On You.”

    I rarely saw Gonzo unless he was shooting. In fact, Zoot and Bunsen weren’t often around either. At first I was saddened and, I’m ashamed to say, a little offended that Gonzo wasn’t ever around like Fozzie or Kermit; I mean, Miss Piggy had haughtily said, “Good day, Miss Kaying,” to me twice, but that was to be expected, but I’d been hoping to see Gonzo quite a lot. Then I realized; Dave.

    Dave was not a young man. If I hadn’t asked for him, he probably wouldn’t have been here in the first place. These times I’d been able to see Gonzo had been, in a way, special circumstances. I’m very lucky, I mused, plucking at my ukulele.

    “Hey, uh, Molly? Are you ready to get started?”

    Kermit’s voice hurled my back from my thoughts. I shook myself and smiled at the frog; he’d made a habit of no longer calling me “Ms. Kaying,” and I was very glad for the abandonment of that particular formality. It made the ball of nerves in my stomach disappear.

    “You got it,” I replied.

    “Alright, here we go,” said the frog, “Now I know we didn’t give you any lines, but don’t you worry. If you need any direction, just ask, and if you mess up, don’t worry about it. Like I said, fly with it.”

    “Alright,” I nodded.

    “Good. Oh, and Molly?”

    “Mmhmm?”

    “Why don’t you keep plucking that ukulele of yours? It, ah, it seems like it might be a nice way to start the scene, hmm?”

    I laughed, “You got it.”

    “Oh good. Alright, everybody ready? Okay, here we go!”

    I started plucking at my ukulele and I heard the cameras start rolling. I went on like that for a couple of seconds. I actually picked out the intro to “Rainbow Connection,” without thinking when I heard a knock on the door.

    “Come in!” I said, still playing my ukulele.

    I heard the door open, and a quiet, sad, scratchy, familiar voice said, “Ms. Kaying?”

    I stopped playing and put my ukulele down, turning toward the door, “Gonzo! Is that you?”

    “Yeah.”

    “I’ve been looking for you everywhere,” I said excitedly, “Here, I’ve got something… Oh, but what’s wrong? And, um, why are you wearing my blue closing number dress?”

    “Oh, this,” said Gonzo, coming forward and looking down at the dress, “I sort of just fell into it.”

    “And is that why you’re sad?”

    Gonzo heaved a heavy sigh, “Nah, the dress is great! It’s just,” and he got a distant, slightly tragic-hero look in his eyes, “sometimes it gets a little lonely at the top.”

    “Oh? How do you mean?”

    “Well, I’m an artist.”

    “Of course,” I agreed.

    “And a genius,” said Gonzo, his eyes widening.

    “That goes without saying.”

    “And devilishly handsome,” he said, his eyelids waggling at me.

    “You’re pushing your luck, kid,” I said, smirking.

    “Right.”

    I laughed, and then asked, “But why are you sad?”

    “Well, if all those wonderful things are true, why is my incredible, spectacular, and death-defying art never appreciated?”

    “Never appreciated?” I said, astounded, “How could you say that?”

    “Well, Kermit told me my last act was too –“

    “What?” I interrupted, “Amazing? Fabulous? Incredibly inspiring?”

    “Silly.”

    “Well that’s certainly a possibility,” I said, and Gonzo looked more downcast than ever.

    I laughed and put my hand on Gonzo’s shoulder, “That’s okay, Gonzo! Silly isn’t a bad thing. In fact, silly is one of my very favorite things!”

    “It is?” asked the Whatever, his eyes wide and hopeful.

    “Sure it is! I’ve always thought all your acts were wonderful, and sure sometimes they were a little silly, but that’s what made me love them more!”

    “You’ve seen my other acts?” he asked, “Wow!

    “Of course I have! I’m a huge fan. In fact, that’s why I’ve been looking for you,” and I picked up my ukulele, making sure it was in tune, “When I was a kid, and my parents showed me The Muppet Show, I wrote a song about something very special.”

    “Oh yeah? What’s it about?”

    “You,” I said, smiling.

    “Me?” he said, his eyes as wide as I’ve ever seen them, “Cool!”

    “Would you like to hear it?”

    “Sure! Go on!”

    “Alright,” I said, laughing. Strumming my ukulele, I started to sing

    "Years watching your show, you know,
    It was quite a view
    Talking frogs, singing pigs, dancing chickens
    But nothing else quite like you
    You’re blue, you’re fuzzy, you’re charming
    What’s a human gal supposed to do?"

    "Your stunts go wrong again and again
    I’m wishing I could be your hen
    That’s what I wanna do, it’s my endeavor
    My little Whatever"

    “Hahaha! This is great,” cried Gonzo; he’d been dancing erratically around the dressing room.

    “Well I’m not done yet, Gonzo,” I said, still strumming.

    “Oh, sorry,” he said.

    “Don’t sweat it. Two, three, four! –“

    "Just cry out, “ARRIBA!”
    And you brighten up my day
    There you go, blowing your trumpet
    And the note you never get to play
    When those ladies spout about your weirdoness
    It gives me something I’ve gotta say"

    "They all make fun of your nose
    But my affection for you just grows
    You’re brave, and daring, and clever
    My little Whatever"

    “Okay, here comes the bridge,” I said, smiling.

    "You tell me you’re an artist
    And that’s a wonderful thing to say
    I tell you ain’t no other artist
    That makes me feel this way!"

    “What way?” said, Gonzo.

    “Queasy,” I said laughing, and this time Gonzo counted, “Two three four! –"

    "So now I’m ukulele picking
    For the way you feel about a chicken
    Will there be another you, I’m thinking never
    My little Whatever"

    "I’ll whoosh to you, just call me whenever
    My little Whatever
    My little Whatever"

    I slowly stopped strumming my ukulele, smiling down at the Whatever standing beside me.

    "WOW!" he said, his eyelids up as far as they could go.

    "See?" I said, "You're wonderful."

    "Well gosh, Ms. Kaying, thanks!" he said, scratching his head, "Now, uh, how about a little kiss for your litter whatever? Hmm?"

    I laughed, "Alright," and kissed him on the nose. He swooned and sighed, making me laugh more.

    "Now, hows about you go change out of my dress?" I said.

    "But of course, Molly my sweet!" he cried, whooshing out of the room.

    I laughed, then turned to the camera and said, "Us weirdos got to stick together, you know?" and I put on a pair of trick glasses and made a face to the camera.

    The reaction I got hadn’t been what I was expecting. The director shouted cut, and there was nothing; dead silence was what I was greeted with. I felt my heart sink past my stomach as I looked around the room; everyone's eyes were wide. I felt like I wanted to shrink into the chair I was sitting in.

    "I'm sorry," I said sheepishly, holding back that catch in my throat that was threatening to send tears to my eyes, "I'll do it again, just give me your notes, I'll do it better."

    "Molly," Kermit said, coming forward, his voice quiet,"That was... That was."

    "I know," I said, "I'm sorry, I just -"

    "No, that was wonderful," he said, holding up his hand.

    "What?" I said, my mind feeling foggy. Gonzo came from back stage and stood next to Kermit, looking dazed.

    "That was GREAT, Ms. Kaying!" said Gonzo, his eyes wide.

    "Oh," I said, my heart making it's way back to my chest, "Well, I couldn't have done it without you, Gonzo."

    "How about a hand for our very special guest star?" said Kermit.

    The crew started cheering, but it wasn't just them; Fozzie, Floyd, Janice, Scooter, Rowlf, and may other Muppets as well had shown up some time during the scene without my notice. They were all cheering. I felt the blood rising in my face.

    "Thank you," I said quietly. Gonzo rushed up to me and hugged my arm; I turned and hugged him tightly and carefully back.

    I realized, I never wanted any of this to end.

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

    There you go! That's my scene with Gonzo the Great! Hope you enjoyed it. I definitely did; it was a fun time having that inside my head, playing out.

    Thanks for reading if you read it. Hopefully I'll have time for more!
    MissMusical12 likes this.
  7. MollyArriba Member

    I'm starting class now! I'm not sure what should come after this scene, so it may take me a bit to get back to this. Hope you've enjoyed it so far.
  8. MollyArriba Member

    This is the second-to-last part, I'm pretty sure. This was a fun one to write. I went back and forth for a long time about certain details, but I think it turned out alright. Enjoy!

    Oh, and there's a joke in here that could be seen as a bit naughty. Hope it doesn't offend anyone, because it made me laugh. :p

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

    Part 8

    “… But now, we’d like to thank our VERY special guest star, Miss Molly Kaying, YAAAYAYAAYA!”

    I walked on from stage right and stood next to Kermit wearing the beat-up blue closing number dress, looking around at the audience, smiling and waving. We’d shot the final number a few hours ago; by then in the show’s chronological timeline, the dress was pretty used up. I’d worn it in a song and dance number with Camilla and the other hens, a group of ladies that I’d decided must be the most gracious flock of poultry I’d ever met, albeit a little hard to understand. They had all been wearing sequined blue bonnets and clucking along to a version of George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You.” In the script, the original plan had been to perform “Blue Moon,” but Floyd and the band had refused to do it as they found the song to be a “classic square.” I’d suggested George Harrison and we went on from there, without changing the choreography or costumes.

    “Thank you Kermit,” I said when cued for the end of the applause, “You know, I really had a great time. I can’t tell you how much it’s meant to me.”

    “Oh Miss Kaying!” Gonzo whooshed in from stage left and held out a bouquet of dandelions, “A present for you!” I laughed and took the bouquet.

    “Why thank you, Gonzo.”

    “But of course!” he said, “Now, what do you say you and I go take a look at my cannon collection?”

    The Frog screamed, “GONZO!” but he was almost completely drowned out by an incessant uproar of clucking that was coming from behind the curtain. Suddenly the stage was covered with chickens in bonnets, and Gonzo was flying back and forth being chased by a particularly enraged chicken whom I assumed was Camilla. Kermit was waving his arms madly as I laughed.

    “We’ll see you next time on THE MUPPET SHOW!!” shouted the frog, and we were joined on stage by Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy’s backup pigs, Rowlf and Scooter. There were a few seconds of commotion, then –

    “CUT! Okay, that’s a wrap for Miss Kaying!”

    The crew and the Muppets applauded, and I smiled and bowed. I shook Kermit’s flipper and Fozzie and Rowlf’s paws and was escorted back to my dressing room by Scooter.

    “That was a GREAT closing number, Miss Kaying,” chattered Scooter as he bobbed along in front of me; he’d never gotten into the habit of calling me Molly.

    “Thanks Scooter. You know, I was a little worried about the costumes not matching the song, but I guess it really didn’t matter too much in the end.”

    “Well, that’s sort of how it works around here.”

    We arrived at the dressing room. I went inside.

    “Alright, the Boss said to have you back out on the main stage in thirty minutes, so I’ll see you then!”

    "Wait, what for?" I asked

    "Oh, just post-shooting procedures, that sort of thing"

    “Cool. See you in a bit, Scooter,” and the door closed.

    I set my dandelion bouquet on the dresser and changed back into my street clothes, wiping off the makeup they’d applied. Nothing else to do, I sat in the chair and stared at myself. After about five minutes I began to get a sick feeling deep in my stomach and I couldn’t stand to be in that room anymore, so I stood up, grabbed my ukulele and bouquet, and went to the door.

    Once outside the dressing room I was back in the chaos of the show; stagehands, Muppets and crew members were darting about carrying assorted items. Usually I’d have stopped to talk to the folk I’d gotten friendly with, but at that moment I didn’t really want to be seen. I moved quickly and quietly around them, keeping my head down.

    I made my way out of the mass of moving bodies and found myself alone. Looking around, I saw that I’d ended up behind the sets; there were tied off ropes everywhere and bits of walling for sets that had been taken apart. The din of the studio was muffled back here. I walked to a corner and sat down, taking my ukulele out of its case.

    I sat there, strumming aimlessly for a few moments, but then my fingers found the A chord and I started to sing, my voice thick:

    “Smile, though your heart is aching
    Smile, even though it’s breaking
    When there are clouds in the sky
    You’ll get by
    If you smile through your pain and sorrow
    Smile and maybe tomorrow
    You’ll see the sun come shining through, for you”

    To the right of me a second, scratchy little voice joined, and I was startled into silence, though my fingers kept playing as the newcomer sang:

    “Light up your face with gladness
    Hide every trace of sadness”

    I smiled and joined him:

    “Although a tear
    May be ever so near
    That’s the time you must keep on trying
    Smile, what’s the use of crying?
    You’ll find that life is still worth while
    If you just smile”

    I wiped my eyes as Gonzo bobbed over to me. His head was down and his eyes drooped.

    “Hi there. I thought I heard someone singing back here,” he said as he arrived beside me.

    “Yeah,” I said, clearing my throat, “That’s one of my favorite songs. Ironic how I can’t sing a song called “Smile” without crying.”

    “I know what you mean,” he said. He looked at me as I sniffed, trying to hold back my embarrassing lamentations, and said, “Gosh, Miss Kaying. You really love this place, huh?”

    I smiled at him, nodding, and shakily said “Don’t you?”

    He gazed around at the ropes and rafters, his eyes wide, and in a quiet, rough voice he said, “Yeah.”

    We sat in silence, both lost in our own thoughts. After a while, I said:

    “Gonzo? Is it bad for me to be this sad? I mean, now that everything is over? I've had a great time, and you've all been so wonderful, is it terrible to be this unhappy?”

    Gonzo thought for a moment and said, “Well, I don’t really see why you’re so sad in the first place.”

    I blinked at him, looking for words; his confusion was confusing me, “Because, well… because I’m leaving now.”

    “Yeah,” he said, looking searchingly at me.

    “So... I have to leave all of this behind, all of you behind! I’ll never have any of it again.”

    He looked at me for a beat and said, “Why not?” his eyelids raised

    “What… what do you mean?” my heart felt like it was pulling itself into knots.

    “Well gosh, Miss Kaying, this isn’t a one-time gig! I mean, I guess there are SOME guest stars who never see us again, but that’s not because of us! We used to hang out with John Denver all the time! Boy he sure was a swell guy! And Tim Curry, he comes around here all the time!”

    “Really?” the knots in my heart were loosening.

    “Really! Molly, no one says goodbye unless they want to. You’re not gone forever, are you?” he asked, his eyes wide.

    “OH! No, definitely not!”

    “Terrific! Now follow me, we’re gonna miss the party!”

    I stood up, putting my ukulele away, “Uh, what party?”

    “Uhh, I wasn’t supposed to say anything. Ah well, just hurry up! Kermit's probably got Scooter out there looking for you!”

    I laughed and followed the little blue whatever out from behind the set. We rounded a corner and there, standing in front of the Muppet Show Backstage set, was everyone; Kermit, Scooter and Janice, Fozzie and Animal, Rowlf, Floyd and Camilla, and nearly every member of the crew. Gonzo went to stand next to Camilla. As I approached, they all stood back to reveal the director holding a cake in the shape of a blue ukulele. Kermit came forward and said:

    “How about one final hand for our guest star?”

    As they clapped and cheered, that pesky lump was back in my throat again, but this time I didn’t mind so much.

    The party went on for perhaps two hours; there was lots of singing and playing of instruments. I had a lengthy conversation with Rowlf about why out of tune pianos are the way to go, told Floyd and Janice that I had ukuleles named after the both of them, and helped Fozzie get some blue frosting out of his fur after Gonzo had a little accident involving Animal and a knife. Things were starting to wind down, and I was just finishing exchanging goodbyes and hugs, when Kermit tapped me on the shoulder.

    “Molly?” he said, his voice cool as ever it was when the cameras weren’t rolling, “Before you go, there’s one last thing we’d like you to do. Ah, Scooter?”


    “Way ahead of ya, boss,” said the gofer, who then handed me a black Sharpie. I stared at it, then looked at Kermit; he was standing next to his desk.

    “Will you do the honors?” asked the frog.

    I grinned, trying not to laugh in case I started to cry instead; this was a happy moment, no time for tears.

    “Of course, it would be my pleasure,” I said.

    I made my way up to his desk, taking the cap off the marker. I carefully looked for a vacant space; there wasn’t much room anymore, after all these years of guest stars. Finally I found a spot; it was between Madeline Kahn and Chris Colfer. I very carefully, as small as I could manage, signed the desk, “Molly Kaying.”

    I stared at my name as I put the cap on the sharpie as the Muppets and the crew talked and cheered behind me. I turned around and looked at Kermit, smiling.

    “I hope you had a good time on our show, Molly,” said the Frog as I handed Scooter back the marker.

    “Oh Kermit,” I said, patting his shoulder, “”Good,” doesn’t even begin to describe it.”

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

    Hope it wasn't too terrible!
  9. muppetfan24/7 Well-Known Member

    The story wasn't terrible at all, Molly. You did a great job! More please!
    MollyArriba likes this.
  10. MollyArriba Member

    This is the final part! No more after this! Conclusion!

    I hope you enjoyed it. I know it's not perfect, and there are a lot of annoying parts in it, but it's my first ever fic and I'm definitely a work in progress. Tell me what you think!

    Thank you all for reading!

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

    Part 9

    “Are you sure you’re ready, Molly?”

    “Just open it.”

    It was 8 o’clock the morning after the goodbye party. Rod had been driving us to the airport when I’d screamed and told him to pull over.

    A few phone calls later I was standing next to Steve Whitmire inside the Jim Henson Company Studio. Rod was waiting outside, sipping his coffee next to the car in which all of the things we’d brought with us on this little adventure were packed.

    In front of me was a door I’d unconsciously avoided going near for the duration of my short visit here at the studio; the workshop. Even looking at it under the studio lights gave me an odd feeling of foreboding. Still, after all that had happened to me in the past few weeks, I needed to go in there.

    I was afraid.

    “You’re sure?” Steve asked again, sounding concerned; I knew I didn’t look so good. I could feel the blood draining from my face, and my eyes were bulging, my body unnaturally stiff.

    I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and nodded.

    I heard him push open the door; it sounded heavy. My eyes still closed, I took five small steps forward, opened my eyes, and gasped.

    It was one of the most amazing things I’d seen, and given the events in the past three weeks that was saying something. There were seemingly miles of everything you’d ever want to make a Muppet. There were drawers and drawers devoted only to eyes, and they were eyes of every kind; coloured, eyelashed, small, big, yellow, pupiless, googly. Some were reminiscent of Cookie Monster, and others were obviously meant specifically for certain characters, like Miss Piggy and Janice and Kermit. It was the same story with the wigs; they were of every shape, length, material, and color. Mountains of foam dominated one table, and a rainbow of fabrics another. There were white feathers, small blue feathers. There were mouths, noses, ears. There were costumes everywhere; dresses for the pig, capes for the stunt whatever, hats for the bear, and maroon suits for everyone.

    There was so much I recognized as I worked my way through the shop; some of Fozzie’s fur, Scooter’s glasses, collars for Kermit. It wasn’t so bad, now that I was there. This was the magic store, this is where all these dreams are put together, and I couldn’t stop smiling.

    “So,” said Steve, sounding much more cheerful, “what do you think of it?”

    “Oh man, it’s so cool! It’s like… I don’t even know, it’s just so cool!”

    I turned around to thank him for letting me in on such short notice, and sadly, that’s when I saw them.

    They were my friends, beings I’d gotten to know over the past three weeks. I’d worked with them, sang with them, laughed with them, and in a few rather embarrassing instances, cried with them. And there they were, hanging up on a wall.

    I stared at them for a long time. For a while there was nothing in my mind, no thought was really able to form. Everyone was there: Janice, Floyd, Dr. Teeth, Bunsen, Miss Piggy, Scooter, everyone. There were even the Muppets I hadn’t met, like Sam the Eagle and Uncle Deadly. They all looked so wrong. I took a cautious step toward them. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I mean, I’d always known they were puppets, but why did it feel so….

    Shaking my head, I walked right up to Rowlf the Dog and touched his face; nothing. I went over to Fozzie, took off his hat; nada from the bear. I took a step back and locked my eyes on Kermit. I stared at the Frog for a full minute; bupkiss.
    I worked my way down the line, touching the Muppets I’d come to know. The more of them I saw, the more my insides shrunk. It all felt so wrong, but I couldn't yet put my finger on why. Finally, at the end, my heart nearly stopped; it was Gonzo. The Whatever was completely limp, his arms drooping. His eyes were inactive and sad. And that’s when it dawned on me, why everything felt so wrong.

    Empty.

    They were all empty. It was like every spark inside of them had gone out. All the talent, all the stories, all the laughter and spirit and silliness was just gone. There was literally nothing inside of them. I felt like I was going to be sick.

    “Steve,” I whispered. He appeared at my side. He glanced at my face then began looking at the empty puppets with me.

    I tried to choke out a sentence, “They’re… they’re just –“

    “I know,” he said. I looked up at him; there was a smile playing on his lips, “It’s pretty bad, at first.”


    “Yeah,” I said, keeping my eyes on him; I didn’t want to look at the puppets anymore.

    “But you know?” he said, going up to Kermit. He turned the frog’s head toward him and smiled, “You just have to look a little closer; they’re still in there.”

    He beckoned me over to him. Slowly I went. I frowned at him, then I leaned forward and looked at Rowlf the Dog. I started at him for almost half a minute and was about to ask Steve what he had meant when suddenly, Rowlf didn’t look so vacant anymore. His eyes… they were calm, almost sad, but wise and peaceful. I smiled. I turned to Kermit, who also for a long moment looked empty, but the more I looked the kinder the frog's eyes became; inviting, intelligent, warm. Miss Piggy still looked like a diva, Scooter still looked curious and busy, Fozzie confused and slightly troubled. The Electric Mayhem was still hip and groovy. The Muppets were the Muppets.

    But Gonzo. Gonzo still looked sad and lost… almost questioning. I frowned at the Muppet.

    “Why is Gonzo so sad?” I asked, before I could realize how childish it sounded. Even as I blushed, I still wanted to know the answer.

    Steve stood beside me and looked at Gonzo with a sad smile.

    “Your guess is as good as mine,” he said, flicking Gonzo on the nose, “I’ve never really understood him all the much. Fun to work with, but definitely, heh, definitely a doozy. Dave always seemed like the only one really who got him, you know? But Howie does a good job… but then again, I don’t really understand Dave or Howie, either.”

    We stood in silence for a moment, looking at the blue Muppet. Then I asked the question that had been burning inside me for three weeks.

    “How sick is he?”

    “Pretty sick,” said Steve after a few seconds, without looking at me; he fiddled with Rizzo, who was seated on a shelf right above Gonzo, “Sometimes he has days where he seems as strong as I ever knew him to be, and other days… well, there are other days.”

    We were quiet again for a long time. I broke the silence.

    “I know it was a lot for me to ask for him,” I said, almost whispering, “I knew he was sick. I hope I didn’t, you know, make it worse.”

    Steve laughed, making me jump. He turned to me and grinned.

    “Trust me, you in no way made anything worse. Molly, Dave loves this place! He loves Bunsen and Zoot and Gonzo and everyone. I mean, why do you think he’s stayed in this game so long? These last few weeks have been great for him! He was so alive, didn’t miss a beat. It was like everything was back to normal.”

    Steve’s eyes clouded, as if he were looking right through me, and through the wall behind me, into some place I couldn’t see. I looked back at Gonzo.

    “I hope something like this happens for him again,” I said, lightly poking the long hooked nose of the beloved blue Muppet.

    “I don’t see why not,” said Steve, ruffling his hair heading for the door. I followed him, “Gonzo has a lot of fans. Usually it’s Piggy, but sometimes they ask for Gonzo.”

    I nodded. As we were about to leave the shop, I turned around and looked back at the Muppets on the wall. After a few moments I waved goodbye to them, and blew kisses at Kermit, Rowlf, and, of course, Gonzo. Feeling silly but unable to stop smiling, I shook hands with Steve, asked him to give my thanks to the rest of the guys, got in the car, and was sped away by Rod from the Jim Henson Company Studio.

    “Are you going to go back there?” Rod asked a few miles down the road.

    I smiled out the window, fighting the urge to break into song, and said, “Someday.”


    YAHTZEE!
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