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TMS fic: Growing Together

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Slackbot, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Yo! Me again. With 'nother story. This time it's not Fraggle Rock fic, believe it or not. I've had this story simmering on the back burner for a while, and recent events have motivated me to actually get movin'. This takes place after Masks, which is a followup to Muppets from Earth.

    So here we go...


    Growing Together
    Part 1: The Pitch
    by Kim McFarland


    The Great Gonzo, wearing a plastic jumpsuit and a pair of protective goggles, looked over a tank of bubbling liquid and declared, "Right now, before your very eyes, I, The Great Gonzo, will electroplate my own nose while reciting the Gettysburg Address! Behold, the bronze rod!" With a flourish, he produced a metal rod, an alligator clip attached at one end, with a wire trailing over to a machine festooned with dials and LED bulbs. A pair of chickens was standing by its side, where a lever-like flip switch stuck out horizontally. "The lead!" He took another wire from the machine and alligator-clipped the end to his own hand. Then he grasped the sides of the tank. "And, the tub of metal salts! Ladies, please!" The chickens fluttered up and landed on the lever. It resisted for a moment, then flipped down, sending the chicken tumbling. The lights flashed and the dials danced. Gonzo jerked slightly as the current began to flow. Then he laughed, tossed the metal bar into the tank, and plunged his nose into the fluid. "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation-"

    Fozzie, staring at the monitor, said, "I don't believe it."

    "So, whaddaya think? I'm gonna sharpen up the patter, but check it out, it worked! And on only the thirty-seventh take!" Gonzo's voice was slightly muffled because of the thin metallic sheath coating his nose.

    Kermit replied, "What do I think? It's dangerous and insane. Nobody in their right mind would do an act like that!"

    "Thanks! Is that a yes?"

    Scooter remarked, "It doesn't violate anything in the theater's insurance policy."

    Kermit paused, thinking, then mentally shrugged and said, "Well... sure, Gonzo, we'll put this in the first show. But why the Gettysburg Address?"

    "I lost a bet with Sam."

    Fozzie asked, "How're you going to get that metal off your nose?"

    Gonzo paused thoughtfully for a second, then said "I'll work on that too." He ran over to the right wings, where Camilla, his wife, and Billie, their almost-two-year-old daughter, were being entertained by a handful of people who were fiddling around with various instruments, including a fiddle, a washboard, and something that twanged comically and made Billie laugh. He exclaimed, "Kermit okayed it!"

    Camilla clucked approvingly. Gonzo picked Billie up. Attracted by the strange shininess, she grabbed Gonzo's metal-coated nose. "What this?" she asked.

    "My nose," he answered with a grin.

    Unsatisfied, she patted it with her hand and said "Hard."

    Gonzo replied, "Just for now." To Camilla he said, "Maybe Beau has some tin snips."


    Over at the monitors backstage left, Kermit, Fozzie, Rowlf, and Scooter, were looking over other acts as Janken, the console operator, put them on the screen. With the show going into its second season, all sorts of strange acts were making their way into the audition list. Scooter winnowed out the dull ones, and then he and Kermit and whoever else was interested looked over the rest. Fozzie was too excited to pay much attention. Wringing his tie, he said, "I can't believe it!"

    "What's that?" Rowlf asked. They were watching a video of fuzzy creatures doing a juggling act. They juggled themselves. That was unusual, but he didn't find it difficult to believe.

    "I can't believe we're going to have Weird Al Yankovic on the show! He's the funniest guy in the music biz, and he's going to be right here!"

    "Yeah, this'll start the season off with a bang. Can't wait to meet him, huh?" Scooter said.

    "I-I don't know if I can! I mean, he's so funny! Compared to him, I'm not funny at all," Fozzie said anxiously.

    Kermit did not say that, compared to a cinderblock, Fozzie was still not funny. Not very, anyway. "You'll be fine, Fozzie. I hear he's a really nice guy."

    "Funny and nice," Fozzie whimpered, hiding his eyes.

    Miss Piggy swept into the group and said to Kermit, "Moi has been thinking of doing something new and exciting in the show."

    "Such as?" Kermit said.

    Piggy leaned closer. "Moi is planning a dance act. Something with some real heat in it. And, of course, a certain frog."

    Kermit asked, "Uh, er, what would be so different about that? We've danced before."

    "Not the way I'm thinking." She leaned further forward and favored him with a smoky gaze. "You dance divinely, Kermie, when properly motivated. And we do, after all, need to remind our fans that we're still an item."

    "Uh, Piggy—"

    Scooter piped up, "Actually, Miss Piggy, Mr. Yankovic has asked to do a song with you in this week's show."

    "Mister who?" she said without looking away.

    "He's our guest this week. He wants to do a love song with you."

    She looked up. "Oh, really?"

    Seeing that he had her attention, Scooter continued, "Yes. He specifically asked for you, Miss Piggy. I can tell him you have other plans, though." He shrugged and started to turn away.

    She said, "Just a minute." He turned back. "What kind of artiste is this Mr. Yanka-something?"

    "He's a good one! His music's played all over the world. He's got four Grammys, a bunch of gold and platinum and double platinum albums, and he's worked with some of the biggest names in the music business."

    Hooked, Piggy breathed, "And now he wants to sing with Moi."

    "Shall I tell him you'll do it?"

    "Yes, you may."

    "Thanks!" Scooter made a note on his clipboard.

    Piggy asked in a sweet voice, "Kermie, you don't mind, do you?"

    "Mind? Oh, no, Piggy, it's fine. You'll be great. I'm looking forward to it."

    "Oh," she said, a little curtly, then planted a light kiss on the top of his head before leaving.

    When she was out of earshot Kermit asked Scooter, "Did he really ask to sing a song with Piggy?"

    "Yeah. When we talked on the phone he was full of ideas. Singing with her was one of the first ones he threw out. The song's called One More Minute. It's a doo-wop number."

    Kermit nodded approvingly, then asked, "What other acts have we got?"

    "Remember Lubbock Lou and his Jughuggers? I booked them for the first show."

    "Wow, they're still around?" Kermit said, surprised.

    "Sure are! Matter of fact, they're already here, all except their jug player. He'll be in before the first show for sure, they say."

    Kermit said, "That's going to throw a kink into rehearsals."

    Scooter said, "Maybe not," and tapped Janken on the shoulder. The Fraggle looked back. "Jan, think you could play the jug well enough to get them through a rehearsal or two if Bubba doesn't make it in time?"

    Surprised, Janken replied, "Me? I guess so. Do you have a copy of the piece so I can learn it?"

    "Yeah. I'll get that for you when we're done here. The Jughuggers are on the other side. Go talk to 'em and I'll take over here."

    "Sure." Janken got out of the camera operator's seat.

    Scooter patted the Fraggle's shoulder as he passed, then sat down. Kermit remarked, "I didn't know he played the jug."

    Scooter replied, "He doesn't. But he picks up on musical stuff faster than you'd believe. He says it's a Fraggle thing. What's next, chief?"


    Janken crossed the stage. It was pretty easy to tell who the jug band members were. They were the ones behind big bushy beards, except for the woman. He said, "Hi, I'm Janken. I'll play the jug 'til Bubba shows up, if that's all right."

    A lanky man with blond hair pulled back into a ponytail said, "Sure, that's fine with us. Y'ever played the jug before, young feller?"

    "No, but I play the sweet potato and a few other things, and I learn fast. Could I give it a try?"

    "Why not? Pass him the jug, Gramps. The empty one." They laughed, and a white-bearded old man swung a jug over to Janken. Janken sat down and, holding the jug in his lap, blew across the top a few times until it made the right sound.

    Gramps remarked approvingly, "It does my heart a world o' good to see the youth o' today takin' up fine music."


    All characters except Janken and Billie are copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC and are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Janken and Billie are copyright © Kim McFarland negaduck9@aol.com), as is the overall story. Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  2. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Er, this is just the first part of the story, not the whole thing. I don't think I made that clear before. Oops.
  3. mostlikemokey

    mostlikemokey Well-Known Member

    I liked the part when Piggy agrees to dance with the guest star. It's exactly as if it were a real episode! I love yor Fraggle rock fanfics, too. Care to read mine? It's the Everybody Has a Song.
  4. Scooterfan5

    Scooterfan5 Well-Known Member

    Yay! I really enjoyed it! :sing:
  5. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Sounds good so far! Can't wait to read the rest.

    Plus One More Minute is definitely one of Weird Al's greatest songs. I like the whole Dare To Be Stupid album.
  6. Puckrox

    Puckrox Well-Known Member

    Slackbot fics always make me so happy. :)

    "I lost a bet with Sam." Yes!
  7. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

    I agree! Sam finally wins with patriotism!
  8. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

    oh yeah, Slackbot, I am proud. You have made my century. You're finally making a sequel. :)
  9. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Well-Known Member

    Weird Al in The Muppet Show, singing a duet with Piggy? YES PLEASE. XD This is gonna be good. *pops popcorn*
  10. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Wow, thank you for the votes of confidence, guys! I hope this fic lives up to your expectations.

    This time I'm going to tackle the pig and frog head-on. Here's hoping I can do 'em justice, considering the company I'm in. [​IMG]
  11. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Oooh, new Slackbot fic? Yes please.

    Hmm, Gonzo's changing roles from Dearth Nader to the Iron Weirdo? That reminds me, who would be a good fit for Hawkeye in a Muppet parody of the Avengers? And yes, it's been stuck in my mind since that Captain Samerica Eagle poster last summer.

    :sing: And so I took your name out of my roll-a-dex.
    And I tore all your pictures in two...
    And I burnt down the malt shop where we used to go.
    All because it reminds me of you.

    You mean you can tell those jughuggers apart?

    Good start, waits for more.
    *Leaves PB 7 cookies for Kim. :)
  12. Katzi428

    Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    Great so far!! But snickering boy is Miss Piggy going to be mad when she hears that so called "love song" "One More Minute" !
    I'm surprised Weird Al was never on "Muppets Tonight"
  13. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    The Count: Actually, he's the Bronze Weirdo. We better hope he finds a way to get that stuff off his nose, otherwise he's gonna have to paint it blue between shows, and by the end of the third one he's gonna look like his Muppet Babies self.

    As for the Avengers, search me. I don't read superhero comics. And as for the Jughuggers, The Muppet Wiki helped a lot.

    Katzi428: Why yes, it is safe to assume that Miss Piggy will be startled when she hears the lyrics to that song. The question is, when will she hear them, how will she react, and does Weird Al have good health insurance?

    I consider it a disgrace and an injustice and other bad things that Weird Al has never been on any Muppet show. Hopefully one of these days that will be corrected.
  14. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm... While Weird Al never appeared in person on any Muppet show, there is an interview conducted between him and Fozzie in an issue of Muppet Magazine. I know of this because said article was included in the hardcover book Muppets! Muppets! Muppets!, The Best of Muppet Magazine.
    Also... It's possible they were referencing/parodying his grandfather with the character Frankie Yakovic (a Muppet yak) and his Polka Dots on Muppets Tonight.

    Hope this helps.
    *Wonders what that bet Gonzo lost to Sam was about.
  15. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I have the magazine with that interview. I looked at the hardback, but I didn't get it, becayse I didn't feel like taking out a second mortgage.

    Frankie Yakovic was a reference to Frankie "America's Polka King" Yankovic, a Grammy-winning accordion player. He wasn't related to Weird Al, but his parents did give Al Accordion lessons because, so Al says, they believe there ought to be more than one accordion-playing Yankovic.

    I have no idea what Gonzo and Sam were betting on. Anyone else have any ideas?
  16. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Huh, I thought Frankie was related to Weird Al, you learn something new.

    I actually got the hardback book in the early 80's from my parents as a gift, back when I had good sight, it's in my Muppet books section.

    Maybe Sam decided to pick against Gonzo along with the football games in the Stone Cold Lead Pipe Locks bit the weirdo and the frog taped with Mike and Mike on ESPN a couple of weeks ago?
    I'm amused that bits with them, and new ones with the hecklers, keep popping up in this two week span.
  17. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Brava! An entertaining start! Yes, THAT particular Weird Al song is indeed a marvelous choice...and hey, that Al is pretty fit still, perhaps he could bound out of the way of a karate chop AND keep singing!

    Nice use of small descriptives in this -- Piggy gazing smokily at Kermit and sweeping into the room are both nicely evocative. But...could I humbly ask for more? I really like it when ALL my senses get drawn into a piece. And I've always wondered how Gonzo perceives the world...his senses MUST be a little awry from our norm. Embellish more please! :)

    Poor Fozzie. Does Kermit really bring a cinderblock to mind when thinking of the comic talent of his star bear? Owch. Though I could easily see Fozzie and Al doing something together... OR Al and Gonzo! "Dare to Be Stupid!"

    I really like the concept of Fraggles being so musically gifted that Janken can learn any instrument within a few bars. Now THAT'S a gift. :sing:

    Happily awaiting more!
  18. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Lots to like in this--Gonzo's act, Camilla's approval, jug-band players and Sam the Eagle gambling (the scoundrel). I agree that jug music and other old-fashioned music, like bluegrass and such, are often overlooked by young folks. Jim was a master at appreciating ALL sorts of music--and ALL sorts of talent, so I felt a somewhat Jim-like spirit in that part of it.

    I did not like the way Piggy is being set up--not just by Al but by her paramour and Scooter and everyone else who works with her, but I've had over ten long years of enduring rude jokes at Piggy's expense so I suppose I'll survive. And somebody must like that sort of thing. Same thing I guess with Kermit being the one to think mean thoughts about Fozzie's act--I know he's not always funny, but he's usually entertaining.

    To end on a positive note, however, Gonzo's nose-plating was very well-researched. The little weirdo is nothing if not thorough. And I wonder if Billie will attempt to take after her papa in show-business, or become a sexy showgirl chicken like her mom....
  19. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Newsmanfan: I understand what you're saying. I like it when writers really show you the scene, add in the details that make it real rather than just outlining it and calling it a day. I try to do that because it feels more authentic. Sometimes I have to rein it in because too many details can detract from the focus of a scene. When you have a lunch conversation, does it really matter that someone's BLT has too much mayo? (If it's important to the character, it's worth mentioning.) Thanks for the feedback on that. BTW, I have anosmia, so don't expect a lot of information concerning odors. ;)

    Regarding how Gonzo sees the world, there's a sequence in Muppets from Earth that you might enjoy. It's a double-cannon stunt from Gonzo's point of view.

    Re the cinderblock line... yeah, that is way too harsh for Kermit. He doesn't think that way. It was just a placeholder line which I intended to replace with something else that indicated that Kermit silently agreed that Fozzie wasn't as hilarious as Al by a long shot, but he'd never say so to his best friend. When I'm writing first drafts my method of getting past writer's block is "Write it good, write it bad, but WRITE IT, then edit it into shape!" So I put down a bit of wiseASCIIness, intending to rewrite it, and somehow it slipped by me through three revisions. Argh. When I post a re-edited version of this story on fanfiction.net it'll be cinderblock-free.

    Music is a sine qua non of Fraggle life. Literally--the one time they stopped singing, creatures that lived on their song began to die out, and since they produce the light in the Fraggle caves, and without light Fraggles fall asleep, it nearly spelled the end of the colony. I figure that they have a special brain lobe for music. For them, if they know a tune they can sing it, and it's easy for them to pick up a simple instrument, find out how to make it make musical sounds, and then play it. A jug would be child's play for Janken, as all he has to deal with is embouchure, attack, and timing. Two of those three come naturally. Embochure may require a little more thought, considering how underneathy his mouth is...

    Ruahnna: Glad you like the musical mix. I try to remember that the shows were always eclectic, and I have odd taste in music anyway. And, yes, I did research bronzing and electroplating before writing that part. I'm fussy that way. (One could wish Gonzo had researched how to get the metal off his nose, but then he's never shown an aversion to suffering for his art. ) And Billie... who knows what she'll be like when she grows up? Considering what individualists her extended family are, she'll have plenty of influences and also plenty of support.

    Re Piggy, you and I write her quite differently, so I'm sure you'll find plenty to disagree with. That's cool. All I can say is that here is that I have this thread planned out, and it's more than an exercise at taking potshots at Piggy.
  20. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Okay. I'll try to be patient and not grumble. Keep going, keep going....

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