Fellow scribes and Muppaphiles, have any of the rest of you noticed that certain rules always seem to apply to any show, film, or story where classic Muppets are involved? In writing my new fanfic (“Love Reign O’er News” – yes, you should be hearing Roger Daltrey’s voice screamin’ it out right about now), I’ve been rewatching TMS on dvd quite a lot in order to keep the tone and characters consistent, and last night it occured to me that there are certain laws governing the Muppet Universe. By way of analogy, as a fan of martial arts flicks, I learned that it is a flat rule that you never, EVER go to a restaurant to eat with Jackie Chan, especially if said restaurant has: a) tables; b) chairs; c) a long bar with numerous bottles and glassware behind it; and/or d) plate glass windows out front, because before you have even asked for a glass of water, large angry men who are NOT patrons of the establishment will enter and every item listed above will be smashed in an amazingly fast period during the three-, four-, or five-on-one fight which ensues. (This also calls to mind the Sicilian’s rule of “Never get involved in a land war in Asia,” but that’s a bit off-topic…) With that in mind, I propose to you all some Rules for Writing Muppet Things, based on my own limited experience. Please add to or comment on as you see fit: 1. In any Love Scene, whether one or both of the romantic leads are Muppets, Something Ridiculous Must Happen. This applies to all flashbacks, dreamily-shot montages, musical numbers, and simple kisses. The Ridiculous Thing may happen to break up the Romantic Moment or it may be part of the ongoing action, but it must be there. 2. In any Bar Scene, a Complete Brawl must break out. The main characters are most likely to be innocent (and injured) bystanders, but it’s gonna happen. (Corollary, then, to the Don’t Go to a Restaurant with Jackie Chan rule is, Don’t Go to a Bar with a Muppet.) (Additional note: I just figured this one out last night when I wrote a character going to a bar for a prearranged meeting in which the other party is late. I didn’t intend for there to be a bar fight, but once I was in the bar, it just kinda happened…and it seemed right.) 3. The Newsman Cannot Escape His Fate. Some fates (News Flashes) may be worse than others, or he may think he’s avoided the disaster only to have something else unexpectedly happen to him, but Something Embarrassing and Possibly Painful is destined. Every time. 4. All Brave Explorations in the Name of Science must be undertaken by the brave and impetuous Beaker. Dr Honeydew is too important to risk leaving the lab himself. This is by no means a complete list, just the patterns which have made themselves most obvious to me in the course of my writing (and the ones which apply most strongly to my particular fic). Anyone else wanna throw in here?