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Just let me start out by saying that I'm going to blame this on Teej.  It's not really her fault, but I'm going to blame her anyway.  Mostly cause it's just too scary to think that I came up with this all by myself. 

Thanks to TAE, the Beta Monster, for betaing this madness.  It takes talent to be able to laugh and breathe and fix all at the same time.  Thanks also to my test audience.  You know who you are.  :-P

Apologies to Iris, any other English teachers, and William S. himself.  This is the closest that my room full of monkeys have gotten to Shakespeare so far.

 

Warning: For your protection, please refrain from eating or drinking while reading this fic.

It may also be beneficial to have someone nearby to do CPR and say "This can't be happening."

 

Disclaimer: I don't own any of them.  Any and all characters related to The Sentinel TV show belong to Pet Fly or whoever they sold the rights to.  Richard Burgi belongs Richard Burgi.  Garret Maggart belongs to Garret Maggart.  The Muppets belong to Jim Henson and his family.  The song "I can call you Al" belongs to Paul Simon.  The bits of Shakespeare don't belong to me either.

 

Any and all feedback very welcome.  QLHT@aol.com

 

 

The Muppets Take Cascade

Lila R. Kulp

 

The theater was almost full when Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg entered.  This was their first opportunity to relax all week and they were looking forward to it.  All week they had been running non- stop.  They couldn't even go to the corner for the paper without getting caught up in some police chase, crime scene, or investigation.  And of course each incident generated it's own mountain of paperwork, which saw to it that they didn't leave the station until late each night. Both men were amazed that they had made it from the Loft to the theater in time for the show and without incident.

 

"Looks like we made it just in time, Chief," Jim stated as they moved down the crowded aisle to their seats.

 

"Yeah, this must be a good show if the place is this packed.  Where are our seats anyway?"  Blair followed his friend closely so as not to lose him in the crowd while everyone found their seats.

 

"Right here.  We're right up front.  Who gave you these tickets again?"

 

Jim was just sitting down when a young boy, who actually looked a lot like a large gopher, came up to them.

 

"There you are!  Kermit has been going nuts wondering where you two are."  The young gopher was very exited and bouncing with even more energy than Blair.  Before either Jim or Blair could question what the gopher was talking about, he grabbed Jim by the arm and began pulling him toward the stage.  "Come on Mr. Burgi, we've got to get you ready for your first skit."

 

Just as Jim, Blair, and the gopher disappeared backstage, a frog? came out and announced, "Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to the Muppet Show!"

 

*****

 

The curtain came down on the dancers and cast members from the opening overture as Kermit the Frog came back on stage.  He waited for the applause to die down before he started.  "Thank you, thank you.  Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to the Muppet Show.  We have a great show planned for you tonight with our very special guest stars Richard Burgi and Garret Maggart. Yaaay!"  The frog punctuated his statement by waving his arms in the air.  When the applause had died down again he continued, "But first, sit back and relax as the Swedish Chef wakes you all up with his gourmet coffee.  Yay!"  Arms waving again Kermit exited the stage just as the curtain was raised to reveal a kitchen.

 

The scene that Kermit found backstage was not one that any stage manager wanted to see.  The guest stars were arguing with the gopher.

 

The gopher, whose name turned out to be Scooter, turned to his boss, "hey boss, I found them, but..."

 

Jim turned away from the stagehand, once he realized that the person in charge had arrived.  He tried his best to remain calm as he began to explain, "Look there's been some kind of mix-up."  But he never got a chance to finish, because he and Blair were being herded up a set of stairs by a large green frog.

 

"I know, but that's not important now.  You," Kermit said, pointing to the large detective, "have got to get ready for your first act.  You're on right after Gonzo and his acrobatic chickens."

 

Jim and Blair were then ushered through a door with a star on it.

 

Blair who had remained quiet, letting Jim try to handle the situation, asked, "um, just what is his first act?"

 

The frog and gopher looked at each other, then back at the guest stars, "Hamlet's soliloquy, what else."  With that the door closed, leaving Jim and Blair to ponder what had happened to their relaxing evening.

 

*****

 

The two friends turned around, surveying their dressing room.  It looked like a large storage closet with a dresser and mirror.  There were strange props of all shapes, sizes, and unknown uses.  This obviously was not a high budget production if this was the guest star's dressing room.

 

"Um, Jim?  What just happened?"

 

The detective was obviously still stunned, because it was several moments before he turned to face the only other occupant of the room.  The stress and strain of the past week had finally caught up with Jim and this was the last straw.  "You!  This is all your fault," he almost shouted while pointing a finger at the shorter man.

 

"Me?"  Blair squeaked out, then continued with as much emotion as his friend.  "How is this my fault?"

 

"I don't know, but this sure isn't my fault!"

 

There was a slight pause as the two tried to stare the other down.  At the same moment their eyes grew wide and they exclaimed in unison, "Simon!  This is Simon's fault!"

 

Just then, there was a knock on the door and they heard the gopher say, "two minutes, Mr. Burgi.  Two minutes."

 

The Sentinel turned to his Guide, a look of panic on his face.  "Chief, what am I going to do?  I don't know Hamlet's soliloquy."

 

The Guide's mind immediately went into overdrive and he began to look around the room.  "Okay, let me think."  He suddenly spied a copy of Hamlet on the dresser and quickly crossed the room and picked it up.  "Okay, while you're out on stage, turn up your hearing so you can hear me.  I'll read the lines out loud and you just repeat after me."

 

"Sandburg, are you nuts?  I can't go out on stage!"

 

"Sure you can.  Just pretend that you're testifying or trying to negotiate a hostage situation.  Yeah, that's it."  Blair started to bounce as the idea solidified in his head.  "After all Hamlet is contemplating suicide, so that's sort of like a hostage situation."

 

******

 

Jim waited nervously behind the curtain as he waited for the frog (He was still having a hard time grasping the fact that the show was being run by a frog.) to announce him.  He really hoped that nobody he knew was in the audience because he would never be able to live this down.  Here he was, Detective James J. Ellison, Sentinel of the Great City, ex-army ranger, about to perform Hamlet in tights, puffy pantaloon britches, the goofiest looking shirt he'd ever seen and an Elizabethan collar.  Jim couldn't help thinking that Simon would choke on his cigar at the sight. 

 

The curtain finally began to rise and as the applause died down, he waited for Blair to start feeding him his lines.

 

Fortunately he didn't have to wait very long.  "Okay Jim, remember to put some feeling into it.  To be, or not to be?  That is the question." 

 

Jim began to repeat Blair's words; glad that the young man was such a ham and that he was reading the speech with feeling and inflections.  Jim could just imagine Blair strutting around their dressing room, arms waving as if he was the one on stage. 

 

Jim was just beginning to think that they might be able to pull this off when chaos reared its head.

 

"Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of..."  Jim did a double take and ducked as arrows began flying out of the wings. 

 

"...outrageous fortune," he was doing his best to dodge the arrow and continue the show when archers began to take up position on either side of the stage and fire upon each other. 

 

"...or to take arms against a sea of troubles..." as if the arrows and archers weren't bad enough, a large school of fish swam on stage. 

 

"...and by opposing, end them?"  Jim grabbed the nearest fish and strode towards the nearest archer.  "To die: to sleep; no more; and by sleep to say we end..." He swung the fish and began beating the nearest archer with it.  

 

"...the heart-ache and the thousand..." he grabbed another fish and began to coordinate his words with his swings of the fish.  "... natural... shocks... that... flesh... is... heir... to... 'tis... a... consummation..."  With one last swing, the Sentinel put down the last archer on that side of the stage and grabbing a fresh fish, moved to dispatch the second set on the opposite side of the stage. 

 

"...devoutly to be wish'd.  To die, to sleep;"  As Jim crossed the stage his hearing picked up comments coming from one of the luxury boxes.  There were two old men sitting there.

 

The first turned to the second and said, "Hey, he's not half bad."

 

"Yeah, but he's not half good either," the second replied to his companion.

 

Jim began to knock the second set of archers senseless as the two old men laughed at their joke.  "...to sleep: perchance to dream what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil..."  The last archer fell to the stage and Jim looked up in time to see a herd of springs? with tufts of fur on each end go bouncing by.  "...must give us pause: there's the respect that makes calamity of so long life; for who would bear the..."

 

"Did someone call for a bear?"  Jim paused briefly as Fozzie Bear came on stage.

 

Jim let a growl creep into his voice, "...whips and scorns of time, the oppressor's wrong..."  He glared at the bear until he left the stage.

 

"...the proud man's contumely, the pangs of despised love, the law's delay, the insolence of office and the spurns that patient merit of..."  Jim was on a roll.  This was the longest he'd gone without an interruption.  Maybe things were settling down.

 

Or maybe not.

 

Rowlf the Dog and Janice, dressed in green surgical scrubs, came on stage pushing a gurney.

 

"...of the unworthy takes..."  Jim couldn't believe it.  As he was trying to keep up with Blair's recitation, the imitation medics wandered about the stage, which was still cluttered with, dead fish, unconscious archers, and arrows.

 

"Keep looking nurse.  We've got to find a patient before the next skit."

 

"...when he himself might his quietus make..."

 

"Like, couldn't we just use one of them," Janice asked pointing to the archers.

 

"... with a bare bodkin?"

 

"Nah, there's something fishy about them."  The audience simply groaned as Rowlf and Janice exited the stage.

 

"...who would fardels bear..."

 

Fozzie Bear strutted across the stage vaudeville style, "wacka, wacka, wacka."

 

"...to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscover'd country..."  Jim tossed up his hands in defeat as two pigs, dressed in costumes that may have been futuristic in the 70's, came on stage.

 

"I'm telling you, Dr. Strangepork, I left it right here."  Link Hogthrob gestured to the stage in general.

 

"...from whose bourn no traveler returns..." Jim pinched the bridge of his nose while shaking his head, hoping that this would just end soon.

 

"Well it's not here now.  Maybe you left it somewhere else," Dr. Strangepork answered Hogthrob and followed him off stage.

 

"...puzzles the will and makes us rather bear..."  Fozzie Bear went running back across the stage.

 

"...those ills we have..."  Fozzie was closely followed by the two fake medics.  Jim thought that he must be getting used to the interruptions, because he didn't miss a beat.

 

"...then fly to others that we know not of?  Thus conscience does make cowards of us all..."  He kept waiting for the next interruption. 

 

"...and thus the native here of resolution is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought.  And enterprise..."  Jim smiled and nodded his head as the interruption came.  Dr. Strangepork and Link Hogthrob came back out onto the stage.

 

"I still don't see how you could lose a whole set,"  the doctor chastised.

 

"...of great pith and movement..."

 

"Well, if someone wouldn't keep moving it," whined Link as they once again left the stage.

 

"...with this regard their currents turn awry and lose the name of action."  With a flourish, Jim grabbed the last fish left swimming, used it to knock out an archer who chose that moment to stir, and took a bow.

 

******

 

Jim had a goofy grin on his face as he walked backstage.  He actually felt better.  Who knew that Muppets could be such great stress relievers?

 

"Yoohoo, oh Mr. Burgi?"  Jim flinched as a high pitched voice assaulted his sensitive ears.  He turned towards the voice and took an involuntary step back.  A pig in an evening dress was headed his way.

 

"Oh, ah hahaha, Mr. Burgi, or may I call you Richard?  How about RB?  Please just let me say that it is a thrill to have um," she looked him up and down with a look that made Jim shiver, "man of your stature on our show."

 

Jim took another step back and raised his hands defensively.  "Um, thanks," he looked around wildly for an escape route.

 

Miss Piggy took several steps forward, moving into the detective's personal space.  "I would be honored if you would do a scene with Moi.  Ah ha, possibly the tattoo scene from Veronica's Closet." 

 

Jim's eyes grew wide in terror.  He had no idea what the tattoo scene was. But he really didn't want to find out.  Before he could think of a response, he was saved by the frog.

 

"Piggy!" 

 

Miss Piggy jumped at the sound of Kermit's voice.  Jim had never been so glad to see a giant green frog in his life.

 

"Piggy, Link and Dr. Strangepork lost the Swine Trek set again.  You need to help them find it," Kermit said as Jim took advantage of the distraction to slip around the pig and up the stairs.

 

"Oh, those nitwits," Piggy exclaimed and stormed off.

 

Jim just shook his head and waded through the flock of chickens surrounding his and Blair's dressing room door.

 

******

 

Jim quickly slipped into the room and leaned against the door.  He sighed as he slid down to sit on the floor, still in his Hamlet costume.  "Phew, I will never look at pork the same way.  She was eyeing me like I was a piece of meat."

 

Blair couldn't help but smile at the look on his friend's face, but he quickly hid it and added a touch of annoyance to his voice.  "What are you complaining about?  I'm the one being chased by Gonzo's chickens!"

 

Jim looked up at his friend and chuckled, "yeah, I noticed your fan club out there."  Then a questioning look crossed his face.  "Sandburg, why are you wearing a hospital gown?"

 

Blair held his arms out and turned around.  "You like it?  I'm the patient for tonight's Veterinarian's Hospital."

 

This cause Jim to laugh even harder, "now there's a role you know well."

 

Blair just grabbed the nearest object, a feathered boa, and tossed it at his friend, causing a fit of laughter from them both.

 

******

 

Nurse Piggy and Nurse Janice rushed on stage pushing a gurney.  The gurney was set up so that the patient, Blair, could sit in a reclining position.

 

"Doctor, quick we finally found a vic… um patient," hollered Nurse Piggy as she brought the gurney to a sudden halt.  Blair had to grab onto the sides to keep from falling off.

 

Rowlf, dressed as Dr. Bob, took a good look at his new patient.  "He can't be our patient,"  Rowlf exclaimed.  "He's human.  This is Veterinarian's Hospital.  We treat animals here."

 

"Yes, but doctor," Nurse Janice started to explain, her head bobbing from side to side with each syllable.  "He thinks he's like, a werewolf."

 

Dr. Rowlf’s eyes grew wide and he began looking wildly around.  "A wolf!  Where? Aagh, quick hide me," he exclaimed and hid under the gurney.

 

The nurses and patient all just rolled their eyes.  Piggy bent down to address the shaking form of the doctor.  "No silly, the patient," she carefully enunciated each word for the cowering doctor, "thinks he's a werewolf."

 

Rowlf, stopped shaking and took his hands away from his eyes.  "Thinks he's a werewolf?"

 

Blair leaned over to look at Rowlf, "yep."

 

Dr. Rowlf yelped in surprise and scrambled out from under the gurney.  "Okay then, well what are his symptoms," he asked, more professional now.

 

Nurse Janice's head started bobbing again.  "He's been wolfing down his food."

 

Janice and Rowlf laughed hysterically at the pun while Piggy and Blair groaned and rolled their eyes.

 

Still rolling her eyes Piggy mumbled, "a couple of days of hospital food will cure that."

 

The others gave Piggy a quizzical look and Rowlf asked, "Why's that?"

 

Nurse Janice replied, complete with head bob, "like, because hospital food is for the dogs."

 

After waiting for the groans from the audience to die down, the clueless doctor asked the next logical question.  "Really?  What kind of dogs?"

 

Blair couldn't help himself.  He answered before either nurse could speak.  "The kind that would jump a table leg."

 

This elicited a roar of laughter from the audience.  In the wings, Jim had to clamp a hand over his mouth to keep from laughing out loud.  The jokes were bad, but Blair was obviously enjoying himself.

 

After the laughter finally died down, Dr. Rowlf commented, "before I make my diagnosis, I need to see the," he inserted a dramatic pause, "lab results and his CAT scan."

 

Another round of groans from the audience and rolled eyes from Piggy and Blair, while Rowlf and Janice laughed.

 

Just as the theater began to quiet down again, Gonzo's chickens rushed on stage and mobbed the patient.  Blair suddenly found himself trying to keep from getting pecked and grabbed while looking for an escape route.

 

As chaos descended upon the stage, the announcer decided to take pity on the audience and end the skit.  "And so ends, another episode of Veterinarian's Hospital.  Tune in next time when we'll hear Dr. Bob say…"

 

The stage was suddenly quiet as Rowlf said, "actually it looks more like a bad case of chicken pox to me."

 

The curtain thankfully came down as once again chaos ensued.

 

******

 

The first one off stage was Sandburg.  He rushed up to his friend with a pleading look in his eyes.  "Jim, you've got to help me, man.  These chickens are vicious.  Help me out here."

 

The older man just shook his head and smiled.  "Huh uh, you're on your own for this one, Chief."

 

Blair's eyes grew wide as the chickens began making their way backstage and rushed towards him.  Jim just laughed again, as his friend turned and ran for the stairs.  His own eyes grew wide with fear as he heard Miss Piggy's voice.  He suddenly wished he had taken the time to change out of his tights and fluffy collar before coming down to watch Blair's skit.

 

"Oh RB, how sweet of you to come watch me perform."

 

She didn't get a chance to say anything more before Jim had dodged her pinching fingers and was making his own way up the stairs, calling out to his partner," on second thought Sandburg, wait for me." 

 

******

 

Both men sat on the floor, leaning against the door to their dressing room.  Blair was pulling chicken feathers out of his hair and Jim was trying to get the sound of Miss Piggy's voice out of his ears.

 

"Tell me again how we got into this, Chief?"

 

Blair paused in his contemplation of a recently removed feather.  "I thought we decided that this was Simon's fault."

 

"Oh yeah, right.  Simon's fault.  But that still doesn't explain why we're in the show instead of watching it," Jim said, looking at his partner for an answer.

 

Blair just shrugged his shoulders and replied, "karma?"

 

Jim just rolled his eyes and stood up.  As he did so, something caught his attention.  "Hey was this here before?" he asked holding up the object in question.

 

Blair decided that he had all the feathers out of his hair and moved to stand next to his friend.  "Um, I don't think so.  Who would send us a fruit basket?"

 

"Not us, silly.  They think we're some guys named Richard Burgi and Garret Maggart, whoever they are."

 

"Oh yeah, right.  Hey there's a card."  Blair snatched the card off the basket and read it as Jim started looking through the contents.

 

"We're glad to see you guys together again.  Hopefully our favorite buddy cop show will once again grace the airways.

Sincerely the CT Gang"

 

Jim paused in his scrutiny of the basket, "the CT Gang?  Who are they?"

 

Blair just shrugged.  "I don't know, probably a fan club or something."  He chuckled as he continued, "Sounds like the Apple Dumpling Gang."

 

Jim laughed at that image as he pulled an apple out of the basket, which thankfully didn't include any pineapple of any kind.  "Yeah they're probably a bunch of loonies who sit around talking about the shows these guys have been on, and drool over their pictures."  He laughed again as he took a bite of his apple.

 

Instead of laughing with his friend, Blair had a thoughtful expression on his face.  "Um Jim, if we've been mistaken for these guys.  Then we must look like them.  And if those loonies you mentioned drool over pictures of these guys that we look like, then doesn't that mean that they're basically drooling over pictures of us?"

 

The room went deadly quiet as the repercussions of what Blair was saying dawned on the two men.  They could only stare wide-eyed at each other as visions of pigs and chickens came to mind.

 

After a few tense moments, the silence was finally broken by as knock on the door and Scooter's voice saying, "two minutes, Mr. Burgi, Mr. Maggart.  Two minutes."

 

******

 

Two minutes later Jim and Blair, having changed into their normal clothes, found themselves waiting backstage as Kermit introduced them.  Jim was finally beginning to get used to the idea of a giant frog running the show.  Now all he had to do was get used to the pigs, chickens, dog, bear, and other undeterminable creatures

 

Blair turned and looked up at his friend.  “Jim, I was jus thinking that there’s an old saying that applies here.

 

"You mean the one that goes, if you can't beat them…"Jim started.

 

"Join them," they both finished in unison.

 

It was then that they heard the audience applaud and Kermit's distinctive 'Yay!'.  That was their cue to join the Electric Mayhem on stage for the final act.

 

******

 

The stage was bare, except for the Electric Mayhem and their instruments.

 

As the two guest stars entered the stage, Dr. Teeth began the song's intro.  "Hope you boys can keep up.  Animal likes to speed up the tempo."

 

Blair glanced up at the furry drummer, noting the crazed look in his eyes, then turned to the audience and began to sing. 

 

"A man walks down the street.  He says why am I soft in the middle, now?"   Blair reached over and patted Jim's middle as the bigger man began to keep time with a set of maracas.

 

Jim just glared, as his friend continued, "Why am I soft in the middle?  The rest of my life is so hard.  I need a photo-opportunity."

 

Jim, having experienced the Muppets earlier, knew what to expect, so was ready why the stage was suddenly crowded with photographers and blinding flashes.

 

Blair staggered a bit as he was suddenly blinded, but kept singing.  "I want a shot at redemption.  Don't want to end up a cartoon, in a cartoon graveyard."

 

Jim couldn't keep himself from laughing out loud, "Now there's a scary image.  You as a Saturday morning cartoon."

 

Blair shot his friend a glare of his own as he sang, "Bone digger, bone digger."  Then did a double take as Sweetums started ambling across the stage carrying a shovel and a bag full of bones.

 

"Dogs in the moonlight." Halfway across, Sweetums looked behind him and took of running as a pack of dogs chased after him.

 

"Far away my well-lit door." Blair just shook his head as Sweetums and the dogs ran back across the stage.

 

"Mr. Beerbelly, Beerbelly."

 

Jim reached over and patted Blair in the stomach with a maraca.  "Now who's soft in the middle?"

 

Blair just expertly ignored his friend, "Get these mutts away from me."

 

"Hey Chief, I think I saw your wulf leading that pack of dogs," Jim snickered.

 

"You know I don't find this stuff amusing anymore," Blair finished the verse with a huge smile on his face and started the chorus.

 

"If you'll be my bodyguard, I can be your long lost pal." Blair sang, looking at Jim.

 

"Why not?  I'm already your Blessed Protector," Jim mumbled to himself.

 

"I can call you Betty, and Betty when you call me, you can call me Al." As Blair finished the chorus, Janice flipped her blond hair over her shoulder and played a brief guitar solo.  "Like really."

 

Now it was Jim's turn to sing.  "A man walks down the street.  He says why am I short of attention?  Got a short little span of attention."

 

Blair had picked up a tambourine and was tapping out a complicated rhythm, "Yeah the attention span of a gerbil."  Two could play at this game.

 

"And, whoa, my nights are so long," Jim sang, trying to ignore his friend.

 

"All those stakeouts, "Blair commented, then ducked the answering swat.

 

"Where's my wife and family? What if I die here?" The detective looked over at his partner, expecting a smart-alec remark, but none came.  Blair had a slightly haunted look in his eyes as he keep banging on his tambourine.

 

"Who'll be my role model?"

 

Just thin Link Hogthrob came on stage, still looking for the Pigs In Space set.  "Has anybody seen my space ship?"

 

Jim just shook his head and ignored the pig.  "Now that my role model is gone, gone.  He ducked back down the alley, with some roly-poly bat-faced girl."

 

"Hey!  Was that a comment on my luck with girlfriends," Blair asked indignantly.

 

Jim just smiled mischievously and kept on singing, "All along, along, there were incidents and accidents."

 

"Now that is definitely in reference to your driving," Blair said, getting in one last comment.

 

"There were hints and allegations." Jim finished his verse and once again picked up his maracas. 

 

He and Blair then started doing a little dance step as Blair sang the chorus again.  "If you'll be my bodyguard, I can be your long lost pal.  I can call you Betty."

 

Without breaking step Jim asked, "What's the deal with the name Betty anyway?"

 

"And Betty when you call me, you can call me Al."

 

As Blair sang the last line, Animal suddenly lost control.  "Betty!  Betty!  Betty!"

 

The rest of the band quickly took steps to prevent a full Animal Breakout.  There were various commands of "Animal, sit!" and "Like, relax man."

 

Dr. Teeth finally quieted the drummer with his command for Animal to play a drum solo.

 

During Animal's improvised solo, Jim and Blair tried to add to their little dance routine.  They tried to add a spin here, or a double step there, but since neither of them was a performer of had rehearsed, the effect wasn't quite what they had wanted.  They ended up colliding with each other more then not.

 

Animal finally began to tire and Blair began the final verse.

 

"A man walks down the street.  It's a street in a strange world."

 

Jim had given up on the dancing thing.  "Sort of like this place, huh."

 

"Maybe it's the third world," Blair sang, nodding his agreement.  "Maybe it's his first time around.  Doesn't speak the language.  He holds no currency."

 

"Maybe he's a poor college student, Chief."

 

"He is a foreign man."

 

"Now he sounds like the Swedish Chef."

 

"He is surrounded by the sound, sound, cattle in the marketplace."

 

Just then a small herd of mooing cows came on stage.  In the middle of the herd was the Swedish Chef.  He was looking at each cow, trying to find one for his next culinary attempt.  "Vern de hunda ada moomoo."

 

Blair was doing his best to keep up with Animal's new tempo, "Scatterlings and orphanages."

 

As if trying to stay out of the way of a herd of cows and one foreign chef wasn't difficult enough, a horde of kids joined the crowded stage and added their chattering to the mooing, music, and singing.

 

"He looks around, around.  He sees angels in the architecture," Blair sang, stepping around a wandering cow.

 

"Are you sure they weren't bats in the belfry," Jim asked as he used a maraca to persuade a cow to move, and then had to duck as he was dive bombed by bats.

 

Blair had to fight back laughter as he watched Jim swat at the bats, the maracas sounding out a unique rhythm that had nothing to do with the song. 

 

"Spinning in infinity.  He says Amen! And Hallelujah!"

 

Up in the luxury box, Statler turned to Waldorf and said.  "Does that mean it's almost over?"

 

"I sure hope so," Waldorf replied.

 

"Amen!  Hallelujah!" they both shouted in unison.

 

"If you'll be my bodyguard," Blair began the chorus one last time and was soon joined by everyone else on stage.

 

"I can be your long lost pal.  I can call you Betty.  And Betty, when you call me.  You can call me Al.  Call me Al."

 

The cows and kids formed a chorus line and began doing step kicks.  Jim and Blair even attempted a few kicks.

 

"If you'll be my bodyguard…" The chorus line did a step, kick.  Jim and Blair did a kick, step.

 

"I can call you Betty…" Blair kicked with the wrong leg and tripped up the nearest cow, causing the whole line to go down like dominos.

 

Kermit chose this moment to come on stage and put an end to the chaos.  "That ends our show for tonight.

 

"If you'll be my bodyguard…" some of the kids kept singing, not realizing that the song was over.

 

Kermit expertly ignored the mayhem behind him as he was joined by the main cast and guest stars.  "Thank you for watching and let's give a very special thank you to our very special guest stars Richard Burgi and Garret Maggart! Yay!"

 

As the closing overture began to play, Jim grabbed Miss Piggy and waltzed her around a few steps, ending in a dip.  Blair began explaining to Gonzo's chickens how in ancient Greece, chickens were revered for their fortune telling abilities, carefully leaving out some of the more morbid details.  Kermit quietly celebrated another show ending without a major catastrophe.

 

******

 

"You know Kermit, I really enjoyed the show," Jim said as he, Blair and Kermit made their way to the theater's back door.

 

"Yeah, it was a lot of fun," Blair added as he pulled a few chicken feathers out of his hair.

 

"Believe it or not, that was one of our better shows," Kermit said as he let his guests out the back door.  "Any show where something doesn’t explode is a good show."

 

Kermit watched as the two friends made their way to Jim's blue and white truck and drove off.  He closed the door and turned to find his recently departed guest stars approaching him.  "Mr. Burgi?  Mr Maggart?  Is there a problem?"

 

The shorter spoke first,  "Kermit, we are soooo sorry about tonight."

 

"You wouldn't believe what we went through to get here," the taller man continued, a shell-shocked expression on his face.

 

Kermit just listened, eyes and mouth wide, as Richard and Garret told him about the car chases and police investigations that had prevented them from making it to the theater.

 

Finis?;-)