Still On My Brain
by Amy

The day they shot the show was always the longest. Scooter was in by eight in the morning to turn on the lights and make sure they still had a guest scheduled. For some reason, Muppet Show guests had a tendency to back out at the last minute. That was the only reason Elton John had been on six times in the past year.

"What's Justin Timberpond?" Scooter asked. "Has anyone met him?"

"Timberlake," Miss Piggy corrected.

"Whatever. What is he?"

"Only the most beautiful man in America, and my future beau, of course!"

"Okay, but pig, frog, goat-"

"Goat? I do not wish to marry a goat!"

"Well, I don't know. You wanted to marry a frog."

Piggy's glare could have killed Scooter in an instant, but the knock on the door startled her out of her rage. "Oh my god! He's here! He's here! I haven't even done my makeup!"

"Yeah, better hurry up before he realizes you're a pig!" Scooter called to her retreating form. But he resumed his businesslike posture as the door opened and a figure walked in.

He had green fur and a toothy grin. He was short and squat. He grunted at Scooter.

"Hi! You must be Justin Timberriver. I'm Scooter. I'm the Muppet Show Gopher."

He looked at Scooter carefully, then spoke. "Blargh."

"We're really glad to have you here!" Scooter continued. "Is there anything I can get for you?"


"Well, then I guess I shouldn't take you to the writers' room."


"Hmm. Don't have much of a sense of humor, do you? I thought all you pop sensations were supposed to be pretty and witty and-"


Scooter winced. "Jeez, I thought you were supposed to be cool."

He frowned. "No brains?"

Scooter gave up. "Sure. There are brains. Lots of brains. Upstairs in your dressing room."

"Where brains?"

"Just go through that door and take the stairs."


"Yes, Justin. Lots of brains." As the pop star walked through the door, Scooter shook his head, mentally rearranging the schedule. Justin was supposed to be reciting Shakespeare. This was not going to be an easy shoot.


He stumbled up the stairs. They were hard to navigate. He didn't normally have to look this hard.

The first door he came to was shut. He tried the handle. It didn't turn. Okay. He smashed his head into it.

"Bye-bye door," he said pleasantly. Then he sniffed. "Brains?"

He was greeted by a small, fuzzy blue guy with a long nose who was playing checkers with a rat. "Hi! You must be Justin. I'm Gonzo, and this is Rizzo."


The rat laughed. "Buddy, you're looking at the wrong weirdo. Gonzo killed all his brain cells in the sixties, and they were made of foam to begin with!"

He walked closer to their game and sniffed at the blue one's skull. "No brains?"

"Told you so," the rat said with a laugh. He moved one of his pieces. "King me."

"Yeah, I'll king you alright," muttered the blue one, putting a red crown onto one of the rat's black pieces.

He walked over to the rat and sniffed at his head. The rat rose a few inches into the air with the force of the intake of air, but he remained unsatisfied. "No brains?" he asked sadly.

The blue one snickered snickered. "Guess the crown's on the other head now, eh Rizzo?"

He sighed, frustrated, and smashed one paw against the game board. It snapped in two, and the pieces flew across the room. Blue and Rat stared at him.

He sighed and spoke very clearly and very politely. "Brains please?"

The two smaller creatures exchanged a glance, and then Blue spoke. "Um. You might want to see Kermit about that. He's in charge. I just get shot out of cannons a lot."

"You have to forgive him," Rat added. "He has a tendency to land on his head."


"Kermit. You can't miss him. He's a short green frog."

"Short... green... frog?" He scratched his head. "With brains?"


As he left, he thought he heard the rat saying "You know, pop stars were a lot smarter thirty years ago." But that was probably just his imagination.


Miss Piggy liked putting on makeup.

It was one of those things that made her feel girly and wonderful, and even more beautiful than she was naturally.

Her cheeks were currently bright red, as were her lips. Her eyes were coated with a delicate lilac color, from her extra-long false lashes to approximately three inches from her hairline.

She was sure Justin would love it.


"Bork de bork she borkski."

He looked at the man in the chef's hat. "Brains?"

"Bork de brainski borkshee!"

These people were odd, he thought. Perhaps the man spoke a foreign language. "Brainski, please?" he said slowly.

"Brain de borkshee bork de brainses!"

Sighing, he lifted the man's hat and peered down.

No brains.

"Bye bye," he said forlornly, and continued on his way.


"Did you know," Miss Piggy said as she went through her costumes, "that Justin Timberlake is the most beautiful man in America?"

Kermit considered his many possible answers. "No," he said finally. "I did not know that."

"And did you know," she continued dreamily, "that he has the bluest eyes in the world? They are like twin ponds located on either side of his wonderfully shaped nose."

"Actually, I lived in a pond for a fairly large portion of my life, and they're sort of a greenish-brown color," Kermit said.

Miss Piggy sniffed loudly. "You just do not understand his beauty. Maybe you're just jealous." She shrugged and went back to her many choices of formal dress.


"Are you Justin Timberlake?"

He looked up at the tall blue eagle standing in front of him. "Gmmph?"

"I have heard Justin Timberlake is coming to appear on our show today. Is that you?"


The eagle's eyes narrowed. "I thought you were a true American singer, not a Swedish imposter! Communist!"

He didn't know what a Swedish Imposter Communist was. He wondered if they ate brains.

"Swedish Imposter Communist eat brains?" he asked.

"What?" thundered the oversized bird.

"...Brains please?"

"That is un-American!"

"Star-spangled brains?"

"You do not belong on this set. Get out and go someplace for your kind!"

He didn't think that was very nice. He didn't hate the bird just because he didn't have what he wanted. It should go both ways. "Bye-bye no brain," he said softly as he walked away.


When Miss Piggy finally settled on a dress which she just knew would match his eyes, she quickly got dressed, and then sat down preparing how she would finally meet him.

Not up in her dressing room, certainly. She would go someplace else. Someplace classy. Someplace dignified.

Miss Piggy checked her watch. If she left right now, there would be twenty minutes before they needed to start shooting on the stage, and the "Tarzan and Jane" set was still up.



If his mental calculations were accurate, four hands should have equaled two brains.

He squinted at the small, red-pigmented figure in a blue jacket.

He wasn't sure there was even one.

"Brains?" he asked politely.

"I am busy, okay?" The small red guy had a thick accent and was adjusting his sunglasses on his small, shrimp-like face. "I am trying to bask in the sunlight of love!"

A frown. "Brains?"

"Look, Justin I-don't-care-about-your-last-name. I do not care about your crazy celebrity code words for drugs or what have you. I am a king prawn. I need to tan."

"No sun." He pointed to the dark ceiling. "Brains?"

"No, there are not brains!" the red creature snapped. "We keep brains out of Muppet Studios whenever possible!"

Which, if he thought about it, explained a lot.

"Where frog?" he asked.

The red creature pointed to a door.

As he left, he could still hear the creature, talking to itself about love and the love of a bad, bad donkey, even when there was no one else in the room.


"Kermie!" chirped Miss Piggy. "Could you possibly do a favor for me?"

Kermit shoved a flipper between the pages of his book, A Heartbreaking Frog of Staggering Genius, and arched an eyebrow at her. Which might not sound like much, but considering frogs don't have eyebrows, was a very impressive feat.

"As you know," Miss Piggy continued, "Justin Timberlake is in the building."

"Yes," agreed Kermit.

"Kermie, I need to meet him and profess my undying love."

Kermit nodded at her.

"I need you to do me a teensy-weensy favor."

Kermit sighed. "What do you need?"

"When he comes up here to find moi, can you please tell him that I am waiting on the Tarzan and Jane set?"

Kermit grumbled. "Yeah, fine."

"Thank you!" she sang. And then she left.

Kermit re-opened his book, but his heart just wasn't in it.

As luck would have it, though, at that moment, a bright green figure burst into the room. "Frog?"

"Yes, I'm a frog," Kermit agreed.

"Frog man in charge?"

Kermit squinted over the top of his book. "Are you Justin Timberlake?"


Now he placed the book carefully on the table. "Hello, it's nice to meet you. I'm Kermit the Frog."

"Pleased Kermit hi brains?"

"Yeah, whatever. Um, Miss Piggy said she wanted to meet you at the stage," Kermit said.

He smiled. "Thank you nice man brains now." And he left to find her.

As the guest star left, Kermit sulked. Aside from the luxurious green fur, he didn't see what was so great about Justin Timberlake. Although Miss Piggy was right. The pop star's eyes did remind him of life in the swamp.


Miss Piggy waited nervously. What was taking Justin so long? She needed to declare her undying love.


He walked nervously to the stage. Why was it taking so long? He needed something to eat very, very badly.


Miss Piggy sat on a big rock. It was dark backstage, and she couldn't figure out where the light switch was. But, well, there were a lot of things she didn't quite understand about Muppet Theatres. She aso wondered why there was a giant rock in the middle of the set, but hey, at least she had a nice place to sit. Some things were better when they weren't questioned.

"Justin?" she called softly. "Are you here? Are you perhaps a wee bit nervous about meeting little old moi? I am nothing to be frightened of, my darling!"


At that same moment, he was walking through the stage door. Her voice was like a beacon to him. Everything would be okay once he found her. His hunger would finally be sated.


Miss Piggy settled down onto her rock.

And then her rock settled too.

She glanced down.

At which point she realized that she was not, actually, sitting on a rock.

She was sitting on a sleeping alligator.

"Uh oh," Miss Piggy said.

The alligator smiled at her. He had a lot of teeth.


It is a well-known fact, in some circles, that all Muppet reptiles are vegetarians. This is as much common knowledge as the fact that Whatever is an actual biological classification (as species; genus is Weirdo; Latin is Weirdus Whatevericus), and that all zombies have night vision.

Unfortunately, Miss Piggy was not a member of any of those circles, and was completely ignorant of the fact that the alligator's many teeth were used for chomping on the talking fruits and vegetables- which, while traumatic for them, left the swine with nothing to worry about.

And aside from not being loved by her most favorite pop star of the decade, becoming bacon bits for an extra from the jungle scenes was one of her biggest fears.

Miss Piggy screamed.


He turned to her.

She was, by and large, a bright pinkish color. She was wearing a fright mask, or something that looked an awful lot like a fright mask. Her dress was bright blue and somewhat upsettingly tight.

"Pig have brains?" he asked politely, although he knew from the fact that she was sitting on an alligator that she was probably not in possession of many.

The alligator snapped his teeth twice.

He was not very knowledgeable about the feeding habits of Muppets. He didn't know that Muppet alligators are vegetarians. He just knew that it had a lot of teeth, and from where he was standing, they looked sharp.

The pink creature turned directly to him, and for the first time he saw her lips. They looked like they were stained with blood.

He screamed, and if he knew what fainting was, exactly, he would have been certain that he had just done it.

Instead, he just heard himself fall to the ground.

His head made a "thump" sound.


The door at the back of the theatre opened and squeaked closed. "Hey," a voice called. "Sorry I'm late, yo. I hit traffic. But I picked up some Krispy Kreme for everyone to make up for it!" He paused. "Um. Muppets like donuts, right?" He paused. "Is anyone here?"

Miss Piggy looked up at the familiar voice, and as he got closer she could make out the shadows of his lovely, lovely form. "Justin?" she squeaked. "Justin Timberlake, O Love of my Life?"

"Who's saying that?" he called. "Someone turn on the lights, yo; I can't see nothing around here."

Obediently, Crazy Harry set something on fire backstage.

It illuminated the set quite nicely. So Justin got to see his first look at Miss Piggy's face.

"Hello, my love!" she called.

And with that, he fainted dead away.


The sudden fire caused lots of shock on the set. Zoot, for example, swallowed the reed he was wetting for his saxophone. Rowlf started howling, before he got a hold of himself and remembered to bark in key.

And the alligator, startled, bolted from his place.

Tragically, Miss Piggy did not bolt with him.

She fell off the alligator, and collapsed on the ground.


He got up after a few moments. His head was throbbing a little, but that was probably just because he was hungry. He searched critically throughout the theatre. None of them were very helpful.


He saw the box of Krispy Kremes first. Of course, as a zombie, he prefered the taste of human flesh, but he had to admit, few things compared to the bliss of a fresh Krispy Kreme donut. They were a lot like brains, in a way. Delicious, and just the right amount of aftertaste.

And then he saw it. His eyes zoned in like a sensor. The most beautiful thing he'd seen all day.

He was off the set before he knew what hit him, and then he was kneeling down by the box of donuts, helping the man up.

"Yo," Justin Timberlake said. "Thanks, man, for the..." He squinted. "Yo, you know you're green, right?"

"Muppet," explained the zombie helpfully.

"Oh, right. I forgot. I swear, all of yesterday? I thought I had a meeting with Carson Daly. Turns out it was Craig Kilborn!" Justin laughed. The zombie didn't laugh with him. It was just a personal thing, really, but since the break-up of *NSync, he just hadn't found Justin Timberlake's brand of humor that funny.

But that wasn't important anymore.

"Brain," he said with a smile.

"No, man, I was never the brains of the group. That's really more Chris's place. I pretty much stand around and look pretty. Also, I sing."


"I... want to hear my new single? It's really catchy. I think all the girls are gonna love it, you know?" He coughed, laughed weakly. "Um. Yo."

"Brains," the zombie said. His smile was a bit scary now.

"...Meep," Justin said.

"Meep brains," the zombie agreed.

It really was a nice day. He didn't have to be hungry anymore.

Besides, he'd always wanted to try show biz.


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