"Movin' right along, footloose and fancy-free! Getting there is half the fun, come share it with me! Movin' right along- Come on guys, sing along! We'll learn to share the-"
"Shut up, Digit," Francine deadpanned, covering her ears. "You've been singing that song since forever ago…"
We (meaning the band, Leon, Lindbergh, and myself) were on our way to our first day of work. Clifford was driving the car, and Lindbergh was giving him directions. The rest of us were squished into the back few rows. I was trying to lighten the otherwise dreary mood of the morning, but there were just some people that wouldn't hear it.
"Aww, cheer up, guys," the kiwi piped up, "we're almost there. See?" He pointed to a building up ahead which I somehow knew housed Muppet Central.
Eventually, we found a parking space and all filed out of the car to the building's entrance. We were about to enter through the door when a small voice piped up. "Hello! Are you the band Solid Foam and friends?"
Quizzically, we all scanned the area for the source of the almost child-like voice. "Who wants ta know?" Leon asked, his large eyes darting back and forth.
"Over here!" We turned to see a small bunny in a red jacket and a blue scarf. "My name is Bean Bunny, and today I've been assigned to be your tour guide around Muppet Central!"
Clifford frowned, doubting that the rabbit was being serious. "Shouldn't you be at school?" the purple bassist asked the rabbit.
"Shouldn't you have a job?" Bean asked in return, a smug grin on his face.
The bassist shook his head with a sigh of exasperation. "He's got him there," Lindbergh whispered to me. I nodded in agreement.
"So, if there aren't any more questions," the little bunny continued, "we can start the tour! This way, Mr. New Coworkers! And Miss New Coworker," he added, possibly after a glare from Francine.
Bean led us through the entry doorway. As soon as we walked in, our curiosity consumed us and we explored a nearby room. Dozens of computers and monitors lined a wall and different programs were being played on them. We all looked on in awe at the new advancements.
"And can you believe that these are only the beginning rooms?" the cream-colored rabbit piped up. "I sure couldn't when I was first here! But Mr. Kermit explained things to me, how everything works around here... interesting stuff for the for the technologically-inclined, like Mr. Robot over here!"
I quickly turned my head from some television set to look at Bean. "Actually, I'm a semi-robotic person," I corrected, "and my name is Digit."
Bean's ears lowered a bit. "Oh. Well, hi Mr. Digit!" he bounced right back into a happy tone. "I'd like to get to know each and every one of you! You see, I'm planning on making a scrapbook on my days here at Muppet Central. Right this way, folks," Bean motioned to some of the others in the group that were trying to get away. He then started to lead us down another hallway into a room and resumed his tour/rambling. "Anyway, Muppet Central is such a swell place! There are a lot of stations that get picked up. There's this one channel with this white lion on it..."
And then I saw… her. The angel that I had been hoping to meet again. She was walking past the doorway to the room that we were in at the moment, but that was enough to set my heart aflame.
All of a sudden, I felt the urge to sing amongst everything that was happening. I just couldn't control it. I took a deep breath in, and…
"Hello, ma baby! Hello, ma honey! Hello, my rag-time gal! Send me a kiss by wire, baby my heart's on fire! If you refuse me, honey, you lose me, and you'll be left alone. Oh baby, telephone, and tell me I'm your own!"
Looking back, I've realized that not only wasn't that the right song for the tone of the atmosphere, but the rest of my friends were giving me weird looks afterwards.
After finishing the song, I somehow changed back to normal. It turned out that it was only a mild glitch, but it still made me flustered. "Oh, I hate it when these things happen," I told myself as I wandered away from the group. "I shouldn't even be here…"
Imagine my surprise when I heard someone applauding my singing. "Wow! What an incredible number!"
I was a little startled by the voice and the clapping. Nevertheless, I turned around to see a blue hooked-nose… something or other. "Why, thank you!" I replied, a smile forming on my face.
"It's amazing how you mesh a big band piece with some good old Eighties flair," he told me. "And I can't help but notice the amphibious reference! Are you a fan of Chuck Jones too?"
"Amphibious reference?" I repeated, slightly confused. Then I thought about what he meant for a brief moment and responded to him. "Well, yes, I am a fan of the Looney Tunes, if that's what you meant. ... Um…" Suddenly, I realized who I was speaking to. "Are you the Great Gonzo, by any chance?"
"The one and only!" Gonzo confirmed with a huge grin. "So to speak. Anyway, please tell me you're the new band!"
"Yes, we are the new band," I confirmed. "These are all the members of Solid Foam, including myself. My name's Digit."
"Are you number or anatomy?"
That caught me a little off guard, but after a moment, I was back to replying. "Semi-robotic, actually."
"That is soooo cool!" the blue creature exclaimed. "I've been asking Kermit for YEARS to make me semi-robotic!" There was a pause before he looked downwards, a frown on his face. "But, he always says we're over budget," he sighed.
"It's actually a long story that I'd be glad to tell you sometime." I cleared my throat and tried to change the subject a little. "So, I take it that we will be working together, correct?"
Gonzo shrugged. "If we're working under the same roof, we're working together," he answered. "That's how Kermit does things around here."
"I see," I said with a nod. "I think I saw you on the set of The Muppet Movie. We were, ah, the ones who drove the car through the wall..."
The blue creature's eyes widened. "I remember that! Hey, thanks again for giving us such a great inspiration for the ending!"
"You're welcome, and I'll be sure to tell the others that as well." Then, something occurred to me that hadn't before. "You know, I've just formally met you, and yet… I feel some sort of a connection with you, Gonzo. Sounds strange, I know…"
"Yeah, I get that all the time," the hook-nosed wonder spoke up. "People always expect me to play the saxophone for some reason."
"Even though I'm a musician myself," I began to say, "I'm actually a little bit more interested in the fields of science and technology."
"Hmmm, have you met Bunsen?" Gonzo asked. "I'm a friend of his."
"Actually, he's the man who designed my circuitry," I explained. "If it weren't for his invention, I wouldn't be here right now."
"Huh, you don't say?" The daredevil then patted me on the shoulder. "So, what are you doing besides music?" he wondered.
"I hope to work in the technical department as well," I told him. "I plan on introducing Kermit to a creation of mine." A smile came across my face, remembering Waldo.
"Really?" Gonzo was certainly interested now. "You'll have to let me have a peek."
"Sure, Gonzo. Is there a computer nearby where I can type his code in?"
"Oh, yeah, we got plenty of them in the control room," Gonzo responded to my question. "It houses the main mainframe."
"Do you think you can show me there once the band and I finish up rehearsal in a few minutes?" I questioned him, not knowing if the band wanted to rehearse or not. "Plus, we're sort of on a tour right now, but..."
"Sure," Gonzo replied with a shrug, "but to get past the doors, you'll need a feather, a top hat, a nickel, and a dust bunny."
My eyes widened. Was finding the control room really that difficult?
"Just kidding." Gonzo smirked, patting me on the back again. "You don't need the nickel."
Before I could ask what else that I needed, Maya walked by with a look of indifference on her face. "Down de hall, third door on de lef'," she scoffed.
After a quick blink, she vanished just as quickly as she had entered. "… right. Thanks, Maya!" I called after her before setting out to find the control room. "Let's see, down the hall, third door on the left…"
"I'll see you later, then!" Gonzo called after me, waving goodbye as I walked away.
The door was easy enough to find. I turned the knob and was greeted with a pleasing sight. Monitors lined every wall and continued onto the ceiling. It seemed that every program in the universe was playing simultaneously at that moment, and I had access to them all instantly.
It was like heaven to me, but there weren't any angels to share it with.
Of course, my angel probably didn't know that she was, in fact, my angel. I still hadn't had the courage to tell her that I loved her back then. Still, I couldn't help but imagine all the possibilities that we had for dating ideas (as many as I could think of back in the Eighties). Broadway, Hollywood, the Smithsonian, maybe dinner… who knows? Maybe we could even end up working in the same place together.
Where was I again? Oh yes! Muppet Central, of course!
Spying a computer nearby, I scurried over to it and began typing a series of letters and numbers that made up my creation's code. Minutes passed before the typing ceased. I took a brief pause and then pressed the enter key, watching the screen for Waldo to materialize.
The little graphic soon appeared on screen, looking like he had just awoken from slumber. "Huh? Where am I…?" he asked drowsily, rubbing his eyes.
"Welcome to Muppet Central, Waldo," I greeted with a smile.
"Muppet what?" The rubber duck-like creature pressed his nose on the screen. "What is Muppet Central, Digit? I can't see."
Then something happened purely by chance. Waldo fell out of the computer and onto the desk.
"Waldo, are you okay?" I questioned him with concern.
"I think I am." Blinking, he took a look around the central control room. "Woah… this is an AWESOME computer simulation, Digit!" he exclaimed. "Did you design all this?"
I shook my head. "No, Waldo," I began to tell him, "this is where Lindbergh and I work now. It's a control room."
"You don't say…" He then flew up to me. "Hey, how'd you get into the computer too?"
I realized something that I hadn't before. "Waldo, I believe that with all the technology that this place has, you've been allowed to have access outside the computer, into our world."
A gasp escaped the red, white and blue creature's throat. "No. Way. I'm in the human world?" Waldo did back flips in joy. "YAHOO! I'm in the real world! I'm in Muppet Central, I'm with Digit, and I-" He accidentally flew too high and bumped his "hat" on the ceiling. "… ow?"
A light chuckle escaped from my mouth. I could tell already that Waldo was going to like it here. I just hoped that Kermit would approve of my creation being here.
Suddenly, a flash of orange and teal appeared out of the corner of my eye. Turning towards the door, I saw a beautiful woman walking into the control room. She had yet to take notice of me, so I was in the clear to admire her from afar.
"Who's that girl, Digit?" I heard someone whisper to me.
I gave a lovesick sigh before I responded to the voice. "Oh, she's the only one for me…"
"Oh, that must be Vicki, then!" the unmistakable voice of my creation realized. "I'm gonna go talk to her now!" Before I knew it, he had started to fly over to her.
"Waldo, wait!" I softly called after him.
Too late, he had already flown near her. "Hi!"
Vicki was obviously slightly startled at Waldo's sudden appearance. "Oh, hello! You surprised me."
"I can surprise just about anyone with this!" Waldo joyfully stated before he morphed into a cute little kitten and mewed.
"Aww, how cute!" The bespectacled female reached out a hand and petted my creation's head. Soft purring could be heard from Waldo before Vicki asked, "Do you have a name?"
"Sure do!" He morphed back into his default form. "Waldo C. Graphic at your service. You're Vicki, right?"
"Why yes," the pretty redhead responded, "yes I am. I'm Vicki Gale, nice to meet you Waldo."
"Well, I hear talk that you know my good friend Digit."
Right then and there, I knew that I had to do something, and fast. What if Waldo revealed that I had a crush on Vicki before I could tell her that I loved her? I started to walk fast over to the two as the girl answered, "Well, we're acquainted, yes."
"Acquainted, eh?" Waldo echoed. "What if I told you that-"
"Okay, that's enough sugar for you!" I interrupted him, patting him on the head and motioning him onwards. "Why don't you run along, Waldo, and meet all of your new friends?"
"That's right!" Waldo realized. "They don't know about me being in this world yet! I'll catch you guys later!" he called over his shoulder as he flew out of the room.
I couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief as soon as the graphic left. I was almost certain that he would give my secret away to her. Oh well, at least it was safe for a little while longer…
"Did you design that creature?" Vicki asked me, referring to Waldo.
"Waldo? Oh, he and I are pretty much inseparable," I explained to her. "I created his code from scratch, and now he's here in Muppet Central. I had no idea that the technology of this place could improve his functioning so much," I added.
Vicki nodded and commented, "He's very charming."
"Yeah, I guess you could say that. Keep in mind that it's only his first outing into the real world."
The bespectacled girl smiled at me. "I'm sure that everyone will love y-him, I mean," she said before clearing her throat. "Well, now that you've found the control room, I take it that you can find your way around Muppet Central?"
"Sure," I replied to her, "it seems easy enough." A brief pause hung in the air. "I can't wait to work with you, Vicki," I confessed, a warm smile on my face.
"The feeling's mutual," she responded before turning around to leave. "I'll see you at work on the first show, right?"
I blinked. First show? What did that mean? Nevertheless, I nodded in response.
"Okay, then. I'll see you later then, Digit." Then she walked out of the room.
"See you later…" I sighed. How long was this being in love thing going to stay with me before I told her?