Tiny Toon Adventures:

"Comedy Rules"

Rated T for gratuitous cartoon villainy.

Disclaimer: "Tiny Toon Adventures," Tiny Toon Adventures characters, names, and all related indicia are trademarks of Warner Bros. Inc.

Kiss and Make Up

With a squawk of alarm, Sweetie Pie flew out of the gymnasium as fast as her pink little canary wings would carry her. First, to find the janitor . . . just in case that when Calamity spat out Babs again there was drool to mop up. Next she flew to find the school nurse. The loudmouth canary hesitated outside the school's sick room. After all, Elmyra Duff often assisted Granny as school nurse's aide. The simple threat of Elmyra was enough to make most toons go to class even if they were sick as a dog. Of course, since many of the Looniversity students were canines, no matter now sick they were, they were sick as dogs. But if any one of the toonsters was is in danger of being incarcerated in the sick room today, it was Babs and not herself. Screwing up her courage, the tiny bird flew in. The pink fowl flew up to the little old lady with white hair done up in a tight bun, blue old fashioned dress, and old style button-up black dress boots. Sweetie Pie grabbed Granny's lace collar with her beak and tugged the elderly lady toon to the gym.

Inside the little coyote, only Babs' eyes were visible. It was really dark inside the small predator's belly. The pink bunny lit a match, but in an uncharacteristic display of wisdom, refrained from lighting a stick of dynamite in the enclosed space. The coyote interacted with explosives on a daily basis and she had no desire to be roasted rabbit for the carnivore. If anything, he'd just think it a case of heartburn. Babs ran a finger up the xylophone ribs and encountered a slice of hot chili pepper pizza such as Little Beeper often delivered. It seemed that was the only kind of pizza that the little fowl ever brought home. When Calamity burped, the space got even smaller. Curled up in a little ball, the doe bunny wondered; 'How in the world did I fit inside the coyote who certainly isn't any bigger than I am?!?'

Unknown to the alley cat, Furrball repeated the same question to his canid friend. The blue furred felid waved his arms emphatically in the air as he talked. "Groww mroww mryeah!?"

Smirking in self-satisfaction, Calamity held up a sign.

[ I formed a ]

[dimensionally transcendental]

[ pocket in my stomach. ]

Furrball nodded knowingly at the ensuing, overcomplicated explanation that left most of the student body glassy-eyed with incomprehension. Not only did the canid genius have to alter his own anatomy to take up and hold such a large prey, but also Calamity had to adjust the prey's size ratio while held within. The blue alley cat stared in awe at the small coyote. Dang, he really needed to quit sleeping through cartoon physics! "Mrrouww!"

Little Beeper issued a single, nervous beep at the two predators' exchange and edged a slight distance away. If he'd felt at all perturbed about Calamity chasing the pink bunny instead of him today, he didn't now! Sweetie Pie winged in with the school nurse in tow, and perched on the little roadrunner's back.

Cough. Cough. Hack!! How did felines do it? Hacking up Babs was tougher than he thought it would be. As Calamity started coughing, he held up a sigh.

[Hairball.]

"Oh my!" Granny gasped in horror, and readjusted her wireframe glasses so that she could see better. While everyone else was still stunned by the sudden turn of events, Granny knew just what to do. She immediately snatched up the young coyote, inverted him over her arm and pounded his backside as she had so many times for Tweety and Sylvester in the old days. "Out! Out, spit her out!"

"Way ta go Grwanny!" While Professor Tweety and his own young pupil, Sweetie Pie, cheered her on, Sylvester cringed in remembrance of the many times that Granny had performed the same procedure, the 'Granny Maneuver,' on him whenever he got a hold of Tweety.

Upon regurgitation Babs sat, her legs spraddled, on the floor where Cal spat her out, swaying slightly, once again punch drunk from her ordeal. Granny dropped Calamity on his tail, à la Sylvester, and hovered in concern over the poor little bunny rabbit.

Sylvester steadied the small grey coyote after his release from Granny's grip. The large, black and white tomcat sprayed spittle when he talked. "Jussst be glad she didn't ussse her umbrella on ya, kid."

Calamity just nodded, ruefully rubbing his tail.

"Oooh! You are a very bad little coyote, Calamity!" The sweet, little old lady proceeded to scold Calamity as she always did Sylvester; whereupon the school genius crouched down under the verbal assault with big, sad, puppy dog eyes and tentatively thumped his tail on the floor. Granny softened.

"Heh, heh, heh." Bouncing slightly as she laughed, Granny patted Calamity on the head. "Oh all right, all right, I forgive you."

The toonsters stared, wondering where their classmate learned to do that. Several of the original Looneys snickered. It was the canine version of 'poor pussy' that Sylvester used to pull with Granny; and was probably the only thing that saved the little rascal from Granny's full ire . . . as well as her umbrella.

"Now," Granny continued sternly. "Kiss the nice little bunny and make up."

As expected of him, Calamity sulked. Then he made as if to obey, but opened his mouth wide to swallow Babs again. The small coyote sneaked a peek up at Granny. The elderly toon stood over him, tapping her foot. Calamity closed his mouth; and with a big, cheesy grin up at Granny, he patted Babs on the head.

At Granny's renewed insistence that they kiss and make up, Calamity abruptly swept Babs up in his arms and dipped her. The coyote's breath tickled her whiskers. Babs fell limp in Calamity's arms, half afraid that the carnivore bending over her would give her the kiss that Granny insisted upon, . . . and half afraid that he wouldn't.

"Oooo la la!" Fifi exclaimed. The French skunk-ette couldn't help but feel a little jealous of Babs. Nearby, Hampton also felt a twinge of jealousy, but for slightly different reasons.

"Hey, hey, hey!" Buster snapped. The Looniversity class president frowned, tapping Calamity firmly on the shoulder. "That's MY girl!"

Looking sheepish, Calamity straightened and instantly dropped the pink bunny to 'thunk' onto the floor.

[ Oops. Sorry. ]

[Got carried away.]

"Yeah well, don't let it happen again." Buster was actively helping to reform Calamity. And it looked like some of that reform would have to extend to certain social interactions as well. He moved over to consult with his mentor, Bugs.

"So, Calamity," Fifi sashayed over to the little grey coyote, "where eever did vous learn to kees like zat?"

Calamity's cheek fur glowed a rosy color as he whipped out a large text book. 'Advanced Studies in Chemistry' was printed on its cover. In reality, he learned a great deal of it from Fifi herself whenever she mistook him for a skunk. But it wouldn't be politic to say so.

"Mmmm! I could use a chemistry tutor." Fifi smiled softly to herself, wondering about arranging another stripe down Calamity's back.

"Who cares where he learned to kiss," Plucky interrupted, flinging his arms in the air for emphasis. "What I'd like to know is how'd he learn to swallow? . . . And where can we get a muzzle? You never know when a wild animal will turn on you!"

A looming shadow fell over the small grey coyote. Calamity looked up when he realized that he was standing in the shadow of his mentor, Wile E. Coyote. The Dean of Hard Knocks had come up behind Calamity, tapping the fingers of one hand on the opposite arm while waiting for his young protégé to notice him. Calamity offered the older coyote a tentative smile.

Wile snatched up the small coyote by the scruff of his neck. The little scamp had to learn the 'Hungry Like the Wolf' take from somebody. The toonsters only rarely heard his cultured voice, but since Bugs Bunny was also present, the older, brown coyote was able to speak aloud. "You have been slumming with Big Bad, haven't you?"

Calamity's ears and tail drooped and he withdrew into himself, not daring to meet his mentor's hard, yellow eyes. He heard the near inaudible swish of a sign being pulled out and forced his eyes up to see what Professor Wile E. said. To not do so would be unpardonably rude for a silent toon.

[ . . . ? . . . ]

The Dean of Hard Knocks liked using the hand held signs, even when in Bugs Bunny's presence. The signs dictated that Calamity look at him while he was 'talking.' Once, when the Acme group was touring the highlands, Byron Bassett swallowed Babs whole . . . with a sizable bulge in his brown, baggy hide where the bunny pooched out his belly. The brown coyote supposed that Calamity could have learned the trick from the basset hound, or maybe even from the Wolverine. But the little grey coyote's trick-take looked suspiciously like a 'Big Bad Wolf Snap' rather than a 'Devil Dog Chomp.' Wile E. Coyote dropped Calamity back to the floor, awaiting his answer.

Even though his mentor wasn't speaking aloud, Professor Wile's nonverbal communication was positively shouting! Practically against his will, Calamity gave a weak nod. He hated to even think of the detentions that he'd earn if Wile E. ever discovered that he'd actively gone out seeking the Big Bad Wolf for the method of taking prey whole.

The small grey coyote greatly admired his mentor, but the dean of the Looniversity did tend toward just a touch of academic rivalry. Once when Calamity had been falling from the tallest building in the world from a failed attempt to zap Little Beeper, Professor Wile did rather rub it in his face how much smarter he was than his pupil.

That academic rivalry extended to the slick wolf. Big Bad flaunted his formal education, while Professor Wile was largely self-taught out in the desert while chasing Roadrunner. But it was more than that. Wile E. felt that Big Bad had an unsavory influence on his young protégé. The wolf was just a sleazy character. Definitely the wrong crowd. Some of the wolf's activities went beyond comedic villainy and were down right, well . . . uh, villainous! Wile E. glared down sternly at the little coyote.

Calamity swallowed hard. He knew they were in for a very long talk during their next mentoring session. For something to do to get out from under his mentor's disapproving glare, Calamity offered a hand to help Babs up.

Seeing that Buster was otherwise occupied, the pink bunny accepted the little coyote's hand. As he had before in the library, Calamity whispered in one of her slender, pink ears.

"Don't EVER call me Barbara Ann!" Babs yelled, blowing the grey coyote's ears back. Some genius. His smug claim of 'I win, Barbara Ann' only made her mad. The irate pink bunny smashed Calamity flat with a mallet, knocking him unconscious. "And no, you did NOT just win!"

The clock struck three.

Gogo Dodo sprang out of the clock on his cuckoo clock springboard and announced the end of the April Fools Day contest. The small, pastel green and blue dodo bird hopped down and strode over to the assembled Looney Tunes to tally up the final scores of the contest.

Monty bent over his henchman and pealed back an eyelid. The word 'tilt' was written across the coyote's eyes. Calamity came to a few moments later to find Montana Max slapping his face and Yosemite Sam glaring down at him.

"Ya still have ta finish the villain courses. I ain't lettin' ya drop ma classes, ya no good, flee bitten, mangy prairie wolf." The Looniversity vice principal spend most of the day monitoring the young coyote's progress with Bugs and Wile. That no account, young genius displayed appalling, very non-villain like behavior. The school had too few villains as it was! Calamity reached over tugging Babs Bunny over in front of Professor Yosemite, offering the popular lagomorph instead. His interest piqued, Yosemite Sam ran a hand down his red, handlebar mustaches. "Well, the pink varmint does have potential . . .."

"I am NOT a villain!" Indignant, Babs stalked forward again with her mallet.

Calamity whipped out a dictionary from his body pocket and flipped it open to the 'villain' entry. He held it up for everyone to see. "Villain /ˈvɪlən/. The comedic dupe engaged in failed plots and gratuitous cartoon violence for selfish ends who never bests the hero. See: Babs Bunny." It showed a picture of Babs with a terrible grimace on her face, her fur red and frazzled, and wielding a huge mallet. It looked exactly like she did right now.

"Whoa, like Calamity!" Shirley dropped from her floating lotus position to her feet in surprise. Calamity Coyote not only wrote signs, but re-wrote books as well? "That like, takes mondo brain power and focus, or some junk, to pull that off."

Calamity smiled shyly at the praise and held up a sign.

[Its a silent toon thing.]

Despite his earlier ire at Calamity, Wile E. was inordinately pleased with his protégé. He and Yosemite would work out Calamity's curriculum.

"Hah! Someone's been tampering with your perception threshold, coyote! They'll never trust you. Face it. You're a villain. You're devious, cunning, and wily. Everyone knows it except you!" Gloating, Montana Max, threw an arm over the young coyote's shoulders. The rich preppy knew that he could pressure Calamity into remaining a villain. "You're a fool if you think that those goody two-shoes stars of Tiny Toon Adventures over there will even give you the time of day! I'm your only friend here. Now come on, what do you say? It's time you got back to work."

"Oh, how sad." Babs wondered what she would do if her friends were such a bad influence on her. But then again, Monty had been a bad influence, not only on Plucky but on herself as well . . . and the brown haired boy wasn't even her friend! The pink bunny couldn't help but feel sorry for Calamity. And it didn't help that Professor Yosemite was also heavily pressuring the school genius.

As Montana Max started bullying Calamity, Babs watched the small coyote hunker down, silent . . . well of course Calamity was silent, . . . but he wasn't even bothering with his signs. With friends like that . . . who needed friends!? Then Babs' eyes softened. Calamity did.

Babs saw a stubborn look entering the small predator's eyes. Would Calamity really leave his old circle of friends, even if it left him with no friends at all? Well, he would still own Little Beeper, even if it was only as his prey in their comedic chases. Buster had tried to tell her that the little grey coyote was trying to give up villainy, but she hadn't believed him. Well, there wasn't much she could do about the Vice Principle . . . especially with all of the other faculty members right there, but she could the rich spoiled brat.

The pink bunny reached in the small coyote's pocket, deftly drawing out the kid-genius' Merry Melody expanding rubber shield that he'd used against her earlier in the library. "Excuse me, Calamity, may I borrow this?"

Babs expanded the concentric rings of the pi inverter and smacked Monty with it. "Th-th-th-th-that's all Folk's!"

"Aaaaaaaaaahh!" Montana Max flew through a high window of the gym, leaving a cookie cutter hole in it, and sailed out of view.

Babs tossed the disk back to Calamity. "Thanks."

Gogo Dodo, Bugs Bunny and the rest of the faculty formed a huddle to tally up who won. The winner wasn't necessarily who got the upper hand in the comedic battle, but which contestant achieved the highest comedic quotient. Humor wasn't limited to just the protagonist in a skit. A skilled villain could be just as funny as any hero. Every once in a while one or another of the judges would poke their head up from the heated discussion to look at the contestants. Both Calamity and Babs had filled the criteria of the contest before 3 o'clock.

Calamity sneaked a peak at the pink bunny who had just saved him from Monty. Then he cocked his head in an imploring puppy-dog expression of question at the assembled professors, but the oldsters didn't seem to understand. The small coyote snagged Furrball. Both silent toons wore cool sunglasses and neckties. Swaggering up in true 'cool toon' style, Calamity and Furrball rolled up their ties under their chins. Calamity counted down with his fingers. Three, Two, One . . .. Both the grey coyote and the blue alley cat released their ties and they unrolled.

Bugs and the other Looney teachers stared uncomprehending at the strange display, but Gogo laughed in his high, loony voice at the 'tie race.' The dodo started soft-shoeing a victory dance, and shouted: "Its a tie! Doh-dodio, doh-dodio, doh-dodio doh!"

Furrball and Calamity exchanged high 'fours' and held up a sign.

[ Oh, yeah! ]

[Comedy Rules!]

Removing his shades and smiling smugly, Calamity didn't watch where he was going. He ran into Bugs' legs. The little coyote shrank back from the principal of the Looniversity. As a villain, he'd seen that look often enough to know that he was about to be called to the office, though that was usually due to failed traps or experiments that went critical . . . or when Monty turned him in out of spite. His tail and ears tucked down, Calamity wondered what he'd done this time. Perhaps being a 'good guy' was too complicated for the genius.

"Excuse us, folks. We'll just be a minute." The tall, grey rabbit reached off screen to pull Calamity and himself into his office. As school dean, Wyle E. Coyote tried to intervene for his protégé, but Bugs pulled rank.

Once the principal's office was securely around them, Bugs pulled out a silent toon conversation sign. He didn't do it often, but the Looney Tune star did know how.

[Let's Talk.]

Confusion clouded Calamity's face at the principal's choice of conversation modes. The tall grey bunny offered an explanation.

[Too many ears in this field of corn.]

[ If ya catch my drift. ]

Calamity looked behind him at the office door, which now resembled stalks of corn. There were pink and blue rabbit ears where the ears of corn should be. The young coyote nodded his understanding.

With that settled, Principal Bugs asked the young coyote why he called for a tie. Calamity explained that they had enough villains in this school that they really didn't need a schism forming. The coyote wasn't the only one at a crossroads and an ongoing vendetta just might completely push Babs from her hero's role. The pink bunny co-star of Tiny Toons wasn't really bad as such, it was simply that she was very competitive.

[We just got a bit out of hand.]

"I'll say." Bugs snorted. Then the Looney Tunes star dug out a small business card from his desk and handed it to the young coyote. "Look, kid, it's up ta you whether ya remain a villain or not. But if ya do want ta go straight, dese guys can help ya."

When they rejoin the assembly in the gym, Bugs officially announced the April Fools Day contest as a tie between Babs and Calamity.

"A tie?!" Plucky exclaimed in disbelief. All bets were off? He'd have to return all the money he collected! Then a cunning gleam entered the avarice mallard's eyes. He hastily flipped through his betting ledger to check the numbers. "Wait! If it is a tie, that means that neither Babs nor Calamity won! No one can come collecting their winnings! I get to keep it all!!!"

Nearly underfoot, the Brain slapped a hand to his over-sized head. The small, white lab mouse could not believe that even the attempt at gaining the young coyote's services in taking over the world had failed. "The universe must hate me."

"Poit! Oh, I just knew that Calamity and Babs would work it out. Narf!" Oblivious to his stout partner's distress, Pinky leaped about excitedly, clapping his little pink hands. The lanky mouse grabbed Brain and tugged them both over to the green duck. Pinky knocked on the towering duck's webbed foot, holding up his betting stub to collect their winnings.

"What!? . . . NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Upset to tears, Plucky checked the betting stub against his ledger . . . then he double and triple checked it. He'd forgotten about the rodent's absurd bet. When Pinky had placed the bet, the lanky lab mouse just couldn't decide who should win; he didn't want either of the kids to be disappointed, so he had bet that it would be a tie. Plucky had taken the bet, with incredible odds against it happening, assuming that it was just money in the bag! He never suspected that the lab mouse could actually win! That . . . that rat! Pinky winning the pot completely wiped out Plucky's profit margin! With a death-grip hug, the green little duck kissed his money goodbye, then reluctantly handed it over the the waiting mice. "Whaaaa! All my lovely money!"

"Yes!" Delighted, the Brain strutted over to the grey coyote. Calamity bent down to hear what the mouse proposed. The stout, big-headed mouse straight out bought the blueprints (though not the inventive rights) for Calamity's Beep Warp XL1000 . . . the localized time warp devise that had prompted the bet in the first place . . . and handed over the rest of the winnings as a retainer. Now that the young coyote's inventions were working better than Acme merchandise, the big headed mouse deemed it a wise investment. Pleased that for once something went according to plan, Brain quickly left for the Acme lab. "Come, Pinky. We must prepare for tonight."

Following after his friend, Pinky scratched his nominal cranium. "Why, Brain, what are we doing tonight?"

"Try and, . . ." the Brain's face fell and his ears drooped. "Ah, what's the use? Just come on!"

Dollar signs rolled up into the young coyote's eyes as he hefted the bag that Brain gave him. That was a lot of money!

"Cal," Buster scolded the kid-genius as he tucked the bag away. "Hiring out to a megalomaniac trying to take over the world is not very heroic behavior."

[It's better behavior than Plucky's]

[ and he's considered a good guy. ]

Calamity pointed out. Besides it's April Fools Day and everything goes. At least with the would-be tyrant's retainer, he didn't have to hire out to Montana Max or Elmyra Duff again.

Buster dropped his head into his hands, shaking it. With help like Plucky's, it was going to be a long, hard row to hoe with Calamity to get the young coyote onto the hero's path.

As the Acme Looniversity students began to disperse and go home, Calamity cocked his head. It had been a vicious comedic battle. Left as things were, a rift could well develop in the student body even with the announcement of a tie. Then he remembered Minerva Mink and Wilford B. Wolf's advice on making up with Babs afterwards. Not a kiss, certainly. Calamity glanced at Buster. He did NOT need to tangle with a jealous boyfriend, especially as the blue bunny had been one of the very few toonsters to actively try and help him lately. But perhaps something else.

[ Hey, Babs, how about ]

[a carrot double deluxe surprise sundae]

[ at Le Trendy Deserterie? ]

Tempted as she was, Babs frowned. She was willing to help the coyote get out from under Monty's thumb, but she wasn't sure that she should accept his peace offering. Predators did tend to be very possessive and territorial. Besides, the popular pink bunny hadn't yet decided whether to allow Calamity to bribe away her anger at making a fool of her in front of the whole student body.

[And Carrot Cake!]

Calamity tauntingly added. Little Beeper exchanged knowing smirks with Furrball. The small coyote sure knew how to pick the right bait for his quarry! Premium bird seed for him, and for the bunny . . . delectable carrot cake!

Babs melted on the spot. How could she resist? Then Calamity held up another sign, inviting the rest of the toonster gang as well. He did the math. He could afford it with his winnings and still have enough for his inventions.

[Come on, everyone. My treat!]

As the gang got going, Calamity held up another sign. The young genius had improved his miniature rocket boosters on his specially modified football and was anxious to try it out.

[Wanna play ball?]

"Only if you're the ball," Babs said, remembering Mary Melody's geometry lesson in the library.

Calamity's hackles raised at the pink doe bunny. He mistrusted the gleam in the bunny's eyes and figured that Babs wanted to 'return the favor.' The small coyote growled.

"Knock it off, you guys!" Buster could not believe that even after the two made up, they were still feuding.

"Sorry, relapse." [Sorry, relapse.] Both Babs and Calamity responded simultaneously with endearing smiles.

Calamity pulled out the business card that Bugs had given him in the principal's office. Maybe he should take Babs with him to the weekly meetings of Villains Anonymous, the support group for recovering bad guys.

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END

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A/N Guest appearance from Pinky and the Brain of "Animaniacs," trademarks of Warner Bros. Inc.