The past two weeks had been intense. It had been grueling. It had been chaotic. At times it had been emotional even. But in the end, it was all worth it. By some string of luck, not only did all of our fans show up to support us, but Tex Richman had finally agreed to give us our studio and theater back.
If it weren't for Gonzo's fingers slipping at just the right moment, and Fozzie following with just the right bad joke, all of us probably would have been on the street. But we were lucky, like we always were. As Tex was being pulled away on a stretcher to the ambulance, we could all hear him laughing hysterically and saying we could have our studio back. Free of charge. Needless to say, we were all more than a little thrilled by this. We were overjoyed.
I didn't really know what to say when everyone came up to me afterwards and congratulated me, giving me pats on the back and everything. Well, I pretty much told them that they needed to thank Walter more than me. After all, none of this would have happened in the first place if it weren't for him. And of course they did, and at that moment, I don't think I've ever seen a Muppet so happy in my entire life.
"Everyone," I announced when we were all back in the theater, "I can't tell you how proud I am of all of you... of all of us. It's been a long time since we did anything like this, and I'm just really amazed at how well everything came together. We really did it." All of my friends were looking at me, looking to me for guidance just like they had in the past. But there was only one person on my mind. One person that I couldn't wait to talk to when this was all over.
"I know that we've all been working really hard the last few days, and we just put on one of our most... impressive shows ever..." I looked around at all of them. I was so happy to see all of my friends together in one place again. "So listen, I want everyone to take the weekend off. Take a few days to recoup, and we'll meet back here on Monday at nine AM. What do you say?"
Everyone agreed and soon began to disperse. Some were staying in town, others were already preparing to stay at the theater again. Me? I had something else in mind. But first I had to find her. No doubt she was already in her dressing room getting ready to leave, and knowing her, it would be a while before she'd reappear again. But I was more than happy to wait. I knew it'd be worth it for Miss Piggy.
I think saying that I was surprised when she showed up that morning at the theater would be an understatement. If it weren't for the time crunch of our rehearsal, or even the fact that she was giving me the cold shoulder all day, it would have been wonderful to catch up on old times or to at least work out one or two things between us. It wasn't until later that evening when we finally got a chance to talk that things seemed to fall into place.
I finally realized what I wanted. I wanted her to stay. Not just for the Muppets, but for me more than anything. And when I asked, she did. After that, I didn't even care that everyone we knew and everyone watching the telethon saw us kiss. I was just happy to have her in my life again.
Miss Piggy has always been a great influence in my life. I knew from the beginning that there was something I loved about her. Something I adored, something that amazed me, but I was never able to really put my finger on it or put it into the right kind of words. I'm not really good with words in these cases, as you've probably figured out. It always felt like there was something in particular I was missing. But regardless, there's no denying that there have been many things I've always admired about her.
For starters, ever since the day we met, I've always thought she was very, very attractive, if not the most beautiful thing I'd every laid my eyes on. Even in those moments when she's just woken up or hasn't applied any makeup, she still manages to take my breath away. She's also very, very strong, and I don't just mean physically. Miss Piggy has proven time and time again that whenever she puts her mind to something, anything is possible for her. I know it has made her violent and overbearing at times, but you can't help but admire her perseverance and fearlessness. I've come to learn over the years that at the end of the day she just wants to be loved and accepted just like the rest of us. She's just always had a funny way of showing it.
And it wasn't just her beauty and spirit that I fell for over the years. It was also how much she cared for me that has always left me speechless. So much so that I didn't always know how to react to it. Whenever I've needed it most, she takes care of me, whether I wanted her to or not. And as much as she loves to be a diva in front of the cameras and everyone else, in private she can be a very giving person when she wants to be.
Probably the most touching thing about her? She always is and always has been proud to say that she loves me. It doesn't matter to her that I'm short, green and cold-blooded. To her, I was always her frog, no matter how many times I've denied her, or how many times I've hurt her.
It took me a long time to realize this, but I think the reason I've kept my distance over the years is because Miss Piggy has had a tendency hurt me quite a few times in the past as well. She's left the group unexpectedly to do commercials, made demands that were downright unreasonable, and she's even left me hanging out to dry a number of times in order to take care of her personal needs. Sure, not long after she'd quickly lash back and try to peruse me again, but a part of me always felt it was best to not get emotionally involved.
I've always tried to keep our relationship professional, especially when we worked on the show, or movies, or whatever project there was. But regardless of my professionalism or our disagreements, if there's anything Miss Piggy and I have ever shared, it's history, and we've still always cared for each other very deeply. And despite my best efforts, there have been several moments when it was very hard to resist her. Sometimes when we were alone, I would still open myself up to her. I would let her hold my hand or steal a few kisses, and once in a while... we'd make love.
Well, I guess in my case it was more like we got carried away. As selfish as it sounds, some days I took advantage of knowing that she wanted to be with me. Sometimes it was her beauty that set me off, sometimes it was her charismatic spirit. Sometimes both. Sometimes it was my own vulnerability and needing that feeling of someone who cares about you to be close. Sometimes we'd be in the middle of a heated argument, and that would pretty much do it, too. It always seemed to just happen in the moment.
Don't get me wrong. Whenever we did it, it was quite wonderful. The only problem was every time we finished, I couldn't help but feel a great sense of guilt. I had taken advantage of her own vulnerability when I knew she wanted more than I was able to offer. Well, more than I was willing to offer, at least. I've heard people say that Kermit the Frog has no flaws and he's perfect in every way, but believe me, nothing could be further from the truth. Kermit the Frog is anything but perfect.
Old habits die hard, and things continued like that for a long, long time. Then finally, that dreadful day came that I always wish I could take back more than any other.
Right after we finished filming The Muppets Take Manhattan, Piggy came into my office one day with a smile on her face and a photo in her hand. A photo from the set of us as the bride and groom.
"Kermie! Our first photo as a married couple!"
That was the morning I found out that the priest on the set was in fact real and had married us in front of everyone. She had attempted this once before, unsuccessfully on The Muppet Show. But this time she was successful, and it was the last straw for me. I felt violated. I got angry. I went off on her. I told her that she was fired and she would never, ever, ever be my wife.
Everything I had said I immediately regretted. For the first time in Muppet history she was silent. I'd never seen Miss Piggy look so shocked or distraught. I watched her begin to cry in front of me, tear up the photo, and then storm out of my office.
"Piggy wait I-"
I couldn't go after her. I was shocked, too. Shocked at myself for letting that come out like it did. I had been too harsh and deserved every bit of guilt I was feeling. I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about what had happened and realized that while Piggy had been unreasonable, as she normally was, it didn't mean I should have reacted the way I did. I figured that she would eventually come around and we'd somehow work it out like we always did, but not this time. This time she didn't come back.
A few days later, I still hadn't seen or heard from her. I was starting to get worried that something had happened to her. I thought about calling her, but quite truthfully, I was scared to.
"Chief?" Scooter asked me that afternoon. "Have you talked to Miss Piggy? We haven't seen her at the theater lately."
No one had said anything yet about the news of our faux marriage.
"She's… she's just taking a few personal days," I told him. "I'm sure she'll be around soon." But I think I was trying to convince myself of that more than him.
Then I came across something I never expected to see. That same day when the mail came to the theater, I received annulment papers from the Los Angeles City Hall. For both Miss Piggy and myself.
I locked myself in a room so that no one could see what I was reading. Very carefully I read the fine print, trying to take it all in. Granted I was a little relieved, but I also couldn't help but think that something else was going on behind all of this.
This was way too much for me to take in. First I find out Piggy secretly wed us, and now she's sending me annulment papers without even notifying me about it? Well, that actually does sound like Miss Piggy, but I couldn't help but wonder: Was this what she was doing the whole time? Is this why she hadn't come by the theater? Or was there another reason she was hiding from me?
As I continued to read the document, I finally came across the "Reason of Action" part. What had she written?
Fraud – I tricked him into marrying me. I'm putting him out of his misery once and for all.
I felt my heart leap inside my throat when I read this. I immediately grabbed the extra set of keys she had given me to her condo, and I hurried for the door.
"Scooter, take over! I'm going to Miss Piggy's!"
"What? But, Cheif, what's going on-"
I didn't have time to stick around and settle Scooter's confusion. I got myself over to her place as fast as I could, and when I finally arrived, I knocked on her door frantically. I had to talk to her.
"Piggy?" I said, hoping she would hear me. "I know you're in there. Please, open the door!"
At first I didn't hear anything. I tried again.
"Piggy?! Please, this is not the time to be childish! I need to speak to you!"
Nothing. Not even the sound of footsteps or movement from the other side of the door. Only dead silence.
That's the word that scared me. Dead. What if... what if she had taken the plunge and ended her own misery?
"Alright, I'm coming in," I said out loud, hoping she had heard me.
I took the keys out and unlocked the door. If she could do things without my permission, I was going to do the same. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to know that she was alright.
As it finally unlocked, I braced myself for the worst and swung the door open.
Nothing. That was it. There was absolutely nothing. The entire space was bare. All of the shelves, all the furniture, all the pictures, everything that had once occupied Miss Piggy's home, all of it was gone.
I walked through the familiar space, trying to grasp what I was looking at. Was I dreaming? I was just here a few weeks ago and now it looked as though the place had been cleared for months. I remember walking through the rooms and halls in silence, still finding nothing. With every room I visited, more and more memories of conversations, gatherings, meetings, and... togetherness came back to me. I just couldn't believe that all of a sudden there was nothing here.
"Hey, you Kermit the Frog?"
I immediately turned when I heard the voice from behind me. It was coming from an elderly gentleman in a jumpsuit that was standing in the doorway. I could only guess that he was the super.
"I thought that was your voice I heard. Miss Piggy left this for you."
He presented me with a small jewelry box, something that looked like Piggy would have owned. I took it from him, still a little stunned by the recent discovery. He turned to leave.
"Wait a minute! W-what happened? Where's Miss Piggy?" I pleaded with him. I couldn't have sounded more desperate.
"I don't know," he said, turning back to me. "She cleared out a few days ago. She was in a big hurry. I think she might have moved to Paris or something."
He continued on his way, acting like it was no big deal. I decided to shake it off. He wasn't worth it. Opening the box, a small note and a brand new set of keys were inside. I quickly read the note:
I'm going to live my life where I will no longer be a bother to you. Consider this my goodbye gift. Adieu, mon Capitan.
I could smell her perfume coming from the box. It smelled just like her. I gulped when it had finally all caught up to me. She was gone for good.
Under the note I noticed an address had been written. You can probably put the pieces together from there. I found the Bel Air house she had built for us. For a long time I didn't know what to make of it, but as time went on I began to look after it as best I could. I guess a part of me hoped that one day she would come back, and it would be here waiting for her.
I soon realized that my actions not only jeopardized my relationship with one of my closest friends, but it also jeopardized the future of the group. Once everyone at the theater caught on that Miss Piggy wasn't coming back, everything started to fall apart. We began to loose our audience. Fozzie decided to leave for a solo career. The Electric Mayhem went on tour. I did everything I could to find work for everyone who stayed behind, but in the end they left, too.
I had a lot of desperate moments where I thought of contacting her. I could have asked, no, begged her to come back for the sake of the group, but something stopped me every time. The things I had said to her kept haunting me, and I couldn't bear the thought of what she might have said if I tried.
Months went by. Before long years went by. I did and said some things that I'm not proud of, and eventually everyone went their separate ways. Finally, I signed those annulment papers, and a week later I got the word that the annulment was finalized. Legally, the marriage between us never existed, and I felt a big weight lifted off my shoulders. I just wanted it all behind me. I didn't want to think about her anymore.
If only it were that simple. After everyone left, I had a lot more time to myself. More time to think about how things had fallen apart, and more time to think about how I had let Piggy and everyone else down. I tried not to blame myself for what had happened, but I was unable to shake the feeling that I could have somehow prevented this from happening.
I had come to realize that what kept Piggy around for so long was the fact that I had always given her false hope that maybe, just maybe we could be together one day. I had taken her for granted and selfishly abused that hope time and time again. Whenever we needed her for the show or for our movies, I had done what I could to keep her around, but I guess there's only so much a small frog can do at the end of the day. In the end my selfishness drove her away.
I had no right to ask her to come back. I didn't deserve to have her back. But she did come back, and when her lips touched mine for the first time in years, I finally realized that final, wonderful thing about her that I loved so much but was always too blind to see. It was her loyalty to me.
Yes. Miss Piggy may be a handful, but I could always count on her when I needed her most. When we walked out of the Muppet Theater that evening, I don't think I've ever felt so defeated in my entire life. But as we were leaving, Piggy had her hand rested on my back the entire time as we all walked down the aisle and past the silent audience members. It reminded me of how faithful and true she had always been to me. She stood by my side. She has always stood by my side.
From that alone, I knew that I could never let her go again.