Greetings, fellow TTA fan. Welcome to the fourth installment of
" A TIME TO EVERY PURPOSE UNTO HEAVEN " By Pepe K.
Please send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
The following story concerns the Toonsters freshman year of Acme Looniversity at college level. This story contains many references to music, some of which you may be familiar with. It contains and was inspired by the music of Danny Elfmans soundtrack of the film, "Edward Scissorhands". In order to enhance this experience, Ive made notations as to where each specific piece of music fits into the story. If its available to you, Id suggest getting the cassette tape, so that youll not only read the story, but hear it happen as well. Its listed as MCA ® mcac #10133 No, I dont make a living selling music for 20th Century Fox or MCA but Mr. Elfmans score is incredibly beautiful, IMHO and well worth it.
Id like to thank VmC, HKUriah, Thorne, Mike M., Michael Baladin and all the Toonsters ..and Danny Elfman
This story is dedicated to my Beloved Wife.
And now Part 4 of
|Art by Babs Bunny|
Buster and Babs sneaked peeks from where they sat at lunch, watching Hamton and Fifi playing footsie under another table.
"Whats with them ?", asked Buster, "Yesterday they fought and today theyre all over each other!"
"Isnt it obvious, Buster?" said Plucky from across the table.
"Theyre in love" sighed Babs dreamily.
"Well, like somethings different", said Shirley through a beak full of tofu, "Nyum they asked me not to read their minds fer a while."
They all looked at her.
"Like dont ask me!", she said haughtily, "I fer one, respect their privacy!"
"Well, they shouldnt be so private in public" mumbled Buster.
"Why not?" asked Babs in surprise.
Buster looked at his food and stuck a fork into it.
Babs eyes flared. "Whadya mean never mind?"
"Its none of my business" said Buster quietly.
Babs temper grew. "Well, Im making it mine! You think theres something wrong with them showing a little affection?!"
"You guys do it all the time" Plucky commented out of the side of his beak.
Buster played with his fork nervously, then said, "Okay... I think theyre too ...different."
"Cause theyre different species. See Shirl!" Plucky interrupted.
"Pl-ucky!" Shirley warned.
" No", said Buster, "Their...personalities are so...opposite..."
"Opposites attract, Blue Boy!" said Babs.
Buster continued, "Well...Hamtons so quiet and Fifis so "
" Lonely" said Shirley. They all looked at her again.
"Theyre both like that," she explained, "Actually, their minds are an awful lot alike they just have different ways of expressing themselves, er sum junk."
"I never thought Hamton was lonely" Babs said sadly.
"Why would he be lonely?" exclaimed Plucky, "Hes got me for a best friend !"
After a moment, Babs commented, "Point taken."
Plucky sat back angrily. "Ha Ha! Very funny! Youre falling back on your old gags!"
"Well, what about you, Mister racist! or species-ist! Or whatever!" Babs countered, "Whats wrong with an inter-species relationship?!"
Plucky launched into a Babs imitation, complete with ear bows. "Youre the one who told Melvin the Monster, "I make it my policy not to date outside my own species!"
"That was in the script!" , Babs exclaimed, "- I dont believe that!"
"Then how come you only date bunny boy over here?"
Babs was taken aback as they all stared at her. "Um...cuz... I love him?"
"Yeah, were engaged!" Buster said taking her paw in his.
"Yeah, well when Concorde Cupid messed up and Babs almost married Monty you said "Hes not even the same species!" Plucky retorted.
Buster gulped uneasily before saying, "Yeah....I did...".
Babs look of shock at Busters revelation didnt sit well with either of them.
"Plucky!!" Shirley said glowering.
"Shirley do you want me to lie about my feelings??" asked Plucky genuinely.
Shirley looked down and said "No."
"Mixed relationships are big trouble!" Plucky proclaimed.
"Since when did you know anything about relationships?!" asked Babs with a smirk.
Plucky burned up with anger in a Friz Frizzle before dumping his ashes over Babs and stalking away.
"Babs...that was like...Very " Shirley remarked, annoyed.
"Whats up with Plucky?" asked Buster.
"Hamton spends all his time with Fifi now " Shirley told them, "They were together the whole summer and Plucky feels left out."
"So thats why I had to play Jokemon for twelve weeks." commented Buster with a disgusted smirk.
"But I thought theyre roommates now?" said Babs.
"Hamton comes back to the dorm-room only to sleep", explained Shirley, "Plucky hardly ever sees him anymore."
"I guess theyre not the only ones to be lonely" said Buster.
Babs was confused, "But Shirl I thought that you and Plucky werent seeing each other?"
"We werent " the Loon said lowering her eyes.
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder... er sum junk", Shirley admitted, gathering her stuff for class, " Its like, time fer my Mentor Class." The bunnies were surprised.
"You mean youve finally got a mentor?"
"Yup the best." said Shirley smiling.
"But who fits into your uh particular um ...?" Babs fumbled. "Doctor Lord! Ive got alot of telepathy ta learn" Shirley said waving as she left.
Babs and Buster watched Hamton and Fifi leaving arm in arm.
"What happened with everyone over the summer?" asked Buster.
"A lot more than we figured" answered Babs, nonplused.
"YOUS CANT GET AWAY WI DIS! DONT YOU KNOW WHO YER TALKIN TO??" Bugs yelled into his office phone. "I DONT CARE IF ITS GOOD FOR MARKETING, YOU CHANGE IT RIGHT NOW OR HEADS WILL ROLL!!" Bugs slammed down the phone and turned to look sourly out his office window at the statues of himself and Daffy below.
"Is dis all woith it?!" he said aloud to himself, hanging his head. Frustration upon frustration ran through his head, till he shook them away, sitting at his desk. One thought remained...
He opened a bottom drawer and pulled a large envelope from under the very bottom of the stack of papers. The dusty old folder was yellowed with age and he glanced about to check if he was alone. Bugs winced a bit with guilt as he opened it to look at the faded photograph at her. It had been nearly fifty years ago hed last seen or heard of her. Now she was back. What could he do? Shed never been his. And yet...
He heard the door handle rattle and quickly replaced the picture in his desk.
"Bugsy?" A pretty, gray rabbit in a simple blue dress closed the door and crossed to him.
"Hi Honey" he said straightening up.
Honey Bunny leaned on Bugs desk and asked, "Are they going to do anything?"
Bugs was silent a moment before he had to tell her, "Nope".
"NO?!" she exclaimed, angrily turning away.
Bugs cautiously took hold of her shoulders.
|Art by Thorne|
"Look, itll be okay," he said as gently as he could.
"No it wont be okay! ", Honey snapped, "I cant walk out of our front door without being pounced on by those sleazy photographers and reporters asking me how I "feel" about losing you to Lola Bunny!!" Bugs winced and tried to comfort her.
"Im tryin ta get in touch wid Chuck, but hes always on da road."
Honey turned to him, her ears drooping. "Well, hed better do something about this and Soon! I cant take much more of this!"
Bugs looked earnestly at her. "Honey, weve been married fer twenty-nine years ! Lola knows it aint true I know it aint true and you know it aint true!"
She looked sullenly at the floor and said, "Some of our friends are giving me funny looks. I know what theyre thinking."
Bugs swelled and glowed red hot with anger. "WHOS DOIN DAT??!! WHO !"
Honey shushed him, "Stop that! Theyre not to blame its the new company executives! They came up with the idea of promoting you as being married to that bimbo!"
".Shes not a bimbo...just a kid," Bugs sighed, "We did one picture together and now dey link us, like dis! Whats dis woild comin to?"
Honey turned to hug him and they held each other.
Bugs kissed the top of her head between her ears.
"Ill take care care of it, Toots" he whispered.
She squeezed him and said " I know you will".
There was a shave & a haircut knock at the door and the couple separated as Buster and Babs came in.
Bugs put on his customary calm face. "Hey kids! Hows the engagement goin?" he asked.
"Great, Bugs" smiled Buster.
"No complaints here", remarked Babs, ruffling Busters ears with a sly grin.
"Um...Whatsa matter Mrs. Bunny?"
Honey tried to smile, but shook her head, "Nothing, Babs. Ive Ive gotta go."
She left hurriedly without a word.
Bugs sat behind his desk like nothing was wrong.
Buster sensed it. "Something the matter, Bugs?"
Bugs flashed his usual smile, "Naww, couldnt be better!" and busied himself with his papers.
Buster and Babs smirked dryly at each other for a moment at this, before Babs cleared her throat and asked, "So.... how come Ive got you for Mentor class this year?"
"Well, Bosko and Honey retired back ta New Yawk deyve started dere own Vaudeville The-ater! Da lucky stiffs!" Bugs said enviously. "So duh Loonivoisity needed a foist-class comedian ta take her place as your Mentor Soooo "
Bugs rose from behind the desk wearing a blue satin evening gown and opera gloves. Babs eyes became huge and she grinned maniacally sideways, but Buster didnt react at all.
"Wa-wa-wah?" Babs stammered as Bugs stuffed his ears under a long blonde wig. "Save dat for Extreme Takes 111, Babs dis is Vaudeville 101! Now dat yer technically adults, I can teach ya all my Burlesque gags. ...Whatssamatta? I can teach ya anyting a woman can!"
Buster walked calmly over to Bugs closet. "Yeah, lighten up, Babsy. Its not like we havent seen this before."
Babs shrugged and did a spin-change into Jackie Gleason.
"And Away We Go!" she exclaimed like "The Great One."
"Dats the spirit, Kids!" said Bugs lounging on the desk. He then put on his most seductive feminine voice and said to Buster, "Hi yall, Sugar! Fetch me mah slippers?"
Buster opened the closet a split second and returned with a pair of high-heels and a corset and said, "Say, has something been buggin you, Bugs?"
"Why, a-course not, honey" simpered Bugs, as he put on the spiked heeled pumps.
Babs leaped up on the desk, pointing at Bugs.
"Alice! Youve been acting pret-ty strange lately!"
Bugs batted his false eyelashes at them.
"Not lil ol me!", he said in his falsetto voice.
Buster opened the corset and wrapped it around himself. "Aw Cmon! Youve been acting funny ever since you introduced Dr. Lord."
Bugs tensed, but kept up his impersonation and coolly said, "Nothins botherin me, Sonny."
"Norton?! You are a mental case!", accused Babs in her smug Gleason-voice, "Youve been actin downright surly ever since he showed up!"
Bugs maintained his composure while putting on his lipstick. "Ah ha no roblem wi ord".
Buster snapped the corset around his middle. "Babsy? Could you be a deah and help me with this?" he asked, adopting his "Sugar-Dumplin " character.
Babs spun back to herself and stood behind Buster, snugging in his corset laces.
Bugs stood up on his high heels with nary a wobble. "Honestly, ah dont know why youd think such a thing" he said in his high ditzy voice.
"Then whyd you walk off the stage?" asked Babs.
Bugs sauntered over to his full length mirror. "Ah had a splitting headache!" he cried in false feminine anguish.
"Oh", said Busters syrupy voice, "It looked like yall didnt lahk him." Babs suddenly tugged hard and the corset squeezed Buster to an hourglass shape. Buster eeped as his eyes bugged out and he took on a girlish figure. Babs tightened the corset , bracing it with her big bunny foot.
"You is a wicked, wicked girl, Miss Scarlet!" she said tying it tightly.
As Buster began to look at his new form, Bugs continued to dismiss things. "Ah have nuthin at all against the big skunk uh the Professor." Buster and Babs looked at each other as Bugs straightened himself in the mirror.
"Ah just didnt agree with his deserting Warner Brothers to go to MGM."
"...Ohhh-" said Babs and Buster looking at each other knowingly.
Bugs tone changed and they watched him grow angry in the mirror. "He took one of our best directors with him and " Bugs suddenly noticed them staring at him in him in the mirror. He turned angrily and dropped character. "WHATSA MATTER!?", he said, then quickly turned away to hide behind his feminine voice again, "Havent yall seen a Lady before?"
Buster and Babs looked at each other with raised eyebrows. "Riiight" they said in unison.
Buster looked at himself. "Ah need some stockins doncha think, luv?"
Babs giggled at his new look and said, "Ill get em".
As Bugs and Buster yelled "NOOOOOO!!", Babs opened the closet.
WHOOSH! FLUMP! CRASH!
Tons of costumes, dresses, shoes, hats and lingerie collapsed out of it and flooded the room, burying the three rabbits. Bugs struggled out from under a pile of high-heeled shoes that wouldve made Emelda Marcos jealous.
Buster appeared from through some vinyl mini-skirts and said "Ooo! PVC!"
A huge pile of underwear moaned and moved as Babs clawed her way out of it with various straps and filmy things stuck on her head.
She pulled a bustier out of her mouth and said, " Gee Bugs! I might think you took this seriously!"
Bugs and Buster froze, slowly looked at each other and Buster grinned sheepishly as he hid under the flood of costumes. Bugs straightened up himself up and began the lecture in his own voice. "Ahem! Now when youre bein chased by some chowdah-headed villain, how ya gonna get rid of em and make it funny?" Babs blurted out possible answers.
"Mallets? Dynamite? Anvils?! Cream pies?! Boulders?! Make em listen to a meeting of Congress?!?"
Buster coolly waved her down. "Nononononono, Babsy-boo!", he giggled as "Sugar-Dumplin" again, "Thats been done tuh death!"Yall gotta use psychology..."
He rose wearing a floofy ladys hat and carrying a feather boa and turned like a fashion model for Babs to see.
"Poifect, kiddo!", exclaimed Bugs, adjusting his own veiled hat, "And ta help wid todays lecture is a grand old partner a mine "
Bugs looked at his office clock as very heavy footsteps were heard approaching. The floor resounded as a monstrous figure appeared at the door.
"An he should be here right about now".
A huge shape squeezed through the doorway and filled half the room.
"Right on cue!" smiled Bugs.
Buster and Babs looked up in terror at the huge hairy body and glaring, angry eyes of the monstrous bulk and Babs cringed behind her fiancé. It was Gossamer!
"Hallooo, my little friends!" said the furry orange monster in a melodious, gentle British accent, " So good of you to invite me round, dear chap! Havent seen you for ages!"
Gossamer delicately squeezed his huge frame into a chair, which bent under him, and cheerfully chatted away about the latest news from the London stage.
Buster and Babs were astonished at his affable eloquence. Gossamer kept talking nonstop for twenty minutes till Busters ears were drooping. Buster stifled a yawn and tugged at his corset, but Babs was enraptured.
"I could listen to your voice all day," she grinned with idolatry.
"Why, thaaaaank you, my dear child!", the huge thespian crooned, "But were here to demonstrate some acting for you, arent we?"
He sat back and pulled a pipe from his waistcoat pocket and lit it with the precision of a watchmaker. "Now then, I shall be undertaking the role of "the Monster" and you the victims. Now, ordinarily, the Monster is played as an unthinking beast but I always prefer to think of him as being primarily a sympathetic role".
Buster noticed that Bugs was just as fascinated as Babs and he rolled his eyes heavenward. College was proving to be so exciting.
Gossamer droned on and on and on...
Hamton paused in the hallway of the professors offices.
"Whatz ze matter, Hammy?" asked Fifi, noticing his serious expression.
"...Two different doors ... and opposite" he said looking at Pepe Le Pews and Porky Pigs office doors.
She knew what he meant and squeezed his hand.
"Dont worry, mon conniechon, perhapz our mentors can help us". Hamton knocked on Porkys door and was admitted. Fifi heard a low conversation, which stopped as she knocked on Pepes door.
"Entrée, si vous plais!" came Pepes cheery voice. Inside, Fifi found the worlds two most handsome skunks rising to greet her.
"Bonjour Petite!" said Pepe and Dr. Lord in unison.
Fifis heart fluttered, as did her eyelashes. She caught herself swooning and managed to say "Bonjour, mon professeurs."
"Enchanteé" they both said again and laughed at the coincidence.
Fifi fell simpering into a Louis XIV chair as Lord took his leave. "Ill see you both later" he said fondly.
"Bon chance , mon ami!" called Pepe as the door closed.
"What waz Pav- ah mean Dr. Lord doing ere?" Fifi asked.
"Oddly enough, ee was asking about vous, Cherie", said Pepe with his usual charming smile, "Ee was inquiring about your records du academique."
"About moi?" Fifi wondered aloud.
Pepe sat again behind his ornamental antique desk and waited, smiling as he regarded his favorite student.
"You are distracted, no?", the suave skunk said, "How ave you been, Petite? Ah ave not seen you since we returned from France."
"Oh,.. ah am bettair..." she said absently.
Pepes eyes narrowed. "Fifi...ah know you much better zan that! Are theengz not going well weeth Hamtone?"
"Mais, non!" she said leaping up and crossing to him. "Theengz are wonderful! We even talked about ! "
"Non!?! Pepe exclaimed in disbelief.
"Oui, Pepe!..We talked about getting married!!" She took both his paws and bounced joyfully.
"Oh, Cherie!", Pepe beamed, "Your dreams are coming true at long last!"
Fifi smiled, but then lowered her head and sniffled. "Ah hope so..."
"Oh what eez eet, Petite?" Pepe asked with concern as they sat on the chaise lounge. Fifi sniffed her sadness back in and asked in earnest, "Eez eet right for Hammy et moi to want to be together? "
"Ov course eet eez, Cherie! " said Pepe, comforting her. "You ave come to zee right personne! Ah know all about inter-species relationsheeps! You know zat some people still theenk ah cant tell ze difference between a femme skonk and a femme cat??"
"But zats pretty close, while Hammy et moi are "
Pepe sat back and spoke gently,
"When you are een love deefferences do not matter. Eef eet eez true love zen you will even enjoy zee deefferences you balance each other evenly and zat makes for a tres lasting relation-sheep. "
Fifi nodded, her lavender forelock drooping.
"But zome people theenk "
Pepes tone was serious now. "Fifi, when you geeve your heart to your love only, no one else matters, do zey not? Remember what ze Bard said "
"Love looks not weeth zee eyes but weeth ze mind, and zerefore eez wingd Cupid painted blind", they both said in unison.
Fifi nodded again, but her look of concern remained.
Pepe put an arm around her shoulder and spoke genuinely. "Ah know eetz just werdz and we are talking about your life. Penelope et moi are not zee only ones lahk you."
"Non?", asked Fifi, "Ah dont theenk zere are others az deefferant az Hammy et moi."
Pepes broad smile returned. "Youd be surprise-ed, Petite!
Zere are zome well- known teams du comedie! Such as- ".
|Art by Tarel Wayne.|
"Rocky and Bullwinkle!?!" exclaimed Hamton incredulously.
"Ye-ya-ye-uh, of course!" said Porky, leaning on his desk.
"Rockys real name is Jewel" , said Petunia bustling about, straightening the office.
"But Rocky is a boy squirrel!!" exclaimed Hamton.
"Nope", said Petunia smiling, "Just a very good actress."
"J-Jay Ward knew a g-g-good team when he saw it and kept it a secret for a l-long time" explained Porky.
"Times being what they were, no one wanted to believe it", said Petunia, "Now that theyre semi-retired, they dont hide it much, but people still dont want to believe it".
Hamton leaned his chin in his hands disconcertedly. "Then why should people believe it about Fifi and me?"
Porky sat back in his armchair. "Fans g-g-get funny ideas about actors", he said, "They think w-were really the way we are in cartoons. Why, some people think that Im "
"Dear, lets concentrate on Hamtons problem" said Petunia gently to her husband.
Porky sighed out a breath of frustration and smiled again. "Thanks, Pet" he said before turning back to Hamton. "N-n-now in our day, the studio wouldnt have allowed it, but you kids have already s-showed your romance on screen."
"Thats right ", said Petunia, "There may be some doubters, but they cant deny your relationship".
Hamton felt a bit better and relaxed, slumping in his chair. "...I just wish I didnt feel so..."
"Worried!" Porky and Petunia anticipated together.
Hamton smiled and the three pigs chuckled.
"G-g-gosh! ", exclaimed Porky, "I just remembered! The b-b-best example is "
"Doctair Lord?!!" exclaimed Fifi in disbelief.
"Ah yes", said Pepe, " Ee was ze first to go publeek about eet."
Fifi scowled slightly and leaned back on the chaise lounge. "Who was she?"
Pepe noted her reaction, but continued. "Red? She eez only zee most desirable, lady female, human toon extraordinaire!"
"Zee human toon?", said Fifi, surprised, "Zat eez deefrant !"
"Ah yes", said Pepe again, "But zat deed not keep her from being coveted by all zee toons de male."
Fifi smirked at the old rouee, "You went after her ?!", and then wondered why shed bothered to ask.
"But ov course, Petite!" he said with his eyebrows wiggling, "But she and Lord were destined to be togezzer. True love eez zee strongest force on Earth. Notheeng can break eet eet lives on forever."
Pepe walked about reminiscing. "Ah remembair he built zat big house for her weeth heez own hands."
Pepe lost his smile and sat down again. "Zey were so happy togezzer..."
Fifi noticed the change in his tone.
Pepe sighed. "We were all terribly confused when zey disappeared."
Fifi sat up. "Disappeared?"
She had seen Pepe look serious before, but never so puzzled. "No one heard from zem..." , he sighed, " Zee eenside ov zee house she was a wreck! Theengs were gone and zere was no trace ov either ov zem eet was a mystery. For many years, we wondered, but heard nothing. A few years ago, zere were rumors zat zey were werking weeth Hanna-Barbera on ze Tom & Jerry Kids Show but eet was not true. HB had brought een doubles for zem. Zat ...eez when ah thought zey must really be gone."
Pepe shook his head. "So when ah met Lord at your Mamas funeral Ah could not believe eet."
"Hamtone said he saw heem zere!", exclaimed Fifi, "What deed ee tell vous??"
Pepe shrugged and said, "...Ee said...zey were fine".
"And_zat_eez_all?" she asked.
Pepe looked at her with an odd expression. "You must understand, Cherie...Lord eez a very private Toon. Ee az nevair spoken ov his past or his private life. And ah would not presume upon his dignity to ask such theengz."
Fifi sat, thoroughly puzzled for a moment, before quietly asking, "How old eez he?"
"Ah...do not know..." Pepe said uncertainly. He paused and then brightened. "But we will see zem both tonight, yais?"
He stood and looked at his watch. "Are vous going to ze race?"
Fifi rose and smiled. "Oui, Hammy wants to see eet."
Pepe took her paw. "Do you feel bettair now, Petite?"
"Oui, vous are always so kind." They smiled fondly at each other. "Vous ave alwayz been lahk a second father to moi" she said tenderly.
Pepe and Fifi hugged one another and she turned for the door. "Dance weeth moi tonight?" beamed Pepe, turning on the charm.
Fifi turned and (falling right into their usual games) batted her eyes at him. "Perhapz ah can...pencil vous een", she responded coyly smirking, "Youll ave to ask Hamtone!"
Fifi and Pepe laughed at their fun and both assumed the same smile.
"Flirt!" they both said leering and Fifi waved as she exited, laughing.
Fifi found Hamton waiting for her. Petunia stood smiling at the couple as Porky locked up their office. Pepe hummed jauntily as he tied on a cravat and joined them. The three Looney Tunes watched the young couple walking out hand in hand.
Fifis tail curled around Hamtons shoulders as they left the building.
Pepe and the Pigs followed at a distance.
They smiled knowingly at each other and shook hands.
"Theyre not such Tiny Toons, anymore" sighed Petunia.
At the front steps, the whole Looniversity had gathered to go to the race.
High overhead, Concorde Condor swooped down to land. "Yup, yup, yup! Gonna do it this time!" As usual, his calculations were off.
"DE PLANE!! DE PLANE!!" shouted Speedy Gonzales as the purple gooney bird crashed into the crowd mowing them down in rows. Arnold sat up with Concordes feet sticking out of his mouth and his head taking on the shape of Concordes body.
"Duh, who turned out the lights?"said the condors muffled voice.
Arnold growled, pulled him out with a loud POP and glared eye to eye with the beaky bumpkin. "Hiya Arnie", grinned Concorde, "Yah got a cavity in that back molar."
Arnold and the rest of the crowd sneered angrily at him. "Vatch it, Schtupid birdy! Or I make you an In-Flight Meal!" Arnold straightened Concordes wings and flung him away like a toy glider.
Concorde went into a fast loop and smacked into the Looniversity tower. "Didnt see that one comin. Nope, nope, nope." moaned Concorde, as he slid down the face of the building.
"Nice throw, Arnold!" said Fifi in French.
Arnold grinned at her and flexed his arms. "Thank you, Miss Fifi. I am really ripped, arent I?" he said to her in German.
Arnold turned to Hamton. "Hey, Girly Peeg!"
"Hey, Girly Dog!" Hamton said with a smile as he offered Arnold a high-five. As Arnold tried to return the hand slap, Hamton pulled away, making the dog miss.
"Ha! Too slow!" grinned Hamton and the trio laughed.
Arnold offered a low-five and Hamton and Fifi accepted it as comrades.
As Arnold and Fifi began to chatter away in their native tongues, Buster took Hamton aside.
"Hey, whats goin on?" he asked.
"Huh?" said Hamton, confused.
"You guys friends with Arnold?"
Hamton looked nonplused. "Unh-huh...Why not, Buster?"
Buster blushed sheepishly as Babs looked annoyed.
"Buster was just wondering how you got to be friends" she said.
Hamtons smile returned. "Well, Arnold and Professor Le Pew went with us to Europe a few months ago. They were going home for the summer and we were there for...", Hamton paused and looked serious again, " ..Fifis Mothers funeral..." He sighed and Babs touched his arm.
"...We know." she said gently.
Hamton shrugged and brightened. "We had some fun times visiting in London and everywhere. Arnolds okay, once you get past the excessive testosterone".
Buster looked askance and said "I didnt know Fifi spoke German."
Babs smirked at him sideways, "Theyre both Europeans, Mister Alert!"
"Oh yeah", said Hamton proudly," She even speaks Swedish a bit! Arnold speaks French, Dutch and Polish too. Fifi says its great to be able to talk to someone without an accent."
As the crowd swelled, Plucky appeared laden with souvenirs to sell. "Cmon Hammy! You can sell snacks and souvenirs, while I ballyhoo the eager racing fans!"
Hamtons eyes lit up. "Ooo, Salted peanuts!"
Fifi saw this and and joined the group with Arnold. Hamton was about to cram a handful into his mouth, when he saw the look of concern on her face.
"Nonono Salt. " said Fifi.
Hamton looked disappointedly at the peanuts a moment, then shrugged and gave them back to Plucky. "Shes right, Plucky, its not on my diet."
Plucky glowered as Hamton smiled and put an arm around Fifi.
"Well, come on and sell these "Race of The Millennium" souvenirs! Ill even pay ya!"
Buster glanced at Pluckys merchandise and sourly commented, "Plucky these are millennium gadgets with the words "Race_of_The" written in in crayon on them!"
"Its colored pencil thats how much you know! Aw Cmon! Help me sell em and well make a mint!", Plucky implored, "Besides, I gotta get rid of em someways."
"You cut me in, an ahll sell dem" said Arnold.
The Pluckster sensed a pigeon and said slyly, "Hmm... ya got any experience? "
Arnold picked up Plucky by his scrawny neck. "Hear my werds and smell my doggy-breath I verk der crowdz at every Looniversity game, schmartie und if you verk vith me you call me Mister Hundtzenegger! Got it?!"
"Jawol , mein Herr!" Plucky squeaked through Arnolds clenched fingers.
Hamton gently pulled on Arnolds arm and lowered Plucky to the ground. Plucky and the bunnies were amazed at his strength, as Hamton smiled and said, "Easy, Buddy hes my friend too!"
Arnold released the duck, and said haughtily, "You could verk on dos vwimpy muscles, duckling but youll never be as strong az Hamton is."
"Whoa, Hamton!",exclaimed Buster, "Whend you get to be so buffed?!"
"Ee alwayz was" said Fifi sweetly smiling.
Babs was wide-eyed, but Buster began snickering at Arnold. "Hundtzenegger?!" he smirked.
Arnold raised his sunglasses to stare at Buster. "You tink my real name iz funny?"
"Oh noooo!" Buster said still cracking up.
"Humph!" said Arnold, crossing his large arms, "At least I dont use a stage name!"
Now it was Busters turn to be indignant. "Whatdaya mean stage name?!"
"Oh, Come on!", remarked Arnold, " Dont try to tell me dat every rabbits last name iz really Bunny!"
Buster froze with his mouth hanging open till Babs shut it for him.
"Eez got you zere, Bustair!" Fifi giggled.
Babs looked nonplused and said in a British accent "Its a fair cop".
Arnold took the souvenirs and began hawking them amongst the crowd.
When Plucky could speak normally again, he began his ballyhoo. "Step right up,Folks! This way to "The Race of The Millennium!" Have your tickets ready!"
Hamton tugged at his elbow and whispered,
"But Plucky, how are you going to get all these people to Bonneville Salt Flats? You dont have a jumbo jet or-"
Plucky clamped a wing over Hamtons snout and whispered back, "Dont worry! I pulled a few strings with the head office!"
The crowd looked impatient as Pluckys cell phone rang.
"Yeeeeeeeees?"he said confidently answering it.
Hamton watched curiously as Plucky s eyes widened and he gulped at the voice he heard in his ear.
"...Yes sir..yes Sir..ya got the information I sent ya? Great! ...Oh yes, Im certain its him..I hope ya nail him, Sir!"
Hamton looked suspiciously at him as Plucky continued conspiratorially. "Well, just being a civic-minded citizen, Sir!"
Hamton stepped back and wiped his face with a handkerchief.
"Now, how about that little favor, Sir?", the Pluckster continued, "...THANK YOU, SIR!!...Its ready now? Okay!
Thanks...I hope you catch that dirty, rotten guy!...Goodbye Mr. Ruegger."
Plucky hung up as Hamtons jaw dropped in amazement. The duck smiled with satisfaction to himself, slicked himself up and turned to bump into Hamton and Fifis awed looks. He stared at them a moment and his grin lost its zeal. He quickly sidestepped around Fifi and walked to a waiting ticket booth.
"Hey! We avent got all day! " yelled Wakko Warner.
"Me neither. " said the toony ticket booth.
"Have your tickets ready, Folks! Our door of opportunity is about to open!" said Plucky smirking confidently. Everyone looked around impatiently.
"Come on, Plucky", yelled Buster,"Whatre you tryin ta pull?!"
"Watch and Learn, Rabbit!" the green one said with pride. A large loop of rope flashed into existence and Plucky grabbed ahold and began to haul in one side.
"Here we are Folks! Courtesy of the One-And-Only (Dramatic Pause) PLUCKY DUCK!!"
As he pulled in the rope, the heavens opened like a theatrical curtain the background folded and pulled aside to reveal a blazing desertscape through the arch of the proscenium, a gateway straight to the hot, sandy, salt flats of Bonneville!
Even Buster was taken aback.
"How Spielburgian!" he commented.
Plucky was quickly buried in a pile of tickets and dollar bills, as all the toons stampeded past him and into the white heat of the desert before them.
"WooHoo!" shouted the Pluckster, as he swam and dove in the money, "Ah, the luscious luster of lovely lucre!"
Babs crossed her eyes in disgust and made the "Gag me" gesture at him.
"Unlucky lapin loses lunch" , Fifi giggled as they walked through the opening and into the shining light beyond.
The hot barren landscape was flat, flatter, flattest. Except for some huge bleachers and a giant video screen before them there was nothing but sun-baked sand and rock. The burning sun beat down on Hamtons pink forehead and he wiped his sweating brow. He stood with Fifi, Pepe, Porky and Petunia, as they surveyed the scene. A ways away, there was a group of trailers and vehicles and what appeared to be men swarming over some equipment.
As the multitude of toons took seats in the stacked bleachers, Fifi and Pepe raised their tails over their heads to shade themselves from the suns rays.
Fifi giggled,"Whatz black and white and red all ovair?"
"A sunburned skonk" said Pepe, smiling as he put on some sunglasses.
"T-t-t- uh see how it feels without fur!" commented Porky, as he began applying sunscreen to Petunias shoulders.
Hamton smiled and rummaged in his pockets, producing parasols for them all.
"Mah loyal Pig Scout eez alwayz prepared!" said Fifi hugging him.
They opened the colorful parasols and thanked him.
At the starting line, Foghorn Leghorn tried to start his television broadcast. Miss Prissy struggled under the weight of the huge video camera and tried valiantly to focus up at the roosters blabbing beak. The huge video screen flashed to life before the crowds eyes, the image jiggling crazily.
"Cmon gal!" , Foggy said, his face looking ridiculously bulbous on the screen, "Stay in focus! Ah look like an elephant in a goldfish bowl! Am ah on??"
Prissy turned the camera right side up, finally, and fumbled with the million and two buttons on the side. Foggys image split into five then fifty tiny faces. Plucky raced up to the camera crew.
"Hey! I said I wanted a professional presentation! Get it together!!"
As the two fowl began an obnoxious argument and Prissy staggered in panic to keep from dropping the camera a streamlined white racing car drove up and stopped nearby. A tall young man jumped from its cockpit and trotted over to catch Miss Prissy and the video camera, just as they fell.
"There you are, Maam" the helmeted youth said with a smile, as he took the camera and helped the skinny hen to stand up. "You need a tripod to hold that up", the handsome man said kindly, "Do you have one?"
Prissy pointed an elongated finger at the equipment boxes nearby and said "Yea us!"
As he easily retrieved a tripod and unfolded it, Foghorn delivered his final rejoinder.
"When Ah was a AH SAY! When Ah Was a Youngun AH WALKED TA SCHOOL! BAREFOOT! IN FIVE FEET A SNOW!! UPHILL! BOTH WAYS!! Uh-"
Foggy froze and stared as the young man removed his helmet.
"Why, Jubilation T. Cornpone!! ITS SPEED RACER!!" Speeds perfect smile glinted in the sunshine. Foghorn and Plucky dashed over in surprise.
"Howdy, Mistah Racer! Yall here for the big event?" asked the rooster, slapping him on the back.
"Oh, Hi!", said Speed, "No, Im not racing today."
"Whoa!" exclaimed Plucky, "Youre Speed Racer? ...Yah dont look so fast ta me."
"Whatsamatta with you, Boy!?", Foghorn admonished Plucky, Your peepers AH SAY! Your Peepers not workin?! This is Mistah Speed Racer! The winninest race car driver in all the world!!" The big blabber-beak turned aside to Speed and Miss Prissy and spoke out of the side of his mouth.
"Nice Boy but about as sharp as a bowlin ball."
Speed blushed, rubbed the back of his head and spoke quickly. "Gosh thanks, Mister Leghorn! And this is the world-famous Mach 5 a specially designed racing car, designed and built by my father, Pops Racer. Ive won nearly all of my races in it and its helped me to get out of a lot of tight spots!"
Plucky thought to seize an opportunity. "Uh..since youre not racing, Sir you could be our racing official today!"
"Hmm!", said Speed thinking, "I dont know if I could. That might be a conflict of interest, seeing as how Im here working with one of your contestants."
"Aw , its just a race", explained the Pluskster with a grin, "All ya hafta do is make sure no one cheats."
Foggy eyed the duck warily.
"Okay, Ill make sure the race is fair and that no one has an advantage over anyone else, because clean sportsmanship is my way of life and I believe everyone should be treated equally and fairly, dont you?" said Speed speedily.
Foggys eyes shifted. "Uh....yeah."
"Excuse me, but may I borrow your microphone?" asked Speed.
The big fowl handed it to him and asked "Whut are you here for, then Mistah Racer?"
Speed set himself up before the camera with the mike.
"Oh speed trials" he said over his shoulder.
He smiled at Miss Prissy and brushed back a forelock of his black hair, as she focused on him. His face appeared onscreen and he announced
" Hi, Im Speed Racer and Ill be judging the contestants in todays race."
Most of the female toons watching howled like wolves and swooned into the stands. Speed took a card from his pocket and read the names there.
"Could the following toons please report to me immediately down here: Wakko Warner, Fifi La Fume..and uh..Hamton Pig?" Speed relaxed, till he noticed that Prissy still had the camera focused on him.
"Uh...heh, heh...thats all folks" he said sheepishly blushing.
Foghorn switched off the camera and found Prissy still staring spellbound at Speed with hearts in her eyes. Prissy giggled and coyly hid behind her blue bonnet. Foggy took her hand and lead her away, as she waved frantically at Speed.
"Thaank you, young man! Ill see you later!" she called in her shrill voice.
Foghorn dragged her away, saying, "Its bad enough yall makin sheeps eyes at im but do ya hafta bleat like one too?!"
"Gee! " remarked Speed," its lucky Trixie isnt here shed get steamed!"
A pink and purple streak charged through the crowd towards Speed.
Plucky dove under the Mach 5 to escape and Speed said
"OH!" and shielded his face.
The streak stopped in a cloud of dust when it cleared, Hamton stood there with Fifi, gazing in awe at Speed. The pigs eyes were glazed over and and his mouth hung open as he stood frozen in idolatry. Pausing to look at Hamtons goggly face, Fifi introduced them.
"Je suis Fifi la Fume and ..zees eez mah boyfriend, Hamtone Peeg."
"How do you do?" said Speed, politely trying to get a reaction from Hamton. "I was asked to bring you over to Mission Control".
Plucky waved a wing before Hamtons vacuous stare and yanked on his curly tail. Hamtons mouth closed, but his crazed expression remained.
"Is he okay?" asked Speed.
"Sure!" remarked Plucky, "Just an overdose of hero worship." He elbowed Hamton, but got no reaction. "Cmon, Ham-brain youre startin to remind me of Dizzy!"
Plucky sniffed the air and made a face.
"Youre even startin ta smell like Dizzy!" He suddenly felt hot stinky breath on the back of his neck and turned in time to gasp as Dizzy gobbled him up! The purple Tasmanian Devil spun away in a whirlwind and Speed asked, "Doesnt that hurt?!"
"Only Plucky" Fifi said flatly.
Far away, they heard Dizzy pthooey out the green mallard, who yelled, "THATS IT! CALL MY LAWYER!"
Fifi smiled and said "Zis alwayz werks".
As Speed looked on, she wrapped herself around Hamton and kissed him.
Hamtons eyes rolled back and he relaxed, sniffing up her scent.
The skunkette released him and the dazed pig stood weaving unsteadily.
Fifi stepped close to Speed and cautioned, "Stand back!"
As they watched, Hamton blushed and his goofy expression became blissful. He turned red and suddenly leaped into the air!
"WHOOPEE!!" he shouted and his body stiffened like a board, before floating gently down, like a falling leaf. At once, he zipped over to embrace his girlfriend, then sheepishly looked up at Speed, as if seeing him for the first time. The next second, he was nearly shaking Speeds hand off. "WOW! Its great to meet you, Mister Racer! Youre my Hero!"
Speed returned Hamtons smile and said, "Gee, thanks! ...Hey, now I recognize you! Youre that couple from Tiny Toons!"
Hamton and Fifi looked at each other and smiled.
"I guess I didnt recognize your voices" said Speed.
"But weve alwayz talked lahk zees" exclaimed Fifi in surprise. "Well, Im on the road alot in many different countries for all the international races", Speed told them as he put on his white helmet with a red M on it, "Ive heard your show dubbed in Japanese, Spanish, Polish, Brazilian, German, Portuguese and even Russian!"
"Mon voice Dubbed?!?", exclaimed Fifi," ...How do zey write mah name een Russia?"
Speed balked and blushed,
" Well..uh..youre still known as Fifi La Fume..or Fifi La Femme...but uh "
Fifi insisted. "How_do_zey_spell_mah_name??"
Speed shifted his feet uncomfortably and hesitated.
"Um..Gee .. well, the cyrillic alphabet is uh..well, different and.. the Ps are kinda... double..they uh well handwritten its .."
Fifi tapped her foot impatiently.
Speed gave in and said, " Its spelled sorta like..P-U-P-U."
|Text provided by Dr. Sanity|
Hamton smirked a tiny bit, as Fifi gaped at Speed in disbelief.
"...Pooh-Pooh?!? " she said in a shocked little voice. "...ah dont know eef ah lahk zat!" Fifi pouted.
"Well, my show is really called Mahah Go-Go " said Speed, trying to make her feel better.
"Thats Japanese" stated Hamton.
"Mahah Go-Go?" asked Fifi.
"Yeeeeeeeeeeees!" said Gogo Dodo popping up, dressed as an Indian yogi. "I yam de Maharishi Gogo! " he said in an East Indian accent. "Now, Young Believer! Allow me to make you One with Everything!"
|Art by Pepe K. Color by Thorne|
In a flash, hed made Speed a hotdog with ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, chili, coconut and anchovies. Speed stood flabbergasted, looking at the hotdog in his hand a moment, before quickly saying to Gogo,
"Youre the strangest toon Ive ever met and I think youre wacky!!"
The Dodo leaped up to kiss Speed and screamed like a teenage girl. "OOH-HO-HO!! THANK YOU!!!"
As Speed spat the kiss off, Fifi asked, "Gogo? Vat are vous doing ?"
"Bad jokes and sight gags, what else?" remarked Gogo, forming himself into a giant eyeball and rolling away.
As Speed stood in amazement, Hamton pointed to the hotdog. "You gonna eat that?"
Speed absently handed it to him.
"Eeewww! Chovies! Yuck!" said Hamton in disgust .
"Humph!" said the Anchovies and swam off through the air after Gogo.
As Hamton ate the hotdog, Speed shook his head and thought aloud to himself, "And I thought anime was strange!"
Suddenly they all jumped, as the Mach 5s horn blew!
Wakko sat at the wheel, honking the horn and bouncing in the drivers seat. "Hey! Can I drive?" he said happily.
"DONT TOUCH ANY BUTTONS!!" yelled Speed.
"Like this one?" asked Wakko, hitting a button marked A on the red steering wheel.
The Mach 5 jumped into the air as its hydraulic jacks sprung out underneath. Hamton quickly pulled Fifi behind himself to protect her, as Speed leaped into the car to stop it. As the Mach 5 landed back on its tires, Speed picked up Wakko by the tail.
"Youre a very naughty monkey! You should know better than to play in someone elses car!"
"But Im not a monkey!" cried Wakko, dangling from Speeds hand.
"You resemble one!" commented Speed.
"Im Wakko..." cooed the Warner kid, cuddling up to Speed.
"Ill say you are!" exclaimed Speed, holding him at arms length.
Wakko struggled and said, "But Im the kid you called!"
Speed carried Wakko around to the rear of the car like a dirty diaper. "Well, in this car naughty kids and monkeys ride in the trunk!"
He opened the small trunk lid and dropped Wakko inside.
Wakko cried streams of tears, bawling with a huge mouth, "WAAAH! I Dont Want To Go In The Trunk!! WAAAHH!!"
"Then Ill give you some candy!" Speed said tossing him a bag of jellybeans.
Wakko happily dove after the candy and Speed closed the trunk. "Hes just as bad as Spridle!" he thought aloud.
"Lets go!" Speed called, taking a running jump into the drivers seat.
Hamton watched in awe.
"Watch me, Fifi!" he said as he copied Speeds leap into the car. He vaulted over the side and into the passengers seat headfirst!
Fifi and Speed watched the pigs feet waggle in the air.
"I made it!" Hamton exclaimed, upside down with his head on the floorboards.
Fifi shook her head and smirked a little, as she deliberately opened the door and got in.
"Are tu alright, Hammy? Zee doorz do open." As she helped him turn right side up, Speed brought the Mach 5 to life, with its powerful roaring revv. Speed drove the dynamic white car past the stands and the crowd cheered and waved.
Hamton couldnt contain himself.
"WOW! Im really riding in the Mach 5 with Speed Racer!!" he crowed with excitement, looking at the famous lettered buttons on the red steering wheel.
Speed blushed, "Gee, thats very nice of you to say!"
"Where are we going?" asked Fifi.
Speed turned the corner and headed for the trailers. "The head of the team wants to talk with you".
"What team?" she asked.
"Craig Breedloves High Speed Group" answered their driver.
Hamton grew more excited. "You mean the guy who sets the land speed records in jet-powered cars?!"
"Thats the man." Speed told them, "He was one of the ones who broke the Sound Barrier a couple of years ago and now hes trying something different."
"What does ee want weeth us?" Fifi wondered.
From the trunk they heard Wakkos voice happily singing.
"Are we there yet? Im tired, Im hungry, how far?...".
Look for the next Chapters of
"A TIME TO EVERY PURPOSE UNTO HEAVEN"
coming to you soon.
Next time "THE RACE OF THE MILLENNIUM!"