Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Time-consuming (02/24/11)
TITLE: Consumption with Gumption
By Beth Muehlhausen
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“Oooooo, a BEEEE-UTIFUL day to relax by this BEEEE-UTIFUL tree and enjoy the BEEEE-UTIFUL out-of-doors.” Her blonde curls trembled with each adjectival outburst. “Nothing to interrupt my time with Mother Nature, the Great Mother Superior.” As she reclined against the tree to nap, her eyelids drooped and piggish nose sagged.
Butterflies fluttered. Birds chirped. The sun smiled. Miss Piggy sighed. Euphoria.
Suddenly a barely audible buzz hum-hummed in the distance. “Hmmmm, hmmmm, de-de-dummmm, hummmm … de-dum-de-de-dummmm, hummmm.”
Expecting to shoo an insect along on its journey through the pseudo-meadow, Miss Piggy opened one eye. Upon seeing no such thing, she jolted upright.
“What IS that annoyance?” she exclaimed with saucy indignation as the sound grew louder. “Someone, or something, is coming closer. On my day. At my place. During my retreat. How dare they!”
She tipped her head this way and that, then piggy-hopped to the other side of the stage and peered deeply into the tall grasses. “OHHH!” Jumping back in alarm, she turned and muttered to the audience in a loud whisper: “IT IS FROGGY.”
A gangly green form clumsily struggled through the grasses, fighting off the blades. “Get off … insulting plants … out of my way …”
Miss Piggy snickered and then tossed her head back and shrieked with laughter at the sky. “Teee-hee-oooo-heee-eee!”
As he emerged from the grassy patch, Kermit wiped a green hitch-hiker from his face. With gentlemanly poise he exclaimed, “Why, Piggy! What a delightful surprise, to find YOU here!”
Miss Piggy’s laughter faded as she planted her hands on her hips. “Oh Kermit – what are you doing? Don’t you know I’ve come to this place to be ALONE? To relish time by myself and commune with Mother Nature? And now you’ve stumbled along and interrupted the quiet with your humming and conversation.”
“But my sweet Piggy – how could you say such a thing? It’s you and me and Mother Nature – what a wonderful chance happening. I’ll not stay all afternoon, just perhaps an hour or so? “ He craned his scrawny neck, bowed ceremoniously with one arm crossed over his chest, and gazed into her eyes. “What do you think? Hmmmmm?”
“Well, you’re consuming my quiet time. CONSUMING it, I say,” Miss Piggy sputtered. “Now go away.”
Kermit pursed his lips and looked this way and that, desperately searching for an eloquent response. “But we Americans consume, Miss Piggy – it’s what we do best.” His voice cracked with induced emotion as he clasped his hands, cocked his head to one side, and pelted her pink face with an onslaught of words. “We consume food, gas, electricity, disposable diapers, and paper plates. Why shouldn’t I be a time-consuming froggy?” Surely this was a logical explanation.
“You should not consume another person’s time,” Miss Piggy replied with her nose in the air. “That’s just too … too … well … too personal.”
“Hmmmmmm. Well, you’re saying you don’t want to be my friend, then. THAT’S pretty personal.”
Miss Piggy threw her head back and forth until her coiled blonde curls thrashed like attacking snakes. “YOU ARE RIDICULOUS, KERMIT! Why can’t you just leave a girl alone for a little while?”
Suddenly there was a rustling in the grass and a low voice growled, “Me h-u-n-g-r-y. Me VERY hungry.”
Cookie Monster’s furry, very-blue head popped into view. “Me very VERY VERRRY … HUNGRY! Mmmmm-mmm-maw-mmmm-mawm.” Crumbs flew into the air and all over the stage like golden confetti as Cookie Monster mouthed his cookie. “Me consume every little bit!” he cried as he greedily attacked crumbs on the floor. Like an unstoppable vacuum sweeper, he chomped a path toward Miss Piggy. “Mum-mmmm-maw-mmm …”
“Eeeeeek! Kermit, SAVE ME!”
“My pleasure, madame,” Kermit cried, grabbing Miss Piggy around her piggish waist. “You and I will consume the rest of the day - together!” Swoosh - and away they flew, exist stage left, jostled blonde curls swept away by green chivalry.
Cookie Monster stopped abruptly and addressed the audience, nodding his furry head emphatically. “Today’s word, consume, has been brought to you by the letter ‘C’. CONSUME. Like this.” He pulled another cookie from the clump of grass. “Mmmmm-mum-mmmm … eating not time-consuming at all … mawm-mmmmmmm … mmmmmmm-mawm …. now all gone. See?”
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