When we last left our intrepid travelers, Pooh was still MIA and the rest of our group was huddled outside a darkened warehouse watching a shadowed character ring a tiny bell. Their quest? Locate the three Ghosts from “The Muppet Christmas Carol” and also the “slab, stick and stone.”
Suddenly, a frightened looking rat zooms around the corner yelling, “Felicia! Felicia!” The group turns to watch and the shadowed character slips inside the building. Further attempts to open the door fails, and the team is despondent. How will they ever find Pooh now?
<Creak> Suddenly the door opens and who should appear? Jack!
His appearance is unexpected, but not wholly unpleasant. As the team crowds around him to ask after Pooh, a well-dressed pig with two daughters in tow appears. Unable to not offer gentlemanly assistance, Jack approaches and is quickly felled by a one-two to the jaw. This pig is not easily impressed.
As Spud helps Jack up, the door opens once again to reveal Pooh! With singular focus, our favorite silly old bear follows the pig around the corner and out of sight. After a moment of recovery, everyone follows.
Welcome to market street in London! Every available space is crammed with carts of goods, merchants, and singing vegetables. The pig and her daughters (now believed to be Mrs. Cratchit!) disappear into a row home on the west side of the street. After some discussion, the group approaches the door and knocks.
“Come in, — come in! And know me better, man” The door swings open to reveal a large, bearded man — the Ghost of Christmas Present! They enter the Cratchit home, into a large room with a fireplace and a table set for 5. A small chair sits next to the fireplace. Where is the family? How to set the scene to keep the story moving?
After a bit of searching, and not a lot of help from the ghost, Chris locates a small broom closet — but the door is locked tight! With a bit of snack-based encouragement, Pooh open it. A lot. Inside, a small crutch — perhaps a companion to the small chair by the fireplace? With Jack’s help, Julie places the crutch gently in its rightful place. The Cratchit family appears, enjoying a Christmas dinner … all is right in the Muppet Christmas Carol World.
Exiting with cheers and high-fives all around, the group is stopped cold by the sight of: The Ghost of Christmas Past.
Suddenly it’s Christmas Eve again, and the team is back at the schoolhouse — back to the start of their entrance into the world of Muppet London.
Once again, young Scrooge works his figures at his small desk as his teacher, Sam the Eagle, watches. Attempts to communicate with the characters are unsuccessful. All the team can do is wait to see what happens. The shelves on the wall of the schoolhouse fall, sending Rizzo and Gonzo tumbling … then suddenly the atmosphere goes “wavy” and everything re-sets.
Team huddle! During this go-round Chris manages to take the slate away from young Scrooge, and Brooke his chalk. Julie completes the math figures on the slate and Chris falls to the floor, blinded. (Oh yeah, that’s a super-charged magical slate now!) Sam turns to Julie and begins to speak — he believes her to be Scrooge, and is telling her about her new opportunities in business. The team has failed. After the shelves fall, the scene resets again.
Attempt number two finds Julie ALMOST completing the figures, but then giving the slate and chalk back to Scrooge to complete. Chris falls unconscious, Pooh falls … and Scrooge helps him up? [Insert much discussion and buzzing about Scrooge being able to see and interact with Pooh now.] Scrooge looks around, confused, and walks. Out. Of. The. Schoolhouse.
The shelf falls.
The room does not reset!
The team is literally frozen to the spot. (Thanks to a Full Stop played by Julie.)
As each slowly unfreezes, the group takes stock: the slate is no longer enchanted. Scrooge is not at his desk. How to get everything back to “normal” to get everything moving again?
With work, and bribes, Pooh is convinced to bring Scrooge back inside to his desk. (There was a bit of desk-throwing and wanton destruction mixed in, but who needs to read all of that?) The slate is reinstated, Scrooge is at his desk, and the schoolhouse is put back into its former order. (Thank goodness Spud has some furniture repair skills.) Jack quietly asks Scrooge to turn in his slate to Sam, which he does. The slate glows, and the group MOVES ON!
Knowing the next destination must surely be the cemetery, Julie casts a spell to bring the group there directly. In the distance, among the headstones, is Scrooge in his nightshirt and a hooded figure: the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. As the group approaches, Scrooge fades away. After a few attempts to communicate with the Ghost, Chris decides to throw snowballs at it. This first misses. The second — does not.
The team suddenly finds themselves dumped unceremoniously at the Ghost’s feet. This doesn’t look good.
SUDDENLY Pooh casts a 60-second reset spell, rewinding the action. Jack makes sure Chris doesn’t throw any snowballs this time around.
[Insert lengthy group argument here about how Chris did it for a reason and how they ruined his plan and he could have gotten all the answers from Death if they just would have trusted him.]
Scrooge disappears again, and the letters on his headstone jumble. As the team peppers the Ghost with questions (which are abjectly ignored) the grave next to them starts to rumble. As the earth cracks, a skinny statue pushes through the earth … it’s a … rubber chicken? [Yes, of course it’s Fozzywig’s grave!]
Suddenly, our brave army is engaged by 21 rubber chickens. [The sound, you can imagine, is deafening.]
Chris attacks first, wielding his wand to communicate with the plants and weeds of the cemetery — he takes down 5 chickens. Brooke, being a kind and gentle soul: runs for her life, ducking behind the headstone for cover. Julie digs into her pack and uncovers a bear horn, using it to stun 3 chickens. Shannon swings her staff, hitting three more and killing one. Spud brandishes a set of wire cutters from his pack, but unfortunately misses everything but Shannon. Pooh reveals the Honey Staff and attacks the remaining chickens with an army of 55 bees. There are only two left! Chris smacks one with a flashlight — SQUAWK. Brooke takes down the last with a dramatic tail drop!
VICTORY!!!! And the headstone at Scrooge’s grave is glowing — the letters are back in order! The group troops out of the cemetery to see a parade celebrating Scrooge and his new outlook on life. A portal appears, and all confidently step through … and fall about half a story to the floor of the Wilderness Lodge lobby. Ouch.
Better luck next time, huh?
MVP - Pooh
Oh, Bother! - Chris