AP News 3

By Strega 
Story Copyright (C) By: Strega
 2001 - All rights reserved.

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Tragedy unfolds at Tiny Toons set

HOLLYWOOD - Six members of the popular cartoon 'Tiny Toon Adventures' were inadvertently digested by an extra today.

"I just don't know how this could have happened!' sobs R. Smegs, agent to Babs and Buster Bunny. "This wasn't in the script! Tell me this wasn't in the script!"

Episode 24, 'Buster and the wolverine', went terribly wrong this morning. In the cave-like wolverine lair set, workers struggle to free Ms. Fifi La Fume, who has been strapped belly-down across a table with legs and tail dangling over one edge. A ball-like gag muffles her complaints as her bonds are removed one by one. Nearby, a fierce argument rages between the director and assistant director, who gesture heatedly at the villain of the piece, a large wolverine so gorged he can barely move.

"This harkens back to the 'Who's Who In Azuza's Zoo' tragedy in 1939, in which the Good Humor man was accidentally left inside the lion too long", states Amblin representative Burt Henkins. "As you know, swallowings are common in cartoons, sometimes even ending the show as though the character were to be digested. Elmer Fudd was swallowed by a lion, Goofy was swallowed by a tiger. Bears, alligators...heck, even the Three Stooges were swallowed by lions."

"Being swallowed is no big deal for a toon. As long as you don't stay in past as critical period, you're fine."

"We blame a power failure, an argument between the directors, and an incompletely trained extra. The script allowed for Babs, Plucky, Sweetie Pie, Hampton and Furrball to the swallowed, but Buster was to get them out. And if the ad-libbing he tended to do got him eaten too, we even had Ms. La Fume waiting in the wings to get the lot of them out. But, something went wrong."

The lavender skunkette is finally freed, and relates the tale as I stand carefully upwind. "Bustair 'ad zee volvereene off guard, and was about to free zee ozairs." She hangs her head. "But I peeked in zee window one too many times, and Bustair saw me - and as 'e looked up, ze volvereene gulped him down before 'e even 'ad time for a poonchline."

"Ze script, it allowed for zis, so I played with zee beast, seduced heem a bit you know, and went to give heem zee syrup." She pulls a bottle of Ipecac from her lush tail. "But when I turned to get eet, 'e grabbed me and strapped me to zee table - and aftair zat eet was all pant, pant, pant, even full as 'e was, and I was too distracted to try to get free." For a moment, she almost seems to smile. "My smell, eet did not even slow heem down."

"It's been too long," Burt Henkins explained regretfully. "We always allowed the stars a lot of slack time, and this was no different - we fully expected they would be fine. When the power finally came back on…" He waves helplessly at the wolverine, now eyeing this reporter exactly the way I look at a hamburger. "Not a one of them has made a sound .The doctor says all he can hear is gurgling. I'm afraid they are well on their way through the wolverine's digestive tract."

All may not be lost, according to cartoon history. Characters have returned from equally dire states. "We hope that some, or all of the swallowed stars will return in time." Burt doesn't seem too hopeful, however.

"That was one hungry wolverine."

When asked what Amblin would do with the series now, Burt shook his head. "Too many of the stars are gone. We will put it hiatus for a few weeks while we decide what to do. Fifi has expressed an interest in doing one or more features with the wolverine, though - perhaps something for a more mature audience."

AP news, Hollywood, California.