Up In Smoke

At that point in time I feared it really was the end of my dear friend Veggie's adventures. I knew I had to step in and do something despite the fact that Veggie wouldn't approve. After all, her parents had caught him red leafed, and her father was a very important political figure on a national level. If it hadn't of been for the fact that he was trying to keep his species secret from the American public-- lots of prejudice against vegetables still existed in those days-- the senator might have mowed Veggie down right then and there but politicians will tolerate a lot of mistakes if it helps them to stay in office longer. The case never went to trial because Ginger's father was scared the media might label him a bad parent who never looked out for his daughter's welfare. Besides, I had photographs of the senator with a certain little poppy that Ginger went to school with. The network decided Veggie should have a cooking show all his own.

Up In Smoke

"A little bit is really good
so better is a lot."
Veggie said to everyone.
"I want all that you've got."
Was then he thought he'd cook it up;
when he started he couldn't stop,
for as he stoked the fire
he smoked up the pot. 

"Oh dear. Yes, it's the truth. Veggie Head Stalker doesn't want to admit the fact that he's addicted to smoking pots. Who would have ever known? Really? Who didn't know? Considering all he gets himself into it's hard not to imagine Veggie smoking up the pots. Pans and kettles too. Come clean, Veggie. Is Veggie on his way to rehab now or is he going out to buy more cookware?"

It really was the darkest chapter of Veggie's life. He wasn't addicted to smoking pots, he just didn't know how to cook. Sure, he'd cooked Gumbo on Justin Wilson's show all those years before but Justin had coached him through the whole thing. Veggie hadn't set leaf in a kitchen since then as being in places where vegetables were regularly chopped, fried, baked and boiled really freaked him out. I mean, if you were a pig would you make it a habit of hanging out around butcher shops. This stuff as anything but funny.

What? Stop laughing! It's not!

It was about that time I got to thinking I should go back to driving a truck for a living. I'd even been getting some practice as studio cutbacks had forced us to layoff some of our truck drivers. Veggie was out of control. I knew it was depression brought on by so many failures coupled with a broken heart, but the pain of watching him go down was simply too much. I decided that before quitting it was my responsibility to confront Veggie about his problems.

I feared Veggie would be irate, but he agreed with me instead. He said he's just been blowing off steam, and was going to get his life back under control. He said he was ashamed of his behavior, and that he offered no excuses. It was then he told me he'd just gotten an offer to appear on a national cable television show to sing with a famous bluegrass band. He said the writers of the show had given him exclusive rights to a song that was sure to be a hit. He promised there would be enough money to catch up my back pay, pay me a bonus, and get us both back on the road to adventure...

One Hit Wonder

"Eatin' goober peas, eatin' goober peas."
the Stalker sang these very words on national TV.
He claimed it was a song he wrote,
right there before our eyes;
but now it seems he's wanted
because he plagiarized.

"Just when you think Veggie's got it together, he goes and does something like this. He got out of that cherry jam no problem but he can't bribe or blackmail the twenty million viewers who are watching tonight's show. And for what? He only got paid in peanuts. Will the Vegetable Stalker end up being yet another one hit wonder without a hit to his name?"

So where did Veggie go then? He went on the lam. And he rode that lam for a very long time well into Chapter IV, Layin' Low, before the lam finally fell over. Me? I set out to find whoever it was who set the whole thing up. Consider me no longer, a non combatant.