GREETINGS TO YOU, PEOPLE OF THE PAST! You’re receiving this transmission direct from Tough Pigs HQ, sent back into the past from New Year’s Day, 2028.

In the future, our website technology works exactly like yours — but it can post to all points in the space-time continuum, which cuts down considerably on the download times. The only drawback is that it creates an alternate timestream every time it rebuffers, but researchers at the Microsoft-Timberlake Institute of Technology promise that they will have been solving this problem soon.

So, while I’m here, I thought I’d let you in on some of the big Muppet-fan news stories from 2027. You’ll be happy to know that the Muppets are still just as popular in this decade as they were in your time. The classic adventures of Pepe the Prawn and Waffle the Cow Monkey are still entertaining and educating children, from the inflatable suburbs of Nova Amsterdam, to the terraformed colonies on the planet that you used to call Mars (and which we are now contractually obligated to refer to as Elmo’s World).

The current surge in popularity is due to the able leadership at Lambchop-Segway Industries, which purchased the Jim Henson Company from EM.TV in 2019. It might surprise you to learn that EM.TV held on to the Henson Company for twenty years. (Then again, it might not.) But EM’s loan extensions finally ran out, and they sold the Muppets to Lambchop-Segway for the astonishing price of 135 million euroGuilders. The CEO of Lambchop-Segway, Ms Shari Lewis-Belafonte-Harper, has been a firm hand at the wheel, bringing the Muppets back to life by focusing on the classic core characters — the popular team of Pino, Tommie and Ienieminie.

You may not be familiar with this world-famous team, as you haven’t lived through the Dutch Economic Miracle of the early 2010’s, immediately following the fall of the former United States. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that the Netherlands is now the world’s major superpower. Even by your time, the Dutch had legalized gay marriage, prostitution and drug use, which are now known to be the three cornerstones of a healthy global economy.

journal2027cWith the rise of the Nova Amsterdam elite — or our Dutch Masters, as some would have it — there was a surge of interest in the popular television of our new world culture. For more than a decade now, the misadventures of gruff Tommie, loveable Pino and that rascal Ienieminie have been a beloved (and compulsory) part of our worldwide public education curricula.

Lambchop-Segway is also spotlighting these characters to reach out to adult audiences. One of the most exciting news stories for Muppet fans this year was the announcement that a new Pino and Ienieminie series is in development for 2028. The new series will be projected on the moon by orbiting hologram satellites, and it’s been described as “edgy and audacious.”

Unfortunately, 2027 wasn’t such a good year for Muppet merchandise. Muppet fans were disappointed with the launch of the OmniContent Data Crystal, a new technology which allows access to every bit of written and recorded media from all of human history, with the exception of Fraggle Rock and most of The Muppet Show. On a similar note, loyal Pepe fans entered Year 27 of their Hunger Strike for a Pepe Doll. The negotiations drag on with no apparent progress.

By the end of the year, however, Muppet fans were cheered by the birth of the first baby cloned from Jim Henson’s DNA. At press time, Jim-2 is only three months old, but we’ve given him two ping pong balls and a green spring coat, and we’re expecting big things from him in the years to come.

Keep the faith. Transmission ends.

by Danny Horn

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