Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Alternative Universe

Written by: Doug Fowler

I keep telling people funny stories without all the drama, can be done; here's an example I'm sure one of you could have done; much of this based on an alternate version of the episode "On The Road Again."

Remember how I showed what I think would "really happen" in "To Joey With Love," since any teacher knows in a normal situation to sit the kid out in the hall or something? Well my PA idea shows what likely happened in "Big Shoes To Fill."

So, this story makes reference to Big Shoes To Fill and more importantly, how about what could have happened in the B story of "To Joey, With Love." All it takes is Viper getting the flu for a few days, and he's not at Jesse's band tryout. Which confuses good portions of the 8th season because Danny Tanner would become...


"Are you sure you don't mean your dad was banned, Deej?"

D.J. Tanner, a high school senior, had come into the Tanner home with younger sister Stephanie, thirteen. D.J.'s best friend, Kimmy Gibbler, had dropped rather useless books - Kimmy was really dumb and hated to study, anyway - off at home, then come into the Tanner home a moment later.

D.J. held up a hand, having had a few things thrown at her at once upon her arrival. "No, Kimmy, I mean he's really in a...wait. What's this about Michelle, now?"

Michelle was Danny's youngest girl, in third grade. Danny hadn't punished her till she was almost four, and had been quite inconsistent at other times, so D.J. had to step in quite a bit early, though not very much in the last year and a half, thankfully. The guys who had moved in to help - Danny's brother-in-law Jesse and best friend Joey - were great father figures, but hadn't provided discipline, either, for Michelle. Jesse was a hip rock and roller who had had trouble even disciplining his own kids, nearly three-year-old Nicky and Alex - because he hadn't wanted to become like his dad, who yelled a lot. And, Joey was just a big kid at heart whose favorite thing was cartoons. Jesse - with wife Becky and their boys - and Joey still lived with the Tanners.

Danny explained that Michelle had expected Joey to do "roll on the floor laughing" fun instead of "teacher, that was so interesting!" fun when he subbed in her school today. "There was a bit of a conflict the first few minutes of class, but the PA got it all straightened out, so things were okay by lunch. Everything's fine now, I talked to her."

Stephanie could tell D.J. was flummoxed by the other bit of news she'd heard. "I'll follow up for you to make sure she understands how she should behave in school now."

"Thanks, Steph," D.J. said as Stephanie went upstairs. "Now, what is this about you being in a band, Dad?"

"Hey," Danny said in a comical "hip" voice, "when your Uncle Jesse's band and I go out on tour, you can call me 'Mildew.'"

"D.J. can call you that, Mr. T. I'd just call you crazy," Kimmy spouted. "And, if you ever do go out on tour, D.J.'ll want me to call her a cab - so she can escape to Mexico."

"Kimmy, relax. I'm sure that Dad remembers the last time he tried to act really hip and play with Uncle Jesse's band, when we were in eighth grade."

Danny nodded. "You're right, Deej. I promise, no earrings, no leather pants, just a few pairs of jeans and a leather jacket with mildew stains, and I'll take a good, hot shower after every performance."

Jesse came upstairs at that moment, looking a little shaken as Stephanie's best friend Gia walked in the door. "Here," Jesse told Danny, "Joey's gettin' ready, we gotta run to do our show, but here's your contract." He said the name with some hesitation. "Mildew."

"Oh, thanks, Jess." Danny happily looked it over, oblivious to Jesse's tone. D.J. told Gia where Stephanie was, but Danny stopped her from going upstairs. "Gia, you and Steph are going to be so excited. Now, your friend's got a father who's in a band!"

"Well, yeah," Gia said nonchalantly. "Stephanie says Jesse and Joey have been like fathers to her all these years."

"I mean me!" he said with a goofy grin. He glanced over a little more, then signed it, having seen it before when Jesse went over it with him downstairs.

"Yeah," Jesse said, still not quite believing it. "He means him. Look, the idea of you being in my band is just...well, I better get going." He quickly left with Joey as Joey came down the steps and went out the door.

"Mr. Tanner, Stephanie's helped me to be more respectful," Gia began. That was true - her divorced mother had said at the start of the school year that Stephanie was the reason Gia was more respectful, was starting to get better grades, and had stopped smoking. "But, I can't think of a nice way to put this..."

"He's a total dork," Kimmy offered.

"That...sums it up, yeah," Gia said. "I mean, her uncle is so cool, and you're so...not cool."

Stephanie and Michelle came down smiling "Well, I'm glad everything's okay and you're being good again now," Stephanie said happily. Michelle concurred. "Dad, Michelle's friend Denise has the chicken pox; she brought homework home for her. I'm going to run it over." Stephanie had had the chicken pox, but Michelle hadn't.

"Wait, Steph, don't you want to hear more about the band?"

"Later, Dad! Come on, Gia, do you want to come?" Gia left with her, since she, too, had had it, and D.J. and Kimmy went upstairs to D.J.'s room.

Becky came down from the attic apartment with Nicky and Alex at that moment, and Michelle went into the back yard to play with them. "What's up, Danny? How did the tryouts go?"

"Great. I got the part of guitarist in the Monkey Puppets. I just wish the girls were more thrilled." He finally admitted, "I'm not even sure Jesse's that enthused."

"Well, Danny, you have to admit, it does go totally against your image. And, 'Mildew' isn't exactly the rebellious type of name most rock and rollers use. But, you know, you do play a pretty good guitar."

"Yeah. I remember when Jesse moved out for a few days one time, and I could only do one or two simple things when I was trying to teach D.J. to play guitar. I kept making her nervous," he said wistfully. "I just want them to appreciate me."

"They do, Danny. I think this is just a strange intrusion into their world. And, like it or not, they're going to struggle with that. It was different for Jesse, because he was always that way. You've always been 'Mr. Clean' - you won't turn into 'Mr. Rock Star' overnight. But, it's fun to follow a dream. Just like I told Nicky and Alex today."

"Why, what do they want to be?"

"They'd like to be lions at the zoo. They love those big roars."

Danny laughed - he should have known a child of almost three would have a funny goal like that. "I just love the thought of going on a tour, hanging with the guys; you know, it seems pretty cool. Of course, so does being a lion."

Danny, Jesse, and Joey were loading the car with the rest of Jesse's band. It was the Monkey Puppets' first road trip. Michelle walked into the kitchen with third grade friends Derek, Teddy, and Denise, along with Denise's mom.

"That is so cool," Denise exclaimed. "I wish my dad could play in a band. The way he sings in the shower is just awful."

"Maybe the problem is the acoustics," Derek said. He was a prodigy when it came to words - he read the dictionary for fun.

"Acoustics? Have you heard Denise's dad? He'd sound bad anywhere," Teddy said.

Denise's mom agreed. "If Denise gets too wild, sometimes he threatens to start singing to get her to settle down." She smiled at her daughter and gave her a friendly pat on the shoulder, as Denise looked up and grinned back. She added that, "Little Richard might be her great-uncle - my uncle - but anyone can tell that's on my side of the family."

Danny came in. "Okay, Michelle, you got your overnight bag all packed?" She did. "Listen, Gia's mom is taking Steph and Gia up to see the band, and Kimmy and D.J. are going, too. Apparently, Gia has a crush on one of the performers, and D.J. can help chaperone." He bent down to her level. "You can still come if you want."

"That's okay, Dad. Sleepovers are cool," Michelle said excitedly.

"Okay, well, get plenty of sleep." Michelle and Denise both gave him looks. "Oh yeah, that's right, you don't do that on sleepovers, huh?"

"Hey, thanks again for that great party the other day," Teddy said.

Derek agreed. "It was a dynamite blowout event."

"Hey, don't thank me, thank Michelle; she's the one who made over $200 in lemonade stand money. And, thankfully, her proud papa wanted to take her to the store himself, and get publicity for the band." Even if it was at the expense of going over the next week of the show he and Becky hosted.

"Oh, by the way, Dad, we'll have someone else coming with us," D.J. said suddenly. Her ex-boyfriend Nelson entered. "We're thinking about getting back together."

"Hi; nice to see you. Glad you could come," Danny said, introducing him to the others.

"Yeah, really nice. Maybe you could finance a world tour," Stephanie teased. Nelson was incredibly rich, and in high school in a private school.

Danny hugged Michelle. "We'll be home tomorrow evening; I gave Denise's mom the phone numbers where we'll be, so if you need anything, just call. Your sisters will probably be home around two in the morning or so."

"We should just be getting to bed by then," Denise said.

"And then we'll be up half the rest of the night talking," Michelle added.

Danny gave a wistful look, remember such fun times when he and Joey were younger; they'd met in fifth grade, but it seemed like kids started having such sleepovers earlier nowadays. Of course, they exaggerated - they'd likely be asleep by midnight - but it was still fun. The parents knew their girls were joking, so they didn't say anything. "Be good." He hugged her again. "I love you."

"I love you, too." They left, Teddy and Derek on their bikes to their homes, Denise and Michelle with Denise's mom for pizza before going back to Denise's house.

"All right, this is living," Danny said a few hours later as they prepared to start playing the gig they'd booked.

Jesse looked oddly at Danny. "Danny, wake up and smell the dirt. That motel hadn't been cleaned in ten years, and Eats has been closed for almost that long."

"Hey, that's okay, Jess. This is what band members do. It's totally rad," Danny said, giving Jesse an obvious headache. "Is something wrong?"

"Yeah, I got a headache from the temporal distortion of you sounding like you're in a band from the 1970s. Mildew," Jesse finished sarcastically. He and Danny argued back and forth for a couple minutes about the strange image Danny was projecting with a name like Mildew.

Becky had just finished having a talk with Jesse about how he was so different than he was when he was having fun touring with the Rippers and the bands he had before then. Now, she turned to Danny while Joey watched the twins. "Danny, don't you think you're taking this a little too far?"

"Not really, why?"

"Danny, I can understand where Jesse's coming from - it used to be his life. And, he's different now. But, you - I'm surprised you're not cleaning everything."

"Hey, it's fun to live on the edge a little," Danny said. "Although, I'm a little worried the showers aren't going to be too hot."

"Danny, I know you've been having fun here; and, I've been okay with covering for you some when it comes to preparing for our show..."

"Oh, yeah, by the way, I know there was some talk about you becoming producer since I haven't been doing much. If you want the job, that's fine with me. I'll be happy just playing in the band here, and having fun."

"Well, that's not it...but thanks. Anyway..."

"Hey, Mildew, we've got a situation here," Jesse said.

"Oh, hey, be right back, Becky. What is it, Jess?"

Jesse explained about the mix-up - the owner of the establishment they were to play at had planned on polka music; they'd booked the wrong band somehow.

"Oh; fine. If they want an accordion, I'll try to figure it out. Hey, you know, I always had this really neat idea for a polka; maybe we can use it."

Jesse looked oddly at him. "You wanted to write a polka?" He had trouble imagining Danny writing music at all, but a polka?

"Sure. You know how our eleventh president was named James K. Polk? Well, maybe you don't since you didn't like paying attention in school, Jess, but he was. And, I always thought, wouldn't it be cool if there was a polka called the James K. Polka?"

"No," Jesse answered bluntly, gawking at Danny as he spoke.

"Well, there's gonna be." Danny took a pen and pad and began writing. "If you don't want to sing the words, I will; I know all about this guy. I did a report on him in high school. You know, he's responsible for the Mexican-American War, which allowed us to gain California. Otherwise we'd all be speaking Spanish right now."

Jesse shook his head in shock. "Oh man, what have I done to the music world bringing this guy in as a band member?"

In a few minutes, despite Becky trying to interrupt, Danny had the song ready. "We'll just do this to a very simple melody; I can't do anything complex, but we did have an accordion player on our show once." He shook he owner's hand. "Sir, my name is Mildew, and I am here to provide you with a world premiere of a new polka number."

"You are?"

"Yes, Sir," Danny said. He explained the situation as D.J., Stephanie, and the others entered. Gia was using the restroom for a moment.

"Looks like we got here just in time," D.J. said. "It looks like they're ready to start."

"Why do I wish I was at Michelle's on that sleepover?" Stephanie asked. "I had lots of fun taking her to her slumber party. Of course, it was either that or stay home and continue being grounded after Gia's makeout party, but still, she wanted me, and once I got there, it was fun."

Nelson consoled her. "Cheer up, Stephanie. Maybe it won't be as bad as you think."

Jesse stepped up to the microphone. "Hi. I'm Hot Daddy, and these are the Monkey Puppets. We're a rock and roll band, but I understand there was a misunderstanding, and you want polka music. Well, we're here to give it to you, because, well, we need paid. And, just so you know, with our first number, Mildew here wrote it, so if you have any objects to throw, aim for him. Take it away, Mildew."

Danny started singing the lyrics he'd written as the band tried to make the music sound as close to polka music as possible. He sang,
"Let me tell a story, you ladies and gents,
'bout the man who became our 'leventh President.
He worked really hard to get us California,
Here's a little song called the James K. Polka."

D.J. held her hand to her head. "Nelson right; it's not as bad as Steph thinks. It's worse."

"Want me to call that cab to Mexico for you?" Kimmy asked.

Gia came running toward their table. "Gia, don't come in here," Stephanie said.

Gia sat and gawked as Danny sang about the 1844 Presidental election.
"A dark horse candidate who hailed from Tennessee.
Made the Democratic Party as happy as can be...."

"Tanner, whatever we do, we have got to keep your dad and my mom from ever dating. I would not want a dad who would do that in public."

"I don't blame you one bit," Stephanie muttered.

After that, the band played other rock and roll songs to a polka beat, but Jesse was still totally stunned by Danny's venture into songwriting. He was also quite upset at how totally un-rock and roll the song was, but he maintained a professional manner. As the night ended, with Joey having taken the twins back to the motel room and put them to bed, Danny asked, "So, Jess, how'd I do?"

"Words fail me," was all he would say.

"Is that good?" Danny asked as D.J. and Stephanie jogged up to him.

Stephanie tried to look on the bright side, as she always did. "You know, Dad," Stephanie said happily, "I think you ought to sell the rights to that song. I bet Weird Al Yankovic would buy it." She couldn't imagine anyone else buying it, but she could see him doing it, and she didn't want to hurt Danny's feelings.

"I don't know, Steph, he's pretty big. I think he writes all his own stuff, anyway."

"Yeah," Jesse said, venting a little now that the audience was going home for the night. "She's right. Anything to get that thing away from us."

"What, you didn't like the James K. Polka?"

"No, I didn't. Danny, that was the dumbest song I ever heard in my life. It reminds me of when Steph was little and we'd play house, and Steph would pretend I was a bad boy and make me sing Barry Manilow as punishment."

Trying to calm things, D.J. said, "I think what Uncle Jesse's trying to say is, most rock and roll songs have nothing to do with presidents who served 150 years ago."

"Come on, guys, the band was in a bind, and I not only was able to help us out, I wrote what I think is a perfectly good song," Danny said defensively as Nelson, Kimmy, Gia, and Gia's mom came up to the group. "Steph loved it; she even thinks Weird Al Yankovic could buy it, right, Steph?"

Stephanie didn't want to lie to him, "Dad, I didn't say that because I love the song; I said that because I love you. Just like when I made that weird looking tie tack in Kindergarten, and you act all excited and happy even though you had no clue what it was." They hugged. Gia looked envious of the close, loving relationship, reminding herself that it was important to show such love to be able to receive it - something Stephanie had pointed out a few times when talking about how Gia treated her mom.

"Well...he does his own stuff anyway," Nelson offered, "but I can have my people call his people and ask his people to call your people."

Danny sighed. "Well, thanks, Nelson. That's okay." He couldn't help but chuckle. "I guess it was a little corny."

"That's true, Mr. T. What you did was so corny, California outdid Alaska in the amount of corn grown in it tonight," Kimmy declared.

"Kimmy, Alaska is not in the farm belt; they don't grow any corn there."

Becky told Kimmy, "I bet you're thinking of Nebraska. We grew lots of corn where I'm from. That's why our college teams are named the Cornhuskers."

"Oh, I see." Kimmy thought for a second. "I guess Los Angeles has a lot of places that make nail clippers, then, huh? Although, they don't have that many lakes," she mused, referring to the city's two NBA teams, the Lakers and Clippers. The Lakers had moved from Minnesota and kept the name.

D.J. explained, "The Clippers were named after those big clipper ships, not nail clippers."

"You thought the Clippers were named after nail clippers?" Nelson asked incredulously. "What's next, renaming the Warriors the Golden State Toothbrushes?"

"At least your dad wasn't the dumbest thing we heard tonight, Steph," Gia said.

"Look, why is everyone so upset just because I wanted to try my hand at songwriting while I'm in a band?" Danny asked.

Becky remarked, "It's not exactly showing the kind of macho image you wanted to project when you went with the name Mildew."

"Not that the name Mildew every projected a macho image," Jesse pointed out. "Unless you like the idea of being a macho fungus."

Danny meandered over to a table and sat down. "Well, I guess maybe I overdid it. I just wanted to hang out with the band, have some fun like you always talk about."

"Sort of like when you wanted to date that twenty-one year-old a few years ago, huh?" Becky said.

"It's not just a midlife thing. I guess I missed out on some things when Pam and I got married so young. I mean, sure, I'd joke about being the creator of 'Love Boat' to girls, and stuff like that, but I always stayed faithful to her." He looked D.J. "I'm glad you're taking it nice and slow with boys, and having fun, Deej."

"Trust me, Dad, I still have a lot of things to do. Maybe Nelson and I will hit it off this time, maybe we won't." They would go together for a few more months, but only be really close friends by the time of her prom, when Steve would come to take D.J. so she didn't have to go with "just a friend."

Jesse pointed out that, "The kind of date you were, Danny, you never wanted to do any of this stuff. I'd ask Pam how her date went when I was a kid, and she'd say you played Monopoly all evening."

"It was good, clean fun that would not result in any overcharging of hormones. She even let me win sometimes, too," Danny said wistfully.

Whispering this time, Gia said, "Wow, Steph. Going with your dad must have been like dating Mr. Spock."

D.J. overheard. "Don't let looks deceive you; he was a hopeless romantic with our mom. They were so close, and they just savored every minute together. You could tell it was true love, there was so much passion between the two of them. I remember it well, even though I was pretty young when she died."

Stephanie realized something else might be bothering him as D.J. spoke. She sat beside Danny. "Dad, is this about missing Mom a little, too?"

"I don't know. Maybe a little. I guess my 'living on the edge' isn't too edgy, huh?" He admitted that, "Maybe I am just trying to fill the void a little yet, and yet dong it in a way I know will keep you girls safe. After all, that's always been my number one goal. Actually, it's been about the first fifty goals. With everything else way down on the list, huh?" he said with a laugh. The others agreed. He would never go with any woman, or put himself or his family in any situation, where his daughters could be hurt, as he was very protective.

"Yeah, sure, first you hook up with my band, then next you'll be going on tour with Joey doing comedy," Jesse said as they all sat around him. "Which you might just be better at than songwriting."

"Are you kidding? He'd be better at impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger than he is at songwriting," Kimmy cracked. This was especially funny considering Danny's wiry frame.

"Dad, why don't you check some of your old girlfriends. Or join a group at the church, or something." They went occasionally to a nearby church, as did Kimmy - Kimmy had made strudel in the form of the Wise Men for a bake sale one year, in fact, around the time D.J.'s cousin Steve came. "There's lots of places to have fun and meet people."

"Yeah; where it won't embarrass the entire state," Gia quipped.

"Danny, I'm not saying I don't want you in the band anymore. I mean, you do play an instrument we sorta need. But, don't go making this your life, okay?" Jesse said.

"He means don't give up the day job," Kimmy said.

"Thanks, Kimmy. Yeah, just...well, I'll admit I've even lost some of the interest in being on the road. I mean, right now our boys are in bed with Bozo the Clown watching them, and Joey took what was left of the food from here so they wouldn't go to bed hungry. I've got other priorities in my life. And, you do, too."

Becky agreed. "Jesse's right. You can have fun as 'Mildew' here. And, he'd probably accept it. But, only because, well, I think he's realizing that it's more for fun than anything to him, too." Jesse agreed.

D.J. put an arm around him. "And, Dad. No matter what, we'll make it through, and support you, till you want to stop. Because you've supported us whenever we've had dreams. And, we want to be there for you, too. Just remember what you always tell us. You don't have to be in a band, or do anything else fancy, to be special to us." He promised he'd have fun at it a little, but not too much. It would be for just a few more months - and that partly to work with Gia's mom to keep Gia from getting to close to Mongo, who Gia seemed to have a crush on.

"D.J.'s right," Stephanie said. "You're really special just the way you are, Dad." They shared a family hug.