Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Television Universe

Gumby On Rye, Hold the Mayo
Written by: Doug Fowler

My view of the TV Universe version of when Michelle learned "Gumby isn't microwave safe," as Danny says in "Smash Club: The Next Generation." Some slight changes in time and such have occurred. It must be much closer to "The Devil made Me Do It" than it was first thought, to make things make sense in it; Jesse would get new equipment fast, and Michelle wouldn't wait that long to test it, plus other things most fans figure would be more in character. So, the punishment is changed a bit because of that, but also, in that episode, the twins start on solids, and that can't happen 3 months later as aired, or even 4 months (earliest possible) since they were born a month early. So, now, it's after all but "Fives' A Crowd" (also with the twins on solids) and the final two-parter that season. This also pushes this incident to almost 2 weeks before Jesse's birthday.

It shows how Danny still missed Pam & probably needed a little help, etc.. The surge from the Gumby in the microwave may sound big, but remember, this is early 1992 & the electrical connections might be 1980s or even 1970s; a source I consider reliable told me this or something a bit smaller could occur. (That made me sound like reporter, huh :-) It also has the authoritative, Chronology events of what probably happened during "The Devil made Me Do it," which is always a bit confusing sounding because of how Danny says the punishment, making it sound way harsher than he'd ever do, as no 5YO is going to be in her room all day for mere disobedience.

Plus, the good and bad Michelle from "The Devil Made Me Do It," along with a bunch of others in the spiritual realm, are here. Hope it's not too confusing for you, I do put a mark to separate spiritual realm from physical world. The end of the story comes during "Five's A Crowd," where Kimmy's babysitting Steph, Michelle, Nicky, & Alex.

Jesse Katsopolis gazed lovingly at his nearly five-month old twins as they sat in car seats on the kitchen table. "Hey, boys, you're so handsome! Just think, pretty soon you'll have the greatest hair there ever was; then you'll really be something. You're gonna have girls chasing after you big time by the time you reach preschool." He sat and commented, "Soon your cousins will come home from school, and just be gushing all over you. As for Kimmy - well, you'll just have to put up with her," he finished resignedly.

As he finished, his nieces came home from school. He was helping his brother-in-law, Danny Tanner, to raise his girls, five-year-old Michelle, Stephanie, ten, and fifteen-year-old D.J.. The girls' mom had died in an accident almost five years ago. Danny best friend, Joey Gladstone, also lived there and helped.

Kimmy Gibbler, also fifteen, came in with them. She lived next door and was D.J.'s best friend, but everyone else found her annoying.

The Tanner girls embraced Jesse, especially Michelle, who climbed into his lap; they had a special bond, and he was like a mother figure for Michelle. "Hey, how was school today?" he asked."Great. We learned they bake mud for houses in the desert," Michelle said as the older girls fawned over the twins. "And, about all the other houses people live in."

"Tell him about your one classmate," Stephanie encouraged, looking up from smiling broadly at one of the boys.

"Oh, yeah. Jimmy brought his frog for show and tell and it got loose."

Stephanie wouldn't stop there; she was much more verbal, and always had been. She turned to Jesse and gestured wildly. "That's right. I thought it was crazy trying to calm Michelle down when she kept tapping in those tap shoes all day, and they called me to talk to her since they knew I'd helped her her first day, plus you know how Dad's told them he'd rather have family deal with her, especially if she got too out of control. Not that she was then, but you know, as a precaution." Amazingly, it didn't take her any time to shift back to the topic at hand - she had inherited the gift of rambling from their dad, Danny Tanner, host of a local talk show with Jesse's wife Becky. "Anyway, this was way crazier than the couple times I've talked to her. I could have sworn it was about twenty frogs, the kids were going so crazy. It felt like we were in that Mark Twain story about the jumping frogs of Calaveras County."

"Cool. Did you bring some frogs' legs home?" Kimmy inquired.

"I should have, they'd go with your crows' feet," Stephanie teased before turning back to Jesse. "Anyway, Uncle Jesse, since I did so well with Michelle they've been asking me to help with a lot of other stuff, and of course, I helped here, too. I'm becoming like an assistant there. And, it's really rewarding."

"Tell how you caught him," Michelle requested with a big grin.

"Oh yeah, he got into the kitchen, and hopped into some food, before I caught up with him. They had to order Chinese take-out to have enough meals for all the kids today."

"Uncle Jesse, can I buy my lunch tomorrow?" Michelle asked, disappointed she'd taken hers on a day when she could have had a real restaurant's food.

"Michelle, that's not likely to happen again for another hundred years," D.J. noted. Their dad had been very lax with disciplining Michelle and hadn't punished Michelle himself till she was almost four. So, D.J. often had to gently - and sometimes more forcefully - correct her youngest sister. In a way, she had a bond, too, but not nearly like what she would have had being proactive from the start with her.

"It could if I find enough frogs," Michelle corrected her.

"Sorry, I think you're gonna be stuck with regular cafeteria food unless you pack it."

In the spiritual realm, Angel-Jesse (A-Jesse) had just finished encouraging Jesse in his ear on what a great family man he was, how much his nieces & boys loved him, and how he didn't have to worry about not having a job just then; he hadn't had one for months, though he and his band would probably tour this summer. A-Jesse was proud and confident, and sported a gray suit and tie like Jesse would wear in his old ad agency days.

His evil twin, Devil-Jesse (D-Jesse), was dressed in leather and looked ready to hop on a motorcycle. D-Jesse sported a rugged, rebellious look as he rushed into a giant room where D-Michelle - looking like a biker chick - stood ready to speak. "I didn't miss anything, did I? Oh, hey, how did the microbe thing go?" D-Jesse asked D-Danny. The evil Danny had an unbuttoned shirt and a dirty complexion, and loved to torment the neat freak Danny about his need to have everything very clean and orderly.

"Terrific. And call me Manny!" D-Danny exploded. "Danny named his evil twin, and I expect everyone to respect that!" Danny had made a date with a divorcee close to a year after Pam died, but then called to cancel. He then said the one who called to cancel was his "evil brother Manny."

"Yeah, whatever," D-Jesse said, callously waving his hand. He worked to convince Jesse not to think of others - which failed miserably much of the time since Pam died - and also to shirk responsibility. "Let's see what Devil-Michelle's cooked up for us."

"Hey, people, listen up!" D-Michelle declared. "I've got a plan. And, all you need to do is get your people to ignore Michelle tonight."

"What's she gonna do, sneak out again?" D-D.J. asked. Like the evil Stephanie, she went beyond the "biker chick" look with a torn t-shirt and a ring in her nose. "Manny had a good plan, switching tactics so suddenly Danny wanted to be with women, but I think Michelle's too timid to try that herself; she had Teddy go with her that one time. Plus, it'll be hard for me to get D.J. to not pay attention to her sneaking out. I'm having more luck making her boy crazy than anything else, and it's a school night. So, she can't have a date." D-D.J. was relatively weak, compared to some of the others.

None of the "bad ones" were really strong. Still, even the best of people fell for temptation sometimes, and so D-D.J. could still exert some influence in the boy department as far as making her forget family responsibilities.

D-Michelle shook her head and sneered at D-D.J., feeling her devilish colleague should be more powerful. She saw D-Nicky and D-Alex sitting and taking notes, just as A-Nicky and A-Alex did with the angelic host. It was their jobs, at just five months, to strategize so when the babies were toddlers, they could interact successfully with the others, and each could use the family to their advantage.

"Michelle's getting curious. She learned how to bake stuff." D-Michelle struck a screen behind her with a pointer, and the screen feel down. She continued, anyway. "Aw, nuts. Anyway, the plan is simple. I am going to whisper in her ear that she should bake her Gumby."

"Boy, I wonder what that would taste like?" D-Joey remarked. He was very weak, as Joey was very innocent and loving and didn't have many problems D-Joey could exploit, though he kept trying the same tactic - that Joey had no life because he was a grown man who still watched cartoons. It rarely worked, though, as Joey felt so good being with such a warm, loving family like he'd always wanted.

"Who would eat that? Duhuh. The point is, we can cause confusion. Michelle can get in trouble. I'm sure D-Danny can make Danny at least a little more lenient than he should be. Then maybe you can get off your duff and make D.J. super mad," D-Michelle said, now glaring directly at the bad D.J., fury in her eyes.

"That might cause too much of a mess, but I'll try," D-Danny said. "And, it's Manny!"

D-Michelle scowled. "You're a demon, and I'll call you what I want. Duhhuh! If you'd wanted love, you never would have rebelled, you would have stayed a good angel."

Over in the angelic realm, things were much nicer. They knew something was up, but the first order of business was to get Danny calmed down.

A-Danny was extra clean, but more importantly, had a special look of confidence. He always tried to encourage Danny that Pam was right with him - and that was true, because A-Danny had not only a look of hope & immense faith, but he had the most direct access to Pam herself, who was in Glory, in a white robe, observing the action and encouraging the angelic beings onward. While only God could command His angels, the saints in Heaven could watch what was happening, and offer encouragement to the angels, even if they couldn't communicate with those still living themselves. Rare stories of people seeing departed ones in dreams were sometimes caused by angels planting them at the deceased person's request or suggestion, if the Lord allowed it.

Presently, A-Danny was trying to encourage Danny that he didn't have to worry about all the microbes on his skin, that they were normal and had always been there. But, this was a real spiritual battle, as Danny often turned to cleaning to forget about how much he missed Pam, even though he had promised not to force his family to share in that. And now, Danny worried he had a lot more cleaning to do than usual.

Back in the natural world, Jesse knew only of what Danny had experienced that day, not the spiritual battle. "Look, you guys be real nice to your dad today, because..."

Danny came downstairs at that moment, still looking a little distracted, as he had when he came home. "Oh, hi, girls. Hope school went well. What a day," he said as he hugged them.

"Did a frog get loose where you work, too, Daddy?" Michelle asked.

"Even worse." He hugged Kimmy by mistake. "Oh, my, I must be totally out of it."

"What happened, are you all right?" D.J. asked, visibly concerned.

"Kind of." He collapsed in a char. "I just now had time to get home and take a nice long shower. Phew. There was a guy on our show today who talked about how each of us have these..." He began to squirm. "These little bugs and stuff all over our bodies."

"Oh, yeah, microbes. We learned about those in science," D.J. explained. "They're really important for defending our bodies against harmful bacteria."

"That's what he said, too, but it was just so creepy listening to him; he said there's thousands per square centimeter on each of us," he muttered. "I kept thinking about it all day." More confidently, he added, "I'm okay now, though. I'm not worried about it anymore. I just have to get back to the station again, and as long as nobody mentions those...creepy things again by the end of the day I'll be fine."

"What, you mean like that thing crawling up your back?" Danny rose anxiously at Kimmy's comment and looked back, feeling behind him. "Made you peek."

D.J. didn't usually like to say anything about her best friend's laziness, dumbness, or inappropriate or just plain weird comments. However, she sometimes felt she had to. D.J. felt badly for her dad, and felt she should say something here. However, she could tell Stephanie looked really to pop, too. "Kimmy...wait, Steph says it so much better."

"That's right. How rude," Stephanie scolded.

"I'm going back to the station. Want me to take you down for the Ranger Joe show, Michelle?" Michelle nodded excitedly. Joey hosted a kids' cartoon show with a small live audience each weekday, meaning Jesse was the at-home parent for the time being. "Okay, you'll pick her up, Jess?"

"You bet." Danny and Michelle left. "It's rough on him when stuff like that happens."

"I know. You know that time Kathy Santoni wrote a note saying I had a mega crisis because someone said I was the worst kisser in the school? Dad said he got extra anxious and upset because that week he'd had an expert on his show talking about real crises like eating disorders and runaways," D.J. explained.

"Yeah, well this might have the opposite effect, I think. He came in earlier and said, 'If you need me, I'll be in the shower for the next year.' Then he told me what that guy talked about, and said he was going to work to make sure he didn't think about dirt the rest of the day," Jesse explained. "I think he'd force himself not to fly off the handle even if he found mice in here."

Kimmy was thinking about something else. "Oh, speaking of mice, Deej, thanks for letting me use your computer."

"Hey, no problem. If you're going to copy my work it's a lot easier to just save it as a different file name and let you copy and paste things around to make it sound different," D.J. said. Kimmy always seemed to be copying D.J.'s homework instead of doing any herself.

Stephanie alluded to this when she quipped to her, "So what are you not learning about this week?"

"I have a report due on the Earl of Sandwich," Kimmy explained. "I'm going to title it 'Ham on White, Hold the Mayo.' I'm even enclosing a sandwich as a visual aide. I'm saying it's a replica of the first one."

"That's crazy, nobody knows what the first sandwich was," Jesse spouted.

"Well, how do you know it wasn't?" Kimmy asked.

"Look, all I'm saying is, you don't need visual aides for reports."

"Boy, I can tell it's been a while since you've been in school. Everyone else talks about their fancy binders. Well, I just want something unique," Kimmy said, explaining herself.

Jesse shook his head in disbelief. But, he found one bright side. "I gotta say one thing, this can't be something you're copying off of D.J.."

"Actually, it is," D.J. told him. "I'd done more research about the situation after we read a bit about him in class, but I'm focusing on the way people ate back then, all the different customs, and what I learned about how sandwiches became popular. I have to hand it to Kimmy, she kept talking about it, and really got me interested in a lot of things about the story."

"Yeah. But then you go and make it like we're trying to learn something," Kimmy said.

"Well, I have to do the work of two people," she said, trying to emphasize in the small way she did the problem of Kimmy's laziness. It was like she had once said to Stephanie, "Can't you see I'm trying to do our homework." D.J. continued. "I guess I just figure something will rub off on you a little."

"If that worked, she'd have the start of a brain by now," Stephanie said glibly.

Danny, Joey, and Becky arrived home as Stephanie and Michelle set the table. "Hey, Joey, I hear the show went well," Jesse said to the professional comedian, who loved cartoons.

"Yep. Michelle had a great time. Although while the cartoons were on, at one point she wanted to go over and see how the cameras worked. If I hadn't stopped her all of San Francisco would have seen this huge face interrupting their cartoons," Joey quipped.

"Joey said I shouldn't play with the cameras," Michelle said.

Danny knelt down to her level and spoke softly. "That's right, Michelle. Some of that stuff is very expensive."

"I'm sorry, Daddy."

"Yeah, well I'm sorry too, shorty," Jesse said, using one of his loving pet names. "I guess with me bein' the only adult at home for a few hours, since Becky went back to work a few months ago, I haven't been able to keep an eye on you as much, what with the twins and all. But, we've had great times together anyway," he said. She agreed. Having her go see Joey on his show really helped on those afternoons, too, though of course she didn't always go.

"That's okay. D.J. and I have kept an eye on her," Stephanie said. D.J. had had to discipline Michelle till Danny started - just before Michelle turned four! - and with Danny inconsistent at times recently sometimes she was still the loving enforcer of rules a mother might be; she still had to back him up some.

"Right, and she has Joey's show she and Teddy go to sometimes," Becky said. Teddy was her best friend, who lived on the same street. "Sometimes they play together, too."

"That's right, you've got a lot of fun stuff you know you're allowed to do, huh?" Danny said. "I mean, I know it's hard when your mind's allowed to wander mine does...thinking about all that stuff on our skin. Jess, are you sure you coked the burgers enough?" Danny said, suddenly rising quickly.

"Hey, if one moos, I'll be the first to let you know," Joey joked.

"Thanks, Joey. I think," Danny said.

"Anyway, Jess, how about some of that free time after supper that you were talking about with me when we got up this morning?" Becky reminded him.

"Yeah, and it can be just you and me," Jesse said as he and Becky drew very close. "We can dim the lights, and...well..."

"Do your taxes?" Michelle had been told by Joey that Jesse and Becky were "doing their taxes" when they were alone in the attic apartment the first few weeks after their marriage.

"Yeah, do our taxes. It's a special kind that when you're married, you love to do," Jesse said as they kissed passionately. "Have mercy."

A-Kimmy spoke to A-D.J.. "So, let me get this straight. Kimmy's going to lose her paper?"

A-D.J. nodded. The good Kimmy looked younger than her age, and was dressed in a cheerleading outfit. Her main job was to keep Kimmy relying on D.J. because Kimmy would find it so hard to function on her own, with how she thought at times. That meant A-D.J. co-ordinated things a lot with her. "A-Michelle and some of the others have tried to convince Michelle to play with something else, but the way their dad ignores things, it's going to be hard to keep her from nuking her Gumby like D-Michelle's trying to plan. Just thought I'd warn you."

"Lot of good that does me. I have trouble getting Kimmy to do any work early. She should have had this paper done and printed out already."

A-D.J. agreed. "It's rough, D.J.'s the only one who encourages her a lot. Her parents don't seem to care sometimes. But, just keep encouraging her to stick close to D.J., and do what D.J. does, and you'll be fine."

"It's always kind of tricky, being Guardian Angel for a person whose challenged, even slightly like Kimmy."

"It is. But, Kimmy doesn't have that many challenges, and none of the people on Earth know or even suspect her slight learning disability, or how her parents' ignoring things ties into her problem. But, thankfully, we do a great job of working together. One thing, though. Let's try to make sure Kimmy doesn't make too weird a comment...oh oh, here comes D-Kimmy now." She wore an outfit complete with a shirt with a huge heart in the center.

"Hey, watch this, in a little bit, I get to help D-D.J. rile up D.J. when it comes to Michelle."

"It won't work," A-D.J. insisted.

"Hey, I can make Kimmy say things; it's not too hard. Like when she taunted Danny with that joke about the thing crawling on his back."

"D.J. knows she's like that, though. It won't rile her up at all. Just watch," A-D.J. told D-Kimmy confidently.

After everyone has eaten in the physical realm, all but Jesse, Becky, and the twins were in the living room as Kimmy entered. "Hola, Tanneritos."

"Hey, Kimmy. Ready to go work on your paper? I got my paper printed out yesterday," D.J. said.

"Boy, Deej, you sure are fast. How did you do it?

D.J. shrugged. "Like I usually do; I get all my notes together, sit down, and write."

"She makes it sound so easy," Kimmy said as she and D.J. went upstairs.

"My turn to do dishes," Joey said. "Steph, didn't you say you wanted to write some comedy for your short story for next week?"

"Right. You can come with us, Michelle. You're always good for a laugh."

Michelle shook her head. "No thanks. I'll play here till bath time."

Danny hugged and kissed her. "That's my good girl. Don't be afraid to come to us if you need some company, though. Jesse and Becky are upstairs with the twins, and I'm going to work on tomorrow's show in my room. And try to keep my mind off dirt. And microbes," he said absently. They left, and Michelle played happily with some dolls and her Gumby action figure.

In the spiritual realm, D-Michelle rubbed her hands. "We're almost ready. You sure nobody will be in the kitchen?"

"I'm sure," D-Stephanie said. "This is one plan I know will work."

"D-D.J., how mad can you make D.J.?"

"I don't know, she'll be upset, but if you're asking can I make her go overboard, I doubt it. Not even enlisting D-Kimmy's help." D-D.J. sighed. "She gets upset at Danny sometimes, but even then apologizes right away. She might yell a little louder, but unless you can get Michelle to be really rude and defiant..."

"No way, Jose. I can tempt her to nuke Gumby, that's fairly easy for a kid her age with her personality. That Jesse attitude only carries so far, though."

"That's right," A-D.J. remarked candidly. "And besides, you know full well D.J. really cares about her sisters, deep down. She'd make herself stay in control."

"Yeah," D-Stephanie added. "This dumb Devil-D.J. can't get D.J. to slack off at all! It's like she's surrendered in her battle to not let D.J. be like Pam!"

"I have not yet begun to fight!"

"You got that right!" D-Stephanie retorted sarcastically.

D-D.J. folded her arms. "Hey, when that drunk driver killed her mom, I got her to do some dumb things. She skipped school, she didn't dedicate herself and become proactive with Michelle, she lied & bought a horse she knew she wouldn't be allowed to have, and so on. But when she stayed home from that first non-mother-daughter slumber party to take care of Michelle, it showed that maternal instinct couldn't be broken. It could be subdued, and I've done that a bit. I make her battle Stephanie. But I haven't been able to quash the spirit entirely."

"And even if you do get her boy crazy, she'll care," A-D.J. retorted.

"But I can make it tough. I'm good at that, just like D.J.'s good at thinking things up and always wants to be the best. Picture this," D-D.J. told D-Michelle. "We get her hooked on a boy when she goes to Spain in a few months. You get Stephanie and Michelle jealous, or just upset, and have them fly off somewhere."

"Why is it you come up with all these great ideas, yet you can't execute any of mine!" D-Michelle spouted.

A-Kimmy smiled. "A-D.J.'s just too powerful. Good thing, too, or Kimmy would really be in serious trouble."

In the physical realm, a while later, Michelle walked into the empty kitchen with Comet, the family's Golden Retriever. "Guess they did the dishes." She looked at her Gumby. "I wonder how well I can bake this." She looked at the stove. "That's bad to play with the stove. It can start a fire." To Comet, she continued by remarking, "They bake bricks over fire. But, I'll have to use this." She gazed at the microwave curiously, wondering how it worked.

She pulled a chair over to the microwave and stood on it, putting Gumby in the microwave. "Daddy says only food goes in here. But, it'll only take a minute." She started it, then got off the chair. She heard a popping sound as she and the dog walked away. "Is it supposed to do that?"

The oven filled with thick smoke, and the smoke alarm soon went off, as did the lights, while Michelle hid under the table with the dog. "I'm in big trouble, Mister," she muttered. The intense power surge had knocked out a fair amount of other electrical and electronic things, too.

Danny ran downstairs with the flashlight from his room - he was always prepared for anything. It was dark in the house since the sun was down, it being mid-winter. "Oh no, what happened!" He got out the fire extinguisher and sprayed it thoroughly in the oven. "What happened? Michelle, are you okay?" he said, finding her as he searched with the flashlight and got out a few battery-operated lanterns.

"I just tried to bake Gumby."

Danny was shocked. "What! Michelle, Gumby is not microwave safe! Oh no, look at the mess in here. I don't want to think about all the bugs that might be crawling on that....just like...all that stuff on our skin. Okay, stay calm, you don't have to go get another shower. But this...look at this mess! It's ruined! Michelle, you probably blew every fuse in this house!"

"I'm sorry, Daddy," Michelle said, quivering as the yelling; Danny never raised his voice to her, it seemed. He had trouble thinking of her as a big girl, but also he missed Pam a lot, and hated to see her sad. This was as much as he'd ever yelled at her.

Since the smoke alarm was now off, D.J. and Kimmy came through the door from the living room, along with Stephanie, Joey, Jesse and Becky - the latter two each held a baby. "What happened, is everything all right?" D.J. asked.

"It's okay...there's no fire," Danny said, breathing deeply to calm himself. As he once again began to think of how precious his cute little Michelle was, he stopped yelling. He didn't like to see her sad, and he could tell she was quite sad and even a little scared, perhaps.

"Well, at least we got our fire drill practice in in case there ever is one," Stephanie said confidently.

"Right, all did well," Danny said, smiling at them as he tried to collect himself. "Michelle nuked her Gumby."

D.J. was much more willing to give a screaming lecture. "What! No wonder the power surged in my computer," she said, looking at Michelle. "I probably lost the start of a paper or two; though at least they weren't far along."

"Hey, think about me. I'm going to have to borrow your Earl of Sandwich paper and make stuff up on my mom's typewriter. It's so much easier to copy your friend's stuff when you can just cut and paste on a Mac," Kimmy said.

"Daddy...are you gonna yell any more?" Michelle asked solemnly, clearly very depressed as she started to think of what all must have broken - including the lights, it seemed, since they'd gone out when the fuses blew.

"Michelle..." He sighed, then spoke firmly but at the same time quite normally, without the yelling he had done for a moment. "First I have to figure out what was on and how much might have been shorted out or even ruined. You go up to your room, and I'll figure out how long I'm going to ground you." It was much like he'd said to Stephanie when, a couple years earlier, she'd backed Joey's car into the kitchen. He yelled some then, too, once he got upstairs to her room and started lecturing. But, even that lecture was very mild compared to how much he might have yelled. Danny was just extremely timid at times.

As Michelle started upstairs with a smile, figuring there wouldn't be any more lecture, just a simple "you're grounded for..." however long, D.J. grabbed her arm. "I'll come up there with you. If it's all right with you, Dad, I'll do the lecturing here. It sounds like you're getting pretty calm already."

"Why shouldn't he be? He never yells at her. She's just like Joseph," Kimmy said.

Stephanie looked at Kimmy's gaudy, wild outfit. "Yeah, except all the coats of many colors are in your closet."

"It's not that bad, Kimmy. Dad just doesn't like to yell, especially with the lecture this girl should get," D.J. said. As she gazed down at Michelle, the little girl's look went from confident to fearful - she hated getting yelled at, but now she could tell she wasn't going to get off easily. She was going to hear about what she did for a while, knowing the look on D.J.'s face. D.J. sighed as she considered that she did have to yell more than she cared to, though, because of Danny's incredible laxness at times, even now.

"Deej, come on, she can tell what she did was wrong. We just need to have a talk about what all she broke. I mean, I didn't even yell all that much when Steph backed Joey's car in here compared to what I could have done. And then I didn't have to keep thinking about all the microbes and other microscopic stuff I have on me, and how messy things are anyway. I mean, we all have microbes. There's a lot more that needs cleaned up, too."

"Don't worry, I know just how to handle Michelle, and just how to talk, and if she's naughty how loud and firm I have to be. I had lots of practice when you wouldn't punish her at all," she reassured him. They left.

"Tell D.J. I'm going home to work on my paper. Although after tonight, maybe a Gumby sandwich would be a better visual aide." She looked in the oven. "Ewww, gross. As long as you hold the Gumby."

"Okay, I'm going to check the fuses and all the electrical and electronic stuff we have. Jess...I don't know about your recording equipment," Danny said with uncertainty.

"Yeah, well, I was looking to get some new anyway," Jesse said with a small shrug. He didn't like to show his feelings much.

"That's the way to look on the bright side. Just like...well, I'd have to think if there's any more," the usually perky Becky said.

"Well, for one thing, we can go upstairs, and finish what we started. And we don't even need to worry about dimming the lights," Jesse quipped.

"I better take one of those lanterns, though. I am going to need one for their 3 AM feeding," Becky said.

D-Michelle glared at D-D.J. "You couldn't even induce a wisecrack about not needing a microwave to warm Michelle's buns?"

"D.J. isn't into wisecracks," D-D.J. pointed out. "But, look at it this way. Now you can work on Michelle to convince her D.J. would never spank her, and maybe get her to do even more mischief later. Just like we - and she - knows the adults would never hurt her."

A-D.J. shook her head before leaving that part of the spiritual realm. "Michelle figures D.J. would if Michelle was defiant enough. They've talked about it before, before the wedding, and with what Michelle did earlier to those samples. Kids that age can worry about those things, if they're timid like her. She's heard about it on the playground, seen Aaron playfully smack another boy or two, and that plants that seed of doubt in her mind even more. She figures it's for really bad kids. And, she knew she was in big trouble when she saw the smoke from that Gumby."

"Right," A-Michelle concurred. "Being like she is, she's afraid it'll hurt, like when she wore all those pads learning to ride her bike. D.J. would only give light slaps, and just hurt her feelings, maybe it would pinch a second or two. And then, only as a last resort. To a kid like Michelle, it would be like a trip to the doctor's, where worry over getting a shot makes it a lot worse in her mind. But, Michelle doesn't know that." She was thankful Michelle hadn't been near that bad yet, and that D.J. hadn't had to threaten it.

D-D.J. scoffed at D-Michelle. "See. You're the slacker; you keep expecting me to make D.J. go too far overboard, when it's not possible. Now, here's the type of battle you should have been working on, making Michelle seem so cute to him when he has to be tough, so she tries even more mischief!" She pointed to where D-Danny and A-Danny were about to appear to Danny in the kitchen.

Just before the confrontation began, D-Michelle scolded, "Lay off, I was able to do that till she was almost four, and we kept Danny from punishing her till then because of it, making D.J. do it all. I'd call that a success, which is more than you've had."

Danny had just come down from talking to Michelle about her behavior and her punishment. Many thoughts swirled through his mind.

Suddenly, his evil twin, Manny, appeared to him; though he was really D-Danny the name Danny had given him stuck to him. "Nice going, neat freak. Now, you made your little princess cry! Look at all that mess. And, all those microbes. You better forget this and let D.J. handle her, it's too much for you, with all there is to clean."

"Don't listen to him," A-Danny said confidently. "You can do this. Just set some limits, like you would when Pam was alive. She's still with you, you know, in spirit."

Danny was shocked. "Oh boy. First those microbes, now the good and evil me are both here!"

"Pam would be so proud of you for going up there and telling Michelle she was going to be grounded till spring break starts, a week from this coming Saturday, and she had to go to bed right after her bath, like you did," A-Danny encouraged him. When A-Danny spoke, Danny could almost swear Pam was in the room with him, too. "You're a great dad, you can handle this, just like you did when Steph crashed Joey's car."

"Ha! You still needed time to think about that! Pam was the main one to discipline, and you know it!" D-Danny suddenly switched tactics. "And did you see Michelle crying? She was so sad. Just like you all were when Pam died. You don't want to see any tears, and think about how Michelle doesn't have a mom, because it matches that great big hole in your heart," D-Danny said.

A-Danny used something he knew was very powerful to defeat that - Scripture from the funeral. "We do not mourn like those who have no hope. Danny, you will see Pam again. She is alive, in Heaven. So, you can fill that hole by thinking of that."

"I know...I know. But, it's such a big mess, and so many things might need fixed. What should I do? What would you do, Pam?" Danny asked, looking at the ceiling.

A-Danny smiled; he knew D.J. would soon come downstairs. So, he said, "Your oldest daughter knows. And, you can do it, too; you don't need her to enforce everything. Just do what she says. She has Pam in her, too, in how she always wants to be the best."

"Don't listen to that goody-two-shoes," D-Danny spouted. "Go clean everything, you're going to be up all night cleaning! Let D.J. be the parent."

"Oh, boy; I sure hope D.J. comes down here soon." Danny considered the mess, but knew first things were first. He really did have to decide on the entire punishment, and forget about cleaning. Even though those microbes had been added to by...well, the biggest mess he'd ever seen. Or, at least that he'd seen since Steph wrecked Joey's car..

He was glad he'd told Michelle about the fire hazard there could have been with the stove. But he hadn't included the microwave in that, it was a different hazard. But now...yes, a trip to the fire station might even be warranted. That sounded like Pam.

"See, you're thinking of good ideas already," A-Danny encouraged him before he and D-Danny disappeared and D.J. came down into the kitchen.

"Deej, thank goodness you're here. It felt like there were two more of me...I mean, not really me, but, well..."

D.J. figured Danny was just glad to have someone to help him think. "You'll need three of you with that mess. It's just like when Steph wrecked the car," she pointed out, contemplating that time.

"Right. It sounds like you did a good job; Michelle didn't seem too distraught, though she was teary. I didn't like seeing that, so I didn't say a whole lot when I went up there, since it was just before her timeout was going to start..."

"She's pretty depressed over what she did. But, you were right, she was on the road to that even before we listed all the stuff that might need fixed or replaced," D.J. said. "I put Steph in to sub for me while she got her bath. I wanted to call Kimmy and make a time tomorrow to go over her paper with her, just to make sure it isn't too close to mine."

"Good thinking." Danny became quite solemn, as he thought of Pam. "This is tough, Deej. When Steph crashed Joey's car, it was hard trying to think of all the privileges I could revoke, and with how long she could be grounded and so on so it wasn't too harsh, yet it made the point. It's why I had you take Steph upstairs while I decided what I was going to do. And with Michelle, well, you know how I've been with her, how I've hated to raise my voice or even put her in timeout at times. I guess I want it to be like when Mom was here, and she was a baby. It's rough without her."

"So you're saying you need my help?" she asked, a little frustrated but hiding it well, and trying to be very understanding; at least he was admitting it this time. He nodded. "Don't worry, I made sure she understood any chores that she still owes me, they're all coming due."

"Okay. That sounds fair, there's a lot of work involved in cleaning this up. I gave Steph some extra chores back then; we'll talk about which Michelle will have to do."

"And, of course, you can make it less if you want, but I joked that if she got what she deserved, the next dessert she eats would be her wedding cake," D.J. said with a chuckle. "I felt like I had to make a joke, but I wanted to lighten the mood, too, and not sound too harsh. You can tell she's been humbled; she didn't say anything about wanting to get married tomorrow so she can have dessert again like she might have."

Danny was glad. "I think extra choresare very good, and grounded for a week and a few days, till Saturday; I don't want her grounded over spring break. Maybe a little less for dessert, I don't know; probably that just till we get the oven fixed. At her age it shouldn't be much longer. I mean, I think that's what Mom would say." He tried to envision Pam there with him.

D.J. agreed that it sounded like he was doing a good job.

"Right. Deej, I'm going to be tough here. I promise. You don't have to be doing this for me. I like how you're helping, but I'll be the one to take away those privileges, and enforce things. I know I've made you wonder, even after I started punishing her, like when she snuck out to see me with Teddy; of course, even then his mom wouldn't let him play with her for a week, so there was some punishment there for her, too, in a way. But this time, it'll be different. At least for a while," he hedged, knowing he might get too lax again sometimes. "but...but here, I'll be good. No TV or dessert, I mean, the TV and videos and everything are a logical consequences, anyway. None of that for a week, and no dessert for two weeks., since she love sthat so much...wait, jesse's birthday is in less than that..." His head was spinning.

"Glad to hear you're being firm. But if you have trouble, I'll be here." D.J. put a compassion hand on his shoulder. And, how about just no dessert till Uncle Jesse's birthday. It's close enough to two weeks." She didn't know if she liked automatically saying Michelle could go anywhere over spring break, but five was kind of young to be grounded longer than a week unless it was something really bad or dangers - like when she and Stephanie would get on that plane that summer.

"I'll go up and tell her. Thanks for helping, Deej. I just hate to sound tough with her. That smile, that laugh, even the way your mother looked in her baby pictures. I see so much of Mom in her. Although, you know it's not as bad as Kimmy says, don't you?"

"Trust me, Dad; I know her well enough. Kimmy says weird stuff." She got quieter, thinking of Pam as well. "I know you love us all the same. It's just harder for you with Michelle because you miss Mom, huh?"

"You better believe it. The first few weeks I was punishing her, after I finally started, I was really glad to have you there backing me up. Guess you could tell from how you heard I just watched her gobbling those wedding cake samples, huh? I was really thinking about Mom right then."

A-Stephanie grinned as she turned to A-Michelle. "Well, now my charge has had the car in the kitchen, and yours has had Gumby. No matter how they try, out adversaries can't make the Tanners go overboard."

"Yeah," A-Michelle agreed tiredly, "but mine sure makes things rough with Michelle, like when she ran away." Michelle had played with Jesse's new equipment - the old got ruined - the day she was ungrounded, so Danny sent her to her room, then removed TV and videos and such for when she came down. When she ran away, Danny put her in her room till supper about fifteen minutes later, and also removed TV for a while longer. D.J. had had a very long talk with her as well.

A-Joey entered the scene. He bore a great resemblance to Richie Cunningham. The sometimes childlike Joey was very non-confrontational most of the time, but while he wasn't a tough guy, he was the kind of leader Richie had been on Happy Days - a big brother who stood up for his little sister, who helped the Fonz in all kinds of situations, and who was just a generally nice, easygoing friend. And, the times when Joey did stand up for others - like when he would, a couple years later, make a speech at a PTA meeting about how he was practically a father to the Tanner girls, and what being a father really meant, it was the image of being that Richie-type leader that convinced Joey he was capable of that. He really was like a father to the girls.

"We've got a great family to help. But, boy, I'll bet you'll be glad when Michelle's done being tempted so much," A-Joey said.

"Actually, Kimmy's going to be babysitting soon, so I might have to appear again."

A-Stephanie chuckled. "They'd be better off asking Stephanie to babysit. Of course, there's a plan to ensure Stephanie feels like she did - complete with her getting paid." Seeing the questioning gazes, A-Stephanie explained that, "Just like our Father knows how best to reach everyone, like you putting forth that Richie Cunningham appearance for Joey, He also knows just how to work things together for good, if our people just pay attention and follow His plan." God's plan, she'd been told, was to have Kimmy promise to pay Stephanie for each time she bathed, burped, or fed one of the twins, or changed a diaper.

Once she relayed the strategy, A-Jesse agreed it would work. "It's bound to encourage Stephanie quite a bit, too. Just like the ultimate goal with Michelle is to get her helping others, having more responsibility so she has others to focus on and doesn't have to follow her own temptations."

D-Danny crashed the party and commented, "No way that'll work. I've got Danny so protective he's sending Stephanie to day camp even this year."

"Sorry, I tried to stop it," A-Danny said. "But, not to worry, once the younger girls get back from New Zealand, Danny will realize he needs to stop being so overbearing, and by next summer, Michelle will be at camp for three straight weeks with D.J. and Stephanie. Where they can be just like Pam with her. And, Danny's going to have faith by then that they are."

A-Jesse agreed. "You're right. D.J. and Stephanie might over-mother her a little bit, but no matter how things work out, whether Michelle's become a really good kid by then, or she's fallen for more temptation and gotten pretty wild and it's only then that she starts learning to follow the rules even when Danny's too lax with them, you can bet God's plan will work, and all things are gonna work together for good."

A couple weeks later, Michelle was playing in the kitchen with Comet while Kimmy babysat her, Stephanie, and the twins; Stephanie was helping with the twins, though, because Kimmy was too lazy.

"Why did I ever bite a doggie doodle?" Michelle asked herself with a grossed out face.

Suddenly, A-Michelle and D-Michelle appeared to her in her mind from the spiritual realm, as they had weeks earlier, when she was playing with Jesse's new recording equipment and then ran away. Angel Michelle had long, flowing curls and a pretty pink dress with a halo, devil Michelle still looked like a biker chick.

"That wasn't very much fun, was it?" A-Michelle said.

Michelle gawked at her. "What are you doing back?"

"I'm just trying to help you think," A-Michelle said, knowing the spiritual battle that was forming, just like before.

Devil-Michelle spoke from the other side. "There's more stuff you can get into now, with Kimmy babysitting you," D-Michelle said, tempting her. "Let's see what all can and can't go down the garbage disposal."

"No way, Jose," Michelle said, shaking her head. "Stephanie's really babysitting. She's doing everything - even changing diapers."

"Exactly. Your dad and the others will be so upset at Kimmy, they'll figure it's easy to blame her for this, too," D-Michelle said. "They might figure if something went down the disposal, Kimmy put it down there without thinking. She never thinks," D-Michelle finished.

"Michelle, you don't want to get in trouble again, do you? When you nuked your Gumby, lots of stuff got ruined," A-Michelle said, wagging a finger.

"The garbage disposal won't ruin everything like that did. Or go out in the dark again, it's not your bedtime. Come on, your dad's being lax again," D-Michelle suggested. If she ventured out back, she might be tempted to do more later, as that wouldn't be noticed right away, so Michelle wouldn't be in trouble.

A-Michelle went over what Danny had done when she played with the new recording equipment. "Your dad sent you to your room and made you stay inside with no TV after he let you out of timeout, the last time you disobeyed. Remember, you sat on your bed moping with Comet on your lap because you couldn't go out with your sisters when we appeared? Then, you ran away, so couldn't come out of your room for a couple hours."

"You'll never get caught this time," D-Michelle pointed out. "Stephanie and Kimmy are probably arguing," D-Michelle spouted. At least, they would be if her comrades were able to get Kimmy to be lazy and dumb enough, and Stephanie to be frustrated enough, in the spiritual realm. "And you can blame Kimmy."

"Don't stay where you'll be tempted. You should always try to do what's right. Even if your dad wouldn't find out, D.J. would," A-Michelle noted warningly.

Michelle nodded slowly, her eyes widening. "She'd really put me to work. Even if just Steph caught me, you two would hear the lecture from outer space. And if I wouldn't listen to D.J...I don't want to think about what she might do." Danny had promised he'd never hit, and neither would the other adults, but D.J. wouldn't say "never." D.J. wouldn't hurt Michelle's bottom even if she did do it, but Michelle wouldn't take that chance, after hearing about it on the playground.

"She didn't mention the worst she could do back when you nuked Gumby," D-Michelle said.

"She might, if I was bad enough. Aaron said his mommy did it to him," Michelle said lowly, closing her eyes for a second. She knew she'd have to be a lot worse than she had been, but didn't want to tempt things. Her face showed a few pats from D.J. that didn't hurt would have been plenty if they were ever needed, which they wouldn't be.

"You're right, Michelle. D.J. loves you so much," A-Michelle assured her. "She wants you to be good, and learn how to be a wonderful, obedient young lady. She knows your dad doesn't always enforce rules like he should. So, she helps you learn."

Michelle didn't want to be bad - she was starting to get to the point where it took a lot to tempt her, after the Gumby incident and her running away a few weeks later. Still, as the good and bad Michelle disappeared back into the spirit realm, she was glad to see Stephanie coming downstairs.

"Hey, Michelle," Stephanie said. "I helped Kimmy...well, actually I put Nicky and Alex to bed myself. I'll help you get your bath if you want. I'll have to figure it again for Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky, but I think Kimmy's going to owe me all her money she made tonight. So, I guess I got to babysit you three after all."

"It figures." Michelle knew D-Michelle had been right about Kimmy being lazy. But, she was relieved that she hadn't done anything bad. Stephanie had sensed that she'd better check on Michelle. If Michelle had wandered outside or been playing in the disposal, Stephanie would have sent her to her room and not let her have dessert, even if nothing bad did happen. Now, Michelle not only wasn't in trouble, she got to have dessert. That was the sweetest thing of all to her.

Stephanie was testing the water as Michelle laid her pajamas out to get into after her bath. "You know, Michelle, I'm really proud of you tonight. I peeked down a couple times and you were just playing with Comet."

"I sure don't want another lecture like the last one," Michelle emphasized.

"Yeah, D.J. can be pretty loud, huh? I remember how she's been a time or two when I peeked in her diary, and that was just her stuff."

Michelle got into the tub. "When I cooked my Gumby, she was so loud, it's still bouncing around in my head."Michelle shook her hed. "And then after I came back from running away..." She'd tried to sneak some cookies the next day, before she was ungrounded from sweets, and because of recent defiance even afer Gumby, D.J. had had a talk with her similar to the one before the wedding, about how Michelle needed to learn to control herself and obey restrictions, or else.

"That wasn't fun for any of us. But, you listened, you admitted what you did was wrong, and you started to be good. I have to admit, I was worried for a while, but you're starting to become a really good girl," Stephanie remarked proudly.

Michelle thanked her, and was glad to see that even Stephanie - who could be pretty tough a critic at times, as older sisters often were - thought she could be really good.

However, as she laid awake, unable to sleep, that thought brought more temptation. D-Michelle appeared and said, "They trust you completely now. Even Stephanie thinks you'll be good. Now it's time to sneak downstairs and party!"

"Michelle, you know to be good," A-Michelle encouraged her. "If you can't sleep there are plenty of fun things to think about."

"Yeah, like going downstairs and eating all the leftover cake. What do the others care? You don't have to obey those dumb ol' bedtimes. You're Daddy's little princess," D-Michelle spouted.

"Michelle..." Michelle got out of bed, and A-Michelle spoke further, though she sensed that Michelle was going to behave she wanted to be sure. "Michelle, be good. Remember, D.J. says even princesses get punished when they're naughty."

"I want to be good. That's why I'm going to see D.J.."

Michelle crawled in bed with D.J. a moment later. "Michelle?" D.J. put an arm around her as they snuggled in bed. "You didn't have a nightmare, did you? Don't you usually go to Joey or Daddy for those with Uncle Jesse upstairs now, anyway?" Joey now occupied the fourth bedroom that Uncle Jesse had.

"I wanted to see you. I was tempted to be bad tonight. But, I really wanted to be good. And, it was fun," Michelle admitted with a big grin, getting the hoped for encouragement from her comment. D.J. was tough on her, but she also knew how to encourage her really well.

D.J. rubbed her back as she spoke. "We want you to be good, too. Sometimes it feels like Daddy watches over me too much; he did tonight, he was spying on me and my date. I wish he'd make sure you were watched. Although, you have been very good the last couple weeks. I've been very proud of you. Especially since Daddy's not being as tough as he was back then. You know you'll just get a normal timeout if you do something bad and that's it, not grounded with no TV as well when you come out of timeout."

"Right. And, you make me listen when he doesn't. And if I ever got really naughty..." She thought about the possibility - however remote - that D.J. could spank her. She looked downcast and said, "I don't want to think about that."

D.J. smiled and cuddled her. She knew Michelle was more scared of the thought than anything. She was thankful she'd never had to threaten it - only talk about it as a possibility when Michelle seemed to have little desire for self control. But, Michelle's look and body language made her even more certain if she ever did, light slaps that only hurt Michelle's feelings would be plenty. "Me, neither."

She relaxed in the embrace for a second, then after it was over she looked up at her. "D.J.?"

"Yes, Michelle?"

"How come you're so much tougher than Daddy?"

"Well," D.J. began with a sigh, trying to think how to put this. "Part of it is he's sad about losing Mom yet. So, he doesn't like to take away privileges or lecture a lot, because he knows that makes you sad. But, part of it is that he just doesn't like to be really tough anyway. But, at least Daddy does everything else; I've heard of cases where the oldest sibling has to get the meals ready, get kids up in the morning, and all kinds of things. It's like they become the parent, because the mom or dad can't do it. But, we're lucky. We have a dad who really handles all that other stuff well. Sometimes he's a little too protective, but I shouldn't complain too much. And when he has to be he enforces limits, even with you. He just lets me handle some stuff."

"You talk like Daddy sometimes," Michelle said with a giggle.

"Yeah, that was a Dad-like ramble, wasn't it?" D.J. agreed. "But you know, we all have a little bit of him, just like we all have a bit of our mom in us. The important thing is, that you learn to be good, so one day, you can be a really great mom for your own kids."

"I want to be. I want to be just like Uncle Jesse. And I'd like to be like you, too."

They hugged again as D.J. spoke. "I still wish sometimes I'd tried harder and we'd bonded more so you wanted to be all like me. But, some is better than nothing. Because we still make it work; we've got the best family there is."