Arty! Arty my man! Hey buddy, that was some kickass show you played last night. Did you see all of those fans? They were going nuts! Heh, get it? But seriously, those girls were crazy. I gotta know— did you hook up with anyone afterwards? Eh?

Yes, I’m aware that they were all six and seven years old. You’re five right? I thought you were into older women.

Ah, I see. I suppose I wouldn’t want to date a tree-dwelling rodent either. But hey— I’m sure there will be tons of bachelorettes for you next month when we rock Australia!

What? Where did you hear that? How can there be no squirrels on an entire continent? Don’t they have bush babies or something? I’m going to have to Wikipedia that later, man. But enough cooler talk— let’s get down to brass tacks. Don’t take this the wrong way, Arty, but your opener needs a revamp.

What do I mean? A fifteen-minute rendition of the “Hampster Dance” song may cut it in Wahoo, Nebraska. But we’re going international in two weeks and your act is getting stale. Why are you even singing about domesticated rodents anyway? It doesn’t make any sense.

It’s a political statement? You’re Arty the Cuddly Banjo Squirrel, not Jewel.

Nevermind, she was before your time. Look, I think this is a great opportunity to class things up. I’ve come up with some suggestions you could work on between shows. Have you ever seen the Country Bears Jamboree?

Whoa! Hey! I’m not trying to ruffle your fur, Arty. I just want you to be your best at the Australian franchise grand opening. Oh, crap. I wasn’t supposed to tell you that.

Look, I’m sorry. It’s not a rabies benefit like I said, okay? I’m sorry. Chuck E. Cheese’s is losing steam in the Western Hemisphere. Don’t worry— this has been going on for years.

I swear Arty, this has nothing to do with your act. Breadstick sales have been up four percent since we hired you. But our pizza and arcade demographics aren’t doing so hot. That’s why we’re opening the first Australian Chuck E. Cheese’s in Tom Price next month!

No, that’s the town’s name.

It’s kind of close to Sydney, yeah.

Well, you know where Perth is? It’s like sixteen hours north of there.

Hey, come on now! This is just the first step. Our market research shows nothing but an upward trend over there. Plus, the grand opening is going to be the gala event this summer! We’ve booked you with some huge stars, Arty.

Umm… I don’t remember off the top of my head but—

Well yes, Mr. E. Cheese will be performing of course. But there are other—

No, we’ve decided to go with the animatronic version again. You know Charles doesn’t like to be away from his family. This will be for the best, I promise. You know I always look out for you, Art.

Glad to hear it. Oh, and before I forget— how would you feel about performing a few duets with him?

Wow. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a squirrel slam a door before.

Squirrel Banjo at Headline Shirts