I'm talking with Admiral Lancaster, head of Starfleet Media Group.
"I can't believe what you just told me, Admiral." I say despairingly.
"Look, Captain, Picard." he replies, "There's nothing to it, the production team want you to appear on the children's telecast show Sesame Planet."
I know I'm not going to be able to get out of this, but I protest anyway, hoping that Lancaster will be able to see reason.
"I'm not really very good with children." I tell him, "Perhaps Counselor Troi would be better suited for the role?"
"Sorry, Captain." Lancaster informs me, "The producers told me they wanted the Captain of the Enterprise on this. You're quite a hero to children; did you know that? Captain Picard dolls sell tenfold over the others in the shops. A child can press a button and the doll says "Make it so." or "Engage" when they do."
To think I'm a doll in a toyshop. The indignity of it.
At least they sell more than a Riker doll.
"All right." I tell him, "I'll go down and do it."
A few hours later, I'm in the Sesame Planet studio; I'm introduced to a man named Howard. He wears glasses and carries a clipboard. He looks at me.
"You must be today's guest, Lieutenant Pyecard." he tells me.
"Actually, it's Captain Jean-Luc Picard." I tell him in a correcting manner.
"Is it?" Howard looks baffled, "Communications are useless in this place. Alright, Captain. Davinia over there has got a yellow monkey suit over there. Put it on and we'll be ready to go."
"Excuse me?" I tell him indignantly.
"Just put the yellow monkey suit on and you can join the others in the studio jungle."
"I'm not doing that!" I shout, "I'm the Captain of a galaxy-class Starfleet vessel, and am not going to be reduced to wearing a monkey suit for the benefit of children!"
Howard starts looking extremely stressed, and says a few things to himself.
"I want to speak to the director, Howard!" I tell him.
"Johnny!" Howard shouts into a microphone, "The guest is not going along with the script, and wants to talk to you."
A man comes down; he looks as stressed as Howard.
"Look, Captain." he pleads, "I'm Johnny the director. Can't you go along with this?"
"No, Johnny." I tell him, "It's not the sort of thing a Starfleet Officer should do. Can't I teach them some Shakespeare?"
Johhny and Howard groan.
"Captain, these are little children." Johnny comments, "Shakespeare is hardly for them."
"I think I can make it suitable." I say with a smile, "Let me get my Hamlet costume from the Enterprise Theatrical Department."
A few minutes later, I am back wearing my costume.
"Let's make it so."
At least I have a little dignity there.
"That was great, Captain." says Howard, "Although I still think you would have done well in the yellow monkey suit."
Authors Note: I am indebted to Jaime for coming up with the film. Apologies that the quality is not 100%. It did come from the 24th Century!