The Origins Of: Punchbag Bob
The Battledome. The name means glory or defeat
to many who fight within its many arenas. Arenas that have seen dreams fulfilled
and dreams shattered. The throng of cries, orders, taunts and yells constantly
fill the air here, as Neopets do battle against many hostile opponents, some
small and easy, most colossal and formidable…
And then there's Punchbag Bob, a being seemingly
made of nought but straw, and yet is spookily alive. How can such a thing exist?
How can something as simple as a punchbag possibly be alive like you and I?
Could there be a story behind the creation of Punchbag Bob?
The answer to the third question is easily remedied;
This is the story of how Punchbag Bob came to
Many years ago, when the Battledome was only just starting off, there was one
Neopian who was feared more than anyone else, and whose Neopet - a particularly
hideous Mutant Lupe who went by the name of "foe_crusher" - was the strongest,
fiercest, and most merciless fighter on Neopia.
If you thought a Neopet with a name like foe_crusher
was alarming, you wait until you hear the name of his evil bullying owner. No
one ever really knew if it was the boy's real name, or if he used it to lure
younger fighter's into a false sense of security. After all, how could a kid
with a name so common and friendly-sounding possibly be a great - if not evil
That Neopian's name was Bob.
Together, his Mutant Lupe and he terrorized the
Battledome and everyone that used it, challenging every Neopian foolish enough
to set foot in the Arena. This they did with two strong assurances. One was
that they clobber the unfortunate Neopet to within an inch of its life, whilst
two was being in the blissful knowledge that whoever they challenged couldn't
Under Bob's strictest orders, foe_crusher had
already defeated the Pant Devil too many times to recount here. But one thing
was for sure, old PD didn't ever want a repeat of those beatings again.
So, somewhat to the Pant Devils's dislike for
all Neopians, they had struck-up a deal. If anyone Bob challenged turned down
the fight, then the Pant Devil would raid that person's inventory the following
night, returning with anything remotely of value…in other words; pretty much
everything the Pant Devil could carry. These items the Pant Devil would give
to Bob, as "tribute" to the Champion of the Battledome and his undisputed superior.
Since quite a few people were always foolish
enough to refuse, Bob received his "tribute" on an average of once a week. These
items were then sold back to the hapless (and now thoroughly defeated) owners
for at least twice the items original price. Within no time at all, Bob was
the richest Neopian in history.
But it wasn't the riches that drove Bob, but
an endless hunger for victory, to watch his enemies fall to the floor in a beaten
heap, to drink-in the opponent's sadness at their loss and of that of their
In short, if I have not stressed it already,
Bob was nothing but a heartless bully, who would win no matter the cost (this
included cheating). And, as is only right, he soon got his come-uppance…
Above the skies of Neopia, there hovered a place well-known to us all now,
but back in the time our story takes place it was thought of nothing more than
Anyway, in her Royal Throne Room in Faerie City,
the Queen Fyora stared intently into a shining globe that floated before her
eyes. The latter held an unpleasant scowl upon its otherwise majestic features.
"You evil child," she muttered to herself, totally oblivious to the far door
opening a crack or of the young Faerie that poked her head round soon after
"I-I'm sorry if I have done anything to displease
you, Your Majesty," the young girl whispered apologetically, knees trembling.
Was she about to be banished for the chaos she had started in class? "I assure
you; I never meant to change Jhudora into a Dribblet -"
It was a lie, of course…but she had only done
it when the young Dark Faerie had threatened to make her wings fall off.
"Hmmm…?" waving a hand slowly over the ball,
it changed back into the Faerie Queen Snowglobe it had originally been as it
floated down onto it's podium with graceful precision. "Oh," she added, upon
finding the scared Earth Faerie cowering before here eyes, "Oh, I wasn't referring
to you, my child…though I hear you did cause quite a stir…no, I meant that frightfully
dreadful boy called Bob."
"Who, Bob the Battledome Bully?" the young Faerie
blurted out, before realising she had used the silly nickname that all the Faerie
students has been referring the boy to in front of someone as respectful as
the Queen herself.
Surprisingly, no distaste showed on the Fyora's
serious face. "Yes, the very same," she nodded slowly, turning and seating herself
down in her throne. "He has made the Battledome an unpleasant experience for
others for too long! At first," she added somewhat wistfully, "I thought it
may just have been an alarming phase - the excitement of proving his Lupe to
be the best, and all that. I had no trouble with his countless victories over
the Pant Devil…in fact, as bitterly ironic as it may seem to you, my girl, I
thank him for it. But when he continually picks on other helpless Neopians!
No, something must be done, he must be taught a lesson. And you, little Illusen,
are just the one to be teaching it!"
"M-me?" the young Earth Faerie cried in disbelief.
"B-but what can I do against one so powerful and as ruthless as Bob?"
"Tch, Illusen," Fyora tutted admonished wearily.
"All your tests show you are exceptionally bright, let alone extremely powerful
with our magic gifts…you'll find a way, my girl."
"No time for 'buts' girl! The longer you wait,
the more innocent Neopians get hurt by him. Go, Illusen!"
"Yes, Your Majesty…I won't let you down." However,
as she flew obediently away to carry out her Queen's orders, she couldn't help
thinking that she didn't believe herself.
One day under veil of invisibility (no Faeries had been seen yet, remember),
the young Illusen stood with her face pressed against one of the Battledome's
many windows, watching her target at his nefarious work.
Look at that! Illusen thought bitterly, her heart
filled with pity for the Poogle on the receiving-end of yet another beating.
The poor thing might as well be a dummy, a target, a…
A Punchbag! That was it! If Bob liked to see
Neopets get hit so much, the least he could do was return the favor!
Flying off, the young Earth Faerie hatched her
ingenious idea that would later be used by many Neopians for many years to come.
Of course, she would have to break a few rules…
Returning from Meridell with an old Scarecrow,
Illusen got to work with placing a complicated charm upon it. Now, before you
mention that Faerieland was discovered ages before Meridell, I'll remind you
for the last time that there is nowhere in Neopia that that Faeries do not know
about, especially an Earth Faerie such as Illusen. The Faeries know more about
the history of Meridell than even King Skarl.
"That's one rule broken beyond repair," she muttered
uncertainly, for it had long been Faerie Law never to place a spell on any Neopian
item without the Neopians themselves knowing of it being done. But since the
Neopians don't even know we exist, there really is no way around that, Illusen
assured herself as she folded the enchanted Scarecrow shell (she had emptied
most of the straw from it) and prepared to take flight. And when you're on a
quest from Her Majesty, second-best just doesn't cut it…
"Now," she muttered darkly, as she stared bitterly
upon Bob's Neohome upon arrival. "Here comes the hard part…"
And indeed, a second Faerie Law was basically
this: keep out of people's Neohomes. All it would take is one accidental bump
and, veiled with invisibility or not, people would know of the Faerie's existence.
But again, Fyora was not one to be disobeyed.
Creeping into the stone house, Illusen was glad
to find Bob snoring soundly in a Red Bean Bag Chair. The happy barks coming
from far away told her that Bob's pet Lupe was probably in the Garden. Most
likely Shadow Boxing, she thought sardonically. Muttering a few arcane words,
the young Earth Faerie let the empty Scarecrow fall onto Bob's sleeping body,
some force of magic guiding it to that it lay precisely where he was, its face
over his face, its stumpy feet covering his smart black shoes. There was a bright
flash of dazzling white light, and Bob sat up, rubbing his bleary eyes.
"Huh? What happened?" he muttered gruffly. When
his eyes suddenly turned to Illusen's face, she cursed herself; she had forgotten
to put the veil back on, he could see her! "You think you can just waltz into
my home, you weird little girl?" he growled angrily, standing up, he balled
his fists. "You've had it now; I'm going to beat all you Neopets to a pulp!
With a malicious glint in his eye (for, unbeknown
to him, his right one was now a button), Bob put a hand to his mouth to whistle
for his Lupe…and finally saw his hand with startling awareness.
"Burlap?" he said in confusion. "Hmph, must've
fallen asleep with my gloves on…wait a minute. It's all burlap - I'm all burlap!
And what's all this…this straw sticking out of me? Have you dressed me up in
some silly costume?" he added suspiciously, arms flailing behind his back. When
no zip or Velcro straps could be found, the horrible truth started to finally
sink in. "Foe_crusher! HELP!"
At the sound of his name, the Mutant Lupe bounded
in and, upon seeing the great stuffed oddity before him, foe_crusher's eyes
lit-up with joy as he pounced on his owner.
"Hey, thanks!" the Lupe called to wherever he
seemed to think his owner was. "I really needed one of these to practise my
new moves on… it makes a great Punchbag, Bob!"
As Illusen finished recounting her tale of success, she eyed her Queen cautiously.
The expression was hidden behind Fyora's interest of the tale being told to
"Hmm, I see," she murmured finally, after some
nerve-wracking silence between the two. "And then…?"
"Well, after I explained to the Lupe - I know,
I shouldn't have shown myself to him or his owner, I mucked-up on that part
- anyway, when I explained that his owner had decided to leave suddenly, leaving
behind the 'magical talking Punchbag,' as I called it, it was the Lupe's idea
to call it 'Punchbag Bob.' When I asked why, he simply said 'In memory of the
greatest Battledomer Neopia will ever have.' Those are his own words, frankly
I don't think the evil child deserves such a memorial…I then made sure the Lupe
was adopted by a peaceful child who was more interested in making foe_crusher
the smartest pet in Neopia."
Without answering outright, Fyora simply rose
from her throne and waved a hand over her Faerie Queen Snowglobe once again,
whereupon it rose and hovered between her and the young Earth Faerie. From where
she was still seated, Illusen could quite plainly see the new "Punchbag Bob"
being hit repetitively by a sprightly Jubjub.
"Did you mean to make the Punchbag so seemingly
invincible?" Fyora asked suddenly, shaking Illusen from her sense of wonderful
"Oh, I kind of thought that he wouldn't really
learn his lesson if he could be beaten so easily…I wanted each lesson to be
a long one…" her voice trailed off as she caught the bitter look that had finally
appeared on her Queen's face. When Illusen finally did speak again, it was with
a quavering voice. "H-have I done the w-wrong thing, Your Majesty…?"
"My child," the Faerie Queen murmured in all
sincerity, "in all honesty, I don't think there was anything else you could
So there you have it, the whole sorry tale of how Punchbag Bob came to be.
So next time you fight him, just remember how much of a sinister bully he had
been before the Faerie Illusen had transformed him. Fight him, knowing you're
safe from his evil attacks.
Fight him - unless, of course, you even feel an ounce of pity for him…
Author's Note: Well, that was a long story to start of series of short ones,
ey? Who else would you like to hear the origins of? Just Neomail me with your
ideas for characters, but make them minor ones like Punchbag Bob here…I can't
make backgrounds for characters like Jean or Sloth, since they already have
one! Also, I'd love comments for anyone! There are no blocks on my Neomail,
so feel free to drop me a line!