Main Page Go to Short Stories Go back to Articles Go to Comics Go to Continued Series Go to Editorial Go to New Series

Show All | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19 | Week 20 | Week 21 | Week 22 | Week 23 | Week 24 | Week 25 | Week 26 | Week 27 | Week 28 | Week 29 | Week 30 | Week 31 | Week 32 | Week 33 | Week 34 | Week 35 | Week 36 | Week 37 | Week 38 | Week 39 | Week 40 | Week 41 | Week 42 | Week 43 | Week 44 | Week 45 | Week 46 | Week 47 | Week 48 | Week 49 | Week 50 | Week 51 | Week 52 | Week 53 | Week 54 | Week 55 | Week 56 | Week 57 | Week 58 | Week 59 | Week 60 | Week 61 | Week 62 | Week 63 | Week 64 | Week 65 | Week 66 | Week 67 | Week 68 | Week 69 | Week 70 | Week 71 | Week 72 | Week 73 | Week 74 | Week 75 | Week 76 | Week 77 | Week 78 | Week 79 | Week 80 | Week 81 | Week 82 | Week 83 | Week 84 | Week 85 | Week 86 | Week 87 | Week 88 | Week 89 | Week 90 | Week 91 | Week 92 | Week 93 | Week 94 | Week 95 | Week 96 | Week 97 | Week 98 | Week 99 | Week 100 | Week 101 | Week 102 | Week 103 | Week 104 | Week 105 | Week 106 | Week 107 | Week 108 | Week 109 | Week 110 | Week 111 | Week 112 | Week 113 | Week 114 | Week 115 | Week 116 | Week 117 | Week 118 | Week 119 | Week 120 | Week 121 | Week 122 | Week 123 | Week 124 | Week 125 | Week 126 | Week 127 | Week 128 | Week 129 | Week 130 | Week 131 | Week 132 | Week 133 | Week 134 | Week 135 | Week 136 | Week 137 | Week 138 | Week 139 | Week 140 | Week 141 | Week 142 | Week 143 | Week 144 | Week 145 | Week 146 | Week 147 | Week 148 | Week 149

Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 30th day of Gathering, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 49 > Articles > Who Are You Calling Plain?

Who Are You Calling Plain?

by tdyans

RAINBOW POOL - I've received many different questions in my time here at Neopets, but there's one in particular that's always made me stop and think: "Why is your Lupe MaxKanine plain-coloured" Can't you afford a paint brush?" Well, yes I can afford it, thrifty as I may be. That's why all of Max's siblings are painted. Specifically, they're painted in ways that reflect their personalities. Achilles81, whose head is always in the clouds as he loves to read and write, is naturally a cloud Gelert. Moeioe's a faerie Moehog because he's always wanted to fly--it means more chances to get into mischief! And then there's Rooruon--sweet, sensitive, eager-to-please, mutated... well, you get the idea.

But Max is a simple guy--calm, quiet, contemplative. So, it's not that I'm neglecting him, but that his "simple" green colour just fits him, and he and I both find it quite handsome also. While I like many of the colours that Lupes can be painted in, none has yet managed to impress me more than the one that first charmed me into saving him from the pound. I never think of Max as being any less special than his brothers, and certainly not because he is a so-called "plain" pet.

So I wondered why some people seem to have the idea that a pet has to be painted or else it isn't special. A poll of owners with plain pets on the chat boards seemed to confirm my suspicion that this general opinion existed. Twenty-four percent of the people polled said that they liked their pet the way it was, and would not paint it whether they could afford to or not. Still 20% more stated various other reasons for their pets' unpainted states, ranging from a belief that it is cruel to paint pets, to saving Neopoints for other purposes, from the effects of the lab ray, to not liking the available colours enough. Yet, the majority of people with plain pets, a full 56%, stated that their pet was unpainted only because they couldn't afford the paint brush, and many of them lamented this perceived problem.

To counteract the belief that plain is just plain, I decided to look at five particular plain pets and speak to their owners about them. These people all offer different reasons for why their pets are not painted, but they all have one thing in common: they all think their pets are quite special anyway, and most of Neopia would have to agree.

The Neopian Times Hero
You've probably at least heard of Al_the_chia, possibly the most famous character in The Neopian Times. But have you ever considered that Al is just a "plain" blue Chia" Perhaps not, since Al is so distinctive with his thick glasses, exclamations of "Oh Piffle," and penchant for Lupology. As Al_the_chia (the owner) says, "Your pet isn't special unless it has character." And he has certainly managed to create a character with character through his writings about his famous pet. Al the author points out that even painted pets have many pets out there who look exactly like them, but, "Al is special because he is (in a sense) alive. He's different from every other blue Chia in Neopia."

Al the author admits that practical reasons have a lot to do with Al remaining a blue Chia; Al was and always has been blue in the stories about him, as well as the images of him that have been created, so "If he weren't blue it would do a lot of damage to his character." But his "plain" colour also seems to fit him better than any other could. Showing his characteristic sense of humour, Al the author points out the disasters that might occur if Al were painted any of the more fancy colours available to Chias: "[If he was Tyrannian] can you imagine him clubbing Lupes over the head and dragging them into caves to conduct DNA tests? Or if her were an avocado, he'd be too tall to walk through doorways!"

In the end, Al the author says, his Chia is too busy to care about the fact that the other pets in his owner's account are all painted. He's pampered instead by training, battle equipment, and a great-looking petpage, not to mention his starring role in most of Al_the_chia's stories. "Plain-coloured as he is," Al the author reminds us, "he can really kick tail." The Lupologist himself has the final word: "We're Stayin'! We're Plain! Get used to it!"

The Comic Star
Chances are, you'll recognise Tinello from The Neopian Times also. His well-loved comic even features his "plain" colour in its name: "L*U*P*E* Blue!" Some might find it strange that while Tinello is his owner's oldest and most famous Lupe, he is the only one in his family who is not painted. But his owner, and artist, Oasis21, explains: "Tinello is my first pet and by far my favourite, so I am reserving his colour to be painted striped when Lupes are available striped. I like him blue though, and he doesn't have to be painted all fancy to be my favourite."

Clearly, Tinello is special to Oasis21 then, and through his starring role in her comics, his uniqueness has been shown off to the rest of Neopia as well. And Tinello himself recognises that he's special too, thanks to the love of his owner and fans. Says Oasis21, "He knows that he doesn't need to be painted special to know he's unique." So, this "plain" Lupe suffers from no sibling rivalry but just revels in the attention that he receives from other sources than just his looks. "You have to love 'em for who they are," Oasis21 insists, "not what they look like."

As for the idea that being painted alone can make a pet special, she points out that, "If you think your pet can't be special in a "plain" colour, then it will never be truly special in a fancy colour." And she goes on to offer tips from an artist's point of view on how you can make your own pet special without spending Neopoints: "You can pretend they have markings, or jewellery and things. You don't need to stick to the guidelines of the painted pets." Tinello happily chimes in with one last comment on the matter: "That's right! Plaint pets rule!"

The Lab Pet
"Just because it's plain doesn't mean it's bland." Those are the words of Neopian Times author Sarakrindel as she speaks about her pet, Taylorkrindel the blue Acara. Of course, Taylor may not necessarily be a blue Acara at the moment, because, like many other Neopets, Taylor has been experimenting with the Secret Laboratory Ray. But Taylor is unique among many of the lab pets out there in that Sarakrindel plans to turn her back into a "plain" blue Acara once all the experimentation is finally over. She likes Taylor's normal appearance--"In my opinion, blue *is* the best colour for Acaras. Just look at it! It's a nice, pleasant hue."--and is just visiting the lab ray for the stats, not the possibility of getting a fire, faerie, or robot pet.

In explaining her preference for the look of a "plain" blue pet when there are so many painted options, Sarakrindel says, "Just because it's a lot cheaper doesn't mean it's by default worse... fancy colours are a lot rarer... as well as having a great potential of looking *really* good. But plain colours are more simple, which means they are, in many cases, less likely to be hideous like some of the fancy colours."

Since she likes her Acara's blue colour and her "wealth is already expressed by Taylor's stats," Sara doesn't feel the need to show off by painting her pet as she thinks some people do. According to her, being special is not just about how a pet looks, but "it's also how they feel, what they like to do with their time, and their temperament." Sara compares Taylor to "a romantic image of the war-like, yet practical, female." She is the most aggressive of Sara's pets, and her time spent and success in the Battledome aptly demonstrate that part of her personality. "[Taylor] also likes looking casual, but the nicer side of casual," Sara adds. "Blue is a simple, yet nice, colour which fits her." So, Taylor likes her simple blue Acara look as much as her owner does, and feels no jealousy about her brother Butterfingerbeak's fire paint job. Described by her owner as "not brilliant" but "not stupid either," Taylor has these simple but effective words to end with: "Just because it's "plain" doesn't mean it can't look good."

The Beauty King
"Many of my friends thought that their pet needed to be painted to be handsome enough to win the Beauty Contest," says Philodice, owner of Phi1odice the blue Koi, or Phi1 as his family calls him. "So I wanted to prove that Phi1odice is a winner regardless of his colour." And prove it she has; Phi1 is proud to have earned four beauty contest trophies and all without a fancy paint job. His owner attributes his success to a supportive guild and to asking people to rate her artwork and vote if they liked it, which obviously they did.

Although some of Phi1's siblings are painted and limited edition pets, Philodice says he isn't jealous at all. All of her pets are spoiled in different ways, because they all have different personalities. And besides the fact that blue is Philodice's favourite colour, it also reflects Phi1's personality. "He loves water and aquatic plants," Philodice explains, "so his blue colour reflects his passion for the peaceful pond he created on his petpage. He says the garden inspires meditation and learning for the family." Phi1's Koi pond even won his petpage the Site Spotlight not long ago.

Philodice also offers some practical advantages to having a plain-coloured pet. "Pricey colours catch all the wrong attention from scammers and Chia Flour users," she points out. Also, whereas an expensive paint job may warn Battledome opponents that your pet probably has good weapons, a plain pet has the advantage of the "element of surprise." Blushing, Phi1 adds one more reason for liking plain pets that his owner forgot to mention: "Mum says she loves us just the way we are, and no coat of paint is going to change the way she feels."

The Split Personality
"Snowfrost is pretty famous, some tell me," says Bytail of her well-known green Gelert. "You don't need a brush to make that Neopet special, as she clearly shows." She describes her Gelert as "a loving goof-ball," modest, and down to Earth--traits that are reflected in her green coat. Bytail has developed Snowfrost's personality and uniqueness through her artwork. "I added snowflakes to her rump--" Snowfrost says, "only fitting since her name is "Snowfrost." The Gelert's uniqueness continues to shine through in the petpage that her owner has created for her, which shows off pictures of her, tells her story, and introduces someone else... her "coal black" sister with "poisonous green eyes," Dark Snowfrost. "She is just the opposite of Snowfrost in all aspects," says Bytail. "You don't get more unique than having a darker entity that you bore from your own inner hatred, a soul sister."

So, it's the unique look and story that Bytail has created with her imagination that make Snowfrost special--no fancy colour needed. "Everyone wants all the hottest colours to paint up their Gelerts, which makes them all boring," Bytail argues. "These hot colours become the common ones because everyone wants or has 'em." So, both Snowfrost and her owner are quite proud and attached to her *uncommon* green colouring. Snowfrost has even managed to win a couple of Beauty Contest trophies in her time, and Bytail points out that Snowfrost's painted siblings have not had the same success in their attempts. To her, it's not colour that matters in the Beauty Contest, but skill or friends.

"I think it's dumb not to love a Neopet... just because they don't have that new, expensive coat," Bytail concludes. "It's just a colour that costs you to empty your NP wallet." Bytail and Snowfrost, like many other owners and plain pets, have found more creative ways than simple spending to be special. As always, the Neopet herself has the final words in this interview, and words of wisdom they are: "Every Neopet should be loved for who they are, not what colour they come in. colour is colour, it can change and fade... but love for us can never fade."

So, if you've got a "plain" pet for whatever reason, don't despair. Instead, depend on your imagination, creativity, and love to make your Neopet special, not just on your bank account. As the examples of these five pets and their owners have shown, it's not a fancy coat of paint that makes a Neopet exceptional. There are plenty of "plain" pets out there who are really anything but plain. In fact, perhaps like the old "Plain M&Ms," plain pets need a new, more suitable, name. Reading over this finished article, MaxKanine had only this to add: "Hmmm, that's a pretty good idea, Tdyans. But somehow, I just don't think "milk chocolate pets" would fit us very well either..."

Week 49 Related Links

Needed: Part Four
Dantam swallowed before he was able to force out the words, "She abandoned me."

by tdyans

Petpets: How Do They Communicate?

by oompaloompafarmiloe

Restricted - That Means You Can't Have One!
Have you noticed that all the new pets are Limited Edition or Restricted?

by ladee_sarah

AWOL HunkaLunka and the Mystery Island Paint Brush: Part Three
"What a view! Look, Al, you can see all of Mystery Island from up here!"

by scriptfox

Search :
Other Stories

Balthazar: Has He Crossed the Line?
Surely, you have heard about the atrocities committed by Balthazar, the infamous faerie hunter.

by bluescorchio104

Kasuki Lu - The Chia Inside
"Come to make fat jokes like everyone else?"

by littlelysshu

Cracking the Code: It
You have a codestone that is not the right colour or in the right place. Huh?

by teresatheperfect

A Financial Experiment #2
Most of my NP came from playing games. Personally, I'm addicted to Pyramids...

by sable_darkfaerie

Neopets | Main | Articles | Editorial
Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series | Search