Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 102,279,292 Issue: 202 | 5th day of Hiding, Y7
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But of Course I'm on the List!

by mimed


Does the Grundo’s Café’s gut-retching grub make you gag? Do you crawl to the Gelert doctor after even catching a fleeting whiff of the Golden Dubloon’s dated and disgusting specials? Have you single-handedly started a petition to take Hubert and his rancid hotdogs off Neopia Central’s streets forever?! Then you are what’s called a “Picky Eater.” Don’t fret; you’re not alone. Hundreds upon thousands of Neopets all across Neopia, from the freezing peaks of Terror Mountain to the scorching sands of the Lost Desert, suffer from this almost incurable disease - “almost incurable” being the key words in that sentence. Now there is a new food solution for all of you Choosy Chombies, Persnickety Peophins and Selective Skeiths that won’t give you a bellyache: Kelp. No, I’m not telling you to eat some seaweed; just stay put. Kelp is the newest five-star restaurant in Maraqua that offers an “eclectic blend of both modern and traditional cuisine.” Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Well, it is!

But before you go diving with your fork and knife, know this: you won’t be allowed inside. Kelp’s snooty management, including that rude Maraquan Scorchio stationed at the front doors, despises the common rabble (meaning you) and prides itself on the exclusiveness of its establishment. Odds are that not even a sympathetic chef will toss you some scraps from Kelp’s delectable, mouth-watering menu. Discouraging, isn’t it? So close to delicious munchies and crunchies, yet so far away. No, wait! Hear me out before you become a vegetarian, my desperate and starving friend: there are always loopholes, illegal or otherwise, in any system. Intrigued? I bet you are!

In spite of the obstacles and dangers before me, I have managed to compile a “list,” per se, of methods for busting through Kelp’s security system and scoring some great eats. Follow my instructions, young grasshopper, and you, too, can reap the succulent rewards of high-class dining…

    1) I call this method “Duck and Run.” Very simple.

Wait patiently outside Kelp for a large crowd of aristocrats to swim up to the front doors. The group will converse with the Maraquan Scorchio in charge of the reservation book, give each member’s name, and then enter in some what of a clutter. Swim quickly and join them, but stay low so that the Scorchio doesn’t notice you slipping in. This method is guaranteed to work as long as you aren’t seen; the larger the group, the better!

One *minor* setback about this method is that your popularity may drop a tad… or even plunge drastically. How would YOU act if you were a rich Neopet entering Kelp to enjoy a nice meal, and some “commoner” came slinking along and hid himself (or herself) in your group to get in? Let’s just say, you would not like that at all - no one would. It’s downright irksome and horrible manners! So, be prepared to receive some angry stares and get a lot of cold shoulders if you give “Duck and Run” a try. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!

    2) Try this tactic: “Mistaken Identity.”

Approach the elegant, coral front doors of Kelp with a suave stride and nod to the Maraquan Scorchio stationed there. I recommend donning some expensive threads to make yourself appear important and filthy rich. Make sure the fabric doesn’t ruin in salty water, because Kelp is in Maraqua and, therefore, under the sea - duh!

The Scorchio will frown as you near and croon smugly, “I trust that sir/madam has a reservation with us?”

Acknowledge his words with a careless flick of your paw, hoof, or fin and reply nonchalantly, “But of course, don’t be ridiculous…” Then, just say a name - any name - like Number 6. Most likely, the name won’t be in their reservation book, but that doesn’t matter.

Scowling, the Scorchio will take out the book and begin to slowly scan the names as if your very existence plagues him. While he’s preoccupied, lean over as far as you can to peek at those names. Pick any random one quickly (if a name is marked out, that means the Neopian is already inside) before he looks up and hums with a smirk, “Oh, bother, what a shame. It appears as though you are not listed in our book for a reservation.”

“Pardon me,” you should reply innocently, appearing as though you are taken aback by your mistake, “but I seem to have given you the wrong name. How silly of me! I apologize, but you should find me under…” Then say the name you read in the book, like Snowflake or whatever it was. Regardless of how perturbed the Maraquan Scorchio becomes, he can’t turn you away because the name is right there in his book. With a sigh, he will surely allow you to enter!

Now… this plan can become muddled, especially if the person whose name you pick out of the book is standing (or floating, rather) right behind you. If that happens, get out of there as fast as you can before they call you an imposter and a fight starts. Return later with a new disguise and try your luck again.

    3) “Distraction” is a classic.

There are two different ways to go about this, though each provides a wonderful, spectacular distraction. I’ll go over them with you, and you can choose whichever variation you like… but don’t use both at once - that’s just silly.

One way to make a distraction so that you can sneak into Kelp is simple enough; just approach the Maraquan Scorchio and before he can speak, point to a nonexistent figure in the distance behind you and shout, “Oh my! Look, it’s Sloth eating a sludge sandwich!” Of course, who can help but look out of sheer curiosity? When the Scorchio turns his head, slip past him and head inside. But you’d better hope that he doesn’t come looking for you when he realizes what you just did!

Another variation would be to purchase the biggest jelly mold you can find (any flavor of jelly will do, mind you) and approach that unfortunate Maraquan Scorchio, hiding the mold cleverly behind your back. Then, when he least expects it, throw the jelly in his face! Run inside and hide under a table until the guy simmers down… which could take a while, since you pelted him with jelly! Once his rage subsides, you can emerge triumphant and dine until your heart’s content! This method always works great with pies and cakes (or just pastries in general), gruel - rotten or fresh, and tropical fruits. Don’t use dung - that’s just gross! Seriously, that stinky stuff is a mess to clean off, and the smell lingers…

    4) This method, called “Undercover,” is bound to work, assuming you are good at acting!

Get a fake detective badge and ID, wear a trench coat and paddle up to Kelp’s front doors with confidence… yet be sneaky about it. When the Maraquan Scorchio asks for your name, shake your head and whisper with shifty eyes, “No, no, that information is ‘confidential,’ pal. I’m here on an *investigation*. ” When his jaw drops and he doesn’t reply, flash your badge and ID so that he knows you mean business.

“Wha-wha-what’s the investigation about, officer? I can’t afford any negative press!” the Scorchio will stutter.

Reply calmly - like a professional - that there have been numerous “reports” of food-poisoning and contamination from Neopets who dined at Kelp, and several of those unfortunately folks are currently recovering at the nearest hospice. Again, the Scorchio’s jaw will drop, and he’ll probably try to make some ill-conceived excuse. Raise your paw, hoof, or fin to hush him, then say that there won’t be any trouble if you are allowed to sample the food and confirm that those “reports” are merely lies. *Wink wink, nudge nudge.*

Happily, the Scorchio will agree and eagerly allow you to enter. In order to sway your “analysis,” he might even permit you to be seated in the V. I. P. dining section which is reserved for only the greatest. Ah, just lovely!

Doesn’t this method sound easy enough? Of course, you have to try not to burst out laughing during this charade, otherwise he’ll know you are a fake and shoo you off the property - maybe even ban you for life.

    5) I tend to favor using the “Annoying Little Kid” tactic, myself.

Dress like a little kid Neopet, complete with an “I *heart* Sloth” t-shirt, twirling-wheel cap, and gigantic, multicolored lollypop. Swim up and lick the lollypop absently. Don’t say anything, just stare up at the Maraquan Scorchio with wide eyes. Eventually, he’ll grow weary and shout, “Are you lost, little kid? You can’t just float here and stare at me all day!”

“Lost?” you should reply in a high-pitched voice. “But, but, but, but, but, but, but…”

“But what?!” he’ll interrupt, gritting his teeth.

Lick the lollypop once more as loudly and slowly as you can before replying with a hiccup, “But, but, but my mommy’s inside and she said meet her inside so will you let me in since I’m hungry too and she’ll get mad if I don’t come and you don’t want to see my mommy mad… BELIEVE ME!” Take a deep breath, as if you are going to start another run-on sentence.

“Err,” the Scorchio will mutter, pulling out the reservation book, “what is your mother’s name?”

“Mommy,” you should say blankly, as if he is *supposed* to know.

“No, what’s her NAME? Not just ‘mommy’… I need to know what her NAME is.” He’ll probably start to rub his head to soothe an intensifying headache.

Sniffle sadly, drop your lollypop, rub your eyes, and let your lower lip quiver. “I’m confused because I call her mommy but why does that matter because mommy is what you're supposed to call your mommy or at least that’s what my mommy says but if you don’t let me in then maybe… she’ll get you FIRED!” Take another deep breath.

The Maraquan Scorchio, flitching in pain from the sound of your voice and his throbbing headache, will throw his arms up in desperation. “Just go inside, you little twerp!”

“T’ank you!” you should reply simply, fluttering happily past the front doors and into Kelp. This is one of the best methods to try, mostly because it’s so much fun! The more annoying you can be, the better.

    6) When all else fails, grasshopper…

Unfortunately, I can’t 100% “guarantee” that these tactics will yield positive results, much less successfully get you into Kelp… just as those scurvy, good-for-nothing scallywags at Smugglers Cove can’t “guarantee” that their rare weaponry is actually the real deal. You see, it would be cruel for me to promise you Kreludor (a.k.a. Neopia’s moon) and then not be able to deliver it to your Neohome’s doorstep because of the horrendous shipping charges! Do you see the analogy? I hope you do, because I sure don’t.

So… in the horrible, unspeakable, and just plain awful event that your attempts at getting into Kelp go terribly and unpleasantly awry, you can still dine on the restaurant’s delicacies! And no, I’m not pulling the Babaa’s wool over your eyes and claiming there’s a fog. Seriously, this is the real deal… guaranteed!

When all else fails, head around to the back of Kelp. Don’t get too hopeful; you still won’t be able to get in through the back door, as the despicable management keeps it securely bolted. And yes, I’ve tried that entrance on several occasions with explosive muffins and the door doesn’t budge. Don’t doubt my word, grasshopper!

Look to the side of the building and - lo and behold! - you’ll discover garage cans packed full of the remnants of *once* scrumptious cuisine. Throw off a lid, dive inside, and see what sort of scraps you can find! The best thing about it is that the food is free; you can’t beat free stuff with a stick, I tell you! Ah, and if you are *truly* lucky you might find a golden tooth stuck inside a half-eaten gourmet roll… finders-keepers! Isn’t it amazing how Kelp’s garbage is better than the stuff you find on the menus at those other ordinary, run-of-the-mill eateries? Hubert could really learn a lot!

Ho-hum, that about wraps-up this article. I wish you the best of luck, but don’t overdo it! And no… I *really* don’t suspect that the Maraquan Scorchio (who is going to be extremely irked about this article, by the way) will grow even slightly suspicious when a throng of Neopets crowd his establishment’s front doors claiming to be Number 6, hurling jelly molds, or wearing “I *heart* Sloth” t-shirts and looking for their mommies. He’ll totally be fooled each time, I promise!

NOTE: I, the Mime, do not claim responsibility for any *alleged* illnesses that *may* result from you eating Kelp’s garbage. I assume that you - the faithful yet impressionable reader - will use the trash-pickers’ general rule of thumb: if it’s discolored, smells odd, or crawls (or moves at all for that matter)… don’t eat it! Unless, of course, you like the hospice, disgusting things, or turning green in the face… in which case I say, break a leg! (Duh! Not literally - I do not claim responsibility for injuries suffered because someone took me literally, either.) That point having been made quite vehemently, enjoy your dumpster-diving exploits!

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