Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 155,374,126 Issue: 208 | 16th day of Gathering, Y7
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Lennert's Lawn Ornament, Take 1: Part One


by buddy33774

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It was an average, ordinary day in Neopia Central - the mail was delivered as usual, pets and people of all kinds and makes were strolling down the sidewalks and streets, making their ways to work as always, and sunlight was streaming through the windows of a certain average, ordinary apartment owned by a certain average, ordinary green Kyrii by the name of Hawkins and a certain (un)average, (un)ordinary red Lenny by the name of Lennert.

      And this red Lenny was doing something any other average, ordinary pet in Neopia would do on an average, ordinary day such as this - having milk and cookies with a pink Lenny lawn ornament.

      It was a normal, modest apartment - just perfect for two normal (and poor) bachelors. A door was set into one wall; to the right of the door was a small kitchenette with all the appliances you might find in such. On the opposite end of the apartment were three doors. The door on the far left led to Lennert's room; the door on the right led Hawkins' room; the door in the middle led to the bathroom. In the middle of the apartment living room was placed a plush, blue couch with a low coffee table in front of it. And sitting in front of this coffee table - on the side opposite the couch - was a rather oddly-placed pink Lenny lawn ornament.

      The lawn ornament was standing up straight and one-legged, its blank, lifeless eyes frozen directly ahead as Lennert entered, grinning widely and carrying a platter of chocolate-chip cookies and two glasses of milk. He set the platter in the middle of the table, one glass of milk in front of the ornament, and the other glass in front of himself before taking his seat on the blue couch on the opposite side of the table. Such a good host.

      "So, how's it goin'"? Lennert asked cheerily, trying to stir up a conversation.

      The lawn ornament continued starring ahead blankly, no response.

      Lennert took a cookie off the tray and took a small bite, nodding understandingly. "Okay… well, umm, can I get you any more cookies? Or maybe some more milk?"

      Again, the gnome only continued to gaze forward without reply.

      "Ya know," Lennert suddenly shouted angrily, throwing his cookie back on the tray in contempt, "this relationship isn't going to work unless we have some communication!"

      Silence.

      "Fine then - I don't care, either!"

      And with that, Lennert jumped off the couch and stormed off in fury…

      …

      …Only to rush back to the table a few seconds later, skidding to his knees next to the ornament.

      "Look, I'm really sorry!" he pleaded, his wings cupped together as he pleaded pitifully. "And you know I didn't mean that, right?! You know I love you! Right?! RIGHT?!"

      The lawn ornament simply fell over.

      At just that moment, Hawkins, the apartment's resident green Kyrii and Lennert's roommate, walked in, a brown trench coat on his back. He glanced over and immediately noticed the scene of his red Lenny roommate on his knees beside the coffee table, begging to a pink lawn gnome who apparently had just fallen over and was now lying on its side on the floor. The Kyrii shook his head in a sad sort of way. "Whatever is going on here, I don't want to be a part of it…"

      Lennert glanced up at the Kyrii; catching sight of his roommate, he cleared his throat. "Wow, you're home early!" he commented nervously, quickly climbing to his feet (or talons… or whatever it is Lennies stand on).

      Hawkins turned and pulled off his trench coat, hanging it on the nearby coat rack attached to the wall next to the door. "Yeah, well, we had an… interesting day at work…"

      "What happened?" the Lenny asked, taking up a spot on the nearby couch.

      "Well," Hawkins started, walking out into the kitchenette to look around for something to eat, "when I first got in, Mister Brintle called us all in for a staff meeting. It was supposed to be about how to boost sales, so Mister Brintle decided to use a balloon as a metaphor - well then, next thing we know, he spends the next hour and a half talking about balloons!

      "At one point, he started to list all the balloons he's had since he was a baby! Then, after it was all finished, he gave me one-hundred Neopoints and told me to go down to the store and buy him a balloon!"

      Lennert started back, enthralled. "What'd you do?"

      Hawkins shrugged meekly. "I went down the block and bought him his balloon…"

      Lennert shook his head sadly. "Man, Hawkins' boss sure is crazy, isn't he, Pinky?" Lennert looked back to notice the plastic Lenny still lying lifelessly on its side on the floor. He let out a gasp. "Pinky!" Lennert quickly rushed to the ornament's side.

      Hawkins blinked. "I know you're not talking to that lawn gnome…"

      "Lawn ornament!" the red Lenny shot back acidly, kneeling down next to the fallen plastic figure. He turned back and continued with trying to help his downed friend.

      Hawkins threw his paws up in the air, exasperated, before he turned and made his way over to the cupboard behind him. He opened one of the cupboard doors on top and started to rummage through it until he finally found what he was searching for - a box of chocolate éclairs.

      Hawkins dumped the chocolate-filled pastries out on the counter, grabbed two for himself, and went to put the rest back in the cupboard where he'd found them.

      "Hey, wait!" Lennert shouted, jumping up from his spot on the floor and rushing over towards Hawkins. "What are you doing?!"

      Hawkins froze. "Ummm, having a snack …I haven't had any lunch and I'm starving…"

      Lennert's eyes went widened in horror. "Yeah, but… only two?!"

     Hawkins' eyes shifted from side to side, a bit confused. "Ummm… Yes?"

     The Lenny's jaw fell open in shock. "But, Hawkins… You can't eat just two éclairs - it'll throw off my pattern!"

     Hawkins looked back blankly. "…Huh?..."

     Lennert sighed; now it was his turn to be annoyed. "Hawkins, look!" The Lenny jabbed his red, feathered wing at the box still sitting on the counter. "It says there're six éclairs in each box! Now, I eat three of these things in one sitting - that gives me two servings perfectly!" He held up two "fingers" (or the Lenny equivalent to fingers). "But when I have people like… like… YOU eating only one or two at time, it throws off my balance! It messes up the whole little system I've created, you see? So, if you're going to eat any éclairs, eat three! Not two!"

     Hawkins stared at his roommate for a few seconds trying to decide if he was serious or not before finally shouting back in response, "Lennert… that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard! It doesn't even make sense!"

     "Yes, it does!"

     "No, it doesn't! And anyways, I'm the one who buys all the food around here - I should be able to decide however little or much of it I want to eat!"

     "What?!" Lennert took a step back, clutching his heart, a little shocked and slightly hurt. "That's not true! I pay my fair share!"

     "NO YOU DON'T!" Hawkins' face was starting to turn from its normal green to a blushing red. "I'm the one around here with a job - I'm the one around here with the money! I pay the rent, the water, the electricity, and I buy the stupid groceries!"

     Lennert stuttered. "Yeah, well… I… I have to take care of the Lenny!" he shouted back, jabbing his red wing at the pink Lenny lawn ornament standing in the living room. "And if I don't, then who will, huh?! HUH?! Will you take care of the Lenny?! What about the 'Magical Lenny Faerie', huh?! Will she take care of him?! No, Hawkins, she won't - because she doesn't exist! And people that don't exist can't take care of things! "

     Hawkins, for the second time in two minutes, threw his paws up in the air in frustration. "You know what, Lennert? If it's such a big deal to you about how many éclairs I eat, then why don't you go get a job and buy your own stupid éclairs!"

     "Fine, I will!" Lennert turned and, holding his beak up high in a snooty sort of way, stormed off to his room...

     …

     …only to rush back out a few seconds later, grab the two éclairs off the counter and throw them in the trashcan.

     "There!" he cried victoriously, pumping his wings in the air and pointing at Hawkins in contempt. "Now you'll never mess up my system!"

     And with another turn on his heel, Lennert stormed off to his room once more to try and find a way to get a job.

     Defense of éclairs and crazy systems has a way of causing even the laziest Lennies to rise up and find work.

To be continued...

 
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