Now with 50% more useless text Circulation: 142,557,853 Issue: 289 | 27th day of Eating, Y9
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The One and Only Use for Gruel

by goldenpaw


With all the delicious, cheap food floating about Neopia these days, it seems as if the gross, almost diseased grocery items are becoming obsolete. Among these items are Maggot Stew, Dino Snappers, Grackle Bug on a Stick, Dung Jelly, and the repulsion of repulsions: Gruel. Tons and tons of gruel are sitting on store shelves with nowhere to go and no place to be. Without an outlet for this barely edible mush, the food will go to waste. Wait a minute... Alas! I have found a solution! Our Neopets won’t eat it, the Money Tree doesn’t want it, and as far as I know, there’s no such thing as the ‘Neopian Gruel Pound’. So how do you use the bundles of gruel gathering dust in your Safety Deposit Box?

“Food fight!” Do these famous last words ring a bell to anyone? ‘Scrumptious jellies smack you in the face. You must defend yourself, so you grab that Coffee Milkshake sitting innocently on the table and fling it in any direction.’ This is a common scene from kitchens across Neopia, but there are two things wrong with this picture. First of all, you’re hurling these delicious desserts at each other, which means you can never eat them. Second and most importantly, five minutes after this edible war starts, someone (inevitably someone with authority over you) comes in and breaks it up. You get in trouble, plus you don’t get to eat that Strawberry Trifle because it’s smeared all in your friend’s hair. So what do food fights and gruel have in common? If you don’t know where I’m going with this article, let me fill you in. Gruel can be used for just one thing: food fights.

Still a little confused as to why? There are multiple reasons, twelve to be exact...

1. Gruel tastes like a pile of sludge.

As I’ve already said, once you’ve tossed your dessert about the kitchen, you don’t really want to eat it anymore. Gruel, however, tastes disgustingly similar to a pile of sludge. By using gruel in your food fights, you save the pies for your tummy and ensure that you don’t have to eat the mush-like gruel.

2. Gruel does not stain.

Having chocolate smeared into clothing and furniture can leave a permanent mark on your Neohome that owners very likely won’t be happy about. Many Neopians don’t know that gruel, unlike ninety-nine percent of all other foods, does not stain. It washes out of every substance in Neopia, probably because has very little color to start off with.

3. Gruel is inexpensive.

No one wants gruel, yet factories continue to produce this. If you’ve ever learned about supply and demand, I’m sure you can figure out that gruel is being sold for pretty cheap. In fact, even gruel-based items (e.g. Dried Gruel Capsules) are fairly inexpensive. Items containing gruel are almost always sold for less than 1000 NP. Therefore, you can stock up on your gruel for a low price and have more ammo for your food fun.

4. Gruel is easy to scrub off.

Some foods just cling onto any surface they touch. Gruel, however, is so watery that it just comes right off when you try to clean it. Easy cleanup is always good, especially if your punishment for starting a food fight is cleaning up the mess you made.

5. Gruel is mush.

Since this erm... not so tasty food resembles applesauce in texture, it’s the perfect food to cake onto people’s clothes and skin and hair. You don’t have to work to break up the chunks or try to crumble it up into bits and pieces. Gruel is already slop.

6. Gruel is lightweight and practically winged.

Predicting where things like toast and ice cream are going to land when you throw them can be a bit tricky. Gruel is very light and helps even the most uncoordinated pet hit his or her target. It can cover long distances in seconds, if you throw it hard enough. Gruel is also very easy to fling.

7. The Gruel Faerie loves gruel fights.

Since gruel isn’t liked very much, the poor Gruel Faerie has nothing to do but fill the stockings of bad pets with gruel on the Day of Giving. Being that she’s so bored, she loves to stop in and watch gruel fights. You might even get a present from her- a present that pretty much has one use: ammo for the gruel fight.

8. No one eats gruel.

“Food fights waste so much food!” I bet you’ve heard the Soup Faerie utter those words so many times that you could cry. Can you guess where I’m going with this? It all goes back to the same concept: Absolutely nothing in this world will eat gruel willingly. The Soup Kitchen can’t even serve it! Gruel is the uneaten food, so covering your friends in its slimy substance technically isn’t wasting it.

9. Nowadays, gruel comes with a handy spoon.

Some prissy pets might be a little hesitant to pick up gruel with their paws. Honestly, I can’t blame them. There’s a way around this, though... Gruel is served with a spoon, or in food fight terms, a catapult. You don’t have to touch the stuff, plus using a spoon to make it airborne increases its momentum.

10. Gruel Cakes...

Whose idea was it to make a giant cake out of stuff no one will go near? Dr. Sloth’s, most likely. But when fighting with gruel, the gruel cake is a handy food to have sitting in your refrigerator. If you don’t have an actual gruel cake to shove in someone’s face, improvise! Pile tons of gruel on top of each other and the result should be fairly similar.

11. Meridell needs the business.

Enter the poverty-stricken villages of Meridell, the main manufacturers of gruel themselves... They have very little to live off, gruel being one of their better tasting recipes. If we stock the gruel for food fights, Meridell gets the money. By pelting your friends, enemies, and even your family with gruel, you’ll give some lucky Neopet the money to eat more than just omelettes and jelly. (Where are they getting all this free jelly from, anyway?)

12. There is an endless supply of gruel.

Gruel seems to be coming into shops from every which way. Then, as mentioned a hundred times before, the gruel proceeds to sit on the shelves, waiting in vain for someone to buy it. Gruel keeps appearing and no one ever uses it, creating the illusion that gruel is limitless. And who knows? Maybe it is. Endless gruel means endless ammunition for your food fights, which is a good thing.

Hmmm... I think that about sums it up! *counts on fingers* Yep, that’s twelve! So, next time you see gruel sitting on the shelves in the grocery, think twice before commenting on its uselessness. You now know that the bland, gross sludge has one use and one use only. It can help save the art of food fighting, if used correctly. Remember this: Even if no one wants to look at it, smell it, eat it, or touch it, when given the chance the beam it at their friends, nineteen out of twenty Neopians will take the opportunity.

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