Prank at the Pick-n-Go
In the corner of the Neopian Marketplace stood a shop with a yellow exterior and large, glass windows. Posters such as “2-for-400np Kau Kau Farm Milk”, “Lemon Meringue Baby Food – Buy One Get One Free!” and 15% off Any Achyfi Flavor” could be seen from the lonely streets.
Murray, a green, furry, and somewhat disgruntled Yurble, was browsing through the cans of pickles and peppers, growing steadily frustrated. His shoes squeaked on the new, shiny floor as he went to find an employee.
“Excuse me,” he said to an Elephante wearing a Pick-n-Go uniform, “where do you keep your cans of olives?”
“Olives?” she repeated, squinting at him. “Uhh, they’d be in with the cans of petpet food.”
The Yurble raised an eyebrow. “Now why wouldn’t they be in with their relative foods?”
“Well,” the Elephante began, twisting around the bottom of her shirt, “you said you’re looking for canned olives. In a can. These foods here are all in glass.”
Murray heaved a sigh and turned on his heel, leaving the Elephante to continue stocking the shelves. It had been a long day at the Neopian Bank and he was more than ready to go home, prop up his feet, and enjoy his time of not being around morons.
“Olives,” the Yurble announced, as he entered the correct aisle. He casually plucked a can from the shelf and headed to the nearest checkout.
An orange Gelert with floppy ears was his cashier. His grin was somewhat goofy and his nameplate spelled out the letters IZZY. “Hi there, sir, how are you today?”
“I’m fine,” was the Yurble’s automatic response.
“Super! Let me ring this up for you and Oscar will--wait a second.” The Gelert paused mid-sentence as the item passed under the scanner. His eyes swelled to the size of saucers. “Oscar, check this out!” He turned to the Tuskaninny who was waiting to bag the groceries. “We have a winner!”
“Wha...?” Before Murray knew what to do, the Gelert had practically climbed over the cash register to shake his paw. “Congratulations, sir, you are the 1,459th customer!”
“Uhh,” said Murray, with little enthusiasm. “That’s great.”
“Yes, it is!” the Gelert called Izzy agreed, bobbing his head around so his orange ears swirled around him.
“1,459 did you say? What’s that supposed to mean?”
“That means your entire purchase is free!”
Murray stood there in the middle of the aisle shaking his head. From the olives in with the petpet food to being the 1,459th customer to having an over-excited cashier, something like this was bound to happen. He managed to say, “But I only have one item.”
“Oh,” said the Gelert, taking notice. His smile faded a bit. “Well, here you go.” He handed Murray the can of olives.
The Yurble stared at the lone can in his paw. “This would have cost me about 50np.”
“Then consider it 50np on the Pick-n-Go!” Izzy exclaimed, his smile going back to bright and goofy.
“Well, can I buy more things?” Murray asked.
The Gelert shook his head solemnly. “Nope.”
Murray took a step forward, contemplating the situation. “If I’m the winner, I should at least be allowed to go pick up a few more items. ”
“Ah-ah-ah, don’t think so,” said Izzy, wagging his finger. “If you were to pick up more items, then you would no longer be the 1,459th customer, meaning you’d no longer be the winning customer. See, if you came back, you’d be the 1,460th customer and the 1,460th customer is nothing special. Thanks very much, sir, congratulations again, and have a fabulous evening.”
Murray waved the can of olives on his way out. “Right. Thanks.”
What a bizarre store, he thought to himself while crossing the street.
“Okay,” said a purple Poogle on her way into the grocery store. “I can do this.” She entered the candy aisle, where rows upon columns of sweets were all her eyes could see. “No, no, Avery, you are strong. You are strong!”
She had seen the Pick-n-Go on her way home from the Grooming Parlor. Her initial thoughts were something along the lines of: Ohmigosh, how convenient! Now I can stop by for Chocolate Neodrops every week! Needless to say, the Sugar Bunnies, Juppiemint Bars, and Fruity Korbites also looked appetizing.
Avery passed through the candy aisle, deliberately staring straight ahead. To her horror, the Pick-n-Go seemed to be out of Chocolate Neodrops. Fighting the urge to shriek, Avery hurried to find an employee. An Elephante was sweeping the floor two aisles over.
“Hey, umm, where do you keep the Neodrops? Chocolate ones to be exact. I checked the candy aisle already and trust me,” the Poogle stated matter-of-factly, “I’d have found them if they were there.”
“They’re in the checkout lane,” said the Elephante, and went back to her job.
“Fabulous. Thank you.”
Proud of herself, Avery spent a few extra minutes trying to find the fullest bag of Chocolate Neodrops. Once the Poogle was sure she had found the biggest bag, she trotted off to the check out lane.
“Find everything okay?” asked an orange Gelert, ringing up the chocolates. IZZY was printed on his nameplate.
“Well, no, not exactly!” Avery huffed. “Why on Neopia don’t you have the Neodrops with the other candies? What’s up with this place?”
“I’m sorry, ma’am, I don’t make the rul—WHOA. Hold up! Oscar,” he called over the Tuskaninny who was supposed to bag the items. “Check this out, my friend. We have a winner!”
Avery’s jaw dropped after hearing the word winner. “Get out. For real?”
“Congratulations, ma’am, you are the 1,287th customer at the Pick-n-Go.”
“Ohmigooooosh!” the Poogle squealed. “I’ve never won anything before! What do I get? Store credit? Gift card?”
“Even better!” said the Gelert, and his face fell for a moment. “Well, not so much. For being the... umm... 1,267th--”
“Yes, that,” said the Gelert, face reddening at his mistake, “you get your entire purchase for free.” He was smiling so hard that his face looked like it might crack.
“Oh,” said Averie, and the Poogle’s smile slowly slid off her face. Her eyes fell to the newly polished floor. “That’s... that’s good. Okay, well, thanks.”
She left Izzy and the Tuskaninny with the bag of Neodrops in her paw.
I knew I should have picked up some Sugar Bunnies!
It was early morning on a Saturday, and Murray padded out to the end of the driveway to fetch his garbage cans. He had completely forgotten about his strange experience at the Pick-n-Go until he heard someone calling his name.
“Murray! Hey, Murray!”
The Yurble turned. A few driveways over stood a purple Poogle. Avery. She worked at the Neopian Bank as well and Murray always looked forward to the weekends as a time to get away from her. The Poogle could be awfully chatty.
“Ready for the block party?” she asked.
Wincing and then giving his furry head a shake, Murray cursed himself for forgetting. He needed to pick up a side dish to bring. “Yeah, I got it,” he called back.
“Great, and Murray, you’re never going to guess what happened to me yesterday!”
Murray didn’t attempt to hide his eye roll. He had hoped the conversation would be over by now. “What happened?”
Avery frowned. “You’re supposed to guess.”
“You said I was never going to!” said the Yurble, exasperatedly. Here he was having a conversation in his blue robe and house slippers in the middle of his driveway, holding a garbage can at 7:30am and THIS was what he was dealing with.
“Well, geez Mr. Grumpy, I’ll just tell you anyway.” She took a moment to collect herself. “I was at the Grab-n-Go last night and...”
“You mean the Pick-n-Go?” Murray corrected her.
“Yes,” said Avery, “that. Anyway, I bought a bag of Chocolate Neodrops -- they’re my favorite -- and guess what? I was the 1,287th customer so I got the bag for free! Isn’t that cool?”
Murray released his grip on the handle and the whole can went rolling down his driveway. “Avery,” he began, taking a step towards her, “are you serious?”
“Of course I’m serious, I’m alwaaaaays serious!” the Poogle exclaimed and Murray highly doubted that statement.
“The same thing happened to me,” said Murray, and his voice fell in the middle of the sentence. Avery came rushing over to his driveway. Murray struggled to remember the cashier. “Was your cashier an orange Gelert?”
Avery nodded vigorously. “Ooh, yep! That was him. You only had one item too?”
“Yeah,” said Murray, slowly starting to remember the scene.
“What was it?”
“Avery, does that really matter?”
The Poogle giggled. “Well, if it was, like, lipstick or hair products I’d think that was kind of funny.”
“It was olives,” the Yurble said quickly. “A can of olives.”
“Oh.” Avery stopped giggling at once. Her face grew very serious. “Regular olives or black--?”
“Would you forget about the olives?”
“Okay, okay, I have an idea.”
One of Avery’s brilliant ideas was the last thing Murray wanted to hear. The last time she had a “brilliant idea” was at the Neopian Bank. We were all going to surprise the Skeith manager with a gift for his 10th anniversary and Avery purchased an expensive blazer that was five sizes too small. Needless to say, we all wasted two thousand neopoints for contributing to the “perfect gift”.
Murray started to walk away, dragging the garbage can, but she jumped in front of him. “No really, Murray, I have a fantastic idea. But you have to come with me to the Pick-n-Go.”
Now he was intrigued. Murray ran over his two options. The first one was to follow Avery to watch her make a fool of herself and the second one was to curl up under his bed sheets and drift back to sleep.
“It has to do with bringing down that orange Gelert and his silly game.”
Murray chose the first option.
He and Avery were standing in the middle of the frozen foods section when she had just announced her big plan.
“Avery, that is not going to be believable.”
“Anything is believable if you just be the character,” her voice dropped to a grave whisper. “I’ve taken acting classes.” She shifted the full shopping basket to her right arm. “Be the character, Murray. Think of your moment before. You’ve just purchased one item--” Avery selected a bag of Chomby Chips from the shelf “—and you’re on your way to the checkout. Go. I’ll be right behind you.”
She gave him a little push. Okay. I am not going to back down, thought Murray as he forced his feet to move into the orange Gelert’s lane. I can do this.
“Good morning, sir, how are you?” asked the Gelert. His nameplate “IZZY” was on backwards this morning.
“Good morning to you as well,” said the Yurble, adopting a placid and casual tone. “And I’m doing just fine.”
“You look a bit familiar,” said the Gelert as he rung up the bag of chips.
Murray’s heart jumped. Did he know? Was he on to their plan? Murray hastily thought of something to say. “Do you have any idea how many green Yurbles there are in Neopia?”
To his surprise, Izzy let out a barking laugh. “I suppose you’re ri--HELLO!” He jumped back from the screen as if it electrified him. “We have a winner!” Murray suppressed a smile. “You, sir, are the 1,663rd customer at the Pick-n-Go. Congratulations!”
“Oh that’s... terrific!” said Murray, glancing around for Avery. Where is she? “Umm... what do I win?”
“Are you ready for this?” The Gelert snuck a glance at his Tuskaninny friend. “You’ve won your entire purchase for free. Awesome, huh?”
“Wow,” said Murray, in mock surprise. His voice cracked. “This is just too cool.” He glanced around the store again, searching desperately for Avery. Relief flooded through his veins when Murray saw the Poogle carrying a full shopping basket. He called his line, “Hey, sis, over here!”
Avery pushed the cart down the aisle with a huge smile on her face. “Hey, Murray. What’s up?”
“It s-seems as though I’ve won a contest or something,” said Murray, anxiously turning up to Izzy. “Isn’t that right, my friend?”
The Gelert looked absolutely horrified. His mouth formed silent words and his eyes showed terror. “Well, wait now,” he regained his goofy appearance. “You’re both... together?”
“Why, yes,” said Avery, acknowledging Murray. “This is my brother. I’m visiting him from Altador.”
“Is there a problem, sir?” Murray asked, a spike in his confidence making him more assertive. The Gelert’s eyes darted back and forth like he was getting ready to flee. “You informed me that I am the 1,663rd customer. She is with me. Therefore, we are both the 1,663rd customers. What’s going on?”
Panicked, the Gelert turned to the Tuskaninny, but he had waddled down to the exits, shaking his head. “Umm...” Izzy shuffled his paws. “It doesn’t work like th--”
“Listen here, sir,” Murray leaned forward and jabbed his finger at the Gelert’s chest. “Either you bag up these items and let us leave here satisfied customers or I will ask to speak with your supervisor.”
Avery emptied the basket. Chomby Chips, five bags of Neodrops, salsa dip, box of cookies, and twin cans of Altadorian olives spilled all over the conveyor belt. The Gelert sighed and abandoned the scanner.
“Umm, would you like paper or plastic?”
Author’s Note: Thank you very much for reading; I had a wonderful time with this one. Thanks to beetwitched2 for editing.