The DiamondEyez Review- Pounding Questions
The Neopian Pound: Corruption! Scandal! ...Dust?
11th Day of Swimming, Year Nine
Goldy looks up at me, her face half-hidden behind the latest issue of the Neopian Times. She sighs quite audibly.
Me- “What is it this time?”
She lays the paper down flat on the table and taps a (perfectly manicured) fingernail at the center of the page. A mini-article flowed beneath the headline: “The Pound- A Tragic Loss to Neopian Society”.
I raise an eyebrow. In response, she turns to the comics section and points this time to the top of the page. Dr. Death is depicted there, turning down owners with pets crawling on them, saying something only remotely witty.
The second eyebrow goes up.
Once again, she flips a few pages and points to an editorial. It rages on about the Adoption Center (just a prettier word for pound) being closed.
I am at a loss for what to do, seeing as I have not a third eyebrow.
“I just don’t get it, DiamondEyez! Why is everyone making such an uproar about this pound thing? I think it teaches those heartless owners that they can’t just discard their pets on a moment’s notice!”
I tap my claws on the table, thinking. After a moment, I shake my head slowly. “There has to be another angle to it...”
I grin. I sense an idea coming.
It was that particular conversation that has led me to this particular shut-down establishment, sitting in a particular reception area (*cough*waiting room), hoping that a particular pink Uni gets her swishy little tail out here. Today is a very... particular day. And here is why:
The closing of the Neopian Pound is not to be taken lightly. First of all, it closed quite abruptly a few months ago for no reason that has yet to be released to the public. Secondly, there are pets that were being housed in the pound before it shut down- what happened to them? And lastly, are owners becoming more and more unhappy with their pets simply because they know there is no possible way to abandon them right now? (Hey, don’t laugh! The Neopian mind is greatly influenced by reverse psychology.) I am here to get these questions answered, and seeing as Dr. Death has a scary name, a scary face, and a scary wig on his head, I chose to get my interview with Liv, his not-so-scary co-worker. The results yielded information as seen below...
DiamondEyez: So, Miss Liv, I must say it’s a pleasure to finally meet you, although the circumstances could be a bit better...
Liv: Oh, sweetie, you can drop the ‘Miss’! But, I would like to know what this circumstance nonsense is about.
DiamondEyez: Well, it appears that the pound has been closed for quite some time, and it is causing a rather loud protest from Neopians.
Liv: Is that so? I would think they would want to keep the fact that they are throwing their pets away for anyone to find fairly hushed.
DiamondEyez: I don’t really believe that they want to abandon their pets. They just want to know why they couldn’t pound them if they wanted to. Really, Liv, why is the Neopian Pound closed?
Liv: -hesitant pause- Um... Well, you see... We’re... doing a bit of spring cleaning! Yes, yes! That’s it! Spring cleaning! Just some seasonal dusting to get the place up to snuff!
DiamondEyez: Really? That’s quite interesting considering how it is now summer, but I get your point... However, shouldn’t you be able to do that without shutting down? Unless, of course, the conditions were terribly poor, which I should think would be illegal to house pets in anyway?
Liv: How rude of you to insinuate that we were mistreating the pets in our care!
Diamond Eyez: That wasn’t exactly a denial, but I see that you don’t want to discuss this. So instead, since you take such wonderful care of the pounded pets, would you tell me how you are housing them now?
Liv: I’m afraid I can’t reveal that information. I assure you, though, that they are in capable hands.
DiamondEyez: ‘Capable hands’ is a very general description. Frank Sloth has capable hands, when it comes to plotting against Neopia. Lord Kass has capable hands in the art of war; Snargan has particularly capable hands, which he uses to cheat you out of your money in Double or Nothing.
Liv: That’s enough! None of our pets are with Sloth, Kass, or Snargan!
DiamondEyez: And while I’m glad to hear it, I must point that out that one can only assume the worst when you will lie about your reason for being closed, and then refuse to tell me what happened to everyone who was living here previously. Those things don’t do wonders for your public image.
Liv: Fine! Fine! Any pet who was in the adoption center before we closed for our... summer cleaning, is in the care of one of the Neopians whom we saw fit to temporarily take on another pet. Does that answer your question?
DiamondEyez: It answers one of my questions, and I can tell that’s as good as it’s going to get. Would you be kind of enough to give me a list of a few people who took in these pets? If you’d be so obliged, I’ll leave here immediately.
Liv: -gives a giant, fake smile- I really shouldn’t, but it’ll just be a secret between friends, right? So... -she shuffles around her office and comes up with a small sheet of paper- Here you go! I’m not sure what you’re going to do with this, but I’d advise you not to mention the pound to any of these people. Anyway, off you go now, dearie!
‘We’re not friends,’ I thought, but I was much too smart to say it aloud. Instead, I grabbed that list, glanced at the first name and address on the page, and got myself out of there as fast as I could. Stress does not become a Uni.
Two hours and seventeen slammed doors later, I stood in the extravagant kitchen of a Mrs. Alodia Glockenpheffer, Neopian aristocracy in the flesh. Her polished family sat around me at the table- Tristina, a most precious baby Meerca; Elodie, the exotic Desert Cybunny; and Jeop, a camouflage Kau. Mr. Glockenpheffer was at work, which was a slight disappointment. I was mainly here to talk to Jeop and the two people that had taken him in. Instead, I got one of his hosts (Mrs. Glockenpheffer), Jeop, and Mrs. Glockenpheffer’s two daughters, her “darlings”. But at least I didn’t have the door slammed in my face. That was always a start.
DiamondEyez: Jeop, why did you have to leave the pound?
Jeop: Well, I’m not exactly sure... A few weeks before we were removed, hundreds of pink Unis in lab coats began storming around the place. They wore white gloves and everything. Then, one day, we were all told to pack our bags. One of the workers brought me and about a dozen others around Neopia Central. He knocked on doors and asked if anyone was interested in fostering one of us. We came to this house, and Alodia said yes, so...
DiamondEyez: And when you all were going around trying to find foster homes, did you knock on certain doors or just any door that you happened to come up.
Jeop: It didn’t seem like they had a system or a list to me. We went up to everyone.
DiamondEyez: Hmmm... Interesting. (In my head, I was comparing this story to Liv’s statement that the pound was placing pets in pre-approved care.) So now, Mrs. Glockenpheffer, would you like to tell me what happened when you came to the door?
Alodia: A male Uni, pink I believe, asked me if I would be kind enough to take one of the pound pets into my care for a while. He explained that the pound was shutting down for repairs, and the poor abandoned pets had nowhere to go! Of course I took him up on the offer, so he had me sign an agreement, give him my name and address, and things like that. He said they were unsure when the pound would reopen.
DiamondEyez: Did he give you a contact number or information on where to find him if you needed him?
Alodia: You know, he didn’t. That upset Mr. Glockenpheffer. He was worried they’d forget and leave poor Jeop here forever, but we wouldn’t mind that so much now that we know him.
DiamondEyez: And have either of you had any contact with the Neopian Pound since that day?
Alodia: Unfortunately not. I would like to see how those “repairs” are coming along.
Jeop: Aside from the occasional neomail from one of my friends, I haven’t heard a thing from anyone from that place!
DiamondEyez: I’ve gotten most of what I need. Thank you very much for your cooperation. Now, Elodie and Jeop, if you would take Tristina into another room, I have a question that I would like to ask Mrs. Glockenpheffer privately.
One minute later...
DiamondEyez: Since you have found out about the closing of the pound, have you wished that it would reopen for the sake of- there’s no way to put this lightly... disowning your pets?
Alodia: Certainly not! I would never dream of leaving one of my precious darlings in that ramshackle place!
DiamondEyez: I’m glad to hear that. Do your friends share the same views?
Alodia: Well, that’s hard to answer, seeing as most of my friends don’t involve themselves with their pets any which way. The poor things are raised mostly by nannies, so I can’t see that it would matter to them. However... I did hear tell that Cecelia Kensington said she’d be first in line to Dr. Death when the pound does reopen. ...But I’m sure that’s only gossip! She simply adores that plushie Tonu of hers!
DiamondEyez: Aaah... I see. That’s all the questions I have for you, so I must be on my way! And I think I might just pay a visit to Ms. Kensington while I’m out.
True to my word, after getting many more doors slammed so rudely just centimeters in front of my nose, I trotted down the path that led to the Kensington estate. It was a very modern house, buried deep within the woods almost directly behind the Neopian Bank, and it seemed slightly out of place among the firs and evergreens.
Ms. Cecelia Kensington didn’t welcome me warmly, but like Mrs. Glockenpheffer she was too polite to close the door on me. She insisted on not letting me into her house, until I stretched the truth a bit and told her that I had been sent here by Alodia Glockenpheffer. Then, begrudgingly, she let me in.
Ms. Kensington talked a lot, and I often had to break a principal rule in journalism by asking her simple yes-or-no questions. Even then, her answers would last a minute or so. I won’t fill this article with the boring- I mean, ‘sprawling’- details of the interview, but I’ll let you in on the important clips.
DiamondEyez: Are you housing a pound pet at the moment, Ms. Kensington?
Cecelia: Thank Fyora, no! They didn’t ask me to. You see, no one ever really finds my house back here in forest. There’s all types of pros and cons to that. In this case, of course, it was a definite pro. I heard Alodia had to take in one of those creatures! What a burden for the poor woman! Even if they had asked me to take one in, I shouldn’t have been as kind as she. I would have turned them down point blank!
DiamondEyez: Well, we all have different opinions. May I ask you why you think the pound closed?
Cecelia: I haven’t the faintest clue. I’ve heard so many tales! Roaches, lack of volunteers, a decrease in adoptions... I couldn’t possibly pick one that made more sense than the other! I do wish they’d hurry up and open soon. It’s been getting tiresome hearing all this fuss about it. I’d rather wish it would all go away.
Fast forward a bit.
DiamondEyez: I’ve heard you are quite fond of your pet- a plushie Tonu?
Cecelia: He is a plushie Tonu, yes. I’ve had him for ten years, if that’s what you mean by fond. Shared the best times of my life with that little fellow! But why do you ask? What have you heard? I can’t imagine why Nishi would be of any interest to anyone... Unless... But no! Of course not! It can’t have reached the public eye by now!
DiamondEyez: Uh, okay? –confused silence- Anyway, if you don’t mind me saying this, ma’am, I’ve heard that you have considered the possibility of disowning your Tonu following the temporary closure of the pound. Is this true?
Cecelia: I didn’t realize the story had spread... But, well, yes, I am seriously thinking about pounding him. But I assure you it has nothing to do with this mysterious closure at all. Nishi is just too overprotective, always looking out for me, always asking me if I am content, always at my side.
DiamondEyez: But, after having him for ten years, you didn’t start to notice these things until after the pound shut down?
Cecelia: Yes, yes, yes. I’m not denying it, but I don’t blame the pound for our domestic issues. It’s just bad timing is all. He has such personality flaws! It’s a wonder I didn’t see them before...
That was about the extent of the useful information I received.
For the rest of the day, I traveled all across Neopia Central, talking to different people. Owners who had pounded pets, owners who had adopted, owners who were fostering pets, and owners who had simply heard curious pound rumors. In the first three cases, I talked to the pets as well, seeing what they knew, what they had heard. At the end of the day, on my way home, I made one quick stop at the Adoption Center. I hunted Liv down, and told her that I had one question I had forgotten to ask. When was the pound reopening? She stared at me calmly and answered, “When the dust is removed, of course,” then proceeded to bluntly ask me to leave her office. I headed for our Neohome to ponder the results of the day.
Why was the Neopian Pound closed?
Perhaps it really was just a bit of dusting that desperately needed to be done, but I don’t think so. I don’t think it was any of the things that were spread around Neopia, because if Dr. Death wanted to publicize the matter, he would have. To me, most of the foster homes seem to have been told a different, slightly unlikely reason. In the end, the answer was just as hazy as when I started. So why the need for a cover-up? Cover-ups are only invented to hide things. Things like scandal or corruption. We may never know the exact motivation for the Neopian Pound’s closing, but we can be sure that whatever the cause, it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t something they wanted the public to know.
What happened to the pound pets when their temporary housing was shut down?
It seems this is the one area that the pound has covered quite thoroughly. The pets were scattered throughout Neopia’s regions, put in foster homes- hopefully nowhere where they could be under the influence of Kass, Sloth, or Snargan. Whether they did this for all of the hundreds (possibly thousands) of pounded pets is debatable, as the only known record lies deep within the office of a certain pink Uni.
Are owners more susceptible to wanting to disown their pets now that there is no pound to bring them to?
My research uncovered that it is indubitable that yes, Neopians are more prone to find or make up reasons to disown their pets. Just over half of the people I interviewed admitted to having considered pounding their pet (when it is finally possible) after the closure. Still, there was a large percentage that would never think about doing such a thing.
But have the questions been answered? It all depends on if you expect a straightforward conclusion or not. If you do wish for the facts to be clear, you’re out of luck. But if you accept the tangled truth, you might find that an answer is very much present indeed; you only have to think a little harder to arrive there.