Power Shake: The Smoothie Store Tuskaninny
Hello, loyal readers. It is I, Julia, Neopia’s favorite Roving Reporter. Yes, it is I, the one and only, the one Neopian who dares to enter the darkest caves of the Haunted Woods, who willingly ventures to the most perilous peaks of Terror Mountain, who braves the deepest waters of Maraqua... It is I who dares to interview the most private and the most dangerous of Neopians and then shares my knowledge with the wonderful readers of the Neopian Times—
WAIT! DON’T LEAVE!
All right, all right, so you’ve never heard of me. But one day... my name will be in lights. Rainbow lights, actually, because rainbow lights are only for the most famous people of all. And I know that I am destined for stardom. I know. *deep breath* My article is in this paper, is it not? You’re reading it, are you not?
What do you mean you clicked on the wrong thing by mistake?
Fine, leave then. I don’t really care. I’ve suffered enough rejection as it is. Maybe I’ll just retreat back to my poorly-furnished Neohome and eat omelettes by myself. *dark menacing glare* Yes, omelettes. Or maybe I’ll go beg the Soup Faerie for something to eat, even though she keeps telling me that I’m not poor enough to be served by her, but I think that she is just discriminating against me...
STOP! PLEASE! STAY HERE!
I didn’t mean what I said before! Please! Stay! I’ll do anything! I’ll be your best friend! Or, I’ll stay away from you, if that’s better! Just read the rest of this article!
*pause* Thank you. Now let’s get down to business, shall we?
Let’s talk about me.
My name is... well, that’s irrelevant, since I am currently using the name “the Roving Reporter,” a penname that is suitable for a star reporter such as myself. I live with my two pets in a small Neohome in Neopia Central, where I mostly eat omelettes and write letters to Neopia’s celebrities, begging for an interview...
STOP RIGHT THERE! YOU PROMISED TO STAY!
Fine, I guess you don’t want to hear about me. You want an interview.
Well, about that... it’s kind of a funny story... ha ha...
Okay, so here’s the thing. I wanted to show you an interview with Illusen. But mysteriously, she didn’t show up. So I tried Taelia. Same thing happened. The Snowager? Turns out he doesn’t really like talking that much. Tombola man? Jhuidah? King Kelpbeard? For some reason, they all refused to see me. Apparently, the big people like them don’t have time for the little people like me. So I came to a conclusion: I had to set my sights lower. Do some smaller interviews to start out. And maybe one day I’ll become a big person that the other big people have time for. Not literally big, of course. Just... figuratively big.
So, my first interview. I decided to go for an “everyday hero” angle, so I went around to all of Neopia’s shops, but... no one was really interested in being interviewed by the Roving Reporter (yes, I talk in the third person at times, so get used to it). Finally, feeling thoroughly depressed and thinking that my dream was over, I walked towards the large FRESH SMOOTHIES sign that I saw across the road. I entered the small Neopian smoothie store and sat down glumly, wondering whether I should simply pursue a different career instead, when a small, red Tuskaninny wearing a peculiar “Power Shake!” shirt came up to me. “Would you like a smoothie, miss?” he asked kindly. I stared at him. And I saw my story. “The Soul Behind That Peculiar Green Shirt.” It could become a masterpiece. The Roving Reporter would have her start.
Here it is, devoted readers (or you will be devoted soon, anyway). The mind-blowing, heart-wrenching story that will make you laugh, cry, and really crave a good smoothie.
Smoothie Store Tuskaninny: Would you like a smoothie, miss?
Roving Reporter: No, good sir, actually I would be most appreciative if you would take the time to sit down with me and answer a few questions.
SST: *perplexed look* Um, like an interview?
RR: Don’t think of it as an interview... think of it as a work of art.
SST: *even more perplexed look* A work of art? Is this some kind of prank? Because I really don’t have time for—
RR: I do not fool around with my occupation. *raises eyebrows* Will you please sit down now? I mean... this is kind of important for me.
SST: *super-ultimate perplexed look* Uh, actually... I can’t let you can’t stay here unless you’re ordering a smoothie. You know? ‘Cause other customers could use the seats?
RR: *shoots daggers with eyes* Fine, then. What would you recommend I purchase?
SST: Um... well, I’ve always been rather partial to the Large Honey Lemon Smoothie.
RR: *eyes menu* WHAT?! I can’t afford that. What part of “struggling reporter” do you not understand? What’s the cheapest thing here... ew, a Large Fishy Smoothie. That’s disgusting. The things you Tuskaninnies come up with.
SST: *dark look*
RR: Uh, I mean... that sounds great, but... I’ll have a Large Churro Smoothie. What is a Churro, anyway?
SST: Who knows? *leaves to get smoothie*
FIVE MINUTES LATER...
SST: Yeah, okay, here’s your smoothie. Just so you know, I’ve only got a couple of minutes for this thing... whatever it is. I’m kind of short on staff around here, in case you didn’t notice.
RR: Yes, yes. *takes large sip of smoothie* This is a very strange concoction.
SST: *crosses arms* I think it’s quite delicious.
RR: Mm, whatever you say. So. Let’s begin our little... questionnaire. First question. What do you think about Jelly World?
SST: How does that relate to anything? *pause* It’s not real, you know.
RR: I know. Duh. Just testing you. *fidgets uncomfortably*
SST: *awkward silence*
RR: Okay, then. Let’s continue. So, um, do you have a name?
SST: *large smile* Why, you’re the first person who’s ever asked me that! My name is—
RR: Whatever, it doesn’t really matter. Next Q. When did you open this smoothie shop?
SST: Um, I don’t really remember. A few years ago?
RR: Ah, yes. And it must be very inspiring work, I’m sure.
SST: Uh... well, I get free smoothies?
RR: Oh, yes, of course. And what’s your favorite type of smoothie?
SST: Wow, that’s a hard one. I definitely enjoy Rasmelon and Kalboo and Kalery and Asparrot... but I must say that my favorite is... probably the Ice Creamy Jelly Smoothie. It’s sensational.
RR: And where do you get the jelly for that smoothie, hmm?
RR: From the Jelly Faerie, I assume. Where else?
SST: Um, yeah... *awkward silence #2*
RR: Moving on. So do you enjoy your work?
SST: *shrug* Yeah. Well, most of the time, it’s okay. But business has been pretty sluggish lately.
RR: *giggle* Ha. Sluggish. That’s a funny word.
SST: *strange look*
RR: Right, right, back to business. Sluggish, you say? *giggle* What do you mean by that?
SST: It’s just that it’s no picnic having the shop situated right next to Hubert’s Hot Dog Stand. It seems like a lot of Neopians would rather go there instead of here and... it’s been hard keeping up, let me tell you. I’m forced to constantly come up with new flavors of smoothie just to stay in business.
RR: Aha! So that’s where all the weird flavors come from! I mean, seriously, Splime? Salmon Sherbert? Wild Chocomato? How do you come up with this stuff?
SST: *dramatically* It just... comes to me. But sometimes... sometimes even that’s not enough. I mean, Hubert? He’s got this Grondik Root thing? And that Ant Eaten Corn Dog? It’s genius. Sometimes I worry that I won’t have any customers at all anymore.
RR: Don’t worry. I’d take a smoothie over a hot dog any day.
RR: No. But Hubert didn’t want to be interviewed.
SST: Oh. *pause* Am I going to be in the newspaper?
RR: Don’t count on it. We can only hope. And maybe bribe the Neopian Times editor with free smoothies. Hint, hint.
SST: *looks totally clueless*
RR: *sigh* All right, moving right along. So... now here’s the real question. Tell me, why is it that the Small Splime Smoothie is 2,153 neopoints, but the Mega Splime Smoothie is only 654 neopoints? What is up with that?
SST: Uh. I’m not sure?
RR: Good answer. So, let’s talk a little about your personal life. Tuskaninny, do you have an owner?
SST: What do you think?
RR: Hey, I’m the one asking the questions here.
SST: Fine. No, I don’t have an owner. Owners are overrated.
RR: Okay, you keep telling yourself that. And do you have any hobbies? Is there anything you do besides making smoothies?
RR: I’ll take that as a no. Do you like me?
SST: Actually, I do have hobbies! But...
RR: But what?
SST: I’ve never told anyone before.
RR: Ha, that’s too bad. Spill.
SST: *glare* Fine, since you asked so nicely—
RR: No need for sarcasm.
SST: —I’m a huge traveler.
RR: A traveler?
SST: Yeah. I’m actually scheduled to make a brief trip to Terror Mountain tomorrow morning.
RR: Really? I guess that’s sort of cool.
SST: Yeah, well, where do you think I’ve gotten my inspiration for all of my smoothie flavors?
RR: Wow, that’s interesting. *thoughtful pause* Okay, next question. Do you like me?
SST: What kind of a question is that?
RR: A perfectly good question.
SST: I’m not answering it.
RR: *stomps foot* You don’t like me?!
SST: *awkward silence #3*
RR: Hmph. Okay. Well... looks like I’m out of questions.
SST: About time. I actually have a job I need to get back to. *sidelong glance*
RR: Was that some kind of insult?
SST: *rolls eyes* Of course not. *stands up*
RR: Wait, before you go! Where did you get your “Power Shake!” shirt?
SST: *mysterious look* Some things I’ll never tell. *walks away*
And with that, the Smoothie Store Tuskaninny left me in order to resume his careful preparations of delicious (and disgusting) smoothies, completely unaware that his story may one day affect millions of lives.
Yes, millions. You’re reading this, aren’t you?
Maybe because I forced you to, but you’re still reading it. Don’t deny it.
One day, when I’m famous, that Tuskaninny will look into the Neopian Times and see my name and will be able to recall with pride that he was my first interview subject back when I was starting out. *hungry sigh* Yes. One day.
Now, you know. You know the truth that lurks behind that round face and the emotions that run deep behind that demure smile. You thought you knew the Smoothie Store Tuskaninny. But you were wrong.
As that Smoothie Store Tuskaninny walked away, I breathed in deeply, knowing that I had found my story. The story that would draw in the readers, make them weep with despair and laugh maniacally. I knew that this was the beginning of the Roving Reporter’s success.
And as the Smoothie Store Tuskaninny walked away and began to mix up an... interesting Yogurt Pea Smoothie, I finished my own drink, pondering trivial things like the meaning of life and all that.
After much deep thought, I decided that the Churro Smoothie was disgusting. Next time, I’m going with an Original Kiwi. It’s safer.
This is only the beginning. RR will be back. With more soul-shattering, gravity-defying interviews, of course. ; )