Customisation Conundrum: To Dung or Not to Dung
Co-written by petitehirondelline
Customisation Conundrums: The Pros and Cons of Dung
Since April 2007, Neopians can choose to customise their Neopets. Now, royalty has been democratized to every Neopet, considering the plethora of various garments available on the market, may it be from the traditional paint brushes, from the exclusive NC mall, and from the trading post as well.
However, one item has caused controversy since the customisation program has been created. Worshipped by some users, loathed by many, the Meridellian Pile of Dung is now available as a wearable trinket. In all its stinkiness and stickiness, the Pile of Dung simply stays near your pet’s clean paws. There are two clans of customisation users by now: the pro-dung customisers and the anti-dung customisers. Both have their arguments to convince others to join their clan.
Pro-dung's main argument is that dung is cheap to produce. Being the digested leftovers of different creatures, wearable dung can be found easily in the Pick Your Own game. For a measly 400 neopoints, one can bring home up to six piles of dung. This wearable can also be gotten from the shop wizard, for an affordable sum.
“Dung is the poor man’s gold”, said an anonymous fashion designer. “Anyone can be customised, with lower-rarity item such as Pile of Dung and these potato sacks! Customisation is no longer the rich Neopet’s jewel; everyone can join in the fun! Including pets that cannot be customised, such as Pepper Chias, Maraquan Acaras or Baby Skeiths! ”
Another clever point brought by the designer was the antiestablishment feeling it brings.
“Dung is everything the modern Neopian society dislike. While customisation tries to bring the ‘pretty’ factor into play, dung disgusts most purists, if I can tell that. It causes discord and controversy, but I honestly look up to anyone who can manage to make their pile of dung match with what they are wearing. It’s pure genius!”
Another popular theory is nicknamed the Scapeixi Law. Neopets with poor hygiene have nothing to lose by being customised with dung. In fact, if walkers smell a foul aroma, the Neopet can say: “It’s not me. It’s my Pile of Dung”. Professor H. Rondelle, from the Brightvale Institute of Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Economics, has even written a book based on this theory.
“Some pets are hydrophobic; therefore, taking a shower is painful for them. By carrying a pile of dung as a fashion statement, they minimise their own body odour with a distraction,” said the young Lenny professor.
Pottery artist Iain Keluzzi has been dealing in dung since Year 6. However, since the birth of dung customisation, his business exploded.
“It is amazing! We could eat dung, we could battle with it, we could have it as petpets, but we could not wear it. Customisation is the best thing that has happened to my business, and I am grateful!”
However, not everyone seems to agree with the previous arguments, believing that the last thing to do with dung is to wear it. One of their most flamboyant members is the well-known model, Jason Von Blumaroo.
“It is ridiculous to believe dung can become fashionable. Since its birth, the goal of fashion is to be as pretty as possible. Not to smell like War Master Graarg.”
When asked about why dung should not be wearable, the young artist replied that it was highly unhygienic, due to the fact Piles of Dung can sometimes spend days in the bushes, waiting to be picked up by unsuspecting travellers.
“It smells bad, because it is bad. It’s dung, for crying out loud! Dung is sometimes infested by Skidget eggs, and since these infections are common on furry pets, you can end up in the hospital as well!” objected Von Blumaroo.
A lot of people also mentioned that dung looked cheap. In fact, due to its low production costs, dung is flooding the market and the second-hand shops, all around Neopia.
“A lot of fashion critics consider dung as an old fad already. Considering everyone can afford it, it wasn’t sought after. Unlike tiaras and wings, there is nothing glamorous about dung. When I was a young Blumaroo, I was not dreaming of being covered with brown goo that smelled like Skeith Breath. I wished to be a prince, a lord. Dung is gross,” added Jason Von Blumaroo.
Another issue with the manipulation of dung is the stench. In fact, some pets cannot bear the stench of dung at all, causing them to faint. When asked about it, professor Rondelle did not deny the facts, stating that a good part of her book warned fashion victims to be careful.
“Dung may be THE absolute must this season, but some weak pets cannot bear the excitement of it. After all, seeing a pet that passed out next to its Pile of Dung isn’t the smartest idea for the Customisation Contest.”
After listening to the experts, I went in the streets to ask users how they felt about having items such as Piles of Dung wearable.
“It’s disgusting. Utterly and totally disgusting. There are things you should not wear, and dung is clearly on top of that list. They should add the gods of bad fashion sense to the battledome!” said a Battledomer.
“Well, I suppose tastes differ. However, I must say I wouldn’t give my pet a pile of dung as a fashion statement. But, some people can manage to match everything properly. Kudos to them!” said a young restocker.
“It’s outrageous! People who DARE using THAT to customise should be brought to Tyrannia, to sell the dark side of the dung! It’s gross!” admitted a stamp collector.
To conclude, Piles of Dung are one of the cheapest items you may get for your Neopet. However, cheapest does not mean best for every pet! Keep in mind dung is the best way to get people to look at you, may it be to bow to your fashion skills, or to boo you.
(Thanks to absente, antagoniste, dragonrouge_242, 7upower, dark_cra, _myhipe_ and yonandyon for their help during the writing of this article.)