You know, I have known quite a few people who have over one million Neopoints. They can buy their beloved (and somewhat spoiled) Neopets the kind of toys that you saw on TV and drooled over as a kid, the kind of make up and cosmetic/beauty items that you thought only the most glamorous of Faeries had, the brand of furniture that King Hagan has, a house in Faerieland, and on top of that, the BEST Petpets (painted of course) that money can buy. But when their pets get hungry, for absolutely no reason that I can figure out, these people put away their fancy clothes, rub dirt on their Uni's noses, and hobble off to the Soup Kitchen for a free meal!
What. The. Heck.
Nobody used to think of doing that. If you had Neopoints, you bought food. If you didn't, you went to the Soup Kitchen. Eventually, though, someone DID think of doing that scandalous act, and it got spread around. And now, people all over do it. It's a shameless thing to do, and you know who suffers from it most? Not the folks who are truly poor, no no. The one who suffers most is the Soup Faerie! So, I decided to get her opinion on this. I headed over to her kitchen, and waited in line for about an hour. I noticed that there were indeed some fake looking "poor" Neopets. This made me more determined that ever to spread the word about this outrageous act, so I was pleased when I finally got to the Faerie herself. I introduced myself, and reassured her I wasn't just after soup. Then, after some convincing, I got her to put up her "ON A BREAK" sign, and sit down to an interview with me.
Me: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview! I know I am not the only one who notices how ridiculous things have gotten at this kitchen, and I'm sure you're just as eager as I am to spread the word that being this sneaky is not good.
Soup Faerie: I must agree. It's getting worse, actually. Everyday, I see more and more people who have clearly just put on the worst clothes they can find and rolled their pets around in the dirt, just so they can get a free bowl of soup!
M: I've definitely noticed that. It's the worst thing. They're completely taking advantage of your kindness.
SF: Oh, it doesn't stop at that. People have even spread around "tips" for getting soup from my kitchen, no matter how rich they are! "Hide all your Neopoints at the trading post, she can't sense them there!" or "have a poor friend get the soup FOR you", or the worst one, "pay a homeless Neopet in Neopoints to get a few bowls with the claim that 'they also have friends who need food waiting in the city'. It's absolutely awful.
M: ...They really do that? That's horrible... But you don't want to automatically turn them away because what if they really ARE poor, right?
SF: Exactly! I am somewhat able to stop it, though. Lately, if they look suspicious, I'll get their names to look up later so I can stop them if they try again. Or I'll ask them to help me out in the kitchen for the next few days in exchange for soup. If they seem grossed out by the idea of physical labor, I know they're phonies.
M: That's a wonderful idea! What kind of things do you have them do? And what if you catch them?
SF: Oh, I have them do lots of things. Wash the used bowls (a task that I always need helpers with), sweep and mop the floor, water the garden, occasionally shine the kitchen walls up, and most importantly, fetch me soup ingredients! Oh, and at night when there are no food-beggars, I have them water the grass where everyone stands to help it keep healthy. I have to keep the place looking good, you know! Oh, and as for catching them... I just have them do some of those chores for me to make up for it.
M: I must say, you have some good ideas. What ingredients do you have them get for you? Where do you send them?
SF: Oh, I have them get lots of things! I send a lot to Mystery Island for fruit, Meridell for fresh bread and vegetables, and the Lost Desert for the more exotic, yet delicious, ingredients. Oh, and I must add in that Tyrannia is indispensable for its fine meat products. Almost 80% of my soups have ingredients from there in them. :)
M: So it's safe to assume that the majority of Neopia has unknowingly had Ransaurus Steak at least once in their lives?
SF: You are correct on that. :)
M: Okay, one last question. Everyone knows you work very hard to feed so many hungry Neopians. However, tell me about your daily routine. What do you do for fun, how does your day go, what makes you happy, etc.
SF: Well, I wake up at 5:30 in the morning, every day. I don't take days off; I can't afford to for Neopia's sake. I eat a nice big breakfast to keep me going-
M: Oh! What do you like for breakfast?.... Sorry, I just interrupted you.
SF: It's fine, it's fine! I really enjoy organic green apples, and Enchanting Strawberry Cereal. There are other things, of course, but those are my favorites. Anyways, after breakfast, I brush my hair, put on some eyeshadow, and get on my cooking outfit. Then I get things ready for the next two hours. Adding in ingredients, stirring, cooking, straightening things up a bit. At about 7, Neopians start arriving and I begin dishing out the soup. I always welcome helpers, who show up through out the day. At about 2 PM, I take a quick, 30 minute lunch break, and then go back to business. I go till 9:30, then close up for the night. I get in more comfortable clothes, eat dinner, then read for a bit or do something else. Finally, I take a shower, and get to sleep! Oh, and for fun, I like to read and collect sea shells, as odd as that is. I have a giant collection. :)
M: That is the busiest day I have ever heard of. And to think people take advantage of this all.... I'm very impressed, Miss Soup Faerie. I really hope people will read this interview and realize how hard it already is for you.
SF: Indeed! Thank you very much. :)
M: Of course. Same to you, and thank you for your time! I will be going now, but I hope things get better for you!
And you see everyone, the Soup Faerie already has it hard enough. The fakers only make things unnecessarily hard. Now, if you have a change of heart, but STILL want food for free, then it's not too late. For free meals, try the Giant Omelette in Tyrannia, or the Giant Jelly.
And of course, if you don't mind spending a LITTLE money, then try these foods on the Shop Wizard, all for 100 Neopoints or less!
Lesser Spotted Fish - You can find this for free at Fishing, or you can get it for about 5 Neopoints with the shop wizard. And I don't know about you, but this looks like it would mighty tasty cooked. You can get about 20 of these with the Shop Wizard, just for 100 Neopoints!
Scotch Egg - Another delicious food for about 5 Neopoints with the Shop Wizard. And, excuse me? But "a hard boiled egg wrapped in a delicious layer of sausage meat and breadcrumbs " sounds pretty tasty to me. You can get about 20 for 100 Neopoints.
Chocolate Faerie Cake - An extremely sweet, tasty bit of food. And only 50 Neopoints with the Shop Wizard!
Orange Chicken - Okay, really? Does this not look delicious to you? Only 30-so or less Neopoints with the Shop Wizard.
Wintermelon - The much less expensive version of its cousin, the actual Watermelon. 50 or so Neopoints with the Shop Wizard!
Tchea Fruit - You can usually find these Banana/Blueberry tasting fruits on Shop Wizard for about 5 or so Neopoints. Which means you could buy 20 for only 100 Neopoints. Not bad in my book.
Altadorian Bread - This looks just plain fantastic. You can get it for about 15 Neopoints on Shop Wizard. So, for 100 Neopoints, you can get about 6.
Super Juicy Berry, Voidberry, Mortogberry, Fishberry, Purple Felberry, Pusberry, Conkerberry, Red Chiaberry, Sniddberry, Loveberry - You can get each one of these in the Shop Wizard for less than 100 Neopoints. And of course, you can also get them from Pick Your Own. Plus, they make good shop items!
Good luck, and may no Neopian go hungry!