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Neopia Central on Grey Day


by larkspurlane

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NEOPIA CENTRAL - Clouds hover low over the usually sun-flooded Neopian Plaza today as Neopian citizens -- and, apparently, the weather -- come together to “celebrate” Grey Day. We must, of course, put “celebrate” in scare quotes, because the celebratory impulse is rather at odds with the heavy case of the doldrums implicit in such a dreary holiday as Grey Day. All around is greyness: shop fronts sport a sad veneer of temporary grey paint, the grass has faded to a lifeless green and the money tree’s branches are festooned with monochromatic banners of the droopiest sort.

The casual observer will note with interest how glum people look as they engage in the Grey Day “festivities” (such as they are). Grey pets have come out in numbers, dragging their mopey selves around and murmuring “woe...” in a lamentable chorus. They are accompanied by the Grey Faerie, who is apparently trying to murmur “woe...” too but is inexplicably choking on a piece of Neowaiian Bread.

Sad-looking stands have been plopped at depressed intervals along Main Street and are designed to enhance what Grey Day organizers term “the Grey Experience.” This includes such remarkable booths as:

The Limp Fur O-Matic, manned by Flora, the kind Usul from the Grooming Parlour. Visitors can have the volume and bounce sapped out of their pelt so that they too can have lustreless, wilting fur. For an additional fee, Flora will dye your fur grey so you can fully enjoy the Grey Experience.

Let’s Get Saggy, hosted by a Grey Yurble who does live demonstrations of how to best achieve typical levels of Grey sagginess, whether it be in general posture, droopy ears, downward-curving mouths, etc. Includes such tips as “stretching your jowls downwards for fun and profit” and “how to make the bags under your eyes twice as baggy,” as well as hints on achieving a depressed posture and adopting a sad, shuffling gait.

The Red Eye Center. Become the “pupil” (hehe!) of Pinkeyes McCornea, a Grey Ixi who will instruct you in obtaining the precise shade of pinkish-red which characterizes the eyes of Grey pets. McCornea starts his seminar by telling you a dreadfully sad story which will make you tear up and redden your eyes like you’ve been Grey all your life. Tissues not included.

Hug the Grey Faerie. Well, not the real Grey Faerie, since she’s busy choking on Neowaiian Bread. Grey pets are taking turns dressing up in Grey Faerie gear (including the ratty dress and the tatty wings) and giving hugs of the most abject wretchedness to anyone who so much as glances in their direction. If you ask nicely, they may give you an extra grey handshake (of abysmal misery), or a chummy knuckle-bump (of irrepressible anguish).

The Rainbow Pool itself has gotten in on the act; its prismatic waters are currently reduced to a goopy grey mess mildly reminiscent of sludge frappucinos. The petpet puddle is similarly discoloured & looks, due to its diminutive size, rather like Crokabek guano. Nothing like Grey Day to raise the spirits! Grey petpets, freshly painted from the guano petpet puddle, wander the streets in woeful droves, helping to spread the blues.

Speaking of spreading the blues, Jazzmosis is in town, demonstrating, as they always do, that all you need is a grey paint job and cool shades to be totally stylin’. They will be playing tonight on the Neopian Plaza, a gig which will include such crowd-pleasers as Monochromatically Yours and Shades of Grey(mosis). Tickets are on sale through the Tyrannian Concert hall on a first come greyest first basis.

Shops are also getting into the grey spirit. Hubert’s Hotdogs is giving out free grey hot dogs which come complete with cute little rain clouds. A Grey Day celebrator informed your correspondent that the grey hot dog tastes “like sadness, like misery, like stubbing your toe on a coffee table” -- now you know.

Crowds of pets are petitioning at Defense Magic and Battle Magic for new grey-related Battledome items. Apparently they feel that a solid smack with some sort of grey weapon or a zap from a grey gun of some kind would make for an excellent Battledome innovation, reducing opponents to whiny piles of pitiable pulp within minutes.

Speaking of the Battledome, hosts of grey pets are challenging anyone remotely brightly-coloured to come and exchange blows in the ‘Dome. They are especially pursuing Rainbow-painted pets, who are, they feel, offensively bright and cheerful looking on such a sombre sort of day. However, fear not, brightly coloured pets! By the time grey pets have dragged themselves to the Battledome, they are overtaken by fresh waves of depression and they end up lolling on the floor of the arena in abject misery until someone comes along to drag their sorry carcasses off of the field.

The Grey Pet Support Group has gathered its members onto the Neopian Plaza and is holding a general forum for anybody and all to attend, grey or not grey. Currently the topic for discussion is: “grey pets are not emo, discuss.”

This apparently controversial issue has lead to a few vicious verbal sparrings, with some people suggesting that grey pets are “totally not emo because they look nothing like that emo Usul shopkeeper; are you blind or just stupid?” Others suggest that anyone with such a tendency to mope and feel sorry for oneself to such an absurd extent is undeniably partaking in some sub-branch of emo-ness and therefore all grey pets are somehow related to the dreaded emo Usul.

Thankfully, the nature of grey pets’ tempers is such that they can only flare briefly before they calm down (and by “calm down,” your correspondent means “subside into quiet despondency”), so the arguments are as brief as they are depressing.

The Jazzmosis concert will begin shortly, so this article must be brought to its melancholy close.

The stage is set. The seats are filled. The droopy forms of grey pets are silhouetted against the leaden sky, which threatens to release its dreary burden of rain any moment.

A collective sigh is going up from the crowd at the very thought -- and there is no doubt in this observer’s mind that they are indeed having an excellent Grey Day.

Monochromatically yours until the next article, this is LarkspurLane signing off.

***

Author’s note: whoever gets the reference to the Grey Faerie and Neowaiian Bread gets 20 cool points. Happy Grey Day -- turn that frown upside down!

 
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