Ode to the Coconut Shy
I don’t know why
I even try
It makes me cry
For days and weeks I have been a regular customer at the Coconut Shy. I started in the usual way, trying to get the elusive Evil Coconut Avatar. I must confess, though, after a while, the quest, or crusade, has taken on a life of its own. I have fallen under the spell of the coconut – the pursuit has become a daily ritual – every day when I wake up, the first thing I do in the morning is turn on my computer, go to the Shy and hope that today will finally be my lucky day.
“Aim for a coconut and press the left mouse button to throw the ball.”
That seems easy. I can do that. No physical exertion required. No quick reflexes. No time limits, no clock to race – just line it up carefully, following the directions of keying off the center coconut, just like I learned from the Neopian Times article. How hard can it be?
THUD! The ball slaps into the curtain. I can’t believe it. Failure. That won’t get it done.
“You missed,” says the annoying, creepy Quiggle, with the striped trousers hiked way too high, the bad hair, the missing teeth. Clearly you haven’t seen a barber or a dentist in about a thousand years. Who are you to wave that mocking finger at me? Who are you to say HEE HEE HEE with that annoying laugh? I have pride; just because you cheat and nail your silly little coconuts into the board doesn’t make you better than me. I’ll show you my moral superiority. I’ll show you who the boss really is. Here, take my 100 NP. I’ll try again.
PING! I hit it! My ship has come in! Be still my heart!
“The coconut hardly moved,” says the Quiggle. He jiggles up and down, manic laughter echoing through the Deserted Fairgrounds. But I hit it, I hit it square! It’s not fair! No recourse, no higher court, nothing to do but take my measly 50 NP and use it to help buy another coconut, so I can wing another one, looking for redemption, looking for satisfaction, looking for the avatar.
Yes, I know it’s a sucker’s game. But it’s much better than any other sucker’s game in the Deserted Fairgrounds. Test Your Strength – yeah, as if anyone in the history of the world has ever hit the bell in that game. “Congratulations – You won Slimesicle – you scored 3 out of 100 – Useless”. Who needs that kind of abuse? Wheel of Misfortune? This seems like fun – everything on the wheel is ‘Pox’, ‘Pant Devil’, lose NP – no thanks. Bagatelle? That Lupe is even creepier and more ragged looking than the Quiggle, and at 250 NP per crack you need to have an Ultimate Riches! account at the National Neopian Bank to be able to afford it. Those 5 NP consolation prizes don’t pay the bills. Cork Gun? Have any of you ever hit anything there? At least when I wing the coconut, it generally goes straight and often hits something. That provides some sense of purpose and progress. Having the cork go in some random direction and never hit anything – that is a depressing and futile game. No – I will stick to my coconuts, and trust that some day, some how, I will finally get my reward. 10,000 NP – a king’s ransom, enough to make a down payment on the Halloween Paint Brush I have been saving up for so I can have my ‘Werelupe’. I know why I am here. I am on a mission.
Today is the day
You cannot not deny
I will be your master
WHACK! I really nailed it that time. That had to be the one.
“Great shot, but the coconut did not fall down,” says the Quiggle. Oh, is that supposed to make me feel better? Thanks for the 300 NP and all, but I don’t need your patronizing comments. I need to see that coconut finally fall, explode, disintegrate ... whatever it does when you finally win. I don’t know – I figure I have had at least 1000 throws at the Shy, and have just come up empty every time. I suppose I could ask one my neofriends, but it would be like asking about the ending of a movie you are planning to see – it will take away the fun of actually experiencing it. Meanwhile, I live in ignorance, content with my dreams on how wonderful an event it will finally be to knock the darned thing down.
Fail and flail, wind up again and again, until I get: “Oi! No more throws, you’ve had your lot. You won: 0 NP”. Well, nothing more to do today. Nothing to do but wait another 24 hours and hope that tomorrow brings a better outcome.
Yep – that pretty much sums up my life these days. Take my throws, cross my fingers, hope for the best, expect the worst, know that Mr. Quiggle will be here for me as long as I care to come, as long as I have my 100 NP in my pockets. To throw, perchance to dream. Dream of the day I take my place among the select few of Coconut Shy champions. Meanwhile, I struggle with the huddled masses, yearning to be free. My partners on the message boards, equally eager, equally empty, showing up at the crack of dawn to take their turns with me at the Shy.
Every day, 20 throws
Take my daily limit
See how it goes
Every day, nothing but dust
But know that tomorrow I must
Taking my turn at the Shy
Some day, I will win
And when that happy day arrives
I will feel a sense of loss
No more will I have the sense of purpose
The expectation of
A fresh set of 20 throws
Hoping that today will finally be the day
The day I win at Coconut Shy!