Chet Flash wuz here Circulation: 180,823,044 Issue: 450 | 2nd day of Swimming, Y12
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A Tale of Two Lennies & A Failed Mascot Usurpation


by _razcalz_

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Also by larkspurlane

Eh-he-heh-hem. Texting, texting, 1, 2, 3... is my font readable?

As readable as a Baby Lenny-coloured font could ever be, I think. What about mine? Good colour for a Faerie Lenny? Does it match my eyes?

Yes, and it matches your bum-feathers too.

In polite circles, that is called a tail.

...Whatever! Let’s get this article started!

Right! Greetings to you, Neopia's fine citizens -- or non-citizens --

-- or criminal masterminds, or Tax Beasts, or birds --

Especially birds. I am Glymmer --

-- and I am Duckie. Additional titles such as "The Best Lenny Ever" are optional.

Yes, the same applies to me. Today is a very special day. Today marks issue 450 of the Neopian Times: a grand occasion in the history of this fine publication -- and also of all things bird.

Why bird, you ask? Well, that is a good question. We would like to bring the following fact to your attention: the current mascot of the Neopian Times is a white Weewoo.

Which is to say, one of our feathery avian brethren. And, Duckie and I, as equally feathery avians, would like to respectfully suggest that one of us could actually make a better mascot, for the reasons that we are about to outline.

We used headers and everything!

Likeability

We figure that a huge part of what makes a mascot successful is how likeable it is. And we assert that we are extremely likeable. I mean look at us -- a Baby Lenny with an adorable single-feathered tail and a Faerie Lenny who is magnificent and... and...

And buckle-kneed! Can I talk now?

You know I have a complex about my big knee-caps. Okay. Go.

I'll start off with "cuteness" in the likeabil... like-bil... the like-a-bill-lit-tee area. What does that mean -- like people on the streets patting you on the head and giving you fruit candies? If yes, then that's me. In fact, if a white Weewoo tried to eat hard candy, its beak would probably rattle.

I have to agree with Duckie, cuteness is definitely a huge factor in terms of what makes a good mascot. And a good mascot HAS to be able to eat candy, that’s just a given. I would also like to note that my long and elegant beak is excellent for guzzling faerie bonbons at a speed that is quite breathtaking. While we’re on the subject of likeability, though -- I think my extraordinary good looks make me very likeable. I am so pretty! Look at my feathers! Look at my colours! Look at my...

...is that a piece of raspberry faerie bonbon stuck in your beak?

...Why yes, it is, thank you for pointing that out publicly... ahem... while I dislodge this thing, why don’t you tell our listeners about the importance of cuddliness and puffiness for a successful mascot?

Yes -- puffiness is integral to a mascot's success, for purposes besides garnering pats on the head and beak-rattling candies. Because a mascot is, for the most part, merely iconic, what makes one superior is additional usefulness. For example, being puffy--

I would like to add that the little one here would, sadly, accumulate an average rating of zero in terms of usefulness.

Hey! I'm useful! I contribute stray yellow feathers in food... I... spill lemonade to contribute more yellow...

Tremendously useful.

AS I WAS SAYING. There are endless uses to a puffy and/or cuddly mascot! They can serve as excellent tennis balls or make-up applicators, for instance.

Yes! And, unfortunately, the White Weewoo is not suitable for these admirable and important purposes, because soon their white feathers would not be white at all. You’d be stuck with a depressed slouching grey Weewoo, and no-one wants that.

Very true. Maybe you would like to discuss sound while I shed more yellow feathers on you.

I think you should see someone for your molting problem... yellow absolutely does nothing for my plumage. So, sound! To be likeable, a mascot must not only look good but sound good. Weewoos are quite well known for their haunting, quiet song. Which is totally fabulous, but -- hello? Haunting, quiet song? Who wants a mascot that sounds like that? The Neopian Times is a newspaper, not a ghost-infested manor.

Exactly. Perhaps Weewoos should consider taking up residence with the very amiable Eliv Thade, and let someone like me be the mascot. I can chirp and quack at the same time! But let's talk about your sound, Glym! Your squawks of despair upon waking up to bad-feather days are very memorable. Which leads to our next focus...

For your information, I do not SQUAWK. I sound very graceful. But yes, let us move on -- the next heading beckons.

Memorability

Memorability, another essential feature for any mascot candidate. I guess one of the big parts of what makes someone -- ahem, me -- memorable is recognisability. Take me for example. Because I like talking about me. I’m extremely recognizable. People see me coming from miles away and know me instantly, mostly because of the mysterious aura of light that surrounds me and the invisible choir of angelpi that chants wherever I go. Point is, I’m recognizable instantly. So is Duckie, because no-one is going to forget a small, but fierce, Baby Lenny wielding an Entangling Lenny Lasso and using it to floss the teeth of her enemies. As for white Weewoos and their recognisability... well, let’s just say I once mistook a white Weewoo for a large piece of lint, and leave it at that.

And to be mistaken as a piece of lint by Glymmer, despite his poor eyesight, means that the petpet in question unfor... un-for-tu-nate-lee lacks unique features. Let's look at the white Weeoo -- what do we see? White, white, white, feet, beak, eyes, white, white. BO-RING.

Now, I, on the other hand, am utterly unique. No other avians enjoy precisely 581 different shades of turquoise and green feathers!

You counted that?

No... it just sounded like a big number... anyhow! One last important point relating to memorability is rarity and general elusiveness. If a mascot is rare and unusual, it is going to be remembered. I would like to point out that I am very rare and elusive, because I am Faerie and also, very pretty, in case this hasn’t been mentioned.

It has been mentioned. At least three gazillion times.

You counted that?

Yes -- but then I ran out of toes and wings to count with, so I just made the rest up. But back to rarity. I am also very rare, because I am Baby and very fierce. Anyone can buy a Weewoo for a couple of dubloons at Little Nippers. But not just anyone can find a fierce Baby Lenny with 125 strength and defence boosts. Not happening!

Know what else isn’t happening?

What?

A Weewoo that can read!

You are so right. Look, another tangentially-related header!

Capabilities as a Mascot

Ob-vee-ous-ly, a proper mascot of the Neopian Times should be able to read. Otherwise the deliveries would end up stuffed in scandalized Usuki dolls instead of your mailboxes. I dunno, have you ever seen a white Weewoo read? They chirp and blink and try (and fail) to look cute. As discussed above. They're the same size as me, you know -- but I achieved both a Booktastic Honorary Badge and the amazing feat of drying up my owner's bank account in a single day whilst earning said badge. Plus, I can read long words like like-a-bill-lit-tee. Let's see a Weewoo do that, eh Glym?

I agree. Reading is an essential component of a mascot’s capacities, especially if the mascot is mascot-ing in a literary field. I know I’ve seen pictures of Weewoos that appear to be intently focused on a page of the Neopian Times. I think they’re just staring at the text and pretending to be reading, but really they’re thinking, “when is lunch?” They’re probably also wondering why they don’t have wings. Can we just talk about that for a second? The ‘Times mascot needs to be able to deliver the Neopian Times. And -- talking as a fellow bird, here -- let me just say that walking anywhere just stinks, even if you’re blessed with a long and elegant pair of legs like mine.

Teehee, I just noticed that you only have two toes on your foot.

... yes...

...I just realized I only have two toes on my foot too.

Well... that makes eight toes in total! But anyway, more importantly, between you and me, Duckie, we have two pairs of wings. Whereas Weewoos have exactly and precisely none. No wings. Not to toot my own horn here -- or yours, Duckie -- but we could beat those Weewoos on a delivery any day.

Exactly! Speaking of speed, efficiency delivering the Neopian Times is absolutely crucial to a mascot’s quality as a representative and disseminator of the newspaper! But I don’t think you would be very efficient, Glymmer.... I can't help thinking that you would constantly be getting sidetracked by whatever puddles you come across. Then you’d just spend the whole day sighing and staring at your reflection, rather than delivering the paper.

Behaviours such as that are very normal, thank you very much! You’re just as easily distracted as I am, okay -- you would be off investigating cookie crumbs or other diversions like free faerie bonbons.

True. But, efficiency-wise, I would actually be able to get places faster than you -- you drag on the tail-end, you know.

I can’t deny that. Sometimes my friends invite me to their place just so I sweep their driveways as I arrive at their Neohomes...

Oh. We didn’t think you’d caught on. Ahem... on to our final topic of discussion.

Symbolic value

Now let’s talk about our symbolic value versus that of the white Weewoo! I am symbolic of cuteness and shortness.

I am symbolic of glamorous dust mops everywhere!

Wait... that doesn't work, Glym.

I have to agree. Um, let me try again. I am symbolic of outrageous featheriness and expensive conditioners. Therefore I would... make a good Neopian Times Mascot...?

I am symbolic of Battledome ferocity and candy! But...

Duckie. I think we’re failing.

Well -- well what about the cultural history of Lennies! We’re known for being very bookish. That relates to the Neopian Times, doesn’t it?

Yeah! Right! There’s the Lenny Librarian for example. And the Lenny Curator in Tyrannia is super smart.

And Finneus, the one who keeps the ar -- arckives -- in Altador! And the Lenny Conundrum Wizard!

Right. Smart Lennies.

Unfortunately, they are not us... what about the Weewoo, does it have a cultural significance?

Well, white Weewoos have been representing the Neopian Times for a long time. A very long time. I guess that gives them a big advantage.

Yes, of being old denture-users. But you know what, Glym? I just realized something. Remember when I said that white Weewoos were just white and boring? Well -- what if that was the point? Because they are white like paper... a fresh sheet of paper that is just waiting for ideas to be written on it!

True. I guess no-one would want to write on yellow paper. Or turquoise paper, because that would be kind of hard to read... and Duckie, look at what we write with when we’re writing for the ‘Times.

What?

A Neopian Times Quill. And it’s white! I bet that’s a Weewoo quill! Do you think -- do you think that we became a mascot we’d have to donate feathers as quills? I don’t think I could handle that.

It wouldn’t be so bad. I can volunteer to pluck your bum-feathers if you want...

I could faint just thinking about that. This is terrible. I had no idea that Weewoos were so brave. You know what, Duckie? I hereby withdraw my application for becoming a Neopian Times mascot.

What about me? Am I still in the running?

Well... actually, it has just occurred to me that being a mascot isn't just about fame and posing for avatars. Sure, you get written about, but the bulk of the newspaper lies in comics. The mascot is probably one of the first things artists turn to for... er, inspiration.

You mean they'd make fun of me? But... but I'm a Baby Lenny! They wouldn't do that. Would they, Glym?

I dunno... Remember those unique features we talked about? They would be prime material for jokes.

"Glymmer the Mop Extraordinaire."

"Duckie the Yellow Molts-Like-Crazy."

Hearing this makes me cry. Those white Weewoos must be tough to endure this teasing. What do you say, Glymmer? Do we leave mascoteering to them?

Where my resplendent tail feathers are concerned, and your ego too -- yes.

You know, now that we've had these amazing realizations, perhaps we should thank the Weewoos for their contributions to 450 issues of the Neopian Times!

I'll leave that to you, Duckie! So what will it be, gift-wrapped yellow feathers?

Shush you. On another note, I'm kind of relieved now that I know we won't be mascots -- some presumptuous duo would probably come out and write to the 'Times, outlining why they'd make better mascots than you and me. Pfft!

 
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