An Interview with Neopia's #1 Hoarder: Wallace
Ever wondered what that Red Wocky from Wicked Wocky Wobble wants with all that junk? We know he's obsessed with collecting junk, but don't we all want to know more about this seemingly insane Wocky? So to answer all our questions I will be interviewing Neopia's number one pack ratter: Wallace!
I knock on the door of Wallace's house in Meridell: it seems normal enough. It doesn't look like the enormous house I imagined a hoarder to have.
Wallace opens the door and gestures for me to come in. When I enter I see...
Junk everywhere! As a reporter for the Neopian Times I try to scribble down as many as I can, but it is impossible to get all of them! There is barely any space for us to walk through the house- every time I take a step I brush past some of Wallace's items.
Finally we enter a room I can breathe in, though there are still hundred- if not thousands- of items stacked against the walls. To give you an idea of the variety of items, three random ones are a Christmas Yooyu, an Ultra Mega Bot 200 and a Whole Roast Chicken. In the middle of the room are (oddly enough) two Disco Print Sofas. Wallace and I sit down on them, and our interview starts.
Me: So, when did this whole collecting obsession begin?
Wallace: Obsession? I'd call it a hobby.
Me: (looks around the room) Right... So when did this hobby start?
Wallace: It didn't start- it's always been with me. I was raised to collect as many items as possible from the four corners of Neopia. The hobby runs in my family, you see. Did you know my Great Aunt Imelda was the first person to get the SDB Pack Rat avatar?*
Me: Speaking of the Pack Rat avatar, do you have it? Actually that's a stupid question, of course you do. But when did you first get it?
Wallace: I'd had tons of junk in my room for as long as I can remember... So when I first got a Safety Deposit Box I put some of my stuff in there... And I got the avatar.
Me: That's great! (to myself) Darn him, it took me a year to get that avatar! Back to Wallace Do you have any tips on getting the avatar for the folks at home?
Wallace: Err... Be part of my family?
Me: (Mutters) How useful!
Wallace: Sorry, what did you say?
Me: Uh- I said- Wow a Poogle! Points to a Yellow Poogle Toy
Wallace: Ah yes, my Yellow Poogle Toy! Picks it up. I have fond memories of buying this! I was walking happily through Faerieland when I happened to pass the Poogle Races. I didn't really care about placing a bet, but a really annoying Poogle just kept bugging me to place one. Then I saw it!
Me: (interested) Saw what?
Wallace: The Yellow Poogle Toy!
Me: What happened next? Did you make a bet over the toy? Did you place a bet on the worst Poogle to win so you could get the toy, and through a miracle you got it?
Wallace: Not really. I said I'd make a bet if I could have the toy. So he gave it to me.
Me: And did you win a fortune?
Wallace: No, the Poogle lost.
Me: Oh... Well, that was a fascinating story. Anyway, what do you like about collecting items? And do you do anything with them?
Wallace: I can't really put my paw down onto the exact reason... I guess it would be the thrill of having a new item, no matter how cheap or useless it is. And I don't really do anything with them, it's fun just having them! It's like having a gallery... except I'm trying to collect everything.
Me: (looks at the clutter around the room) Literally everything. So don't you ever wonder when your house will reach the limit to fit all these items you collect?
Wallace: I think my house has the capabilities. After all, look at all the stuff I've crammed into this room, and this is the guest room! I use up the space very efficiently, and make sure that there is a path to all the essential things in the room no bigger than a metre. And even if I can't fit everything inside my house, I still have my Safety Deposit Box.
Me: But surely even a Safety Deposit Box has its limits?
Wallace: Not mine! It's like a walk-in closet... But underground. So if I need more space I can just dig!
Me: Oookay... How do you think being an extreme pack ratter has affected you as a person?
Wallace: Who comes up with these questions?
Me: Heh... Not me. Right. (cough) Just answer the question!
Wallace: Well, whenever I see an object I like, I always try to get it. No matter what. 'Cause I'm, you know, an extreme pack ratter.
Me: But what about on a more emotional spectrum?
Me: Don't blame me! I used to be the Agony Aunt in my Neoschool's newspaper!
Wallace: That must have been tough.
Me: I know! Do you know how hard it is to be an Agony Aunt? I always wanted to be the reporter! I just wanted to be recognized!
Wallace: I think you'd feel better if you gave me that pen you're writing with. Get rid of all the bad memories.
Me: Oh, okay- Wait, what? Don't try to collect my pen! I'm interviewing you!
Wallace: Eh, sorry.
Me: So, what about your game, Wicked Wocky Wobble?
Wallace: Oh, it took me FOREVER to get King Roo to put it in the Games Room! It was worth it though. Now lots of people know who I am. You should get a game too you know, because next thing you know people are interviewing you for the Neopian Times!
Me: Hah! I see what you did there.
Wallace: Well, they did used to call me Wonder Wallace back in Neoschool. Speaking of wonders, do you want that Yellow Poogle Toy we talked about earlier?
Me: (shocked) Are you feeling okay? Do you actually want to give away one of your items??
Wallace: Of course, I'm a really nice guy! But... you need to give me that pen of yours.
Me: So that's what you were doing! No! (stands up and accidentally knocks over a jug)
Me: Come on, that jug can't be worth more than a few hundred neopoints!
Wallace: (close to tears) It was my jug...
Me: Okay... I think that's my cue to leave...
I thank Wallace for letting me interview him, and quickly leave his house: I'm starting to feel claustrophobic. When I get one last look at Wallace's house I seem him waving goodbye from the front door.
I am surprised by his sudden change of mood, but wave and then turn to head back to the Neopian Times Office, when I hear a call.
"WAIT!" Wallace shouts. "PLEASE can I have the pen you were using in the interview?"
I reach into my bag and throw the pen at him. I guess hoarders will be hoarders.
Tons of thanks to Jellyneo, whose information I couldn't have written this article without.