Family Secrets - An Interview with Grandma Boochi
Ever since the beginning of the recording of modern Neopian History you can find frequent mentions of sightings of a small Bruce, who has the means of turning unsuspecting Neopians into babies: Boochi.
One of the greatest mysteries which surround Boochi is that he seemingly doesn't age – and this in a society which openly acknowledges the fact that everything in Neopia is aging daily. In order to unravel this mystery, I, Quentin, the Inquisitive Quiggle and investigative reporter extraordinaire, dug deep into the available archives and followed several leads until I eventually struck gold. I discovered that Boochi is no orphan without any ties in Neopia – something I had foolishly assumed, as it would explain nicely why this tiny Bruce tries to turn others into babies as it would give him new playmates to ease his solitary existence –, but is member of a large family headed by an elderly Bruce whom everybody in the family simply calls Grandma Boochi. It is with great delight that I announce that this singular lady consented to my interviewing her. Read now what she has to tell the world.
Quentin the Inquisitive Quiggle: Mrs. Boochi – or may I call you Grandma Boochi?
Grandma Boochi: You may.
QIQ: Thank you. Grandma Boochi, not withstanding the fact that for a Neopian your age you look fabulously, does it not sometimes irk you that your grandson does not seem to age and apparently does not share his fountain of youth with you?
GB: (chuckles lightly) Actually, the Boochi you are referring to is my great-grandson. And accurately he should be called Boochi V., seeing that he is the fifth Boochi to tease Neopians with the possibility of being turned into a baby. After all, we Boochis might retain our youthful looks for longer than the average Neopian, but we age nevertheless. I was not born this old, young man.
QIQ: So, would it be correct to assume that in your youth you were the Boochi to 'tease the Neopians' as you phrased it?
GB: Yes, that is correct. Ah... those were good times. Also rather challenging times. At least more challenging than my great-grandson's job is today. Today, it is well known that all pets can be painted Baby, so nobody doubts Boochi's ability to zap them into a baby. When I took over the job, there were some species who thought they were immune to my gun, simply because the Rainbow Pool did not grant them Baby as painting option. But every Neopian with at least a mote of intelligence should know that painting and zapping are two completely different things.
QIQ: I guess they were in for quite a surprise then...
GB: Certainly. Of course once TNT knew what a certain species looked like when zapped Baby, they hurried to provide a matching paintbrush. Sometimes it was almost like a competition between us to see who would be the first to release the baby look for a species.
QIQ: Impressive. Which species was your favourite among those where you beat TNT in this competition?
GB: I'd have to say the Flotsam. One would think that since TNT had already released the Baby Paintbrush for Jetsams rather early in the game, Flotsam would have been the next species for which Baby as colour was to be released. Yet almost two years later, the Rainbow Pool still did not list Baby as available colour for Flotsams. Something I intended to remedy. But, you see, aiming with the ray gun at something under water is rather tricky... I don't know how often I missed – I was beginning to fear that nobody would take me seriously and I'd be the laughingstock of all of Neopia. But every try taught me more about the refraction of water and how to aim correctly and eventually Flotsams experienced what life as a baby was like.
QIQ: Sounds like a rather eventful time in your life. Somehow I can't imagine that you were glad to hand over your job to the next generation...
GB: Listening to you, one might get the impression that we Boochis are only responsible for the baby-zapping.
QIQ: Are you not?
GB: Most certainly not. We Boochis are born colour-changers. Consequently we are also responsible for drenching unsuspecting Neopets with multi-coloured water, giving them a random new colour. Perfect for venting pent-up adolescent energy.
QIQ: Forgive me for saying this – according to my research the ones responsible for this colour-change drench Neopians from the sky, meaning they have to be air-borne, and Bruces are not really known for their flying abilities.
GB: That may be, but Meridell has a fantastic airship industry. By learning to handle and maintain these airships we also teach our adolescent family members responsibility and technical skills.
QIQ: Good point. What about the colour-change to invisible?
GB: Very good, young man, you are catching on. Indeed, once we Boochis are past those boisterous and loud stages of youth and have learned the value of peace and quiet, we become rather stealthy. Not that we can ever claim Ninja-stealth, but we are good enough to fool certain Neopians and turn them invisible.
QIQ: Doesn't it sometimes rankle you that nobody seems to know that it is Boochi family members, who are responsible for these other colour-changes?
GB: Being known for the baby-zapping is fame enough. After all, we all have been in this position, so we all were famous. It's more like feeling proud of maintaining the family tradition than striving for individual fame. Individual fame requires far too much time and effort. Just take a look at Dr. Sloth – in order to be remembered and not fade into oblivion he has to try to take over Neopia every few years, while giving out Transmogrification Potions in those off-times. Not to mention the time and energy to be invested in cooking up those potions and world-domination plans. And all this for fame... Life as a Boochi is far more preferable, even if until now we were not receiving the credit due to us for the other colour-changes.
QIQ: A wise and noble point of view. I guess such kind of wisdom simply comes with age. Speaking of age, what do you do, when you get too old for the stealth required to turn Neopians invisible? No offence meant, but your walker is hardly the sign of youthful light-footedness. I think spending your days knitting, drinking tea and enjoying retired life is more your line of occupation right now, isn't it?
GB: (indignant) Does it look like I waste my time with such frivolities, young man? And who said that I am retired? A Boochi never retires!
With this, dear reader, our interview came to an abrupt end, seeing that Grandma Boochi suddenly raised her walker, aimed it at my poor humble self and fired. Given the fact that this elderly Bruce had a whole lifetime of training and that I was too stunned to think of dodging, the ray flashing out of the walker did not miss and all of a sudden I found myself to have aged drastically. So much in fact, that I think I may safely claim to be the first elderly Quiggle of Neopia. And for those of you who wish to correct me that there is no such colour as Elderly for Quiggles yet, might I turn your attention to the discussion Grandma Boochi and I had regarding early baby-zapping? What applies to the colour Baby certainly also applies to the colour Elderly. After all, Elderly is not available for Bruces at the Rainbow Pool either, yet there is no doubting that my interview partner was an elderly Bruce. Looks like the competition between a member of the Boochi family and TNT is on once more.