Confessions of a Slushie Slinger
In a few days it will be the 10th Altador Cup, which means that in a few days, some of the biggest fans of Yooyuball will find each other crammed into the same stadium, cheering on their favorite teams. But while every fan is intently focusing on the game and their heroes, a different kind of hero is ruling behind the scenes, busting her back for this one event of the year. Yes, ladies and gents, we are talking about the Slushie Slinger. I sat down in a one-on-one interview with the legendary server to see what makes her tick.
No one quite knows the name of the charming Red Tuskaninny behind the slushie counter during the most hectic sporting event during the year - and we’re not about to learn it because she admitted she preferred to remain anonymous. “I actually really love the nickname ‘Slushie Slinger’”, she stated with a smile when I prompted her to tell me her name, “It feels like an alter ego of mine. Every Altador fan know me was ‘Slushie Slinger’ and everyone at home knows me as me”.
After learning Neopia would have to accept that we will never know our unsung hero’s real name, I dove into learning everything about her job and what it’s like in the walls of the stadium.
“First of all,” she began with a smile (as always), “I wouldn’t want any other job but this one. Seeing all the fans there is really quite a sight. Sometimes I see people I know and they’re not themselves at all! Once you put on a jersey - the world around you changes, and so do you. I think that’s the real beauty of this tournament though, Neopets get to take a break from their lives and come have pure fun”.
She’d most certainly seen millions of fans over her years there, so I had to ask her what the weirdest thing she’d seen was - regarding fans. “I once saw one of my friends from Faerieland show up to a game in a Faerieland jersey. They lost horribly to Terror Mountain and at the end of the game I saw her go up to a stand and buy a Terror Mountain jersey! I haven’t talked to her since”.
I asked her if she had some preference towards Faerieland herself - she laughed. “I might lose my job if I don’t remain neutral. I just believe in rooting for your home team”. She paused for a second before smirking a bit. “I reside in Altador both during the season and off-season, if that means anything to any of you.”
“So you’re an Altador fan?” I poked subtly. She just smiled at me. She did continue on though about how it is more fun to objectively watch the games and see who wins, not getting your emotions all tied up in it. “While loosing your voice at a game and going home elated or dejected after a game gives you a level of pride - and just plain associating with a team gives you some self-identity - it’s kind of nice to be able to sit in my Neohome at the end of the day and not have to worry if my team is getting eliminated the next day. I have enough to worry about in life - Yooyuball doesn’t need to be one of them”.
I asked her how she felt about everyone’s favorite Techno fanatic. “Well they’re making Neopoints off being a fan now! If I could practically get my face to be the face of the Altador Cup too, I would be a fanatic any day!”
“So if you were to be a fanatic, what team would you be a fanatic of?” I asked, trying again, to get her to publicly admit her bias. She shook her head and we both laughed instead.
Easy questions aside, I decided to jump into asking her about the hardest job in all of Neopia. “Yes, it’s difficult,” she admitted, “The most difficult though? Not even close. I’ll sling out thousands of slushies a day but that doesn’t compare to working in the Rubbish Dump.” She shuddered, “That has to be the worst job in all of Neopia!”
But she didn’t just jump right into the job - she hasn’t only just been a slushie slinger her whole life. What did she do before? “I helped in the Altadorian Archives for a few years. Somehow I translated organizing books into making slushies - don’t ask me how I did it but it was almost an overnight transition. I guess I’m used to working with my hands, but I went from a pretty silent environment to the loudest in Neopia. My hearing hasn’t been the same since I started working with the Cup every year”.
And while the job has its drawbacks, she made it clear she would never do any other job. She said the pay scale didn’t matter because she’s already “paid pretty well” and no other job would be as exciting. “I went from a boring job in the archives to sitting in a loud stadium for hours - I’m kind of spoiled”.
Like most Neopians, I had been dying to know how she survives each season. She gave me a short list of tips on how to be an elite slushie slinger - but of course there will always only be one.
Tip number one was to train. “I’m like a player; people are relying on me and I need to perform at a high level in a fast-paced environment”. She said her daily training regimen consists of laps around Altador for cardio, yelling exercises (because sometimes customers need to pay attention and the stadium can get pretty loud), and even practicing pouring slushies. “You have to get the right amount every time. If you serve a Lupe and a Kacheek slushies and the two get slightly different amounts, it can result in a brawl. It happened once and I’ve done everything I can to prevent it again.”
The second tip was to not like slushies. “I’m not here to say I don’t like slushies, but I actually don’t”. The reason for her disdain is the texture and stickiness when spilled. “I’ve spilled a lot of slushies in my time, I’m kind of over it all”. I could never imagine giving up plopping down at a Faerieland game with a slushie in my hand, but because of that, I told her I understood that would make it difficult to work around them. “If you can get five slushies in five minutes, you’re going to when you’re around so many,” she giggled, “You’ll be bloated with several angry customers in no time’.
Finally, her last tip was to know the game. “Nothing is worse than when a fan is trying to talk to you about Maraqua and you name drop a player Mystery Island and don’t even notice it!” So if you’re going to be the ultimate slushie slinger, it sounds like you have to be a fan (or fanatic) first. Being a reporter for the Altador Cup and a fan for several years, I asked her if I would be a good contender for a slinger. “If you can ditch the Faerieland gear and bias,” she said motioning to my jersey, “I think you’ll do great”.
To end my interview with her, which had been a total honor, I asked her one final question: “While you’ll always be the best slushie slinger ever, do you think any hopeful Neopets out there might be able to fill your shoes someday?”
She blushed at the questioned, flattered by her title. She pondered for a few seconds before responding. “Oh there will be someone else like me out there who is weird enough to want to sling slushies, but they’re gonna have to wait a while longer - I’ve got a lot in store for years to come”.
So even if your teams don’t do that great, you have Miss Slushie Slinger to look forward to.