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Pet Name: Varuna
Hey, Varuna. I'm here to interview you for the Pet Spotlight.
Spotlight. We discussed this already. You always told me you wanted to be more famous, and so here we are. Are you going to take your mask off?
Please? It would really make it much easier to underst—
Fair enough. So, the mask is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your Esophagor collection. I mean, there's that Fyora Doll whose head you replaced with an Esophagor Head...
"Her name is Esophagora. She's beautiful."
Of course she is. You sleep on an Esophagor Bed, with an Esophagor Lamp, read your Esophagor-themed books on your Esophagor Bean Bag chair and... is that Esophagor perfume?
"Eau de Esophagor. The rich, warm scent of bile, with overtones of regret."
Ugh. My question is, why the Esophagor obsession?
"He has good taste."
He eats literally EVERYTHING. Including Neopets!
"Hearsay and speculation. In any case, you know how I don't care for picky eaters, and he's the least picky of them all."
Sometimes I wish you were pickier. But in any case, that brings us to what you do to spend your day--you're a chef, are you not?
How would you describe your cooking style?
"I feel as if there's not enough communication between the Alien Aishas and the denizens of the Haunted Woods. My goal is synthesis. I specialize in Gross-Spooky fusion recipes."
Sounds cutting edge. Any examples?
"Grubs are some of the most iconic Gross Foods, and with good reason. They're juicy, they hold their shape when roasted, boiled, steamed or fried! The trick is getting the crispy coating. So, inspired by the Spooky Foods Eating Contest, I created a breading of crushed Crypt Crisps, Candy Corn, and Chocolate Covered Peanuts, roll the grub in it, set it to a broil, and voila! A sweet, slimy, crunchy snack."
I think I'm going to be sick.
"I've been looking for a name for it! That works beautifully. Broiled Grub a la 'I Think I'm Going to Be Sick.'"
Speaking of the Spooky Food Contest, how did you enjoy it?
"Can't complain about all the freebies, but Neovian-style Spooky Food is in a bit of a rut. I knew Chef Julien in our cooking school days, he makes good stuff but is not much of an experimenter. He does make a mean soufflé, I must admit. And by mean, I mean that it will literally bite you."
Here at home we're the test subjects of your creations. How do your siblings react to what you make?
"After thirteen years, not much can surprise them anymore. Genga needs exercise fuel, so I always try to make him the most nutritious mixtures possible--I find brains, fish, lint, and marshmallow to be the perfect combination for his afternoon snack. _jake_ barely comes out of the library these days, but his sweet tooth has never been stronger, so as long as it involves candy somehow, he'll eat it. Hymn was picky when he was a Shoyru, but now that he's an Uni, he has a much bigger appetite. Plus he's transparent, so just by looking at his stomach I can tell if he's hungry."
Gross. So what's next for Varuna?
"I want to be the Esophagor's personal chef, of course!"
"Please? If I could just—"
No. Stop hanging out with him, he's a bad influence.
"Fine. Well, we live on Terror Mountain, and all the shops sell there is Snow Food, Slushies, and Ice Cream! Yeesh, it's so cold, you think they'd be selling the opposite. When I've been walking through a blizzard for an hour the last thing I want to eat afterwards is a slice of Snow Pizza or a plate of Snowghetti and Meatballs. So what I'd like to do is open my own restaurant here: piping hot soups, stews, and entrées, all with a Varuna twist."
And by "Varuna twist" do you mean eyeballs?
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