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Whack-a-Kass - a History

by nattieneos


MERIDELL - Whack-A-Kass is a game enjoyed by millions of young neopets around Neopia. The home of what is turning into a hugely popular sport is, naturally Meridell. After their town was destroyed, the people of Meridell felt that there must be a way of letting out their frustration - and whacking large objects with bat-shaped objects seemed to work rather well.

The first object ever used to be whacked was the humble Marrow. The chosen size of the fruit was up to the judges of the contest, but all players preferred large marrows - this is one of the reasons large marrows can only be found about once a day in Meridell. The game was popular, but as each marrow exploded after few hits, and many pets had been injured by the white flesh of the fruit, the search began for an alternative. Ah, and the replacement was the even more humble potato - hard and round, this object was highly durable and didn't require replacing. However, once the potato had been used many times, it was soft and disfigured, and sometimes even exploded, scattering the root all over the playing surface. This did, however, make disused pitches a great place for Meridell's many potato farmers.

And so, the potato also died out, leaving villagers with another search for ammo. Then one day, a young Shoyru called Glen found the answer. A simple, easy, unwanted piece of trash!! Youngsters were known to raid their dustbins in search of anything remotely "hitable", ranging from dung, gravel, and seeds to more valuable items, like plushies and berries. This seemed to be a perfect solution - but the players of the game were soon complained about - why was dung landing in gardens? Why were windows smashed by bags of gravel? However, King Skarl, who was also a big fan of whacking things, provided the competitors with a plot of land to the south of the river near Meri Acres Farm. For months the ground was used, as the game was played, until the warmest summer in Meridell's history. The pile of rubbish on the plot of land was already starting to smell putrid, but the warm sunshine and lack of breeze meant the stack turned into a rotting mess. Even the most devoted whackers were resigned to the fact that the sport needed a new home - and if possible, a new object to whack.

Of course, at this point the game had no official name. It was called a variety of things: Whacking, hitter, slugging, beater - but had not yet been christened "Whack-A-Kass." And it would not have been, if a Neopian called Daisy had not intervened, tired of her son, Jack (a Lupe) moaning about not being able to play his favourite game. With a sigh, she sat down, thinking of a possible solution to his problem. Then, picking up an old purple sock, she began to sew. About a half hour later, she called him, handing him the sock - with neatly stitched wings, red button eyes, and a hooked nose - almost identical to the evil man himself! Jack took it eagerly, and ran to find his friends, stopping only to fill the sock with a handful of rocks. From that day on, the game was referred to as "Whack-A-Kass".

Since that day, Daisy's socks were in high demand - people all over Meridell wanted one. She was soon working on them day and night, and making a pretty Neopoint selling them too! However, the load soon became too much for one person to handle, so she sold her design for a secret sum to a plushie manufacturer, who not only mass-produced the sock, but also created a new version - one so light it meant new distances were being hit everyday! Today, the original sock is being displayed in the History of Meridell Museum, old and frayed, but a piece of history nonetheless.

Now the game was getting really popular - people as far away as Terror Mountain were ordering their very own Kass-Whack plushies. As the game spread, techniques began to differ. In Meridell, the wooden spiked bat was the weapon of choice, but in Mystery Island, hollow bamboo twigs were preferred. Terror Mountain players used rock-solid icicles and in the Lost Desert, sceptres were commonly sold with the dolls. Weapons varied in Neopia Central - some used twigs, and those very daring even attempted to snap branches off the Money Tree, believing using those would give them good luck. The spooky folk in the Haunted Woods often turned to the Brain Tree, who readily exchanged his Brain Tree branches for knowledge. In Krawk Island, what had previously been souvenir swords and wooden pirate legs were now flying off the shelves, and into the hands of eager players. The game even reached the Virtupets space station, easily outstripping Splat-a-Sloth as the most-played game. The inhabitants of the station were swapping their newspapers for metal rods, and basically whatever they could find to hit with. The citizens of Tyrannia weren't going to be left out either, as clubs were seized to give the toy a good whack.

As the popularity of the sport grew, so did the playing field. Soon Whack-A-Kass pitches were being set up in the far corners of Neopia, and people turned out in huge numbers to watch local rivals battle it out. Whack-A-Kass shirts sporting the name of famous players were flying off of the shelves, and a section of the Neopian Times was devoted to the sport. A national league was set up too, with sponsorship from some of the most well known brands in Neopia - Neocola and FingerCrisps were the first companies to purchase advertising in the flashy new stadiums. New bats were introduced too - some leather padded, others made of light plastic, and the more expensive fibreglass bats were soon used by every professional in the game - bar one.

Ben Shoyru, who'd been playing the game since its introduction, was Meridell's leading whacker, and wasn't into the new bats, which he deemed were "for nancies". Each week, a new competitor arrived in Meridell stadium, equipped with state-of-the-art bats, whilst Jack, standing in his simple farmer robes, just held his bat and stared at the field ahead. His bat was simple - long, oak and very battered, with a few stones jammed in around the handle for grip. Every week, he went home a winner, until one day he retired from the game, following a bad knock on the head from rival Jimmy Korbat's bat. He is, however, the world champion at Whack-a-Kass, holding every record the game has. His bat is know featured alongside the first ever Kass in the History of Meridell museum.

So, now you know all about the history of Whack-a-Kass; so what are you waiting for? Go play!

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