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The DFM Pteri: Misunderstood or Malevolent?

by leikina


BATTLEDOME - We’ve all seen him at one point or another and he always seems to appear at the worst possible time. You’re in the process of sending a high score for an avatar game and BAM! He decides to pop up for a few moments making it impossible for you to send your score (and ruin what you’ve worked so hard to achieve.) Just a brief peek of those red feathers is enough to send a chill running down anyone’s spine. He’s the Down for Maintenance Pteri and all of Neopia seems to hate him. But is he really evil?

Have you ever been judged by someone before they really got to know you? Try having that happen with a few million people. I was a bit surprised myself when I first heard about this shared hatred among Neopians from all over the globe, which is why I set out to discover the truth about this depressed red ball of feathers. Even though I couldn’t interview the legendary Pteri, (As he only shows a few brief glimpses of himself from time to time now) I’m sure he’d have a strong say on the subject.

I mean come on, Pterii are almost as cute as Darigan Draiks! (Which I happen to think are cute in a sense, have you ever seen them in their angry poses? No? Well uh, anyway, back to Pterii...) And although he used to make frequent visits to Neopia, his recent absence has been much overlooked. Shouldn’t we be concerned if the Down for Maintenance Pteri really IS evil? For all we know, he could be plotting with Sloth to pull off some sort of super down-for-maintenance spell since his plot was canceled. Not that I want to give him any ideas... But hey, who knows what’s going on in that big green chicken head of his? Besides world domination and what’s for breakfast that is...

Also, the Pteri’s sad pose as seen on the down page is enough to bring a tear to anyone’s eye. He’s upset that the site is down, not for it. The hopeless expression on his face tells it all, as well as his drooped wings and the missing gleam of his feathers. How can we label such a creature ‘evil’ just because he’s expressing his gloom on the page we fear to see? Maybe that’s it, (Lei is having a quantum leap here... Quick, get the camera!) we really fear the down page more than the Down for Maintenance Pteri. We just associate the two together which gives him a bad reputation. It just goes to show you to choose your friends wisely... or what page you appear on in this case.

If in fact the Down for Maintenance Pteri is a rouge, we should probably take a look at the games he gives us to play while the site is down. I myself, remember having played them in the past while waiting for things to be fixed. Which raises another point, is repairing the site evil? I certainly don’t think so, it’s more like getting a shot. As painful as that is... It’s all for the greater good even though you might not see it at the time. Just think of how bored you weren’t given the option of playing those games. I mean, it’s not like you could just go outside and take a walk or something ; ) We should be thanking him, not pelting him with dung every chance we get. Or are these games available out of spite? You could argue that being unable to send these games’ scores is evil in a sense. I’d certainly be livid if I somehow managed to pull off a high score in Escape from Meridell Castle and was unable to send it. (But we all know that’s never gonna happen...)

But what of the Down For Maintenance Pteri Battledome challenger? He certainly doesn’t look very friendly with those blood red eyes and matted feathers. But consider this, wouldn’t your eyes be blotchy if you had spent the whole night awake while the site was down? Pterii aren’t nocturnal in any sense, except maybe the Black Pteri but that’s another story. Not to mention having pets trying to beat you into a pulp when the site is up. It’s a lose-lose situation for the little guy. ‘Tis a hard life he leads, even though his Battledome self has a beginning difficulty of seventy-five. Which yeah, is a tough beat for me XP

Wherever this Pteri seems to be hiding, most agree that he’s most certainly alone. At least, I don’t think there’s a whole nest of Red Pterii somewhere that switch off for the job. That would just be redundant ; ) But him living in a group would make sense in a way, Pterii are by nature very social creatures. Going against this can lead to medical problems such as NeoBlues, Neomonia, Doldrums, or even the dreaded Jitters. So if in fact the Down for Maintenance Pteri does this job solely on his own, I commend him for bravery and perseverance. However, some could argue that it’s insanity. Let’s face it, I highly doubt most pets like coming home from work with their feathers splattered with rotten vegetables thrown by angry Neopians. That could explain the red coloring though, one tomato too many. XP

So the next time you see the Down for Maintenance Pteri pop up for a brief moment, or a few hours in some cases, instead of getting the urge to create a ‘Whack-a-Pteri’ game with your extra time consider the difficulties of his post. There he sits, the lone pet on that page surrounded by nothing but white space and games; the butt of our jokes and a disgraced member of society. Day after day he’s shoved into the dirt in the Battledome while the site is up and sworn at when it’s down. Surely we can learn to give even one of the most dreaded creatures in Neopia a second chance, a clean slate for his reputation? And if he proves to be as nasty as they say, we can always have a few dozen thornberries ready for action.

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