Thief-catching 101: an Interview with the Pant Devil
My pet Eyrie, Chivalry, has always had an obsession with
evil things, due to his occupation as a Knight, so I suppose it was inevitable
when he began badgering me about getting an interview with the Pant Devil. Wanted
to find out the truth through all the rumors about why the Pant Devil was so blue,
pant-obsessed, and evil, he said. So what else was I supposed to do except start
thinking of ways to catch the floating villain?
It took me quite a while before I could concoct
a sneaky scheme to snare that ghostly menace, but when he came floating out
of the sky one day and tried to steal Chivalry's favorite Tiger Couch right
out from under him, we were ready.
Chivalry landed on the floor with a painful
THUD! and the Pant Devil began heaving with all his ghostly might to drag that
Tiger Couch right out the window with him. He groaned and struggled to inch
forward with it, but after Chivalry and I both dug in our heels and sat on the
couch again, it refused to move.
At this point, the Pant Devil began to panic:
once he'd chosen the object to steal, apparently he couldn't stop until he'd
succeeded in purloining it. His electric blue face lost its mischievous grin
and began to take on a faintly greenish hue.
"Have time for an interview, Mr. Pant Devil?"
I asked sweetly, unable to resist a smirk at the hysterical ghost-thief. He
replied with something too rude to bear repeating, but after a half an hour
of "convincing" him, Chivalry managed to make him see that it was either an
interview with us, or a nice chat with the friendly neighborhood Chia Police.
He was very, very cooperative after that.
"First things first... do you have a strange obsession
"Um... no... not that I know of," said the Pant Devil,
rolling his eyes. Apparently he was well used to being asked that question.
"So, were you always this blue and ghostly,
or is it some kind of bizarre fashion statement?" I asked with a fiendish little
chuckle. It's not every day a simple Neopian Times reporter gets to threaten
the Pant Devil with blackmail.
"No... I used to be a normal Ghostkerchief...
and then... " He gulped nervously, looking like he was considering abandoning
the couch and letting the Chia Police have him.
"And then?" I prompted him carefully, pulling
out my Faerie Notebook to take notes. He grimaced, floating hesitantly in the
air alongside the arm of the couch with slick blue fingers resting on the tiger-striped
"I was floating through Neopia Central one day...
and... uh... I... erm... tripped." He squinched his eyes as tightly shut
as they would go, his face the same colour as a Strawberry Kougra Cookie. He
made a grotesque grimace at us. "I fell into a bucket of Kougra Face Paint...
but since I wasn't a Kougra, it... erm... turned me blue." He said the last
words so fast I could barely understand them, then groaned again.
"Wait a second... Kougra Face Paint? It turned
you blue?" Now that didn't make much sense, although I've never had a Kougra
to test the stuff on.
"Haven't you ever read the fine print on that
stuff? It says right on the back of the jar 'Can have highly strange and bizarre
when used on neopets not of the Kougra species. Please see the Happiness Faerie
for examples.' Of course, I didn't notice that until I was already soaked in
"So, when did you become evil and start stealing
"I'm not evil! Really, I'm not! I just have
an obsession with... stealing... other people's... things?" He looked hopefully up at
us, then shrugged and continued his story, eyeing the Tiger Couch wistfully.
"Anyways, I was in a pretty serious state of shock after I turned myself blue,
so I wasn't really watching where I was going. I ran into a huge pile of Mega
Ultrasizes and got puffed up this size; just a tad bigger than normal pets.
Unfortunately for me, the shopkeeper wasn't too pleased with that... he accused
me of stealing the Supersizes and that's where my stealing habit got started."
He smirked, still greedily looking at the couch with beady eyes.
"Where'd you get the name 'Pant Devil', then,
if being blue and liking clothing has nothing to do with it?"
"Well, the Devil part is pretty obvious, but
after I developed my, uh, fondness for other people's belongings, I started
calling myself the Paint Devil. Then some idiot misspelled my name in a report
somewhere, and I've been known as the Pant Devil ever since. You have no idea
what it's done to my reputation!" he wailed despairingly, looking both pathetic
I blushed all the way up to the roots of my
hair as I suddenly remembered a report I'd written on Neopian criminals, in
which I'd accidentally misspelled a certain blue someone's name...
"What do you do with the stuff you steal," I
asked hurriedly. For the oddest reason, I was suddenly very eager to conclude
the interview. Thankfully not noticing my chagrined expression, the Pant Devil
smiled evilly, showing unnaturally long, pointy teeth. I gulped and wondered
if he was related to Count Von Roo. The Tooth Faerie would have had a party
collecting those fangs.
"I keep a bit of it carefully stashed in my
secret lair," he said, hovering a few inches above the floor.
"Where's your secret lair?" I asked, even though
I figured he'd know better than to tell me.
"That's why it's called a secret lair, dummy!"
he snarled gleefully. "You'll never ever know that it's far beneath the surface
of Neopia; never in a million years!" Chivalry and I glanced at each other and
tried our best not to laugh in his face.
"And what do you do with the rest of it? You
said you only kept a bit," I queried eagerly. The Pant Devil flushed guiltily
and looked away, his entire body drooping.
"Idonateittothemoneytree," he said to the floor,
speaking so softly I could barely make out a word he said.
"I said, 'I donate it to the Money Tree!'" he
wailed sheepishly, swooping in frantic circles around the Tiger Couch. "There!
Now you've made me say it! I'll never be able to show my face in the Gallery
of Evil again..." He seemed to be sulking now, but Chivalry and I were too busy
staring at him agog to notice. Neopia's trickiest thief, donating his loot to
the Money Tree?
While we were staring, the Pant Devil took the
opportunity to make his getaway before we made him reveal any other embarrassing
secrets. He dodged around behind us, grabbed the back of the Tiger Couch and
tipped it forward until my stunned pet and I were dumped unceremoniously off
it and onto the ground. Straining against its weight, the tricky blue fellow
dragged it to the window and somehow managed to get it through, bursting into
the free air like a faerie from a bottle.
As I crawled stiffly over to the now deserted
window to watch the Pant Devil sail away with my couch, there was only one thing
left I could think of to say: