Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 120,791,029 Issue: 244 | 16th day of Relaxing, Y8
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The Public, Your Pets, and You

by thesecondringbearer


You’ve finally managed to get hold of one of those hard-to-get Kelp reservations. You’ve been saving for weeks, and you’re so excited that your pets will have a chance to experience quality dining! You gather up your pets and take them down to Maraqua.

When you arrive at the front door, a classy-looking Maraquan Scorchio swims up to you and asks what name your reservation will be under. You notice he is looking at your pets with a critical, cool eye, and suddenly you break out in a cold sweat. Despite that you reminded your pets several times to dress nicely before you left, they’ve only gotten halfway there. While your Bruce is wearing her nicest scarf, she’s also wearing one of the rotten boots you found last week at Meri Acres Farm, and your Shoyru has decided to go out on a limb and wear a golden mage robe, sandals, a Scarab ring, and a colorful plastic bracelet in the same outfit. You wish you’d looked them over before you’d left your Neohome…

The Scorchio rifles through a log book and finds your reservation. Bowing, he leads you through the tables of wealthy-looking customers to a corner booth. As you go, you can hear your pets squabbling behind you. Why are they fighting so much? They don’t usually fight… you think. Maybe you just never notice, you’re so used to it.

“Cut it out!” you hiss.

As you sit down, the Scorchio gracefully slips a menu in front of each of you.

“Thanks,” you say, smiling as well as you can while you try to pull your Bruce off of your Tuskaninny. They’re having an impromptu fistfight. According to the Bruce’s version of the story, your Tuskaninny started it. According to the Tuskaninny, your Bruce started it.

A beautiful Maraquan Uni in a well-pressed outfit comes to take your order. Unfortunately, you’ve been so busy trying to settle your pets you haven’t even thought about what you’ll get. Embarrassed, you are forced to ask the waitress to return later.

“All right, what do you want?” you ask your pets as you spread your napkin over your lap.

“Joy Fun Pops!” cheers your Shoyru.

“They don’t serve Joy Fun Pops here,” you inform him.

“They…don’t?” he asks in disbelief. His eyes grow wide and their surface swims with tears. “I want a Joy Fun Pop!”

“I’ll buy you a Joy Fun Pop the next time we go out to eat,” you promise him.

“NO! I want one NOW!”

Uh-oh. Now people are looking at you. You are so embarrassed.

You hiss at your Shoyru, “Do you want to wait outside?”

“I can’t swim!” he cries.

“Then be…quiet!”

“I want Fresh Oysters!” cries your Acara.

She WOULD pick the most expensive appetizer on the menu, you think grumpily.

“Oh, me too!” chorus your Bruce and Tuskaninny.

The next quarter of an hour is spent trying to convince your pets to eat food within your price range. After having to send the waitress away two more times, you give up and go over budget.

Things run fairly smoothly up till dessert. Your pets begin to grow restless. They start making spit wads from napkins, sticking their straws up their noses and –horror of horrors!– you realize your Shoyru managed to slip his Polarchuck under his mage robe and smuggle him into the restaurant. Now the poor creature is being rolled around in the chocolate sauce that marks the remains of your Shoyru’s Octopi Soufflé.

You decide it’s time to go. You pay the bill, a waitress boxes up the food you didn’t manage to eat because you were too busy helping your pets cut up their food and clean up their spilled drinks, and you get out of Kelp at top speed, to the relief of the other customers.

Does this scene sound only too familiar? Even the cutest young pets have a hard time behaving in public settings. Chances are, you’ve been through something like this too.

If only there was a behavior training school in Neopia! But there’s not, and so I’m here to offer you some good tips on keeping your pets in line instead.

1. Buy nice, quiet petpets.

How often have you heard the excuse, “My petpet made me do it?” It’s partially true, sometimes. Squirming, running, or even rude petpets can trigger equally tiresome behavior from your pets. And once you buy them one of these little critters, they’ll never let you take them away. So, if you don’t have a petpet, buy a Cirrus, or something equally quiet. If your pets already all have petpets… you’ll have to live with it.

2. Employ the use of Chocolate Éclair Paste.

What is that supposed to mean? Well, if your pet is really driving you up the wall, fill their mouth with Chocolate Éclair Paste. It doesn’t hurt them- they have noses to breathe through. I’ve discovered that Ummagine Juice can dissolve the sticky chocolate substance, so when you’re ready to listen just pour on a few drops. Of course, this can produce interesting effects when your darling little pet is playing outside and a neighbor stops to talk. I’ve had a few people faint on my lawn when they see my pet’s mouth is sealed with black, sticky goop. It must look like they haven’t been to the dentist for quite a while.

3. Bribery

This is by far the most effective method I’ve discovered yet. You can always say to a pet, “If you’ll be quiet while we visit the Altadorian Hall of Heroes, I’ll buy you a Brucicle.” Ninety-five percent of the time, it works. My pets will be quiet during our whole visit in return for a treat. It can be a bit expensive sometimes, but no one sees you struggling to handle your pets, and you can gain status as a pet handler extraordinaire.

Of course, too many treats may cause your pets to go on sugar highs later. I suggest you keep one room in your house empty and made of clouds, to keep your pets in while they go through these periods of hyperness. That way they can’t hurt themselves.

4. Lessons in manners

They say there are a few people in Neopia willing to teach manners to pets- for a price. The only problem I’ve found with these is that the etiquette teacher often will refuse to take on your pets because they find their squirming and fidgeting too distracting.

These are a few of the most effective methods I’ve discovered to keep my active little pets under control. I hope your little sweeties will behave, too, and good luck! :)

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