The Meepit Show: NT Edition
Note from the author: Many thanks go to macana, lupe_hunter_7, ilovetoread_247 and water_park1993 for the loaning of their respective characters. Hathim, Opren, Ambry, and Antithet are taken from the linked stories, and have been returned in a condition nearing as-new.
(Setting: The Altador Stadium, completely full with seats and partly full with people, although there are fewer people than seats. The Yooyuball goals have been removed, and replaced with a large podium in the centre. Scattered around the stadium are scorch marks, and there are gaps in the stand, where seats have been destroyed. In a semi-circle around the podium are four stools. A Mutant Scorchio is standing on the podium, and the chairs are filled with the four contestants – from left to right, a Blue Uni with a dark blue mane, a Striped Lupe, a Blue Lupe and a Green Kacheek. At the very top of the stadium, neon letters read ‘The Meepit Show’. Around the outside of the stadium, there are three entrances. One entrance is marked ‘Contestants’, another is marked ‘Roan’ and the third one is labelled ‘Producxzq’. A producer stands nervously just under the latterly-mentioned exit.)
ROAN: Good evening, and welcome to the Meepit Show. Today is a very special day, because today is Friday.
PRODUCER: (Coughs loudly)
ROAN: Ah yes. But that’s not all! Today is a cold Friday.
PRODUCER: Roan, today is the Halloween Special.
(Lightning forms in the sky.)
ROAN: Yes. But it’s the Halloween Special on a cold Friday. (Lightning strikes again.) Why’s the sky doing that?
PRODUCER: Ah, yes. We got a special Automatic Lightning Generator from a generic evil villain shop.
ROAN: And that changes the weather to a stormy night every time somebody says...?
PRODUCER: Halloween, yes. (Thunder rumbles.)
ROAN: So, why are we bothering with the show? Why not just shout ‘Halloween!’ (A lightning bolt shoots down from the sky and strikes an audience member, who turns into a pile of soot) for half an hour, have a pretty light show in the sky and go home?
PRODUCER: Because that’s not what we’re here for.
ROAN: What? You want to stick with the dull, conventional, “quiz show” format?
PRODUCER: That... is what most people expect from a quiz show.
ROAN: And should we not be going above and beyond the mere expectations of the consumer?
ROAN: Fair enough. Tonight, we celebrate our first special show, which is a fortunate statement since it allows me to insult every contestant on every prior show as having been simply ordinary. Here to celebrate Halloween... (A blast from the sky illuminates the stadium)... I could get used to this. Anyway, today, to celebrate, we have a selection of luminaries from past Neopian Times pieces. And, on top of the lightning as featured in multiple previous stories, we have some people who did things in them as well. Allow me to introduce the contestants today, even though I don’t need your permission to do so.
UNI: Good afternoon. My name is Hathim Nightsteed. I’m known for my work with the evil fiend Jazan, attacking civilisations with hordes of the undead, and my part-time singing career.
ROAN: Part-time? Do you really need to work two jobs? I mean, I always thought that trying to take over the world tended to pay very well, or, in any case, didn’t leave you a lot of time for sell-out concerts.
HATHIM: It doesn’t. Fortunately, most people who hear me sing say it’s a once in a lifetime experience, and decide to stay loyal to that principle, despite the offer of extension.
ROAN: Sounds interesting. Well, Mr. Nightsteed...
HATHIM: I prefer Hathim.
ROAN: And I prefer free money. You can’t always get what you want. It’s a pleasure to have you here, Mr. Nightsteed.
PRODUCER: Er, Roan? Can I borrow you for a moment?
ROAN: Not now, I’m doing a show.
ROAN: (Sighing) Fine. Halloween! (The sky crackles loudly, and Roan hops off his podium as everybody is temporarily distracted) Yes?
PRODUCER: (Mesmerised) Look at the sky!
ROAN: (Snaps fingers) Concentrate.
PRODUCER: (Turning his focus onto Roan) Sorry. Er, do you really want to be rude to this Hathim?
ROAN: You even have to ask?
PRODUCER: It’s just that... y’know, the whole undead army thing... that would really mess up the Meepit Show schedule.
ROAN: Well, you know what they say. Aggression is the better part of valour.
PRODUCER: Actually, it’s discretion.
ROAN: Whatever. Aggression is the better part of discretion, then. It’s actually the better part of a surprising amount of things.
PRODUCER: Just... be careful. And don’t let him sing.
ROAN: Why not?
PRODUCER: Because his song is a devastating weapon that shouldn’t be used under any circumstances.
ROAN: Right. (He steps back onto his podium, and coughs loudly, drawing the attention of everybody back towards him. He looks quite pleased by this.) Mr. Nightsteed, would you like to sing for us? (The Producer looks startled.)
HATHIM: (Looking shocked) No, I mustn’t! The Song isn’t to be used lightly. (The Producer looks relieved.)
ROAN: Oh, go on. Use it lightly, just this once!
PRODUCER: (Hurriedly) Unfortunately, we need to introduce the next contestant now, Hathim! Maybe you can sing for us later.
ROAN: I’d like that. Next contestant, please!
STRIPED LUPE: Hello. I’m Opren, from the LPD – that’s the Lupe Pack Detectives.
ROAN: And what do they do?
OPREN: Oddly enough, we do detective work.
ROAN: Any exciting cases?
OPREN: There’s one that we’re working on at the moment. It was a case where the victim suffered a nervous breakdown after being shouted at repeatedly.
ROAN: Oh... really?
OPREN: Yes. The offence actually happened around here in Altador. He mentioned something about a game show...
ROAN: (Hastily) Well, you can never trust people like that. They don’t know what they’re on about. Let’s move on!
BLUE LUPE: Hi! My name is Ambry. You may remember me from my journey on the Fair Mortog.
ROAN: Was I there?
ROAN: Then why on Neopia would you expect me to remember you? I barely remember people I’ve met – with the obvious exceptions of Thingummyjig and Whats-His-Face.
AMBRY: But you may have read it...
ROAN: Why would I have done that?
AMBRY: Well, it was good. I was in the past, and...
ROAN: So was I when I started this sentence. Next!
KACHEEK: Hello. My name is Antithet, and I want my Carpet!
ROAN: Excuse me?
ANTITHET: Sorry about that – I mean that I want my Walking Carpet. Sometimes I go a bit odd like that. And I occasionally have some unadventurous adventures as well. Oh, and I like nature.
ROAN: (After a short pause) You know what? You’ve put me in a bit of a quandary here. You see, there’s so much I could say right now, it’s almost depressing how little of it I’ll actually be able to let out in the period of time I have on this show. And now I have to be selective. So, for now, I’ll settle for calling you Baby Nature, since that is a cunning play on words regarding Mother Nature that not only emphasises your love for all things green, outdoors and ultimately useless, with the possible exception of Dr Sloth, but also encompasses your infantile nature.
ANTITHET: Goo goo?
ROAN: That’s good. And now, we start Round One. As it is Halloween, the game is going to be slightly different today.
PRODUCER: Is it?
ROAN: Yes. Namely the contestants, the questions, and the insults I produce. Really, you’ll notice very few similarities. And now, we open with Mr. Nightsteed. Your first question is in multiple parts. Firstly, what is the soft mixture used to bake bread?
HATHIM: Er... dough.
ROAN: And what is the name of the light that emanates from the sun?
ROAN: In colloquial terms, what is a two letter word to refer to oneself?
ROAN: If you had to travel a long way, how would you describe the distance?
PRODUCER: I think I can see where this is going. Roan!
ROAN: Fine. Hathim, you get three points; one for every question you answered correctly, but with one taken off for tax purposes. Now, Opren! (Surreptitiously lowers himself on his podium so his face is slightly obscured from the Lupe). What are the names of the Meerca Brothers?
OPREN: Heermeedjet and Merouladen, I believe.
ROAN: Correct. Have you come across them a lot in your work?
OPREN: Once or twice. They’re quite the pair of... what’s the plural of genius?
ROAN: I generally call it ‘more than one of me’. But I digress. You are correct, so you lose a point.
OPREN: For what?
ROAN: You’re a detective. You work it out. Next, our intrepid explorer. Doo-dah, where can you find the Coffee Shop?
AMBRY: My name is not Doo-dah!
ROAN: Neither’s mine. What a coincidence. We should get a coffee sometime – (emphatically) but where?
AMBRY: I’m sorry, but you’re being pathetic. I don’t see why I need to answer questions from somebody of such an infantile nature.
ROAN: Oh, I didn’t realise that Kacheek had spoken to you. (Turning to Antithet) Are you not quite beyond the stage of copying blindly the antics of whoever you see?
ANTITHET: Are you not quite beyond the stage of copying blindly the antics of whoever you see?
ROAN: That’s correct – I’m really not. You get a point. And, ergo, so do I.
AMBRY: (Angrily) Excuse me! It’s my turn!
ROAN: I thought your turn was over.
AMBRY: I didn’t answer.
ROAN: And whose fault is that? You should look after your points more carefully.
AMBRY: I don’t have any points.
ROAN: See what I mean? And of those points that you don’t have, you now lose one.
AMBRY: How can I lose what I don’t have?
ROAN: How come you’re asking me questions when I’m the question master?
AMBRY: I don’t know.
ROAN: Incorrect. I think you do know. You lose another point. So, at the end of that round, the scores are as follows. In third place, with minus one point, is Detective Opren. In second place, with one point, is Boochi over here. And in first place, with three points, is Singer Extraordinare, Mr. Nightsteed!
PRODUCER: What about fourth place?
ROAN: Quiet, I’m saving the best for last place. Last, ergo least, as I’m not entirely sure what that traditional saying is trying to suggest, with minus two points, is our joint-least-favourite Lupe, Ambry!
AMBRY: But... don’t I get another chance?
ROAN: Well, since you asked, there is a bonus question that you could answer for us – if you get it right, then you get to stay in the game! There is, however, a catch.
AMBRY: Is there?
ROAN: If you’re good at fishing, yes. Release the evil-looking and unnecessarily-large contraption!
(The ground begins to tremble slightly, and the floor beneath Ambry’s chair slides slowly away, to reveal the legs descending deep down into the Yooyu pit below. After a confused and slightly scared Fire Yooyu bursts out, discovers his moment has gone and leaps away, sobbing, to be sold on the Trading Post for an irritatingly-low price, the legs begin to rise slowly from the floor, and Ambry rises in the air. By the time the system has stopped whirring and clunking, the contestant is suspended fifty feet in the air on a large metal chair.)
ROAN: Your question. Ambry, what special event is celebrated today?
(A bolt of fork lightning emerges from the sky like, well, a bolt from the blue, and strikes the chair, which is enveloped in a coat of light as bright as the sun, shimmering like a thousand orbs. By the time the cloud of similes has cleared, there is no sign of Ambry or the chair – all that is left are sparks, scattering through the air like sparks left after a fifty-foot high metal chair and a Lupe have been obliterated by violent weather. Sometimes, poetic language just doesn’t paint a picture as well as the truth.)
ROAN: And now, we’re down to three. Seems like this is going to be more of an Unfair Voyage. Producer, remind me to get another one of those extendy contraption things. They’re fun.
OPREN: (Producing a notebook and a pen, and muttering quietly) Unprovoked assault on a contestant.
ROAN: (Spinning to face the Lupe) What was that?
OPREN: (Looking up) Oh, I’m just preparing a police report on the show. I’m making a note of any potentially criminal activity.
ROAN: Oh, well, you won’t find anything like that here.
OPREN: (Muttering whilst writing) Lying to a detective.
ROAN: No, I wasn’t.
OPREN: Two counts.
ROAN: So, let’s move on!
OPREN: Attempting to divert the course of justice.
ROAN: I’m not diverting the course of justice.
OPREN: You’re trying to distract me. Anyway, I didn’t say you succeeded.
ROAN: Let’s carry on with the show. Mr. Nightsteed, what was recently voted the most popular song ever recorded by the famous fairground band The Baga Tells?
HATHIM: Oooh, they’re my favourite band! I normally just call them the B Tells, though. Was it Yellow Slorg Machine?
HATHIM: A Hard Day’s Nimmo?
ROAN: Not quite.
HATHIM: Eight Days A Wocky?
HATHIM: Hey Jhuidah?
ROAN: Are you ever going to get this?
HATHIM: That depends. It must be Haunted Wood. Or A Uniocto’s Garden.
ROAN: All wrong. The answer I was looking for was the popular hairdressing classic, ‘Sergeant Poogle’s Lonely Harris’ Hair Band’.
HATHIM: Oh, of course.
ROAN: Although I don’t quite recall how it goes. Maybe you could...
PRODUCER: (Interrupting) ...tell us about it after the show?
HATHIM: Tell, yes. Not sing, though. I couldn’t do that.
ROAN: Actually, I was thinking that you would be able...
PRODUCER: ...to forgive us for moving on to the next question.
ROAN: (Turning to the Producer) Would you mind not doing that?
PRODUCER: ...too often.
ROAN: Excellent. (Turns to Opren) Now, Mr Detective, Sir, your next question – would you like a free point?
OPREN: No, thanks. (Flipping open his notebook again) Attempting to bribe a detective.
ROAN: Well, we can do this two ways. The easy way, or the hard way. And you haven’t taken the easy way.
OPREN: What’s the hard way, then?
ROAN: If you’d like to wait four to six weeks for a new extendable chair contraption thing to be installed, you can find out. That is, if you don’t mind sitting there until then. There’d be builders and that sort of thing working around you, but it shouldn’t be too inconvenient for you.
OPREN: Do you take me for a fool?
ROAN: No, I’d just replace you with one. You lose another point.
OPREN: (Writing) Unlawful point deduction.
ROAN: There’s no way that there’s a law against that.
OPREN: Exactly. That’s why it’s unlawful.
ROAN: That doesn’t make any sense, so I’m just going to nod and agree with you. (He nods.) And now we go to the babbling lunatic here.
ANTITHET: (Bawling) I WANNA RATTLE!
ROAN: Excuse me?
ANTITHET: (In a normal tone) Oh dear – I think I’m lapsing again. WHERE’S MY CARPET?
ROAN: I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about.
ANTITHET: (Sobbing) I... hadda Walking Carpet... and now it’s gone... and I WANT MY CARPET!
ROAN: How about you answer a question, and then I’ll find your carpet for you? Or a flower or something.
ANTITHET: Oooh, a flower! I like them!
ROAN: Excellent – I’ll be sure to remember not to care. Anyway, your question – what is the full name of the Grundo Chef.
ANTITHET: Oh, do excuse me. I think I’m about to go all Baby again.
ROAN: Can you give me an answer, then, while you still have control of most of your limbs?
ANTITHET: I... WAAAH! WAAAH!
ROAN: Is that your answer?
ROAN: Close. I was looking for Gargarox Isafuhlarg, which is similarly unpronounceable. You lose another point.
ANTITHET: I WANNA POINT BACK!
ROAN: And, as we rapidly approach the final, it’s time to say goodbye to one of our contestants. Now, convention generally demands that the contestant with the least points at this stage departs, but I’ve decided that sticking to convention goes against my fundamental principles.
PRODUCER: What are your fundamental principles?
ROAN: Primarily to avoid having any principles. Anyway, following that train of thought, it leads me to crash into the idea that now, we have to say goodbye to our resident nature lover. Producer, go and find a crèche or something.
PRODUCER: I don’t think there are any crèches nearby.
ROAN: Sorry, did I say find a crèche? I meant find a crevasse. I’m sure he’ll make himself at home there.
(The Producer picks up a still-screaming Antithet and carries him out of sight through an exit of the reader’s choice.)
ROAN: And now, the end is near. And, as darkness falls on Altador, and the weather conveniently changes every time I say Halloween (thunder rumbles), we reach the climax of this evening – the part we have all been waiting for. Unfortunately, before we’re all allowed to go home, we have to endure the last part of this quiz. The scores, for those who are interested, can be retrieved by having paid attention – but if, like me, you haven’t, here they are! In last place is Opren, with minus two points. And in second last place is Mr. Nightsteed, with three. So, since you’re second last, you don’t get the honour of not starting anti-last.
HATHIM: Does that mean... I start?
ROAN: Correct. You get a point. Hercule Opren, where can the largest archive of books in Neopia be found?
ROAN: Right here?
OPREN: Well, in Altador.
ROAN: But you said here. I don’t know about you, Detecty, but I don’t ‘spy’ any books around here. Although maybe your instinct for all things papery is better than mine, I don’t know. Enlighten me.
OPREN: I meant in Altador...
ROAN: Yes, well, it’s all very well meaning something, but you mean and what you intend are two very different things. And what you’re trying to say is yet another.
OPREN: They’re all the same.
ROAN: Proving my point. Anyway, you know what they say about pedants.
OPREN: No. What?
ROAN: Nobody likes them.
OPREN: Who says that?
ROAN: I do. Anyways, you lose a point. Or, if you want to be pedantic about it, three. Mr. Nightsteed, who is the lead singer of popular band Jub Zambra and the Cobrall Charmers?
HATHIM: Er... Jub Zambra?
ROAN: Correct. Are you as good as him?
HATHIM: I don’t know.
ROAN: Well, let’s find out!
HATHIM: (Frustrated) You know what? Your persistent asking is getting a little frustrating now; hence the stage direction.
ROAN: You can read that?
HATHIM: One of my many gifts. I know the Song’s a devastating weapon that should only be used in the most mitigating of circumstances, but you’ve pushed me too far!
ROAN: (Looking pleased) Did you hear that? I’m mitigating!
PRODUCER: Roan! What have you done? Hathim, please don’t sing.
HATHIM: No, I’ve been pushed too far
(Hathim opens his mouth and the Song emerges. The noise echoes around the stadium like a suitable metaphor, and Opren, the Producer and the audience all cover their ears. The magic of the music laps over the immediate surroundings, increasing in amplitude by the second. Roan appears unimpressed.)
ROAN: Don’t you know anything more contemporary?
HATHIM: (Stopping the Song) What? That song’s supposed to delve deep inside you, shake you to your very foundations, send shivers through your soul.
ROAN: Ah, I think there’s the problem. I sold my soul ages ago. Wasn’t really using it. I got thirty neopoints for it. Pretty good, if you ask me.
HATHIM: But... (He gestures at the rest of the people in the Coliseum, who are still shuddering, and starting to reopen their aural edifices, a complicated movement remarkably similar to that required to uncover one’s ears.)
ROAN: Don’t worry about it. I’ve had a similar reception to some of my songs. Anyway, while the rest of the world recovers, now seems to be a good time to reveal the scores! And our winner today is Mr. Nightsteed, with a staggering four points! Yes, it’s staggering that somebody could win with such a small score. I’m not happy about it either, but that’s the way it goes. Congratulations to our evil singing overlord, and commiserations to our detective over here.
OPREN: You know, I’m not sure the scoring method was entirely fair here. I may need to launch an investigation...
ROAN: (Quickly) No you don’t. (Out of the side of his mouth) Producer, take a few zeroes off the end of my expenses figure.
OPREN: I think I might...
ROAN: (Interrupting) Did you hear that the Pant Devil’s been pinching things again?
OPREN: What? What’s he taken?
ROAN: Er... everything. Yes, he’s stolen everything.
ROAN: Go and check! Everything’s not there!
(With a suspicious look on his face, Opren leaves the stadium through the exit marked ‘Contestants’.)
ROAN: (Aside, to the Producer) Tell the security guards not to let him back in. (In normal voice) And now, we reach the end of today’s special show. Now, it’s time to leave and head back to home, where the heart is. Although (turning to Producer) I thought that home was where you hang your hat.
ROAN: Perhaps you should keep your heart in your hat.
PRODUCER: That’s not...
ROAN: But no, because you wear your heart on your sleeve. And you couldn’t put your hat on your sleeve.
PRODUCER: Are you aware that you’re not making any sense?
ROAN: It is a popular theory, yes. I blame proverb writers – they just don’t communicate properly, and it’s left to us to decide not to sew our heads to our arms.
PRODUCER: Just... end the show.
ROAN: Very well. Thank you for coming out this Halloween (thunder rumbles), and goodnight!
(The audience applauds very briefly, and then continues the trend of doing things quickly by exercising their leaving muscles.)
ROAN: That was a pretty good show.
ROAN: No. But we should definitely do it again next Halloween. (Lightning strikes.)
ROAN: No. Incidentally, how do you turn this whole thunder and lightning thing off?
PRODUCER: That’s the thing. It was a cheap machine that we bought – there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to switch it off.
ROAN: So I’m stuck with summoning energy from the sky every time I mention what the day is today?
PRODUCER: Looks like it.
ROAN: Excellent. If anybody needs me, I’ll be at the Test Your Strength booth, reminding everybody of the day. Let’s see how the Woods deal with Extreme Test Your Strength!
(Thunder rolls, lightning flips a coin, and everybody exeunts (a process similar to exiting, only with more vowels), leaving the stadium dark, deserted and empty. After a while... BOO!)
(You just got surprised by a stage direction.)