An Interview with the Chocolate Factory Kiko
Me: Hi there! I’m Mocha, Neopian Times reporter extraordinaire, with my four pets, an Usul, a Lupe, a Xweetok, and a Kacheek. They wish to introduce themselves in the order of their aforementioned species:
Me: As you can see, they’re very excited to be here. Anyway, today, we’re interviewing the Chocolate Factory Kiko! Nobody ever goes in, nobody ever comes out, but he sells chocolate by the truckload, and he’s bound to have a few secrets. Isn’t that exciting?
Luna (chomping on Air Faerie Gum that she swiped from my bag): Whatever.
Me: Thank you, Luna. With enthusiasm like that, you will go far in life. We’ve arrived at the Chocolate Factory, and the Kiko has come outside to start our interview. Hello, Mr. Kiko. Would you mind telling us your name?
Mr. Kiko: My name is Blobbule Blobberton. But I’d prefer it if you called me Bob.
Me: I can understand that preference. So, Bob, we’ll start with an easy question: What is your favorite type of candy?
Triss: Um, it’s obviously chocolate. That’s a dumb question.
Me: Triss, let the Kiko talk. If you knew everything about him I would be interviewing YOU right now. And it isn’t a dumb question. I spent a long time thinking of it, thank you very much.
Triss: He, like, owns the chocolate factory. Why would someone own a chocolate factory if they didn’t like chocolate?
Bob: Actually, my favorite type of candy is lollypops. They’re so sweet and multicolored and juicy and long-lasting, and I feel like I can tell them anything. Have you ever had a long, deep heart-to-heart with a lollypop?
Me: *cough* No, I can’t say that I have. I don’t often spill my feelings to blobs of hardened sugar and artificial coloring.
Autumn: Unless you’ve accidentally downed a bottle of stale Wood Sap Potion. Now THAT was a weird night.
Me: I thought we agreed never to speak of that.
Bob: Er, anyway, you should try it. There is no experience quite like it.
Me: I don’t doubt it.
Bob: But most of my best creations are made of chocolate, and you can’t name a factory that mass-produces chocolate ‘The Lollypop Factory’, now can you?
Me: No, you most certainly cannot. Which segues nicely into my next question: Do you yourself produce the candy, or do you hire workers?
Bob: It depends. I try to involve myself in the production of lollypops because they give me such pleasure, but I just don’t have the time for all the other candies. I come up with all the ideas, of course, but I don’t actually assemble the chocolates and the gummies and whatnot.
Me: Who does the rest of the physical work? The packaging of candy? The stocking in the shop? The haggling?
Bob: I’m afraid I can’t tell you that. It’s one of my most classified secrets and there would be an outcry if anybody found out.
Triss: Oh, come ON. That’s lame. Just tell us.
Bob: You promise not to tell anyone else?
Aquari: This article is being published, Mr. Bob. In a newspaper. Which has a circulation in the millions. EVERYBODY is going to read it.
Bob: Oh. Well, I’ll tell you anyway. I use Meepits. Give ’em Juppie Juice and minimum wage and they’ll do anything you want.
Aquari: *rolls eyes* That’s it? That’s your ‘classified secret’?
Bob: What do you mean, that’s it!?
Aquari: Oh, nothing. It just seems like everybody and their mother use Meepits nowadays. It’s kind of passé, actually.
Triss: She’s right. It is. Using Meepits as workers is SO Year Ten. I say, treat them well now, because in a few years, they’ll be our overlords.
Me: Er, getting back to the question—
Luna: So do you want to use the Meepits as your private army to take over Neopia?
Bob: Of course not. They’re perfectly capable of taking over Neopia themselves. I just provide them with food and funds.
Autumn: Don’t you realize that you might be enabling the Meepit takeover?
Bob: Well, yes. I’m not exactly bursting with pride, but at least this way I’ll be remembered for a long time.
Luna: That’s kind of twisted, don’t you think?
Bob: You mean, twisted like licorice?
Luna: No, I mean twisted like the Pant Devil. Or Malkus Vile.
Bob: Why, thank you.
Luna: You’re welcome.
Me: *clears throat nervously* I think we’re getting a little off-track here. Next question. Your shop description says, and I quote, ‘Nobody ever goes in, nobody ever comes out, but we sell chocolate by the truckload!’ Now that you’ve revealed your factory secret, I understand how you make the chocolate, but nobody ever sees Meepits coming out of your factory, and the shopkeeper doesn’t look like a Meepit. If you don’t mind, could you tell us exactly how this is done?
Triss: Mr. Bob, do you want her to repeat the question?
Autumn: Mr. Bob, you understand the question, don’t you?
Bob (mouth trembling): You know, a funny thing happened to me on the way to the Neggery yesterday...
Luna: Just answer the question!
Bob: I—I can’t! I just can’t! *starts sobbing uncontrollably*
Me (starting to panic): Mr. Bob, please calm down. It’s going to be okay.
Bob: But it’s so *sob* humiliating! You promise you won’t tell anyone?
Aquari: This article is being published, Mr. Blobberton.
Bob: *wipes eyes* Well, I’ll tell you anyway. You see, my manager thinks—
Triss: You have a manager?
Bob: As you young people say, duh. I didn’t get to where I was by telling myself what to do. The idea! I need someone else to tell me how to be successful. Now, my manager thinks that it’s good for my image to be secretive and *sniff* he made me join businesses with the Breadmaster, so I *sniff* make the candy, he comes in through a back entrance, he takes the candy, he has one of his workers come in with a big box, and we stock my shop, and then I pay a stand-in to handle the shop because my manager says *sniff* the body double is better at selling things that aren’t lollypops! I mean, how did you not guess it was a body double? Do you see a goatee on my face? DO YOU!?
Me: Uh... no?
Bob (starting to cry again): That’s right! Because I don’t HAVE ONE! And he makes me get manicures, because he *sniff* says that my nails look awful after a day at the *sniff* factory, which doesn’t even *sniff* matter, because I DON’T EVEN SEE THE CUSTOMERS!
Luna: And, apart from the horror of manicures, this is humiliating... how?
Bob (crying like a proverbial sprinkler): You just don’t understand! Nobody understands me! I’m so underappreciated! My honor is just so important to me—
Aquari: You mean you have a big ego?
Bob: Yes! Yes! You understand! Finally! Someone who understands just how important it is for my genius to be recognized, and for me to be famous and rich, and...
(I do not feel it necessary to include the rest of his speech about how important and misunderstood he is. All I will say is that the people who think actors are high-strung have obviously never met Mr. Blobbule Blobberton.)
Me: I’m glad your little crying spree is over.
Bob: So am I. I don’t know what came over me. It’s just, I really want to be out in public to sell my candy. It makes me miserable to have to stock my shop in private and just sit there collecting profits while I pay Meepits tiny amounts of money to do the work.
Me: My heart bleeds with misery for your dreadful plight. Next question. Who is your favorite hero? Your favorite heroine?
Bob: First, may I ask when we are going to be done with this?
Me: As long as it takes to get all the answers our readers need. Just answer the questions and we’ll be done in no time.
Bob: Fine. I’ve always been rather fond of Dr. Sloth, myself. And Sophie the Swamp Witch cooks up some pretty amazing potions.
Autumn: I’m going to overlook the fact that you consider Dr. Sloth to be a hero, because it brings up more questions than we have time to ask. Do you ever take candy-making tips from Sophie?
Bob: What an absurd idea. Candy is supposed to taste good, you know. Not like that disgusting, useless slime she makes.
Autumn: But you just said the potions were—
Bob: Just because they’re amazing doesn’t mean they taste good or are useful.
Luna: You’re contradicting yourself. Potions are amazing because of their effects, so if a potion is amazing, that means it must be useful.
Bob: You little children, you’re so amusing.
Luna: Stop patronizing me. *Unsheathes claws* I don’t like it when people patronize me.
Me (hurriedly): Next question. If you had to eat only one food for the rest of eternity, what would it be?
Bob: Who’s thinking up these questions, anyway?
Me: Triss, Luna, Aquari, Autumn, and me. But mostly me. I mean, if Luna had her way, I’d be asking you how your sock drawer is organized, and if it were up to Autumn I’d be asking your opinion of asparagus.
Bob: After hearing that, I’m almost grateful that you’re the one making up these inane questions.
Me: Can you please just answer?
Bob: Why should I?
Me: Our readers really want to know.
Bob: Well, okay. I’d eat lollypops. Did you honestly not realize that?
Me: Well, I kind of guessed, but they have no nutritional value.
Bob: Flatfruit Lollypops do. So do Strawberry Achyfi Lollypops.
Me: So, you’re including all kinds of lollypops? Including Ice Lollies?
Bob: I had a bad experience with an Ice Lolly.
Aquari: Can you elaborate on that?
Bob: I had a bad experience with an Ice Lolly.
Aquari: Yes, I understand that. What happened?
Bob: I had a bad experience with an Ice Lolly.
Aquari: Our readers have a right to know. What happened?
Bob: I had a bad experience with an—
Me: Aquari, drop it. Now, my last question is—
Bob: *gives a relieved sigh*
Me: I’ll choose to ignore that. My last question is, why are you so obsessed with lollypops?
Bob: You made up that question on the spot, didn’t you?
Me: (defensively) So what if I did?
Bob: That means you aren’t a real reporter. *sticks tongue out in a very undignified and annoying way*
Me: I am too! I am too a real reporter! It said so at the beginning of the article. ‘Mocha, Neopian Times reporter extraordinaire’, it said. That means I’m a real reporter! Take it back! Take it back! Take it—
Autumn: *jumps on my shoulder and puts her paws around my mouth* Sorry, Mocha gets emotional when people question her reporter-ing abilities. Answer the question and she’ll calm down. (Thankfully, she releases me at this point.)
Bob: If I must. I love lollypops because they’re simple. They don’t have layers of caramel or nougat. They don’t melt if they’re out in the sun. I can eat one for a long, long time without them just dissolving on my tongue. And lastly, they give me a really great sugar high. Like right now.
Me (spitting out pieces of fur): That would explain the twitching. Well, thanks for your time. You’d better get back to your Meepits. I can almost hear them Meep-ing.
Bob: It’s been a pleasure.
Triss: Really? 'Cause I didn't exactly get that impression.
Bob: No, but I had to say something polite. Bye now.
Me: As you can see, Blobbule Blobberton the Chocolate Factory Kiko has some pretty dark secrets. I hope my painstaking interview and searing wit and... oh, all right... and the critical and shrewd cross-examination courtesy of my brilliant pets (they made me say it) have given you an insight into the life of the owner of the Chocolate Factory. This is Triss, Luna, Aquari, Autumn, and Mocha, signing off.
First time I've written in a while! Neomailed comments are always appreciated. :)