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An Interview with "Bart"

by impellent


Welcome, everyone! Today, I have with me Vandebart Biggsby, better known as Bart, the Gnorbu who runs the apple bobbing booth in Neovia. After receiving a considerable amount of bad press over the years, he has decided to grant me an interview so all of Neopia can hear his side of the story! The following is a transcript of what took place:

"To start this interview, can we start by having you go on the record about your name?" I ask.

Bart replies, "I guess so... my name is Vandebart Biggsby, but don't say that too loudly, okay? It's uh... embarrassing. Yeah! That's right! It's embarrassing. There might also be some people looking for me too."

"Alright," I reply. Sensing a lead, I ask, "Can I ask what sort of people? Why don't you want them to find you?"

Bart, seeming a little shy, responds, "Oh, nobody special. Just some, uh, defenders. You know. Actually! It's a funny story really, kind of a big mix-up you see. I may have let one of the Defenders of Neopia have a round in my apple bobbing game and he may or may not have caught the sneezles, lost fifty thousand neopoints, and a few rare items in the process. It was a total mix-up though! Wouldn't you know it? Wrong tank of apples..."

Seeing my opportunity, I speak up and ask, "Speaking of which! Do you ever clean those things? A lot of Neopians feel like all they ever do is get sick when they bob for your apples."

"I'm glad you brought that up," replies Bart with some enthusiasm. "Personally, I don't know what people expect when they're bobbing for things like Rotten Wormy Apples or Snot Pizza Slices. How does the saying go? If you can't take the sanitation, then get out of the apple bobbing tank?"

"Uh, I think it's something more like 'If you can't take the heat, get out of the fire'..." I reply.

Bart interrupts, saying, "Well it doesn't matter! The point is, I don't know what people are expecting! When you're dealing with prizes as great as these, sometimes things get a little messy!"

"That's another thing! Half the time, Neopians end up losing more than they win! What's with all the neopoints and items that seem to fall into your tank?" I ask, trying to get to the bottom of the story.

"That? Oh that's nothing! It's a deep tank; sometimes things get lost. I can't help if you load up your pockets with lots of rare items before leaning over into the tank to try your luck!" replies Bart, defensively. "Sometimes I think people just feel like they can blame me for everything that goes wrong in their lives just because I live so far out in the woods where I can't defend myself."

"Well, I think it might also have to do with the fact that it's YOUR apple bobbing tank, but that's what this interview is about! Getting your side of the story out there," I remind Bart. "So is there anything else that you want to say to all of the Neopians out there who might read about this interview?"

Bart blurts out, "Yes, of course! I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone that they can get an avatar if they pay to bob for apples enough times!"

"Isn't that kind of an unfair description, Bart? It doesn't matter how many times Neopians pay you; they just have to lose an Imposter Apple while bobbing for apples with you," I respond, wanting to know more.

"That's not really fair! You can get the avatar by bobbing up an apple too! In fact, where did you think I got all those imposter apples to begin with? You lose some, you win some. The point is, there's an avatar in it for you if you play often enough!" replies Bart.

"Alright. Fair enough. Would you mind if I asked you one or two personal questions before we conclude this interview today?" I ask.

Bart responds, "Go right ahead!"

"What exactly are you hiding under that hat?..." I ask, cautiously, aware of Bart's reluctance to comment on his hat.

"Uh, uh, who wants to know?" Bart asks, trying to evade the question.

"I do, Bart. I just asked you the question right now," I respond, firmly, intent to uncover the mystery behind Bart's hat.

"I don't really want to talk about that, do you have any other..." But before Bart can finish talking, I have worked up enough courage to do the impossible. I reach over and push off his hat before he can react. What happens next is astonishing.

"Nooooo..." cries Bart. As his hat falls to the ground, I am able to see what the Gnorbu has been hiding all this time.

"You're bald!" I exclaim.

"Now you know my dirty secret. I have such a large beard that when my hat is on, people just assume that I have hair. I don't let anyone get near the hat for fear that might guess what was, or in this case, isn't, underneath," replies Bart dismally.

"But Bart! Being bald isn't bad!" I reply, hoping to cheer Bart up. "What do you think the Tiki Tack Man is hiding behind his mask?"

"Really?" asks Bart, timidly.

I reply enthusiastically, as it looks like I am bringing Bart around, "Yeah! And what about the Brain Tree? There sure isn't any hair on that guy! Or skin for that matter!"

"Oh wow, you're right! Thank you! So being bald IS okay," replies Bart, clearly feeling better.

"Good! I'm glad you agree! Now let me help you with your hat," I say, bending down to pick up Bart's fallen hat that he had nearly seemed to have forgotten.

"NO! No! Nooo!" yells Bart, uncharacteristically angry, as he bends down to pick up his hat before I can reach it. After hurriedly patting it off and placing it back on his head, he says, "I'm sorry for overreacting there. Even though I now know that being bald is okay, the hat still, uh, means a great deal to me. Yeah! That's right! It's a very special hat and I'd rather not have anybody touch it ever."

Sensing there was something deeper going on about the hat, but not wanting to risk it any further, I back off a little bit and say, "That's perfectly okay! I think we're out of time, though. I'd like to thank you for coming in today to talk to me. I think that a lot of people are really going to sympathize with you once they learn about your secret..."

Before I can finish my line of thought, Bart interrupts, "Secret?!"

"Yeah, about being bald?" I ask.

"Oh yeah, ha, that's right. Being bald. That's my secret..." he responds, looking off into the distance...

And there you have it, folks! That was an interview with none other than the great Vandebart Biggsby himself! I hope you've enjoyed getting to learn a little more about Bart; I know that I did! That's all for now.

If this goes over well, I hope to do many more interviews with some of the underrepresented characters around Neopia!

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