What I Love About Bob: Part One
Hi, everybody! I'm Claare, and today I'm here to tell you about a wonderful companion of mine. He's the best friend an Aisha could have, and an important member of my family. He's my playmate, my sidekick, my partner in crime. He's my comforter and confidant, and he's oh so squishy! He's Bob the plushie warf, and he's my very own petpet. Seeing as it's Petpet Appreciation Day, I figured it was about time I showed Bob how much I appreciate him. I had a few ideas about how to do it...
Naturally, the first thing I thought of was painting a negg to look exactly like him, and hanging it from the ceiling in his honour. Then I remembered that not everyone likes negg decor as much as I do. My next idea was to write him a song! I came up with a great tune, but I couldn't think of any lyrics, besides 'Bob, Bob, I love you, Bob'. Not that those lyrics were bad or anything, I just felt like Bob deserved something more. And then it hit me. Instead of writing a song, I would write a list! A list of all the things I love about Bob! That one actually turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. If you want to see it, you can keep reading. If you don't want to see it, you can go do something else, like watch Neovision or eat cheese and crackers, or anything really. It's completely up to you!
You want to keep reading? Great! I'll start my list right here then, starting with the first thing I love about Bob. And thing number one is: He looks just like a plushie!
Now, I absolutely love plushies. I have a huge collection of them, with big ones, and small ones, and medium sized ones. Faerie plushies, and item plushies, and neopet plushies of all shapes and sizes. About a year and a half ago though, there was one type of plushie that I'd never even laid eyes on. Petpet plushies. I didn't even know they made them, until one sunny day in the month of Eating.
My aunt heard from her neighbour's friend, who has a son who was apparently turned into a mortog by Sophie the swamp witch, that the toy shop near my house got in a shipment of new plushies. Then my friend Zami's classmate said she heard they were rare plushies, and my mom's coworker, who works part time at the toy shop, confirmed this saying that they were indeed petpet plushies! As soon as I heard this, I set off for the toy shop, bright green purse in hand, planning on clearing the shop of every petpet plushie they had.
As it turned out, I only had enough neopoints for one of them. But that was okay! As soon as I got there, I knew exactly which one I wanted. It was red and blue, and green and yellow, and it had stripes and polkadots! It was short and stout, and it had floppy ears and the cutest little nose you've ever seen! I scooped it up in my arms and hugged it, and when I went to take it to the checkout, the weirdest thing ever happened. The plushie opened its eyes!
"This isn't a plushie!" I said to Zami, who was with me. "How did a real petpet get in here?"
"Maybe the shopkeeper knows something?" Zami suggested, staring in awe at the yawning warf.
"Great idea. Let's go ask him."
When we asked the Pteri shopkeeper, he was as surprised as we were. He'd had no doubt that the warf was a plushie, when a person brought him into the shop earlier that day.
"They said they figured some kid had run off with it and dumped it outside, just to stir up some trouble. The folks were nice enough to return the 'toy' to where it belonged."
Zami and I laughed when we heard this story. It was no wonder everyone thought the petpet was a plushie. He was as floppy as a rag doll, not to mention he hadn't moved since he was found. Apparently he'd been asleep the entire time! Maybe he'd been abandoned, or maybe he escaped from the petpet shop. But wherever he'd come from, it must have been a long journey, 'cause he was exhausted.
Now that it was obvious that he was a real live petpet, the poor dear had to find a new place to live. Petpets could not be kept at toy shops, and the shopkeeper had no idea what to do with him. Luckily, I knew exactly what to do!
"I'd like to buy him from you." I announced my plan to the shopkeeper, to Zami, and to a good portion of Meridell's population.
The Pteri shook his head. "I'm afraid I can't sell you anything that isn't a toy."
I protested this. "We all thought he was a toy!"
"I don't even know how much to charge you. I'm sure plushie warfs are worth a lot more than warf plushies."
That's when Zami the financial genius stepped in. She went and got the sign that was on the shelf where I found the warf, and held it up for the shopkeeper to see. The sign said 3,000 neopoints. That's how much I paid for Bob, on that lovely day that now seems like so long ago. And to think I would never have my wonderful petpet, if I hadn't been in the market for a new plushie that day. And that's only one of the reasons why I love that Bob looks so much like a plushie.
Ever since I got Bob, life has been sparkling sunshine, rainbows and happiness! Well, besides the first week I got him, when he tore my room apart looking for food. And my first birthday with him, when he devoured my whole birthday cake. My party guests sure were disappointed! But not as disappointed as the guests at the barbecue we had the same summer. Everyone was afraid to say the word 'hamburger' around Bob for months!
As big of a problem as Bob's appetite can be, it's also solved its fair share of problems. In fact, Bob's appetite is the second thing on my list of things I love about him, because of a certain problem it solved last fall..
Zami had gone with her parents to some convention thingie out of town, and I was babysitting her little brother, Zackare. It was supper time, and I knew the baby Ogrin was getting hungry. His parents had said there was no need for me to feed him, as they would be home shortly after supper. But Zacky was asking for food, and I couldn't just let the little guy starve!
"Let's fix you up something to eat," I told him.
"Yay!" The toddler clapped his hands, an endearing habit of his.
We headed into the kitchen, where we found Bob in his five o' clock spot, in front of the fridge.
"Excuse me, Bob. I need to get in here to cook my masterpiece!"
I actually had no clue what I was going to make. I had no experience cooking for other people, besides the quintuple chocolate cookies I liked to bake for my friends. At first I was nervous, but then I remembered the mush I'd seen Zackare eat. It was green, and it was lumpy. And the lumps were slimy. And they smelled like dung slorgs, wearing old gym socks! Okay, I might have made that last part up, but it was still disgusting. And Zackare ate it! In fact, he loved it!
I laughed to myself. "This will be a piece of cake!"
When he heard the word 'cake', Bob abandoned his post and ran to investigate the counter, where he'd discovered my birthday cake a few months before. At this window of opportunity, I charged towards the fridge and emptied as much of its contents as possible in the time allowed. By the time Bob realized there was no cake, I had made away with some carrots, cheese, salami, potato salad, zucchini, some left over macaroni and a jar of pickles. Oh! And half an apple pie. Or was it pumpkin? I don't remember. Anyway, I mashed everything up into itty bitty pieces, and put them in the blender. It made a lot more than I thought! There was so much in fact, that it wouldn't all stay in the blender.
"Mess! Mess!" Zacky clapped his hands in approval as the puréed goo splashed up the walls, and all over the ceiling and floor.
"Yes, Zacky, mess."
I was going to clean it up, but when I realized how long it was going to take me, I decided to feed Zackare first. I scraped what was left in the blender into a bowl, and set it down in front of the toddler. He eyed it with curiosity and wonder. It was like nothing he'd ever seen before.
"What that, Claare?"
"That, my young friend, is your supper."
He poked the strange smelling liquid with his spoon. Then reluctantly, he took a spoonful, and slowly raised it to his mouth.
"So? How is it?"
The Ogrin made a face of pure agony, and then started to cry.
"What's wrong, Zacky?"
He beat his tiny fists on the table. "Gross, Claare! Gross, gross, gross!"
"Gross? Are you serious?"
My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe it! I thought I'd done a great job on his supper! It was lumpy, and stinky, as thick as molasses. And the colour was the most incredible shade of blegh! (That's what I decided to call the mix of greens, browns, reds, oranges, yellows and every other colour that made up the slop-like goo.) It should have been a baby's dream come true! I couldn't understand why he didn't want it.
"Gross, Claare," Zackare insisted.
Admitting defeat, I took the bowl away from him, and wiped off the table. I had a big job ahead of me. Goo was splashed on the ceiling, in puddles on the floor. Dripping down the wall in icky, sticky gooey streams. And I had to clean it up, all by myself. Zacky offered to help me, but this was no job for a toddler. I sat him down with his sipper cup in front of the Neovision, and got started on scrubbing the walls. I'd been scrubbing for about ten minutes, when there was a knock at the door.
"Come on in and join the party!" I yelled through the open kitchen window.
It was Zackare's parents, back from their convention. Zami was with them, and in her hands was a flat, white box. The lid was slightly open, and a wonderful saucy, cheesy, crusty smell seeped through the cracks.
"Pizza delivery!" Zami giggled.
When she and her parents saw the mess, they weren't as horrified as I thought they would be.
"This isn't as bad as the time you blew up your Aunt Andria's oven." they assured me, and they all joined in the clean up! I was so grateful for friends like them, and for the pizza. In less than an hour, we had the kitchen looking as good as new, and we could all sit down to a deliciously cold pizza dinner, which Zackare enjoyed infinitely better than the goo.
"Sausage, Bob?" He picked a sausage off his pizza and held it out to the warf.
Bob didn't come. He was sitting on the counter with his back to us.
"Bob, get down from there, please."
I went to get him down, but when I saw what he was doing, I stopped in my tracks. I gasped. I goggled. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. There was my petpet, eating the goo I had forgotten to throw away. He was licking up every lump as fast as he could, like it was the best thing he'd ever tasted!
"You actually like it?"
Bob didn't answer. He just kept on eating! I laughed like a crazy woman. My goo might have been disgusting to babies, but it was absolutely delectable to warfs!
When my mom got home that evening, and asked what the slop was in the fridge, I replied that it was warf food.
"I made it myself," I told her. "And it was a complete success!"
To this day, I don't think Bob's tasted anything better than that 'warf food'. He even stopped mooching our food for a little while! Of curse, he started again the following spring, when picnic season rolled around. Once he chased my dad all over Meri Acres Farm, just to get his hot dog. He got bored after about twenty minutes though, and went after a kite instead. I've gotta say, Bob would be one fat warf if he didn't have such a passion for chasing things. That's one of the reasons why 'he chases things' is the third thing on my list! It's not the main reason though. The main reason involves a chase around the neighbourhood, a very embarrassed Aisha, and a spyder that wasn't even real...
To be continued...