Granny Hopbobbin - EXPOSED?
Granny Hopbobbin, a sweet ol' grandmother? Or a millionaire mastermind? The world's greatest snickerdoodle candyfloss maker? Or proprietor of Neopia's most prominent manufacturers?
Hello, my name is Brandon, and today I bring to you a story about the organizer of the local Charity Corner events: Granny Hopbobbin. You may know her and her events to be groundbreaking in the social and economic spheres of Neopia, as her events drive the prices of every day household items through the roof, while making rare items all the more accessible. But why does she need those items if she has such rare items already? Where does she get such rare goods? And why hasn't anyone heard of a Community Center before this event? Perhaps my investigations will unveil everything.
I have decided to interview Neopian about Granny Hopbobbin and the Charity Corner. First, we have Kouza, a friendly denizen of Neopia Central who has actually participated in a number of Charity Corner events in the past!
Brandon: What is your general impression of the Charity Corner?
Kouza: I always have a sense of dread every time Charity Corner comes around. I don't like it, I don't like the chaos. But this year I heard Hopbobbin was maybe transitioning to a year-round Charity Corner instead of an annual season of madness. So I thought "Maybe this won't be so bad." Because when Landelbrot's Coincidence became a year-round daily, that was mostly harmless and economically stable and predictable and everything, so maybe a year-round Charity Corner will also be harmless and stable. In ways that a seasonal Charity Corner isn't.
Brandon: Ah, yes, I've heard that speculation. It's definitely exciting to think that we might have a year-round Charity Corner! Though, how do you feel about a charity organization that promotes donating with potentially valuable prizes?
Kouza: Neopia can't handle it. Every time it's happened there's been rampant gouging and even deception and scamming from people. Events are typically things that everyone can participate in, an event where the objective is to spend money/resources not only locks out people who don't have enough resources, but you lose resources just for participating. There's no guarantee you'll win any valuable prizes, you could go broke trying to get Hopbobbin to reward you if what you're doing is going out and buying your donated items. It's a gamble. And it's easy to lose at gambling.
Brandon: Do you think Granny is aware of the damage her events cause the Neopian market each year?
Kouza: Yes, but like a retailer holding onto the last holiday season shipment of Collectors Series Usukis, she can't make the shoppers stop being crazy. Sure, she could not enable them with her demand-inducing Charity Corner, but then, what about the people who need her charity? So I think it's something she needs to distance herself from? Try and not blame herself for?
Brandon: *Flashbacks of being trampled for the last copy of "Skies Above Tyrannia"* *shudders*
Well, in her defense, Hopbobbin does help balance things out by putting rare antiques into circulation in reward for donating. Though, how do you suppose she has come to acquire these items?
Kouza: She's an older lady, she very well might have a ton of history built up where she acquired these treasures.
Brandon: You know, she has always reminded me of a smuggler I once met on the docks of Krawk Island- but enough of that! I am out of questions and time, thank you so much for this opportunity, Kouza!
Kouza: Hold onto your supplies, you never know when you might need them. You really can never, never know.
What a practical outlook towards the Charity Corner! I must say, the Granny is definitely one wild child for creating so much havoc in Neopia's shops.
Now we move on to our second interviewee, Ab, who lives only a few blocks down from Kouza.
Brandon: What is your opinion in regards to Granny Hopbobbin and her work?
Ab: First of all, thank you for the opportunity to cooperate with this interview. I think Granny Hopbobbin is one of those Neopets who enjoys helping others, and in doing so, she feels fulfilled. She is a blessing for Neopia and her work is never going to be forgotten for generations to come. I think she does an amazing job and we have seen the results of such hard work. Her charity helps the economy, it helps reduce the lag and users get the opportunity to get new items while giving. We will never forget Granny Hopbobbin!
Brandon: I have to agree, Miss Hopbobbin does go through a lot of work and rings of fire to get these events off the ground. You seem to have a lot of faith in her, even though we still have not seen any inkling of a Community Center now that the event is over. Why is that?
Ab: While I think that a Community Center sounds like a lovely cause, according to experts it could do more harm than good. Maybe not at first, but in time it could become a problem because it would make some rare items too common and that would have a negative impact on the Neo economy. Some items need to remain rare so they can retain their value and people have goals to look forward too. If every item becomes to easy to obtain people will get bored faster and the probabilities of them leaving the site are going to be higher, not to mention that it would be harder for the staff to keep everyone entertained. However, I wouldn't worry too much. I'm sure Grandma Hopbobbin does plenty of charity of her own all year long.
Brandon: Well, I must say, I think I'll be pretty entertained if I managed to get a Battle Slices Stamp for less than a million Neopoints, but that's besides the point!
Last question, what do you think are the motives behind Granny Hopbobbin's charity work?
Ab: Like I said before, I think she feels fulfilled in doing so. No one really knows where she comes from, and we don't know if she feels lonely and this is a way of filling that hole. There are still many questions yet to be answered about her, but overall I think she just has a big heart full of good intentions.
Brandon: What a heart-warming answer! But would you look at the time, I must be moving on! Thank you for answering my questions.
Moving on to our next interviewee, we find Celeste in a remote cottage, covered in tin-foil, in the Alps of Terror Mountain. How... Quaint?
Brandon: How and when did you first hear of this year's Charity Corner and the plans to build a new Community Center?
Celeste: I learned about it first on the Help Chat several hours before it was announced on the news, so I managed to buy quite a stash of items before they all inflated. I didn't read the description on the page though, so it was a few days later when I realised it had a Community Centre theme.
Brandon: I can't relate with the bit about buying a stash, sadly. I discarded most of my items literally the night before while trying to get the Rubbish avatar. *sigh*
Many people did not know about there ever being plans for a Community Center, and even fewer think that one is needed. What is your take on that?
Celeste: I discarded about 500 donateable items a couple of weeks before it started.
And I don't know what it means! I'm curious to see if anything comes of it, but i'm not sure what it could be... Does it mean the community of players? Maybe an update to the Boards... Otherwise I have no idea.
Brandon: It's been rumored that recent correspondence between Hopbobbin and Hanso reveals that our sweet old Granny likes to collect junk and uses stashes of incredibly rare items to trade for heaps of it, and that she lured TNT into aiding her with her world-famous snickerdoodle Kiko candy-floss.
Celeste: I think perhaps she runs the whole site and TNT are smiling through gritted teeth while she taunts us with rare items.
Brandon: Is that so? Very interesting... *wildly scribbles on notepad* A few of my sources claim she is the one behind the Monoceraptor's attack on Tyrannia, Sloth's creation, and the freak tropical storm that has rendered Lutari Island all but accessable. What do you make of these claims?
Celeste: I think perhaps she is more benevolent than that, and she is the one rallying against whoever committed these nefarious crimes on Neopia, a "crime against Neopia," if you will. I think what we see as an iron-fisted dictatorship might actually be an attempt to save us, and the only way to do that is through absolute power.
Brandon: *eye twitch*
What a juicy scoop! What's left is to speak with the Granny herself and find out the real truth behind her motives and wares. Thank you so much for your time!
Finally, I managed to get in contact with Granny Hopbobbin, who for the time being, seems to only be able to communicate through.. erm... letters? Huh, she must be contact shy.
Brandon: Hey there Miss Hopbobbin! I am so glad to finally get in contact with you. I have so many things to ask you. Why do you devote your life to organizing charities?
Hopbobbin: Well, you see, sweetheart, when you grow old, you tend to become lonely. These Charity Corner events allow me to meet Neopians of all kinds, and I can give back to the community in the process!
Brandon: *wipes tears off letter* That is so heartfelt, I could cry. *Ahem* Now, a more personal question, how have you amassed such a large horde of high rarity items?
Hopbobbin: You wouldn't believe it, but I actually-
The rest of the second letter was covered in conveniently placed Snowbunny, Candychan and Battle Slices Stamps.
Now, usually I am above bribery, but this is too good pass up on. And besides, who cares? I am now RICH!
This is Brandon, signing off! Hope you all had magnificent luck with the Charity Corner this year!
*incoherent squeals of joy can be heard in the background*