The Price of Turnips

I can’t believe I’ve spent the last two weeks staring at a giraffe’s ass.

Oh well. Gotta jerk it to something, right? Might as well be pregger giraffe porn.

Actually, if truth be told I’ve been staring at a lot of animal asses lately.

Two years ago, almost to the day, I wrote an over-long post about the one and only time NewWifey(tm) seriously considered leaving me. Reader’s Digest version: she couldn’t get over the fact that I was cheating at the game “Animal Crossing” in order to make a fortune selling turnips.

To be clear, since this reflects on my good name: I was not cheating at Animal Crossing. I found a way to game the system. There’s a difference.

After harsh words and many tears we eventually came to an understanding. Basically, she shuts the fuck up about it while I continue my merry turnip cheating…er, “gaming”…unabated. Pretty good compromise, no? But she’ll thank me for it eventually. Oh yes she will, when we’re wanting for nothing in our dotage. As long as we want virtual turnips. And you know we will.

But being vigilant takes work. I’m not gonna sugar coat it.

In order to insure I get the best prices for my turnips I have to bring both my Nintendo DSi game units to work with me every day, each loaded with an “Animal Crossing” cartridge.

Every day from 5:40am to 6am I get my one and only break at work. So every day at 5:41am I’m in the 7th floor mens room sitting in one of the stalls while I check prices. I don’t even have to go to the bathroom usually, but I’m pants down in there anyway every single day. If Tom Nook, the shopkeep racoon at Nookington’s, offers a good price I hustle back to my studio, flip the other DSi on, connect them wirelessly, and start selling my stash. If he’s being a dirtbag tightwad little rodent though, I have to wait til 8am until his shop opens in the other DSi, and I check there.

All in all it’s a harrowing way to make a living. But if I want to corner the turnip market, that’s the only way. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do when it comes to kids games.

Well lemme tell ya, all my hard work and toil finally paid off last week.

Tuesday morning 5:41am I’m sitting in the handicapped stall (poverty is a handicap) firing up my first Animal Crossing of the day. I didn’t have high hopes. The past several days ol’ Nook hadn’t offered more than 70 Bells per turnip – far less than I paid Joan the Warthog for them the previous Sunday. So I was in a pretty glum mood.

Nonetheless I got my character up and out the door right on time. I didn’t bother to check the blinking mailbox icon – probably the Jester outfit that Truffles the Pig asked me to order for her. I could get that later. She wasn’t even awake yet.

I made a beeline for Nookington’s.

Standing inside, as usual, was Tom Nook, proprietor. The Man. Or rather, Raccoon. I faced him and pressed the “X” button. No small talk. I chose “Check Turnip Price” from the menu and closed my eyes. The little 8-bit animatronic voice chirped nonsensically as his texted response spelled out. When it stopped, I opened my eyes.

“615.”

615? That can’t be right. There must be dirt on the screen. I tore off a sheet of toilet paper, spat on it, and wiped it down.

“615.” It was still there.

615? 615?

Holy CRAP!

615 Bells per turnip is like Powerball numbers in Animal Crossing. I could retire!

But I had to hurry. That price would only be good for 3 hours, and I had an entire landscape of turnips I had to sell in both that game, and the one in my other DSi. I leaped up, zipped up, and ran back to my studio.

(Amusing little side note: I was so excited that the first thing I did when I got back to my studio was call NewWifey(tm) to tell her the good news. I sometimes forget that not everyone has already been up for 3 hours at 5:50 in the morning. Needless to say, she did not greet my news with the level of enthusiasm I expected.)

To sell that many turnips in that short an amount of time requires some pretty deft juggling when you’re on the air. When writing my newscasts I used as many audio clips as I could, rather than voice it myself. That gave me a few extra minutes per mic break, as did re-using some old copy each hour. During my live banter I kinda put my mouth on autopilot and let it yammer away thoughtlessly while my brain and fingers were running back and forth to Nookington’s as fast as I could. I can’t say that I’m proud of my on-air performance that morning, but once I deposited the last of my millions with Pelly the Pelican banker at Town Hall it would all be worth it.

Right around 8:30am when things were at their most hectic my studio door opened and Carissa, the announcer in the studio adjacent to mine, stuck her head in.

Hey Danger, would you happen to – OHMYGODYOU’REPLAYINGANIMALCROSSING!!!

She came running over and grabbed the DSi out of my hand. “Holy shit, I used to LOVE this game!” Then she looked at me funny. “Uh, why  are YOU playing this? This is, like, a game for 9 year old girls.”

I explained to her that NewWifey(tm) got me the game something like 9 years ago and I just kept playing it out of habit, and now I had amassed so many 10’s of millions of Bells – probably more than anyone in history – that I was just too far down the rabbit hole to save myself. I can’t stop. I’ve tried.

She laughed at my story, and giggled at the DSi as she walked my character around for a bit. Then she said, “Hey listen, I still have the old GameCube that I used to play mine on. Would you like it? It’s been gathering dust in my closet since I was 13, and I have no plans to ever use it again. I think you’d enjoy playing it on a big screen instead of just this little hand held thing.

Would I? Oh man, between that and my two DSi’s I’d never have to go outside again. Take that, Vitamin-D!

The next day she handed me a tote bag with the GameCube and all her old games: Animal Crossing, Super Monkey Ball 2, Fairly Oddparents Breakin’ Da Rules, SpongeBob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. And a memory card.

Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

That night I hooked it up to our Big Screen and kicked back in the recliner. “Hold my calls!” I yelled to NewWifey(tm). She rolled her eyes. I never get calls.

Oh. My. Joystick. I was in Heaven from the moment that bouncy theme kicked out through my 200 watt soundbar.

Lol. I played her saved character first. What a riot to see what items a 13 year old girl thought was important to save in her inventory! Not like us mature guys, I can tell you that. I had fun going around her town chatting with the idiot friends she’d made. I actually was able to find out the exact date she last played, because they told me. In months. “I haven’t seen you in 129 months!” several of them said. So I was the first person to play that game in 10 years and 9 months. No wonder so many of them said they were hungry.

But after a few quick hours I erased her game and started my own. Gotta do it right, and right from the start. I’m very responsible when it comes to important things like this.

So I built a character and gave it a cool name that was simultaneously cute and ironic, set it up in its little starter hut, and did all that other preliminary stuff games always make you do before you can put the hammer down. Then I headed for the bulletin board.

The bulletin board in Animal Crossing lets you know about upcoming events. But various characters can also put up notices, and so can you as a player. And from playing my little DSi version, I knew you could access alternate alphabet characters that let you creatively bypass their profanity filter. Oh ho ho, I have endless fun with that one….

Anyway, first things first I wrote a notice on the board and took a pic, then emailed it to Carissa (“Tortimer” is the elderly turtle Mayor of the town):

Bulletin Board

It went over very, very well. Carissa immediately wrote back, “TRY ME NIGGA”.

I love my job.

Ok, well, there’s more to tell to the story but I’ve gotta get back to Nookington’s now before it closes and order the last of the “Fruit Series” furniture bits I need to complete my set. If I don’t have it all assembled by tonight I lose bonus points.

*********************************************

Ok, I didn’t spend ALL weekend wrangling turnips and watermelon shaped tables. I had to eat, too.

Scored a deal on frozen seafood assortment packs at Price Chopper last week. They dropped the price AND made it 2-for-1! I grabbed two full trays for 3 dollars.

I used them to make a brown rice paella, something I’ve wanted to try for a while just to see if it would work. I soaked the rice in hot water for an hour, then drained and dried them a bit before using them the usual way for paella. I had leftover shrimp stock and a bit of fish fumet, so that was the liquid, along with saffron and some odds and ends additions.

It came out good, but the real star was the loaf of bread I’d made earlier in the day out of leftover braised cabbage and apples mixed into the dough. They melted in (can’t see any, can you) and left a wonderful rich, sweet/savory symbiosis of flavors. The texture was incredibly soft, too. I know one doesn’t normally serve bread with paella, but…look at that bread!

Brown Rice Paella

(Ok, yeah, it doesn’t LOOK all that special just sitting there in that shot, you’re right. But trust me, you’d blow me for another slice.)

Speaking of, I’ve really gotta blow outta here. My virtual hut isn’t gonna decorate itself, y’know.

615!!!!

Ciao!

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40 thoughts on “The Price of Turnips

            1. Strangely enough, there is actual bread matter left. What happened was, I added so much stuff as I went along that it just kept growing and growing until eventually I realized I needed two loaf pans. And one of those pans was a full Pullman loaf! So the first loaf got demolished post haste, but the second one is in the freezer still.

              Re-book that flight!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Real life is not a game. You do what you gotta do to chase the demons away. Maybe play a level or two of Zelda….

                Hey, I gotta hit the sack here. Thanks for the good times, good times 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  1. The brown rice paella is impressive, but the seafood assortment is too much for me to consider. The shrimp stock almost did me in, but I think that I have recovered. I suppose that it could add interesting flavor…sort of. The bread is the real winner. We may have some video games in our collection of toys that we are saving for future grandchildren. I am afraid that if I find some that I might become addicted and that would take away from my quitting teaching/retirement early–free to be me time. I will look for the games.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol – NO! Don’t look for the games! We’ll never see you again if you find them – SAVE YOURSELF, WOMAN!!

      Regards the paella: I only had about a cup of shrimp stock, of the 4 cups total liquid used. So it wasn’t “shrimpy” by any means. Just a nice accent note. If anything, I found I probably could have used even stronger flavors as the brown rice itself was still fairly dominant.

      You can never have too much of a seafood assortment! Or at least I can’t. I’m part seal, I just know it.

      🙂

      Like

  2. Hmmm…. paella and bread. That’s a lot of starch at once. I wouldn’t rule it out but would need convincing.

    As to the gaming, good for you. I get to a certain point then kind of go, “Eh” and walk away from it all.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ll take you up on that. Well, minus the copious alcohol. I know my limits and won’t go over. Besides, half a glass and I’ll be UNDER the table, anyway. Yeah, really, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Haha! Well long as you know I’m a cheap date 😉 I’ll bring hubby – he and NW can talk about wood and power tools while you and I do the important things, like video games and cooking.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Absolutely.

                Except I don’t sport. Please don’t make me sport. I don’t do football, basketball, or any of those things. I don’t even do Midwestern sport, aka bowling. Not to play, nor watch. I might, if plied with enough alcohol and food, be blackmailed into baseball, provided it’s the world series. Otherwise, no.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never played Animal Crossing but I’m imagining something like Farmville…?

    Also this: “It came out good, but the real star…” is not enough information about the paella. It looks very pale to this half-Spanish eye. How did it REALLY taste? I’ve never even attempted paella with brown rice before…!

    Like

    1. How dare you, madame. Animal Crossing is NOTHING like that pale, insipid, feckless, time waster that Zynga foisted upon the undiscriminating masses! Fie!

      But I forgive you because you’re cute.

      Ah, a paella cognoscenti, are we? Very well then:

      Huh. Yeah, that pic does make the rice look rather anemic, doesn’t it. I think some of it may be the flash washing it out, but truth be told it was indeed rather atypical looking for paella. Although I added all the usual coloring stuff – a good amount of saffron particularly, along with reddish shrimp stock, etc, – the decidedly brown coloration of the rice just would not be dyed.

      How did it taste? It tasted great, of course. I made it.

      It also tasted of brown rice. That flavor, while not the dominant one, was nonetheless certainly discernible despite all the other flavors I threw in there. That’s never the case with white rice versions, of course. Having said that, it was not off-putting. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. You could still taste the seafood (and stock), the garlic, the saffron, the aromatics. But then you also had the nutty brown rice notes enrobing it all.

      One of the main differences between this and traditional paella was the decided lack of “socarrat” – that wonderful bottom crust. I’m guessing it comes down to the difference between surface starch amounts. If you’re one of those who really looks forward to that layer, this version would have been a disappointment.

      If you haven’t attempted it with brown rice before, but are curious, I found it at least very easy to make. Other than pre-soaking the rice, it assembled just like white. Give it a shot if you’re ever bored and/or have too much brown rice in your pantry that you don’t know what to do with. Then report back here 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aaahhhh! Animal Crossing! I spent many summer breaks playing that game. I would login and check on things every year until my ex stole all of my gaming systems and games. Who the hell does that!? Though I do miss Animal Crossing, I miss my chapter in Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess the most. I had over 300 hours on that one! But Fella just got me the newest Legend of Zelda for my birthday yesterday! Can’t wait to start it!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You got the new one? I’m so jealous!! Damn, lemme come over an play? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE??

      Oh man, what a scumbucket dirtbaggy thing for your ex to do! I hope he gets attacked by a pit bull with AIDS for that bullshit. Horrible! I didn’t think anybody could be THAT mean. Jeez. You have my sympathy.

      ps. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze……….?

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Buy low sell high. You a real playa, hustler. I haven’t played Animal Crossing in YEARS. But that’s because I have a highly addictive personality, and they don’t have an Animal Crossing Anonymous yet. Thank you for letting me get my fix through you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No Super Smash Bros on the GameCube?! Bummer. That was my jam back in the day. I’ve always been a socialist and struggle with any games that require me to (ugh) do a facsimile of work or (double ugh) participate in capitalism for children. I just want to beat people up, but not take their lunch money. (Just for laughs, did you know that if you google “Capitalist Animal Crossing”, it will take you to this post on this blog, which I *think* is ironic, but you really never know on Tumblr: http://nintendoprivilege.tumblr.com/post/53415375758/the-insane-capitalism-in-animal-crossing-youre . Ironic or not, the blog is pretty hilarious.)

    Liked by 1 person

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