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? 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 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.
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):
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!
(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.