The Problems of Protesting Weewoos
There’s discontent brewing within the generally peaceful Weewoo community.
The Coalition for Embitterment, a Weewoo-run group based in Krawk Island, organized public protests after filing a petition against the Neopian Times early last week. As most Neopians are aware, the White Weewoo has been associated with the Times for years. However, the Coalition has claimed that their White Weewoo brethren have become “insufferable, salty, mutinous rogues” who are “too big for their tail feathers” and are laying the blame squarely on the longstanding newspaper. In just the past day, support for the Coalition nearly tripled as Grey Weewoos, Disco Weewoos, Blue Weewoos, Maraquan Weewoos, and even Robot Weewoos publicly announced their support in an effort to persuade the Times to include all Weewoos as representatives for the Neopian Times.
Despite currently being at the center of controversy, the Neopian Times has but one duty: To report the news in a fair and honest manner. Therefore, my own duties as a reporter have never been more important. My request for an interview with the founder and president of the Coalition, a green-colored Weewoo named Sir Wooington, was met favorably, much to my surprise. So I headed to Krawk Island’s Golden Dubloon to get a firsthand account of the situation from this opinionated petpet, infamous on the Island for long being rigid and outspoken.
“Aye, everyone knows that little aristocrat’s not one to be messed with,” says Buck Cutlass of Food Club fame.
“Puffo made the mistake of gettin’ Wooington’s feathers ruffled about something or other, and Wooington up and bit two big chunks of fur right outta Puffo’s tail!” added Lucky McKyriggan with a hearty laugh at Puffo’s expense. “Some say that’s why Puffo wears those two red bows, because the fur never grew back in those spots!”
The proprietor of the Little Nippers petpet shop also bears vivid memories of Sir Wooington.
“One day he just walks right out the store. Been ‘ere for years at that point, never goin’ home with no one. Wrote a note before he left. ‘Course, I couldn’t read it. Just a whole lot of scribbles. Suppose he wrote it with his beak. Not like he got any fingers. But then word gets back to me. Hear he be telling anyone that’ll listen that he’s ‘liberating himself,’ whatever that means. I dunno, maybe he was just lonely? Always wondered what happened to the lil fella, though. I guess with all this kerfuffle, now I know.”
That “kerfuffle” is apparent as I near the doors of the Golden Dubloon. It appears more than a few multicolored Weewoo residents have heard about my meeting with their leader. They chirp wildly as I approach, little bobbing waves of Weewoo heads going up and down around my ankles. A few pointy beaks snip at my heels as I push my way through the heavy wooden doors.
The Coalition for Embitterment is not messing around.
Even with his small size, Sir Wooington makes sure he stands out. When I spot him sitting at a table, a mug of Bomberry Grog in front of him with an extra long straw, he is completely still. He wears a black top hat (tailored especially for his own head, I’ll soon learn) and a sparkling clean monocle on a golden chain. Because he isn’t moving, I wonder if he might be meditating, but as I come closer I discover that he’s watching me.
He nods for me to sit across from him and, with his eyes still locked on to my every move, I do. Sir Wooington takes his time with a long slurp of Grog through his straw before finally speaking: “I am surprised to see you here, given your place of employment,” he says, chirping disapprovingly in Weewooese.
I understand his negative feelings, but as I tell him, my loyalty lies with journalistic integrity.
“Then you may ask your questions,” he declares. He drains the last of his Grog and then pushes the mug aside with his entire body. When he’s done, not only do his hat and monocle remain perfectly in position, but not one feather on him is out of place. It’s hard not to feel intimidated. Bracing myself, I flip open my notepad. I admit my confusion about the coalition’s name right off the bat.
Shouldn’t it be the Coalition for Embetterment?
Sir Wooington clucks sharply.
That’s all he says. I take that as an invitation to move forward.
To be clear, why specifically is the Coalition so angry at the Neopian Times?
“For as long as anyone can remember, ever since my great-great-great-great-great grandfather founded Krawk Island…”
Wait. I’m sorry to interrupt, but did you just say that your great-great-great-great grandfather founded Krawk Island?
“No. My great-great-great-great-great grandfather founded Krawk Island.”
That’s a pretty serious claim to make. I thought Krawk Island was originally founded when the original inhabitants banded together to dispel attacks from the Dread Pirate Sherman? Do you have any way of proving your great-great-great-great-great grandfather is the true founder of Krawk Island?
“Of course I do! But we are not here to discuss that particular injustice!”
It is at this very moment that I realize I may not be dealing with the most practical of Weewoos.
Yes, of course. So, back to the initial question: Why is the Coalition so upset with the Times?
“Well, as I was trying to say before you so rudely interrupted, for as long as anyone can remember, Weewoos lived together peacefully. No Weewoo was better than any other Weewoo. Sure, those Faerie Weewoos may have rubbed their ability to fly in our faces from time to time, and those Fire Weewoos may have kept accidentally starting forest fires that completely ravished our homes, but at the end of the day, we lived in complete harmony together. But then, you and your little newspaper had to start splashing their picture all over the place, making those stinkin’ rose smellin’ swines your mascot!”
By “those stinkin’ rose smellin’ swines” you mean White Weewoos?
“Well I’m certainly not talking about Larry over there!”
As I direct my gaze to where Sir Wooington is pointing with one of his webbed feet, my eyes fall upon an especially drab-looking Grey Weewoo sitting alone in a corner.
“Of course I’m talking about White Weewoos! And they’ve been parading around with their beaks in the air ever since they became your little mascot! They’ve completely disregarded their brothers, moved away from the island, and have refused to use their newfound platform to speak out and raise awareness for the plight us less-famous Weewoos constantly face!”
And what exactly are those plights?
“Well, I’m sure you aren’t dense enough to have already forgotten that Krawken attack in Y13?”
Of course not, but the islands were simply unchained and drifted apart. Surely you all could have just flown back to… Oooooh!
“Figured it out, have you? WE DON’T HAVE WINGS!”
But still, it sounds like your displeasure is with the White Weewoos. So why protest against the Times?
“Because if it weren’t for the Neopian Times, people would probably think that White Weewoos were still a myth. Like Jelly World. Or this so-called Space Station some of the merchants rant and rave about when they make port.”
Err, right… But like you said, if not for the Times, people may still believe White Weewoos to be just a myth. So shouldn’t the Coalition be happy that the newspaper selected Weewoos as their mascot?
“Not when those Weewoos act like they’re better than everyone else. And especially not when your so-called newspaper only allows one type of Weewoo to represent your brand instead of all of us!”
Well, that’s not exactly true, though. Pirate Weewoos appear regularly on the Neopian Times’s online edition. And many Darigan Weewoos are postal workers for the Times, ensuring Neopians everywhere receive their subscriptions every week.
“Well, those Darigan Weewoos have always been a shifty bunch…”
I hope I’m not overstepping my bounds here, and I mean no disrespect when I say this, but it sounds to me as if you may be a little jealous of some of your fellow Weewoos, Sir Wooington.
Before I even have time to brace myself, Sir Wooington lets out a shrill, piercing squawk like I’ve never heard before in my life. The noise is only exasperated by the echoing chorus let out by the other Coalition members in attendance. Behind the bar of the Golden Dubloon, multiple glasses shatter. Finally, in a high-pitched voice, Sir Wooington responds to my accusation.
“Me? Jealous? HA! Have you even looked at me properly? Do you not see my hat? It was tailored especially by Prigpants & Swolthy and is made from the finest Tonu hair in all of Neopia! Do you not see this monocle? It once belonged to General Integer himself!”
General Integer wore a monocle?
“Well not in battle, of course! But it was a very valuable family heirloom of his! You see, he and my great-great grandfather were close friends! In fact, my great-great grandfather was General Integer’s most trusted advisor!”
Is that so?
“Indeed it is! So, as you can very well see, I, Sir Wooington, have no need to be jealous of anyone.”
There is no point trying to deny it—Sir Wooington certainly is a dapper gentleman. It’s at this very moment that I suggest that perhaps the Coalition for Embitterment’s end goal in all of this is for Sir Wooington himself to become the new mascot of the Neopian Times. Yet, much to the displeasure of my ears, I am met for the second time with raucous squawks.
“Oh-ho! That is what you believe this to be all about, is it? Don’t be ridiculous! Utterly preposterous! This is not about one single Weewoo, it is about all Weewoos! Now if you would be so kind, I think it is time for you to take your leave, my dear reporter.”
At this juncture, I gather my things and begin wading through the enraged group of Weewoos standing between me and the exit, all while Sir Wooington hurls more insults and threats my way.
“Time for you to run back to your little newspaper. And please tell whoever sent you in the first place that this is not the last they will be hearing from the Coalition for Embitterment! Oh no, you will be hearing from me again very soon. Yes, sir…”
And here I must declare that Sir Wooington was correct about one thing: I do hear from him again very soon. As I begin making my way through Warf Wharf after finally exiting the Golden Dubloon, I hear the sound of footsteps quickly pattering behind me. As I turn around to see who is stalking toward me, I’m shocked to see Sir Wooington himself looking up at me eagerly, motioning for me to squat down to his level. In barely a whisper, he speaks hurriedly.
“Look, I obviously couldn’t say this back there around all those lunatics, but if you were serious about me becoming the new mascot for the Neopian Times, I would very much be interested. Here is my agent’s card. We’ll be in touch soon.”
Then, without so much as a warning, Sir Wooington raises his voice for the third time and chomps down on the end of my nose.
“And don’t you ever dare try to disrespect any Weewoo on my island while I’m around again! You hear me? Now get out of here and don’t come back!”
I resist the urge to run away from him, if only because I can’t see through my tears of pain. The end of my nose resembles the fruit of a Cheops Plant by the time I make my way out to the harbor. The impact of what Sir Wooington has done sinks in as more and more ‘Pets turn to stare at my bulbous bruise. Through my poor nose, Sir Wooington delivers his message to the world: the Coalition for Embitterment is just getting started. Woe and beak bites to all who cross their path in the coming days.
If a group makes enough noise, someone is bound to hear them, and we at the Neopian Times have heard the Coalition for Embitterment loud and clear. More recent statements from the Coalition indicate that their protests will continue until the Times sports more Weewoo colors.
Whether those colors will specifically include green with black top hats and gold monocles remains to be seen.