Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fatcat Got My Goat

My loving tribute to my turkey Carlos, savior of Christmas

If you happened to visit my farm recently you may have noticed and paused to admire this lovely little folk art memorial that I painstakingly constructed as an homage to my beloved turkey, Carlos.  It depicts a scene from his glorious Christmas Eve journey (pictured below for comparison), during which he saved Christmas for the town of Farmville and other rural parts of the world.

Carlos using his radioactive snood to lead Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve, 2013

I had cobbled the monument together from some items I found for sale in the FV2 General Store during the holiday season:

The raw materials used to construct the sacred Carlos Christmas tribute

The turkey spool represented Carlos, of course.  The wicker goats represented the eight reindeer he led, and the Santa butt sticking out of the chimney represented Santa in his sled.  Hey, it was the best I could do on a budget.  Don't judge!

As you might imagine, I was very proud of this humble little monument I had built, and everything was all well and good with it for a few weeks.  Word of its magnificence began to spread far and wide, and visitors would travel for miles and miles to Korova farms just to witness firsthand the spectacular tribute I had constructed for my beloved turkey.

They would bring their children and elderly relatives, and there would be song and dance and laughter as the families gathered around the festive memorial to pose and take photos.  Precious photos of treasured memories, which shall undoubtedly grace countless family photo albums for generations to come, all featuring my sweet, loving Christmas tribute to Carlos.

...But then tragedy struck, as tragedy is wont to do, and it all came to a very abrupt and horrific end.

Alas, I have very sad news to report today, my friends.

It pains me greatly to have to inform you all that my sacred artifact has been unceremoniously desecrated by a grown man from Greece, named Giorgos Fatcat.

Consequently, I have been forced to tear it down and store it away, never again to see the light of day.

For reasons unknown, in a completely unprovoked attack, Mr. Fatcat decided to come to my farm the other day and brutally molest several of the symbolic animals which comprised my lovely commemorative monument!

His motivation for doing so remains a mystery to me.  I sent him a photo of what I caught him doing, circling the evidence of his heinous transgressions in red, and I asked him to answer for his actions.  Thus far, however, he has completely ignored my request for an explanation.

To date, there has been no response from Mr. Fatcat.

Yet he has the unmitigated gall to continue sending me requests for pruning shears and other farm-related sundries.

You shall receive no further shears from me, you vile beast!

And so I can only speculate as to his reasons for defiling my sacred homage to Carlos, Christmas, and all that was pure, holy and innocent in the world.

I asked the victims for more information about the assault, but they weren't talking.  Apparently whatever this Fatcat did to them was so traumatic that it rendered them all speechless.

These poor animals were subjected to unspeakable horrors at the hands of Mr. Fatcat

Unable to get any answers from the assailant or his victims, my mind went rampant pondering the possible reasons for Mr. Fatcat's gross violation.

At first I naively wondered, Was it just some childish prank?  Perhaps in Greece they have a tradition of something akin to cow tipping here in America, where instead they push over sleeping goats and turkeys...

Is goat tipping a Greek thing?

I guess I was still trying to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point, as next I speculated, Maybe he just thought the animals were hungry and attempted to feed them...

Had I misconstrued an act of kindness as a wicked atrocity?

Still trying to rationalize the incident as an innocent mistake or misinterpretation on my part, I wondered, Is it possible that he thought they were piñatas?
Do they even have piñatas in Greece?

As I further theorized about the incident, I found that my thoughts increasingly drifted into dark places, assuming the worst.

Maybe, I ruminated, Giorgios fancies himself a master thief and sought to pilfer my decorations to use on his own farm...

Umm, it doesn't work like that, sir.

People do odd things sometimes when they've had too much to drink, I told myself, my suppositions growing darker.  Perhaps Mr. Fatcat had imbibed too much Ouzo this particular evening, and thought he recognized the animals in question...

Giorgos is quite the ladies' man.

Then my thoughts really started racing to the dark side...  I recalled in the past hearing of bizarre rumors about certain perversions involving Greek men and goats.

You know the ones.

I perish the thought...  Could this have been some deviant erotic attraction?

Normally I try not to put much weight in rumors and stereotypes, but like I said, one's mind goes to dark places in times such as these...

Oh God, please no

By the time I had run through all these horrible scenarios, my mind was reeling.

I was in a very bad, angry place.

I have to go confront this sick, twisted goat lover, I thought.  I must teach him a lesson.

I immediately hailed the nearest cab...

It was full, but the driver allowed me to sit up front.  The nice ladies in back even offered to pay my fare!

Thanks for the ride Lynn Hubbard, Cathy Perry, Kimberly Curro and Kathy Jones!

Upon my arrival at Fatcat Farms, Mr. Fatcat greeted me as he would any other visitor, seemingly oblivious to who I was and why I was there.

Yeah I'll give you a helping alright, pal.  A helping of my fist!

My confrontation did not quite go as expected.  I wanted to knock him out, but it seemed that Mr. Fatcat was playing dumb! 

Could he have honestly not remembered what he did?

Oh, so that's how you wanna play it, eh?

He seemed to think I was there to be his farmhand!

At first I was offended.  How could he think I would ever help on his farm after what he did to my poor wicker goats?  But then I had an idea...

Oh yes, I've got some chores to do for you, friend.  Chores indeed.

If I played along I could get onto his farm and exact my revenge.  I was sure he must have some farm decorations that I could mess with...  Give him a little taste of his own medicine, I would!

I diligently began my farmhand duties in earnest, scouring Fatcat farms for any ways that I could be of assistance.  When I came upon this plain-looking flag, I decided to sew a logo onto it that a man like Giorgos could truly appreciate...
Betsy Ross ain't got nothin' on me!

Next I cleaned all the algae out of his Bird Bath Fountain...

Nothing can live in that fountain now!

Then I upgraded his Fuel Pump for him...

A few whacks with a wrench is all it took!  It's supposed to smoke like that, right?

I grabbed a roll of paper towels and polished up his Swan Ice Sculpture...

Uh oh, maybe I polished it too much.  The wings are melting off!

I fluffed up the hay in his Deluxe Shady Trough to make it softer...

I wonder if this is where Fatcat and his goats spend most of their time.  Gross!

I cleaned the cobwebs out of his Toolshed...

I read on the internet that spiders hate fire.  This should get rid of them nicely!

And last but not least, I cleaned the barnacles off his Boat House for him...

No more pesky barnacles.

My visit energies fully expended, I headed for the gate...



After returning to my own farm, I paused for a moment of reflection on what had just transpired.

I thought about Giorgos' farm.  Not just about the destruction I had wrought upon it, but how austere and sparsely decorated it was.  The poor guy really didn't have much of anything.

I guess I began to feel a little bit sorry for him.

Maybe he really was just envious of my wicker goats after all.  

I decided that I would buy him a wicker goat of his own, to show there were no hard feelings.

However, as the holiday season had passed, the FV2 General Store no longer sold wicker goats!

I really wanted to get him one, so I shopped around on the web to see if any were still available.  Much to my delight, I managed to find one in Gävle, Sweden!

It was a little on the large side, but I knew that my new friend Giorgos would just love it!

I purchased it online and had it shipped over to FarmVille immediately.

After darkness fell, I hired some farmhands to help me set it up on Giorgos' farm during the wee hours of the night.

I only wish that I could see the look on his face when he awakes tomorrow to find my surprise gift!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Grave concerns

Sorry, Sherry. Guess I threw that last snowball a little too hard!

No worries, Sherry. We've got a nice plot picked out for you up on the mountain, overlooking the valley. Very scenic and peaceful.

L A T E R . . .

Friday, January 17, 2014

Snow Job


This is the first installment of a new series of blog posts called "Friday Facebook Foto Fun" where every Friday* we will have fun with a new picture one of my friends posts on Facebook.

This little project came about when I found that a former Facebook/FV2 friend, Cathy Perry, was very fond of spamming sharing random pictures to  her Facebook page.  Her predilections would run toward pictures of cutesy animals, sunsets, serene nature scenes and the like; you know, the usual girly type stuff.  She would often introduce the shared picture to her audience with some enthusiastic commentary, fawning over how "Lovely," "Pretty" and/or "Gorgeous" it was, how she would love to "crawl inside the picture and live there," or how such-and-such "is my favorite <insert animal type here>."  Her Facebook friends would then regularly chime in to concur until it all became one big circle jerk of "oohs" and "aahs" punctuated by an unabashed overuse of emoticons.

Needless to say, this scenario wasn't really my cup of tea, so I often found myself choking on the schmaltz of it all while scrolling through my Facebook feed and finding these little gems of hers randomly popping up to taunt me.

One day I decided that I might try injecting some of her pictures with my own little bit of whimsy, in an attempt to at least make them more palatable to me, as well as preserve what shreds remained of my sanity.  I think part of it too is that Cathy was easily provoked into hilariously hostile reactions, and screwing with pictures she held dear seemed to facilitate same.

Typically I would just randomly paste a picture of my turkey Carlos into Cathy's pictures, partly because I am lazy and untalented, and partly because due to the great disdain she has often expressed for that bird, I knew that it would have a high probability of peeving her.  On some days I would endeavor to be slightly more creative than that, but not very, and not often.

On this particular day, Cathy posted a picture of some snowy Christmas town scene, and honestly, the thing that struck me most about it was how slippery and unsafe the roads looked.

Then this happened:

I was quite tickled by Cathy's earnest attempt to debunk the authenticity of my clearly doctored image by claiming the crashed automobile I had inserted was anachronistic to the scene.

Equally hilarious was Judy Brown Woodall's comment calling me silly because "no one was hurt."

Of course, it was that very comment which prompted me to explode the car and kill everyone in the scene.

So, who's the silly one now, Judy?   

Who's the silly one now?


* Note: "Friday Facebook Foto Fun" is unlikely to actually occur on a Friday, and much less likely to occur every Friday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Zen and the Art of Gift Giving

Marie, like most people, is excited to receive a gift.
That is, until she opens that box and finds a brick inside.

Whoever said "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" probably never played Farmville 2 and received a gifted brick from a neighbor.  Gifts of bricks, wood planks and metal are basically worthless to any FV2 player who has progressed beyond level, I don't know, seven or so.  I can't even remember the last time I needed one of these items for anything.  I think it was many levels ago when I might have needed some bricks to build a well or something.  Now they are just another random piece of  detritus collecting dust in my inventory.

This is my "WTF? Another brick?" face.
Ditto for feed, metal and wood planks.

Fortunately, I am here to show you that there are much better gifts that you could be sending to your friends than bricks and the like.  In this article we will endeavor to delicately explore this sensitive issue.

The first thing you must know is that the game allows you to send a free gift to your friends every 18 hours.  To do so, simply click on your mailbox, as pictured here:

These used to exist before e-mail.

Upon clicking the mailbox you will receive the following screen showing the different types of gifts you can send, most of which are completely worthless and should be eliminated from the standard set of gift options by the game devs.

Nobody needs feed, wood plank, brick or metal gifts.  Don't send that crap!

The only gifts that matter to anyone, and consequently the only gifts you should ever send to your neighbors, are water and fertilizer.  So just ignore all that other garbage, it's useless

I find that one good way to be a helpful neighbor is to alternate sending out a free water to all of my friends one day, and then fertilizer the next.

Here I am sending out free water to all my friends one day:

Free water for everyone!  Yay!
This makes you at least 500% more awesome to your neighbors.

And here I am sending out free fertilizer to all my friends the next day:

Free fertilizer for everyone!  Yay!
My usefulness as a neighbor just increased by a factor of 1,000!

See how easy that was?  Does this make me a saint?  No.  It just makes me a not-so-horrible neighbor.  It's easy to share a little kindness with your friends in the form of consumable resources, and it doesn't take anything away from you.  That is to say, when you send a water or a fertilizer to your neighbor, the game isn't going to deduct any water or fertilizer from your own supplies; so don't be stingy!  Resolve to send useful gifts each day.

What's more, it's not an entirely selfless gesture.  Because the more water and fertilizer you send your friends, the more you get back from them.  Just like in that one Beatles song!

Most of my neighbors seem to understand this concept well, and happily reciprocate.  But a certain number of them either don't get it or don't care, because they constantly send me an endless supply of the aforementioned worthless items, in spite of the generosity and goodwill I have repeatedly demonstrated towards them via my daily gifts of water and fertilizer. 

Which of these things is not like the others?
Every time I receive such a lousy gift I can't help but to feel a little bit sad and wonder to myself what the person could possibly be thinking.  Do they really think that I needed another "Metal" or do they just not like me?  Well, Sandra, which is it?

 Excuse me?

I asked, which is it?  You just sent me
a gift of metal.  So, do you really think
I need metal or do you just not like me?

 You don't need metal?

Uhh, no. Not really.

 How about wood plank?

No thank you.


No, I have no need for any of these things.
That's the point I've been trying to make!

OK well tomorrow I send you a feed
then, OK?  I must go to farm now, bye.

Wait, no!  Don't!  Not feed!
Aww crap, she's already gone.


Ugh.  Where was I...

Ah yes, my inventory is full of these things.

I can hold no more, yet still they come.

A perpetual influx of items that I do not need, cannot use and do not want.

What is the point of sending me these things?
Screen caps of the useless wood, metal and brick gifts rotting away in my inventory.

Apparently I can hold a maximum of 12 wood planks, 16 metals and 12 bricks.  If the game did not place any restriction on the number of these items one can store, the true counts would undoubtedly be in the four to five figure range, and counting. 

Sometimes the game will sneakily try and trick you into asking for one of these pointless items yourself.

Ask my friends for a free brick?  Umm, no.

Don't fall for it!  Just click the little X and cancel this thing.  The next time you reload you will be offered something else.  Keep doing so until you get a water or fertilizer one, and then ask friends for that instead.  Take it from your Uncle Choo, you'll be glad that you did!

Hi Choo.
I sent you that brick you asked for.

I didn't ask for any brick, hocine!
What the hell?

Are you sure?  I could have sworn
I saw you asking for free bricks just now.

I assure you, I did not ask for a brick, hocine.
In fact, I was just demonstrating how not to ask for a brick.

Are you sure?  Because bricks are very useful.
You can build many things with them!

I don't think so. After you progress beyond
a certain level, bricks become quite useless.

Are you sure?
Because I thought that bricks are very good..

You thought wrong, friend.
Bricks serve no purpose, at least at my level.

Are you sure?

Yes, I'm sure. 
Please stop asking me if I'm sure about everything.

So what level are you then?


Wow, that's pretty high.
So I guess you think you are better than me, huh?

What?  No. Of course not.
That's not what this is about at all, hocine.

Are you sure?  Because you sound like you think
you are all all high and mighty, sitting there in your
ivory tower, spitting on us lowly bricklayers.

That's not what I think at all, hocine.
I'm just saying that you could be sending better gifts than...

(Throws a Brick at Choo's head.)

What is wrong with you man?

I was just showing you another good use for bricks!
Happy now, you ungrateful jerk?

No, hocine, I am not happy.
I am bleeding.


OK, so let me just wipe up some of this blood and try to recover my train of thought and we'll move on...  I have to be more careful.  This is clearly a very personal topic and I seem to be offending my neighbors...  Now, what's next, hmmm.  Ahhh yes, feed.  Someone please go ahead, ask me about feed.


Anyone here?

Oh screw it, I'll just continue to pretend this blog actually has followers and ask myself...

"But what about feed?" you ask.  "Every farmer needs lots and lots of feed each day.  Isn't that a good gift?"

I'm so glad you asked that.  No, it is not.  Not a good gift at all.

Let's do a little bit of feed mill math to learn why:

This is my Feed Mill. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

As you can see here, grinding up just one cucumber in my feed mill will produce 15 feed.  So, mathematically speaking, one feed equates to 1/15th of a cucumber.  If I chopped the average cucumber into 15 pieces, this is what one of those pieces would look like:

Therefore when you send your friend a gift of feed, you are essentially just giving them a small slice of a cucumber, which is not even enough cucumber for a small salad.  Not really very helpful, is it Mariagioia?

You are talking to me?


What do you want?

Nothing, I was just explaining 
how feed isn't a very helpful gift.

You don't like my gift?

Well it's nothing personal, 
it's just that...

Screw you then you ungrateful SOB!

Wait, what?  
No, I was just...

You are bad neighbor. I delete you now!  Goodbye!

Oh never mind.


This article is not going well at all.

I don't know why I bothered. 

Well I think we had better end it here.  I'm feeling a bit light-headed after taking that brick to the temple, and I really do need to go lie down.

So just to summarize, suffice it to say, water and fertilizer.  Just send those.  Nothing else.


WAIT!  You forget to say wood plank.
You cannot talk about best gift and not say  
wood plank! Wood Plank is best gift ever!  Here, have one.

No, you're missing the point, Mario!
I do not want wood planks.
It is not a good gift.

I can sharpen it for you?

Sharpen what?

Wood plank. You say it is missing point?
I make one end sharp and pointy like spear!
You like wood plank now?

No, no, no.
That's not what I meant at all.

Here, try it.
(Tosses sharpened wood plank at Choo)

Oh God, you've skewered me!

So sorry.
Maybe next time you don't look gift horse in mouth, yes?

Good grief.  I give up.
I don't feel so good...

This article was a bad idea.  Someone please call 911.