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Stamp Collecting For Beginners


by redken9x9

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So you want to be an Ultimate Stamp Collector, eh?

Well, you’ve come to the right place! Don’t worry, I won’t waste your time with tons of useless pleasantries and introductory nonsense. We’ll get right down to business.

My dear friends, if you think you can just walk into the Post Office anytime you want and buy whatever stamp you want, you’re sadly mistaken. When you walk into the Post Office, you walk into a war zone. Picture this: All is completely still. The fresh morning rays are barely streaming through the window and your innocent and cheerful face is giddy with excitement as you walk through the Post office doors for the very first time. An aged and humble looking Chia greets you as you enter; he’s wearing a smile on his face, a peculiar disguise devised to keep you from suspecting what’s coming next. You ascertain from the atmosphere that the shop is rather empty, quite strange considering the ramblings you heard from the Neopians in the Marketplace telling stories of the gory fights that broke out here. But not now—you push that out of your mind. Right now your eyes are focused on the empty shelves situated behind the Shopkeeper and the battered wooden counter standing before him. It looks like the stamps have not arrived yet!

Well you wait there patiently, thinking in another eight minutes or so the delivery should come. You tap your feet and look around anxiously at your surroundings, peering out the windows for signs of other customers. When at last, the shop bell rings, and a haggardly Gnorbu in heavy body-armor staggers in through the doors. You hear a slight rustle somewhere above you, but you quickly ignore it and gaze fearfully at the gruff-looking creature stomping towards you. He regards you with a smirk and says, “Not the brightest of the bunch, eh?”

Your confused reaction provokes in him a loud, raspy chuckle as he carelessly brushes you aside and hands his parcel to the Shopkeeper. The chirpy Chia graciously takes it in his arms, and sets it gently on the battered counter before him.

Still no sign of anyone.

Before opening the package, the Chia glances up at you and says, “I wouldn’t stand there if I were you.”

You respectfully inquire why, still not suspecting anything amiss, and the light-hearted Chia instead ignores you and waves goodbye to the escort of the package, who is, by now, laughing incredulously at your idiocy as he exits out the door. Upon his exit, the sprightly Shopkeeper begins to open the package before your unassuming and ignorant eyes.

Here we will pause, and resume the scene in slow-mode shortly. By now, you’re probably suspecting that a catastrophe is about to happen. And you’re right! Let’s switch to a different perspective, and view the following events through the Chia’s eyes. Remember, every detail we mention here is critical to your success, so pay close attention.

As the brilliant, glistening stamps fall from the entrapment of the badly-bruised package, the Shopkeeper looks up to see you still standing there, staring like an idiot. A small piece of his heart breaks for you, as he swiftly ducks under the counter before the last stamp falls.

An explosion of chaos ensues. The Shopkeeper watches timidly from the barricaded safety of his abused wooden counter and gasps in horror as you are trampled by a 7-foot, fire-breathing Mutant Draik apparently already wrestling with a Lava Grarrl attempting to put him in a choke-hold. So let’s examine this struggle for a minute.

Here is a classic example of two brutes battling it out, attempting to gain the stamps by force. They are definitely not the quickest, but their intimidation tactics certainly earn them the prize in some instances. The Trading Post: Yes. Post office: No. Their only downfall is that they spend too much time haggling the Shopkeeper while the snipers get the steals. Who are the snipers you ask?

Observe.

You (the idiot) was too busy looking at surroundings horizontal to your eye instead of vertical. If you had looked up you would have seen, as the gruff Gnorbu and now terrified Shopkeeper had already seen, several glowing eyes staring down at you from the vents in the ceiling. Who are they, you ask? Orange Grundos from Kreludor. They are the snipers. Their weapons were ready and loaded an hour before you even set foot in the shop.

Small and wimpy they are, but being quick and tactful is the name of the game—and that’s exactly what they do best. They give the Shopkeeper the price he wants, and boom, they’re gone. They’ve adjusted the configuration settings of their weaponry to zap the stamps at light speed, and they’ve had plenty of practice to hone their skills. You, as a beginner, cannot expect to be as quick as them at first, but by practicing you’ll attain the level you need to compete with them. They have laser focus, and they don’t allow other distractions to get in the way—and if you want stamps that are worth hundreds of thousands of Neopoints, that’s exactly the kind of attitude you need to have.

Now we’ll take a look at what NOT to do.

See that bozo sleeping in the corner? He’s a camper that got distracted by doing other things at the same time like gaming, watching M*YNCI music videos, and playing Ghoul Catchers on his mediocre device. He became too invested in doing too many things at once that he missed out on the timing of the delivery. When he awakes, most of the worthwhile stamps will be long gone and the Grundos will already be partying it up back on Kreludor. If you’re a serious stamp collector, you’ll eliminate the distractions. Period.

So let’s turn it back to you, the mangled corpse lying on the floor. I daresay no amount of Healing Springs visits will fix up that bruised face of yours. Also, that small pouch of Neopoints that you have in your pocket? PFFT. Look, if you want the rare stamps, bring about 10 times that amount. If you’re serious about beating the competition, you have to update your technology, be quick to recognize the rare stamps, shell out a good price, and mosey on outta there! If you master those techniques, I promise you’ll become a seasoned Stamp Collector in no time.

Welcome to Stamp Collecting!

 
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