The Adventures of Theo Fuzzybottom, Episode 7, continued

Before Fuzzy could say a word to cheer up his old pal, there was a another knock on his door. It was Randy, one of the many new faces to join the YG staff. He was what Ms. Trudy called a Gofurrrr. But his position was that of intern. Nice enough, but a bit of a scatter brain. "Hiya Fuzzy, got message for you. Ms Larksong wants you to report to her office right away," said Randy.

Fuzzy, Shakey and Randy

"Ok thanks Randy," replied Fuzzy then he turned to Shakey. "Have you met her yet? Fuzzy asked.

"Nope have not seen that one yet, bet she is a right old trout. Has to be, right? Taking on such big job and all," said Shakey in a teasing tone. "Oh, better get a move on mate, or you will make a bad impression" Shakey added. "I will wait here, we can go to lunch if you survive, and we can finish our talk. Hey, just kidding! You go on, I'm sure you will do just fine." Shakey patted his pal on the shoulder as Fuzzy made his way out the door.

Awkward meeting

Fuzzy stood out side Ms Larksong's office trying to get up the courage to knock. Then before he could put paw to door "Enter," came a voice from inside. He had no idea why he was so nervous, but he took a deep breath and opened the door. As he stepped inside he saw something that would be burned into his mind forever.

A gobsmacked Fuzzy

Before him was not an old trout as Shakey had said but a young and clearly fit young woman who was in the middle of what looked like some kind of exercise from the look of it. Yoga, assumed Fuzzy. He was sure his whole face had gone red, and he tried not to stare, but that only seemed to make him more nervous.. "Theodore Fuzzybottom, is it?" asked Ms Larksong as she went right on with her workout.

"Yes, that is me, my friends call me Fuzzy," He responded with a half smile.

Ms Larksong said nothing for what seemed an eternity. "Well then, Theodore, do you enjoy working for the Gazette?" She asked with a polite but icy tone.

"Yes I do very much, Ms Larksong. I have learned a great deal." said Fuzzy.

"Well then, I have your first assignment in the blue folder on the desk". Fuzzy was happy to be given somewhere else to look. He picked up the folder; it had his name and the date on it and in bold red print it said evaluation. Fuzzy gulped and then turned back to Ms Larksong.

"Theodore, if you do your work as instructed and finish the task given on time without any side adventures..." She paused and locked eyes with him in a way that made the fur on his neck stand up. "And I expect you to follow the instructions to the letter, then you and I shall get along just fine. So, off you go. Deadlines wait for no one," as she motioned him out the door.

Fuzzy returned to his office where Shakey was waiting and chatting with Randy. Shakey took one look at Fuzzy, who looked so pale even his fur was faded. "Hey Randy, nice meeting ya, but Fuzzy and I need to talk, so mind giving us a bit of privacy?" said Shakey.

"No problem," and Randy made a quick exit. "From the look of you she must be one mean old bird" Shakey said teasingly.

"Old bird!! Have you seen her?? She is well - a, well, not an old bird, I can tell ya that much." Said Fuzzy in a quick gasp.

"Wait a min there mate, calm down" said Shakey, "What do ya say you tell me all about it over some lunch" offered Shakey.

"Sounds good" said Fuzzy and they headed over to the café in the recreation building. The boys had a great lunch and Fuzzy went on to tell Shakey the whole of his meeting with Mrs. Larksong, and it was all Shakey could do to not fall off his chair laughing but instead he calmed his pal, and by the end of lunch Fuzzy was back to his normal self. The boys returned to Fuzzy's office were Fuzzy began to read the details of his new assignment.

"So are you busy this afternoon Shakey?" Fuzzy asked.

"Nope; everything is nearly done and I have a bit of time, why? What did you have in mind?" Shakey asked.

"Well, how about one last job? This place sounds like great fun, and there are games and rides; what ya say?" Fuzzy asked .

"OK, but I only have a few free hours; as long as I get back before 3, have a meeting with Ozman to do a walk thru to make sure all the last minute details are in place for the grand opening." Shakey added.

"All right then let's gets going." Said Fuzzy

One last job

The boys enjoyed the warm spring day and used the travel time to fill each other in on the YG events. "Well, you know the new office Grand Opening is coming up soon, right? And there's some new staff coming on board. You've been so busy that you haven't noticed. So we're all getting together for a staff party before the official event."

Fuzzy remembered an email from Apooka. He slapped his forehead. "Oh, yeah. Now I remember. Hold on, let me find that email." He whipped out his phone, scrolled around a bit and said, "OK, here it is. Geez, Shakey I'm supposed to be the reporter and here you are, with all the info.

"Well no worries, I will keep you on your claws" said Shakey.

As Fuzzy was scrolling his emails, Shakey asked "By the way, have you met the new gossip columnist, Trudy Tangleclaw? I heard a really good one about how she got the job."

Fuzzy's ears pricked up. "Do tell," he said.

"Well, it seems that she had some really juicy snippets about a couple of the main builders in Yellow, and they were freaked out that she was gonna get them published, because for some reason they had really got her mad. So to save face all around, the builders persuaded the editors to hire her on, provided she didn't use those bits of gossip. So she agreed and here she is."

"Uh huh," Fuzzy nodded. "So I guess we will all have to mind our Ps and Qs then."

"She's actually kind of nice though" Shakey responded. I guess as long as you don't get on her bad side it will be OK."

Fuzzy gave up trying to read the email. "So, o great purveyor of news, do you have any other morsels for your humble scribe?"

Shakey laughed. "Well, a couple of the other folks are interesting. Seems like Little Nellie got her uncle, one Mr. Boniface Crabbtree, here as head groundskeeper. Nellie said that he was the man who taught her all she knew and inspired her to go into the field as well. "Only met him for minute but he seems nice enough; bit tightly wound if you ask me," said Shakey. "That's all I got at the moment. And you will meet them all at the do."

"Well, looks like the Gazette will be pretty full of new folks. I hope Apooka and Ozman can keep it all under control."

"I have no doubt", replied Shakey.

Urbane Chaos' games

Soon the boys arrived at their destination, Active Worlds Promotion and Games. Shakey and Fuzzy enjoyed a tour of the location and had great fun on the rides and playing the games and exploring all the great info on how to promote AW. And Fuzzy felt he got a great interview from the Urbane Chaos the creator. (Read Fuzzy's interview and learn more about the location on the Build of the Month page).

Shakey returned to the YG offices and Fuzzy went on to his second location for his coverage of the builds of the month.

Was it a good thing Shakey got back to the office when he did? He arrived just in time to find Mr. Crabbtree, the new grounds keeper, in a right state of agitation. It seems he ordered white flowers from the Greenhouse and they delivered pink. Mr. Crabbtree was a nice enough fella but he had great pride in his work and wanted everything to be perfect, striving to make an impression on his first big job for the YG. It was a true test of Shakey's skills, but soon he was able to not only calm Mr. Crabbtree. Not only that, but by the time the two were done talking Shakey had even convinced him pink was the better choice. This only confirmed to Shakey he had indeed made the right choice to go the Guild, as he was a good foreman.for the first time Shakey was well no longer in doubt of him self and he look forward to his new venture.

Eloquent Sanity's build

Meanwhile, Fuzzy was visiting one of the many new villages being build around Yellow. The location was a wonderful seasonally themed area built by Eloquent Sanity. Fuzzy was unable to get an interview with the builder at this time, but had a great time visiting the location and met a very nice farmer who showed him around to some of the best spots. (Find out more and view Fuzzy's pictures on the build of the month page).

The Party

It was the evening of the Staff party and the big Unveiling. The weather was perfect a bit warm for an early spring day. Everyone gathered as the sun was setting in front of the compound for the ribbon cutting.

All there were excited to see the completed work. Apooka had given the staff two days off while the finishing touches were added. Young Randy let the excitement get the better of him yelling out; "Come let's get a move on," To which Apooka responded with: "Ok very well then, let's do cutting the ribbon." She then stepped aside to allow everyone to fill into the grounds. Most of the employees had been entering thru the temporary structure while construction was on going, so they had never before seem beyond the main office building. All were impressed with the lovely landscaping and the overall vibe of the place. They moved into the main reception / teleport hall which features links to all the past builds of the month featured in the YG as well as a selection of some of the best builds in Yellow. Soon everyone moved into the Recreation building.

"Wow" was heard many times that night but none was more profound than when Fuzzy got a look at the second level of the rec building: a complete game area with pool table and many other games, even a huge flatscreen TV and all the latest game systems .

"So did you know all about this?" he asked Shakey.

"Nope. This is a surprise to me as well. Heck, if I had known about this I might not have accepted the Guild's offer." Shakey replied. But before the boys could dive into the exploration of the games room everyone was called to gather in the canteen where it seemed Ozman was about to give a speech.

Ozman's speech

Ozman & staff

Ozman took a swig of honey beer and cleared his throat as he sorted his cards. He looked over the assembly who he was sure were about to hang on his every word. If only, he thought.

"Ladies, gents and bears, thank you for the chance to welcome you all here today to celebrate the opening of the new Yellow Gazette offices." A smattering of applause ensued.

"I'll try to keep this short as I know refreshments await, but I think it's important to mark this occasion, because we not only have new quarters, but also new staff, and sadly, departing staff as well. So, I would like to firstly welcome all the new staff who will be making this journal even better than it is now and of course, a big welcome to our current staff too.

"First, our new Office Manager, Ms Lucy Larksong. She comes to us from the publishing industry elsewhere, where she was an assistant office manager, and this job is a promotion for her. We trust she will keep our operations running smoothly." Ms Larksong stood up, and received a polite bit of clapping.

"And of course Nellie Poogawoo, our intrepid gardening and landscape expert. And welcome to her uncle Mr. Crabtree who is our new groundskeeper. We have to thank them both for the superb landscaping they have done around the offices here. It was really fortunate that Mr.Crabtree was free; he's one of the top landscapers in our world."

Nellie and Boniface stood, with Boniface blushing and bowing slightly. Fuzzy was sure he saw a small tear in his eye.

Ozman shuffled his cards. "Ah, but wait, there's more," he smiled, "A big welcome to our new columnist and newshound par excellence, Ms Trudy Tanglefoot, whose nose for news is unsurpassed. It was at this point unlike those who came before, Trudy stepped up to speak.

"Uhmmm, I would just like to say I look forward to getting to know all about each and every one of you." At this point she seem to scan the crowd like a predator looking for the weak link. "I know we shall all become very good friends." She then stepped back to and resumed her seat. There was a faint attempt at applause, but Fuzzy was sure he was not the only one who felt that was more a threat than an honest sentiment.

Without missing a beat Ozman resumed his speech. "And finally, but certainly not least, Mr Randy Burrfoot, our new office intern. Welcome to all our new staff. I think you will find this is an exciting and challenging place to work and we look forward to some interesting times." Everyone who had not been standing stood up and cheered.

Trudy didn't get up though; she just nodded and kept writing on her iPad; Randy looked down and shuffled his feet.

Ozman looked out at the crowd again. "And finally, there is the matter of wishing Shakey well; he will be leaving us shortly to take up a senior position in the Yellow Builders Guild. He was headhunted by them after they saw the excellent work he did here. So, Shakey, you've come a long way with us, and we hate to see you go. But we all move on, so may I and all the staff here wish you the very best for your new job, and thank you deeply for a job well done here. And we would like you to feel welcome here always."

There was much stronger applause, as Shakey had proven to be a popular staff member in the time he was at the Gazette. He stood up, grinned at the crowd, and sat down with a glow of happiness, as he was actually appreciated here.

"And finally, finally;" grinned Ozman, "A big welcome and great thanks and appreciation to Joe the Caterer who has done a marvellous job organising all the food and drink for tonight's celebrations. Ozman concluded. "OK, the last thing I need to do is to declare the offices of the Yellow Gazette officially open. Let's go and get some refreshments."

And with that he stood down from the podium amid cheers and clapping and they all made their way to the buffet.

The party

At the party

The party that followed was a lively one. The YG had spared no expense for food and drinks for the guests, and the canteen and the games room were full of party revelers, eating, drinking, dancing to the jukebox and thoroughly enjoying themselves. But, as at every party it seems, there was one guest who got a bit more rowdy than the rest, resulting in an unfortunate altercation. Perhaps it might have been the wine, but at any rate, a voice was raised and everyone paused to listen.

There was Trudy, fur raised and ears back, ready to take a swipe at Ms. Lucy Larksong who was facing her with a fierce but controlled gaze. Trudy yelled: "You do NOT tell me what to write in my column, or how to do it, get it?"

Will this turn into a full-blown feud in the YG ranks? Be sure to read the next episode of Fuzzy's Tale.

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