Monday, June 10, 2013

Meet the Merchants

Well, I probably should have posted this yesterday, but it was just such a crazy day, I forgot. After all, it's not every day you find yourself the mayor of a town by accident.

After my little nap, I woke up just in time to find the mailman delivering a letter to me. Seems Nook was right about the cardboard box. His name was Pete. Nice guy, but his job keeps him busy, so he didn't have long to chat. He just introduced himself, handed me the letter, and was on his way.

The letter didn't have a return address, or even a name. But it seemed to be from the person who was supposed to be the town's new mayor. It was kind of vague, but it seemed some personal issues came up that prevented them from taking the position. They wished me luck with my new job.

So, it seems that this is really happening. The "real" mayor isn't coming to take their job back. I am the real mayor now. This point is driven home when I find a notice on the town's bulletin board. Someone (probably Isabelle) has posted about my appointment as mayor.

I really can't shake the feeling that I'm going to be a big disappointment to these people. I have no clue what I'm doing here. Nevermind being a mayor, I've never held any kind of civil service position before. My work experience is mostly limited to some part-time jobs in my old home town.

But, at the same time, I kind of feel like I have to do this. The town's seemingly been in decline ever since the old mayor retired. It took a long time for them to find someone new. Sure, I'm not who they actually found, but they need someone. Maybe, with a little luck and determination, that can be me.

My mind made up, I decide to introduce myself all the merchants in the town. They were too busy minding their shops to attend the ceremony earlier in the day. The only shop currently in the town proper is a recycling shop called Re-Tail, so I decide to pay it a visit first. It's run by two alpacas named Reese and Cyrus.

Reese was very friendly, and explained that the shop would buy nearly anything. Old furniture, used carpets, fish and insects. If it wasn't objectively junk, they would fix it up and either sell it there in the store, or put the items on markets for out-of-town collectors and such to buy. Anything I didn't need, I could take to them. Cyrus, it seems, has been working late into the nights recently, and was sound asleep at his work table.

Next, I decided to swing by the town's museum. The curator, Blathers, is an owl, and so is normally nocturnal. However, despite being asleep, he was happy to be woken up to meet the new mayor, and explained that he refused to let his own sleeping habits interfere with the operations of the museum. Unfortunately, the operations didn't comprise much at the moment. The museum had nothing on display after losing its funding several months earlier. It had been forced to sell its collection, piece by piece, just to stay open.

Blathers was looking for donations to fill the museum again, now that Isabelle had corrected the funding issues. They had aquariums for every kind of sea life smaller than a whale, a massive atrium for housing insects in a naturalistic environment, a wing set aside for displaying fossils, and another for artwork. Blathers cautioned that the museum's high standards wouldn't allow them to display any unoriginal works, to be careful of shady art dealers. A sharp eye would be needed to spot any forgeries and avoid wasting the town's funds.

I decided to stop in at the local post office next. It was run by a pleasant woman named Pelly. Apparently, under the old mayor, she had worked at town hall as his assistant, as well as managing the mail service. But with his retirement, she decided to leave things in younger hands. She also mentioned that her sister, Phillys, worked the post office during the night, so they were open 24/7. She also warned me that Phillys could be kind of abrasive at times, but cared a lot about the town in her own way.

Next on the list was a small shop called Nookling Junction. It was so small, in fact, I originally thought it was just some kind of storage shack. The store was being manned by a young tanuki named Timmy. In fact, I remember a brief run-in with his twin brother, Tommy, when I had stopped by Re-Tail earlier. The two ran this shop together, and it seems they had inherited it from Tom Nook. Nook seemingly had used to do real estate only as a side job, but as his nephews aged, he left the shop to them to focus more on his true passion. They sell a variety of tools and furniture, so I imagine I'll be seeing a lot of them once my house is finished. After all, at the moment, I don't even own a bed to sleep on, let alone much of anything else.

The final store I hadn't visited was called The Able Sisters'. Three lovely hedgehogs ran the store, which focused on fashion. On the left hand side of the shop, clothing and cloth patterns were abundant. Mable, the oldest of the three sisters, ran the business end of things, while her painfully shy sister Sable did most of the actual sewing and design. Sable didn't talk much, but Mable assured me she just had difficulty with strangers.
The right side of the shop was run by their younger sister Labelle. Labelle had apparently apprenticed under a famous designer in a big city, but had recently decided she needed to be closer to family. She creates and sells various accessories out of her sisters' shop. Her wares seemed to be fairly popular, since most of her day's stock had been bought out. One girl could only make so much, after all.
With that, there was only one thing left for me to do in town, and that was talk to Tom about the cost of my house. I headed over to his office, where I was surprised to find the down payment was only 10,000 bells. Sure, it was a lot to me, but nowhere near as expensive as I had feared it would be. It actually didn't take me long to come up with that many bells. The town seemed to be abundant in natural resources. Reese at Re-Tail was happy to buy the fruit and fish I brought to her, along with seashells and bugs. When I had enough, I took the money to Nook, who was delighted that we could move forward so soon. With the material costs covered, he assured me that the construction crew he contracted would have the house built overnight. This seemed fast, but he assured me they did quality work.

After all that, it almost felt like I hadn't slept at all. It was getting late, so I retired my tent to await a new day.

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