Ok, so, when I was a kid, I used to get up to a lot of dumb shenanigans on Club Penguin. I think this was around third or fourth grade; I did a lot of trolly things then. Some of the bans and glitches they had to fix around that time period were because of me and some of my online friends at the time.
We figured out pretty quickly that most of the like, your base-level curse words, y'know the amateur curse words, they’re all BANNED. So we started coming up with more and more inventive ways to express our feelings to the public, so that’s why every once in a while they would roll out an update, and it’s like, “the term ‘bitchbaby’ is now banned”.
And um, what else did I do?
Oh right, so do you know how they had those expansion areas every once in a while? And there would be those little zones and each zone had the same default shop that they copy-and-pasted over.
But there was this one expansion area… it was a cave or mine shaft or something like that. The default shop that they had there, it was Real Glitchy. So I figured out that if you buy seven puffles it gives you some ridiculous number for the price of TWO. So what I did:
I BOUGHT 700 PUFFLES…. And then I gifted them to the other person in the shop whose name I didn’t know and then I waited. And then I forgot about that for, quite a while, and then some time a week later I got a very angry email from said person, with a screenshot of their home, which was floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, just. Fur. And googly eyes. Like you could see nothing else, it was just puffle everywhere. They were rendering in and out of walls, like some of them were just plain feet, it was – it was an abomination.
And apparently once I read the email their main complaint? Not even the fact that I ruined their fucking household! It was the fact that when they opened the client and saw that, it CRASHED. Their Club Penguin client crashed, and when they opened their house and it loaded and there were seven hundred puffles.
I don’t know if you guys know this but puffles, as cute as they look (at least to some people), the sounds they make are not quite as cute. Especially when there’s seven hundred of them layered on top of each other, rendering in and out of walls emitting a sound collectively scary enough to get Lucifer to piss himself.
And yeah. That’s the story of why there’s a limit of 50 puffles that you can buy.
Because today, not matter what else, um, today at least you’re you - no hiding, no lying, just you - and that’s- that’s enough. Maybe someday, everything that happened, maybe it will all feel like a distant memory. Maybe someday, no one will even remember The Connor Project, or me.
But maybe someday, some other kid will be standing here, staring out at the trees, feeling so alone, wondering if maybe the world might look different from all the way up there. Better.
And maybe he’ll start climbing one branch at a time and he’ll keep going - even when it feels like he can’t find another foothold - even when it feels… hopeless. Like every thing is telling him to let go, this time. Maybe this time, he won’t let go.
He’ll hold on. He’ll hold on, and he’ll keep going, keep going till he sees the sun.