I had never played an Animal Crossing game before March. The idea of slowly building a town on an island filled with animals sounded sort of tedious. In the precious few hours I had for video games, I typically wanted a little more razzle dazzle for my money. But quarantine changed everything. Suddenly, I had nothing but time on my hands and now my Animal Crossing island has become a literal and figurative oasis from the anxiety of everyday life. I eat, sleep, and breathe the island of Grumtown and I live for whatever these dumb little critters are up to. I hold deep personal opinions of all of them.
I chalk some of this up to the fact that I have not seen even one of my friends in a social setting in nearly two months. But while the game allows for an incredible amount of customization and features many different activities, it refuses to let you get drunk with your animal neighbors. So, to sate those who, like me, need to know what it would be like to get wasted with Tom Nook, I present this investigative look into drinking with the creatures that call my humble island home.
Tom Nook is the tanuki that started it all. He brought you to the island. He gave you a tent to sleep in, and then he proceeded to place you in debt after debt after debt until you’d single handedly done all the work of turning an uninhabited island into a bustling tropical paradise. Tom surely doesn’t see it this way. His island is essential to all the work you’ve done—you couldn’t have built him a paradise without it. Tom Nook acts like you’re friends, and for a moment you would think that maybe you are. You’d grab a couple beers like equals. Tom’s not a fancy man and he doesn’t feel the need to impress. He drinks the cheap stuff. Maybe cajoles you into a shot toward the end of the night to build camaraderie. He’d pick up the tab graciously and you’d think to yourself “Maybe he’s not so bad. Maybe you CAN be friends with your boss” until the next day when you see that your half of the bill, including the shot he practically begged you to take, has been added to your outstanding debt total.
I cannot stress enough how much fun it would be to get absolutely shredded with Bones.”
Blathers, the neurotic but loveable owl who curates your island’s museum, would not be easy to get a drink with. “C’mon man,” you’d say, “you’re nocturnal and the night is young” but he’d rebuff you for a bit, saying that he needed to wait around in case anyone came by to drop off a fossil for assessment. You’d remind him that YOU are the only one who ever does that. He’d eventually relent and your great reward would be listening to him go on about various bugs and dinosaurs, seemingly plastered off of half a glass of white wine. The next day he would apologize to you several times despite having done or said absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.
Bones is just a regular villager. He’s a little dog that likes keeping things positive. I cannot stress enough how much fun it would be to get absolutely shredded with Bones. After two light beers, Bones would get a little loose and share the first negative opinion you’ve ever heard him express. It would be a perfectly justified and incredibly mild complaint about the way his neighbor organizes her plants. He would feel bad about it for a bit but ultimately be very glad that the two of you shared such a nice evening.
Hippeux, a vile social-climber hippo with nothing to offer and everything to prove, would immediately embarrass himself by trying to order absinthe at what is clearly Not That Type of Bar. When the bartender politely tells him to die in a fire, Hippeux would still take the opportunity to talk to you about absinthes he has tried in the past. He would probe you for any possible social uses: a cool job, maybe a famous friend or relative, and when he finds that you can’t help him in his vaguely articulated quest for fame, his eyes would go blank as you see him in real time beginning to plan his exit so that he can go home and listen to jazz records.
Moose is the type of guy who makes weird, familiar jokes with the bartender and thinks that she’s going along with them out of anything other than a professionally mandated baseline of politeness.”
Drinking with Moose is hell. He opens the night with a Long Island Iced Tea to “get himself on the level” and doesn’t take a single breather until the end of the night. He’s the type of guy who makes weird, familiar jokes with the bartender and thinks that she’s going along with them out of anything other than a professionally mandated baseline of politeness. Moose nearly gets into a fight with a guy for “bumping him” and despite being completely uninvolved, he nearly drags you along with him. You are asked to leave the bar and you oblige readily, knowing that if you stayed for even two more seconds this stupid meatheaded mouse would find a way to get you both killed in a bar fight or by well liquor. He crashes on your couch for some reason you don’t fully understand and you wake up to find that he’s eaten leftovers from your fridge. You politely ask him to leave your island forever that afternoon.
Zipper is thrilled to be invited out into a social setting. After his disastrous “Bunny Day” celebration, he was promptly forgotten. He’s taken the time since to focus on himself and not get so hung up on the opinions of other people. You find yourself pleasantly surprised that he loosens up after a few beers and behaves more or less like a normal, if somewhat odd, person (rabbit). Zipper likes to do nice things for people, he’s just bad at it. He picks up the tab at the end of the night, and apologizes for hiding eggs in the ground, trees, water, and sky.
You’re shocked when KK Slider, seemingly the only famous person in the animal crossing universe, accepts your invitation. At first, he seems chill. He tells you again how cool your island is and how great it is to be there, but he leans a little too heavily into it. It’s like listening to an actor who’s about to star in a movie about the Midwest talking about “rural america” and how “complex” it is. It feels like he’s overcompensating to hide the fact that he has been in much, much nicer places than this. After a couple hours you realize that you haven’t really been able to get a word in edgewise. It’s been the KK show all night. A fan approaches him for an autograph and he obliges with a laugh. He flirts a little too heavily for someone who’s married and you feel a little bit of disgust in the pit of your stomach. What an ugly thing it can be to have heroes.