This Friday marks the 10th anniversary of The Great Tree’s independence from the hostile takeover of Lord Crump. The heroic Mario Mario, of the famous Mario brothers, teamed up with Pungry to save the Punis as well as the rest of the Boggly Woods from the hands of Crump and the X-Nauts. And for those ten years, the Punis had been living peacefully and simply.
Until the X-Naut infection came back worldwide in a big way this last StarMoon.
The infection started on the moon before somehow teleporting into dirty Rogueport. Since Rogueport has no centralized government and is instead run by two literal mafias, the town had no chance against the infection. And it spread to Twilight Town, Poshley Heights, and even all the way to Fahr Outpost. Of course, Boggly Woods and The Great Tree were no exception, and X-Nauts ran amok in the close-knit Puni community. Infections spread quicker and quicker since the Punis only survived Lord Crump by physically uniting to defeat Jabbis and Piders.
But the Punis are great at following directions. Once the infection was understood to be happening, the Puni Elder decreed Puni Quarantine. In their homes, each Puni got a Puni Orb and a pedestal to place the orb on. Should the want ever come over a Puni to go see a relative or friend, they only had to look at the orb to calm themselves and stay in place. And it has worked great. Forget flattening the curve, the Punis were a shining example to the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom in how to make the numbers drop down to zero.
By mid-StarStarStar, the number of infected Punis was in the single digits while Glitzville was getting thousands of new cases a day. Everything seemed perfect. Until the Puni Elder and shop-owner-turned-governor Pungry announced that it was time to open up The Great Tree. Not just to Punis, but to all immigrants for the economy. It is a mystery (which is the #1 selling item from Pungry’s shop) why the Puni Elder agreed to this, but it is a reality we live in now.
Gone were the Puni Orbs from each house in phase 1. Gone were the adorable masks on the Punis for phase 2. Gone was social distancing, which for Punis was like ten Puni lengths apart in those 6 feet, in phase 3. And within a couple of weeks, X-Nauts came back. Some came from Excess Express passengers, some came from Petalburg, others from Keelhaul Key, and most from the Rogueport Sewers, the most direct route to Boggly Woods. X-Naut infection in CircleCircle went back to its StarMoon levels.
And what does Governor Pungry declare for the 10th anniversary of independence from Lord Crump? That the day of celebration won’t be interrupted by X-Nauts and for the Great Tree to go to phase 4 of re-opening starting today. All shops back to full capacity, not that Pungry’s shop ever stopped before this despite the risk. All restaurants and bars back to full seating. The godawful basketball league, BBA, that we all thought stalled ten years ago will come back to the Boggly Woods with the Rim Rattlers, and no restrictions on seating.
This day of independence will be spent with Punis enjoying their last bit of freedom before X-Nauts infect them all. It is shameful and a disgrace that money influenced leadership in The Great Tree of all places. Here, where the entire population lived in harmony within nature, greed still beats morals. Pungry’s bottom line will become great in the short-term. It’ll be the best numbers ever recorded by any shop in The Great Tree ever. But it won’t compare to Glitzville’s Juice Bar on its worse day. The amount of money Governor Pungry has sacrificed countless Puni lives for totals to less than what one trip on the Excess Express costs.
I hope deeply that most Punis make it out of this self-inflicted terror unscathed, but it goes to show that money has no place in politics. The Puni Elder was made the governing figure initially because the entirety of the Puni population rallied behind her. Now that she has betrayed the Puni trust, it is time to vote her out as soon as possible. Instead, please vote for me… Pungry.