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My Animal Crossing bulletin board is a battleground

Look away, innocent villagers, this is not for your eyes

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons - one player watches their friend check the village bulletin board. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

When my husband and I moved out of our parents’ homes for the first time, we signed the lease on a two-bedroom apartment. It was an excellent time; we learned to cook, worked out chores, and purchased a giant communal whiteboard that we swore would exclusively be for important communications. Within a week, we had resorted to just drawing dongs and swear words over it.

At first, the dry-erase board was a source of much merriment and joy in the apartment. Everyone, including our roommates, chuckled at the jests and japes we scrawled over its surface.

That is, until week two, when my brother walked into the kitchen and found me at the whiteboard, with a marker in one hand and a phone in the other. I was looking up an anatomy diagram and very carefully shading a taint. I’m told my tongue was sticking out and my brow was furrowed in true concentration.

“Hey, Cass, can I talk to you for a second?” he asked, and the resulting polite conversation brought our terrible activities to a close once and for all. That is, until seven years later, when I purchased Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Tom Nook, the fool, has purchased his own big ol’ bulletin board and put it in the town square, and me and my husband have immediately made him regret that by turning it into a makeshift battleground.

Things started innocently enough. My husband Aaron pitched his tent on our island of Harga, but he immediately abandoned the fledgling town to go play Doom Eternal like a coward. This gave me the run of things. I tried to set a standard of polite, clear communication.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - a bulletin board reads “Hamlet, thank you for your gift of one (1) iron nugget towards the new store. Aaron, Shari, you’re on thin fucking ice.) Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

While Aaron lollygagged about fighting Marauders and saving Earth, I went ahead and got the island set up. I built our Nook’s Cranny shop with my own iron ore, sweat, and tears. Iron nuggets are a very rare resource in the early game, and if a player isn’t sure how to collect 30 iron nuggets for their store, it can be a bottleneck for progress. (It took, like, four Nook Miles Tickets to travel enough get all those nuggets ASAP.)

I lured the Able Sisters to our island with repeated clothing purchases. I traveled around the world, getting all the fruit we could ever dream of eating. It’s cool. It’s not like I resented this or anything.

Aaron, for his part, is much more of a visual thinker. When he eventually beat Doom and joined me on my island adventures, he started drawing increasingly grotesque depictions of his own face. He’s since deleted many of them, due to shame, and because he drew his dick hanging out and I didn’t want people who come to my island to have to see his loving rendition of his own balls. But a few gems remain on our board as his legacy.

For instance, there was the time I told him that I would not hook him up with the vast network of colleagues and friends who provide me with the highest turnip prices throughout the week. The stalk market is serious business, so Aaron left me these messages to find the morning after my joking threat.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - a picture of a grinning man, saying “I’m gonna be rich!” posted on the island bulletin board. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - a picture of a man weeping at a sudden downturn in his turnip stonks on an island message board Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

For my own part, I like to keep Aaron on his toes by switching things up. I left a sweet, toothless note on the board and waited for him to notice and thank me. Then, I followed up with an ominous zinger.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - a handdrawn note with “I love you” and hearts on a community bulletin board Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - a message board notice that reads “disregard my last posting. it wes weak” Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

I’m pretty sure no one else on the island likes this. Half the time when I talk to the villagers, they’re mentioning how cool Aaron is, and how much he can probably bench press. I think they’re trying to forge a stronger relationship between us, so they’re not confronted by this stuff every time they go see if someone’s birthday is coming up.

Too bad! Running up to the bulletin board and seeing the little bird perched on top is one of the highlights of my day, as it means my loving husband has left a little bon mot for me. It’s a very unique expression of love that harkens back to our earliest days together. Yes, our bulletin board postings can get a little strange. I’m very sorry to everyone who has witnessed them in the past, present, or future.

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