Reality TV, Designer Pets, and Fine Dining
rating: +26+x

The world was suddenly full of monsters back then. Even though the world had indeed become a lot harder to understand, it was a pleasant reminder that not everything was as scary as the horrors the SCP Foundation kept locked up. Being able to take your mind off of them by watching a video of a cute and weird animal was a valued comfort, a comfort that the Wilson Center was able to provide.

It started with a simple video of Tim Wilson playing with a blurry dog posted to the group's webpage. The site was relatively obscure, mostly visited by the citizens of Boring, Portlands, and the Site-64 GoI liaison Roger Tarpan. Someone, probably a Deer College anomazoology major, found the video and shared it on social media. Within days it received hundreds of thousands of echoes and found itself mirrored on various websites, eventually reaching mainstream news.

In desperate need for better public relations, the Foundation urged Tim to become a public figure. They wanted him to gush about the Center and how much of an impact the group had on the lives of the animals. They wanted him to do a talk show tour, bringing along the most camera-friendly critters he had to captivate audiences. But most importantly, they wanted him to talk about how none of what he did would be possible without the SCP Foundation.

A few talk shows and events later, the Wilsons and their animals became media darlings. What was once a humble set of buildings and enclosures in a sleepy town a few miles outside of Portlands became a media circus. A couple dozen volunteers became hundreds. Less than ten operating staff members became twenty. The Center grew, and it grew fast, all the while the Foundation was able to soften its image thanks to their association.

Soon enough, the Wilson Center, its employees, volunteers, and animals found themselves the stars of a new reality show: "Wilson's Weird and Wild Critters." It was, of course, funded and produced in large part by the Foundation, ever eager to be seen as an amicable and friendly organization. Many a young zoologist and biologist were born from the sense of wonder and awe they felt when watching Tim and his daughter, Faeowynn, interact with invisible snakes and flame-spitting tarantulas.

All in all, it was a pretty good time to be an anomalous critter I think.

Well, for the most part. With the rise of the anomalous critter community came an interest in their presence within the home. And as one might expect, where there's money to be made, there exist parties chasing said money.

Marshall, Carter, and Dark had been in the business of exotic pets for years. They already owned facilities for breeding their items, which facilitated their plunge into the public market. A few litters of failures and thaumaturgic rituals later, the very first 'Blur-Dog' was registered by the American Kennel Club. A single puppy was available for the price of $20,000, a modest sum considering the exquisite catalog of MCD. A menagerie of other such pets premiered over the years, including fish, cats, pigs, and birds.

The exorbitant prices of these designer anomalous pets created a black market for their sale and creation. No other group was as prevalent in the dealings of exotic designer pets than the shady 'Accelerate the Future.' ATF members were known scammers, con-men, and overall undesirables interested only in turning a quick buck. The animals they sold were often non-anomalous pets marketed as outlandish, and the few that truly were anomalous were unstable and likely a result of shoddy thaumaturgy.

I remember one other group rising to provenance at this time.

They had already been around for some time, and they had a location in Portlands. Ambrose Restaurant, owned by Chaz Ambrose. Without having to worry about the Foundation stopping them from expanding anymore and finding anomalous livestock easier than ever, they blew up. A few locations here and there, then in Europe, then Asia, even Australia. I remember when they were super expensive too, before they turned into the Texas Roadhouse-like joint they are now.

Chaz was everywhere back then. Recipe books, talk shows, cooking shows, etc. He leaned into the whole 'celebrity' thing a bit too hard in my opinion. One hell of a showman, thou- Hmm? What is it?

Why am I telling you this?

I don't know. I just think it's funny how a single tweet of mine all those years ago started… this.

No, I am not shitting you.

Alright, whatever, Norman.


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