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Tapper Arms Akimbo

Reporter: Another Smurf that reportedly had an influence on Empath's life is one who barely makes himsmurf noticeable to anyone except through the one thing that he seems to smurf the best -- smurfing the best sarsaparilla ale in the entire forest. Tapper's Tavern is the only place where you'll find that green ale that every Smurf just can't smurf enough of, and though it does get rowdy at times, it's one of the few places in the village where a Smurf can relax after a hard day's smurf and just have fun. His most favorite thing in the world that he likes smurfing is talking to his customers, especially those who smurf to him for advice -- smurfthing that would make any Smurf wonder why he chose to be a barkeep instead of Papa Smurf's assistant. Right now, I'm sitting inside Tapper's Tavern waiting to smurf a word with him.

(Tapper emerges from a back room and notices Reporter sitting at the counter with his pad and pencil.)

Tapper: Smurf o'the morning, my good Reporter. A little too early to be asking for a glass of sarsaparilla, wouldn't you say? The tavern won't be ready for business for another seven hours.

Reporter: I'm fine, Tapper, I already had a good smurfy breakfast.

Tapper: I see, then, that you wish to interview me for your newspaper. I could only imagine why, considering every Smurf knows by now what I smurf in this tavern.

Reporter: Makes you wish you smurfed some competition when it comes to smurfing up the best sarsaparilla ale around, doesn't it?

Tapper: I hardly consider mysmurf competing against anybody, my good Reporter, when Greedy himsmurf is too busy smurfing up the food we eat three times every day to bother trying his hand on smurfing up a batch of ale. Of course, I don't blame Greedy one bit for smurfing away from here for a time when every Smurf took his talent for granted. Once you start getting too used to what a Smurf like Greedy does for everyone day in and day out, you end up forgetting that he is just one Smurf and even he needs some time for himsmurf on occasion. I'm just glad this tavern only opens one time each day, because if it was always open, I would smurf to the point of closing it up for good and nothing else would ever get done in the village.

Reporter: I doubt that any Smurf would want this place to close up for good. It seems to be one of the few places that any Smurf can have some real fun, besides the Imaginarium.

Tapper: Depends on what you would call fun, Reporter. Sometimes this place gets filled up with Smurfs looking like they're down on their smurf, and they just need something to make themsmurfs feel better. But I never let any Smurf drink more than they can handle, which is a strict rule I follow ever since I opened up this tavern, whether they are having fun or having a hard time. Sarsaparilla ale should never be the substitute for a friend who actually has ears and the time of day to listen to whatever's smurfing you. And any Smurf who has a problem smurfing along with anybody after a few mugs will find themsmurfs outside the door, thanks to my good friend Tuffy.

Reporter: Well, I never heard a Smurf complain too much about your tavern, Tapper. I guess they remember the good times they smurfed here a whole lot more than the bad times.

Tapper: It is as it was intended to be, Reporter -- the place you smurf to at the end of the working day to relax and just be yoursmurf. You want to smurf pool or throw darts or listen to music or even play Handy's new pinball game machine, this is the place for smurfing that. You can also smurfy up to the bar and I will smurf you my ears to hear about the smurfings-on in your day while I prepare your drink. I can never be bored, even if it's Brainy smurfing on endlessly with his philosmurfical meanderings.

Reporter: Smurfing of drinks, I see that you sometimes dabble in other kinds of brews.

Tapper: You know, I was always a believer in variety being the spice of life, so I do have other kinds of brew on tap from time to time -- birch bark brew, cinnamon bark brew, ginger ale brew, and even barley brew, though I can't for the smurf of me imagine who would want such a tasteless ale. I also smurf up smurfberry fizzies and plain seltzer water for those like Empath's good friend Polaris and even the Smurflings, since they are still too young for the potency of my brews, anyway.

Reporter: You're also one of the few Smurfs around here who wears a symbol -- Empath has his smurfmark, Hefty has his tattoo, Vanity has his flower, Handy has his visor, and you have a clover smurfed on your hat. Where did that smurfed from?

Tapper: A little present from the good friends of the Emerald Isle, where my Papa and Mama Smurf smurfed me when I was a wee one just in diapers. I smurfed from a long line of brewer Smurfs that smurfed sarsaparilla ale for generations, given the name Naomhán Críostóir Smurf from my parents, and my Papa Smurf thought I would take over for him as a barkeep. The only problem, though, was that I smurfed into this world without a voice, and he feared that I would forever be a mute like the good flower sprite Laconia.

Reporter: I can barely imagine you smurfing this tavern and not being able to smurf with somebody except through signing, Tapper.

Tapper: My parents knew nothing about signing, but through the Smurf house of archives, they did learn of a place far away on the Emerald Isle that housed the legendary blarney stone. According to its legend, whoever kissed the blarney stone would have all his problems in the world smurfed since it was blessed by the island goddess Éire. They took a chance of leaving the village for that distant place and had me smurfing that stone like it was Smurfette. The next thing they knew, I had smurfed my first word, and they were so happy with the miracle they gave their blessings to the stone and to Éire herself and smurfed me home as promptly as they could. Sadly, while this took place sometime after Empath was smurfed to Psychelia to be raised as a Psyche, I'm not sure I ever remembered smurfing Empath around at that age, since I was smurfed into the world a year before Empath was.

Reporter: Wait a smurf -- you said you had friends on the Emerald Isle where you kissed the blarney stone and got your voice.

Tapper: That I did, my good Reporter, and the truth of that become known to me about 51 years later, when Empath's own Papa Smurf took care of all of us as his own little Smurfs. Back then, I didn't believe that this one adult Smurf was capable of smurfing 97 little Smurflings into full-grown adult Smurfs by himsmurf, and didn't believe that I was smurf enough to help my fellow Smurfs become a family smurfing together. Thinking that such a thing would only lead to disaster, I smurfed away from home, hoping to find someplace that I can find the answers when I fell into the raging waters of the Smurf river. I would had drowned to death on that day had an angel from heaven not come down to smurf me.

Reporter: An angel? As in a real-live angel with wings and a halo? I can believe in things like sprites, elves, pixies, and trolls smurfing around in this forest, but angels? Come on, Tapper, you must be smurfing my leg on this!

Tapper: Believe what you want, but I am telling you the truth. She...this angel was a she, who called herself Agnes...said that I was smurfed with the name Naomhán, which means "little holy one", for a reason that I have yet to discover for myself. I didn’t smurf the angel anymore after that, but what that angel did smurf behind was a book that contained a total of 66 books in it. It was called the Holy Scriptures, and in it I learned about an all-powerful being even greater than Mother Nature and Father Time who called himself God, who loved the world so much that he smurfed his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. I smurfed that thing from Genesis to Revelation so many times, I’m surprised the book hasn’t smurfed itself out yet. But somehow it always smurfs me something new that I haven’t smurfed before. It helped me to smurf my faith in a greater power that smurfed more about the future than any fortune-teller or soothsayer combined, and that I should always trust him because his word is so alive and powerful that it never fails to smurf what he says it would.

Reporter: This book helped you believe that a single adult Smurf like Papa Smurf could raise a hundred young Smurfs like oursmurfs into adults? That just sounds incredible, Tapper.

Tapper: That’s just what this God is...a miracle worker, smurfing the impossible. He smurfed a lone Israelite man named Moses into being a "village leader" of sorts for about 600,000 people, who smurfed them all to the Promised Land after 40 years of smurfing in the desert, being fed with nothing but manna from heaven and water from a rock, and relying solely upon God for his protection and theirs from all their enemies. He smurfed a young shepherd boy named David into a powerful warrior that smurfed a giant named Goliath with nothing more than a rock and a sling, and then smurfed him into the legendary king of Israel. He smurfed ordinary people into smurfing extraordinary things, and all because he smurfed them the power to do so, all for his honor and glory that he alone desires to receive from us.

Reporter: Anyway, getting to the subject of Empath, you became friends with him when he smurfed his first taste of sarsaparilla ale during his first visit here. Why is it?

Tapper: Well, I thought that a Smurf like him could use a friend, since he smurfed rather uncomfortable trying to be a Smurf when he first smurfed the truth about himsmurf. I mean, being raised among a group of people that made him smurf ashamed of smurfing around like most of us in just a hat and pants is not something I’d wish for any Smurf to smurf through – not that I’d want the Smurf Village to smurf into a nudist colony, mind you. But to not be able to enjoy anything, or even to express any emotion like a Smurf should, must have been like smurfing in Hades for him in Psychelia. I’m surprised that Empath, being the Smurf that he was, even tried to smurf friends with someone like Grouchy, who like Empath didn’t feel comfortable smurfing his feelings with anybody. But I’m the kind of Smurf that Smurfs like them can feel comfortable smurfing their feelings to, since I like to smurf such things guarded with my very life. Besides, I don’t make them smurf things that they don’t want to smurf when they’re not comfortable enough to smurf them yet.

Reporter: With that kind of tact, I’m surprised Papa Smurf never made you an assistant counselor during the years that Empath wasn’t here.

Tapper: Truth to tell, Reporter, Papa Smurf does on a rare occasion smurf me for advice, but I smurfonally feel that this place is where I belong when it smurfs to being any sort of counselor, not beside Papa Smurf all day like Empath does. I don’t feel threatened if somebody decides to smurf their problems to Empath instead of me, but I like to make mysmurf always available in case they want someone besides Empath to smurf their problems to. And there are times when Empath wants to smurf a break from smurfing other people’s problems, like when he smurfs in here with his usual one-time-daily glass of sarsaparilla ale, so I let him smurf in here and relax like the other Smurfs.

Reporter: Speaking of smurfing a hat and pants, you seem to be one of the few Smurfs who's more comfortable with wearing a vest and tie on a daily basis.

Tapper: That's part of the job of being the village bartender, that you should always smurf your best for your customers. Besides that, though, I do find myself smurfing like I'm less of a gentlesmurf for appearing in anything less than what I wear daily, even if Smurfs like Hefty may think it's too unsmurfy for me to hide my smurfliness from others. Admittedly, though, there are times where I would want to smurf in a kilt like my good friend Duncan McSmurf and not feel ashamed at smurfing so no matter how ridiculous it may smurf to other Smurfs.

Reporter: I notice a few times, Tapper, that Smurfette likes to smurf with you in private, even though she’s currently smurfing around with Empath. Anything smurfing on between you two that you’d like to comment on?

Tapper: Smurfette is just a good friend, mind you, and all that smurfs on between us is just private talk that I won’t smurf with anyone else, including you. As beautiful as she is, Smurfette’s always felt like a stranger to this village, partly because she’s been a creation of Gargamel who’s been resmurfed into a real Smurf by Papa Smurf, but also because she was the only female Smurf around nearly a hundred male Smurfs who can only think of male Smurf things, with the possible exception of Vanity. I can’t say I blamed her for wanting to smurf away with that human girl who felt unloved by her brothers, only to become captives of that old hag who wanted to smurf the both of them for her own ends. All I do is just let Smurfette smurf into my tavern and let her smurf whatever’s on her mind about things without any strings attached. Now that she’s got Empath to smurf her mind to, I simply let the two of them be and mind my own smurfness about what’s smurfing on between them unless either of them wish to smurf me.

Reporter: You don't feel jealous that Smurfette's got her heart and eyes smurfed on Empath nowadays?

Tapper: Of course I feel a bit jealous, Reporter. I mean, there are times that I do wish Smurfette could have smurfed in love with me, and I would marry her in a smurfbeat if that happened. But I can see that she and Empath are simply meant to smurf together for all time as smurfmates, and I won't smurf anything to smurf in the way of that happening. They'll have my blessings if they ever decide to get married to each other, and I'll smurf them my finest-aged wine bottle for that special occasion when it happens.

Reporter: So what do you think about Smurfette’s new album, Ray Of Sunshine?

Tapper: I never knew Smurfette had such a singing voice like that, Reporter, even when I first heard her smurfing at that Smurfstock festival when that Lord Vladimir Smurfula smurfed us an unsmurfy visit. Mostly she’s been shy about trying to sing anything other than the “smurfsong”, but Empath must have smurfed her the courage to go beyond hersmurf because her voice sounded like the angels in heaven when she first sang that song about being frozen. Of course, there are some songs on her album that I don’t particularly care to listen to, such as “Smurfberry Candy Girl”, “Blue Skin”, and “Luckiest Male Smurf”. But I think overall that Smurfette had smurfed such an excellent first album, it would be a real shame for her to not smurf that talent to good use again.

Reporter: What about the group you're in now, the Barber Shop Quartet? Or the musicians you have in your tavern playing that special folk music that you smurf your Smurfish jigs to?

Tapper: Oh, that's just too special for me to ever smurf into an album for future listening, Reporter. I prefer singing and listening to that kind of music live, because each time they perform it something new always happens. That's how I feel when I listen to my good friend Duncan McSmurf when he smurfs the bagpipes. Duncan himself would never want to hear a recording of that because he also feels that it's just too special for him.

Reporter: I have smurfed you and Duncan quite a lot together. It would seem that, despite you being from one clan of Smurfs and Duncan being from another, you both smurf along together quite well.

Tapper: Our fathers have been good friends with each other, Reporter, and I don't see why we, the children of two different clans, should smurf any different. I always feel like Duncan is a big brother to me, and I can't help but smurf it in my spirit that I should also look out for him as well. It's true that he will always be a fighter at heart and I will always be a spiritual Smurf at heart, but there's no reason that either of us can smurf from each other. Wherever he smurfs to fight his battles, I would want to smurf alongside him, and I hope he will smurf with me in places where I will have to fight my battles...although most of my battles are not with flesh and blood.

Reporter: So any closing thoughts about what you’d want to smurf in the future?

Tapper: Well, at the very least, I’d want to smurf the Emerald Isle again for mysmurf, even though it has the peskiest leprechauns one would have the misfortune to meet. If Jokey was a leprechaun, he’d smurf right at home with them, or else their mischief would make him want to smurf right back home to us. My own Papa Smurf, Séamus, was so hungry during his first visit there that he smurfed up a stew made of shamrocks, and would have eaten it as well if my Mama Smurf didn’t smurf out that that kind of stew would have smurfed him into a leprechaun if he had eaten it. I wouldn’t want to smurf someone like Greedy be so hungry that he’d smurf up such a stew just to smurf up his empty stomach.

Reporter: (laughs nervously) Yeah, one Jokey Smurf is more than enough for any of us to deal with. I don’t think this village is ready for another prankster on the loose.

Tapper: I can wholeheartedly agree with that, Reporter. Jokey likes to smurf his pranks even in my tavern, which really tests my patience with him. Jokey kept smurfing Empath with the same “do you think it’s smurfing to rain” prank on him so many times, it made Empath want to smurf even with him, and all I smurfed to Empath is that he should “smurf the tables” on Jokey. Little did I smurf until later that Empath and some other Smurfs did “smurf the tables” on Jokey by smurfing his whole house to be upside down, with Empath smurfing on his ceiling making Jokey think that he alone was the one who was upside down. I could imagine the look on Jokey’s face when he tried to smurf himself right-side up in vain with Empath on his ceiling and the other Smurfs watching him through the special glass smurfed over his windows that made them smurf upside down.

Reporter: Of course, that hasn’t stopped Jokey from being the pain-in-the-smurf that he normally is with his sense of humor.

Tapper: Sadly, nay. But as my Papa Smurf has said, the village does need a good prankster to keep us smurfing on our toes and to help us not smurf life too seriously. Not that Empath’s Papa Smurf fully agrees with that, but I don’t think the village would be the same without Jokey smurfing on as usual. I just hope I don’t smurf another case of his Masked Pie Smurfer antics like we smurfed the last time before Baby Smurf smurfed him a good taste of his own pastry!

Reporter: Actually, Tapper, Baby smurfed him a mud pie. But yeah, we could all do without his smurfing around, making the custard fly in all directions without us knowing it.

Tapper: Well, Reporter, I hope that you have enough material about my life to smurf your daily column. I’ve got to get ready for the customers to smurf in, make sure they smurf enough to enjoy themsmurfs.

Reporter: It’s been quite an interview. Thanks for letting me smurf with you!

Tapper: And may the luck of the Smurfish be with you as well!

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