February 16, 2006

Chapter 6d: Carla without a K

Carla without a K

When we left our lovelorn heir last chapter, his dear sister was telling him that she could set him up with her friend Carla. Figuring that any friend of Salina's couldn't be too bad, I gave her the go ahead to invite her over.

Besides, after Jane's FBP last chapter, what more could go wrong?

And as always, the thumbnail pics pop to larger images

Er, maybe we shouldn't have been waving the "what could go wrong" red flag in front of the bull known as Fate. Salina, you didn't tell us that your friend is also known as Contessa Carla. Where'd you meet her, anyway?

"I wuz out dancin' with... ah... Phemey's brother at that Crypt nightclub. We started talkin' while waitin' fer a turn in the dancin' sphere."

I see. So you were cheating on your fiancée with your future brother-in-law when you met a vampire.

"Hey, she's real nice an' I think she 'n Clevey wuld have fun tagither."

I don't know. She's, well, a vampire. You know, all that turning into bats and spontaneously combusting in sunlight sorta stuff.

"Excuse me Keth, but this is my date and Lina set it up for me. I'm not going to hurt my sister by turning down her friend. Besides, Carla is kind of pretty."

Fine, fine. Date away. I won't stop you then.

So, after a bit of chatting, Cleveland asked Carla out on a date and they headed down to the Crypt O' Night club (where else would you take a vampire?). They're actually hitting it off fairly well so far, but we're still a bit early in the date to tell. Cleveland got along okay with the plant chick and even with the evil Jane at the start of the date. Let's see how dinner goes.

"Before you ask, yes my mother does do the 'Grill of the Golden West' show for the Yummy Channel. And don't even get me started on her 'Unified Grilled Cheese Theory'. Between her theories and my father's belief that noodlesoothers are trying to conquer the world..."

"If your father has seen the truth behind Baron Noodle, Lord of the Noodlehootchies, he is truly a wise man. It would be interesting to meet such an extraordinary person; he must be as fascinating as his son."

"Ah... well... er..."

Oh my my... Carla's rendered Cleveland speechless. That's a first. And it would seem that Waylon's delusions about the noodlehootchie may not be too far off base. (or would that be 'secret base'?)

Oh, and a question to anyone who regularly plays the Crypt O' Night club. Do you have problems with the outdoor tables with the candles (the ones that Cleveland and Carla are at)? Anytime my sims are seated at them, when the waiter delivers the food it disappears off the table. I don't know if it’s an issue with the candles taking up too much on the table or if the table doesn't work right in a downtown setting. I've been slowly replacing them in all my downtown neighborhoods (when I remember to, that is)

So, as a total surprise to me, these two are hitting it off great. Lots of spontaneous stuff (joking, congratulating, even some flirting) and a little snuggly in the photo booth (no woohoo, but romantic pictures). I'm just not understanding it. All the downtown special NPCs are pleasure sims, so there's no aspiration attraction between the two.

"...so the octopus gets up on all eight legs, walks around the bagpipes a couple of times, and jumps on it. Then he walks around it a couple more times and jumps up and down on it a few more times. The bartender says, 'There I knew I could find an instrument he couldn't play.' The Guy replies 'Now just wait a minute He'll play it just as soon as he figures out he can't WooHoo with it.'"

"You say your brother told you this joke? I'd love to meet him. He has a wicked sense of humour, just like you."

Cleveland, are you blushing?

Before the date ran out, I decided to have Cleveland ask Carla what turns her on, to try to figure out what was sparking the attraction between the two. I wasn't too terribly surprised to find out that red hair gets her all hot and bothered, but Cleveland's turn off is vampirism. Whatever strange chemistry these have two paid off though as the night wrapped up with a dream date with them both seriously crushing on each other.

Oh, and I love that pose of Cleveland's. Outgoing sims, ya gotta love 'em. They have no shame.

Do you know the scary thing about this shot? Yeah, I know Nervous can make some scary faces at times, but that's not it. No, it's the fact that one of the guys I used to work with at Bank One danced the exact same way. Same facial expression, same 'white man's overbite'. Now that I think about it, slap a pair of glasses (and a different haircut) on Nervous and you'd have my former coworker. *shudder*

So, like I said, Cleveland and Carla's first date ended in a dream and it seems to me that she knows the way to a knowledge sim's heart. She left him a telescope as a gift (yay, more opportunities to peep on Vidcund!) He kept spinning up wants to do things with Carla, so I sent 'em back downtown for another date. I wasn't too surprised when they started smooching after the taxi drove away.

I was, however, a little surprised when she used her vampire mojo on him. I thought vamps found sims with high logic harder to put the bite on. Cleveland's logic is maxxed, so I figured it'd be a while before Carla tried to fang him, not the second date.

Poor guy. He falls in love; she zaps him with the purple eye rays. He's still so ga-ga over falling in love that he probably thinks the pretty colors and funny feeling are all part of the process.

Ooo. Owww. Carla, I don't think his body is supposed to bend like that.

Alright, which one of you out there was thinking "Damn, he's flexible" ? My Simmy Sense was tingling.

Nice hang time Cleveland. Have you considered a career in the SBA (Sim Basketball Association)? Their games are mostly at night, so it wouldn't cramp your new vampy lifestyle.

And the gratuitous post-embrace "bleh"

I'm not sure if I like the cyan blue of alien vampires. They look like they've been hanging out in sub-zero temperatures for too long.

Aw hon, don't look at me like that. I didn't plan this.

"This wouldn't have happened if you had stuck to your 'no more blind dates' ruling."

She was Salina's friend. How was I to know she was one of the undead?

"Isn't that part of your job as my controller, plumbob deity, mouse matron..."

That would be 'mouse mistress'. I'm not married. And you guys have free will for a reason... so unplanned things like this can happen.

"So un 'unplan' it."

Nah, let's run with this for a while. Besides, you'll go into aspiration failure if I cure you right now.

I don't know what kinky topic Carla was talking about here, but Cleveland is having none of it. I never expected Texas to have raised such a stodgy and prudish heir.

Um, Cleveland, you're a vampire now. Standing out in the sun is bad, mmmmKay?

"But we have finals this morning."

Then you are you doing standing there? Run. Run!

I'll admit it. I cheat and synchronize everyone's college clock so they have their finals at the same time. I have enough trouble making sure everyone gets to their classes and does their home work/reports in time. As it is, Kasson still nearly missed his final; his cereal is going to be awfully soggy when he quits whining about being hungry and goes back to finish it.

And Cleveland, what did I tell you about being out in the sun?

"Evil Daystar! It burns!"

Bah. Get inside, the lot of ya.

Apparently becoming a vampire does not increase a sim's common sense. He's slowly developing a terminal sunburn, but does our heir head into the house? No, he parks himself behind the telescope to peep on the mad poker.

"I like my telescope. It was a date gift from Carla, back when she was nice and hadn't turned me into a bloodsucking monster yet."

Bitter, Cleveland?

"I don't care if you are my father's best friend. In the future, I'd suggest thinking twice before high-tailing it over to campus to push people around. Otherwise next time I'll be doing more than just shoving you."

Woo! You tell 'em Cleveland. Boy, Vidcund really has you steamed today... oh, wait... that's smoke from the terminal sunburn you've got going on right now.

Yeah, he's either bitter or pissed (and I don't mean the drunk kind of pissed).

Now that Cleveland's been vampirized, 'food face' happens even more frequently at the kitchen table, much to my delight.

See what I mean. Maybe I should invest in a coffin.

"Kasson sweetie, I'm a little concerned about Cleveland."

*munch munch* "Why's that Phemey?"

"His table manners never used to be this bad until he started hanging around with that Carla woman."

"Are you done sayin' my friend's caused him ta stop being po-lite an' genteel?"

"Oh no Lina, I'm just making an observation. It's just that it seems like he's changed since they started going out."

"Well of course he's different now. He's a vampire. Didn't you guys notice Carla's fangs when she was here?"

"Cirrus, did we ask you for your opinion?"

"Hey!" *glare* "Seriously, how could you not notice? Kasson, you noticed, didn't you?"

*munch munch*

"Aw, that's okay punkin. I 'preciate you tryin' ta figger out whut's wrong wif Clevey. I think he's just done wore himself out wif all his senior projects and datin' Carla and what all."

Okay, so I bought Cleveland a coffin (a nice tealy green one to go with his complexion) Somehow, though, watching a vampire dressed in flannel pjs covered with sheep rise from a coffin fails to invoke a sense of terror. A fit of mad laughter, yes. Terror? Not so much.

Gratuitous Fang Shot.
See what I mean about the complexion? It's unnatural (like being an alien vampire is) Still, he does makes a cute vampire.

Don't ask what he's cheering about. I'm not sure we want to know.

Oooo, I found a new autonomous action that can cause me to dissolve into the giggle-fits.

Cleveland and Kasson are the Primp Kings, only now that Cleveland is a vamp he doesn't cast a reflection. So he'll get mad, 'bleh' the mirror, and then five minutes later try to primp again.

Oh, and the miasma about him? No, he's not burning up. He was out using the telescope during the daytime again and ran his hygiene into the ground. Do they ever learn?

Cleveland's aspiration was starting to tank because all his wants were focused around biting people (and all his fears around passing out, which was happening a lot). He wanted to chomp a relative and... well... Kasson had night class.

After she recovered from her little breakdown, we called the gypsy for a little vamprocillin, bought Salina some foliage, and sent her upstairs for a little make out session with Cirrus. She was all better by the next morning, but Cirrus really really wants to be a vampire now.

Synchronized Smustling. Always a hit at toga parties. Phemey's expression (and the expression of the gal behind her) is just priceless. Maybe I need to send her back to the secret society to tweak those eyes just a little more.

End of semester is drawing to a close, and Kasson wants to throw parties left and right. Phemey's dad Eugene was wandering by at the time, so I had her drag him in as Kasson invited over a couple friends. Cleveland had been spinning up wants to do stuff with Carla again, so we invited her too, to help keep him in the green. I think Cleveland has a perma-fear of passing out now. *chuckle*

Carla, however, appears to not have any wants to do things with Cleveland. Having chomped one Holldum son, she seems to think the other one looks delightfully nummy.

"Yo Carla you're, like, datin' my brother. It ain't right for you to be puttin' the moves on me. Even if you weren't datin' him, I wouldn't like be interested in you. You're one seriously creepy lady."

Someone doesn't like taking "No" for an answer.

"Foolish child. How dare you turn your nose to me? Am I not il contessa della notte? Bleh I say to you. Bleh bleh."

Eugene wasn't about to sit around and let some undead hussy push his future son-in-law around. Unfortunately, he found out that Carla gives as well as she gets.

"Hey! You poked me in the chest!"

Better than a boot to the head Eugene.

Meanwhile, Kasson has retreated to the corner to cry like a little girl.

But it seems that Eugene's confrontation of Carla was just a delaying tactic, to give Cleveland time to get over and give her a piece of his mind. Still, this seems like an awfully strong reaction; why waste good alcohol just to make a statement?

Oh stop with the waterworks Carla. You were never in love with Cleveland; I only ever saw the little floaty hearts from him. Yeah, you may have been sweet on him but...

"Quiet! You do not understand how lonely it is, being il contessa della notte. Cleveland and I, there was potential for a deep relationship and..." *sob*

And you blew it by trying to put the make on his brother. Be thankful it wasn't holy water he tossed at you.

And, when it's all said and done, tears shed and eyes dried, there's lots of furious going around.

Carla is seriously cheesed at Cleveland, because he and everyone else (and their dog) caught her coming on to Kasson...

Cleveland is furious with Carla for cheating on him, even though she was never in love with him...

And... well... Eugene somehow hates himself. WTF?

Is he going to steal his own newspaper when he gets back to Strangetown?

The only people who didn't end up furious with someone else were Kasson and Phemey.

"She blehed me babe. That's, like, sooo creepy."

"That's okay sweetie. I'm here for you."

"She tried to come on to me too, before she put the bleh on me."

"I know love. She's a nasty lady. What does Cleveland see in her?"

Well, Euphemia, I don't think he sees much in her at all right now.

And that wraps up another chapter of excitement from Cham Annya Hoh. On the plus side, Cleveland and Kasson have both graduated (summa cum laude, of course) and are getting ready to throw one heck of a graduation party. On the down side, Carla keeps trying to steal the house newspaper (she gets about halfway to the mailbox before she flees from the sun)

What does the future hold for our heir? Will he find happiness with his red headed delivery babe or will he continue to mourn his lost Carla (or even try to get back with her?) Will Kasson ever get his bubbleblower?

"Babe! You promised!!"


Because of my little crash issue, I have to replay and rescreenshot Chapter 7. Depending on how events go (like I told Cleveland, they have free will for a reason *grin*) it may go really quickly or drag on and on. Of course, if they're really boring I may have to 'influence' a few things to happen (any suggestions? *evil grin*)

Any last words Cleveland?

"Are you going to leave me like this?"

What, standing in the middle of the kitchen? That might be nice; you're really easy on the eyes.

"No, as a vampire."

I don't know. You've got two perma-fears right now: pass out and be cured. I really don't want to see you gibbering on the floor if I cure you. We'll have to see what the next chapter brings.

So Onward! to Chapter 7: The Boys are Back in Town

Onward to Chapter 7: The Boys are Back in Town
Back to Chapter 6c: 3 Dates for Brother Cleveland


February 12, 2006

Chapter 6c: Three Dates...

3 Dates for Brother Cleveland

Ah, the 3 divas of Strangetown. I caught these three plotting away behind the bar, no doubt trying to figure out how to divvy up the dateable population of Strangetown. They'll be able to do it too, since 3 is a magic number (at least, that's what Schoolhouse Rock taught us) What, you don't believe that "3" has that sort of power? Haven't you ever noticed how things happen in 3s? Celebrity breakups, the deaths of famous people, good trilogies in books and movies. The number 3 appears in many religions and spiritual paths also (maiden, mother, crone; father, son, holy spirit; ray, peter, egon) Not to be left out, things tend to happen in 3s for the Holldums too (3 kids in college... you see the pattern). So join us now for the next installment of their saga: Three Mules for Sister Sara*... er Three Dates for Brother Cleveland.

* Yes, I know it's actually Two Mules for Sister Sara. Work with me here *chuckle* Oh, and the pictures should pop to a new window if you do the clicky thing on 'em. Tell me if they don't.

At the moment, however, only two of the college-bound Holldums are feeling 'magical' in any way. The other is feeling just a little frustrated.

"One date, that's all I ask for. Just one date."

I told you Cleveland, I've got a hot red head waiting in the wings for you when you get home.

"But… it's a whole year before I graduate. I have to put with this until then? Maybe I should just drop out and become a monk."

Oh all right. Go give the matchmaker a call then, 'Brother Cleveland'. Don't say I didn't warn you though.

"Matchmaker! Make me a match! Er… ah… sorry… Hello, this is Cleveland Holldum over at Cham Annya Hoh. I'd like to set up a blind date please. Yes, I'll hold…"

"That was fast. It seems like I was just on the phone"

"The dispatcher, she gets testy if we are late to our appointments."

"Ah, I see. So… how does this blind date process happen?"

"Before I can peer through the clouds of my crystal ball and summon your partner, you must first cross my palm with silver."

"Silver? Well, Maxis hasn't made a pet expansion yet so we don't have any horses. I think Keth can download some from MTS2 though, if you can wait."

"No no, silver like the coin of the realm. Money can clear the crystal's haze."

"Oh well why didn't you say so?"

"Here's the change I had saved up to use for laundry over at Duds n Suds later tonight. Plenty of silver there."

"You sure ain't expecting a lot, are ya boy?"


"And Behold! The clouds part and Fate summons your ideal date to appear before you."


Oh by the hundred little gods… someone hold me, I'm scared.

Somehow the twisted little Maxisian algorithms have decided upon Bella Goth as Cleveland's blind date. Of course, what did you expect for pocket change? I'll admit, after quoting The Roomie's license plate I put the game on hold and giggled like an insane schoolgirl for five minutes before I was able to resume playing.

You're giggling now too, aren't you? It's okay… we'll wait.

*tap* *tap* *tap*

Composed yourself? Okay, lets get this show back on the road.

"Your date, the lovely Bella, is a woman with a secret, just waiting for the right man to discover it. She is so lost, so alone…"

So… married. Run Cleveland, run now. She's not lost and alone, she's amnesiac and has fidelity issues. She may have the looks, but she is not what you want in a date.

"Thank you so much for arranging this, matchmaker. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to call the taxi to take us downtown now."

I'm warning you Cleveland, this will not end well.

What did I say? No sooner had the exhaust fumes drifted away then Bella was telling poor Cleveland to talk to the hand. He didn't even have a chance to invite her in to dinner.

"No, I don't want to hear any more about the 'Fates arranging it' Listen, I like my men tall, dark, and handsome not… green. Yecch."

"But… the gypsy matchmaker…"

I'm sorry Cleveland, but she wants nothing to do with you. If we listen to rumor she was abducted by aliens and, well, you and the aliens have a lot in common, looks-wise. Besides, looking at her past relationships it's obvious she wasn't lying; Bella likes her men dark with facial hair. She's also quite married, as many people in Pleasantville will tell you. You might be a knowledge sim now, but you've got enough family aspiration sensibilities left over to know dating a married woman is rather wrong.

Go give the taxi a call and head on back to the house. Against my better judgment, I'll even let you ring up the matchmaker again and give this blind date thing another try.

"But the gypsy said her crystal ball showed Bella as my perfect match."

Er, I have my doubts about that. When you call again, you might want to give a little extra so she can buy some Windex to defog her ball.

"Hello, Matchmaker? Yes, this is Cleveland Holldum again. That last date didn't work out too well and I was wondering… Yes, I understand that you don't offer refunds…. No no I wanted to request another date…. Yes, I'll hold again."

"Thanks for coming back out right away. I know your crystal ball seemed to show Bella as a good match, but she really had no interest at me at all. It seems she has an issue with the color green. Keth said that maybe your crystal ball was dirty and that was causing some foul ups with identifying my perfect date."

"My crystal ball, it has never been more clean."

"Well, just in case it is a little dirty, I'm offering a little something extra to cover a bottle or two of Windex. Here's the money my sister Lina has been stashing in her underwear drawer. She's been making a killing selling paintings lately."

"Perhaps the crystal ball has been a bit smudgy of late."

"Can I make one small request? Bella and I really had nothing in common. I was hoping that the crystal ball might find me someone whom I was actually friends with… or someone I could make friends with easily."

"Friends? You want to be friends with your date? From the money you have been offering, the crystal ball thought you were one of those pleasure sims wanting to date 50 different people."

"The crystal ball has spoken. It has found you a match with a woman whom you know."

Er… yeah… well, Cleveland does know her, in a sense. She's the gardener who comes around to tidy up the shrubs when they start looking a little shaggy. I'm not sure if she exactly date material tho. Heck, I'm not sure if Cleveland even knows her name (I certainly don't recall it off the top of my head).

"So… ah… I noticed you requested 'no vegetables' with your dinner. Do you have an allergy to them?"

"I'm a plants-rights activist."

"So you're like a druid? Do you worship trees and bushes and such?"

"I'm a member of PAETP -- People Against the Eating of Tasty Plants."

"How do you know they're tasty if you don't eat them?"

"Many of us remember their flavour from when we still dined on our vegetative brethren."

"Do you eat mushrooms still, or are they also off limits?"

"Do not mention those poseurs. Fungi. Hmmmph!"

"Er, alright. But you're a gardener. Doesn't that conflict with your 'plants' rights' views?"

"I am like a doctor for plants. Without me their lives would be miserable."

Cleveland, why are you scooting your chair down to the end of the table?

Needless to say, after the whole PAETA thing, the date started heading downhill fast. With a last minute rally Cleveland was able to at least bring it up to "good" but let's face it, the relationship was doomed from the start.

"Tell me the truth. You only wanted to go out with me because I'm green."

"Well, I did find your chlorophyllic complexion rather attractive, but after watching you consume an entire serving of lima beans I am convinced you have no compassion for our vegetable brethren."

"But you'll still come over to the house to trim the hedges, right?"

"Hello, Matchmakers R Us? That last date didn't work out well either, and I was wondering… This one was only dating me because I was green… No, no she didn't have some 'strange alien fetish'… She's some sort of plant activist…. Wow, no I didn't know the garden and nursery center next door to you was fire bombed last night…. No, I don't think it was my date; we had a good time. We just didn't 'click'…. I just don't understand how some people can be so lucky and get set up with good dates…. What's that?.... Money talks?.... Well, I took both my dates to a nice restau…Ohhhhh.... I understand…. Money has to talk before the date…. Well I did just get my scholarship money for the second semester, as did my brother and his girlfriend. Plus my sister still has some money stashed in her underwear drawer…. Yes, it's about that much… Yes, I'll hold…. "

They say the third time's a charm, don't they Cleveland? Let's cross our fingers here.

"Are you sure this is a crystal ball? It looks more like one of those globes where the lightning arcs inside when you touch it, except there's no smell of ozone."

"Do not touch the crystal ball. I just buffed it and you shall get sticky fingerprints all over it."

Hey, a sim I actually know. She's Jane Stacks from over at Sim State University. There may actually be some potential here Cleveland. You're both young adults in college. Jane's not part of the sorority at SSU, but she's got roommates so you've got that 'living with other people' thing in common too. Quick, call the taxi and head downtown to dinner. We may get a dream date out of all these attempts yet.

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. This does not bode well. Cleveland's called the taxi, but Jane seems more interested in Kasson than our heir. Cleveland, if you can't hustle her outside to wait for the taxi before she gets sucked into the poker table (it's killed before you know), maybe you can still catch the gypsy and get a refund.

Cleveland fortunately was able to shuffle Jane out the door and into the taxi before the poker table ate her (and before she ruined the date by hitting on Kasson). Dinner at Crypt O' Night, however, was a disaster. I finally gave up trying to any sort of date progress as the table and figured that a turn on the dance floor might do something to save the date. No dice. The increasingly rude Jane had no interest in dancing, and Cleveland promptly made a bee-line to the dance sphere.

Notice who has joined Jane in glaring balefully at Cleveland? No, not the lounge lizard (who appears more interested in Jane's vast tracks o' land) Yep, failed date #1 Bella. You just know she's snarking Cleveland to Jane.

Jane apparently took to heart whatever Bella told her. *sigh*

After getting tossed out of the sphere, our OCD heir decided he was going to bus the tables just at the timer on the date was running out. With Bella's words no doubt still ringing in her ears, Jane delivered the "bad date" smackdown. Only one thing can come from this…

That's right. The Flaming Bag of Poo (FBP).

Out of curiosity after the date, I checked Jane's relationships. With the exception of the sims that Maxis gave her relationships with, Jane has a negative score with everyone she's met on her own. She's enemies with Cleveland now.

I wonder… will the FBP burn the deck? Should I call the fire department? If I move it inside, will it set off the smoke alarm?

Probably safer not to find out. Start stomping Cleveland.

"What the…?"

Dang, he's going to need a bootscraper. *wonders if she can quickly save and close, download a welcome mat, and get it installed on the deck before Cleveland tracks charred crap all over the linoleum.* Ah, too much effort. He's OCD; he can clean it up.

"Somehow this is all your fault, isn't it?"

Me? You're the one who wanted the dates. You're the one who got chintzy with paying off the gypsy. I offered a hot red head once you got back home, but nooooo.

"But I did not ask for a doody-bomb to be unleashed upon the front porch! Bella didn't do this after her date, and the gardener left me a nice letter."

You never got a chance to actually 'date' Bella before she sent you packing so she doesn't count, and you and the plant chick actually had a halfway pleasant date… until she went psycho on you. No more blind dates for you; the gypsy is officially persona non grata around here.

"Good. I think Lina noticed that her masterpiece money has been slowly dwindling. I was hoping to make it look like Kasson was using it to pay for his bubbleblower fix."

*gasp* What? Deception from my serious knowledge née-family aspiration heir? *sniff sniff* I'm so proud.

"Hey big brother! Huh… what stinks?"

"A bad date Lina. That is all I'll say on the subject."

"Oh, I coulda done told ya that that Jane gal wasn't keen on ya. I heard she's got the hots for some frat guy over at SSU."

"You couldn't tell me this before we went downtown?"

"How'll ya ever know if ya've found the rite one if ya never date the bad ones?"

I believe the term is "psycho hose beast", Salina, at least according to The Roomie.

"Anyhoo big brother, ifin yer up fer one more try at this datin' thing, I kin introduce ya to my friend Carla. She's a weird brainy kinda person like you too."

"I don't know. Keth said no more blind dates."

But this isn't some random stranger; she's a friend of Salina. She can't be too bad then. Sure, go invite her over Salina.

"You jes hang rite there and I'll give her a ring. She'll be over inna flash."

I'm not going to regret this, am I? I guess we won't know until the next chapter, will we?

Onward to Chapter 6d: Carla without a K

Back to Chapter 6b: More College