Current family composition: Alon and Dinghy (gen 6 heir), knowledge-sim elders; Brenna, the heavily medicated gen 7 heir; Benjamin Long, Brenna's longtime companion and live-in dentist; and their two children, Kenneth (with the brown hair) and Lennart (the redhead). Oh, and Gypsy the servo.
When last we left the Durrances, you may remember that townies were overexerting themselves in the heat and passing out like starved supermodels, and in at least two cases, then spontaneously combusting, with death to follow.
Of course, I wondered which other townies were going to die a horrible death as a result, and it was quite a worry. But then I installed Mansion & Garden Stuff Pack and it reset all the sims, snapping everyone out of their actions/positions/unconsciousness.
So, definitely a mixed bag: everyone lived, but a lot less drama.
"Why did I even show up here, then?"
"It's all right, Grim... we'll be seeing you again soon, don't worry."
"Oh, I won't. We have a deal, you and I."
Then everyone not a Durrance (or Ben Long, who never married Brenna, just fathered her kids) left the lot. Business plummeted. So did a few more sunburned and overheated townies, who passed out before reaching the sidewalk.
You can't see it from here because I did a lousy job, but someone passed out right in front of the register. Jeez, you guys! You look like you just came from a funeral - oh.
The Durrances, who in the past have inbred, and who are only partly attached to reality at the worst of times, go on with life.
"I will get that billiards scholarship! It's part of my destiny!"
Christy Stratton is the only townie who still visits (and passes out) regularly, because I was messing with the business options and gave her the Free Pass for Life, apparently. I can't figure out how to start charging her to use the equipment again. The Durrance teens don't care.
The heat wave continues to take an almost-deadly toll on Hellsgate Bridge. Finally Dinghy and Alon remember that Dinghy made a Water Wiggler, so why not use it? They invite Ben and Brenna to join them, and then Alon does the "I'm splashing you from my heinder" trick.
"Ew! I know you're a supervillain, but that's low, even for you! Agh, it got in my eye!"
Soon the entire family is cooling off with happy, watery fun. The townies still stay away, but who cares? Money insulates. And it's fun when it's fun!
The other way to keep cool is to drink lots of fluids. Lennart is happy to oblige.
"Ahu! Alcohol is dehydrating, o redheaded and bleary-eyed heir apparent! Besides, you only rent cognac. Don't come running over here when your bladder's full, because I'm going to be a while. Pass me a magazine, will you?"
All the drinking is starting to backfire for Lennart, particularly with his grandfather Alon, who disapproves of Lennart's moderately wild ways.
"Gran'pa, I'm not just interested in chicks and beer. Honest."
"I don' believe that for a minute, yo! You're gonna wipe out the family fortune, drinkin' an' cattin' around! Your mother should've put you in military school instead'a that fancy prep academy."
Later, Alon tries to bring up the topic to Ben, who is less than helpful.
"Look, if it really bothers you, come back as a ghost later and scare the pants back on him."
Still, Ben does make the attempt to talk to Lennart. "Look, Len, I'm not saying you have to be completely uninterested in girls like your brother, but..."
"Dad, c'mon! It's just a few dates! You want grandkids, right? I really doubt Ken's going to give you any, the way he carries on with skilling."
Okay, so Brenna is on her second LTW, and it's "top of Law career", which I guess would be sports law since her first LTW was "top of Athletic career". I want to know what law firm she works in that allows her to dress in capris and sneakers. And she's not a lawyer, so you can't say she's the boss and can dictate the dress code.
Also, random townie walkby. If you're going to dye your hair, you may want to consider being clean-shaven so the colors don't mismatch quite so badly.
Life continues, as it does whether we want it to or not, and most of the family keeps skilling their little hearts out, even Lennart, though he also spends hours on the phone talking up teen townie girls so they'll date him later.
"Oh - hey - Kenneth - I - think - we - will - see - the - Reaper - again - soon"
"C'mon, Gypsy, that's lame."
"No - really - I - will - bet - money - on - it"
"Kenneth - look - behind - you"
"Son of a gun..."
"Ha - ha - made - you - look"
"No, seriously, this could be an important scientific breakthrough!"
Yes, it's Dinghy's turn, which surprised me greatly, as I'm very used to when both my elders reach That Time, the spouse dies and then the heir magically gains a few more days. But not this time; Dinghy goes first, to board that lonely ship that travels the afterlife.
Rest well, Inflatable Rubber Dinghy Durrance. You were a great space pirate / mad scientist. You bore up under your ridiculous name with dignity. And I just realized it's been almost two real-time years to the day since she was a toddler, because Dingbat (her half-brother) occurred because my own brother wanted to "see something happen in Sims" and so I got Dinghy's father Remington abducted on purpose, and then I felt really bad about it (I'm sorry, Rem!). And that was in late February 2007. Man, how time flies. I really need to finish up this legacy.
Hey, look who was her favorite! It's Dillon! Lennart isn't even in the top five. I'm guessing he and Dinghy's twin brother Extruded Metal Dingus are on the next page, but I can't be sure. Unicode Dingbat Glyph made the top five, though. (That's Dingbat's real name. I had a real theme going with that generation!)
It's a sad day indeed. Alon tries to remain stoic in front of his family. He always figured he'd pass on before her.
But wait! What's this?
"I'm not going to waste time and gas leaving and coming back. Come on, Red Dragon. Let's go."
"Wha', now? I ain't ready!"
"Yes, you are. Besides, we had a deal, the pirate and I. It wouldn't do for me to not uphold my end. Come on, Dragon. It's time for the last adventure."
"Is Dinghy there? I mean, we gonna see each other on the other side, gonna be together again, right?"
"That's part of the deal, yes."
"Well, a'ight then. Guess I'll go with you."
And thus the Dread Space Pirate Dinghy and the Red Dragon pass into the legends of Hellsgate Bridge and places unknown. I'll miss you too, Alon. You were a wonderful closet Romance sim in a Knowledge body, a great villain, and you completely rocked those sideburns. You and Dinghy together were a three-bolt couple. Sail on, silver birds.
As if the family didn't have enough tragedy on this day, this was just when townies were starting to come back to the lot for entertainment. Grandparents dying isn't entertaining (for most normal people, anyway).
"Lady, your business sucks! People die all the time here! Why don't you just make it a cemetery?"
He's just lucky Brenna's still heavily medicated, or she might've taken him down. As it is, she gives him a couple slaps and chases him off the lot.
Man... now all my relatives are dying! All the old ones, anyway... this is a real drag... I sure hope nobody else dies soon.
Whewf! Speaking of dying, what's that smell?! Oh, man, did that used to be the bean dip?!
After much dredging and filling and more work than really necessary, Dinghy and Alon are put to rest on a tiny manmade island in the middle of the pond. You can tell it's manmade because it's square. Still, there should be enough room for them to come out and glare at people across the water, without being able to harm anyone.
"Okay, let's see, my college application..." Hm, I'm supposed to write about a role model. Gran'pa, maybe? How he looted banks and museums across the Southwest? Maybe not...
I have the "no witchy skins or effects" mods but I got this, which at first made me go "what the heck, did I put Della Alvarado in here by accident?" This is annoying as it was part of the effect I was trying to avoid. Nuts.
"Dad! I guess that chili's so hot it's setting you on fire, huh? Get it? On fire?"
"Lennart, if that's as good a joke as you can make, you're never going to get anywhere with the ladies. Plus, you really should get a better wardrobe. You won't be considered 'hot' at all if you don't take some care with your appearance, like me."
Lennart doesn't care. Now that Alon is gone, he can freely spend the family's money with abandon, enriching the matchmaker five thousand smackers at a time. (Remember, 50 first dates X $5,000 each = $250,000 over the long haul.) Most of his dates end quickly and "okay", because the business ticket machine is still on, and every sim who wanders onto the lot has the attention span of a gnat. So most of Lennart's dates end abruptly when his date notices the ticket machine, goes to look at it, and ends the date and goes home.
A notable exception is Nicole Thompson. She not only isn't distracted by the ticket machine, she hangs around.
They go so far as to have a truly fantastic dream date, or as good as you can get when you're at the Durrance house and you can't use most of the fun equipment because your date has to pay to use it.
"It takes 10,000 hours to be as good as you'll ever be at any given skill or task, it said in that book. Gran'pa said Lennart was only going to ever be good at 'chicks and beer'. If I'm going to achieve every possible skill ever, I'd better get started on that. So, beer!"
Kenneth's a good, traditional Knowledge sim.
"Okay, see, if I put my hands like this, that's the super secret Double Dog Martial Yoga Arts move that'll knock you clean off your feet!"
It's love, I tell you. Well, maybe. He's got one bolt with Nicole, but he's got one bolt with a lot of girls.
He also has no bolts with a lot of girls. The Matchmaker's dragging in any girl she can find. Hey, at $5,000 per date, she even tosses in a repeater now and then. Why stop at $250,000? Though I wonder if I should pay her, like, $5 a date instead and see
Lennart is very careful not to totally mess things up with Nicole while he's busy dating other girls. (He and Nicole have mutual crush.) At least, not in front of her.
I had hoped he'd date Vicki Wren, who was "the girl in the pancake makeup" who would've married Brenna's brother Dillon if Dillon had become heir. But it appears I aged Vicki up at some point when Brenna or Dillon or Aldin became an adult. Vicki (whom I have heard is a Romance sim) gets particularly unfortunate new clothes.
So they can't date, which means he has to wait until he's an adult, presuming he hasn't hit his quota by then. Darn. Good to know about what her nose will look like, though.
Because the matchmaker keeps throwing repeaters, Lennart makes a few trips off the family lot (scandalous!): to Bluewater Village (apparently I already had one attached to Hellsgate Bridge), Downtown, and one of three community lots in Hellsgate. His initial attempts are not promising. Anywhere there's a shop, there's bound to be a teen shopkeep, if nothing else.
Also, I don't know why some of the walls are unfinished on that lot. I forget if I downloaded it or if it's Maxis.
"So, yeah! I learned this nursery rhyme from my older brother, who said he learned it from our great-grandpa, who was a ghost!"
"I'll give you credit, that's the most original opening line I've ever heard a guy say. A ghost taught you a nursery rhyme, huh? What kind of a childhood did you have, anyway? Get into Mommy's pills much?"
Finally, finally, at long last, a few townies come back to the Durrance lot. Of course, there is still lots of talk to dispel.
"Ghosts? Oh, no no no no no, of course not! No ghosts. Not at all."
Ben spends his entire day off working toward that gold pottery badge. Pottery is one of the stinkier hobbies out there, second only to working out. For the fitness buffs, there's a community shower on the lot, right behind the community loo. Since townies won't bathe, it's more of a hope than a service. Then again, maybe there's something just genuinely not popular about a community showerhead out in the open. (Look, it's the desert, I'm guessing it's warm enough.) Ben for example, likes to come in and freshen up at the kitchen sink.
"Hey there, Brenna, honey! Would you like some sausage with your chili?"
Brenna's meds are pretty strong today, I think. She looks very glazed over. Doesn't even bat an eye that her live-in dentist/mad scientist/professional blogger is starkers and sponging off at the sink. And people say the Durrances are inbred, oblivious freaks! Tsk.
Hey, remember when all those townies constantly mobbed the treadmills in the last installment? What Hellsgate Bridge apparently needs is a gym. Nothing but treadmills, vending machines (or water fountains) and ceiling fans. It would be a solid gold hit. It's standing room only around the one treadmill at the Hellsgate Gold Gym.
Undaunted, Lennart is still trying to meet girls his own age that he hasn't already dated. Someone lets him in to play poker. It's quite educational.
"And then, one of us started kissing like this."
Holy cow, it's Meadow Thayer! Well, sort of. I kept wondering where Meadow was, before I finally remembered she married Carl the Gen 2 heir, long long ago. Let me say I find this clone of Meadow incredibly creepy.
Finally it's Ben's turn to become an elder. It could've gone better.
"Ah, jeez! I got Remington's old red sweater! Yuck. Look at all the clipping issues. I've got to go buy some new clothes right away."
Ben decides to stick with pink, and after all, you're only as old as you feel, right?
And Ben doesn't feel old at all, no sir. No chemical enhancers necessary. Which is a good thing, as Brenna insists on regular oral examinations with appropriate follow-up.
Brenna also gained a whopping 15(!) days to her adulthood upon Ben's elder transition, which is the biggest gain I've ever seen in a sim. That's, what, a good 50% added on? Crimony. Granted, Ben was an adult already when the family decided he should marry Brenna (and she was a teen at the time), but I had no idea he was that much older than her. At this rate, she'll be around for Generation 10, easy.
And on that note we close this installment. Next time: Ghostly Surprises.