Friday, February 01, 2008

Bringing Home the Bacon

Mmmm…bacon. I could go for some farm-fresh pig product right about now. Unfortunately I'm on a "diet" of sorts, which dictates I need to eat healthier stuff, and pig isn't part of that equation. So, let me tell you, there's just nothing like being one of a handful of idiots who still comes in to work the day after it's dumped snow then ice then snow again all over town. Getting to have your pant legs covered in snow them soaked when it melts at work is just a fringe benefit - the most fun comes from that sensation of "everyone else gets to be home, so why do I have to be here?" I made the mistake of letting everyone know I live about two miles from here on roads that are usually the first to be plowed, but must they take the fun of snow days away from me?

Yes, work sucks enough as is, we've established that, and it's even less fun under these conditions. So speaking of work, that's our theme for today. Since I like most of my sims, I try to let them avoid having to spend too much time working if I can help it, but let's face it - if I were to cheat and give them lots of money, they'd never learn the value of it (I confess I usually cheat enough to build them a nice house, then leave them a few bucks afterward and that's it). Plus, you have to admit that it adds an element of realism to the whole thing for them to have to work to make money. And so, let's drop in on the younger Wilsons, and see how they're doing. We find Antonio coming home from his job. What is his job, you ask? I have no idea. He's had it for a while, but I never think to check, I don't even know what track he's on...

Antonio: "If I have to work, Mia Kay should have to also!"

Whatever it is that Antonio does (or claims to do), he works lots of hours and brings home very little money, but at least he's out there doing something. Unlike some of the rest of the family. Now, before you go thinking that I don't think it's a lot of work to be at home and keep things in shape and manage household affairs, that's not true. It does take a lot of work, and some days I'd rather be at my job than home having to clean or cook or do laundry or any of that fun stuff. Antonio's fiance, Aimee, took care of most of the chores around the house (the ones the maid didn't do, that is), AND she has a job. Her most valuable skill had to be the ability to talk to trees, and was the only reason the fruit tree out back ever managed to produce anything.

Aimee: "So, I hear there was another oil spill in Alaska…"

In addition to being able to talk to plants, Aimee had maxed out skills in all categories (through genetics passed on from her mother Amy, mind you), so it would have been a waste for her not to have a job of some sort. She'd been in the medical profession for quite some time, and was raking in the bucks. In other words, Aimee wound up being the one who not only did most of the work around the house, but was also the primary financial supporter. She'd come to that annoying point in her career where she was one promotion from the top, and it seemed to refuse to come, despite her having more than enough skills and friends. It was frustrating, but all she had to do was remind herself Antonio was barely making any money at all at his job and nobody even knew what he did, and it made her feel better…

Aimee: "Another day, another 1,356 dollars..."

So now, I've talked about Aimee's and Antonio's jobs, and while I'd love to talk about Katrina and Mia Kay's I can't…cause they don't HAVE jobs. No, they couldn't even be bothered to get jobs on the Slacker track, they just preferred to let Aimee and Antonio slave away all day to support them instead. The biggest kick in the pants is while there are some creative outlets around the Wilson house like the easel (which could actually result in a couple of bucks earned if used), Katrina and Mia Kay didn't bother with any of that. They just ran around all day in their swimwear jumping in and out of the hot tub and throwing water balloons at each other. I guess they learned how to do nothing all day long from living with their parents in the TS1 era Wilson house…

Katrina: "Wow! I can't believe I fell for that for the zillionth time!"

Well, sooner or later, even the most practiced slackers (recreational slackers, mind you, not the ones who get paid on the slacker career track) can get a little bored going back and forth between either getting soaked by balloons or soaked in the hot tub. Katrina and Mia Kay decided that since they had money lying around that Aimee and Antonio weren't using (not as if they could, being that they were at work all the time), they might as well spend some of it to beautify their home. It seemed like high time they got some decent patio furniture. The girls bought two tables and some chairs, but one of them was a poker table…the beginning of their own brilliant money making scheme…

Destined to be the site of many wasted hours...

The idea behind the scheme was a rather simple one. With the ample time on their hands, Katrina and Mia Kay would find some people to play cards against them, pocket their money, and contribute to the household finances. It seemed like a good scheme, but the success of it involved two uncertain factors - there had to actually be people visiting the house, and Katrina and Mia Kay had to actually win enough to come out on top. I personally have no clue what makes one sim better at poker than another, but I believe in the power of dumb luck (it's gotten me this far in life, after all). Mia Kay took the first shift of waiting out on the sidewalk to snag passing strangers (in her swimsuit still, of course). It wasn't long until she got a "bite".

Mia Kay: "Nice to meet you! Would you like to lose some money?"

Sims are huge poker addicts (if they don't head for the bar or hot tub first), and the guest went to the poker table without even needing to be asked (I should remember that sim's name, because they're always around, but I don't). And so, the girls dealt the cards, and their money making efforts began. Things seemed to be working as planned, and Katrina and Mia Kay won a few hands, but the money just wasn't coming in quickly enough. Katrina decided that they really needed to fill all four seats to maximize their efficiency, so she headed out front to wait for the next sucker to pass the house. And so, she waited, and waited, but nothing. Kat eventually got tired of waiting, and called the gypsy matchmaker to request a "date" (aka a poker patsy).

Katrina: "I'd like my date to be dumb with lots of cash!"

Well, Katrina's "date" fell from the sky, and she promptly lead him out back, before he could even figure out what the heck was going on. Katrina and Mia Kay finally had their foursome (at poker, you sickos), and so the real cutthroat gaming began. The new guy was probably wondering what sort of weird "date" he'd been sucked into - getting plopped down at a poker table at a strange house with barely an introduction and not even a little chatting to kick things off. Sadly, playing poker didn't meet any of his aspirations for the date, nor did losing a bunch of his money, though it happened anyway. Katrina and Mia Kay were pretty pleased with the way things were going, though. It didn't look like they'd be making $1,356 a day like Aimee was, but at least they'd be able to cover all the pizzas they ordered during the day or the cost of repairs for the overused TV and computer.

Date Guy: "…some pretzels at least would have been nice…"

The strange thing about all of this is that when the Wilson family first came to the neighborhood, they tried going to one of the little bars in the Downtown area that had poker, but for some reason, every time anyone in the family was instructed to sit at a table and play, they'd shrug their shoulders with a little simoleon sign over their heads. I assumed that was meant to mean they didn't have enough money to gamble, but that made no sense, since they had thousands of dollars when this happened. Whatever the problem had been, nobody was having any trouble playing now, or taking their guests' cash. The date timer ran out, and the guy got up and told Katrina what a lousy time he'd had. Chalk up another embarrassingly bad date for Katrina!

Date Guy: "No way! You'll probably just try to lift my wallet!"

The plan was more or less a success - not a spectacularly huge financial success or anything, but at least the girls made some money instead of just spending it (whether or not they made enough to cover the cost of the poker table and chairs is debatable). While they were busy trying to squeeze the last few bucks out of the woman Mia Kay had invited to the game, Amy Andrews came by the house and just sort of wandered around for a bit. She's close friends with her daughter, Aimee, so she's one of those sims who doesn't need an invite to visit and come inside. Mia Kay and Katrina were so busy with their cards, they didn't stop to say hello or anything. Luckily, Aimee came home before too long and managed to say hello to her mom before she could leave.

"Hey, Amy!" "Hey, Aimee!"

Okay, I suppose that's inaccurate since Aimee probably doesn’t refer to her mom by her first name, but it's funnier that way. Anyway, Aimee brought a friend home with her, and they headed over to the new poker table to give it a look. Antonio came home shortly after, also with a friend in tow. Meanwhile, the guy Katrina had her "date" with was still hanging around, and decided to give the whole poker thing another chance since Katrina and Mia Kay weren't playing any longer. Clarence Andrews showed up from somewhere, and pretty soon, the place was hoppin'. As if that weren't enough people, someone grabbed the phone and called up a few other people. I guess if the house is already crowded, there's no better time to add a few other people to the mix just to suck up to them.

Blonde Girl: "Now, which of these is better…these three A's, or these two cards with the K on them?"

The Wilsons (and I) never really got over how sucky the layout of the house itself is, but the back patio was shaping up nicely, and there were very few complaints there. I guess that explains why Katrina and Mia Kay spend every waking hour out back and never enter the house unless necessary (if there was a mini-fridge and a toilet outside, they could eliminate those inside trips entirely). Guests seemed to like it too, because the lady Mia Kay invited over stuck around to hang in the hot tub well into the night. Someone invited Zondra Witte over at some point I'm guessing, because she was there, and none too happy about not being able to find a spot in the hot tub.

Clarence: "I'll bet if you turned into a bat you could squeeze in there!"

Eventually, someone in the tub caught on fire, and the fire spread to the hot tub itself, and the fire department was called. The fire was extinguished, and everyone gave Zondra dirty looks. She wasn't in the tub, but maybe they assumed she used her vampire powers of pyrokenisis to cause the blaze. There's that vampire hating crap we talked about last post. Anyway, making a few bucks hustling strangers at poker is all good and fun, but it won't make anyone rich any time soon. Some people like to think a little bigger than that. People like Amy Andrews. Next time, we'll join Amy as she gets to be the guinea pig for our first Open for Business money making venture. And the instruction manual makes it sound so easy… :-P


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