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07 August 2011 @ 01:39 pm
Chapter 18: It's Getting Crowded In Here, or I Was Hiding Under Your Porch Because I Love You  

Ladies and gentlemen and gnomes of all varieties! Your voices have been heard! Your votes have been counted! Your trays have been bussed! Your hands have been sanitized! Your packages have been signed for!

In other words, we have an heir. It’s Harpo.

The last days of college have been quite eventful. The members of the Annya Fruhm Fruhm SoroFraternity wisely decided to spend all of their money on an ice rink, so now we have $11 in the bank.

But look! Trina’s learning to skate. Keep trying, sweetheart! Nothing bad can possibly happen as you fall onto a questionably frozen body of water in the middle of the desert.

“So you’re the heir, eh Harpo? Gonna graduate and head back home to mom and dad?”
“Man, I’m gonna miss living together with everybody, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, this sparkly fish whatsit is pretty tasty, isn’t it?”

Trina gets reprimanded by the campus police for trying to hack her grades. Ah well, it was worth a try. That old computer they repossessed was probably worth like $3 at this point.

Oh, uh, excuse me, there, autonomous makeout session, I was just trying to...walk through the kitchen, um, hey...guys? Could I, um...never mind. I’ll go a different way.

The other way round was blocked too, by a different type of full-body contact. Aunt Carla seems to have taken a dislike to the replacement llama.

You know, you’re a grown woman with a (certifiably insane, I’ll grant) husband and two children, Carla. You spend far too much time on this college campus.

Uh, Harpo? You think you might be missing something right now?


Uh, no, I didn’t mean the missing comma in that sentence in your term paper. Good catch though.

The streaker tries to find herself a more appreciative audience.

“Come on, Zeppo! Get your head in the game! Use your whole shoulder and follow through!”

Is there something wrong with my Sims?

Hm...Either Chico or Weird Hair Cheerleader appears to have developed the ability to breathe fire. This could get lethal, very quickly.

In a continuing attempt to acquire Harpo a love life, I’ve sent her on a couple dates with this girl, a DJ at the club downtown. It will seem to be going fine and then Harpo will decide that all she wants to do is make friends with the girl I’m planning to move in as a new placeholder, and will spend the next three hours on the phone while her date wanders out onto the patio and amuses herself on the drums. They’ve never even kissed.

It just seems like Harpo doesn’t really need anyone else in her life besides her siblings.
“Kyeah! Hey-a, Harpo, I’m-a gonna miss playing games while we’re supposed-a to be skilling when-a you move-a back home.”
“Of-a course I’ll come visit! But, ya know, it just-a won’t-a be the same.”

Trina’s been carrying on a relationship with both Groucho and Chico, but she knew it couldn’t last. Now she seems to have declared her choice, by kissing Chico on free will just as Groucho walks into the room.

Groucho is not pleased, and rushes to confront Trina, and they have a slapfest while Chico, apparently unfazed, meanders off to the patio.

I mean, when my twin brother gets mad at my bisexual girlfriend/housemate for cheating on him with me in our foyer, karaoke always makes me feel better.

Harpo gives herself a sponge bath in the kitchen sink, which breaks. Chico attempts to explain to her why this was a dumb idea, partially because sinks are not meant to be personal bathing devices, and partially because there is a giant gaping archway right there making the kitchen one of the least private rooms in the house.

The information doesn’t really seem to be sinking in.

It’s time for the graduations and the outfits that come with it. Let’s begin with Trina, who is disqualified because she grew up in her pajamas.

Oh, Groucho. You never cease to amaze.

Chico, while a little out of character, is certainly not lolworthy. She actually looks kinda sexy.

“It’s-a sparkly and-a boobly and-a girly and-a these shoes hurt, please-a get it offa me!”

Duly noted.

Not one to waste time, Harpo uses her five-minute wait for the phone to harass the new placeholder, Allyn.

High-fastening pants: something everyone should have more of in their lives, wouldn’t you agree?

I am unimpressed with Harpo’s transition outfit. Dude, she chose that outfit herself sophomore year and then ditched it when it wasn’t weird enough for her.

Before the whole gang heads back to the home neighborhood, has anything been happening on the legacy lot?

Well, Grapes finally became chief of staff, thus completing her LTW.

And the coach the family is trying to off by sending him up and down in a malfunctioning elevator got so lonely that the social bunny appeared and started following him up and down in the elevator, sometimes actually using the elavator and sometimes teleporting from floor to floor so he could give the guy stares like this right when the doors opened.

That, my friends, is the stuff of nightmares.

As I was preparing to move the kids back to the neighborhood to start their adult lives, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lonely Harpo was going to be back at the house with just her elderly parents. Who is there to have fun with and throw water balloons at if not your sister and brothers?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching too much Arrested Development, or maybe it’s because I’ve been reading the latest installment of Strange_Tomato’s Tomato Legacy, (which you should read because the last installment made me bust a rib laughing), where everyone, siblings, cousins, and immortal abominations of nature (just read it, it will make sense) just hang out on the lot together...but I decided I couldn’t leave Harpo without her crew.

On a whim, I moved all four of the siblings back onto the legacy lot. Harpo’s still heir, and the other three will still be able to marry and breed as they choose, but it will all happen right here, together as they are meant to be. We are in for a world of chaos! Who’s excited?

Harpo wastes no time in resuming her normal activities, such as getting harassed by our resident telescope-shover while trying to cook herself a plate of salmon.

Zeppo wants to be Minister of Education, and gets himself a job as a playground monitor, aka the Least-Liked Elementary School Employee of the Year.

Harpo plants herself a small garden and an orchard in the backyard, behind the old clubhouse. When she’s not working her way up in the culinary industry by supervising the 4-10 PM shift at the local McWendyBee’s, she spends a lot of time weeding and spraying and chatting with recalcitrant lemon trees.

Groucho gets a job as a legal secretary and manages to miss the carpool on his first day of work. Luckily his charm saves him, and he holds on to the job and even gets a promotion after a day or two.

Chico becomes a journalist and is soon writing blogs and internet movie reviews. She lands her first job at a real paper as a fact-checker and quickly gets demoted back down to Yearbook Club Supervisor (ouch) for, uh...not checking a fact.

I swear this stupid stove is cursed. At first I blamed Old Coach Guy because he’s useless, but then Zeppo set a fire, and then Chico.

Awww, you smell and you’re dressed like a middle school gym coach, nobody wants to hug you.

I think Paul’s happy to have all his children back home.

Zeppo and Lora have been waiting to tie the knot since forever, so as soon as everyone settles in we set up an arch in the front yard and everybody is invited for a moving ceremony, full of loving vows, falling flower petals, and...

Grapes in her orange jammies photobombing the bejeezus out of the ring exchange.

This picture is cute because you think everyone’s watching the cake-smushing ceremony, but in fact they’re all queueing up to drink champagne until they pee on the lawn.

Also, whoa, Harpo, nice getup there. It sets off your hair in an...interesting way.

Zeppo and Lora head off on their honeymoon, just seconds after Lora pops her first pregnancy bump. They deserve some time to themselves away from the crazy.

Harpo bought a cottage on Twikki Island on a whim sometime back in college, so Zeppo and Lora have a place to stay when they get tired of exploring the Ancient Ruins of Some Fake Pagan God.

Zeppo meets a local girl, who tries to explain to him that the natives don’t actually dress like that normally, they just do it to attract tourists.

Unfortunately, Lora’s second-trimester pregnancy means she spends a lot of time eating and sleeping. Poor Zeppo does not get much time to go sight-seeing, but he’s so sweet that he doesn’t seem to mind, and just spends his time at home in the cottage, writing in his diary or dancing to the stereo while Lora sleeps upstairs.

And then this guy, which neither of them have ever met, comes into the house while they’re both asleep, showers, and then stands around admiring the wallpaper in their bedroom.

Then he goes downstairs, turns on the stereo, and starts hula dancing.


They return home, slightly refreshed if not with too many snapshots, and quickly realize that Random Home Invader Guy wasn’t really that weird compared to what they have to come home to.

Groucho hadn’t seen Ashlee ever since he got involved with, and then soundly dumped by, his housemate Trina from University, but she showed up at Zeppo’s wedding looking all buxom and regal, and since then he’s been spending a lot of time thinking about her. Was she always the one for him after all?

Meanwhile, Zeppo’s been getting awfully close to Brittany, a townie from work, who keeps inviting him to go on outings downtown. I know he loves Lora, but I’m nervous about Brittany’s intentions.

At least their interactions are being closely monitored by No Concept of Personal Space Dan over here. Keep up the good work, buddy!

“Hiya, guy who dated my-a grandmother. You’ve gotta be the least upwardly mobile employee ever...Who has-a the same checkout counter for 70 years? That’s-a pathetic.”

After a long, sleepy pregnancy, Lora gives birth to a little boy, named Thunderbolt.

Ah yes, everyone living on the home lot means I get to make the naming decisions for EVERYONE! Muahahahha!

And so the babynapping begins...

Harpo seems to be confused about the location of her orchard. Either that or she’s just decided that today is Free-Form Air Pollution Day.

Chico has gotten on good terms with her brother’s wife, as indicated by the fact that they’re punching each other. If they weren’t on good terms, they would be...punching each other. But different.

Chico really doesn’t have that big of a range for expressing her feelings.


Just for fun, I decide to take the whole family out to dinner (at the only restaurant in town). Hey guys, um, where’s the rest of the family?

“We relegated Chico and Paul to the kids’ table.”

“Kids’ table? I’m sixty-seven years old!”

“Don’t-a complain, Dad. The waitress gives us crayons over here!”

Lora appears to have installed herself at a table on her own, perhaps because she’s not comfortable appearing in public with the Kirkegaards.

Unfortunately, her plan backfires when she is unexpectedly joined at her table by a swim-trunk-clad old man she doesn’t know.

Dinner conversation at the big table was somewhat monopolized by Groucho.
“...Just remember, that if there weren’t any closets, there wouldn’t be any hooks, and if there weren’t any hooks, there wouldn’t be any fish, and that would suit me fine!”

Chico anxiously awaited her meal, and when it arrived she snatched up a fork like a starving woman.
“Chico, what’s the matter with you?”
“What’sa matta with me? I’m hungry. I didn’t eat in three days.”
“Three days?”
“Well, I didn’t eat yesterday, I didn’t eat today, and I’m not gonna eat tomorrow. That makes-a three days.”

Back at the homestead—

As I was saying, back at the homestead, Chico is closing in on her LTW of maxing all her skills. She’s been neglecting body points up until now so she’s been doing a lot of yoga in the garden.

Groucho decides to finally give Ashlee a call, but realizes that his feelings for her have faded over the years.

Harpo has very little free time between working as a hostess and caring for the garden, but when she has a spare moment she spends it hustling pool down at the local convenience store.

Lora is pregnant again and is using the time to get to know her food on more intimate terms. If the house wasn’t so crazy I’d probably have more time to take care of her, but as it is I can only check in on her from time to time in order to steer her away from complete mood failure.

It’s Thunderbolt’s first birthday, and Uncle Groucho is there to cheer him into toddlerhood.

He’s got Lora’s hair but Zeppo’s eyes and personality, and is pretty appropriately dressed for a name like Thunderbolt.

Paul’s career has been languishing because I haven’t cared enough to make him skill for the promotion, but a lucky chance card promotes him up to the top of Show Business anyway.

Zeppo happens to get home from his substitute teaching job at the same time as Paul, which means they share a carpool...helicopter-pool. Zeppo seems as perplexed as I am.

“And they wonder why the public schools are out of money...”

Groucho converts the backyard clubhouse into a sauna, in his ongoing Fortune-Sim quest for MOAR STUFF.

The eggplant harvest comes in at a perfect time. Harpo loads up the juicer with her crop and Chico gulps down the purple stuff (that can’t taste very good, can it? Eggplant juice?) and maxes out her last few skills. Hooray!

But what’s been the consequences of all this gardening of Harpo’s?


See you next time!