A Song of Cries and Dire
We are gathered here today to mourn and celebrate the life of Herman, a gallant and noble feline, whom was cruelly taken from us in his prime. Though we have not been with Herman for long, his infectious, joyous spirit will always linger in the air and remain permanently affixed to our hearts.
Every one of us saw in those brave, stout whiskers of his an indomitable warrior's spirit - of a cat who for much of his life endured considerable hardship without an owner and had galvanised in him an unbending will to survive and thrive.
Fate can be cruel and decided to strike down this cat and send this stalwart soul to the heavens before his dreams of being formally adopted were ever finally realised.
It is at this moment that the Kira of real life marches up to the lectern, shoulder-tackles the priest aside and announces to the mourning funereal congregation that Herman was let down and due retribution is necessary. But who was it who let Herman down? Who was it who dropped the ball when this lonely, scruffy cat was so close to finding a loving, caring family for the remainder of his precious little feline days? Was it the government? Did the government do this? Was this a deep state operation to have Herman ascend to the great catnip yarnball in the sky? For once: no. The government has nothing to do with this. Blame fully rests on the Mitsuki of real life, whose heartless negligence culminated in the tragic result you all see today. Every mourner gathered here today must be aware of the real culprit and to exercise their own discretion in determining what we should all do with her.
Seek repentance, Mitsuki. It's the very least you can do. It will not be justice and these people seek and demand justice. How can you deliver to them what they are loudly baying for? You can hear their impassioned and angry voices. You can hear every one of them decrying you for your fatal negligence. You have no idea what this angry mob is capable of. So repent to them and run far, far away from this place, because otherwise they will grant you no quarter. Herman will not forget and he will not forgive.
But enough about a damn cat who almost mauled Tami's face at one point. We have small staff changes to quickly discuss and get out of the way. Let's just celebrate the fact that Mitsuki has now been fired from her role as director of this show. She has now been demoted to a co-producer role, and Kira will take over her directorial duties while still assuming her prior producer role.
So with all that said and done, welcome back, everyone. This time we return to the Turtle Paradise apartment to see what it would be like if we stuff a bunch of pampered, spoilt and egotistical millennial personalities inside a wide confined space and liberated from any actual real-life responsibilities. They are truly living the dream. I'd love to live that life...though personally I wouldn't feel comfortable with the thought of an omnipotent deity in the sky who can see everything I'm doing - right down to my general thoughts while I'm sitting on the toilet. Let's see hi to everyone in this flat again:
- Tom Harlequin (@Harlequin)
- Olivia Linnaete (@Linnaete)
- Kira Six (@Six)
- Dan Dionysos (@Dionysos)
- Adri Rey (@Rey)
Look, I tried! I couldn't think of any good puns to do with musicals!
2:01am - And here we are with the Turtle Paradise househo- wait, hang on. We're with the Corpse Brigade crew again. Did we get the wrong episode? Is the correct save file even loaded up? Are we going for a double-bill Corpse Brigade episode for the second week in a row, because Sly is just that damn handsome and Tami is just that much of a flawless singer? Well whatever the reason is, Sly looks bloody miserable. He's wearing a Santa hat for some reason (the shops are all stocking Christmas merchandise early again, aren't they?) but looks about as miserable as someone who has been told their court appeal to get a restraining order on them overturned and ruled aside had failed. Maybe he's had a bad day at work. Maybe breaking a suspect's kneecaps is against secret agent protocol and he's had a month's worth of wages suspended while he's under investigation himself.
Inside the Corpse Brigade flat we find...wait hang on, this isn't the same flat from last week? For one, this is a posh apartment with plenty of space and with decor only a wealthy retiree would tolerate. Where's all the Halloween decorations? Where's that glorious chalk outline of a body on the floor? What's happened to the comparatively more claustrophobic space of last week's episode complete with the child's bed? Has the show's budget gone back up again to even afford this gaffe? So the broadcasting studio's head honcho would happily cut our budget if we show plentiful Woohoos on screen but not if we accidentally lose a cat? Talk about standards and priorities.
I suppose the reason we're here is to see if we can re-adopt Herman and fill up that gaping Moon crater-sized hole in our hearts. Kira in real life eagerly brings up the pet adoption menu to browse through the list of ownerless cats available seeking for a loving, caring home when...HERMAN IS NOT ON THE LIST!
I repeat! There are plenty of cats on the list, but Herman is NOT one of them. I mean, we should already know that Herman won't be on the list, because we all saw him literally fade away at the end of the previous episode, but denial is one hell of a drug! For those brief moments we tricked ourselves into believing that bringing Herman back was still possible - that his fuzzy feline face would magically descend back to our physical realm from the heavenly paradise he must surely now reside. It's a heavenly paradise where his owner will unconditionally always love him and will never neglect him. Maybe he's happier where he is now, and our selfish human desires to drag him kicking and meowing back down to us would be the wrong thing to do. What we should do instead is to accept this as a learning experience and just do better in general next time. Any one of these other cats can be a fresh chance for us to give it another shot and pray we don't make a similar mistake again. So let's adopt another ca-
OH NEVER MIND. We're now ignoring the Corpse Brigade household and we're going over to the real party of this show: the Turtle Paradise household. I must say, their flat is lovely. The living area is generously spacious, with copious windows to let in enough natural sunlight and air to just make the flat a cozy and tranquil environment - perfect for anyone who wants to meditate and discover their inner balance. Hence why it has yoga mats on the floor making the place look like some hippie joint.
2:22am - A life of crime is a life of nap time. No doubt tired from robbing a baby of their candy or whatever nefarious, high-profile crime he was involved in earlier today, Strawbeary Dan is fast asleep on the sofa, which looks especially odd and disturbing when the costume's eyes are wide open. He may still be asleep, but he's still watching you. I do wonder what he's dreaming of in the midst of his peaceful slumber. Knowing Dan, he's probably some satyr happily galloping around a field on a Greek island accompanied by Socrates.
Clifford the Big Red Dog's less successful cousin.
Adriano, whose constant presence on this show is a sad reminder that life just isn't fair, is sneaking around like the goon he is, looking like he's trying to escape this flat for whatever reason. Don't ask me why. It's not as if he has kids nearby and he's currently shirking his parental responsibilities, surely? Kira meanwhile looks like she's been busy practising her dance moves. She's all dressed up in her PJs and really giving it a go, albeit looking like she has the energy of an octogenarian with arthritis.
Question: What do rabbits have in common with calculators?
Answer: They can both multiply really damn fast.
2:39am - Olivia, who by now should give up her day job of being a Human Hot Dog and get a new costume - maybe something like a giant glazed doughnut this time, is busy faffing away on the computer. This one is also a terrible computer, looking like the mid-90s coughed it up from its storeroom of treasures, so I doubt it will effectively run Crysis on max settings anytime soon. Who knows what she's doing online. Maybe it's another angry political rant where she's comparing a prominent politician to a used condom or something. Though knowing Olivia, she's probably got an account on some dating website like OkCupid and is gleefully browsing through the list for a fresh victim to take home and turn into hot dog toppings. Chances are she's already found a potential candidate and is asking them to disclose their age, sex and a recent photo of themselves. She may even be on Chaturbate, eagerly browsing through a list of her favourite camera performers and giving them tips. Not that the real Olivia would ever do that, no. Wait, what even is Chaturbate? I dunno what it is, I swear!
"What kinky stuff do I do in my spare time? Well, I dress up as a phallic-looking hot dog in front of my flatmates..."
2:50am - While Kira ups the energy and rhythm to give her awkward dancing a bit more spark, Adriano returns bearing a hardback book in his right hand. I didn't even know he could read. It's funny I say that, because I can't read the Sims language whatsoever, so maybe people living in glass apartments shouldn't throw stones. Naturally, because the man exudes creepiness from every orifice, he comes back looking like he's about to sexually assault the cameraperson.
Pictured: Bill Cosby if he were Italian
QUICK, SOMEONE FETCH ME A CRUCIFIX. THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU.
3:06am - Understandably perturbed by the fact that one of their flatmates should ideally be cuffed and led to the nearest police station to be banged up ready to be brought before a court to permanently sentence him to maximum security behind iron bars, Kira and Olivia decide the logical thing to do is to not call 911, but instead purge their thoughts of negative things and bring themselves into a peaceful zen state. Normally that involves meditating but seeing as both women look like they have the physical dexterity of old women, maybe starting off with some gentle, relaxing yoga wouldn't hurt. Both women take up their respective mats to do some quiet stretching and seem totally out of sync with each other.
I BELIEVE I CAN FLY, I BELIEVE I CAN TOUCH THE SKY
Hey, Tom. What have you been up to? Having just finished some greasy snack, Tom puts his dirty plate down on the table next to him and leaves it there, because he's a lazy git and cannot be arsed to wash anything. I bet he doesn't even bathe or shower. We just can't see it, but I'm picturing flies orbiting his thin goatee right now. With his greasy fingers, he proceeds to commit a crime against music on the electric keyboard, banging out a tune so amateur and offensive to the ears that it's actually appropriate for the equally amateur and offensively bad yoga happening just behind him.
Tom: "Did you know that as a kid I always wanted to be on the keyboard in a band with my mates?"
Kira: "Ohhhh, is that why everyone avoids you now?"
3:44pm - Because he's done with being creepy to people in real life, Adriano would now like to be a creepy dude to strangers online. It does look like he's browsing a forum thread online, so he's probably on ResetEra crafting more of the intelligent, carefully measured and thought-provoking posts he's widely renowned for on subject matters such as: why the Super Smash Bros Ultimate roster so far is O B J E C T I V E L Y disappointing and crap, or why KOS-MOS from the Xenosaga trilogy of video games is one of the only robot anime waifu girls he would happily [redacted by editor; inappropriate imagery].
"Why are so many MMORPG players so toxic? I mean, just because I called this one guy in a dungeon a shitty, brain-dead healer who clearly must have paid real life money for a level boost, doesn't mean that healer gets to call me an elitist idiot. WTF, man? So toxic, these other people!"
4:02am - All this yoga business while simultaneously working to purge her mind of unnecessary thoughts weighing her down seems to have done the trick for Kira. She is now comfortably more enlightened and not as fettered by deep-seated thoughts etched in her head. Naturally she will use this temporary period of peace of mind to trick Olivia with a hand buzzer and give her several gigawatts' worth of painful electric jolts, of course. I mean, who wouldn't do the same when they've taken their first real step towards spiritual enlightenment? I know when Tibetan monks achieve a similar zen-like state they immediately beat each other up.
Perhaps the extent of the jolt is so great it's left her numb and her brain thoroughly fried, but Olivia looks utterly stoned in response at first. She quickly recovers and understandably overcome with smouldering rage for the humiliation, snaps back at Kira with all her might. She brings up something about...a pair of boxers with heart designs? Then something about the sun? Followed by Kira retorting with something to do with summer t-shirts? And Olivia responding with something about books? Are they actually arguing or are they in fact aggressively discussing their plans to each other for a lovely summer vacation? Nonsense. We all know neither women like the summer season, let alone do anything as daft and bank-breaking as actually jet off to distant, sunny shores to bask in yet even more of the bloody sun. Olivia would happily rather stay pale and ghostly like her namesake protagonist character in iZombie, thank you very much!
Pictured: Olivia's permanent face IRL whenever she has to listen to some less intellectual pleb talk to her.
Kudos to Adriano. He's managed to survive Tom's serving of torment for more than five minutes. More than five minutes later he is now seething on the spot, his mood now tense and somewhat homicidal. How is he supposed to spread the gospel of why Makoto Niijima in Persona 5 would be his ideal girlfriend if only she were a real-life person and not just a collection of pixels and 2D artwork when Tom's declaration of war on music is casually laying siege to his ears?
4:44am - Credit where credit is due. I was expecting him to walk up to Tom and deck him in his fly-ridden face. Choosing instead to subvert my expectations, Adriano forsakes the violence option in favour of the medium of dance. He successfully cajoles Tom somehow into abandoning the electric keyboard and instead to join him on the floor to boogie. The pair stand next to each other and initiate their complex choreography in front of the girls. The footwork is masterfully executed, the rhythmic timing precisely on point and the synchronisation to die for...if we were talking about a pair of corpses who have just freshly died from old age. But unfortunately we're instead talking about two young, able-bodied guys and what passes as dancing looks more like two men with a combined age of 220 looking more like they're struggling to shuffle their way to the bathroom while carrying bursting bladders.
If these two were an actual dance pair in Strictly Come Dancing they'd get a score of 1/40 in total from the four judges (the only point would be from an easily entertained Bruno Tonioli) and be voted out of the show by the public after a week.
Pictured: early midlife crisis
Suddenly a random notice pops up on the top right of the screen. Whoever it is, thank you, because the less I have to write about Tom and Adriano dancing like two decrepit old men, the better. The message appears to be from LJ and the tone is characteristically vicious: "you are a terrible and inconsiderate neighbour. You just made a big mistake. I will remember this!"
Okay, I have no idea who this message is addressed to or indeed even how this message is getting through at all. "I will remember this"? You're not an NPC in a Telltale game (RIP, Telltale Games. I will remember you.) so as a threat this one is particularly weak. What does he plan to do in retaliation? Attack the first flatmate from this apartment he sees with a pair of cymbals to the head? Take legal action against this apartment on the grounds of nuisance and a violation of the right to quiet enjoyment? I wager the message is addressed to Tom in response to his terrible keyboard music. Oh boy, if LJ believes that was unbearable enough to warrant an angry complaint, just wait until he hears the full musical that is due later this episode.
5:07am - Finally a miracle happens. Tom discovers he is secretly more talented than both how he looks and how his initial demeanour presents itself. While Adriano continues to awkwardly strut about like some embarrassing suburban mother trying to blend in with the kids at a child's birthday party or someone who desperately needs to pop a large one out in the toilet, a flick is switched on and Tom immediately ups his dance game. It's no professional dance routine whatsoever and nor will it win any awards, but he no longer looks anywhere near as embarrassing. He now looks like a man packing actual energy and purpose in his moves, oscillating to a beat that only he can mercifully hear.
5:29am - The work alarm calls for Adriano and like the feckless bum decides he'd not only skip work day, but make it a paid day off. Dude, you're the mafia boss of some nondescript criminal organisation running rampant in this city. You're supposed to be in charge of the entire enterprise, any subsidiaries it has, the whole hierarchy, and every business decision, negotiation and network contact required to keep this whole house of cards intact. You can't simply proclaim this to be a paid day off without telling anyone, else the chain of command comes to a standstill. You are a terrible don and I hope both secret agents Sly and Olivia take you and your dirty ilk down. That or someone more ambitious, committed and hard-working within the crime syndicate ensures you sleep with the fishes while they move to take all your assets.
5:33am - Let's go and visit The Forest Owls' residence. After all, it's been a while since we've seen Adam, a fellow feckless father, and his troublesome red-haired toddler son who is clearly nowhere near as awesome as The Incredibles' Jack-Jack.
*knock knock* - HELLO. CAN YOU LET ME IN, PLEASE?
While Olivia takes the initiative to actually walk up to the apartment door and knock on it, her flatmates choose to stand well back. Exactly what they expect to happen the moment the door opens up is beyond me. Maybe an occupant will pop their head out and immediately give the person who knocked a good fist to the face? Maybe it's a trap and it triggers a fiery explosive blast that charbroils anyone daft enough to stand anywhere near the door? So Olivia is a convenient, expendable sacrificial lamb? (Yes.)
5:42am - Apparently being in a zen-like state and finding spiritual enlightenment means being a prick with a hand buzzer to anyone who has yet to enter a similar state of mental peace. Without even saying hello to anyone in The Forest Owls household, Olivia instinctively wanders up to Mitsuki, who is innocently hanging around in front of the TV looking like she's lost the TV remote yet again, and gives her a lovely jolt with the buzzer. No doubt this is a firm statement by Olivia to Mitsuki to tell her this is what she gets for Herman's premature disappearance...even if it was the real Mitsuki whose neglect led to Herman's sudden demise, not her Sim self. Not that it matters. If we can punish Mitsuki vicariously through her Sim self suffering a burning electrical jolt up the arm, so be it.
Did I say TV? I clearly meant a 1970s primitive picture box that barely has colour and with a screen size that's probably smaller than some smartphones.
5:54am - Tia somehow falls for the same hand buzzer trick despite standing mere metres away when Mitsuki was painfully zapped. That's the pair of them temporarily lobotomised for the rest of this week. Good work, Olivia. Use this buzzer to help spread harmony and spiritual peace to all your neighbours.
Nearby we see Adam awkwardly attempt to eat breakfast with his son...wait, hang on. Not THAT much time has passed since we last checked up on young Greeny and somehow he's managed to age by like 7-8 years when I wasn't looking. He's no longer a toddler who mischievously washes his hands in the toilet bowl; he is now a precocious 9-year old who almost looks aware of and disappointed in his deadbeat dad. Greeny politely takes his own bowl to the sink to be washed while his bearded father simply sits slumped in his chair looking like someone who has spent this whole session sulking or drinking. If there's one thing I've learnt in this whole Sims programme thus far, it's that your life is pretty much over the moment you become a father. Birth control is a thing, that's all I'm saying!
6:25am - In fact Adam looks so despondently depressed that he doesn't even see the obvious threat of a demented woman bearing a hand buzzer coming down on him. He holds out his hand in anticipation of a limp, halfhearted handshake and the searing pain of the electrical jolt is the precise medicine he needs to be snapped out of his sulky stupor. In spite of the fact that this yet another damning example of a Brit oppressing an Irishman in an 800-year long line of oppressive behaviour, Adam seems uncharacteristically mild about the literal shock. In fact he almost seems thankful, like he was so lost in his own little internal abyss that it required physical pain to drag him kicking and screaming from his sunken place. Adam is now free again - free to wait at least 9 more years for his son to move out so he'll be able to spend an unnecessary €45 on a set of doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.
Meanwhile, as it's past 6am, it's once again L O V E D A Y !
Love Day is definitely my favourite time of the...well, however often it is in the Simsian calendar. It's the perfect time for couples to woo each other with elaborately expensive dates, long evenings of equally overpriced wine and cocktails on a balcony bar and to just lean against each other's shoulders as they stargaze together at a lay-by at midnight next to a dogging site. Adriano is quickly getting into the spirit of the occasion by singing a song...to Tom...to the tune of Jingle Bells for some reason. Quick, someone bring Olivia over. I think at least one more person here needs a good jolt to kickstart his failing mind.
Tom seems none to pleased that Adriano of all people is regaling him with a Love Day song. Firstly, no one wants anything like that from Adriano. Secondly, Tom has yet to get over Queen Brahne. Every day he still longs for that Mr Burns hair, that elegant blue, crinkled skin, her propensity to whisper sweet, sweet imperialist ideology into his ear, and...well, let's just say Tom derives sexual pleasure from having Brahne lying on top of him like he's being crushed by a boulder. It's like how some people derive sexual pleasure from erotic asphyxiation; Tom just derives considerable pleasure from having a heavy blue woman squashing him against a creaking bed. And he will never forget how Adriano is the man who STOLE this woman from him. Who does Adriano think he is? Knocking up a woman like that, seeding her with his demonic spawn and barely ever even seeing her or his kids? What an absolute disgrace to the concept of a safe and secure family unit.
So naturally he starts a vicious brawl with Adriano. Everything about his dodgy face triggers Tom. As a literal dust cloud engulfs the warring duo, Greeny walks straight past, just barely avoiding being collateral damage by centimetres. Be careful, Greeny! The whole production crew will get into serious trouble with the broadcasting studio bosses if we end up accidentally showing violence inflicted against children on this show, deliberately or accidentally!
Olivia: "You spent €45 on doughnuts? AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Did you remember to spend like $50 on bananas too like Ross did?"
The fight has yet to even end when Brahne conveniently pops back into the picture by sending Tom a message. As it's Love Day, she's asking if the Harly hunk would like to go on a date with her to some nondescript ancient ruins nearby. I was under the impression Tom ought to be the one taking such an initiative to ask a woman out on a date, but I guess I had it wrong the entire time. Of course Tom eagerly accepts this offer before he can even take an additional breath - and while he's still duking it out with Adriano. We don't even see a proper conclusion to this epic throw-down, or indeed why Brahne is even asking for Tom and not Adriano. I guess it doesn't matter. The fact that Tom's the one who gets the date means he's already scored a huge win over Adriano.
6:40am - And so the date begins in these nameless ruins. What is the name of these ruins? What was occupying this site that left these ruins behind? Why exactly are they ruins now? What's the story of this dilapidated set of stone blocks and arches? THE GAME DOES NOT TELL US!
"Isn't it beautiful, Thomas? Over here on my right is a BEAUTIFUL spot for a huge graveyard I intend to build for all the Cleyrans and Burmecian rats I had killed."
I shall henceforth call this the Burmecian Ruins. Just a generation ago, the rat people of Burmecia lived in harmony on this land, having built a grandiose city out of stone and a burgeoning civilisation driven by ingenuity and skilled labour unimpeded by the heavy, pouring rain that the land would commonly be subjected to. That changed when Queen Brahne, the CEO of Alexandria Industries came along and attempted to lay a sweeping legal claim over the entire land. When the Burmecians shored up a legal defence team to challenge Brahne's expansionist commercial real estate claim, Brahne simply only increased the potency of her legal team by tenfold, hiring the services of Odin & Sleipnir Solicitors. When the Burmecians and Cleyrans continued to exercise every legal avenue possible to defend their ownership of their respective lands, it meant an exceptionally slow court process for Brahne to surmount. She grew utterly impatient and simply sent in her private military corporation to seize them by force instead.
So the Burmecian Ruins you see now are the remains of a proud, bustling rat-infested city. Yes, it means they are not exactly "ancient", but misleading advertisement buzzwords can be found ANYWHERE. Next time you walk into a restaurant and see a food item advertised as freshly caught and cooked by a trained Parisian chef? Presume it's false. Alexandria Industries came along and turned the place into a tourist attraction where all proceeds go straight to the company's coffers and naturally to its many shareholders. Brahne herself is nonplussed about the fact that her private corporation somehow got away with inflicting untold war crimes on innocent civilians, but what is the Simsville government going to do to her? Set Bahamut on her? So for now she can be happy and content to show Tom around. This very spot for example, used to be a thriving Burmecian bazaar, until soldiers marched in with bayonets.
So, this date - well, it's Love Day, so what could possibly go wrong? Tom tries to elevate the date from the get-go by offering the blue beauty a perfect gift of his choice. What gift could he possibly give her? A wristband made out of dead Burmecian soldiers' tails? A necklace made out of dead Burmecian teeth? A gorgeous wig to fix her hair problems? Nope! Even better! He has some fish tacos that were made by Kira and are ostensibly of excellent quality. I...what? Brahne seems delighted...kind of! I dunno, her laugh sounds nervous, as if in these few seconds her mind has immediately flipped 180 degrees and she realised she's essentially asked yet another idiot out.
"Sorry, darling. There weren't any Burmecian rat skulls for sale."
7:10am - Tom is determined to be the ultimate smooth-talking Casanova of this whole show and he does not want any of us to forget that. What better way to enchant his date than a few flirty lines. With any luck, Brahne will be so hot and sweaty she'll happily go for a passionate Woohoo with him behind a bush somewhere, powered by the exciting adrenaline of knowing full well some passerby could easily spot them having at it.
So he tells her some story about...wooden house furniture? What? I know he has wood, but that doesn't mean she's interested in what wood can build. Brahne, who is evidently not very interested in the properties of wooden cupboards and chairs, can only hoarsely laugh. Tom is immediately crestfallen, his self-esteem taking a fatal hit more quickly than Odin can cast a Zantetsuken on an enemy. The vibe of this date shatters when it's barely begun and this whole event is now suddenly more awkward and tragic than anything that could have happened when Tami and Ross had their early morning art gallery date. Poor Tom. Why is he simply incapable of catching a break today? Is this karma for his earlier terrible electric keyboard skills?
Tom: "you are very uhhh, thicc?"
Brahne: "I AM WHAT?!!"
The conversation doesn't look like it can salvaged now, let alone the date in its entirety. The whole situation spirals down the drain faster than Adam's wallet after a doughnut binge and Tom can't help but be so inundated with embarrassment that it's enough for him to wish Titan can literally split open the world now and have the abyss swallow him up. But his personal sense of pride is too stubborn to be trampled upon with impunity, so Tom obligatorily has to criticise Brahne for SOMETHING. Of all the things, he chooses to diss her for her 'Woohoo Techniques'. For some reason this is enough to shift his mood from total embarrassment to sheer elation, because I suppose from a man's point of view there are few things more therapeutic than to tell a woman that she is awful in bed.
7:58am - Well, this date is officially beyond any hope of getting back on track, so is it any surprise that Tom elects to just ditch her and do his own thing in these ruins? Well it shouldn't be. That was a rhetorical question. With the blue behemoth now out of his sight (which is impressive considering how conspicuous she is), Tom jogs off to light up a random bonfire pyre. Okay, why exactly is there a bonfire pyre here? Surely such a thing would be a health & safety hazard? The ruins already look fragile enough and the sandstone don't look resilient enough to handle a raging bonfire. Tom isn't about to dance in front of the flames again and possibly invite some angry indigenous spirit to rise from its slumber to haunt these grounds, right?
When your date goes to shit and the only way you can lift your spirits again is to set something on fire.
With the fresh smell of smoke billowing into his nostrils and ensnaring his senses, Tom then proceeds to run over to a large bush to *ahem* "fertilise" it. There's a sign right next to the bush that warns people not to piss in the bushes, but why should Tom follow the instructions left behind by Brahne's corporation now? Nothing will get in the way of his decision to unzip his trousers and let that tingling feeling of sweet nature's release engulf him. Now normally someone would stand IN FRONT OF the bush to do such a noble business, but Tom instead decides to dive straight into the bush, no doubt to emerge afterwards with leaves and brambles all over him.
When your date goes to shit and the only way you can lift your spirits again is to set something on fire AND dive with your balls out into a thick bush.
8:20am - Tom re-emerges from the bush, somehow still spry and without a scratch. I don't know how full his bladder was, but the whole bush now smells of fresh piss, which makes me imagine that there's a whole puddle inside somewhere. He looks deeply satisfied - so satisfied that drowsiness sets in abruptly. He yawns, leans back against the bush and predictably falls straight back inside it - albeit into a now-piss soaked bush. No doubt realising he's slumbering within a combination of thorny brambles and his own urine, he quickly escapes from the foliage. Though he looks bafflingly triumphant at first, like he's pulled off something amazing for an episode of Jackass, the discomfort rapidly sets in and he looks immensely ashamed of himself. Damn right he should be ashamed of himself. What happened to his life to make such a sequence of events possible?
9:21am - He cannot allow his flatmates to find out what happened today at the ruins. Kira in particular would mercilessly mock him for a millennium. Olivia would publish the embarrassing story in a novel or something. He returns to the flat and...wait, a message says he actually successfully went to work sometime between climbing out of the piss-soaked bush and before he got back to the flat? And that he successfully earned a single dollar? A SINGLE DOLLAR? Am I supposed to believe he actually stopped off at his laboratory workplace in the intervening time and made a single dollar? I am more inclined to believe he popped in and someone chucked a dollar bill at him, like it was a one dollar bet between Tom and a coworker to see whether the former can do anyhing as daft and humiliating as say, piss inside a bush and treat it as a bed.
9:52am - Tom's already had some shuteye inside a piss-soaked bush in some rat-infested ruins. Everyone else however? They're off to bed, obeying a weird daily schedule that only someone like Kira in real life can approve of. Olivia creepily follows Kira to their joint bedroom while Strawbeary Dan comfortably snoozes on his own bed - in costume. How does one even sleep comfortably in costume? Can you imagine how itchy, warm and smelly it must be in there? Adriano meanwhile just crashes on the sofa. Olivia does climb out of bed four minutes later upon realising she had climbed into bed donning her sweaty, grimy gym clothes (eww), swiftly changes into her sleepwear and quickly returns to bed. All seems quiet in the apartment and Tom can serenely get in the shower and wash away the shame of the day.
11am - Nope. Sleep is for the weak! Dan kicks the covers off his costume and defiantly shoots straight up. If Olivia and Kira can attain spiritual enlightenment and find their centre by pretending to do yoga, why can't he? Vying to free himself from the claustrophobic confines of his filthy, fettering bear costume, he changes into fresh gym clothes and sets about trying to find a true state of tranquility. How calming. How serene. How comforting.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
As the wise Confucius once said "...that ass."
11:40am - Wait, hang on. I take it back. Peace and tranquility over. Adriano is awake just in time to do absolutely nothing constructive with his day. He decides to be mean to poor Dan, mocking his outfit first of all, which is crass considering Adriano himself looks like the first bloke the police would detain for a sex crime.
"Confucius once said of his enemies: KISS MY ARSE"
Dan is not falling for the bait and he reacts by...wait, what is he doing? He's got his behind to Adriano and seems to be showing him his butt? It is a fine derriere as usual, Dan, don't get me wrong, but I'm not seeing how this will help your case, unless the gesture is to goad Adriano into gaze at his fine buns and kiss them. Dan does sit back down again once it becomes abundantly clear that Adriano will not literally kiss his ass, but unfortunately all semblance of inner tranquility he built up is lost as he threatens to go Super Saiyan.
Tom: "Goddamn, that butt is better than Brahne's..."
12pm - Someone hasn't forgotten about the inconclusive brawl from earlier. It's time the fight is settled once and for all. Now armed with...okay, let's just presume going by the shape and size of that cup that it's Pot Noodles but with all the noodles already consumed and with only the watery broth left behind, Adriano chucks the rest of the cup at Tom. The latter is understandably a little aggrieved that anyone would have the gall to disrespect him like this, much less Adriano of all people.
“Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.”
Oh, but anger will never disappear, because neither men have found themselves through introspective meditation. So a brawl inevitably starts. This time Brahne is no longer interested to text Tom halfway through the fight to ask him out on a date to some more ancient ruins, so Round 2 actually has a conclusion. Adriano is soundly defeated, his noggin bruised, his brain now extra battered and his vision all dazed and spinning. The victory has given Tom back some element of a sense of humour, so he triumphantly follows it up by throwing Love Day confetti all over his vanquished opponent.
As the wise Confucius also once said: "KICK HIS BLOODY BOLLOCKS IN, MY SON!"
This doesn't quell the ego clash. Adriano presumably discusses taking Tom on in an online game match. "1v1 me on Uncharted 4 or Final Fantasy XIV!" he's probably saying, ignorant of the fact that few people play Uncharted 4 anymore. Tom, who knows he would never be outplayed by this smug, insufferable git, physically shoves him. Just as this occurs, Tyler randomly shows up outside in the hallway to supposedly pump everyone up for some exercise. Dude, half the apartment is sleeping and the other half is fighting! What you should pump everyone up for instead is some calm, contemplative meditation.
12:55pm - Because he'd rather be anywhere than near Tyler for the rest of the day, and perhaps to make up for the fact that he's spent this whole episode acting like an unlikable jerk, Adriano takes it upon himself to head over to the other flat to check up on his kids. Exactly why he’s living AWAY from his kids is a mystery. Maybe the court ordered that Adriano is so hopeless a father that the mother has full legal custody over the children, but some supervised contact hours are permitted. Adriano can come visit to see the kids for a certain number of hours a week, and he is not permitted to take any of the kids out without supervision, lest he wants the court to go after him with further penalties. That makes the most sense to me, because only Adriano can be so rotten a father that he makes Adam look like the proud owner of a dozen annual 'Dad of the Year' mugs and Brahme - a brutal murderous dictator - a gentle, happy, caring mother.
Adriano crosses over to Brahne's condo and for some reason someone’s left one of the hellspawn outside. The blue hellspawn, whose name is apparently Thorn (ah, I see the twins have been given a slight rename since their birth, which now leaves me terrified because there's now a good chance both will merge into Meltigemini one day) is already out in the hallway unattended, vulnerable to any potential child kidnappers. Fortunately, though he has "child kidnapper" written all over his face, Adriano has no intention of kidnapping his own son. No, that would entail parental responsibilities if he were to take Thorn and we can't have that. Brahne does emerge to lovingly pinch this little blue one's cheeks only to swiftly have to disappear back inside without him, presumably to prevent Zorn from setting the place on fire or something.
And just in case anyone has any doubts, Kira in real life checks Adriano’s genealogy and yup, these are indeed his children, meaning humanity is doomed if you weren't already aware of that fact.
...I miss toddler Greeny already
...I miss toddler Greeny already
1:14pm - Perhaps determined to jettison his well-deserved reputation as a deadbeat dad and a general asshole, Adriano picks up his blue-skinned son for a cuddle. Zorn, who somehow manages to open and close the front door despite his inability to reach those door handles plus a general lack of strength to open the door in such a way, happens to pop out to start crying over some teddy bear? He sees his father embrace his brother and waddles straight back in, as if realising now is not an ideal time to expect his constantly absent dad to be of much source of empathy and comfort for him.
Twin siblings jostling for equal parental affection and attention, but clearly Thorn is a thorn on the side of Zorn.
1:26pm - Adriano enters the flat, presumably to properly say hello to his other son. Unfortunately he kind of leaves Thorn outside, because he can't go a few minutes without being an idiot. Zorn in the meantime has waddled over to his nursery bedroom to greet this giant stuffed cat thing. Comparative to him it's a giant, for it towers over the young child. Zorn happily strikes some delightfully adorable baby conversation with the giant stuffed cat and from this angle it almost looks like a keen underling reporting some positive news to his giant, stoic master.
"Everything is going according to plan, Master. Soon my father will be further disgraced and he won't legally be allowed to even see us ever again!"
"Goooooooooooood. Meow meep."
1:44pm - I'll be damned. He really is genuinely putting in the effort to turn public opinion of himself around. Adriano goes up to Zorn once the kid's ominous evil conversation with his feline master (plot twist: this is who Herman REALLY is. An overlord who can shapeshift his personal appearance to ensnare impressionable young people and coerce them into doing his bidding for unknown ends) and greets his kid, behaving like an actual, friendly, caring father! Is this only possible when he's dazed after a particularly thorough physical brawl? Does getting beaten up cause the equivalent of making him drunk which in turn warps him into a nice dad?
What kind of thoughts is Adriano putting into the kid's head, do you reckon? Perhaps he's telling his son all about the long battle gamers had to fight just to garner Sony's attention enough to finally allow them to change their PlayStation Network usernames. He's had the name Eclair Farron for practically a decade now and quite frankly, he wants to change the name into another female character he's more into these days. Or maybe he's trying to explain to his son that he MUST play Xenogears and the Xenosaga trilogy, because no other work of fiction is as deep, complex, genius and "suspenseful" as those games. It's where he learnt all his philosophy from and it's changed his life! Sort of!
Okay, I won't lie. The kid's adorable. But once he grows up he may turn out to be like his dad, so this joy is only ever so finite and temporary.
2:37pm - Hang on, I take it back. He proceeds to try and crush the kid's dreams. Goodness knows what he must have said that can break a little child's heart like that. Has Bandai Namco been doing something dodgy with Soulcalibur VI? Is the Final Fantasy VII Remake still in trouble and likely won't be out until Zorn is an old man himself? Is Bungie about to close down soon? Has Stefanie Joosten retired from appearing in anything ever again? Has Hideo Kojima had enough, cancelled Death Stranding and is now only making F2P mobile games for the rest of his career?
"It's not all bad! Star Wars Battlefront 2 started off with all the terrible press and lootboxes, but it's a much better game now, because we gamers showed EA who's boss!"
Well whatever was said (maybe he was just told Santa doesn't exist?), Zorn seems only dispirited for a short while and quickly gets over it, cementing my suspicion that this kid is also doomed to become a sociopath like his father in the future.
2:55pm - Meanwhile, what's Mama up to? She appears to be tending to Thorn, but...oh god, it's like Greeny all over again, except this one is a curly brown-haired blue baby and Greeny was just a red-haired bag of terror. Both Brahne and Thorn are sitting on a right old mess on the floor. It looks like a puddle of bird poop or someone's just had a major accident involving tiramisu. In an attempt to entertain her temperamental son, Brahne is trying to play the role of Derren Brown with a deck of cards. She's holding up cards as if to say "is this your card?". Judging by Thorn's utterly befuddled and frustrated face, I wager that none of them were his cards. He's a baby. He probably doesn't even know he had to pick a card at the start.
"I activate my Trap card. It negates your monster's summon and destroys it!"
"You can't do that, Mama. My own monster has a Quick Effect that negates your card before it has any effect on mine. Denied."
Adriano, Father of the Year he is, wanders over to crush his other kid's hopes and dreams as well. "Hey, Thorn. The next few Dissidia NT characters have been revealed and Yuna is STILL not one of them!" While Thorn seems visibly upset by whatever nonsense was spouted at him, Brahne cackles hoarsely. It's a very scary kind of cackle. It's the cackle of someone who has plans to invade another continent. What a family of utter, utter sociopaths. That said, Adriano does try to redeem things slightly by entertaining his son with a story, but we really must cut it short. If I have to spend any longer writing about this dysfunctional family, I will happily call for my Sim to be drowned in a pool.
3:44pm - Thank goodness. I don't have to see blue people anymore, because we are now back at the Turtle Paradise apartment. Olivia is also being a weirdo creep today, because she's happily talking to herself in the corner in her sleepwear. Maybe she's talking to one of her many dissociative personalities. Kira and Tom are happily getting food while Dan is typing away feverishly on the computer. Perhaps he's frantically trying to get through to John Campling but is receiving no actual response from the man, so he's now trying to make up for it with a hasty message to Susan Calloway. We can't have a big gaping missing part in the next issue of the Timber Maniacs magazine!
"Fiiiiiine. John must be busy. Maybe I can get through to Susan Calloway instea-"
"SUSAN IS TOO BUSY AS WELL? WHAT THE HELL?! STRAWBEARY DAN MAD. STRAWBEARY DAN SMASH!"
4:10pm - It's time for some fresh hell, ladies and gentlemen. Kira now wants to sing and if last week's episode is of any indication, she can't sing to save her life. First, she has to put down that cup of whatever it is she's drinking. It looks like milk, which is kind of weird to drink on its own. I don't mind a glass of soy milk here and there, but not normal cow milk. Anyway, she decides the best place to put down her glass would be...she walks right up to Tom while his back is turned and he's munching something while perched on a stool in front of the kitchen counter, and she stuffs the glass up his butt. No, really. She literally puts her glass down in the general vicinity of Tom's rear and when the camera swings back round to take a shot of Tom's lovely buttocks, the glass is nowhere to be seen. What other rational conclusion can I make?
So the woman starts singing and already it sounds like how I would imagine someone would sound when they have the flu and laryngitis. Just listening to her strained LA LA LAs is almost enough to give me the flu in real life. I can feel my own air ducts constricting and my throat scrunching up into a ball. My own body would rather strangle itself to death than be subjected to more of this infernal singing. If this apartment has any neighbours with ears, they should surely pick up the phone right now and order in the bloody SWAT team, because this hardened criminal needs to go down. This Kira doesn't even have the flu. This is how she naturally sounds. If there are any spirits on this planet who are earthbound and cannot pass over to the other side on their own, just being able to hear this singing is more than potent enough to allow them to escape to the afterlife with no effort needed whatsoever.
And oh god, Kira shows no signs of abating. She will gladly continue to sing the afternoon and evening away. The hoarse screeching goes on, and on, and on. Why are we here but to suffer? Were we placed on this earth just to be playthings to endure torment after torment for divine entertainment? Can angels descend to our mortal plane right now and truly comprehend even with minds as grand and mighty as theirs the full extent of the fatal suffering we must endure? What even is the meaning of life at this point? Is it a test of spiritual fortitude, to see who can triumph with the various cards they are given - with those who triumph over the harshest adversities given proportionately more benefits in the afterlife? If so, what ascended prize shall we all get for having listened to Kira sing for this long? Our Father above, can I be rewarded with eternal bliss now, please? I simply cannot take any more of this and I beg you for merciful succour.
Hopefully when Kira returns to eat her now-rotten food she will actually come down with a disease and it will be well-deserved.
4:30pm - Tyler – who was let in for some reason – somehow finds Kira’s singing enchanting enough to dance along to it. That or the man is that tone deaf, or just deaf in general. At this point being deaf would be more a benefit than a disability in my opinion. Olivia eventually tries to diplomatically get Tyler to leave. Somehow this works and Tyler leaves. At least he can leave. He surely cannot appreciate how lucky he is to be able to leave and get away from all this. Olivia also has the choice to go to work or stay at home. She chooses to take a paid day off, which is absurd because surely it's within the parameters of protecting national security if she does her job right now and knocks Kira out cold before her strangulated singing can reach the delicate ears of any other poor soul out there.
5:05pm - OH GOD. NOW TOM AND OLIVIA ARE JOINING IN ON THE TERRIBLE SINGING. THIS IS THE WORST MUSICAL EVER.
What La La Land would be like if its Rotten Tomatoes rating score is 1%
Just as Kira in real life zooms in on Olivia to be able to hear her voice properly (why?), Tom immediately tries to drown her out by screaming his voice out at an even higher decibel, turning the whole thing into something like the Tidus laugh of Final Fantasy X, only worse by a hundredfold. This isn't singing. This is like a group of insane flatmates whose mental faculties have gone into shutdown and exercising a racket this horrendous is the rational mind's way of making a cry for help. But screw this lot. I'd rather we the audience members get help before this lot get any.
5:44pm - If Tyler was not intent on leaving anyway, he sure is now. Because right now, Kira, Tom and Olivia are standing in a circle facing outward in different directions "singing". Minutes later, Dan joins this circle of evil and all that is missing now is a satanic pentagram on the floor by their feet. Additionally, this was where Mitsuki's young son in real life unceremoniously woke up because regrettably, his mother underestimated how much of a fiendish racket this "musical" would be. Half the noise alone is perhaps Kira and Tom trying to outdo each other in decibels before one of them witnesses a permanent, catastrophic voice box failure. Believe me, that would be a blessing for us all. Well, tough luck, Mitsuki. You did lose the cat last week!
"Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I make the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations which they have committed." - Ezekiel 33:29
6:43pm - Now Adriano tries to join the circle too, but the singing knocks him out quite literally. He collapses to the floor and very briefly snoozes. Just as this happens, Fil messages to say he’s bored and wants to hang out with this lot. Are you sure about that, Fil? I'd rather put myself in solitary confinement with nothing to do, no one to talk to and next to no stimulus whatsoever than put up with this lot.
It'd be more accurate if he just literally dropped dead from the sheer diabolicalness of it all.
There is no other way I can describe this musical. As we speak, crows are dropping from the skies now, perforating the air as they drop down like a thick rain of obsidian feathers and limp, soot-black bodies. It is like the Plagues of Egypt are transcending biblical legends to manifest in reality, stopping short of the part where firstborn sons are in mortal danger - though any soul is in mortal danger if they do so much as come anywhere close to this one apartment floor. Dogs are frantically howling below, having finally become consciously aware for the very first time ever, of their own mortality. Their barks and their whimpers are not merely the barks and whimpers of animals who know it is soon the end for them, but the barks and whimpers that serve as a warning for anyone within a few blocks of this building. They warn any potential visitors to flee this place now, before the total desecration of their minds irreversibly occurs.
We have truly as a collective of roughly four people, broken the Sims simulation so thoroughly that I fear this may be the final ever episode. This whole production crew feel like soldiers desperately seeking passage out of Vietnam, now overcome with brutal shellshock and PTSD. Yes, I am actually inadvertently making light of real Vietnam veterans with PTSD by making this silly comparison, but rest assured, it's as a silly joke, not out of malice. But I highly doubt Vietnam was any worse than this.
7:14pm - Salvation is finally at hand. THE SINGING FINALLY STOPS AND…oh hello, Sly? What is he doing here? Is he here in the capacity of a secret service agent, ready to raze this whole building to the ground if it means putting an end to this madness? How else can anyone feel compelled to visit with this noise? And who let you in?
7:45pm - Everyone in the flat goes to bed after that tiring musical. Sly takes this opportunity to take a shit in their flat and leave. Oooookay. Maybe that's the perfect non-verbal response to this whole episode. It's a load of poop.
...Sly's ONLY REASON for coming here is to take a dump in someone else's bathroom?!
...Sly's ONLY REASON for coming here is to take a dump in someone else's bathroom?!
In foiling the evil satanic musical in this apartment, is Secret Agent Sly the real MVP of this episode? Nah.
I MISS HERMAN.
This is Linnaete signing out and she is mentally distressed.
I MISS HERMAN.
This is Linnaete signing out and she is mentally distressed.