Welcome back to Mesa Vista and the Carl Homeless household!
When we last left Carl, the worst of Winter was over, but without any form of shelter beyond his tent, the Spring rains weren't much of an improvement.
After two weeks of playing, Carl was at Level 3 in the Homeless career; a Soup Kitchen Scrounger who worked seven days a week from 10am to 8pm, which gave him exactly three hours of daylight each day for skilling and other pursuits.
Pursuits such as the never-ending battle to keep his Environment motive out of the ditch.
"Gol durn dogs."
For most of Carl's life, though, he was quite literally in the dark.
In addition to his grueling work schedule and just trying to survive, he also had to gain three more Creativity points for his next promotion. However, it was becoming more and more apparent that there literally weren't enough hours in the day, and he began to despair that he would never be able to start a family and have a child attend University.
You could say he was quite literally running himself into the ground...
"Oh, m'back," he groaned.
He rose, his joints stiff from the cold, unyielding ground, and folded the tent before putting it in his backpack.
Yep, if it was one thing he had learned from being a Park Bench Squatter, those park benches were mighty comfortable.
It worked wonders on his sore back, and he began to reassess his strategy for achieving his goal.
Things were bad, but not all bad. He did derive some pleasure from nature-related activities, and in fact was coping fairly well with the harsh living conditions. It was the loneliness more'n anything that was beating him down, and getting worse with each passing day.
"By gol', I feel trapped, no differ'nt'n you little buggers."
"Go on, git now."
Since his little epiphany, Carl's focus would no longer be on striving for the next promotion. It was Spring, and we all know what Spring was for...
That's right, it was for finding that special someone willing to become Mrs. Homeless.
After several elderly women walk-bys, Gretchen Chin graced his lot with her lovely presence.
"Like water balloon fights?"
The carpool showed up right in the middle of their delightful exchange, and Carl waited until the very last second before regretfully telling Gretchen he had to go to work.
(Rule: Can't cancel the carpool. Dammit!)
But he wasn't stopping there, and after going to bed (tent) without touching the easel, he set the next step in motion:
Going to the new Mesa Vista Public Library (earned NPC lot I built, based on a Google image of a "small modern library").
Not only did the new library contain the usual library-type stuff...
As an added draw, it was the only place in town where one could buy cell phones as well as other aspiration-boosting products.
Might as well earn some tips while he waited...
By now it was 6:30am and the clock was ticking. Carl could spend up to twelve hours once a week on a community lot before the authorities would run him off.
Ramin Johnston was definitely in the shirtless-is-hawt camp and enjoyed Carl's freestyle show, but he didn't put his money where his heart-farting was.
Madeleine Dallas was digging the show too.
Enough of that, he had more pressing matters to attend to. He looked in his tip jar and nodded his thanks to the teen.
Carl entered *her* number on his new cell phone, and paused when Madeleine asked, "Where'd you get that?"
"Woot!" As she ran into the building, it appeared inevitable Ramin was going to be parting with his cash one way or the other...
"Real glad you could make it."
"Thanks for inviting me."
What followed was an exercise in frenzied dating, because Carl had to fall in love and get his relationship with Gretchen up to 100/100 before he could ask her to move in.
"Excuse me, do you know what a library is for?"
"Beat it, we're busy, gramps."
They reached a Dream Date easily, but Carl was allowed only one Dream Date per week.
Take all these romantic interactions and multiply them by at 4 or 5, and I got six RL minutes which translated to hours of Dream Dating fun...
And sure enough, that lifetime score inched ever higher...
In fact, it got all the way up to 98 before the witching hour struck. I was shocked.
"Time fer me to skedaddle."
"Aww, do you have to?"
"'Fraid so. I want you t'know you put the dream in Dream Date, baby."
The plan had been to get his daily score with Gretchen to 100 and let the lifetime build over the week. He had never expected to get so close to moving her in with just one Dream Date! Now he was all fired up and ready to the grab the bull... no, Gretchen was nothing like a bull, more like a swan with that graceful neck of hers, but he winced at the mental picture of his big gloved hands grabbing her slender neck...
Enough wasting time with stupid metaphors! The carpool would be there in two hours. Could he..? Would she..?
"Can you come over, like right quick?"
"Just let me gussy up and I'll be right over."
Carl took a sweeping look around his lot...
"Gol durn dogs..."
"Carl, it's okay. You sounded like it was urgent."
He patted the last mound of dirt in the hole and tossed the shovel out of the way, and then wiping his hands on the pockets of his coat, he said, "It is."
Then he was on one knee and presenting the small black box he had dug out of his favorite dumpster on the way home.
"Wow, it's... it's..."
"A Cracker Jack ring. Box is real, though."
"This... Carl, this is all so sudden..." Gretchen said, a quiver of excitement in her voice, and then she giggled nervously. "We just met yesterday!"
"Couldn't help fallin' in love with you kinda sudden, Gretchen."
"Wow!" she repeated, but didn't take the ring.
He withdrew the box, but he was not giving up!
"M'life s'far has been nothin' but hard work 'n struggle, 'n all I've got t'show for it is gittin' nowhere fast."
" *Sniff* Oh, Carl..."
"'Tis, until yesterday when I met Gretchen Chin. She gives me a reason to keep fightin'."
"Oh!" Tentatively she reach out her hand and said, "... Lemme see it again?"
"How did you know I love Cracker Jacks?" she whispered.
"So, when are we going to..?" She nodded toward the tent.
For the first time, Carl considered the effect the Homeless lifestyle would have on her. "Not gonna lie, conditions're harsh here."
Welcome to the Homeless Challenge, Gretchen.
As much as I love Carl, I love Gretchen for loving him too, and I felt a little guilty for making her the unfortunate Mrs. Homeless.
"Y're a homeless man's dream come true."
"Exactly what I was aimin' for."
But you know what? Gretchen wasn't fazed in the slightest.
Per the rules, she had to give up her job as a Hostess, and was cheated into the Homeless career.
"Don't overdo it," Carl warned from the car.
"Take it easy, hon."
I've had that CC top for years and never used it until now. Boy, was I thrilled when I saw the fingernails that came with it!
One of these days they might even have a counter to prepare the fish they caught.
These two were fast becoming one of my favorite couples, and playing the Homeless lot went from depressing to fun!
The first harvest of tomatoes was a poor one, but under the circumstances, Carl did good to get any at all.
One midsummer night they decided to go on a hike together, since they were always rolling wants for it.
I like that it looks like they're holding hands here. :)
The hike pretty much turned into a midsummer night's nightmare. Gretchen came back bright red, so I put the toilet in her inventory and placed a sink for her to grab a drink from.
You can barely see that Carl also arrived home, in the same spot.
Where he collapsed with heat exhaustion. And he wasn't overheated to begin with, unlike Gretchen.
Gretchen drank and drank, and while it didn't get her back to normal, it did get her out of heatstroke range.
Yeah. Seriously, this girl is like superwoman or something!
Carl had a bronze gardening badge, but with him passed out, Gretchen also took over tending their new batch of tomatoes. I think she's awesome. :)
He was out cold for almost 24 hours. The motive drain was slow, but over that long a period I was getting worried. I had thought Gretchen could revive him by throwing a glass of water on him, but no such luck. Much more realistic to pull out a hair dryer outside in the snow...
"Quit that yammerin'. Oh, m'head..."
*quietly makes a mental note for hiking in the winter...*
Houston, we have a pregnancy morph problem!
Gretchen had cheated once and left the lot to buy a more fitting homeless outfit and was prepared to do it again.
But she found something in the dresser that looked much better. Or, as good as it'll ever look on a Homeless lot...
"This baby is our ticket out of this hell hole. Promise to take it a little easier."
"I promise. By the way, when were you planning to make an honest woman of me? You do want a Homeless baby, right?"
"Why didn't you r'mind me?"
"I just did."
Do you, Carl and Gretchen, take each other to be your lawfully wedded spouse, in sickness and for poorer, as long as this #$@%in' challenge shall last?
For Carl, Gretchen was the gift that kept on giving.
As for Gretchen, she'd like to say "likewise."
"Oh yeah, my baby's hot."
Now maybe we can start working on getting some promotions...
"Go away, we're busy..."
That does it for the Homeless household! Gretchen moved in with 14000 simoleons, and I can't find anywhere in the rules that they have to give it up, so they'll be using it to start paying taxes.
If you're interested in the details of Callista's Homeless Challenge for TS2, you can find them and the link to her custom Homeless career at:
Direct link to Callista's Homeless Career (in case boolprop.net moves AGAIN):
BaCC quick stats:
Sim count + graves: 39 (+ 1 on the way *eeeeeeee!*)
Sim multiplier: 19
Thanks for reading!