Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sim State U Ch.5 Horrible House

Harvey, Gareth and Colby were thrilled with the house they rented. As far as they were concerned it had everything; a huge front porch lots of room for their memorabilia and games, a fishing pond and a pool.

Gareth and Harvey were getting to be pretty good cooks, making pork chops, hamburgers, chili, macaroni and cheese and they were learning to cook the fish they caught.

The guys were anxious to invite Melanie and Lori over for an evening and show off their home. As soon as everyone could get a night off from classes and assignments together, the girls came for dinner.

Melanie and Lori’s contribution was a blueberry pie for dessert and a couple of gallons of milk. They knew the guys went through just buckets of milk between their bowls of cereal every morning and the fact that all three drank milk with their meals. Gareth especially was addicted to cereal for a late snack and liked to put his cereal in the large mixing bowl. 

“More room that way,” he told Melanie.

They were so eager to show off the place that they met the girls at the end of the walk. As they all approached the porch, Gareth and Harvey noted that the girls did not have the same reaction to all of it as they had hoped. They had thought Melanie and Lori would be amazed and impressed by the eclectic and, they felt, educational decor. So far, however; they seemed cautious and unenthusiastic.

“Is this a fertility goddess or something?” Melanie asked with a slight frown as they came up on the big front porch.

“I don’t think so,” Gareth was uncertain.

“It’s a Tiki Idol, you know, from the islands?” Harvey explained.

“Oh, my goodness,that love seat looks like something feral could be living in it. I mean it’s out in the weather, what about squirrels or bats?” Lori asked.

“No, we found just about all the stuff on the porch up in the attic; it’s fine, including the love seat. We just brought it down the other day.” Harvey assured her, “They have all kinds of cool stuff up there.”

Melanie went closer and gingerly poked the thing.

“It looks kind of moth-eaten,” she said and shuddered, “Horrible.”

Looking at Lori she mouthed, “Mice.”

As they entered the foyer Lori asked,

“Is this sofa well? It seems to have the same creeping crud as the one on the porch.”

Before the boys could remark, Melanie looked up at the ceiling and visibly flinched,

“Whoa! Where did you get this lamp? Is it real? Is that from an elk or a moose or what?“

“Of course, it’s real. Awesome, isn’t it? My mom bought some of this stuff years ago up in the mountains. We never used it because it didn’t go with her 'décor' or whatever, I guess. So I begged her not to throw it out, just save it for me. It looks great here, don’t you think? And they're deer antlers.” Gareth was proud.

“Seems cruel to me,” Melanie said, “I mean using part of an animal as furniture like that.”

“Haven’t either of you ever sat on a leather couch?” Harvey asked quietly.

“Awww,” Lori made a sad noise of sympathy as she gazed at another lamp made with smaller antlers, “Look at his little horns, poor little deer. So tiny it must have been a baby deer.”

“If it was a fawn it wouldn’t have antlers," Harvey pointed out.

“Well it would if it was a teen-aged deer!” she was irate, “Bambi had horns when he was a teenager!”

“Antlers,” Gareth said helpfully.

 Melanie pointed to the wall, looking stricken.

“Look, Lori, there’s another set of horns on the wall there!”

“Antlers,” Harvey corrected again.

Lori made a face of disgust, and used the same adjective Melanie had on the porch, “Horrible.”

“He’s dead; he doesn’t care,” Gareth griped.

“It’s gruesome,” Melanie said, “I think I’d rather be left on the wall as a decoration, though, than be hung from the ceiling with little lamps inserted in me."

“It’s not made out of puppies and kittens for crying out loud,” Gareth muttered, “Haven’t either of you ever been to Three Lakes for a weekend?”

“I’m never going to Three Lakes if that’s the way it is,” Lori insisted, “They should have a sign when you go there saying ‘Welcome to Three Lakes: The Moose Murder Capital'."

She was dead serious but this made the guys roll with laughter.

As they entered the living room Melanie pointed to the huge bubble machine and asked suspiciously,

“Okay, what’s that monstrosity? A hookah you got from a genie? You guys don’t smoke.”

“It’s a bubble machine, uses soap and water, not tobacco,” Gareth answered, “It’s, um…well, we’ll show you later.”

“A bubble machine?” Lori scratched her head and looked at Melanie who shrugged.

When Melanie and Lori got a look at the love seat made like a woman’s red lips, they started to point and laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Gareth demanded. Harvey didn’t ask; he knew what was coming.

“Was there a fire sale at the Playboy Mansion?” Melanie asked when she could get it out.

“We got that at the furniture store in Bluewater Village, for your information,” Gareth was disgruntled at their lack of perception, “I thought it would be romantic.”

“Oh,” Lori nodded, “Right. Sitting my butt on a big pair of lips always puts me in the mood for love," she stopped suddenly then looked at Harvey, "Don't say it, I walked right into that one."

Harvey shrugged.

Melanie patted Gareth’s hand to soothe his feelings, “It is romantic, Big Boy, it is,” then she focused on what seemed at first to be a large painting of herself on the wall above the love seat. In it Melanie was standing in a low cut evening gown with one hand on her hip.

“Hey! That’s me on the wall! Where did you get that? I never posed for any photo like that!”

“Oh, that,” Gareth quickly explained as he walked over to the enormous framed picture, 

“I found this cool picture and since I didn’t have a big portrait of you, I just used a photo I had of your face close up and…well, I superimposed it on there and blew it up. I thought it would dress up the place.”

Harvey stood behind the girls praying Gareth would leave the subject alone and move on.

Melanie was so dumbfounded she couldn’t say anything at first. Then she gamely tried to smile as she murmured, “…sweet of you,”

“At least you have clothes on,” Lori pointed out, “What if he’d used one that looked like those paintings of naked ladies that you see over the bar in westerns, like in a saloon?”

When Lori said that about Western saloons; Harvey suddenly became fidgety; and Harvey was never fidgety.

“Well, Harvey has one--” Gareth began then saw Harvey shaking his head vigorously while drawing a finger abruptly across his throat, “What? I’m just telling them you have one of Lori almost like it in your bedroom.”

Lori whirled around to Harvey who was now in the hot seat.

“Oh, you do?”

“Um, don’t worry; you have clothes on, I promise.” He assured her, trying to remain cool.

“Well, that’s real big of you. Let’s get a look. Didn’t you say you had the only bedroom downstairs?” Lori walked purposefully toward a nearby door.

“I’ll show you later. That’s not my door, anyway.”

“Well, you’d better show me by the time we leave.”

“Why I’ll be glad to show you my bedroom, little lady,” he said in a western twang, hoping to inject a little humor into the situation.

“Ha ha.”

This was Lori’s standard reply to any and all crude or insulting insinuations offered by the men in her circle of friends.

“You know what I mean,” she huffed but let him take her hand.

“You have to see the upstairs, anyway, it’s really nice, no antlers, no creeping crud,” Harvey coaxed, trying to change the subject.

Lori shared a look with Melanie, “Aren’t there just bedrooms and bathrooms up there?”

“Well, yeah, but the bedrooms are very conventional and pest-free, honest,” Gareth said eagerly.

“Maybe later,” Melanie was offhand. Lori had let go of Harvey’s hand again and peeked in to the game room just past the portrait of Melanie,

“How many electronic games do you have in this house, for heaven's sake?”

“Oh, I guess about five, not counting the one upstairs," Gareth spoke, "Cool, huh? Why, you want to play?”

"Whenever we're not doing term papers or assignments or in class we're usually gaming," Harvey said.

"Yeah," Colby added as he came up behind them, "Harvey's still the best at the pinball but I'm getting pretty good at SSX3--I work on it all the time."

Gareth was making dinner this night so Colby and Harvey entertained the girls while he stomped around the kitchen banging a lot of pans. Colby was telling them about a sports award he’d recently won. The girls just loved Colby and felt very protective of him. He adored both of them but everyone knew he had a killer crush on Lori ever since they'd taken drama together. It always seemed that the shyer the boy the more he would be attracted to the outgoing and flamboyant girl. Of the two girls, Lori was definitely the one. He never said a word, but the guys could tell and eventually the girls figured it out, too. Lori simply ignored the fact and was as friendly to him as she always had been.

“Guess it’s just unrequited love,” Gareth had once mentioned when the two couples were out for the evening at the Pizza Bungalow, “He’ll pine away I fear, Lori.”

“Shut up, Gareth,” Melanie had warned him, “It’s not funny for poor Colby.”

“I don’t know what to do,” Lori worried, “He’s so sweet and shy, anything I would say would be a mistake.”

“Don’t do anything, honey; he’ll get over it when he meets a nice girl," Harvey said, "Right now he only feels comfortable talking to you and Melanie.”

“If only we could fix him up, Melanie,” Lori began.

“Oh, no, you don’t. Don’t even go there, Brat. Remember the last time you tried to match make at the senior party?” Harvey had cautioned her then.

So Colby remained unaffiliated for the time being. 

Gareth’s dinner was actually very good. He’d just learned from Harvey how to make pork chops and they all enjoyed the meal, remembering their steady diet of cup o' ramen, instant meals or TV dinners at Landgraab.

“I’m so proud of you, Big Boy--that was delicious!” Melanie applauded Gareth at the end of the meal and he did a little Middle East flourish as he bowed.

“Cheers for the chef!” Lori toasted him with her glass of milk.

“Ladies, you turn my head,” he grinned.

“Please, don’t make him more conceited than he already is,” Harvey groaned.

All of them decided they would save dessert for later, except for Colby who looked visibly deflated over this verdict. Lori smiled and said he should have his pie right now, did he want ice cream or whipped cream with it? He wanted ice cream so she dished it up for him. She and Melanie volunteered to clean up. Before they were even done with the dishes Colby had finished his pie and disappeared.

When they joined the guys in the living room, only Gareth and Harvey were there so Lori asked.

“What happened to Colby? He was here a minute ago, did he have a class?”

The guys just looked at each other for a moment.

Finally Gareth laughed and volunteered,

“We spiked his milk.”

“Not ‘we’, old man,” Harvey said.

“Are you serious?” Melanie asked, “You drugged him?”

“All right,it was me. But Harvey knew I was doing it. No prescription drugs or anything because Colby can’t even take aspirin without getting really sleepy. So instead of two aspirin I gave him three.”

“In his drink?” Lori was aghast.

“No, of course not; he’d have been able to taste it there for sure.  No, I pounded it into dust and put it in his garlic mashed potatoes,” Gareth smiled, “He’s sleeping like a baby--he’s fine!”

“I don’t know what to do with you guys,” Melanie put her hand to her forehead,” You should never have been allowed to live on your own. Why would you even do that to such a sweet guy?”

“Melanie,” Gareth was serious, “Colby blushes if I hold your hand in front of him. I didn’t want him to be embarrassed when we, you know, get romantic and neither did Harvey. It’s for his own sake, this way he’ll sleep right through…”

“Through…WHAT?” Lori demanded.

“Um, okay, we’ll never do anything like that again,” Gareth hurriedly assured the girls, “But as long as he’s already out cold…”

Melanie and Lori both stared angrily at him.

“Okayyyy!” Harvey stood up clapped his hands together and rubbed them eagerly, “So who’s ready to play some EA Sports?”

He sounded like a game show announcer, but it broke the tension. It took an hour before Melanie would talk to Gareth, but love or lust finally won out.

As he lead her out to the enclosed foyer, Melanie asked, “Gareth, are you SURE this couch is not infested with anything? I don’t want to end up with fleas on me.”

“I wouldn’t let you sit on anything that had bugs in it,” he insisted, sounding hurt.

“Well, okay…but if I start scratching; you’re going to be in big trouble.”

“Nothing will bite you, I promise,” he pulled her on his lap eagerly, “It’s very safe.”

“I don’t know about that,” she smiled. Then Melanie forgot all about mice and bugs for a while. Eventually, when Gareth gently took her by the hand and led her back in the house it was so dark they could hardly see anything. They couldn’t tell if Harvey and Lori were still in the living room or not. But really they didn’t care as Gareth guided her up the stairs and toward his bedroom.

Harvey and Lori were indeed in the living room, and shortly after they heard Gareth and Melanie on the stairs there was a sudden whispered discussion.

Lori was scowling at Harvey and he sat up saying,

“Well it’s partly your fault when you wear stuff like that thing you have on tonight! It’s a wonder no one grabs you right off the street.”

“You told me you loved the way I dress,” Lori looked hurt as tears started to form in her eyes.

Raking his fingers through his hair, Harvey admitted, 

“I know I did, I know I did. I DO like it. But it’s getting hard on my self-control, okay? If you want to wait for our wedding like you say you do, you need to help me out a little bit.”

Lori pulled him close to her again,

“I’m sorry, I will help, Harvey, honest,” she rained kisses on his face, “From now on, sweetie, you’ll only see me in sweats and jeans,”

“Well, let’s not get carried away. Just maybe knock off the see-through stuff?”

“Okay!” Lori agreed cheerfully, “So kiss me again?”


All day after the girls’ visit, Gareth and Harvey would crack each other up by repeatedly pointing at any article in the house and saying in a shocked falsetto voice, “Eeuuw, How horrible!"  It wasn’t long at all before the rental home became known as “Horrible House” by the guys.
It wasn’t until the first part of the following week that Lori found out the poster in Harvey’s room was of a very voluptuous girl dressed in an old-fashioned saloon girl outfit. Lori’s smiling face and long black hair were pasted over the model’s face. Lori told him she’d better never ever see that thing in the living room or any other public place and especially not in a yard sale. Harvey swore it would stay right there close to his heart. They were standing in front of the picture in his room.

“Never mind trying to be romantic and gallant now,” Lori said and then started to laugh, 

“Honestly, Harvey, what a stupid trick. I can guess whose idea it was, it had to be Gareth. You guys acted like children. Usually you’re so mature, Harvey, I’m very surprised at you.”

“It’s just that her body was so much like yours and the saloon girl outfit even looked a little like some of the things you wear,” as soon as Harvey said it he realized that while he’d meant it as a compliment he’d just stepped in it again. Lori stopped laughing immediately. Picking up her handbag off his desk she swept out of the room saying primly,

“Take me home.”

The paintings which Gareth and Harvey had thought of as a sort of tribute now seemed the worst idea they’d ever had. Lori wouldn’t answer her cell phone after that for two days.

Poor Colby did wake up the day after the dinner none the worse for wear. For some reason embarrassing things seemed to happen to him a lot. Of course, it didn’t take much at all to embarrass Colby. One day he was fishing in the pond and Harvey came by on his way to class.

“Looks like you’re having some luck today,” he commended Harvey.

“Yeah, pretty soon I’ll be as good as you and Gareth!” Colby laughed.

Only a moment later a female streaker came cavorting down the sidewalk. Colby hoped she would go on by and not come near him; even though he himself had streaked back at Landgraab that had been among friends. Whenever a girl had streaked through the dorm he had averted his eyes like a gentleman. Sweet Colby had never even been kissed by a girl yet. This was a sad affliction to him, but he hoped soon it would change. If only he could get the nerve to talk to the girls in his class or ones that he met walking to and from class. But a bare-naked one he knew he would never be able to converse with at all. Just his luck as he landed the biggest fish of the day, the streaker approached him and skulked behind him. She was singing and dancing but Colby just pretended he couldn’t hear her. His face was frozen in fear. Finally, she gave up and streaked away. Most guys would be eager to strike up a conversation with an unclothed girl, but not him. Colby wondered how would he ever get kissed at this rate.

There were many  diversions  at Horrible House, Fishing, swimming, games, bubbles, so it was never a problem of being bored. It was more that they had to work at keeping their minds on assignments, term papers and class.

Gareth and Colby loved to play Marco Polo whenever possible. Harvey’s favorite thing was the fishing; he often gave some to Lori who liked to cook fish. Llama Hobart had become a regular at the pond, doing quite well fishing as he was up to using a Sparkle Spinner now.

Actually they had grown rather close to Llama Hobart. After they let him fish in the pond he sometimes did yard work when the gardener skipped a day of coming (like he always did). The gardeners always said he would come three days a week, but only showed up two days a week. Hobart noticed there were weeds all over and cleaned them up. Now he was often seen fishing with the guys. So they invited him to dinner and he acted very dignified when he arrived, especially for a Llama. A sudden storm had come up just a few minutes ago and wind was blowing the rain sideways. As he came in there was the smell of wet dog emanating from his mascot costume. Rainwater dripped down from his llama ears.

"Oh, here," thoughtful Colby quickly put out his hand, "Can I take"

Hobart looked at him for a few seconds, but he didn't seem to take insult. On the other hand he was not rolling in the aisles either. That was all right, Colby was not being facetious, he just thought maybe Hobart would want to remove the headpiece while he ate. But, no.

Llama Hobart was always neat and cleaned his own plate, but unfortunately, he usually did that by licking it clean. This was most distressing to the very sanitary Gareth, who ran to the kitchen the first time it happened, to grab the offending plate before Hobart could put it away. 

"He's really a nice guy," he later told Harvey and Colby, "And I don't want to hurt his feelings, but I don't want spit on our plates, no way, no how."

After that, Gareth jumped up and grabbed Hobart's plate the minute he finished his meal.

Lydia Lam, the cheerleader, was another frequent visitor who fished, used the pool and did cheers. One night she had fished and cheered until very late. So she took advantage of the Horrible House's deep porch and comfy bench. The guys were asleep but they found her pennant the next day and knew she'd rested there awhile.

The boys had planned to put off using the bubble machine for a party, but they never could seem to get one together. Every time they called up a group of friends it seemed that half of them were in class or would be having class at some point during the party. They tried for morning, afternoon and evening, but they never could get more than one or two who could come and could stay. Finally Harvey said, okay I'm going to try it, you guys can join me if you want. Colby was the only one who had ever used a bubble machine before; at his brother’s graduation party. They had a very agreeable and amusing time but never knew later what had amused them. The bubbles left you very…cheerful.

It was sobering to realize they, all the kids, were in their senior year, well, all but Colby and Andy, who were one semester behind. Gareth and Harvey knew they'd better really concentrate on their studies and forget about bubble machines for a while.


Sim Girl said...

What a cute update. I love the girls reaction to the new house lol. And I adore Colby, hes so cute :D

Lorelei said...

Thanks, I loved putting their tour of the house together lol