Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Chapter 72: The Slow Mondays
The Goldbeards & Ceth have pretty much no money, so they cannot afford to buy a shower yet. They have to put up with this old bathtub.
Milo plays in the ocean.
With Carlos and Ceth busy establishing their careers most of the day, Milo is lonely more often than he expected to be. He isn't needed at the stadium until late afternoon.
Milo encounters Ernesto Gonzales.
"Hey man, you're that new talent right? Mithun was going on about you. You're really somethin' else! Me and Mithun go way back." Ernesto and sports legend Mithun Khan were childhood friends, apparently.
"You're gonna love this place, man. The parties, man. And the money, you're going to be rolling in it real soon."
"That sounds good," Milo says, smiling meekly as he thinks about the laundry piling up in his room while they wait for enough money to buy their own washing machine. It's cheaper than going to the laundromat – Carlos did the math – but damn, it's starting to stink.
The sing-o-grams business is more cutthroat in Starlight Shores than Monte Vista, and for an unknown like Ceth, it pays much less. Still she soldiers on, hoping to meet the right people.
"Of course it has to rain on my new dress," Ceth grumbles.
"Oh, I love the rain," Kerry Kasmir giggles.
"I... just kind of wish I had an umbrella."
"I think it's rejuvenating. I like to jog in the rain."
After enough hard work from all three of our protagonists, there are enough simoleons to purchase this tiny television.
Milo catches his favorite shows first thing in the morning, to get his fun meter up.
"You can't even match your shirt to your pants," Ceth groans. "Make it stop. The eyesores. I'm dying."
"I'm not color matching my sleepwear," Milo says firmly.
"Well you're not getting laid like that."
"Like you'd know anything about getting laid."
"At least grow your hair out again so you don't look like such a dweeb..." Ceth sighs.
"Love you too."
Milo's day is free until the afternoon, as always, but there's no use lazing around the house all day, so he heads out to explore the town some more. He finds some cracked and abused soccer equipment at Gnubb Fields, as well as another musclebound dude willing to play catch with him.
Ceth followed Milo. Where the people are is where she wants to be.
Phil Trice flirts shamelessly with Ceth, right in front of Medina Hoit, the roommate he's been failing to woo all week. Medina just rolls her eyes. Part of her hopes Ceth will take the bait and get Phil's attentions away from her.
Ceth hasn't seen Phil since her first day in Starlight Shores. She chats excitedly with him and Medina for a while, catching them up to speed on her "many accomplishments".
Phil promises to try to make it to her gig.
Enter Darren Lott. Darren is what you'd clinically refer to as a total asshole.
Ceth answers her phone. She hopes it's someone who has noticed her talents and wants to hire her, but of course it isn't. The science center wants her to go to Egypt to fetch them a crocodile.
"What the?! Is this Carlos? Is this your idea of a prank?" Ceth hits the button to end the call, not giving the scientist on the other end a chance to defend himself.
Ceth's first gig in Starlight Shores goes... alright... considering it's a slow Monday at the Gnome Chomsky.
Luckily Ceth doesn't need a big crowd to want to show off. All she needs is a mirror, really.
"That was impressive! Very fresh. Very energetic." The proprietor is pleased with the performance, and even more pleased that it came from an unknown she won't have to shell out loads of simoleons for. She senses that will not last forever, but for now, she offers Ceth a steady gig.
The hour is late, but Ceth doesn't want to go home just yet.
Phil helps her celebrate back upstairs, offering tips on how to get the most out of a bubble machine.
Ceth has never tried drugs before, at least not more than a tiny bit of juice.
While under the bubbles' spell, she has an epiphany about a new song she wants to write...
Milo loves his brother's precisely delicious cooking, but when none of the leftovers strike his fancy tonight, he tries to whip up something himself. It does not go well.
The screeching fire alarm summons Carlos, who adds his own noise to the problem. "My kitchen! Why Milo! WHY?!"
"Chill, dude. It's our kitchen." Milo bravely picks up a fire extinguisher to battle the flames.
"It's our RUINED kitchen now!" Carlos howls.
"Carlos, I fixed it... Carlos, come back here! Don't call the fire department! CARLOS."
Ceth got home too late to catch any of the excitement, so Milo tells her about it the next day. "And then this firewoman showed up and tried to fine us because there was no fire! But we didn't have enough money to pay the fine, so she just left."
"Wow. I wonder if they have us blacklisted now." Ceth ponders. "I heard that once, a fire department somewhere just watched as some family's house burned down, because the family hadn't paid them a tiny fee that year."
"There's no way that's true," Milo gasps. "No one could be that cruel."
The two are playing skee-ball at Verde Park, the center of the city. Milo dominates this game like he dominates every other physical activity.
Verde Park is highly trafficked. Ceth spends a good amount of time here, trying to sell herself to every new face.
Like the festival grounds in Monte Vista, Verde Park boasts seasonal activities, and seems to think summer means hot dogs, roller skating, and water balloon fights. According to signage, they also have a Leisure Day, which they are celebrating much later in the year than Monte Vista did.
Every evening is spent at a new club. Ceth slowly learns where the teens like to chill, where the old people like to convene, where the pretentious people like to gather, what clubs are popular on what days, and which names to watch out for. Her local friend Phil is a big help, but nothing is a substitute for first hand experience.
Mithun Khan suggested that golfing would improve an athlete's focus.
Milo has heard a lot about patience and focus and calm and control while growing up, and he always obeyed his elders' commands. The discipline has always worked; Milo has never turned into a werewolf out in public. If he snaps, it's always in the safety of home.
Turns out golf is pretty stupid and useless, though.
Still, it'd be a good idea to impress the man who has the power to decide Milo's fate on the team, so Milo works on his golf swing and hopes to remain on Mithun Khan's good side.
Yeah! Evaded that sand trap like a pro!
The days fly by. The bills pile up, and are barely paid on time. Our protagonist trio lives paycheck to paycheck, counting on a promotion bonus from the observatory, special overtime from Milo, or a gig from Ceth just to scrape by without selling their possessions to pay a bill. Living in Starlight Shores is for the wealthy and talented, and sometimes Milo is glad they have the option of returning home if they need to.
They always manage to call when he's taking a bath.
Ceth finally gets an opportunity to strut her stuff at Verde Park. This stage is a little more prestigious than the park at Monte Vista. Even getting an audition was a nightmare.
Mithun Khan tries to tell Ceth he loved her performance, but as soon as he approaches her, she berates him for his ignorance. "Golf is not the next superfruit!"
Poor Milo will have to run damage control later.
After the Verde Park gig, the family has enough to finally buy a washing machine...
...but not a dryer.
Starting all over again is not as fun as Ceth promised it would be, Milo thinks to himself. He misses his parents, his grandparents, the luxuries of home, and 'Lupe. He can never get some of those things back.
Etc.: The family did get fined for a "false" fire (even though in actuality, nobody called the firefighter; the alarm summoned one), but a message popped up saying they did not have the funds to pay. Heh. I expected the funds to just go into the negative somehow, but I guess the fine was just dropped out of pity.
Milo wants to know what all the hot chicks think, so he has provided me with a survey to administer.
What should Milo do with his hair?
A) It looks good! Keep it!
B) Go back to the hairstyle he had as a teenager.
C) It needs to grow out again, but should be a different style than he had as a teenager.