Samstag, 4. Mai 2013

The Gaitanos: Life in a Puddle - An ISBI-Challenge in Strangetown PART 1

Because Academie L´ Amour Le Torture was driving me nuts, I decided to try something new and start an ISBI challenge. ISBI is short for "I am surrounded by idiots", which is an unflattering but rather true description of what happens when you let Sims take care of themselves.

In this challenge, you are only controlling one person. The rest is left to themselves.

Find the full challenge rules here: ISBI rules

And welcome to

The Gaitanos: Life in a Puddle - An ISBI Challenge in Strangetown

Hi, my name is Gaitano. Tadzio Gaitano. Let me tell you a bit about myself while I practice my juggling skills, which might come in handy for the "career" I am aiming at here in Strangetown. Yup, this is the place where I ended up after I had to leave my former place of residence rather quickly. I spare you the details, but it involved some forged checks and some not so happy people.

My car broke down, and I ended up in this little nest in the middle of nowhere called "Strangetown". No idea how it got its name, but the people are strange here, for sure. But this place was as good as any other to keep a low profile for a while, so I found this cheap and a little run down place and moved in.

 As soon as I had settled in, a few people showed up at my doorstep, explaining they were the "Welcome Wagon", whatever that meant.

This guy called himself Vidcund. Honestly, I am not one to turn down the opportunity for some pleasure easily, but this guy just did not knock my socks off.

Not to mention this Bella girl.

Well, but since these folks had made themselves comfortable in my home already, I made us some sandwiches, and we chatted a bit.

Vidcund turned out to be quite nice, actually, despite his "I am a kid of the 70´" look.

I took a little stroll into town, to find some company for the night. Like I said, this is the middle of nowhere. They just had a small shopping mall and community swimming pool where more 70´s kids and overweight waddling weirdos hung out.

But, any port in a storm, you know, so I walked up to this guy, trying to impress him with my stunning looks, but he ignored me completely and just left. Duh!

Other residents were equally resistant to my charms, except this outlandish man with a top hat.

Any attempt to talk to him proved to be futile, though. Maybe he was a stranger passing through, and did not speak our language? I might never find that out, but I hated to let that chance slip.

Needless to say,  I went home rather discouraged, only to find the "welcome wagon" still hung around, and made themselves at home. They plundered my fridge and slept in my bed. Goldilocks, anyone?


I made it very clear that I was no fan of unwashed strangers in my bed, at least not of the female kind.

Because someone needed to pay the rent, and the only one around was your humble servant, I started working in a record store. It left me enough time though for my man hunt. Not that I was particularly successfull. I met quite a few people, but there was nobody who made my heart beat faster, or, you know, affected other body parts in that special way.

Vidcund had told me of another place quite far out in the desert that had just opened up, some sort of fake Asian house.

Believe it or not, there I met Elvis. Well, not quite, but almost. Wow. That guy was stunning, well, ok, cute. The conversation went quickly downhill, though, so we got into a water balloon fight, which seems to be quite popular here.

Getting a bit more intimate with Elvis proved to be difficult, also.

I am not the kind of person who imposes on someone, so I left it at that, and went for a snack.

There are plenty of other fish in the sea, for example this cutie who worked at the snack bar.

Sadly, he wasn´t particularly responsive to my advances, either, so I just wolfed down my Chirashi.

To my big surprise, Elvis joined me, and this time, the conversation was a little more smoothly.

And guess whom I met at the Mah Jongg table? My friend, the top-hatted stranger aka The Great Zampano. Indeed, he does not speak our language very well, and he tried to cheat, but they don´t call me Gaitano The Conjurer for no reason. I left the place with a nice amount of money, and Elvis and I became friends. His name is Gabriel, by the way.

I discovered another place - an ice rink, of all places.

The place was deserted, though. Haha, pardon the pun. I did not feel like laughing, though. I was getting increasingly frustrated.

C´mon, really, it can not be so hard to find a totally uncreative, brown-haired man in underwear ice-skating in the middle of the night! Because, you know, this is what really turns me on. What really gets me going. Brown hair. Underwear. The ice-skates would have added a nice touch, but were not absolutely neccessary.

But absolutely no one showed up, and I went home alone. Again.

Things did not improve the next day. I got fired! I could not believe it. Some stupid customer complained to the boss, and I had to leave.

Could it get any worse? No sex, no job ... I was ready to give up at this point and just move on. Strangetown obviously wasn´t the place for me.

I had a strange dream that night. It involved babies. Babies! I felt a sudden longing to bond with somebody and settle down, maybe even start a family. Hah, me of all people! Call it fate, but I met somebody the next morning when I picked up the paper. His name was Loki (Strangetown has no shortage when it comes to funny names.)

We had a really interesting discussion about toys, and I was wondering if he was the one, until I noticed the ring on his finger.

Then I remembered Gabriel, and gave him a call. Much to my delight, he agreed to come over.

He really is a shy guy, which made him even cuter in my eyes.

Things went really well. We danced in the kitchen ...

... but again, when I tried to take things a little farther, he pushed me away.

I tried the best smooth-talking I was capable of ...

... because, I really developed a crush on him,  and finally managed to steal him a kiss. Boy, what a kiss that was ...

But Gabriel wasn´t really easy to conquer. One moment, he melted in my arms, only to push me away in the next second.

 Then he ran outside to cut the rose bushes!

I don´t really know what came over me, but on a whim I asked him to move in, and he agreed!

Wow, after he showered, he looked like a completely different person!

"Your hair looks so much better if you don´t put a ton of grease in it!"

"You think so?"

Then he ran off to clean the shower.

And spent the night writing in his diary. *sigh*

But the next morning,  I received a passionate kiss which made me believe not all hope was lost.

I had finally managed to contact the local syndicate, and they offered me a job as a bagman, which I happily accepted. It was nice to come home after a long days work and find Gabriel waiting for me.

 But the progress I made with him was very slow.

"Gabriel, what is wrong with me??" I asked him, being in deep desperation after another rejection.

"You are not wearing any swimwear," he answered, looking a bit embarrassed.

"You ...  I ... what??!"

"Swimwear, you know?"

"Yes, of course I know swimwear." Then it dawned on me, and I had a hard time not bursting into laughter.

"You get turned on by swimwear?"

His face had turned into an interesting shade of crimson by now. He avoided looking at me, but nodded.

"Hold on a second!" I rushed out of the sleeping room, rummaged through the wardrobe until I  had found my sexy speedos from last summer.

"Will these do?"

He immediately lightened up. "Oh wow!!

I don´t really know what came over me, but I fell on my knees, grabbed the little box that I had been hiding in my speedos for a special moment like this, and proposed to him.

"Gabriel, will you finally, finally have sex with me marry me if I promise to put on my speedos in the sleeping room?"

He admired the ring for a moment, and I silently asked the old lady I had stolen it from to forgive me,  and then he agreed to become my man.

I was overjoyed, and wanted to hug him, but then he pushed me away again.

I was devastated. I had given in to his kink, I even proposed ... and he rejected me.

I was completely at a loss.

"Let us go out and eat something," Gabriel suggested.

"The ring is really beautiful ... where did you get it?"

I mumbled something about an old family heirloom, and quickly changed the subject. It was not necessary to mention that it was not my family I was talking about.

Hours later, Gabriel had finally finished his dinner. I have never in my whole life seen someone eat soooo sloooowly!

It was already dawn when we returned home, and to my huge surprise Gabriel agreed to cuddle with me on the sofa. Somehow, he was different after that, more open, and it felt like he had finally developed a crush for me.

I wasted no time, gave him a hearty hug and dragged him upstairs. I was glad I did not have to work that day ... do I need to say more?

Gabriel worked as a subway musician, his band mates would pick him up regularly, and he would spend long hours away from home. After a while though, he even got promoted and worked as a piano tuner. They did not pay him too well, but we could use every simoleon he earned.

The months passed by quickly. One morning, we were just having breakfast, I started to feel really uncomfortable.

I thought it was just a bug, but it didn´t go away. It was especially bad in the mornings.  I felt so tired that I could not work. Strangely enough, I also gained weight.

Gabriel was really worried. "You must see a doctor!" 

"Gabriel, you know very well we don´t have insurance, and I can´t afford to see a doctor!"

But I was worried myself. When I mentioned it to Vidcund while we chatted on the phone, he wanted to see me immediately, and I invited him over.

He took one look at me, then stated with a serious face: "You are pregnant."

I burst into laughter. "Haha, that was a good one, Vid. Now, why did you want to see me?"

He smiled indulgently. "Tadzio, I can imagine this is hard to believe, but we are here in Strangetown, and strange things do indeed happen. I am sure you have seen my brother Pascal?"

It was the overweight guy I had met on the very first night in town, and I had exchanged a word or two with him after that.

"He is pregnant, too."

"Vid, it is okay. You had your fun."

He shook his head and sat down.

"Sit down. I bet you are very tired. This is part of the pregnancy."

I was very tired, and joined him on the sofa. He spent the next hour explaining to me what had happened. After that, my head was spinning with words like "alien abduction", "artificial uterus", "bonding", "teleport", "DNA" and what do I know.

"But I wasn´t abducted, Vid."

"Yeah, that is strange indeed, but I still do believe the aliens have their share in it. You should see a friend of mine tomorrow, just to be safe. This is all very interesting."

I could not quite share his scientific enthusiasm, I was so tired and confused at that point, I could have passed out.

The next morning, after setting the kitchen on fire and watching Gabriel pass out in his spaghetti, I went to see Vidcund´s specialist, who indeed confirmed the pregnancy. I was flabbergasted, but eventually got used to the fact Gabriel and I would have a baby.

I became a whale quickly. Gabriel was very understanding and loving.

He took it upon himself to do most of the cleaning chores. I was grateful for that, because I was constantly tired and had trouble even doing the simplest of tasks.

Then we had the strangest winter Strangetown had ever seen. It snowed!

I was glad though to have sweet Gabriel at my side to keep me warm at night.

 Continue to part 2


Author´s notes:
When I decided I wanted to do an ISBI challenge, I did not want to play it in my regular neighborhood. When I started playing Sims, I had loaded Strangetown once, landed in the awkward Curious household with these terrible looking Sims, and had closed it immediately, not touching it for months.

I became only interested in it again after I had read strangetomato´s "Strangetown, here we come". I sent Ripp and Johnny to college, let them flirt with each other, got bored again and left Strangetown to itself.

It seemed like a good choice to play my ISBI challenge in, and I haven´t regretted it. It was fun seeing all these characters I had read so much about walk by Tadzio´s house or meet him on community lots.

I started playing the households and gave the characters makeovers, but rather randomly. The timeline is completely off, but I am trying to remedy that by playing in rotation now.

As you would have guessed by now, Tadzio is a Romance Sim in the Criminal Career. Duh, I was not delighted by that. I tried to make a mini-challenge in the bigger ISBI challenge by letting him be faithful to Gabriel, no outside flirts or wohoos.

Because Strangetown was so exceptionally boring community lot wise, I added a few bin lots or lots I had made in my main hood, so the flora is a little off.

And Gabriel was really a tough, tough cookie. They had no bolts with each other, which made starting a romance with him really difficult (except when Tadzio wore his swimsuit *g*, which was basically never, or just on special occasions *gg*).

On the other hand, Gabriel´s neat-freakyness probably helped surviving this challenge. I kept his mood up by a date every few days. He held himself up quite well, going into aspiration failure very rarely.

It took Gabriel forever to just develop a crush on Tadzio.

It was very difficult not to control the other Sims in the household sometimes. I felt so sorry for Knowledge Sim Gabriel being stuck as a piano tuner forever.

Then I messed up with the first pregnancy, forgetting that whoever initiates the Try for Baby option gets pregnant, so I was really surprised when it was Tadzio. I used the SimBlender for future pregnancies.

I found out that Strangetown is kind of buggy. Gabriel was a Young Adult when he joined the household, and I wanted to cheat and give him 6 want slots instead of 4, but it just would not work. There were other issues along the way, including vanishing urns, self-made townies not appearing in town at all, then suddenly showing up.

More notes in the next chapter!!


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