Welcome back to the Byrds, where we live in constant fear that the aliens from Borax are going to implant all of us with seed pods! I freely admit that it has been entirely too long since my last update. My game wouldn't work for the longest time, and then the website had to be completely rebuilt. But here we are at last! Last time, Cole died at the age of 250, but came back to the family fold the very next day. Tex Brousard got the honors of giving us our first concert in Volcano Cove, and Bittern aged into a young adult. Most importantly, Chickadee, the generation 'C' heir was born!
We start this chapter right where we left off, with the transition of Beth de Luca. I've been desperately trying to find a worthy mate for Bittern and I think I've finally found one!
Tabitha: Beth dear, wait just a second and you can have my plate as well. *gobble gobble gobble* Let me just lick this last little bit and you can have it.
Beth: Um, thanks Mrs. Byrd.
Budgie: Mom, you're so gross.
She autonomously cleans! I like her already, but my opinion isn't the only one that counts. Beth is a flirty, family-oriented, hydrophobic kleptomanic that loves horses and wishes to become a Master Thief.
Kind of makes me wish she was marrying an heir. We haven't conquered the thief branch of the criminal career track yet. Something tells me that Cole is going to love this girl.
Beth: So tell me, Bittern, what do you think of the criminal underworld?
Bittern: I think it is a most respectable profession; in fact, my Aunt Akepa has a high ranking in the criminal underworld, and my Great Grandma was the one who established the current rules.
Beth: Wow! When Kermit told me he wanted me to come over and meet the Byrds, I had no idea he wanted me to meet THE BYRDS. I've dreamed of joining their criminal organization since I could walk!
Beth: Do you think...would it be too much trouble to ask if I could meet your Aunt?
Bittern: Of course you can. I'll do what I can to arrange it.
Budgie: *spying unabashedly* Aren't they supposed to be flirting or something?
Budgie: Though I have to admit, I think G'Mama Cole would approve.
Bittern: *whips out some flowers* Red roses for a beautiful lady.
Beth: Thank you, Bittern. They are beautiful!
Budgie: Now we're getting somewhere.
Beth: Do you think we could find somewhere else to talk besides the kitchen. I have the horrible feeling that we are being watched...
Bittern: Of course we can. How about we go watch the stars for awhile?
Beth: I'd love too.
BJ: *puff pant groan* So Budgie...how was it going between...Bittern and Beth?
BJ: I hope...things were...OK. What if they went terrible? Will he ever...find his true love?
Budgie: *laughing* You worry too much, BJ. They were getting along just fine when I left, but we'd best get us some showers or else we will pollute Bittern's big day!
What big day might that be, you ask?
Bittern: I graduate today!
I can tell.
Bittern: Really? What gave it away?
I think it was the hat.
Bittern: Yes! I got Class Valedictorian. I am so awesome!
BJ: Um, Bittern, the back of your gown is tucked into your boxer shorts, dude.
Budgie: You've also got some toilet paper stuck to your shoe.
Sim!Sarah: Hi BJ! I know you guys found my daughter Beth Ann to be less than satisfactory for marriage into the Byrd clan. Rob and I don't plan to give up! We're already manufacturing another nooboo in the hopes this one will be up to snuff.
BJ: That's wonderful news, Sarah!
Beth Ann: Awww, Mom. You're embarrassing me. I didn't think I was that terrible.
Tabitha: Take a word of advice, Beth Ann. Always take what your parents say with a grain of salt. For all you know they could be controlled by the aliens from planet Borax.
Beth Ann: Um, yeah. Thanks Mrs. Byrd. I think.
Alba: It won't be long before it is your turn to graduate Kermit.
Kermit: I know. That day can't come fast enough.
Budgie: I agree with you, Kermit. That day really can't come fast enough.
Janna: Why would you two want to rush things? You should enjoy your teen years.
Budgie: Yeah, but once we age up, we've got plans...
Kermit: Like lots of woohoo.
I decided that Bittern needed an after graduation party, so I sent him to the Rodeo-A-Go-Go.
Bittern: Yeehaw! Ride 'em little doggies!
Bittern: Oh crap! I think I might have just broken my back!
He didn't, and it wasn't long until he rolled a wish for yet another ride. I denied him, though, because we had more important things to do.
Like watch an acrobatic show. This gentleman is the Seeker, and was kindly sent to Volcano Cove by my friend whtrbt. Welcome Seeker!
The Seeker: Thanks. Let's get this show started.
Beth: Thanks for inviting me to see the show, Bittern. I didn't even have enough time to change my clothes, but I wouldn't have missed this for anything.
Bittern: *gasp* Did he just do what I think he just did?
Beth: Oh yeah! Bend it, Seeker!
Seeker: Ask and your wish shall be granted.
Seeker: *contorts wildly*
Bittern: Wow. I guess now when we talk about people having their heads stuck up their own asses, it won't be a figure of speech anymore.
Beth: Does he need help? Is he stuck? I can call for the jaws of life, if needed.
But he proved to be able to uncontort as easily as he could contort and decided to wow them with fire as a grand finale.
Seeker: What better way to heat up their date than with a little fire?
I think his technique might have worked. For the record, I have found that sending dating sims to a show is one of the easiest ways to have an epic date without the Handler having to do much at all.
Bittern: *insert smoochie noises here*
Bittern: Beth, I know it's late, but hold up for just a second. I've got something I want to ask you.
Bittern: I know it might be rather sudden, considering that we just graduated today, but I don't want to wait any longer than I have to. I was wondering...
Bittern: ...if you would consent to join your criminal enterprises with those of my family. We could cement the deal through marriage...if you want.
Beth: Wow, Bittern. That's some hunk of rock that will summarily disappear as soon as it's done flashing. I would be delighted to join your family...
Beth: As long as you promise that it will be you standing beside me for as long as the Handler allows.
Bittern: *grins with relief* I think that can be arranged.
Shy sims...it might take them a little longer to get the point across, but they do finally manage it.
You're looking a little pudgy there, Janna. Might we have reason to expect a new bundle of joy soon?
Janna: Pudgy? Look at this body. There isn't an ounce of fat on it! Besides, if I was pregnant, I would be the first to know. I'm not worried in the slightest.
Bittern: I don't know Janna. According to this website, it says that the only time female sims aren't fertile are when they are already pregnant.
Janna: That doesn't help any.
Bittern: That's the best I can find, though. And why are you having me look up the information instead of your husband?!
Janna: Because Garg watches BJ like a hawk and I don't want her to know she got to me. This way, she'll never know.
Janna has never been the sharpest tool in the shed.
But while Janna struggles to find out if she is pregnant or not, we had another death in the family. Poor Beaker! He has gone on to the great beyond, but on the plus side, he'll get to hang out with Cole.
I added him to my collection. It really is too bad that gnomes don't come back as ghosts. It is doubly disappointing that we can't rez them as zombies. Oh the things I could do with my own zombie gnome army!
So, Janna, it looks like I was right, eh?
Janna: Yes, yes, you were right, I was wrong. Next time you tell me I'm pregnant I will believe you without question. Happy?
Janna: All hail to the all-knowing Handler, may her reign last forever. Blah blah blah.
Janna: Good. Now give me what I want.
Ask and you shall receive.
Janna: Thank plumbob! If I had to wait any longer for this delicious pink frozen treat I was going to die!
Let's hear it for pregnancy hormones!
And here we have a Sim!Amanda doppelganger.
Amanda: Sssshhh! Not so loud. I'm incognito. Can't you see the mask? If you need to call me something, use my stage name: Salome.
This really is an Amanda doppelganger, sent to my game from hers for a show. But I quickly discovered...
...that the twin is just as fascinated with Byrd men as the original.
Salome: *screams like a fangirl* Bittern is attending my show! I'm so EXCITED! I LOVE him!
Bittern: Honey, I know you've been working hard to rack up the athletic points for your career, but try not to overdo it, OK? I'd hate for you to lose these. *cops a feel*
Beth: Don't you worry about that, husband-to-be. When I'm not running on the treadmill, or working on the weight bench I'm doing bust increasing exercises. We must, we must, we must increase our bust!
Bittern: *still coping a feel* Well, now that you mention it, they do seem to be more of a handful than usual.
BJ: Is my brother really feeling up his woman in public? I thought he was too shy...*Doesn't watch where he's going and promptly runs into a lamppost*
Salome: Oh that BJ Byrd! He's cute even when he's acting foolish! I LOVE him!
Salome: Now that I know there are TWO Byrd men watching me, I'll make sure that I give them the very best show I can. *promptly drops a baton*
Salome: Shoot! That didn't go as planned. I know what will make it better! FIRE!
I am pleased to report that she did not set anything on fire; not the stage, not her costume, not her hair. Well done!
She ended the show with some contortionist moves. If only Real!Garg and Real!Amanda were this flexible.
Salome: Ta Da! All finished...Oh noes! I'm all finished! Now I have to go back HOME! NOOOOO!
Her show was quite the success, and then Twin!Amanda went back to her own game and immediately sought therapy to help her cope with the lack of Byrd men in her own hood. Though if I am not mistaken, Bradley Byrd is running around over there somewhere.
Brad: There is nothing more invigorating to the ectoplasm than a brisk swim. I think it's time to go check on the rest of the family.
Kermit: Budgie! Do you see what I see?
Budgie: I certainly do, Kermit! Oh, I hope it works! Turn around Grandpa, turn around!
Tabitha: Yoohoo! Bradley! I think Budgie wants you to turn round and look at me.
Cole: No she doesn't, you wrinkly old prune. She wants him to look at me.
Though Ghost!Brad and Ghost!Cole have both been wandering around the house, there hasn't been any interaction between them yet. If he was in one room, she was in another. They both attended Bittern's birthday party, but were too interested in the living to spend any time with one another. So both the family and the Handler have all been awaiting this moment with bated breath.
Kermit: Look G'Mama Byrd! He's right there. In front of you!
Beth: I'm just going to ignore the supernatural activities and focus on improving my skills. Budgie, let me know when it's over.
Budgie: Sure thing, Beth.
Bittern: Do you think it's possible to renew your wedding vows after you're dead?
Brad: *gasp of shock* Apple Dumpling? Is that you?
Cole: Of course, it's me, Honey Bun. Who else?
Alba: Take a look BJ. I think we are about to witness a moment that will live forever in the family history.
SUCCESS! Cole picks up flirting with Brad as if they were still alive. Pardon me a moment. *sniffle*
Cole: You know, Snickerdoodle, you are still one handsome man, even without any flesh. Would you like to go mix your ectoplasm with mine?
Brad: I'd be delighted.
Tabitha: Crap. This means I'll still have to fight Cole for Brad's attentions even after I'm dead.
Budgie: Tough break, Mom. But you should be planning to flirt with Dad after you two both die, anyway.
Tabitha: Don't worry about that. I plan to do that too.
Janna: Did you hear your Mom, BJ? She plans to chase your Grandpa when she's dead instead of chasing your Dad.
BJ: That's a bunch of rubbish. As if Grandma would let her within spitting distance of Grandpa.
Alba: I think one monumental family moment deserves to be followed by another.
Alba: Hello? Yes, I'd like to retire please. I've got grandchildren now, and I'd much rather spend time teaching them about music than performing on stage...Yes, I'm sure. The last time I did a concert I nearly threw out my back lugging in the cello.
There you go, Alba. Enjoy your retirement. You certainly deserve it.
Alba: Thanks Handler. I'm sure allowing my wife to retire with me would only add to my enjoyment.
Not a chance. You want to do something about that, talk to your son about finishing his lifetime wish.
Alba: Ah well, it was worth a try.
BJ: Go Dad! You are now officially as old as a yeti! Wahoo!
Janna: This is fantastic news, Daddy Byrd.
Janna: I'm SO EXCITED!
I have to give it to Janna. She makes the best faces.
Beth: I'm so happy for you, Mr. Byrd! *looks wistful* That will be me one day...
Beth:...because I will do my ultimate best to become just like Cole Byrd. She's totally my hero.
Cole: Good job, son. I'm proud of you.
I hope I get this much attention when I retire.
But once the excitement was over, it was time to get back to skilling and improving relationships. I love it when I can do both at the same time.
Janna: You should really think carefully about joining this family, Beth. It isn't always peachy being a part of the most prominent family in Volcano Cove. There's lots of rules and traditions you have to learn.
Beth: I understand all that, Janna, but I really think Bittern is my soulmate. I love him more than anything, and if I have to learn the proper observance of Peace and Chicken Grease and pay homage to the Ancient Chicken Sensei, then I will do so without hesitation.
Janna: I hope you're right and being completely honest with yourself. The Handler will come after you if you screw up.
True, but also not true. If I were that hardcore, Tabitha would be dead already.
Hello again, Tex. You are welcome in my game anytime.
Tex: Thanks. Ready for a good show?
I know I've been bombarding my readers with Showtime spam, but I couldn't help it! It was new and sparkly. I'm sure there will be less of it in the next chapter. Maybe.
But I am starting to wonder about Tex and whether or not he is some sort of harbinger of BIG EVENTS, meaning that I miss most of his show. For example, the first time he performed in my hood, Cole died. The second time he came to perform...
Janna: Ooof. That smarts. Daddy Byrd, I think it might be time to go to the hospital.
Alba: Don't you worry your pretty little head, Janna. I'll take good care of you while BJ is out attending a concert. Have you got the car keys?
Janna: I still don't understand why women in labor have to drive...
Alba: It's one of those family traditions. I wouldn't be surprised if it was recorded in the Holy Chicken Scratch documents passed down from the Ancient Chicken Sensei.
Janna: Well it still doesn't.... *OOOOOOOO*
Alba: Breathe through it Janna! And try not to floor the accelerator when the contraction hits!
Janna: Oh thank the Handler! We've arrived. I'm heading on inside Daddy Byrd.
Alba: Good plan, sweetheart. I'll wait outside for BJ.
BJ: Thanks for the ride, Mack.
Minion Limo Driver: No problem. Congrats on the new kid.
Alba: There you are! What took you so long? Janna is already in labor and delivery.
BJ: Sorry Dad. I came just as soon as I got the telepathic message that she was in labor.
I am happy to report that BJ made it in time to witness the birth of his second daughter. Janna is still a little miffed at him though, but perhaps not for the reason you think.
Minion Ice Cream Security: Scanning new addition. Biodata loaded. We have loaded the information about the new baby into the security system, Leader. All systems are now operative.
Janna: If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. We are not naming our children after the Ancient Chicken Sensei. It would be sacrilege!
BJ: Then what do you propose we name her?
Janna: We are going to name her Crane.
BJ: That's a fantastic name, honey!
Janna: Yes, I know.
Crane is both disciplined and eccentric. Does that mean she practices her ninja skills in a bathrobe? I suppose time will tell, eh?
But before we move on, I want to show you what a beautiful miracle Janna actually is. This is Jeremy 020765-Boudreaux, Janna's brother. I think we should call him Monkey man. If only I were interested in an uglacy...
Monkey Man: You think you're insignificant comments insult me? Well you are wrong! I don't have to listen to a thing you say, even if you are the Handler. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go pick lice out of my fur.
Janna: Do we really have to do this?
Janna: OK, I'll put on a brave face then.
Janna: Let's see...close my eyes and make a wish. What do I want to wish for?
Janna: OK, I think I've got the perfect wish!
Cole: Thank the Chicken Sensei! She was taking so long, I was sure the candle wax would ruin the tofu cake.
Janna: Well? Did my wish come true? Did I avoid the signs of aging? Do you see any wrinkles? Any age spots?
Cole: Who cares? We get to cut the cake now!
Alba: Hooray! Cake!
Janna: Oh no! I think I just felt a wrinkle develop in the corner of my eye.
Yes, Janna decided to have a mid-life crisis. I'm not sure why the first wish she rolled up was to move into a penthouse apartment, but my answer was a resounding no. In fact, I got so tired of the 'move into a penthouse' wishes, I started tearing them down in the hood. I don't like them very much - it is very hard to take pictures in them.
But while we are talking about developments in the hood, I thought I'd show you these two ladies. You should be able to guess who they are, but for those who are late to the party allow me to introduce Meghan (the tall one) and Rashida Jaz, children of Sim!Julie Jaz and Emeril Lagasse.
Rashida: You are out of uniform, sister. I fully intend to report you to Father the first chance I get. You'll be lucky if he only makes you eat chicken for a week.
Meghan: Why, oh why, wasn't I an only child?
I have no doubt they will be absolute delights to have around.
We now return you to our regularly scheduled program already in progress.
Tabitha: Great party! You know what would make it even better? *FARRRRTTTT* Hehe! Nothing says good party like a giant barking spider!
Budgie: I love her, Dad. But sometimes I'm embarassed to call her my Mom.
Alba: Believe me dear, I completely understand.
Cole: That woman is getting more rude the older she gets.
Kermit: *sniff sniff* Did something just die?
Janna: I think I'm going to start having my picture taken every day. That way I can notice and treat wrinkles before they get noticable to the naked eye.
Bittern: I don't know why you are even worried about it, Janna. You look fine to me.
Janna: Thank you, Bittern. But you are a man and wouldn't notice a blemish unless it was attached to a breast.
Bittern: Well, you've got me there...
Budgie: *snicker* She's likely to make herself prematurely grey with all this worrying.
Alba: *laughing* You said it, dear. I only hope I'm out of the house when she discovers her first grey hair.
Beth: So what do you say, Chickadee? Are you ready to make your debut as a child?
Chickie: I think we should wait and leave the readers in suspense.
Alrighty then. You guys heard the heir! Will Chickadee turn into the most adorable heir yet? (Very likely.) Will BJ make more progress towards his lifetime wish? (I certainly do hope so!) Will Janna continue to stress about aging? (Most probably.) And what will little Crane look like as a toddler? All very important questions! To find the answers, you will have to join me next time. Until then, Happy Simming!