By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Dear Tim Ruston (if that's your real name),
I hope this note finds you. Though we only knew each other a couple of hours, I was moved by your invitation to be your roomie.
As a fellow refugee from the 11 a.m. wipeout of Alphaville, you knew the pain of having your house, possessions and carefully maintained Friendship Web zapped in one ghoulish mid-morning. I do miss my building, the Dakota, but that's history now.
Unlike others I met here so far, Tim Ruston, you were not put off by my appearance — floppy red Santa cap and bushy white beard, nor did you ridicule my shiny pink tuxedo. You seemed to intuit that what I look like on the outside might not reflect who I am on the inside. For that I am grateful. Other Sims (an ageist society, I might add) chose to ignore my friendly waves and catcalls. A Spice Girl clone even said: "Ewww, gross!" and shimmied away from me — into the arms of a Ken. (Here I step back and add parenthetically that it never ceases to confound me that out of the 186 heads and 171 bodies you can choose for yourself — if you choose to be male — almost everybody opts to be a Tiger Beat raver. If you choose to be female, the choices are even wider — 234 heads and 226 bodies. And yet, I keep seeing hot chicks in bikinis and sarongs.)
I want to apologize for messing up your terra cotta flooring when I tried retiling our patio. You know how slippery these mouse buttons can be. I know you politely muttered: "No prob. We all die tmrw." Still, I could sense your secret resentment at having to room with a clumsy old geezer like me. Were you hoping for a pliant Barbie? So, after you left to play Code Breaker elsewhere (I was jealous, I admit), I sold your piñata and bought a giant teddy bear, an egg chair, a couple of tiki paintings and redid the exterior walls in polka dots. Oh, and I also sold the gas range stove. I couldn't wait to see the look on your "face."
When it dawned on me that you might not return before tomorrow's wipe, I headed out. Fellowship's in our DNA — if we don't talk to enough strangers, our Social Level goes down and we collapse, remember? I'd hate to expire ahead of Doomsday.
I tried to get a quick fix at someplace called Nocturnal Dating Service but no one was in. Nor could I enter Hookers Hangout or Make-Out Junction. Had everyone already fled? Finally, though, I found a humongous pad called Lesbian Lodge. There were seven gals there with blue streaks in their hair, all of them grimly discussing the impending doom. I tried to cheer them up by yelling: "Any of you li'l missies wanna sit on Grampa's knee?" but they ignored me. I ended up doing the Robot by myself on their dance floor. Such unfriendly people! (Oh well, they'll all be gone in the wipe . . .)
After a quick pit stop in their bathroom, I set off. In Angels Beach, an estate with disco, pool, spa, gym, the works, I found owner Bergrar standing all alone, staring vacantly at his Venetian tiles. He'd built the place over 55 days and tomorrow everything'll be history. While he moped, solemnly repeating the words "Snowcrash . . . Snowcrash . . .," I swam in his fantastic Moorish-style pool. (I didn't realize I wore pink Speedos, but I do!) Afterward, I watched cartoons on his TV (funny how the image on it never moves) and helped myself to his punch bowl. Did you ever notice that drinking punch replenishes both Hunger and Comfort levels?
At Emergency Med Svcs, I found a Middle Eastern couple making out on their leather couch. I think they wanted to experience the wipe entwined but didn't have the money for the coveted vibrating bed that would let them make love. Poor things will die virgins. I sat on a chair across from them and hoped they'd include me in some sort of pre-Apocalyptic bacchanal. But they kept giggling to each other: "Santa's a watcher! Santa's a watcher!" I got embarrassed and left.
Eventually, I found solace at AndyWC's Lunacy Lodge, a homey, ramshackle log cabin built over seven days by a nice couple, AndyWC and Jesi, facing ruin with Zen calm. "Everyone's bummed out about the wipe, so they're mean," explained Jesi, while AndyWC tried repairing their broken refrigerator. Minutes later, AndyWC stopped and said: "Don't know why I'm even bothering with this since we're all dead tomorrow anyways."
Jesi invited me to dance disco with her. It was my last waltz and therefore surprisingly moving. As we danced, I asked AndyWC his true feelings about the wipe. "I hated it at first," he said, "but now I'm looking forward to it." He wasn't even bitter, which was odd. Stranger still, I agreed with him. The wipe will end all the loneliness, hunger, poverty and discomfort of being here. It's so painful just living, just keeping alive. Yes, yes, the wipe will come as a relief. Release from the little things that have begun annoying me — especially Sims who use emoticons ( J ) and say "lol." They're so not "in the moment."
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