Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#17: The Bills Come Due

On Monday morning, Peter--by now a Level 8 painter--created his first masterpiece,

which he sold for $1,408.

Alice practiced making Butternut Gnocchi,

and Bill had to repair the kitchen sink for the 4th time in 6 days.

"Wow, we're rich!," Alice exulted, looking over Lou's shoulder and seeing the $16,132 in funds that the household had accumulated in the first week.

"You forget, Alice," Lou replied, "that we still have the first week's bills to pay, and we don't even know what they are yet."

(It was true--Alice DID forget about such things as bills.)

The bills came in soon thereafter.

"Well, I have good news, and bad news--which do you want first?," Lou asked, obviously distressed.

"The bad news," said Peter, working nearby on another painting.

"The good news!," exclaimed Alice.

"Well, the BAD news," Lou said, "is that our bills are $6,697."

"For what???," Peter demanded, exasperated.

"It's based on the asset value of this house," Lou responded.  "Which we of course don't own.  And it's a good thing you've sold all the paintings you've created, because if you had held some of them, we'd be paying taxes on the value of those, too."

"That's freakin' ridiculous," Peter fumed.

"Soooooo, what's the good news?", Regina asked, tentatively, fearing Lou's crankiness.

"The good news," Lou sighed, "is that we have not only enough money to pay it, but also enough to pay NEXT week's bill--after paying the $6,697 current bill, we'll still have $9,935 left.  Which is more than next week's bill will be, as long as we don't buy anything for the house, or hang on to any paintings or woodworking projects or collectibles."

"So," Bill asked, while working on yet another dining table, "maybe we can afford to take it easy a bit?"

Derek piped up, "Maybe take a night off?"

"I don't see why not," Lou answered.

Having finished breakfast, Derek went over to talk to Bill.  "I wonder if we could swap a few of our responsibilities," Derek said.  "I'd like to spend a little less time fishing, and a little more time working out and improving my logic skill.  I'll need both for NASA."

Bill smiled.  "Sure, but I'm more interested in knowing what you're planning to do with your big 'night off'!," Bill teased.

"Well," Derek confided quietly, "I was honestly thinking of asking Kelly if she wanted to go out with me."

"Kelly, really?," Bill asked (though he wasn't at all surprised).  "I think ALL these girls are great!"

"Yes, but," Derek said, very seriously, "Lou is brilliant, but she seems to be annoyed at one thing or another all the time.  Regina's a gem, but I just don't think we're perfect for each other.  And Alice is, well, Alice...."  His voice trailed off.

"But KELLY, well, now," Derek continued, "that's the kind of girl a guy could marry!"


Note from the author:

This is the day that Goal #1 ("Pay the household's first week of bills") and Goal #2 ("Have enough household funds in reserve to pay the same amount next week") of the Utopia House Challenge have been satisfied.  (Rules are the first post in this blog.)  So, the reward is that the player (me) gets to direct social interactions, and that the characters (Derek et al.) get to go to community lots.

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