Lou was anxious to receive the weekly tax bill--once paid, it would allow her (and the other Utopians) to look for jobs, and to start becoming independent of the household.
She was actually glaring at her computer, as if she thought that would make the tax bill come in more quickly.
Peter, at his easel, was still annoyed with Lou from the house meeting the previous day.
Regina was outside fertilizing and talking to her plants. 'I can't WAIT till some of these folks start their jobs, so the house will be quieter and I can write in peace!' she thought.
Dude cleaned one of the showers.
The tax bill came in just after 8:00 a.m. at $6,292--slightly less than the previous week's bill. Lou had been adamant that the household couldn't buy anything--other than food--the previous week, because Willow Creek taxes were based on the asset value of a household. (And Lou had made it very clear that Peter and Bill had to sell their paintings and woodworking immediately, because if any of those had remained in the household inventory, taxes would have been assessed on the value of those items, as well.)
"Phew!" she said, paid the bill, and immediately began looking for a job. So did Derek.
Kelly and Alice both found jobs as Assistant Dishwashers (at different restaurants),
Alice and Kelly's jobs wouldn't start till Wednesday afternoon; Lou, Derek, Peter and Dude would all start work Tuesday morning.
"Okay, so by MY calculations," Peter announced (to no one in particular, but everyone listening knew he meant it for Lou), "after paying today's tax bill, we have over $56,000 left. Which is WAY more than we need for next week's taxes, if some of us DO end up staying here another week. So--for now at least--I'm going to do what I want with my paintings." He returned to his work.
"Wow, is he ever still mad at HER," Bill muttered quietly to Dude.
"I admit I'm getting kind of uncomfortable with the two of them here," Dude said. "I might go to the park to play for tips just to get out of the house!"
"Well, Derek and I are heading back to the other neighborhood when he wakes up--you could come with us," Bill suggested. "You might find a house you like--we're going by the town office to get all the keys on our way there."
Lou earned $302 from hacking, then began playing video games (her new job required her to have played 4 hours of video games, which she thought was silly). Regina kept working on her latest Sci Fi book.
Alice and Kelly were amused that their initial job requirement was to Wash Dishes 3 Times. "Won't be a problem in THIS house," Alice laughed good-naturedly, as she carried a load of dirty plates and cups to the sink.
"Tee-hee!" Kelly giggled, as she started making a gourmet meal.
"Okay!" she said, sounding pleased.
"Come on, let's get going!" he said enthusiastically to Bill.
"And what's THIS ugly piece of sh*t?" Derek asked Bill, pointing to a barstool next to the woodworking table.
"That's a present for YOU, you ugly piece of sh*t!" Bill replied without looking up. "Think of it as a consolation prize for when your classy girlfriend turns down your marriage proposal, and you end up living by yourself in some pathetic trailer in Oasis Springs. Oh, and Dude is coming to the new neighborhood with us," he added.
"The more the merrier!" Derek exclaimed.
The three guys headed toward the door.
"Guys, wait up," Peter called.
He indicated the 3 paintings he had made that day. "These are for you," he said to Derek.
"Sell them," Peter advised. "And get yourself and Kelly a decent bathroom."