Welcome to the Childhood (3)
Published Apr 9, 2011

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Welcome to the Childhood (3: Little Green Lies)

((Author’s Note: Welcome to the Childhood continues to run on a collision course with the series Occasionally Yours, by TSR’s Spladoum. Best to read both and let the good times roll until they hit head on))

Welcome to the Childhood (3: Little Green Lies)

((Author’s Note: Welcome to the Childhood continues to run on a collision course with the series Occasionally Yours, by TSR’s Spladoum. Best to read both and let the good times roll until they hit head on))
Valley Elementary School, 10:00 AM On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the students in Miss Crumplebottom’s first grade class get to go to the gymnasium. Today is Monday. Dodge Ball Day. Unfortunately, Coach Clavell has halted the game to take a Very Important Phone Call. So Jules Simanski, Leo Sekemoto, and Henry Hatch are passing the time by discussing their teacher’s marks on their latest assignment… which was to write down what they want to be when they grow up. [Jules:] “Not cool. Miss Crumplebottom keeps putting the Red X on all my papers. I mean, what’s wrong with saying you want to be happy when you grow up?”
[Leo:] “I guess she wanted you to write down a job, Jules.”
[Jules:] “Well, geez, how am I supposed to know what job I want to be? I don’t even know all the jobs there are yet.”
[Leo:] “Don’t worry, Jules. Even if you did it right, she probably would’ve put the Red X on you. She put one on all the boys. I wrote I wanted to be a race car driver and she said I should be more ‘serious about my future.’” [Henry:] “Yeah. She gave me the Red X, too… she said the job I picked was pretend. I told her creature-robot-cross-breeder was a real job, my dad said so, but she didn’t believe me.” [Leo:] “She got the Altos, too. I think it’s the first Red X they ever got. Angelo said he wanted to be a kung-fu fighter, and Devlin said he wanted to be the richest man in the world. Guess those weren’t serious enough for Miss Crumplebottom, either.” [Jules:] “Why’d she Red X all the boys, do you think?”
[Henry:] “My big sister says girls are smarter than boys. Maybe that’s it.”
[Leo:] “Nah. I think Miss Crumplebottom just doesn’t like boys. She’s always telling us to stop this and stop that, but she lets the girls whisper and pass notes all the time.” [Jules:] “Well, if the girls got Green Checkmarks instead of Red Xs, let’s ask them what they wrote.”
[Henry:] “What do you mean? Like, go over there and… and talk to them? No way! Bad enough I’m the only boy in class that has to sit next to one…”
[Leo:] “Nah, Jules. I only talk to girls when I have to.”
Jules doesn’t understand Leo and Henry’s reluctance. He really wants to know how the girls got those Green Checkmarks, and it seems a simple enough thing to just go ask them. A friendly thing, even. So why not? Jules approaches Wanda Wan-Goddard first. Wanda is the only girl that appears as annoyed as the boys that the dodge ball game has been interrupted today. Which makes her sort of more like a boy than a girl.
[Wanda:] “I wrote I want to be a CSI—CSI: Valley, that’s going to be me!”
[Jules:] “Oh. Okay.”
Jules has no idea what Wanda is talking about. But it must be a good job, because Wanda got the Green Checkmark instead of the Red X. He’ll just have to find out what a See-Ess-Eye is later.
He’s considering which girl to ask next when he suddenly finds himself surrounded by Sandra “Sandi” French, Dahlila “Lil” Bachelor, and Catalina “Cat” Urbano. Jules has to admit this is an unsettling turn of events. Maybe this is what Leo and Henry were talking about? Too bad they didn’t just come right out and say that if you talk to one girl, you might get the whole crowd. [Sandi:] “So, Jules. You want to know what we told Miss Crumplebottom we want to be when we grow up?”
Since his tongue seems to want to stick to the roof of his mouth at the moment, Jules just nods his head.
[Sandi:] “Teacher.”
[Lil:] “Nurse.”
[Cat:] “Cake decorator.”
The girls are giggling as they speak. Like they know a secret Jules does not. Curiosity finally unsticks Jules’ tongue.
[Jules:] “What’s so funny?”
[Sandi:] “We don’t really want to be those things, Jules. I want to be a movie star when I grow up.” [Lil:] “And I want to be a super model.” [Cat:] “And I want to be the Princess of Galaad.” [Sandi:] “But we didn’t tell Miss Crumplebottom THAT.”
[Jules:] “Why not?”
[Sandi:] “Because Miss Crumplebottom thinks that everyone should want to have ‘sensible’ jobs.”
[Lil:] “Serious jobs.”
[Cat:] “Boooring jobs.”
[Jules:] “So… you lied? Isn’t that a bad thing?”
The girls are giggling again.
[Sandi:] “A Green Checkmark Lie is better than a Red X Truth, Jules.”
The whistle blows to signal gym class is over. Jules rejoins Leo and Henry in the lineup for the locker room, thinking maybe Henry’s big sister is right. Maybe girls are smarter than boys. Underneath all the giggles. Meanwhile…
The Pennylane Institution of Psychiatric Services (PIPS)
It is the middle of another group therapy session with Jesse and Jono Simanski and their psychiatrist, Dr. Evelyn “Eve” Elfman. Eve is beginning to think of the second hour of these sessions—the hour that focuses on Jesse—as the Jesse Avoidance Hour.
[Eve:] “Jesse, can we talk about Gwen?”
Jesse gives Jono a look of reproach. [Jono:] “Seriously? You think I told her anything about that?” [Eve:] *sighs* “Jesse, you put my brother in your band. I heard about Gwen Glover and the Internet video from him.” [Jesse:] *face palm* “Aw, dammit.”
[Eve:] “Why don’t you want to talk about this, Jesse?”
[Jesse:] “Because you’re just going to try and shrink me!”
[Eve:] “Is it possible you think you might actually need some… shrinking… on this subject?”
[Jesse:] “…no.”
[Jono:] “Jesse.”
Jesse looks at Jono. There is a silent staredown between them, which Jono wins when Jesse averts his eyes first. This verifies Eve’s suspicion that Jono is capable of as much (if not more) influence on Jesse as the other way around. Apparently hearing Jesse lie in therapy is enough motivation to get Jono to use it.
[Jesse:] “Okay, yeah. Maybe a little.”
[Eve:] “I understand you first saw Gwen Glover on an internet website. How did you happen to visit there?”
[Jesse:] “It was an accident. I was surfing specs for my paladin—that’s my main on World of Warcraft—and somehow I hit the wrong link, or somebody posted the wrong link, or whatever, and…”
Eve has just asked Jesse another question. He has no idea what it was.
[Jesse:] “…huh? What?”
Rather than repeat the question, Eve decides to make a different inquiry. One to which the answer is much more clinically important.
[Eve:] “Jesse. Do episodes like this—moments where you are no longer aware of your environment—happen to you often?”
[Jesse:] “… no.”
[Jono:] “Jesse.”
This time Jesse recants the lie without a staredown.
[Jesse:] “Well, yeah. But only when I’m thinking about Gwen, so it’s not like it’s all the time or anything.”
[Eve:] “Would you describe your interest in Gwen Glover as a crush?”
[Jesse:] “I guess so.”
[Eve:] “Have you had many crushes in the past on individuals you’ve never met?”
[Jesse:] “Sure I have. Whole bunch of them. Poison Ivy, Asuka Langley Soryu, Jessica Rabbit, Codex…” Eve avoids looking directly at Jono, but out of the corner of her eye, she can see him squirming in his chair as Jesse recites this list.
[Eve:] “Jesse, those are all fictional characters in movies and TV shows.”
[Jesse:] “Yeah, so? We’re talking fantasy material here, right?”
[Eve:] “Would you say these past crushes were the same as your current crush on Gwen?”
[Jono:] “No. No way. Gwen is just way more… awesome.”
Eve waits for Jesse’s attention to wander back to her, with an eye on her watch. He’s elsewhere for 12 seconds before a kick from Jono brings him back. 12 seconds. And he’d have gone longer, if not for Jono’s prompt. She writes a note. And sincerely hopes she’s wrong.
[Eve:] “Jesse. Are you always clear in your mind that you’ve never actually met this woman?”
[Jesse:] “Well duh, yeah, I know that, but that’s about to change. I’m going to meet her this Friday in fact, so shrink that, Doc.”
Taken completely off guard, Eve has no chance to mask the alarm on her face.
[Eve:] “Is this true?”
[Jono:] “Yes…”
[Jesse:] “Sure it’s true. And on that note, we cue the music.”
[Eve:] “Jesse—you—I wish you wouldn’t—we really haven’t discussed this to the extent I think we should—”
[Jesse:] “Save it, Doc. Times up. Shrink me some other day.”
Jesse leaves. Jono is slower to follow him today. The look he gives Eve on his way out is one of uneasy bemusement. Because it has now occurred to him that if Dani’s concerns—and apparently Eve’s as well—are correct, he is the one who just screwed up big time by helping to set Jesse up with this girl. But honestly. How bad could it go? Later that same evening…
The Simanski house, 4:30 PM
Miss Crumplebottom, disappointed with the responses of half her class to the question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up,’ has given a new homework assignment. Each of her students is to write down three job titles, and define them. Jules has decided to get some help with this one. Lots of it. [Jules:] “Are girls smarter than boys, do you think?”
[Jono and Jesse:] “No. They just think they are.”
[Dani:] “Ah… why do you ask, Jules?”
[Jules:] “Because all the girls in my class got Green Checkmarks and all the boys got Red Xs on our last paper. We had to write what we want to be when we grow up. I wasn’t sure, so I wrote I want to be happy. But Miss Crumplebottom didn’t like it.” [Jono:] “She Red X’d you for that?”
[Jesse:] “Jules, your teacher is—”
[Dani:] “Jesse! Do not finish that sentence!”
[Jesse:] “The only reason you know what I was going to say is because you were thinking it, too.”
[Dani:] “…”
Jules doesn’t know what his Uncle Jesse was going to say about Miss Crumplebottom. But he figures it can’t be much worse than what Leo has been calling her lately. The Red Ink Witch. [Jules:] “What’s a See-Ess-Eye?”
[Jono:] “CSI stands for Crime Scene Investigation, Jules. It’s a cop who looks at clues from crimes under a microscope.”
[Jules:] “Huh. That doesn’t sound like a very fun job.”
[Jesse:] “It is when you watch it on TV.”
[Jules:] “What’s your job called, Dad?”
[Jono:] “Computer Security Consultant.”
[Jesse:] “He makes computers unhackable.”
[Jono:] *snort* “I make computers less hackable. No computer is unhackable.”
[Dani:] “Honestly, you two. Jules, your father works on computers to stop criminals from breaking into them.” [Jules:] “Why would anyone want to break into a computer? For those little parts inside?”
[Jesse:] *laughs*
[Dani:] “Should I let you answer that, Jono?”
Later, that same night…
Whistler Collections Co., 9:00 PM
For the past two weeks, the Repomen have been practicing for their first genuine gig, set for next Saturday night. Since the graduation party they’ll be playing is for band member Terry Whistler’s daughter, the band won’t actually be paid. But a gig’s a gig. [Terry:] *sings* “I was a rebel from the day I left school… grew my hair long and broke all the rules… I’d sit and listen to my records all day… with big ambitions of when I could play…” [Terry:] *sings* “My parents taught me what life was about… so I grew up the type they warned me about… they said my friends were just an unruly mob and I should—get a haircut and get a real job!” [Repomen:] *sing* “Get a haircut and get a real job… clean your act up and don’t be a slob… get it together like your big brother Bob… why don’t you—get a haircut and get a real job!” The cover of “Get a Haircut” plays out, and the Repomen end their practice to goof off and converse with visiting friends-turned-groupies, Peggy Sue Primrose and Fantasia Feathers. Terry’s daughter, Windy, and her best friend, Sam Sekemoto, are also in attendance. And Windy has just received some terrible news.
[Windy:] “You’re going to Foxgrove on the day I graduate?!”
[Jesse:] “I’ll be at the ceremony Friday morning, Windy. And I’ll be back in time for the party on Saturday night, okay?
[Windy:] “…okay.”
What Windy wanted to say was: No. No, it’s not okay. It’s a freaking disaster. But can she say that before Friday? No. And even after Friday… explaining her issues with Jesse and Gwen Glover in front of her father might be problematic, too. Which hadn’t really occurred to her before now. None of this exchange has escaped the observation of Sam. He knows what’s what here, oh yes. It’s currently at the top of his list of things to scowl about.
[Sam:] “How can you want to go with that guy after you graduate? He’s an idiot.”
[Windy:] “He is NOT an idiot—you just don’t like him because you plan on asking Peggy Sue out the very second you have your diploma, and Jesse’s dated her before.”
[Sam:] “You call what he does dating?”
[Windy:] “I believe it takes two for that tango, Sam. Peg’s no saint either and you know it.”
[Denny:] “Heya, Windy.”
[Sam:] “Get lost, Elfman.”
[Windy:] “Sam! Mean much?”
[Sam:] “You want him hanging around you now? Say the word, Windy. Last I knew, you weren’t into him.”
[Windy:] “That doesn’t mean I’m a jerkface to him. Jerkface.”
Sam rolls his eyes. Women. But Windy is right about one thing. He does plan on asking Peg out after graduation, like he’s wanted to do this whole long year. Just four more days. Four more days, and he’ll be free to do whatever he wants. He can move out of his dad’s house. He can be a tattoo artist. And he can marry Peggy Sue Primrose… after however long it takes to convince her what a great idea that is. [Windy:] “Sorry about that, Denny. Sam is just… well. You know how Sam is.”
[Denny:] “Yeah. No worries. So uh… you like the way the band sounds?”
[Windy:] “Definitely. You guys are going to rock the party on Saturday… I can’t wait.”
Denny Elfman has had a crush on Windy Whistler since the 7th grade. Everyone at school knows it, it’s sort of a standing joke. Like Denny himself is sort of a standing joke, as far as high school goes. Imagine his delight when he joined the Repomen and found out the band included Windy’s father, held their practices on the Whistler property, and Windy attended nearly every practice. But it’s pretty clear to him now why Windy really hangs around the Repomen jam sessions. Denny would give up his drumsticks if he could get Windy to look at him the way she looks at Jesse Simanski. [Director’s Commentary:] George Thorogood & the Destroyer’s “Get A Haircut” can be heard here for free with a copy/paste to browser (may not work for non-US browsers, sorry):]

((Special Thanks to:

* Jesse Simanski’s list of fantasy ladies from: Batman (animated series), Evangelion (anime series), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (movie), and The Guild (internet series)

* TSR artists: agapi r (medieval dress), Lilliebou (bleachers, witchy stuff), spladoum (beer t-shirt), MoMama (tie-dye pattern), liampike2 (gold bars), DOT (desk light), and CycloneSue (loads of junk laying all over Whistler Collections Co.)

* Wintermuteai1 at Simslice (dodge ball)

* TSR’s Spladoum for crossover suspense extraordinaire

* TSR’s YrS92 for Cat Urbano’s unauthorized fantasy to one day marry a Garden

* Many many many cc creators already credited in this series and my previous series

* All those cc creators that I haven’t credited by name, here or elsewhere, my apologies and thanks

> Readers-to-the-end-credits—you don’t need haircuts or real jobs, because YOU ROCK, always :D ))

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#21orlovApr 12, 2011

 My Friend, You have the most extrordinary sense of humor, and an uncanny recall of what it is to be a child in an adult world. (And if I  ever deicide to grow up I think being happy is the greatest achievement of them all!!!) Will someone please HUG THAT LITTLE BOY!!!!!! Thank you for sharing all this with us! Oh, and shots 22 and 53! AB FAB! Many\:wub\:

#22OCIKITTENApr 12, 2011

Wow cant believe I missed this. Stupid computer is dieing a slow death and wont even let me play the sims now. But this was a nice way to still get my sim fix sorta. Can't wait for the next one though. 

#23mogan44Apr 12, 2011

Loved this!  You are so so so soooooo creative! I loved seeing the kids grown up <3 and your screenshots?! AHhhhMAZING! Congratulations for another rad-tastic installment.  I'm loving all the love triangles too!

#24Yngven93Apr 14, 2011

I can't believe I missed it \:confused\: ! I've been so occupied with all the things going on around me in rl life that my sim life has started to suffer^^ anyway, as allways I love your stories \:D Great chapter and now I once again can't wait for the next one^^\:rah\:  That one I'll hopefully spot faster \;\) :P

#25-kalisa-Apr 16, 2011

Rob! \:D It's Saturday and I FINALLY had some free time to read this chapter of your story \:\) It was wonderful, very well written and I just  love this story! \:wub\:  Little Jules is adorable! \:wub\: This mean Miss Crumplebottom (LOL at screenshot 53!) - doesn't she know she'll kill the kids' creatvity like that? What's wrong with Jules wanting to be happy when he grows up? Jules knows what really matters in life! \:rah\: Jesse \:wub\: Jono \:wub\: Dani \:wub\: (screenshot 50 - hehe, love Dani's facial expression) I really can't wait to read more! \:rah\: \:rah\: \:rah\:

#26urm0mVIPApr 16, 2011


#27ohgodcaitlynApr 17, 2011

I am soo looking forward to Gwen and Jesse meeting. <3
Yet another great episode! 

#28MinraedApr 30, 2011

Absolutely LOVING this whole set of stories. I just read all three of your story sets in one.. well two, sittings. I couldn't stop. Brilliant character development and photography too. Cant' wait for more.

#29lym_montijo_87May 20, 2011

OMG I'm addicted to this short stories. It's like I have an affection for the characters. Please keep writing them!

#30ShelleyBJun 22, 2011

"Fun, fun, fun, 'til her Daddy takes the T-bird away." --courtesy of the Beach Boys. This story gets "funner and funner." I think I jumped ahead to one of April's stories-which I didn't understand entirely-but I'm back on track now. I love the interactions between the elementary school kids, the "adults," and everything in between. You have a great understanding of how generations communicate between each other. On to the next..... \:D

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