Welcome to the Childhood (9)
Published Sep 17, 2011

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Welcome to the Childhood (9: Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Miss Glover)

((Author’s Note: This series shares tracks with the series “Occasionally Yours” by TSR’s spladoum… two trains looking to hit head on again any time now. Or so most of the cast over here hopes.))

Welcome to the Childhood (9: Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Miss Glover)

((Author’s Note: This series shares tracks with the series “Occasionally Yours” by TSR’s spladoum… two trains looking to hit head on again any time now. Or so most of the cast over here hopes.))
(Friday, June 17, 4:00 PM)
Having successfully completed the first grade two weeks ago, Jules Simanski is now enjoying his summer vacation with his three closest friends: Leo Sekemoto, Henry Hatch, and Holly Porter.
Over the last two weeks they’ve spent time playing at Leo’s house... Henry’s house... ...and Jules’ house. Today is the first day they’ve come to play at Holly’s house. Only Holly doesn’t exactly have a house. Holly lives at the local orphanage, a property donated years ago to Valley township by the Goth family. [Jules:] “Whoa…”
[Leo:] “This place is HUGE!”
[Henry:] “How many orphans live here, Holly? Bazillions?”
[Holly:] “More like eight, Henry.”
Holly shows them around and introduces them to Miss Pendragon, the matron of the orphanage, and some of the other orphans. Linn Ashleydale attends the big-kids high school, but Cora Francisco, Brent Wainwright, and Ty Palmer all attend Valley Elementary in higher grades than Jules and his friends. The last place Holly shows them is the attic, her favorite place to play at the orphanage. Holly tells them that grown-ups call the stuff piled all over the attic “junk,” but Jules, Leo and Henry are soon calling it “epic loot.” [Jules:] “Look, you can see Uncle Jesse’s work from here—right down the hill there. Maybe we should go visit him later.”
Leo and Holly instantly agree. Any opportunity to spend time with Jules’ uncle (who they are all now calling “Uncle Jesse”) is always well received among Jules’ friends. This time, though, Henry is strangely reluctant.
[Henry:] “Um, Jules, I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.”
[Jules:] “Why not Henry?”
[Henry:] “Because Uncle Jesse works in a… *whispers* graveyard.”
[Leo:] “Yeah? So?”
[Henry:] “So there might be, you know… *whispers* ghosts.”
[Leo:] “Henry. There’s no such thing as ghosts. Any grown-up will tell you that.”
[Henry:] “Well, I know grown-ups SAY that, Leo… but my big sister watches a ghost hunter show on T.V. and those ghosts look pretty real to me.”
[Leo:] “That’s all fake, Henry. They fake it to get people to watch the show, so they’ll buy things like hamburgers and shampoo when they watch the commercials. My mom and dad told me all about it.”
[Henry:] “Well, maybe, but—”
[Jules:] “Don’t worry, Henry. Even if there really are ghosts, Uncle Jesse won’t let any of them get us. He’s tough, like Conan and Captain Hammer.” Although the others don’t notice, Holly remains quiet on the ghost subject. She doesn’t want to scare Henry or argue with Leo, but she does think there’s such a thing as ghosts. She’s seen them. The following day, Peggy Sue Primrose arrives unannounced at the Simanski house with news. Big news.
[Peg:] “HOLY CRAP have you two seen the paper?!”
[Jono:] “I take it you don’t mean the Valley Voice.”
[Peg:] “Do I ever mean the Valley Voice?”
Peg holds up page three of the latest issue of the weekly Midnight Starz. Dani snorts with disbelief. [Dani:] “Leave it to the tabloids to call that a baby bump. THIS is a baby bump. That girl still looks like she weighs 90 pounds soaking wet.”
[Peg:] “Midnight Starz isn’t the only tabloid running a story like this, Dani. And Gwen hasn’t gone on record denying it.”
Dani realizes the expressions on Peg and Jono’s faces are not as dismissive as her own.
[Dani:] “Wait a minute. You two don’t think this baby could be Jesse’s, do you? I thought they didn’t—”
[Peg:] “Dani, did you see the same pictures I did? They were necking and naked. In a HOT tub.”
Dani looks at her husband. If anyone knows for certain how far things went between Jesse and Gwen (other than Jesse and Gwen), it would be Jono.
[Jono:] “He said they didn’t finish. In Jesse-speak that means they… started.”
[Dani:] “Without protection?! But Jesse always—”
[Jono:] “If he was ever going to forget that, Dani, it would be with this girl.”
[Peg:] “And Gwen doesn’t exactly have the celebrity bio for brains over beauty.”
[Dani:] “But even if she is pregnant, we still don’t know Jesse is the father—”
[Peg:] “Are you kidding? With this family’s luck? Face facts folks. About eight months from now, you’re going to be Auntie Dani and Uncle Jon. Huzzah.” [Dani:] “But Roch told me Gwen was given our home phone number! If she IS pregnant, and Jesse IS the father, don’t you think she would’ve called here by now?!”
Jono thinks about it. He thinks about how long it took Dani to tell him she was pregnant, seven years ago, and the circumstances that drove her to it.
[Jono:] “No. I don’t think she would. Not if she has an acceptable alternative.”
[Peg:] “That’s it. I’m going to talk to my brother. If Gwen Glover really intends to keep a Simanski from seeing his baby, this family is going to need a lawyer.”
[Dani:] “But—”
[Jono:] “Let her go, Dani. She’s right.”
She is so right.
At the Pleasant View Cemetery a few hours later, Jesse receives a call from his brother.
[Jono:] “You need to come straight home after work, Jesse. No pick-up football games in the park, no stopping at Whistler’s to jam, no hanging out at Shark Bates’ for beers.”
[Jesse:] “But Jules is having that sleepover tonight. Don’t you want me to get the stuff on Dani’s grocery list?”
Jono can’t risk Jesse hearing about the Gwen pregnancy story from anyone but him.
[Jono:] “Forget that. We’ll go out and get it later. Straight home tonight, Jesse. Understand?”
[Jesse:] “Yeah, okay, straight home. So what’s up? What happened? I can leave now if you need me—”
[Jono:] “No, it can wait until after work. We’ll talk about it when you get here.”
Regardless of Jono’s assurance that whatever it is can wait, Jesse goes home within an hour of that phone call. He’s told about the Midnight Starz article… …and for one glorious moment, he experiences a sensation of joy incomparable to any other in his 25.5 years. A baby. Gwen Glover is pregnant with his baby. He’s going to be a dad. Then reality reenters the picture. Other than the one success of getting Gwen to see the Jesse2Gwen “Photograph” video and her response to it, Jesse has had no luck in contacting her via post or personal messaging on her fansite. Every attempt he’s made since their one and only “date” has yielded an impersonal auto response. Now Jono is saying Gwen no longer lives at the residence Jesse visited in Foxgrove, and he can’t find a forwarding address or phone number. Dani is saying Gwen was given the Simanski home number, but Gwen hasn’t called. And Peg is bringing her brother over. Her brother the lawyer. All of which means… …Gwen doesn’t want him to be the dad. After dinner, Norman “Norm” Primrose arrives at the Simanski residence in the company of his younger sister, Peg. Norm’s specialty is criminal defense, but since many of his predominantly male clientele also have angry wives/girlfriends/exes with at least one child, he’s well-versed in family law. From the unpopular daddy side of the bench. Over the last hour Jesse has had to listen to Norm explain more than he ever wanted to know on subjects such as paternity tests, child support, and visitation rights. Eventually, it’s more than he can take.
[Jesse:] “Stop, stop, just STOP!”
[Jesse:] “Do I have to do this, Jono?”
[Jono:] “No, you don’t. Norm is just explaining the legal options if it comes to that, but it’s your decision, Jesse. We’ll only do what you want.”
[Jesse:] “What I want?! How about I want the girl I love to want me to be the dad of our baby?! How about I don’t want to have to go to court to make her let me see our baby?! How about I want all of this to just STOP before it kills me?!” Jules is hosting a sleepover tonight, but all play in his room came to a halt a long time ago. The Simanski family is once again in a state of total upset, and no one has to stand at the door to hear what’s been going on out there—it’s usually loud enough to go right through the drywall between Jules’ bedroom and the dining room. [Jules:] “I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why someone my Uncle Jesse loves wouldn’t want to love him back.”
[Leo:] “Maybe she just doesn’t know him like we do, Jules.”
[Henry:] “Yeah, maybe that’s it. He only went to see her once, right? Maybe that wasn’t long enough for her to know how cool he is.”
Jules nods, but this still doesn’t clear things up for him. He can’t imagine someone needing more than one day to get that his Uncle Jesse is one of the greatest people ever. Especially someone his Uncle Jesse loves enough to give a baby—like Jules’ Dad gave a baby to Jules’ Mama. Twice. [Jules:] “I have to do something, guys. Uncle Jesse always helps me. Will you help me help him back?”
[Holly:] “Sure we will, Jules. What do you want us to do?”
Jules thinks very hard. If this is all happening because Gwen Glover doesn’t know Uncle Jesse well enough, then Jules has to come up with a way to tell her. To show her. Like his Uncle Jesse did, with that music video.
[Jules:] “I know what we’ll do. But we’ll have to talk to Windy first.”
The next morning Jules invites Windy over to the house. In private Windy listens to what Jules and his friends have to say, but she already knows about the tabloid story and the distress it’s causing the Simanski family. Peggy Sue told her all about it at the beauty salon last night. Even if Windy hadn’t heard about it from Peg, she’d have heard about it from her father and his crew at Whistler Collections Co. when she got home. Everyone is talking about it, because everyone is worried about it. Including Windy. [Windy:] “I’ll tell you what, Jules. I’ll show you and your friends how to use both my cameras—the photo one and the video one. You can take all the pictures and video you like, then I’ll put it together on my computer in a special CD for your Uncle Jesse’s Gwen. Sound good?” With the loan of Windy’s cameras, Jules and his friends are ready to get to work creating the video that will convince Gwen Glover how awesome Jesse Simanski is. Unfortunately it’s pretty clear early on that it’s going to be difficult to get pictures of Jesse looking anything but miserable. [Henry:] “Jules. Uncle Jesse’s got the sad face on all the time. That’s not going to be good for the video is it?”
[Leo:] “Yeah, and how’re we going to show how good Uncle Jesse is at doing stuff if we can’t get him to, you know, do stuff?”
Jules has no idea. It has been decided—at Windy’s suggestion—that they won’t be telling Uncle Jesse about the video, just in case he says he doesn’t want them to do it. But Leo and Henry are not wrong. Uncle Jesse is looking like he might never want to laugh or play again, and besides that being all wrong for the video… it’s a horribly Badly thought, period. [Holly:] “It’ll be okay, Jules. Uncle Jesse is sad right now, but I bet he’ll get better, so we’ll wait to get the video until later. Windy said we could borrow pictures from your family, so maybe we could look at those first?” Jules and his friends spend the rest of the day collecting pictures from the Simanski family albums, and the next week recording their video. To Jules’ relief, Uncle Jesse does seem a little better as time goes by, particularly when he sees Jules and Jules’ friends around. Not so much when he doesn’t. When the cameras are returned to Windy, she puts the pictures and video together in a single file as promised. She does very little to edit it. She doesn’t think it needs any editing from her. [Jules:] “Hey, hi Miss Glover! My name is Jules, and these are my friends Leo, Henry, and Holly. We’re going to tell you about my Uncle Jesse. He’s my Dad’s twin brother. That means they came out of their mama at the same time, if you didn’t know.” [Jules:] “We know you know what Uncle Jesse looks like, but here’s what he looked like with my Dad when they were still little. They say I look a lot like them, So if you and Uncle Jesse’s baby turns out to be a boy, he’ll probably look like me. Hope you don’t mind.” [Jules:] “Did you know Uncle Jesse is a good cook? He is. He can cook lots of different things, but he’s best at cooking our favorite: Goopy Carbonara. [Leo:] “Goopy Carbonara has onions in it, but don’t worry, Miss Glover. They don’t have the bad breath. They always brush their teeth right after they eat it.” [Jules:] “Do you have things that break in your bathroom? Well, we have something break in our bathroom almost every day, but Uncle Jesse can fix anything in here that breaks. So he’s handy to have around for that.” [Jesse:] *in the background* “Dammit dammit DAMMIT!!!”

[Henry:] “Uh, don’t worry, Miss Glover. Uncle Jesse doesn’t always cuss like that. He just hurt his fingers real bad.”
[Jules:] “Here’s something you probably didn’t know: Uncle Jesse has a new job, here at Pleasant View Cemetery. His job is called the Head Groundskeeper. That means he’s the boss around here. This place used to be all covered in weeds and ugly bushes, but Uncle Jesse fixed it up, see? Now there’s roses and daisies and bazillions of other flowers…” [Jules:] “…and whatever these plants are. Uncle Jesse’s not sure yet, but we’re hoping for something we can eat. Like blueberries or Oreo cookies.” [Leo:] “Wait, wait—cut, or whatever. Henry. Stop looking so scared. We don’t want Uncle Jesse’s Gwen thinking he works in a scary place.”
[Henry:] “I know, Leo, I’m trying, it’s just… *whispers* the ghosts could be watching us right now…”
[Leo:] “What did I tell you about that, Henry? Didn’t I say no such thing as ghosts?”
[Holly:] “Don’t worry, Miss Glover. If there are ghosts here, they probably won’t be the mean kind with all these flowers around.” [Jules:] “Here we are back at my family’s house. We know you know Uncle Jesse can play the guitar, because he made that music video for you. But did you know he’s good at playing all kinds other of things?” [Jules:] “Like toys and video games and pirates?” [Jules:] “He knows how to play with babies, too. Here’s a picture of him playing with me when I was so small I was stuck in a blanket and had no hair. Uncle Jesse likes babies and kids a whole lot, even when they’re bald and wear diapers.” [Jules:] “We know he sure would like to be the Dad for your baby, because it makes him sad to think you don’t want him to be.” [Jules:] “Will you please come live with him and let him be the Dad? It would make him really happy, and when Uncle Jesse’s really happy, he makes everyone else really happy.”

[Jesse:] *in the background* “I am Laundo, Lord of Laundry! Welcome to my Laundro-Mat Cave!”
[Jules:] “I bet he can make you really happy, too.” Windy shows the completed video to Jono and Dani. By the end Dani is crying, and Jono is speechless. [Windy:] “Gwen Glover really should see this. Can that Interpol friend of yours get it to her, Dani?”
[Dani:] “Roch still hasn’t gotten back to me with a number or an address for that girl, like he thinks Jesse might stalk her or something… but I think I can convince him to give her this. Yes."
[Jono:] “If that doesn’t get her to at least call Jesse, she’s not someone we need around here anyway.” [Director’s Commentary:] “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin can be heard here for free with a copy/paste to browser (can’t say for sure if this link will work for non-US browsers, apologies):

((Special Thanks to:

* TSR’s spladoum for collaborative cleverness and many a rattastic photoshoot with her character, Gwen Glover... I do hope Gwen made it home all right. Girl seems a bit queasy of late. Must be all those costume changes.

* TSR artists: Various wall art, deco, and clutter in the orphan attic provided by Lilliebou, Living Dead Girl, and tdyannd. Often used (but usually unseen) lights by DOT. Funtimes with awful objects and grungy groundpaints provided by Cyclonesue.

* Loads of thanks again to all TSR and MTS artists previously credited in this series. Your work continues to rock me.

* Sad-faced apologies to all cc creators that I’ve failed to credit by name, here or elsewhere. Your work continues to rock me, too.

> Readers-to-the-end-credits—Don’t worry, be happy that you made it to the end of another episode… and thanks bazillions for that :D ))

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21 Comment(s) so far

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#12fruitopiaVIPSep 18, 2011

Jules is such a sweetheart, and a good kid.  I can't wait until the next chapter.    

#13-kalisa-Sep 18, 2011

It's surprising how it's possible to fall in love with fictional characters \:wub\: I absolutely LOVE Jesse and Jules \:wub\: \:wub\: \:wub\: (Like, seriously)! I'm not surprised that Dani was crying when she saw the video that Jules made with his friends - it's just soo sincere and innocent \:\) So cute! \:\) "We’re hoping for something we can eat. Like blueberries or Oreo cookies" - LOL \:D I can't wait to find out what happens in the next part! \:rah\: Congrats on the feature!!! \:rah\:  (PS! I started writing a Sims 2 story and I was thinking about turning a house of one well-known family into an orphanage (before I read this chapter of your story, I swear), I hope you don't mind and won't blame me for stealing your idea? \:o)

#14OCIKITTENSep 18, 2011

Awesome. I was taking a break from my college homework and this is what a found. It was a great addition. Thanks for giving me a great escape for a bit before I had to knuckle back down. 

#15urm0mSep 19, 2011

Haha I am sure Jesse would be a wonderful father \:P I am glad his family see it too

#16MarioQuinteroSep 20, 2011

I will write in Spanish cause I can read English, but I can't write it right \:o . You can use a translator if you want to read my comment \:D
Wow! Este capítulo tardó bastante pero ha sido buenísimo, y diría que es mi favorito. Es muy tierno y gracioso como Jules imagina como se tienen los bebés y además lo de las plantas de Oreo, es muy inocente *_*.
De verdad que tienes una enorme imaginación y te felicito porque cada vez está historia se pone mejor.
Espero que Jules logre que Gwen le responde con ese video porque sino... morirá. Adoro tus capturas y todo!
Sigue así! \:rah\:

#17ShelleyBSep 22, 2011

\:wub\: Aaaaw Jules! Again you steal my heart. I can't speak for Gwen, but getting a video from Jesse's nephew and friends describing what a great dad he will make would certainly turn my head. \:D How you are able to keep the children's stories framed in a child's point of view is amazing to me. Screen 38 is so perfect! Another fine family and friends chapter... \:\)

#18flody888Sep 24, 2011

Beautiful chapter! Jules and his friends are so amazing to try and help their uncle Jesse! I teared up at the end of the video too. \:\) Gwen just HAS to call Jesse now! \:D Please, please, please!!! \:wub\: Excellent work, Rob!!!!!

#19mitty560Oct 5, 2011

I have to say, screen shots are my favs! Who doesn't love a guy with a ducky?  The story wasn't bad either...\;\)

#20mogan44Oct 6, 2011

Amazing chapter. I don't want this story to end EVER. You  have a way of getting all your readers invested in your story and your characters. I am patiently waiting the next chapter.

#21Bo0GeRBELLOct 30, 2011

That was AWESOME!!! \:D

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