HFH: What Does Plum Stand For?

Uncle Jacob has pitched in to help with the celebration. The B&B was nearly full when our next two guests arrived, so Jacob volunteered to put them up at his place, the home where I grew up.

We felt so grateful for his helping out–but once I met our two new guests, I began to wonder if my uncle had ulterior motives. These women–both about his age–are beautiful!

When I arrived at my old house to meet our new guests, I found Mikaela Hawkins, a Townie refugee from one of Eric Lewis Prime’s rogue games, doing push-ups on the sidewalk.

Mikaela

Don’t let your wardrobe interfere! When you need to exercise, you need to exercise!

I enjoyed her active personality. While we were getting to know each other, Don jogged by, did a double-take, then looped back around. He stopped right in front of us to “stretch.”

Mikaela

“My, my! Don Lothario never so much as gave me a second glance in the old world.”

After I introduced the two of them, Don launched into this story about… well, I’m not really sure what it was about, but it had something to do with rockets and unicorns and a traffic cop.

Mikaela

“So the cop dude says, ‘Let go of your horn or I’ll shoot!'”

I left the two of them to get to know each other a little better and went inside to meet Jacob’s other house guest.

Mikaela

“You new around here?”

Plum Day’s not really about hooking up, but I guess if a little romance comes out of the celebration, that’s not a bad thing, right?

Mikaela

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Inside, Saffron Bird, Jacob’s other guest, was eating pancakes. They tasted like Jacob’s pancakes, so I guess he made breakfast before he headed off to work.

Saffon

“You’re Peyton’s second cousin twice-removed?”

Saffron, who is so utterly cool, is the second-cousin or second-cousin-great-aunt or something of my penpal, Peyton Skinner!

It was so wonderful to learn about Peyton’s world from Saffron. And Saffron has this amazing, wise perspective on life.

Once I saw that Jacob’s house guests were happily settled in, I headed over to the park to meet Forrest and the gnome kickers for our nature walk. Mikaela changed into her jogging outfit and came along to enjoy the fresh air.

Wherever we go with the gnome kickers, Rose always seems to take the lead!

Rose

“Do you think we’ll see any bears, Cathy Tea?”

We joined up with Forrest, and he identified all the frog vocalizations that we heard. I identified the bird songs. We stood in a circle and enjoyed feeling at one with nature.

Forrest

“This is my church, dudes, where I feel completely at peace and worshipful-like.”

When we got back to the B&B, I finally had a chance to meet Roland. As soon as the kids started dancing, he joined in. He looked a little sad and wistful to me, like maybe he missed his daughter.

Roland

Somewhere, far away, Roland has a little girl of his own, who’s about the same age as Rose, and just as beautiful.

It must be really hard to spend Plum Day without your family.

When I got back home, we realized that Roland and Irene hadn’t joined in any of our Plum Day games. Maybe they’re not into book clubs and nature walks.

We decided to host a grown-up dinner just for them. I even cooked lobster Thermidor, baked Alaska, and a fresh batch of plum spice cookies.

We invited the grown-ups: Uncle Jacob, Mikaela, Saffron, Irene, and Roland.

Roland showed up first, without Irene, and he looked really sad.

Roland

How can someone look sad when sitting next to Tani? Maybe he misses his wife and daughter.

I had to call Irene a second time to invite her. When she showed up, she was tense.

Irene

She looks sad, too. I wonder if everything is ok between her and Roland?

Emma tried talking to her to calm her down and cheer her up before she came in to supper.

Irene

“No, I’m not having a good time! I’m having a terrible time! I don’t know why we even came!”

Roland kept heading outside to make phone calls. Emma said he just breezed right past them without even saying hi to Irene.

Irene

“Roland? Where are you going? Do you have to make another call?”

Roland

“Be right back. Don’t hold dinner for me.”

Caption

“It’s like I don’t even matter to him. His mind is someplace else entirely.”

When Roland returned from his phone call, he seemed to feel better. In fact, he seemed actually cheerful. He still didn’t pay any attention at all to Irene, though.

Roland

“Sul, sul! You must be Uncle Jacob!”

Over dinner, Irene asked, “Ok. So when does the plum start?”

Irene

“And by the way, what did you put in the Thermidor sauce? It’s delicious! So sweet!”

“This is it!” we cried.

“I added plum to the Thermidor sauce, and I’ve got plum spice cookies for desert,” I said.

“No, I mean plum. You know, plum. Like how it’s used on the forums.”

Irene

“Aren’t we going to have plum?”

“Oh,” I replied, “you mean like when the forum auto-correct replaces an author’s name or a word in a title with ‘plum,’ like Charles Plum, author of ‘A Christmas Carol’?”

“And my favorite,” said Gray, “Philip K. Plum.”

“And don’t forget the tragic history ‘Plum Andronicus’ by Shakespeare!” said Alex.

“Or the Three Musketeers by Andre Plum!” called Emma.

“That’s what our book club is all about!” I said. “We’re discussing Plum’s ‘Bleak House’ tomorrow. I’m so excited!”

“No, not that plum,” she replied. “The real plum. ‘Plum you.'”

Irene

“You call that plum? I’ll show you plum!”

“I’ve never seen it used that way,” I answered.

“In the General Discussions that’s how it’s always used! Someone gets ticked off, and they write, ‘Plum you, plum head.”

Gray started laughing.

Gray

“We never go to the General Discussions. We don’t know what you mean.”

“Oh, well, we never go to the General Discussions. We spend all our time hanging out with the storytellers in the Creative Corner.” I shrugged.

“Ok,” she tried a new approach. “You know when two people love each other very much, and they feel a certain buzz between them, and one thing leads to another? And why are you dressed in nothing but your boxers, anyway, Gray?

“You mean woo-hoo?”

Irene

“Woo-what?” “No, not what. Who.”

“Eureka!” she cried.

“But what does that have to do with plum?”

She just shook her head.

“Well,” I explained patiently. “We don’t know much about woo-hoo.”

“When we were teens you always used to ask me about,” Alex reminded me.

Alex

“Remember when you used to always ask me about it?”

“Yeah. Some help you were! You knew as little about it as I did! Or rather, as I still do!” We all laughed.

“But, you must know about it. I mean, that’s how you came to be!” she said.

“You mean ‘try for baby?’ Emma’s the only one who was created that way! Gray, Forrest, and I are all CAS Sims. I grew up in game, but still, I’m CAS. And Alex, he’s a pre-made. I don’t think Mortimer and Bella have ever woo-hooed once, right, Alex?”

Alex blushed, “Well, not in this game, at least.”

“And Tani comes from a randomly generated family.”

“Do you mean this is a world without woo-hoo? Well, when you get a chance,” she continued, “ask Emma about it. Or better yet, ask one of those legacy brats once they get here. Legacies are woo-hoo central.”

“I hope you’re not too disappointed,” I said to her. “It sounds like this isn’t quite what you expected from Plum Day. You know, we did put you and Roland up in the Sugar Plum Suite at the B&B, with that nice double Princess Cordelia bed with the bedspread the color of plum jam!”

“Oh, the accommodations have been peachy!” she said. “Or make that plummy!”

Irene

“Man, these Sims are weird. And they call themselves hippies. What happened to free plum?”

I started to giggle, though what I was laughing at I wasn’t sure.

“So tell me this,” Irene said finally, “What does Plum Day stand for?”

Gray spoke up, “To quote SimGuruBChick’s signature file which quotes the all-great Spock, Plum Day stands for ‘Infinite Diversity, Infinite Combinations.’ That’s the essence of digital life, the essence of being a Sim.”

Gray

“Infinite diversity. Infinite combinations!”

“To digitial life!” Alex toasted. “To Plum!”

“To Plum!” we echoed.

Irene

“And this guy just might be the weirdest of the weird.”

Later, I looked out and saw her swimming alone in our pool in the moonlight with the scent of winter flowers filling the cool air. She looked peaceful and almost happy.

I hoped that when she and Roland returned to the beautiful world of Martymor, with its skies the color of plum, that they would be able to work out their problems and let go of whatever it is that is keeping them from happiness.

Irene

Soak up a little peace, beautiful Irene. It just might heal your digital soul.

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