Some Sims belong in certain places. Charlie needs to live near a fishing hole. Hector has a 98% chance of ending up in Selvadorada. Shu’s heart was always in San Myshuno, and, in what is arguably the only silver lining to his parents’ divorce, can temporarily stay with relatives.

Relatives he’ll talk to when Chantel’s done.

Xiyuan hasn’t lived with Shu since he groomed his son to be the next San Myshuno Orchestra concertmaster/leader of Mr. Liu’s PB&J. The man whose arrival caused the guest room to instantaneously self-crimsonify was a far cry from the toddler learning his circle of fifths: Xiyuan’s training had taken root, and Shu had mastered every possible visual and performing art in under two decades. Both dads had spent his high school graduation enthusing about the sheer breadth of possibilities. They mused as the valedictorian read an oft-misinterpreted poem of Robert Frost’s—why two roads diverging in a yellow wood? Why not eight?

As 30 ex-high-schoolers applauded the end of the reading, each believing themselves to be taking the “road less traveled” in the poem’s penultimate line, something in Shu snapped. He saw himself at a crossroads, all right, but with the folksy hiking trails replaced by these paved monstrosities, each split into regular sections, each section with its own rest stop and Carl’s Jr., each culminating in a different definition of success, each so linear that the finish line was visible from where he was standing. He saw his father by his side, holding his goddamn hand. The hard part had already been done: all he had to do was wait, and he would be shuttled to whatever single achievement he decided represents his legacy.

Shu realized nothing was forcing him to decide. He could refuse to move. He could bash his skull against the pavement until some bystander called an ambulance. He could turn around and go back to where he came, although Shu admitted that implementation was easier in the context of the metaphor than in his life. He could extend the metaphor with another phrase beloved by teenagers, and forge his own path. But how can one do that when they’re incapable of truly creating anything new?

The unique solution appeared to him. Redefine “path.” A job, Shu decided, is any activity that adds to the household funds.

Shortly after moving in, Shu has the opportunity to protect his dads’ symbolic mural from scum-of-the-earth Urlike Faust (and Urlike Faust from his dads’ fans).

You’re fucking with the wrong fish painting, Urlike

He introduces himself in his usual style.

Girl, are you “Cheerleader” by OMI? Because you keep getting stuck in my head at pivotal times in my life.

Urlike, beguiled, returns her cans of spray paint to her gigantic invisible dress pocket, her back to the PDA mural. Shu asks her on a date to the art gallery. While Urlike fantasizes about what she’ll be doing three hours in the future, her date’s watching the—oh, come on.

This is what you spray paint if you want to look tough in front of your friends: lily pads

Shu rolls his eyes. Before cleaning up the top level of paint, he asks Urlike to just be friends and ends the date early.

Another realization hits Shu. At the end of each date, an unidentified source sends his household a trinket, like a bucket of champagne. These buckets of champagne are worth §245 each. So if, hypothetically, one were to go on 1-3 dates per day with assorted people, they could earn as much as their mid-career peers.

Shu imagines drenching the octopath of his nightmares in leftover acetone, watching the layers wash away like the lily pads. He watches until only broken bottles and poison ivy remain. He looks into the undeveloped wasteland. He smiles.

Of course, one or more of Shu’s parents is chaperoning the date. §245 says they’re talking shit about Xiyuan.

“Did you hear him ask the plants if they wanted bottled or tap?”

Shu refuses to disclose his line of work to his parents. But when you’re expected to continue the creative legacy of one of the world’s most prolific living artists, said artist is probably going to notice when you don’t get a job in the arts. Bernard eats his cereal loops every morning to a sharp conversation half-yelled across the stairs; every other sentence is in a language he doesn’t understand. From what he can catch, Shu should probably be taking commissions or talking to one of Xiyuan’s contacts, while Xiyuan should stay out of it. Also, Shu’s going out. Bye.

The door slams. Xiyuan sighs and props himself against the wall with his forearm. He’s exhausted from trying to convince himself there’s only Chantel and Shannon, Bernard suspects.

Every time Shu leaves the house, he faces his father’s shrine to a boy he hardly remembers. (There’s also Toast Cat, worth over §10,000, and the same painting twice.) Every time, he scoffs. A parent’s love shouldn’t be conditional.

Shu chooses to stay home on Xiyuan’s birthday, but not without inviting Gen for a sleepover. Carlie Feng is watching from her apartment. Lily Feng gave birth to twin daughters shortly after learning Xiyuan had a son, and although the Shallot-Lius could prove no connection between the two events, they had their suspicions. In any case, Shu often finds himself in yet another imbalanced conversation where he knows basically nothing and Carlie/Charlie (yes, they actually named the twins that) can correct him on stories about his own childhood.

Get in line.

At the party’s center, Shu puts on a shirt and takes care of catering. He prefers to do all the cooking. Bernard left crumbs on the counter once, you see, and is now not allowed in the kitchen without Shu and his wet rag.

Carlie was ordered to pick the lock. The overlap between skills related to being the heir of an organized crime syndicate and skills required to crash a neighbor’s birthday party is quite high.

The birthday boy airs his grievances upstairs with Bernard, Victor and Claudia.

Not about losing in cards; the group has silently accepted that the heat death of the universe will occur before Xiyuan wins a round. He has a few tells. If he draws a card and dramatically recoils, he has a bad hand. If he announces how optimistic he is about finally winning for once, he has a good hand. If you listen carefully, you can hear him quietly mumbling the numbers and suits to himself. His friends are trying their best to help him come in second-to-last on his birthday.

“I have no idea what he’s doing.” Xiyuan places three of his cards in a face-down pile on the table. This isn’t part of the game, rather an attempt to sort his hand into important and unimportant piles. “He doesn’t have time to come with me to gallery openings anymore, but almost every morning I go downstairs and he’s making pancakes for a different random woman.”

“And Chantel,” Bernard points out.

“Yes, and poor Chantel,” he agreed, drawing another card. “Ouch. He’s clearly getting money from somewhere, but I don’t know how he has time to do that anymore.”

“Look on the bright side,” Claudia predictably recommends, “at least you won’t have to worry about grandchildren.”

Victor’s eyes light up just as Xiyuan signals his husband across the table. Bernard, catching the difference between his ‘I’m one card away from a royal flush’ and ‘Please make {Victor/Lily} stop talking about my {son/son’s relationship status/future half-Feng grandchildren} by any means necessary’ faces, stands up hard enough to push his chair backwards. “I think it’s time for cake. Who wants cake?”

Later, Xiyuan catches Bernard on the stairs and pantomimes choking himself.

Another crisis has been averted. Every guest simultaneously thinks about how pleased they are with the catering, except the caterer himself. He has work to do.

Xiyuan’s birthday inspires the family to reflect back on the past, and in doing so, they realize something that seems obvious in retrospect: there are no conditions under which two post-pubescent Lius should be in the same house. Xiyuan finds it hard to stick to his two-girlfriend theory in the face of evidence sneaking through the front door every morning. Shu’s not comfortable with the arrangement either, and, by the way, he’s going to vomit the next time he hears the words “my lord.” Bernard would prefer conversations in his apartment to be less aggressive and monolingual. If there were an extraneous fourth party capable of communing with all three, she may get overwhelmed with keeping track of two to four WooHooing sessions per day. No one is happy. Time has separated the Liu family into one group that attributes the “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” sentiment to Nietzsche and a second to West, and the effects are irreversible.

Shu moves out the next day. He won’t be lonely; two of his favorite girlfriends have agreed to be roommates.

Aileen belongs to neither group. She attributes the saying to Clarkson.
(Red tank top is Genevieve, post-makeover.)

Shu would rather survive in this crappy apartment with two roommates than use his dad’s money. Besides, no one can control his job if he doesn’t have a real job. The strings of parental control have been cut. All Xiyuan can do now is show up on like all of Shu’s dates.

Without progeny to distract them, Xiyuan and Bernard return to their normal course of action, suppressing the narrative by being adorable.

See, this looks like more of an actual tag than fucking lily pads
he’s really not a T-shirt guy but CUUUUUUUTE

Yes—since Shu has been reduced to a headless busker in the background, the Shallot-Liu apartment is once again occupied only by the posh couple, the keyholders,

I don’t remember how, when or why she got into the apartment. There’s no event timer. No one is home. She just came here to drink.

and the Fengs. Here, Victor re-enacts his rock opera outside the door to get their attention.

Welcome to San Myshuno, where the benches are cheerful and the Chinese Mafia is desperate

With twice as many Fengs trying to get temporary access to the apartment, Bernard and Xiyuan have taken to leaving a note on the door claiming they’re not home. They often come back from an event to find the note in the trash, as if removing it would somehow negate the message.

All he wants to do is get back to his husband. It’s like this every time they aren’t in the same room.

It’s unclear what relationship Charlie and Carlie want with the Shallot-Lius. They may have been pressured by their parents to befriend the neighbors, but for what? Cultural reasons? Money? Power? But no, they both do the same thing their parents do, which is begging to be let in so they can use the computer. It’s possible they’re money-laundering.

It’s not like the neighbors would notice anything suspicious.

And yet, they can be even more oblivious.

Should we tell him?


“Dear, is something wrong? Why are you calling me at work?”

“I love you.”

“I love you, too. What’s wrong?”

“Please remember that I love you. Don’t be mad.”

“What did you do.”

“I may have impulse bought an art gallery.”

In lieu of an actual baby, here’s The Koi Pond Art Gallery, a small business in Newcrest featuring the work of two prominent artists. The K.P.A.G. can’t disappoint its parents.

This is one of the only contexts in which hanging the painting of Bernard makes sense

The Koi Pond is sparsely decorated so as to not distract from the paintings, featuring only a few fish-related things and plaques around the gallery commemorating the romance between its owners. One fishy detail is the iconic mural at the entrance, recreated by the actual disappointment himself.

To get into the store, you have to trample a symbol of eternal love.

-7 paintings and upwards of §8,500 later, the Koi Pond closes. Bernard and Xiyuan celebrate by making everyone in San Myshuno dry heave.

Anaya’s like, shit, it’s the ghost dudes again

Unfortunately for this half-reanimated power couple, a lack of conflict makes for a poor story. But they’re great for raising the spirits!

(Get it? Get it?)

(Thanks to all the custom content creators! I know it’s bad form to not give proper credit, but have a lot of CC and no way to keep track of it. I’ll gladly credit people when I figure out how to sort my stuff.)

The Shallot-Liu Family: Shallot-Liu vs. Shu
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14 thoughts on “The Shallot-Liu Family: Shallot-Liu vs. Shu

  • May 21, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Brilliant! I’m so happy you pointed out how misinterpreted Frost’s poem is! He’s being sarcastic! It doesn’t matter which dang path you choose! But it does, for the friend whose walk in the woods inspired the poem died in the war, following a path Frost argued against. Poetry loves irony.

  • January 4, 2020 at 10:48 am

    “The K.P.A.G. can’t disappoint its parents.” OUCH. Poor Shu. He’s just living his life, and that life is by making money, mysteriously, by going on dates and woohooing! Sounds like he has it made, tbh.

    • January 4, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      True—it does sound like he’s got it made! I bet you’re wondering in which of 12 ways this is going to blow up in his face, though.

  • February 14, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Oh, Shu. Did he really just think he could get his funds off those champagne buckets you get after dates…. oh, boy. I mean, I guess it works, but… man. That’s some next-level assholery! He really doesn’t seem to care much about others’ feelings for him to use them so shamelessly LOL. I’m here for it. My characters are absolutely no better.
    “A parent’s love shouldn’t be conditional” – yeah that part really did get to me. 100% feel this dude, there.
    Carlie and Charlie are literally the best names for twins I could possibly think of. I’m so impressed by your game. Absolutely lovely, that.
    Claudia’s “at least you don’t have to worry about grandchildren” is lovely… she really is such an optimist… and hey, it’s true!
    Shu moving out comes as no surprise to me. I were him, I’d have gone there ages ago (which I actually did, so I already possess the knowledge to say that I’m sure Shu is gonna be so happy with this decision). On the other hand, taking two of his girlfriends with… oh, man. That’s just asking for drama, I feel.
    I’ll always ship Xijuan and Bernard… every pic of these two is a fucking treat. The art gallery… I’m actually rooting for this. Reminds me of the one time one of my Sims (that was actually Tori, who actually surprisingly is level 10 in painting) bought an art gallery, started selling her masterpieces only for me to find out I had a restocking bug that allowed me to infinitely restock items without ever having to pay for them. Raised me a good 700,000 Simdollars. It was great. I love that fish graffiti thing in front… love me some iconic details that come back and back.

    • February 14, 2020 at 11:14 pm

      Shu’s polyamory and fuckboy reputation are common knowledge—are you sure they’re not using him back? As Elsa pointed out, he’s cheaper than a movie ticket.

      His official job title is ‘Escort’ but now, typing this comment, I’m giggling and yelling FUCKBOY FOR HIRE at my computer.

      Is it Simdollars in your native language? Thank you for reminding me to take eleventy gajillion pictures of Xiyuan and Bernard this Valentine’s Day.

      You know what would make the names Carlie and Charlie better? If one of them shared a name with a main character and hit on all their siblings.

      • February 16, 2020 at 9:02 am

        that’s actually a very good point right there…. hadn’t thought about that 🤔
        fuckboy for hire!!! that has me in tears. i feel like quite a few (cough cough tika) of my sims could potentially qualify under that too).

        oh yeah sorry LOL. havent played sims in my native language since the ts2 days, but sometimes them things still be confusing me i guess. simoleons***

        LOL…. it sure fits perfectly with the chaos that is your universe. its like your game knows.

      • February 16, 2020 at 10:50 pm

        Oh! I didn’t mean to correct you; I was just curious about what they’re called in other languages since they lucked out on a really cutesy phrase for English.

      • February 17, 2020 at 10:03 am

        They did! Obviously, considering the horrible term “simdollar,” Dutch didn’t luck out. 😂

  • July 11, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Of course Xiyuan and Benrard own a massage table (random comment of the day).

    Yeah, Shu strikes me as the kind that would do the best living in a bachelor pad on his own, definitely not crashing with his dad. I mean, while Xiyuan did break up nis marriage and all, he’s clearly the soulmate kind of guy, so I don’t see him understanding Shu. They have much better odds at actually forming a decent relationship if they only see each other sparingly, if that makes sense.

    Aww, they bought an art gallery, how perfect. Makes complete sense!

    Can’t wait to see what shenanigans Shu gets up to now. I guess he will have that bomjs player trait so he’ll literally get a free pass whatever he does – not that he ever struggled, heh!

    • July 12, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      Totally, this father and son need to appreciate each other from a distance! They do have an interesting relationship. Xiyuan’s parents pulled the “oh no, our son is kind of effeminate, let’s put him in an all-boys boarding school so he doesn’t turn out gay” crap (fantastic logic there), so it’s possible he agrees with Shu’s value system but is squicked out by hearing about his offspring’s sex life, and is maybe jealous he couldn’t do the same.

      No one’s going to rain on Shu’s dumpster fire anytime soon. I promise.

  • January 15, 2022 at 1:59 am

    Not about losing in cards; the group has silently accepted that the heat death of the universe will occur before Xiyuan wins a round. He has a few tells. If he draws a card and dramatically recoils, he has a bad hand. If he announces how optimistic he is about finally winning for once, he has a good hand. If you listen carefully, you can hear him quietly mumbling the numbers and suits to himself. His friends are trying their best to help him come in second-to-last on his birthday.

    this is why i love xiyuan, you wholesome boy <3

    If there were an extraneous fourth party capable of communing with all three, she may get overwhelmed with keeping track of two to four WooHooing sessions per day.

    when you switch from “all walls up” to “cutaway view” in build mode and the fourth wall disappears

    • January 22, 2022 at 6:40 pm

      Oh my god—it’s been years and someone appreciates the poker game. Oh my god. Of course, Xiyuan being wholesome is just what he wants you to think.

      Fourth wall pun is extremely solid; hat tip.

      • January 23, 2022 at 6:51 pm

        gasp Xiyuan! Xiyuan, are you just pretending to be bad at poker so people think you’re trustworthy and artless (forgive the ironic pun) in real life? Xiyuan, are your bluffs bluffs??

      • January 24, 2022 at 10:36 pm

        Oh, he truly is crap at cards. Wholesome, though: he has two speeds—0 and 100—and we’ve only seen him at zero so far. Don’t trust the front. He’s the only CT character with a sub-30 purity score.

        It’s like the in-joke about the CT parents catching their kids with pot. Some would talk to the kid, some would punish them, Bernard would smoke it with them… Xiyuan would lecture them for getting caught, point out eight better hiding places, appraise the quality, and give it back.

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