Eventually, though it was getting late, the lure of the poker table grew again, so I borrowed $5 from Becca (putting me $17 in the hole) and started again. I won the next hand. And the next. And the next. In all, I think I won 5 of the next 6 hands, but by then Rebecca was falling off her perch, so I called it quits, and totted up the chips. Over the course of the evening, my final tally was that I had managed to win ten cents.
I played Jirettai-Neko, the Annoying Cat-Kami. I arrived just as the bathhouse opened for business, but I spent a little time getting myself ready. I entered and was greeted very warmly by the staff, and found my good buddy Mochi at tea, so I joined him. I had a little tea, even though my stomach had been feeling funny ever since that rotten nine-tailed fox cursed me. It didn’t help that I had eaten a whole boatload of spirits just before arriving at the bathhouse. Pretty soon, I was puking up spirits every half hour or so. Poor tummy.
I didn’t know very many people, but fortunately I am cute enough that people wanted to talk to me. Unfortunately for them, I rapidly went through the following stages: cynical to sarcastic to rude to obnoxious. It was a great help that ‘Neko’ (Nine-tailed fox posing as a tiger-y cat-spirit) was so obnoxious to me that my own obnoxity ramped up to meet it.
I can’t remember everything that went on, so I’ll just select a few vignettes.
Had a great talk with the people in the boiler room. I demanded a tongue bath, since cats don’t like water baths. Kamaji thought he might try to find a tongue-spirit, or maybe a little catbox to scratch around in. He and Kimi did furnish me a scratching post, but I really really wanted a tongue-spirit, and they failed. No tip for them. Not that I gave any tips to anyone.
I talk to the God of the Underworld and learn how he wants to come here and relax and get away from all those pesky spirits. Naturally, after I cough up my first spirit, I stick it to him. This is great, because after he discovers this spirit bothering him, he gets pissed at it, and starts judging it. Then he turns to me and asks “What shall I do with this spirit?” I ask him what my choices are, but I stop listening as soon as he gets to ‘punishment’. “PUNISH HIM!” So Emma-O points his finger at it and says “I punish you to be tortured for a thousand years!” Whoo-hoo! I stick some poor law-abiding spirit on his back, and then I get to help punish the spirit for a thousand years! They don’t call me annoying for nothing.
I made Hello Kitty cry after our very first conversation, and continued to rebuff her with increasingly strong language all night long. She wanted to be friends with everybody, but I’m just not the friendly type.
‘Neko’ finally pestered me enough as I was eating that I kicked her ass. I stood up and yanged her [hmmm… sounds like a new euphemism for something naughty] with my yang power of Devour. So I swallowed her whole, and went back to my meal, cause I WASN’T FULL YET. I’ve eaten gnats that were more satisfying in the belly than ‘Neko’. I pretty much knew at this point that ‘Neko’ must be my enemy Akihiro, but I played it dumb for a while longer. Besides, I had just Devoured her. What more could I want? Of course, her curse was still on me, so after I finished my rice, I puked my guts out at the table (once again to the consternation of the bathhouse staff). Another spirit came out, but it was already stuck (along with most of my meal) to ‘Neko’ who came spilling out. I ate so many people that night, I lost count. Oh, and I had some of Shojo’s sake, and I threw up, so I blamed his sake for it, and told everyone how bad his sake was. “It made me THROW UP!”
Around then Mochi held the haiku contest. He was pissing me off, because first it’s going to be held in the house, and then it’s going to be held outside the house. Grrr! My haiku kept changing to suit the perfect circumstances of the venue. I wrote down one version of it on the wall, but since the competition was indoors, I had to utter a different version. I went first, because my tummy wasn’t feeling too good:
O brilliant full moon!
on the matting of the floor
fall shadows of pines
I managed to keep my cookies in as long as I could, but somehow it happened just as ‘Neko’ was reciting her own haiku. I barfed up a ghost necromancer (Kevin) onto the couch. Anyway, apparently Mochi didn’t think my haiku was best! He thought I was going to help him join the Assembly, but not if he lets some vampire bat take the haiku prize!!
Sometime later, something made me go insane (I can’t even remember now) and if you thought I was bad before…
For a while, I was loony toons crazy, but I soon settled on being ubersuper annoying. I asked Susano to his face why he hadn’t had the good grace to JUST SHUT UP during the haiku contest.
And then I totally went off on one of the workers, Alvin, who was sitting calmly eating his own dinner. I demanded a beer. He brings it, and starts to sit down again. I WANT ANOTHER BEER! I shout, adding plenty of extra invective. He brings it, and starts to sit down again. I DON’T WANT YOU EATING NEAR ME AND MY BEER. GO AWAY! He picks his food up and hustles out. Alvin deserves a prize for being a good sport.
As I drank my two beers, I think Amy’s ice-mage came and froze me into a block of ice (with my beer). I guess insane Jirettai-Neko was just too much for everyone. Hotei, I think, then picked me and my beers up and we went to the bathhouse where I was thawed out. Hotei quizzed me about what I knew about those spirits I ate. Somehow he connected this with the loss of some stupid endless bag of rice, and threatened me with unluckiness unless I found it for him. I didn’t spend very much effort in trying to find, which turns out to be a good thing, since it wasn’t actually in the game at all. But it gave Hotei an excuse to lean on me every once in a while. Jerk.
‘Neko’ decides to take me on again. We battle and tie. I use my power of Suggestion to suggest that she remove the puking curse, and she uses her power of Possession to possess me. Both powers work, so she possesses me into going through the steps necessary to remove the curse. Apparently, this only required that I take a water bath, but she wasn’t satisfied until I had gone through the bathhouse sing-shouting “I am so stupid!” and things of that nature. But soon enough I was bathed and un-cursed, and no longer under her power.
No-face and I had a little no-face off. We had both been devouring people left and right, and I guess the time came to decide who was the best devourer in the world. A tie would have been amusing, but I lost – the only loss I had all night, I think, though I did tie a lot. He went on to successfully eat about four more people, before he picked on Susano, who slit him up a treat with the grass cutting sword. That ended No-face’s fun for a while.
Akihiro/Neko bopped me with some magic hammer, so I got some money but was rendered unconscious. When I woke up, I found some train engineer’s hand up my ass. What, no dinner and a movie first? Jerk.
The Moon goddess finally arrived, and we had the haiku contest all over again. This time it was outdoors, so I changed the haiku to:
O brilliant full moon!
on the pebbles on the ground
fall shadows of pines
But the fix was in. The Moon Goddess just took Mochi’s word that the vampire-bat’s haiku was the winner. Grrr… I might have gotten angry, but instead, I dropped another haiku on the Moon Goddess, after she made the yard a place of safety where no yang powers could be used:
your effulgent face
radiates down on us all
peacefulness and luck
Mary as Aizen-Myoo, the Japanese god of love, kept trying to help me be better friends with Hello Kitty. Over the course of the evening, I managed to beat Mary three times at rock-paper-scissors. I am the master; she is the pupil. The first time, I won the yang-battle and ate her. But Hello Kitty used her “I’m so Disgustingly Cute, you throw up” power on me, so I didn’t even have time to sing “Yummy yummy yummy, I’ve got Love in my tummy” before I threw up the god of love. I couldn’t devour her again, so the second time I beat her, I Suggest that she make Akihiro/Neko fall in love with Kamaji. The genders might not quite work, but that’s what Love God powers are for, I guess. For the third time I beat Mary, I Suggested that she NEVER USE THAT FREAKING POWER ON ME AGAIN! Not sure if that’s a fair Suggestion, but I’d had enough.
Oh, I really wanted to do this in the middle of a Go game, but people stopped playing games early on, and it was dark outside, so I just pulled it on the kitchen staff. I went into my barf routine and coughed up a hairball right under Rachel’s nose. It was pretty authentic looking, because I fashioned it out of hair from Changeling’s cat brush. Perhaps the grossest live game prop ever – a damp wad of cat fur.
I had a blast just about all the way through. Putting on my game designer hat for a minute, I think the power/combat system worked well, and was well-suited to the kind of game it was. The servants seriously got the shaft, but that’ll teach them to choose being servants. I still wish there had been a cast list, particularly since I only knew four people in my background, and the odds of me remembering to connect faces with names like Aizen-Myoo, Bimbogami and Issunboshi were practivally nil. But probably the thing I’d most like to change about the game was the part where Aaron dropped Rebecca’s digital camera on the cement, rendering it unconscious. Ok, ok, accidents happen and Aaron knows he’s a big doofus, and hopefully Rebecca will be taking the camera to get it fixed and the service plan will cover it, since Rebecca providentially got one. No big deal.
I also found it interesting to be using a handpuppet as my character. Some people would totally interact with the puppet, while others would talk to my shrouded head.
Sunday was more of a relaxing day. Though it didn’t start well. We decided to get a late breakfast somewhere, and set off to find food. The first place we tried was having a special brunch, and we didn’t want that. Then we headed to Main Street Santa Monica, and a farmer’s market or something kept us from parking. So we just hit a donut shop and went home, where we filled our bellies with fat and sugar. Later, we took a trip to the mall, where I bought some clothes and one of the sales clerks complimented me on the shirt I was wearing. On the way back home, we hit Trader Joe’s and the clerk there stared at my tits for a while. Her mouth is moving as she reads the shirt. Her brow wrinkles in consternation. Finally, she says “I don’t get it.” She turns to Rebecca, “Do you get it?” I’m just thinking to myself ‘please just give me my receipt and let me go’. Rebecca attempts an explanation. The TJ’s girl just stares, a thin rivulet of drool oozing out of the corner of her mouth. We grab our food and run away. My opinion of TJ employees rose when Ice started working there; now it has fallen back down again.
Later that evening, Aaron comes by to drop off the injured camera. Rebecca’s taking a nap, but I let Aaron have a peek (hey, this is a family journal – nothing naughty here – she was fully clothed) since she was curled up with Jirettai-neko in her arms.