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Feed me a story!
June 3, 2002 - by Johanna Grumblin

To many of us, the meal is just a way to avoid getting real hungry. But a perfect meal should also add to the social relations. storytelling is the traditional way of making the meal special to everyone.

When we are hungry our mood will most certainly be lowered, and efforts like studying and exercising will become harder, meaning the meal has several side effects. But one such side effect seems to be forgotten by most busy Sims; the meal's social aspects.

The Storytellers
Back in the good ol' Sim days the better hosts would normally hire a storyteller to keep the distinguished guests entertained during the meal. In fact, the guests were often more curious to what stories would be served, than the meal itself. This tradition's origin can be traced to the time following the Grand Victory, 1790. The war was won in 3 steps all during one hot Summer day. In the morning they made a very fast break through storming the enemy's base, at noon they lynched the enemy's leader, Admiral Shrock, and in the evening there were huge celebrations with fireworks and dins.

In the years to come, storytellers frequented the taverns and food houses and other official places where Sims gathered to eat, telling the exciting stories from these 3 events of victory, and afterwards there usually were a few Simoleons for that storyteller's hat. To be a storyteller was not paying off well, but it was a well respected occupation and they never went hungry to bed as they always were served food after completing their story. The tradition became even more popular as many new storytellers were requited after the explosive growth of the Sim population in the 18th century.

Change of eating routine
You wouldn't believe how much that Grand Victory did affect the Simmish kitchen. Because of the 3 step victory and the storytellers, the entire eating routine changed. Prior to this, Sims had been eating corn and beans all day long, just to get strength for producing more corns and beans on their small farms.

After the Grand Victory the three different stories changed this completely as the meal became an attraction that nobody wanted to miss. They planned their day to be able to eat while the storytelling was on; the "fast break through"  story became our breakfast, the "lynch" story became our lunch, and "fireworks and dines" is now our dinner.

Tradition reached the privat kitchen
Not only the hours for eating changed, but general Sims even adopted the excitement of a good story told at the meal; in the thousands Sim households, stories were told nearly as a part of the meal. It was often the oldest person who told stories, but also the kids just loved to get the attention such storytelling brought them from the other household members. It was socializing at it's very best, adding greatly to the relations of those being present.

The point of this sudden change of our Simmish culture, is that the food remained mainly the same while the social aspect was the power that changed it all. A meal is a lot more than the food, it's surroundings and friends, where a good room score will bring a better atmosphere. Sims don't just want to get stuffed, they are hungry for entertainment as well. At least to me, this shows how important the good conversation is for any perfect meal. Something to remember the next time you find it boring to eat corn and beans again and again, and also you might invite guests for dinner more often.

The photo shows the Swims family, who try to have a common meal at least daily.