Strove to find a way to punch people in the face by using the Internet.


1984 Tarpon Springs High School Yearbook: To The Dungeons!

Dude... I was magistrate.



All-True Historical Indignities Stretching As Far As the Eye Can See; Through the Sky, Over the Horizon and, Lo, Perhaps Even Into the Gooey Center of Time Itself
1975 – Before my mom became a lesbian, she... she...

OK, I think I need to go lie down. Feeling faint... Just typing the words "before my mom became a lesbian" has drained all the life right out of me... Seriously, all the mitochondria in my body just burst like so many rotten pomegranate seeds. Really. It sounded like bubble wrap.

...Alright, I'm back.

Anyway, before my mom became a lesbian she dated a squat Puerto Rican dude named Ray who kind of looked like what would happen if Ron Jeremy fucked Fred Flintstone. And that's it, ladies and gentlemen, that's your indignity for this week! "Before my mom became a lesbian she dated a squat Puerto Rican dude named Ray who kind of looked like what would happen if Ron Jeremy fucked Fred Flintstone." Enjoy, and please don't forget to tip your bartenders!

Ha ha, not really.

During this time, my interests were focused toward stealing other people's stuff (like $50 in collectible silver dollars) and burying it in the yard, peeing in weird spots (like behind my bedroom door, or in the clothes hamper) and trying to convince my Lite Brite to come to life as a murderous, subservient robot. Occasionally I'd also take mail out of the neighbors' mailboxes and tear it into little shreds, but during an unsuccessful interrogation regarding this little hobby the phrase "federal offense" was made known to me, so I did my best to reign in that urge, at least. Also, one of the neighbors who I targeted for this practice had a teenage daughter with a nubbin for an arm, and she scared me.

A lot of stuff scared me, actually. Lightning was about the worst. This isn't a good phobia to have when you live in Gainesville – seven months out of the year there's a thunderstorm at 4 p.m.

Once, after imagining I saw a bolt of that stuff strike our driveway during an intense storm (who knows, maybe it even happened), I totally freaked out. Budding antisocial tendencies and pathological cries for help aside, I mostly tried to avoid the adults in my life; a sound practice that to this day I recommend to children of any age. But this time I really wigged: hyperventilating, screaming, running around in circles, crying, flapping my arms, the works. I was completely hysterical.

I remember everyone thinking it was pretty funny at the time, which is understandable. I certainly didn't think the coming of Ragnarok was so funny, but then at age six I wasn't taking as many drugs as my mom and her friends.

It was after this pathetic little display that Ray decided to toughen me up a bit. This was to be accomplished with chores, discipline and beatings. First step: get me to make my bed in the morning. This was no easy task; even at six I knew that I was just going to fucking mess it up again that night, so why bother? Then, as now, I wasn't so much a fan of wasted motion.

Ray, however, didn't view bed-making as useless effort. The discipline of it mattered to him, the symbolism... Yes, the symbolism. I think it symbolized him being a big, fat, Puerto-Rican douche-bag bed-Nazi.

As you might imagine, I didn't put a lot of work into the bed. This really chapped Ray's ass. We went back and forth on the issue a lot. And one morning he just hauled off and whacked me.

This was surprising. I stood there, stunned, and considered this new negotiating tactic. This wasn't the response Ray had hoped for – no doubt he figured a good smack would instantly turn me into an efficient, obedient bed-making machine. Or maybe he was just a prick? Anyway, he doled out a second one. This just started me bawling. Frustrated, he busted me a third time. This caused me to cough up a huge wad of snot, which flew out of my nose and landed on Ray's arm.

Both of us stared for a second, amazed by the size of the glob. Then, the pause over, an enraged Ray started yelling incoherently and smacking me in earnest.

I fell back on the unmade bed as he whaled away. My mom stood in the doorway, watching. I looked down at that huge, green goober smeared all over Ray's arm and felt a warm glow deep down inside. The blows didn't hurt me, not one bit. It was all totally worth it.

Some time later, Ray would drag me to a meeting for devotees of some yogi or maharishi or other fake-ass rip-off artist. Ray was a big fan of that mystical guru kook shit. At the meeting everyone was all hugs and good vibes. Incense was burning and they sang devotional folk songs and banged tambourines and played sitar records.

I surveyed the scene and experienced my own kind of enlightenment, one likely quite different from the common goal of the assembled attendees. But it was enlightenment nonetheless: I suddenly knew my destiny, my purpose in life. Why hadn't I noticed it before? It was all so clear... I was put on this planet to fucking hate hippies; hate them with an intensity that would melt diamonds.

Hey, what's the statute of limitations on fucking up people's mail, anyway?

1983 – After visiting my dad for the summer, I decide that I don't want to return to Gainesville. I move in with him and my stepmother in suburban Palm Harbor and prepare to start high school.

It was in Palm Harbor I discovered the redemptive possibilities of personal reinvention. Freed from the baggage of going to school with kids I had known for years and the attendant threat of having my current actions judged in relation to my past, I threw away my Led Zeppelin records and began slowly transforming myself into the 100% hardcore punk kid I had secretly wanted to be.

In a nice dovetail, I also discovered the widespread moral bankruptcy of life in the subdivisions. For example, the first kid I met there would eventually get sent off to prison for rape and attempted murder. (It would've been proper murder, except the chosen method involved tying a cement block to the victim's feet and throwing her off a bridge, and the rope he used was longer than the actual depth of the water, so she just swam to shore dragging that thing.) (He was really good at Defender, though.)

Another example of this troubling suburban amorality was the Tom phenomena. My first day on the bus, the other kids seemed excited. "Hey, we’ve got a new Tom!" someone yelled.

I took my seat as they began chanting: "Tom! Tom! Tom! Tom!" The bus driver smiled. After a minute or two, it dawned on me that I was actually Tom. Weird. The other kids seemed so happy, chanting away. Maybe this was some kind of special honor, or greeting for new kids? I smiled and waved, acknowledging the attention.

Turns out Tom was an actual person, a guy who lived in the subdivision. Despite having a wife and kids, he'd cruise around the neighborhood in his car with a cooler full of beer that he'd use to try and lure teenage boys into make-out sessions.

Later, my dad and stepmom would ask me how the first day of school went for me. "Eh, not so good," I said. "They call me Tom." I explained the situation, and was surprised to learn they already knew about Tom. Turns out everybody knew about Tom. Fuck, they chanted his name on the bus: "Tom! Tom! Tom! Tom!"

This sort of dark-underbelly shit found a kind of focal point for me in the music of a hardcore punk band called the Dead Kennedys. At their early best, the Dead Kennedys played short blasts of furious, psychedelic thrash that specialized in satirizing the hypocrisies of a society that lived in pristine houses with well-kept lawns and went to church every Sunday while simultaneously raising psychopaths and turning a blind eye to the Toms of the world.

Back in seventh grade, I had scored a copy of the Dead Kennedys 7" single "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" from a taciturn, gangly pothead kid named Clyde. The record just blew me away. I was a fan of groups like the Clash, the B-52s and Devo, and in comparison "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" sounded like getting sucked into the engine of an airplane. It was so fast and so loud that it was flat-out disorienting. Today, of course, with all the new advances in musical velocity they have, it just sounds kind of quaint.

Not long after my first semester in high school, I snuck this prize over to Lou Ricardo's house, where I and our buddy Mike Maresca were planning to sleep over and play some D 'n' D. My plan was to convert them to the punk-rock cause. Late that night, after Lou's folks had gone to sleep, we put the record on and spontaneously started beating the shit out of each other. It seemed like it was over before it started. Then we did it again. And again. Half hanging off Lou's bed, my lip swollen and my legs tangled underneath my sweaty friends, I knew for the first time that I was totally gay was as happy as I had ever been.

I just saw Mike this last weekend, the first time we had hung out in more than a decade. He still plays in punk bands. "If you hadn't brought that record over to Lou's, and I had heard Slayer or something instead, I would've ended up being a metal head instead of a punk rocker," he told me. I was proud.

Of course, it's tricky to be a hardcore punk kid when there isn't actually any hardcore punk scene. We were isolated, and only picking up partial, cryptic signals from the punk-rock mothership. We knew, for example, that punks were into anarchy, and that the symbol for anarchy was an "A" with a circle around it. I had enjoyed some exposure to Gainesville's hardcore scene before my move, and with the authority this bestowed I explained that true punks drew this symbol on a shirt.

So one day Mike showed up to school with a two-tone blue terrycloth shirt, a nappy one with a collar. He had taken glue and gold glitter and made a giant, shiny anarchy symbol on it. It looked like he spent some time on this little craft project, too – the circle "A" was careful and symmetrical.

I was aghast. "Dude, you look like a poseur," I said. "You're supposed to get a white T-shirt and scrawl it on there all messy. That shit isn't punk." Mike just frowned and walked away. I sighed and shook my head. We'd never get a real hardcore scene going if the punks couldn't even make anarchy shirts the right way.

Mike, I'm here to tell you that today I'm ashamed. A blue terrycloth shirt with a giant, glittery gold anarchy symbol on it is, in fact, the punkest thing in the entire universe. Please accept my apologies. I was as wrong as wrong can be, and should've never belittled you. I should have run home and painted a giant pink pentagram on the V-neck velour sweater in the back of my closet and joined you; you marvelous, rebellious, forward-thinking and brave man.

That time you told me Bauhaus was more punk than Black Flag was gay, though, and I don't mean gay in the OK way where two guys like each other and kiss. And gluing that M&M to your ear and telling people it was an earring was pretty wack too.

1991 – Remember when I fucked that girl using the flavored condom that made my dick all minty and limp? I forgot – earlier that night, before the fucking, I had cooked supper for us and booted my roommate out of the apartment. I made some sort of pasta thing and had candles and stuff; the whole works, as best as someone as retarded as me could muster.

At one point during the evening I dipped out into the kitchen to get us a second bottle of wine. I wasn't able to peel off the wrapper on the neck of the bottle with just my hands, and grabbed a huge butcher knife for assistance. Somehow during the removal process I managed to put a three-inch slit in the middle finger of my right hand.

Blood was squirting everywhere, and I panicked. Not because of the blood – if there was one thing in life I was used to, it was blood squirting everywhere, so that didn't faze me. But I was reluctant to ruin the atmosphere of our dinner, as well as really, really horny.

I improvised a dressing for my wound as best as I could using electrical tape and several handfuls of paper towel. The blood was seeping through, but I had confidence that it would stop. I returned to the supper table (a four-legged folding card table with a sheet thrown over it) and with the help of the dim light offered by the candles managed to hide my injury. I kept my hand under the table and commenced to romancin', with her none the wiser.

A few more glasses of wine, though, and I became careless. She was making some point about art or politics or life or something and I leaned forward to feign interest and get a better look at her sumptious titties. Forgetting myself, I rested my jaw on my hurt hand, placing my sliced-up finger along my chin in what I thought was a thoughtful pose.

From her perspective, of course, it seemed more like I had suddenly whipped out a giant blob of blood-soaked paper from under the table, perhaps to begin some sort of ghoulish after-dinner puppet show.

She screamed.



I Will Bake You a Cake. And Fill It Full of Creamy Ice Cream.
A year or so after high school I was living in a semi-abandoned old house with two skinheads and my buddy Kalpesh. I say "semi-abandoned" because it technically had an owner — the University of Florida, in fact. We had kind of inherited the house from its previous renters, the family of Kalpesh's buddy Christian, after they moved away to put Christian in an asylum or something. Anyway, I think we paid rent once. We were kind of late with the second check and noticed that nobody came to fuck with us, so we just quit paying, and that was pretty much that.

It was a pretty surreal time, and me and Kalpesh and the skinheads made for a pretty surreal sight. Because this was the era of skinheads spouting goofy racist rhetoric on daytime talk shows, and Kalpesh had really long, curly hair, not to mention a pleasing dark brown color to his skin (something that, unlike the hair, he thankfully retains to this day). Seeing us all together confused people.

But we liked confusing people. And, sometimes, beating them up.

Since we resembled a cross between the Munsters and some kind of post-apocalyptic gang, this shitty old house suited us. It was ugly, decrepit and hidden from the surrounding neighborhood by a dense thatch of thick bushes and huge trees. It was also rumored to be haunted. Well, rumored by Christian, who told us he was occasionally possessed by its ghosts, one of whom made him shoot an arrow into his brother's back. But Christian also claimed to be a vampire, and frankly I suspect he might've been inclined to get his spectral presences and assorted supernatural hoo-hah all intermingled and confused, so take that for what it's worth.

I don't know if those stupid ghosts were ever hard-up enough to possess one of us, but fratricidal impulses aside it probably would've been an improvement, at least from the point of view of society. We were constantly fighting, drinking, taking awful drugs, blasting thrash-metal at ear-melting volumes, burning things, humping girls who really should've known better, kicking holes in the walls, and shooting out windows while all high out of our minds on LSD. The only time it was quiet was when we were hiding from police. We were terrible people, and thinking back today a malignant ghost seems like Mr. Rogers in comparison.

There were moments of tenderness, though. One freezing-ass cold night, this giant, grizzled, feral housecat crawled through one of the empty panes in my bedroom and befriended me. We named it Outside Kitty. Outside Kitty would sink its gnarly yellow claws into my shoulder and perch there for hours, riding around, baring its one huge fang and growling at anyone who came too close. I thought this was great — it made me feel like a pirate.

Yes, sociopathic tendencies aside we had a lot of fun there. Drugs, violence, Outside Kitty, sex, a guy who claimed to be the son of George Clinton sleeping on our couch for a week and barfing on the floor... There was even a movie made at the house, a delightful 20-minute film by the name of "I Spit On Your Chick," which featured Kalpesh as a pimp and our pal Bob Chicken as a prostitute named Queefy Butterfinger. The climactic scene, where me, the skinheads and Chuck From Hell took turns pretending to cornhole Bob Chicken — passed out for real and wearing a totally unconvincing drag get-up — on my hot-pink weight bench, was a real crowd-pleaser. (In lieu of a traditional porn-style money shot, we ended the scene by spitting all over Bob's bare ass, something he had no idea even took place until watching the film days later.)

Of course, thinking back today it's all fond memories of ass-spit bukkake and hitting each other over the head with pieces of PVC pipe, but it was even fun just doing nothing with those guys. Andy, who slept on my floor, was as friendly and jovial a skinhead as you'd ever want to meet, not that you'd really want to meet any skinheads. And, unlike the skinheads of the day you could see breaking Geraldo's nose on the television, Andy really liked black people.

In fact, at his rural Florida high school, Andy had been a part of what he called a "Negro shirt gang," something anyone who attended high school in north Florida or south Georgia in the early '80s will instantly recognize. This was when four or five black kids would go to the mall and get matching T-shirts with slogans like "Chill Dog Sagittarius - Fresh for 84" airbrushed or ironed on with those old-school felt letters. Negro shirt gangs were fucking cool, and Andy was the only white guy we had ever even heard of that had been invited to join a Negro shirt gang. Thus, he had a lot of credibility with us.

Occasionally, when I wanted to eat solid food, I'd go with Andy out to his mom's place, about an hour outside of Gainesville. This was usually pretty interesting.

Once, while staying over at Christmas, we were trying to sleep while Andy's older brother (who was housebound after being busted for DUI — he'd rigged his windshield-wiper fluid dispenser to squirt whiskey through a little hose in his dashboard, making it easy to freshen his drink without pulling over) kept babbling and mumbling crazy shit at us until Andy told him to shut up. "I can't," his brother slurred. "I, um, ate some speed." Andy just sighed.

Driving around his hometown, we'd pass some guy drinking a beer in his front yard, and Andy would wave and yell out, "Hey Barry!" Then he'd invariably say something like, "Barry stabbed his grandma in the face with a shish-kabob skewer, but they couldn't keep him in jail because his brother dropped a brick on him when he was a baby and he’s not right in the head. Plus his mother's cousin is the police chief." I got to hear hundreds of variations on this general theme. And if I was really lucky, I'd get to hear the story of how Andy's mom busted their next-door neighbor kid bare-ass naked on the front lawn at noon, down on all fours letting a dog fuck him up the butt.

Andy had all kinds of good stories about murderers and perverts. One of our favorites besides the dog-fucker was Chef Henry. Chef Henry was an elderly pedophile who hung around downtown Gainesville, leering at kids and creeping everyone out. Andy would run afoul of Chef Henry while skateboarding around downtown, waiting for his mom to finish running errands or whatever, but it seems him and the other kids regarded Chef Henry as little more than a nuisance. He was old, squat and slow, both physically and mentally. And he couldn't see too well, as one of his eyes was all swoll up and gooey and rolled up back in his head. So he was pretty easy to evade.

Chef Henry even had a couple of catchphrases, which Andy would mimic in an exaggerated drawl: "Heeeey, little boy, c'mere. Ah'm gone bake you a cake, and fill it full uh creeeeeamy ice cream," or, "How'd you like a cake, little boy? Ah'll give yuh plenty uh creeeamy icing." Apparently these were Chef Henry's pick-up lines. Hence, "Chef."

Me and Kalpesh and the other skinhead liked it when Andy would do Chef Henry. "C'mere if you want some creeeamy ice cream," he’d say, and we'd run. "Noooo, Chef Henry, you won't get us! Yaaaaah!" we'd yell, laughing. Andy would roll his eyes up all funny and lurch around like Frankenstein. "Creeeeeeamy icing! Creeeeamy ice cream!" Sometimes he'd throw in a little of this one eerie dude who'd come through the line at the campus cafeteria where he worked: "Saaaalty biscuit. Soooo saaaaalty. That biscuit was the saaaaaaltiest thing I've had down my throat in months."

Yes, Andy worked. He was the only one out of us who had anything resembling a regular job. For a little while Kalpesh and I sold tickets over the phone for a ramshackle local community theater that pretended to put on plays for kids in burn wards and shit, but one day we decided didn't feel like going in. So we didn't. And that feeling just kind of... stuck. After that, when we were really desperate for cigarettes and beer groceries, we'd work the occasional odd job for Kalpesh's handyman buddy Roy.

Much like Kalpesh and the skinheads, Kalpesh and Roy made for an unlikely pairing. Roy was a 70-something old-timey, unreconstructed Florida cracker who worked on Kalpesh's car, a green, spectacularly raggedy 1970 Buick Wildcat the size of a battleship. In a typically odd twist, Roy's very real affection for Kalpesh led him to saying some obscenely racist stuff when I was around.

"Kalpesh, now, you watch out when you boys go fishing," I once heard him say. "You're dark, now, almost dark like the blacks, so you might have some of that smell on you that gets the alligators hungry."

"Dude, seriously, what the fuck?" I later asked Kalpesh. I mean, I've been exposed to all kinds of racist bullshit, both passive and overt, and I've heard old cracker types pontificate forth with all kinds of idiotic country homilies and lame folk wisdom, but that shit took the cake. But Kalpesh just grinned and shrugged. Roy meant well, I guess. And I suspect Kalpesh kind of liked hearing some of that crap, just because it was so goddamn weird to think that some people actually believed it.

Once Roy sent us over to a house in Gainesville's Duck Pond neighborhood. The Duck Pond is near downtown and is full of cool two-story houses that are all restored and historical and stuff. This nice old lady met us there and put us to work in the yard, spreading mulch and cleaning out the gutters and shit. I can't say for sure that at some point she brought us out a couple of cold glasses of old-fashioned homemade lemonade, but it was definitely that kind of scene.

After a little while we noticed some guy sitting on the porch, watching us. We figured it was the lady's husband. I looked over and nodded. He gave us a little wave and kind of... gurgled.

"Dude," I said to Kalpesh. "I think he's retarded."

He kept watching us as we worked. So much that it started giving me the heebie-jeebies. No matter where we were in the yard, he'd be sitting on a nearby porch or set of steps, just staring. I couldn't really tell, but it seemed like he might even be muttering to himself.

Kalpesh and I were up in this tree, ripping Spanish moss off the branches as per the lady's request, when she came outside to see how we were doing. She was standing under us giving us some directions when the guy on the porch made a weird noise, halfway between a laugh and a croak. Reflexively, I glanced over.

"Oh, don't you all mind Henry," she said. "He's a little slow, but he doesn't mean anyone any harm." Then she went back inside.

"Henry... Henry... Hmmm." For some reason this kind of bounced around in my mind. Then, slowly, a sick realization began to bloom… I looked over, and the guy gave me a big, toothless leer. For the first time I noticed one of his eyes was all fucked up and weepy, dripping some kind of macabre goo.

"Fuck!" I whispered to Kalpesh. "It's Chef Henry!"

"Whuh?" he said, looking over. "Chef Henry?"

Then it hit him. His eyes got very big.

"Oh! Oh! Chef Henry!" he whispered. "Shit! What do we do?!"

"We gotta get out of here!" I said. "Fuck!" We were seriously in a panic.

So we split. Didn't wait around to get paid or tell the lady or nuthin'. Just bailed. Jumped out of the tree, hauled ass to the Wildcat and tore out of there as fast as we could go. It just wasn't worth it. Shit, we were just relieved that we didn't get any of that creamy icing on us. Brrrr.

So, a close call.

Kids, you listen to me. I don't care how much you like creamy ice cream. You be like me and Kalpesh and keep the hell away from Chef Henry.



At Play Among the Nerds, Part Two
Sorry to be so lame about writing new shit. I've been really busy sucking dick down behind the bus station to pay for my breast implants teaching blind kids about self-esteem and haven't had time for any indignity-generating adventures.

Plus, I'm getting really, really good at repressing childhood memories. It's actually been a little sad, trading in Website productivity for this newfound sense of well-being. But I'm getting these cool facial tics in the deal. So basically the Internet can blow me.

I did have this one plan, but I kind of beefed on it... Megacon was this past weekend, and, just as I did last year, my intention was to go take a bunch of pictures of all the costumes and mock the nerds and shit... Despite it being glaringly obvious that the nerds are, in fact, my people, and any attempts on my part to portray myself as somehow removed from their colorful, awkward universe come off about as convincing as Eddie Deezen rapping.

Anyway, I went, but I only took one photo. Lame, I know, but I've been kind of busy and stressed-out lately, and just didn't have the moxie to take any more. In fact, after four hours of getting jostled and shoved and poked with paper-mache swords while jockeying for position in front of tables full of Sailor Kitty (or whatever) shoelaces and bootleg $20 Gobots DVDs, I was so tired and overstimulated that I lost the ability to tell the difference between costumed nerds and regular ones. (Heh heh, "regular.")

But I have to say, the one photo I bothered to take is pretty good:

Cookie Monster, who's wearing flip-flops, is having a chuckle with his friend, laughing at Sam Elliot over there in the corner. "Hey, Turdy Monk! Look at that sad old man," Cookie says. "Our deluxe outfits are certain to defeat his lame efforts when it comes time to judge the costume contest... Victory and its attendant spoils will soon be ours! I must lubricate my vibrating 20-sided dice before the victory wenches arrive." And that's Kool Moe Dee there in the background, talking on the phone, saying, "Holy shit, I never knew white people were so cool! I just saw the freshest Sam Elliot costume! I'm inspired to write a def rhyme on the subject." And Beardy Hat Guy with the manpurse walking by is going, "Shit, Kool Moe Dee sure looks important talking on that cell phone! I'm going to pretend I have one too." And then that green lumpy chick in the back is all like, "I... I..." Uhhh... Shit, dude. You know what? I'm tired. I got nuthin'.

Originally I even had this great plan for my own costume. I was going to wear a gorilla suit, but ditch the mask. In its place, I'd get a top hat and Abe Lincoln beard, and maybe finish it all off with a corncob pipe and sunglasses. Just do something totally random, you know? And see if anybody even noticed. I told my friends about it while we were walking around that day.

"That would've been great. You should've done it. You would've been Ape Lincoln," said my friend Todd.

"Ape... Lincoln?" Leave it to Todd to instantly come up with a fucking name for my stupid-ass random costume idea.

"Yeah! Ape Lincoln! That would've been awesome!" Todd said. "And what if it turned out Ape Lincoln was, like, a real character? And you didn't even know it?"

I was still struggling with "Ape Lincoln" and just drooled in response.

"What if Ape Lincoln was some kind of anime that's never been released over here? You'd be walking along, and all of a sudden a mob of teenage Japanese girls would jump on you and start making out with you, because you were the one whitey who knew about their beloved Ape Lincoln!"

Todd was clearly on a roll. "Guh," I said.

"Actually, Ape Lincoln would probably end up being a guy who raped Japanese schoolgirls with the tentacles that came out of his pipe," Todd said. "And the mob of Japanese schoolgirls would attack you, just start beating the hell out of you! and they'd be yelling, 'We hate you, Ape Lincoln! Why do you rape us?! Why?!!' And nobody would know what was going on!"

At this point, I just shut down. Totally blacked out. It was all too much. Sam Elliot knew CPR, though, so I was soon out of danger.

I heard he won the costume contest, too. Cookie Monster was actually pretty gracious about it.


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