Updates for The Cast of Characters

I updated the “Cast of Characters” and as you can see, a lot of people bit the dust while I was gone.

Cartman–he isn’t a bar/cafe employee, but he’s always underfoot.  He quit/got fired from the town for sleeping on the job and general laziness.  Bagheera warned me that I should be nicer to him because she thought he was going to go on a shooting rampage, most likely starting with me.  What gave her the clue?  He started selling all his guns for bargain basement prices, but said he was holding on to one AK-47.  Cartman gets free samples and compliments now.

Betty Booze–her days were always numbered, but even I didn’t imagine how complete her downfall would be.  She lost her full time job at the Visitor Center, broke up with her long time boyfriend, Shaggy,  and started living with Davey in a one room house. 

But wait!  There’s more. 

Her 15 year old daughter was arrested for minor in possession of alcohol, which put child protective services up Betty Booze’s ass.  She started popping Davey’s pills, went batshit insane, and just stopped showing up for work.  Davey’s Mormon landlady didn’t like him living in sin, so she evicted both of them.  They had their shit packed in a piece of shit row boat one day when Michele & I drove by their house, and I laughed so fucking hard I couldn’t get a picture.  They moved into a shed owned by a rodeo clown.

I am not making this up.

Everything was fine until one night Davey went on a pill and alcohol rage and threw all of Betty Booze’s stuff in the river.  He went to jail.

I’m sure their story isn’t over yet.    

Shaggy–cut his losses and moved away.  He’s one of the lucky ones.

Davey–if I didn’t think I would get in trouble I would post his mug shot from his most recent stay in jail.

Drizella–got knocked up and quit.

Doc–tried to drink himself to death, spent a week in an induced coma, currently looking for a new liver.  This one isn’t funny. 

Of course, we found replacements for the fallen.  Of course, they are dysFUNctional.

Here’s a teaser:

Special Board:  Hog Wings & Potatoe Salad

Me:  Who keeps putting an ‘e’ on the end of potato?

New Hire in Search of a Nickname:  I do.  That’s the correct way to spell it.

Me:  Ok, Dan Quayle.

New Hire:  Who’s Dan Quayle.

Me:  The former Vice President of the United States who chastised an elementary student for misspelling ‘potato’ only to find out he was wrong.

New Hire:  I have spell check on my phone, and it says it’s right.

Me:  The dictionary on my phone says you’re wrong.

Idiot.  I’m surrounded.

It’s a Beautiful Day

Why is it a beautiful day, you ask?  Because my shit heel, inbred, redneck, fucktard neighbours moved out.  Of course, they left in the night like any good criminals, and I stood on my deck as they drove away to make sure they didn’t poison my animals, slash my tires, or sugar my gas tank, but I figured the Uhaul was some sort of a cruel joke.  However, when I woke up at the crack of 2 in the afternoon and looked out my window, reality sunk in and I did a happy dance.  If the world suddenly feels like it has more air it’s because everyone in my neighbourhood let out a huge sigh of relief.

I live in a mobile home subdivision about a mile and a half out of town.  We have dirt roads, undrinkable water, and questionable property lines.  I’ve been here for 8 years.  It’s quiet.  There are nine houses, seven of them occupied.  Everybody minds their own business.  Everybody gets along.  Nobody goes out of their way to piss off the neighbourhood.  

The rednecks, mom/dad/adult daughter/adult son-in-law/10 year old daughter, moved in sometime in May.  First, they put up an ugly privacy fence around the lot next to the neighbours across the street from me.  Then they filled that quarter acre lot with horses.  Seven horses fighting, running into the fence and drawing flies.  I stood on my deck and wondered who allowed this shit.  Our CC&Rs forbid livestock, but since no one enforces the CC&Rs I figured I was going to have to suck it up and learn to love flies and the smell of horse shit.

About a week later they moved their house in.  All of our houses sit in rows, with the short sides roughly facing east to west.  This gives a break from the wind that howls all winter.  These Arkansas douchebags planted their house facing north to south.  I sat on my deck and hoped they enjoyed getting broadsided by the wind.  Nothing like trying to fit in with the neighbourhood.  The placement of their house was another violation of the CC&Rs, but, well, you know…

Then one “morning” as I drank coffee on my deck and struggled to wake up, I noticed garden hoses running from their house, across 2 lots to the lot with the horses.  We had a bit of a drought this summer.  I looked at my back yard that never gets watered, then I looked at their lots.  Mine was brown and dead, theirs looked like Ireland.  WTF?!  Our water isn’t metered, we pay a flat rate of $35 per month, per lot, for domestic use.  This means you can have a garden, a yard, do your laundry, wash your car, and take as many showers as you want on ONE lot.  You can NOT use the water for irrigation.  You can NOT  pay $35 a month and use enough water for 4 lots, which is how many lots they own.

So the water district got involved.  The rednecks refused to pay for water on all four lots.  They burned out the well pump.  No one had water.  After the pump was replaced, they continued to use so much water that half of the subdivision didn’t have water.  The water district threatened to shut off their water.  They parked a truck over the shut off valve and chained it to a fence.  The water district called for a locate on gas and electric lines across the street from their house in order to shut them off there.  They took shovels and rakes and erased the locate lines.  This went on for two fucking months.  The water district finally got the locator and the backhoe to arrive at the same time and shut their water off.  The next morning, the rednecks dug a trench and turned their water back on.

Meanwhile, everyone in the neighbourhood signed up with an attorney to file an order to have the horses removed, and we formed a home owners association.  The rednecks answered this by petitioning the county commissioners to annex out of the subdivision.  They also filed stalking protection orders against everyone on the water district board and four of the people on the HoA.  The sheriff spent so much time out here I wondered why he didn’t move in with them.  It got to the point that if anyone drove or walked by their house, they called the sheriff.  Their house is on the same PUBLIC road as my house.  It was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. 

In September, two of my women neighbours, Theresa and Mary, approached me because they were terrified of the rednecks.  Their husbands were gone a lot, the rednecks filed stalking orders on them, and they were afraid to leave their houses.  They heard I was a little on the mean side and could I help them?  By this time I was pissed.  I HATE bullies, and that’s exactly what these assholes were.  Plus, in every rebuttal against the HoA, they cited my ducks as a precedent for their horses.  Stupid fuckers.  Ducks aren’t livestock.

My neighbours gave me the paperwork from their stalking protection orders.  It was some scary shit.  The redneck bitch included her journal entries, and it read as a “who can we sue next” manuscript.  It involved several different families, people with money, from the community.  I immediately called everyone named in the journal and told them to sever contact with these people.  I made copies of the journal and gave it to everyone concerned.  They had photos and dated written documentation of Theresa & Mary’s every move.  I didn’t know that if you spy on your neighbours and take pictures of them, they are stalking YOU.  This is what I mean by scary shit.

(I guess I should add that Theresa and her husband are quite wealthy and Mary and her husband won half a mil on a slot machine in Deadwood a year ago.)

While reading through the “sworn” testimony I found a passage stating that I told the redneck kids Theresa’s dog had tried to bite me (never happened, never said it happened).  They were using this as stalking evidence.  See if you can follow their logic.  Apparently Theresa’s dog tried to bite me, so we weren’t friends.  But in August we became friends because Theresa was turning me against them.  That’s stalking.  WTF?!  

Needless to say, I saw red.  I was furious that they were trying to drag me into their bullshit.  The next day I was outside talking to Theresa when the redneck bitches careened up the hill towards our houses.  I said something to Theresa and I remember her screaming, “SHE’LL RUN OVER YOU!” as I walked out in front of the speeding car.  The bitch stopped, I leaned in, got right up in her face, introduced myself, told her to make sure she spelled my name correctly when she filed a protection order against me, and proceeded to tear her a new asshole for naming me as a witness against my neighbours.  She never made eye contact and stammered that she didn’t have a problem with me.  You do now.  Then she told me that she didn’t have a protection order against me.  You should get one.

I turned around and Theresa was gone.  Rabbited right back to her house.  She wasn’t lying about being afraid, but of them or me I wasn’t sure. 

Of course, the bitch called the sheriff on me.  He graduated high school with my brother.  I asked if I was going to get a protection order because I felt pretty left out.  He said that yelling at someone wasn’t against the law.  Yeah, I know.  He told me the rednecks didn’t like me talking to Theresa.  I reminded him I have the right to assemble.  Uh…yes, yes you do.  I told him I also have freedom of speech.  Uh…yes, that’s true.  Then I enlightened him on all the bullshit going on with the water district and how their actions crossed the line of criminal behaviour.  Of course he knew nothing about it.  I pointed out that the protection orders and his constant presence on their behalf made him seem more than a little biased, and one would think that maybe he wasn’t the best person to service our neighbourhood.  Uh…  He was dumbfounded because he hadn’t read the paperwork he served, and I guess he thought no one was paying attention to his visits.  He obviously took the time to read it, and he took my subtle threat against his job seriously because he suddenly refered all calls to another sheriff.

So, to wrap up this very long story:  the rednecks looked like asses in court for the stalking protection orders.  Stalking is very clear cut.  Did either of these women call you?  No.  Did either of these women send you harassing letters?  No.  Did they send you texts or emails?  No.  Did they hang around your place of employment?  No.  Did they hang out around your house?  No.  Cases dismissed.  Assholes.

The rednecks looked like asses for the county commissioners when 15 people showed up to fight their petition to annex out of the subdivision.  They were not allowed to annex out, but were allowed to combine their four lots into one.  The commissioners stressed that the CC&Rs run with the land, no matter who you bought it from, no matter how many times it’s been sold.  They brought up my ducks.  There was a chorus of “ducks aren’t livestock” in the meeting room.  The commissioners explained that the essence of CC&Rs is “don’t annoy your neighbours”.  Everything is acceptable until someone complains and if the majority complains, you have a problem.  Assholes.

Lucky for them they didn’t win the petition to annex out because I was leading the crusade to have them removed from our septic system and banned from our road in the event they did.  You can’t be part of the “community” septic system if you’re not part of the community, and you can’t drive on the road the home owners pay to maintain if you aren’t part of the home owner’s association.  Let’s see how you like walking to your house and shitting in a bucket with no water to rinse it out, which brings us to…

The rednecks looked like asses when most of the neighbourhood showed up to support the water district in shutting off their water.  They adopted a “we’ll show you” attitude by filling two cisterns and running garden hoses from them to their house…until the temperature dropped to zero last week and froze their hoses.  Aww…so sad.  Currently, they owe the water district nearly $3,000 for multiple shut-offs and past due water bills.  A lien is attached to their property.  Assholes.

Honestly, in all of this I waffled on my opinion of the rednecks.  My first thought was that they moved here and set all of this in motion in order to sue Mary & her husband for damages and make off with a quick hundred thousand or so.  Once they realized Theresa and her husband had money, the rednecks added them to the plan.  But they were so d.u.m.b.  Maybe they were just stupid and misunderstood.  How can they be con artists when they have a group IQ of ‘duh’?

My opinion cemented when they called the sheriff on me two days before they fled town for sitting on my deck, drinking coffee and talking on the phone while they took down the ugly privacy fence across the street.  I saw their buddy sheriff go to their house.  I saw them in their yard pointing at me.  I saw him shake his head and drive away.  Smart man.  Telling me I can’t sit on my deck is one conversation he doesn’t want to have.

The final score?

Rednecks:  YOU LOSE.

Crossed Arrows Home Owners:  Lesson Learned.

Just Another Saturday Night

I got to work a little early today and talked with Betty Booze while she made two grilled chicken salads.  She said she was leaving, so I went to dry storage to get the ingredients to make Ramen Noodle Salad.  When I came back to the kitchen, she was gone, but the white gravy container was sitting on the counter.  I figured that was her way of telling me I needed to make more.  I put the nearly empty container in the refrigerator and wrote a note on the board. 

Then I got a table of 14 people.  After I got them all set up, Bagheera came back from the corner store empty handed.  She was supposed to get vinegar for the salad. 

“Where’s the vinegar?” I asked.

“I never got out of the bar.  That damned Foghorn Leghorn.  Those people with the chicken salads wanted more blue cheese dressing and he brought them white gravy.  I think he’s drunk.”

WTF?!  Sure, if I wasn’t involved I’d think it was pretty funny, but working with a drunk isn’t funny.  How the hell do you pour thick, white pepper gravy into a portion cup without realizing that it looks nothing like blue cheese dressing?  He said the lid was blue so he thought it was blue cheese, since we used to keep the blue cheese in a container with a blue lid…yeah, a year ago and that container looks nothing like the container with the gravy.  Your argument is invalid.

At some point while I was cooking for half the town, Foghorn Leghorn came into the kitchen to get some Ranch.  Instead of putting the portion cup on the counter and filling it, he stood in the middle of the kitchen, started pouring, missed the portion cup entirely, and slopped about half a cup of dressing all over the floor. 

That was bad. 

Worse still, he grabbed one of the towels that I use for wiping counters, cutting boards, utensils, and my greasy hands, and proceeded to mop the floor with it.  If I hadn’t seen the whole thing, I would have wondered why my towel had Ranch all over it, rinsed it, and continued using it to keep my work space clean.

I started shrieking, “Out! OUt! OUT!”

Then he brought in two nearly empty, dirty ketchup bottles and asked if he could fill them.  “No.  You can go back over to the bar, dump out the old ketchup, wash the bottles and then fill them.  I don’t know how many times I have to tell you not to mix old and new.”

Foghorn Leghorn has been good for the last three weekends…since the last time he dropped a plate of food on the floor when he was drunk at work, and I told him to get his shit together or we were going to rumble.  He obviously needs a reminder that drunk at work isn’t the name of the game anymore.  After I got in Betty Booze’s face about being drunk, irresponsible and inconsiderate, she quit drinking.  Oh, yes she did.  I’m shocked.  She’s having a hard time, but she’s putting forth the effort, and I applaud her.  Her boyfriend, Davey, quit drinking, too.  So the only drunken asshole at the Cowboy is Foghorn Leghorn.  He’s also the only one who doesn’t clean.  Guess what that means?

Working the System

I hate people who work the system to get discount or free meals.  They make so many substitutions and change the menu in so many ways, they muddle the server and end up paying for a fraction of what they ordered.  I’ve worked for places where tickets were audited and the server either had to pay for the shortage, or she got fired.

On Sunday Bagheera had a couple who tried to get something for nothing.  For starters, they ordered water with lemon, he bitched that his lemon just wasn’t lemony enough, so she brought them more.  They then added sugar to their water and made lemonade.  For free.  He ordered a hamburger, without the bun or veggies, with fries and gravy.  The woman ordered the Special, but she said she didn’t like pasta salad, so she wanted to substitute it for a side salad.  Bagheera was completely flustered when she gave me the ticket. 

I looked at the ticket and asked, “So…he wants a hot hamburger supper and she is paying the upgrade on the salad, right?”

I saw the light in Bagheera’s eyes.  “Dammit!  They are trying to get free food.”

When Bagheera gave them the ticket, the man flipped his shit.  He expected to be charged $7.99 (or less) for the hamburger with gravy instead of $10.29 for a hot hamburger supper and she expected to get the salad at a reduced price since she wasn’t getting the pasta salad.

See, they are friends with Speedy Gonzalez.  Her pricing is different than my pricing.  She would have started at $7.99 for the burger, but since he didn’t want the bun or veggies, she would have subtracted $3.  Then she would have added $1 for gravy so he would have paid $5.99 rather than $10.29 for what he ordered.  (If she had half a brain she would at least charge him $7.99 plus $2 for gravy, but that’s not the way she rolls.)  She would have taken a dollar off the price for the special since the lady didn’t like pasta salad and had to be displeased to even think of it, or some such shit like that.

The woman is clueless when it comes to making money on food.  She thinks if she gives enough discounts people will come back for more.  Uh…yeah.  They will come back for more free food and eventually we won’t have any.  Dumbass.

My policy is: You want to play games with me and get something for nothing?  I’ll charge you for all sorts of things you didn’t expect.  That’s how I roll.

In the end, the man yelled at Bagheera about “not using her head” and “not having any common sense”.  Good thing I was in the walk-in at the time ‘cuz he would have found it difficult to walk with a broom up his ass. 

This is another reason why giving discounts is bad for business…the person who doesn’t do it gets screamed at by cheap fuck douchebags and nobody likes that.

I Need a Basket

The swamp coolers** at work didn’t work.  The one in the dining room was 1,000 years old, and the one in the kitchen was a disgrace.  The pads were rotted away and it wasn’t hooked up to water, so we were supposed to carry water to it every 15 minutes.  Once we got busy, no one remembered to take water to the cooler, which put the pump at risk of burning out.  Even with water, the pads were in such bad shape that they couldn’t hold water long enough to cool the air.  Basically, it was a piece of shit.

The last time I worked at the Outlaw, I got into a fight with Doc over the swamp cooler.  One thing led to another and I quit.  This time I told Bagheera I wasn’t waiting for anyone to fix it, I was going to do it myself.  King Triton protested that he hired some guy named Hawk to fix the restaurant and the bar coolers.  I gave him the stink eye, so he gave me a blank check and I bought a new cooler for the dining room, and all the stuff needed to repair the kitchen cooler.

When I returned from Cody, I tore the old pads out of the kitchen cooler, replaced them with new ones, installed a float valve, ran a water line into the kitchen and tapped into the supply line under the sink.  This took an hour and a half, on my day off, in the blistering heat.  When I finished, nothing leaked, the water line was hidden so we wouldn’t get tangled in it, the float valve shut off when it was supposed to, and the kitchen was blessedly cool.

The very next fucking day when I got to work, water poured from the swamp cooler.  It wasn’t leaking from the water line attached to the float valve, oh no, it leaked from above the cooler where some douchebag tapped into MY line and didn’t do it correctly.  Water ran down the wall and into the kitchen. 

That’s when the shouting started.

King Triton said Hawk “fixed” the bar swamp cooler, which is on the roof, and he tapped into my line, but he would be back to stop the leak.  Then the roof of the bar started leaking, and we had to shut the water off to both coolers.

I nearly passed out in a rage.

I told Bagheera the bar people could go fuck themselves, and I disconnected their water line.  Once again, the kitchen was blessedly cool, but I noticed the water line was shorter and had to be pulled out of hiding to reach the cooler.

Bastard cut my line. 

Four days later, the bar water line was again attached to the one I installed, and it wasn’t leaking.  However, I could hear the pump on our cooler slurping, which meant it wasn’t getting enough water, yet it leaked from the front corner (it sits on a crooked table.  One more thing that needs fixed).  I opened it and discovered a crappy old float valve where the new one used to be.

That’s when the shouting started again.

King Triton said Hawk took the new float valve out of our cooler and put it in the bar cooler, thinking that if our cooler leaked it wouldn’t be a big deal since it isn’t on the roof. 

Fucking thieving bastard.

I fiddled around with the float valve, but couldn’t get it to shut off like it should.  I tipped the cooler so the pump was under water, but that caused the leak to move to the back corner.  Then Hawk came in the kitchen and said we needed to shut the water off to both coolers since the roof was leaking again.

Stupid bastard stole my float and wasn’t smart enough to adjust it.  Fuck that shit. 

I disconnected the bar water line and the kitchen stayed blessedly cool, but the water leaking from the corner of our cooler continued to piss me off.

I started looking for a basket in which to put his head.  I checked the storage closet, the cupboards under the counter, and finally the old refrigerator in the back of the bar.  He must have a guardian angel because I didn’t find a basket, but I did find a new float valve. 

I shit you not, if our cooler leaks again or if the water has to be shut off again, I WILL find a basket and his head will be the first in it.

   

**The correct term is evaporative cooler.  It is a type of air conditioner that works by pumping water over fiber pads with a powerful fan to circulate the cold air.  They work best in desert environments.

Drunken Drama

Why is it that alcoholics create more drama than middle school children?  One would think they would sit in the corner and guzzle booze until they puked, passed out, or both, but noooooo.  One would think they might have an ounce of self respect and would therefore keep their daily tragedy, crisis, end of the world bullshit to themselves, but of course not.  Every alcoholic I know isn’t happy unless everyone is sucked into their toxic lives.  I’m getting ready to bring out the baseball bat.  I shit you not.

I have Mondays and Thursdays off.  I use Mondays to recover from Sundays, and I don’t do much other than wash all my bedding, and my dishes and maybe brush my hair.  Thursdays I go to Cody, do all of my shopping for the week, do all my laundry, clean the house, mow the lawn or whatever needs doing.  Thursday is a work at the house day.  I have a routine and in true OCD fashion, I don’t like my routine changed, altered, spindled, stapled, or mutilated.

Since I didn’t sleep well last night I puttered around the house until late afternoon before I left for Cody.  When I was about 10 miles away, I got a call from Bagheera asking if I could come to work at 5 since Betty Booze was having yet another crisis.  I told her the best I could do was make it at 6, and that was only if I hauled ass. 

I quickly did my shopping, didn’t even make my weekly stop for tacos, and hurried home.  I threw all the perishables, bags and all, in the refrigerator, threw the non-perishables, bags and all, into the oven so the dogs couldn’t get them, brushed my teeth, changed my clothes and raced into town.

And who should I find sitting in the bar getting drunk?  Betty Booze.

To say I flipped my shit is putting things mildly.

She came in the kitchen during my screaming, cussing, throwing things rant and tried to explain that her boyfriend’s son had been kidnapped and they were on their way to Lander (3 hours away) to get him, but first they needed to find someone to drive.  Meanwhile, they were content to get shitfaced.  Oh, and the kidnapping…he is with his mom, who has visitation rights for the summer.  Kidnapped sounds so much more dramatic, though.  They never did go get the kid.

Betty Booze is the type of drunk who won’t let something go and she needs people to understand that she’s right and everyone else is wrong.  She accomplishes this by getting up in your face and repeating her story over and over and over until you black out from the sheer desire to choke her until her tongue turns purple.  She knew I was dead pissed at her, (probably because I said, “Bitch, you better get the fuck outta my face”) so when she left the kitchen and went back to the bar, she had to tell everyone how mean I was and how unfairly I treated her.  This went on for about an hour until King Triton got fed up with her shit, slapped her face and told her to leave.  (I once watched a women slap the hell out of King Triton and he refused to defend himself and hit her back, so the idea of him slapping Betty Booze is mind boggling.) 

After everyone fled the kitchen, I calmed down a little and made two outstanding pies.  I made a coconut cream and a strawberry rhubarb, both from scratch (okay, I used store bought pie crusts).  What’s even more amazing is it was the first time I used the recipes and both were great.  I usually get recipes that take forever to make and taste like ass when they’re done, but these were simple and delicious.  (allrecipies.com)  I guess all was not lost.

“I Know You!”

I had the most bizarre thing happen to me on Sunday.

We had a group of bikers in for their monthly meeting in the back of the bar and several tables in the dining room.  I had just finished taking orders for the bikers, and was in the process of getting all the burgers on the grill when Sharron said there was someone who wanted to talk to me.

“She says she knows you.”

I opened the swinging doors and there was a woman with a look of absolute joy on her face.

“I know you!  We used to work together!”

I had no idea who she was.

“You used to be a CNA and we worked together!”

“Uh…NO.  I’ve never been a CNA.”

“Yes you were, and we worked together!”

“No, sorry, but I’ve never worked at a hospital or in any medical capacity.”

“Well, where have you worked?”

“Uh…the Harribalsac and the Spaghetti Western.  That covers the last 5 years.”

“Where have you worked since then?”

“Here.”

“Oh!  I know!  You used to work at that little store on the hill.”

“No.  I’ve never worked in a little store anywhere.”

“Yes, you did!”

“No!  I DIDN’T”

“Your name is Holly, right?”

“Yes.”

“Well then, I know you.”

You got me there.  I know this woman’s name, so I guess we are friends.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t know who you are.”

“Are you from here?”

“Yes.  I’m sorry, but I’m very busy and I need to get back to work.”

“Well, where else have you worked.”

“LADY, I DON’T KNOW YOU.  I’M SORRY.”

I closed the swinging doors in her face and went back to work.

I felt Sharron eyeballing me from across the kitchen.

“I have no idea who she is.”

“Yeah, I got that.”

So last night while I was in bed reading ’50 Shades of Gr-Ahahaha’ I felt a faint memory trying to surface.  I remembered when I was cooking at the airport, that woman came in to talk to one of the servers.  I told the server I didn’t want to talk to her because she was the most painfully stupid woman I had ever met.  Worse still, she was an arguing stupid, as in you could tell her something, “The sky is blue” and she would argue about it endlessly.

Still, I have no memory of working with her, so it had to have been before I moved to Laramie in 1991.  After I moved back from Laramie in 1997, I had office jobs, where I was pretty much the only person, until I started cooking at the airport in 2003. 

As much as I rack my brain, I can’t place where I met her, but I obviously didn’t like her.  After yesterday’s encounter, I can see nothing has changed; she still argues, she’s still dumb and oblivious, and I still don’t like her.

Still.

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