Entry #12 – The Good, the Bad and the Old

When I think about growing old a number of thoughts spring to my mind: Grey hair, Arthritis, Denches, walking stick, strollers, flat flexi-shoes, copious amounts of medication/suppliments, thick-lensed eye glasses, frail fingers, sagging ear lobes, wrinkles, slow-motion body movement, talking gibberish, forgetfulness, old people’s home, intensified OCD, grumpiness,  long naps, chicken soup, tomato soup, brocolli soup, cauliflower soup…well if you haven’t got teeth at 80 and you don’t want to get food stuck in your denches then soup’s what you’ll probably lean to reluctantly…it’s a scary thought.

It doesn’t mean I want to die young and still have a fine looking corpse. I want to have children, I want to watch them grow, I want to guide my children through life and ensure they grab opportunities I missed in my youth, I want to attend their weddings, I want them to have my grandchildren, I want my children to take care of me but not to point where I seem like an absolute burden, I want to have my whole family close by, I don’t want to be alone when I die…

..xTx..

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Lights, Camera, Action!

When it came to Action heroes, one name lay imbedded in my memory as a teen – ARNOLD SWARCHZENEGGER. In the Eighties when ignorance was bliss, I believed that he and all the subsequent action heroes were not ‘acting’ so to speak. With biceps the size of lunchboxes it wasn’t hard to believe then that he could floor five guys with his brute strength alone. His groundbreaking debut, COMMANDO, was simplistic in its plot and concise with dialogue – As a matter of fact, I remember a good half hour of non-stop pulsating gunfire mayhem amidst the rescue of his non-Russian-sounding daughter. After endless rewinding, re-playing, pausing and fast forwarding I was hungry for more…I needed a lot more.

SYLVESTER STALLONE was the immediate antidote I discovered after immersing myself in FIRST BLOOD. The trademark 1 minute-long dress-up sequence in which John Rambo geared up was just an adrenaline booster. I never thought it possible for one man to pack just the right amount of ammo to annihilate an entire platoon. A few bullet wounds and 2 sequels later the thirst returned and I needed it to be quenched pronto.

BRUCE WILLIS didnt have the muscles of Arnie or Stallone but he sure knew how to handle a group of terrorists in DIE HARD. Everything about the plot seemed believe and not too far-fetched. Yes its possible for a cop to go on vacation to see his wife (or ex-wife), Yes its possible for him to arrive at his wife’s fully serviced skyscraper on the exact day the terrorists plan to strike, Yes it is possible for him to hear gunshots just when he’s in the middle of changing clothes,  and yes it is possible for a trigger-happy cop to run around barefoot finding a way to get FBI back up. Bruce Willis seemed like the average cool-headed guy who showed real fear amidst danger unlike the mucho predecessors with faceless expressions. Bruce had the wit to back him up too! 3 catastrophic explosions and 1 sequel later I was ready for a stronger dose.

JACKIE CHAN taught me that one didnt need semi-automatics or AK-47s to ‘blow you away’. Just a lil’ martial art mixed with death-defying stunts and a few funny blunders gave me all the excitement I needed. Hand-to-hand combat never looked so good until I watched POLICE STORY and RUMBLE IN THE BRONX. Everything about he’s fight sequence was real – no stuntman required. If he was trapped btw 2 walls 8ft high then he was going get out with a ‘Prince-of-Persia style’ wall-to-wall leap, just in time to narrowly miss the high-speed van crashing beneath him. Once I found this new taste for martial arts, I slowly weaned myself off the guns and C-4s. It was a new era for dropkicks, roundhouse kicks and clothes-lines.

STEVEN SEAGAL eventually brought an end to all that when he took the fun out of martial arts and made it a split-second ordeal of ultra fast ‘ten-ten’ before breaking his adversary’s arm…backwards. When he decided to get a lil creative he moved on to breaking legs, necks, hands, and then he went into detail when he plucked a few eyes, broke fingers, and ankles. I was more queezy than entertained and I began to ask myself if I was slowly becoming side-tracked. Yes, Seagal was giving me an overdose of whoop-ass but my hands weren’t clapping…they were covering my eyes. Time was against me and I was getting older and older. In a time when WWF was discovered to be a farce I needed a lift, a hit of something strong, but not overkill…cue the dragon!

Or should I say ENTER THE DRAGON. When I first saw BRUCE LEE in action I was mesmerized to say the least. I think it wasnt so much the Kung-fu but the ‘wooh-haw!’ and ‘wataah!’ cries he bellowed through his lightning punches & kicks – He had me glued to the seat and to the screen (and that was responsible for bloodshut eyes & dented sofas). His untimely death is an infinite blow to the action movie industry and till this day he remains an icon.

In my opinion, these are some of the founders who’ve paved the way for the new generation of action movies…and ultimately transformed me into an Action Junkie.

My Top 10 Action Movies

1.  Die Hard
2.  The Matrix
3.  Game of Death
4.  True Lies
5.  T2
6.  House of Flying Daggers
7.  Casino Royale
8.  Kill Bill
9.  Rush hour
10.John Rambo
My Top 5 Action Heroes

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
2. Jackie Chan
3. Bruce Lee
4. Sylvester Stallone
5. Bruce Willis

My Dream Face-Offs

1.  Arnie vs Stallone – Punch up
2.  Bruce Lee vs Jackie Chan – Martial Arts
3.  Keanu Reeves (Matrix) vs Christian Bale (Equilibrium) – Gunfight…in ‘slo-mo’
4.  Uma Thurman vs Michelle Yeoh – Ninja Swordfight
5. Angelina Jolie vs Sigourney Weaver – Chickfight
6. Bruce Willis vs Chris Tucker – Witfight
7. ALIEN vs Predator (IV) – SCI-FIght (lol)
Accolades

*Quick to the rescue – 007
*Relentless to the finish – Rambo
*No-funny business – Arnie
*A woman scorned – Uma Thurman (Kill Bill)

Lurking in the woods I

There was a group of teenagers who set out travelling in a car early one morning at 5am before the sun was out. It was still dark and the young guys left so early because they wanted to arrive at their destination before 1pm. In the car were four guys. They were all wide awake and sharing jokes whilst zooming down the empty road, that is, up until 6am when nobody was laughing anymore.

The driver in the car had noticed a figure up ahead by the side of the road. As he got closer it became apparent that it was an elderly looking woman in a dark long gown. She was waving down the car. The driver started to slow down but the other guys objected to him stopping for the old lady.He insisted however on pulling over because it was ‘his car and his decision’. When he pulled over to the side of the road, the old lady smiled and asked if she could be taken to a nearby hospital. On seeing the old lady’s face they all saw that she was bleeding from the head and her clothes were stained with blood.

Everyone in the car decided that picking up the old lady wasn’t a good idea so the driver apologized to the old lady and put his foot on the accelerator. To their surprise their car wasn’t not moving but it was making screeching noises. As the guys looked to the side of the car they saw that the old lady had her hand on the side mirror. She didn’t look like she had the strength to do it but she was actually keeping the car at a stand still. Simultaneously the car window came down automatically and the old lady stuck her head through to the horror of the teenagers and shouted:

‘ THE MOMENT YOU CROSS ME A THIRD TIME YOU WILL SURELY DIE!’

All the while the driver was still accelerating but the car was going nowhere fast until the old lady released her hand from the car. The car sped off into the dark and all the guys in the car were left in a cold sweat, cursing and panicking. They could hear an eerie but distant cackle which was supposedly from the old lady they left behind. The guy in the front seat wanted to go back home. The two guys at the back kept arguing about myths and legends being fact or fiction. Only the driver remained completely silent, being the one whom the old lady appeared to be staring at when she uttered the dreaded curse.

As the guys continued on their journey they noticed a similar looking old lady by the side of the road waving down the car. On passing the lady they realized the lady looked exactly like the one they had passed earlier. The panicking got worse in the car but only the driver continued to remain silent…nervous but silent. He eventually stopped the car in the middle of the road and broke down in tears. The other guys were bemused at his display and asked what was wrong. The driver composed himself and made an unexpected revelation:

‘The woman we passed twice is the same lady that I ran over last night. It was an accident… I swear. She died and I had to get rid of the body…I mean, I don’t want to go to jail. I didn’t know what else to do. I freaked out. Look guys, If I keep going further I’ll pass the lady a third time and I don’t want to die. You guys are going to have to find your way.’

The guys looked puzzled and thought that he was joking about getting jilted. They were in the middle of nowhere and there wasn’t a vehicle in sight for the last half hour. The driver wasn’t willing to drive back either because he risked meeting the old lady again. The driver insisted that the other guys hitch a ride and to also confirm if they saw old lady along the way. They did exactly that after getting on a bus soon after. By the time they reached their destination hours later they called the driver and reported that the old lady was not seen.. The driver was content and confirmed that he was on his way to meet them up in 2 hours.

However, 6 hours later the driver didn’t show up. By the time it was evening the other guys had no choice but to get a bus back home. He wasn’t picking up any of the calls the guys had tried making to his mobile phone. On their way back they noticed the driver’s car parked by the side of the road. They quickly alerted the bus driver to drop them off. They approached the car slowly and called out the driver’s name. The car doors were unlocked and the car key was left in the ignition but he wasn’t inside. They tried reaching him on his mobile phone again and they were startled when they heard a faint ringtone close by.

After they searched the front and back seats of the car they went on to check around the car and the nearby roadside. But somehow the ringtone sounded louder when they stood close to the back of the car. One of the guys suggested to check the boot…

Low and behold the driver was found…

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…dead. His eyes were glazed open

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…with a horror-stricken expression

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…because he was not alone –

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…Clutching his left arm

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…was a dead old lady

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…with an unsettling smile.
..xTx..

Lurking in the woods II

The 3 teenagers jumped aback on seeing their dead friend and the dead old lady that haunted them hours earlier. One of the teenagers quickly closed the boot and took continuous backward steps away from the car. The other two had their hands on their heads and began fretting like real mummy’s boys. They swore and blasphemed while they walked round in crooked circles. All this while the sun was going down and it was fast becoming dark.

The teenager who had gone astray suddenly came to his senses and ran back to meet the other two. He ordered them to get in the car while he got into the driver’s seat to start the engine. His hands were shaking terrribly as he frantically attempted to turn on the ignition. Fortunately he was able to start the car first time. He switched the headlights on and then turned the car around to head homebound. The breathing and panting in the car was very heavy and the guy in the back was crying bitterly.

‘Vince is dead! Shit! Oh shit!!! I dont f**king believe this shit!…he’s…’
‘Shut up Simon!’
‘But he spoke to us…he said he was on his way…how the f’**k did he get in the boot with that old lady, huh? Answer me Jake!!! What the f**k is going on!’
‘Put yourself together and let me drive us back home in one piece, okay! Louis, check the glove compartment for the map’.

Simon eventually quieted down and started staring at the monstrous, leafless trees that streamed both sides of the dark, long road. Louis tried to break the unnerving silence by putting on the radio but to everyone’s  surprise he couldn’t tune in to a single radio station. All he got was an irritating high-pitched static.

‘It must be that there’s no signal around here’
‘Just check the map so I’ll know where to turn when we reach a junction. Simon! You okay at the back there? Simon?’

Simon was wide awake but he just kept staring at the side of the road through his window looking dazed. The guys had been going on a straight road for close to 45 minutes when they should have at least been in their county within the hour. Jake told Louis to check the map again but there wasn’t really much point because they hadn’t come to a junction nor were there any signs to help direct them. Jake increased his accelaeration but the journey just seemed to get longer and longer. Something wasn’t right and Simon was the only one brave enough to admit it.

‘Guys,… I’ve been looking at these trees… and there’s this one that looks like…like it has a face in it and…’
‘Huh? What are you talking about? Quit messing around!’
‘Look Jake, whether you like it or not I’ve seen that tree…like nine times already!’
‘Nine? All the trees around here look bloody alike! Shut up if you haven’t got anything better to say!’
‘Can’t you see it? Just wait for it…there! there! that’s another one! Louis did you see it?

‘Yeah! Simon is right. That tree is completely identical to the other one.’
‘Both of you have gone absolutely bonkers! We’ll soon be home.’

Simon and Louis counted up to fifteen face-embedded trees after which Jake couldn’t take the counting any longer and then he came to a screeching halt.

‘Would you guys just shut the hell up!!! I’ve been on this straight road for over an hour now and there’s no signs, no junctions, no cars and no lights ahead! Give me that map, Louis!’
‘We don’t even know where we are, Jake. That map won’t do any good.’
‘Why don’t you just do me a favour and dial for help!’

Simon tried to make a call but his phone had been barred earlier that day after he exceeded his talktime.Louis checked his phone and saw that its battery indicator was blinking – It was almost dead. Jake tried to make a call with his phone but he kept getting an ‘error in connection’ message. Still not satisfied, Jake asked Simon to get Vince’s phone from the boot. Simon abruptly refused and asked him to go. Jake argued that Simon was closer to the boot but Simon didn’t budge. Louis decided to end this verbal tussle and proceeded to open his door. He got to the back of the car and slowly lifted the boot open…with his eyes wide shut. He was bracing himself for the sight of his dead friend and the bloodied old lady…but he gasped seconds later…
‘LOUIS!’, Jake yelled from inside the car. ‘Have you found it?’

Louis was in shock…

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…as he discovered that the two dead bodies

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…had mysteriously disappeared. But there…

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…in the centre of the boot

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…lay Vince’s mobile phone

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…Louis quivered as he picked it up and noticed ‘1 new message’

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…he took a deep breath and opened the message which read…

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***YOU ARE NEXT***
 

Sender: Unknown

Lurking in the woods III

Louis froze with fear as he stared at the deadly message he just read. His throat was dry and he felt a sharp pain in his throat as he tried to swallow. Jake called out to Louis even louder the second time as he was getting pretty impatient. Louis hurriedly got back into the car and threw the phone into Jake’s lap.

‘Thanks man. Whats up with you?’
‘Er…nothing. Let’s just get out of here, okay!’
‘Sorry you had to see…you know…’
‘Yeah yeah, lets just go now’

Jake started the car again and set off while Simon tried to make a call with their dead friend’s phone. Simon couldn’t make a connection either and said he would try a liitle later so as not to drain the battery. Louis deliberately didn’t want to cause a panic with the new information only <i>he</i> knew about. He sat quietly but kept fidgeting uncontrollably. Jake kept his eyes on the road but Simon noticed Louis’ suspicious behaviour.

‘Why are you so edgy Louis? You’re biting your nails and…’
‘I’m fine. Just try making another call, alright!’
‘Ok. Don’t worry, we’ll get through this.’

Louis didn’t believe that. He believed he was marked for death. He just wanted to know how to prevent it. He was too scared to look at the face-embedded trees they kept passing so he looked straight ahead. Suddenly he could feel the car slowing down.

‘What are you doing?’
‘It’s not me. Oh sh*t! We’re almost out of petrol! Not now for f**k sake!!!’

The tank inevitably became empty and the car stopped. Simon kept asking what they were going to do but Jake and Louis didn’t know what to say. They all tried their mobile phones again and they were desperate to hear a familiar voice at the other end. Indeed they got more than they bargained for when they heard a muffled voice in the car. No one admitted hearing the sound at first but suddenly there was a continuous bang coming from the boot of the car. It was a male voice crying to be let out. Simon sat up anxiously. The banging was getting louder and more aggressive with each passing breath.

<BANG!><BANG!> <Jake! Hello! Simon! Louis! Get me out of here!>

‘What the f**k? That sounds like…that sounds like…Vince?’
‘That’s impossible. Vince is DEAD!

<Is that you Jake! let me out! guys! can’t you hear me?> <BANG!><BANG!> <Jake, Simon c’mon let me out! Louis please!…it’s dark in here!> <BANG!><BANG!><BANG!>

‘He’s trapped in the boot guys! We’ve got to let him out’
‘Simon, Vince is dead! You saw it, I saw it, Louis saw it!’
‘Can’t you hear him or is it just me! He’s alive! He was alive all along! We need to get him out!’

<BANG!><BANG!><BANG!> <Please guys! Let me out!!!>

‘Be my guest but i’m staying put. This shit is all f**ked up and my head is really f**ked up’.
‘Well I can’t take all this banging anymore. I’m going to get him out. You guys are unbelievable’

Simon gestured to open his door but <Photo 1>Louis commanded that he stayed in the car. The banging was increasingly becoming erratic. When Simon refused Louis shouted at him and blurted that Vince and the old lady were not in the boot when he went to get the phone earlier. Jake and Simon were stunned after Louis spoke. They both looked at Louis with a puzzled expression but strangely enough the banging had coincidentally stopped.

Before anyone could say a word, they heard a sound like a key unlocking. The creaking sound came from the boot and all the guys simultaneously turned to the rear windshield to see what would happen next…

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The boot unexpectedly burst open with a thunderous bang…
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…everyone one in the car gasped and they quickly locked all the car doors

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Simon sunk into his back seat and started muttering a prayer…

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Louis crouched as much as he could but Jake trembled as he looked in his rear view mirror…

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At first he saw the opened boot but he noticed four shriveled fingers at the top edge…

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In a split second, the fingers slapped the boot shut to reveal the bloodied, darkly dressed old lady

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and this time…she wasn’t smiling…

Lurking in the woods IV

Jake screamed after the old lady’s evil eyes stared right back at his eyes through the rear view mirror. He watched in horror as blood from her mouth ran down her dark gown. The smell of fear overwhelmed the car in the guise of urine streaming through the jeans of a terrified Louis. The old lady suddenly vanished from Jack’s rear view and he quickly adjusted the mirror to see which way the old lady went. The body heat in the car was intense as a result of the heavy perspiring among the guys. They all frantically made sharp turns left and right to see where the old lady was but the mist on the car windows made it difficult to see. Jake was in a state of hysteria…

‘Wh…which way d-d-d-did she go? WHICH WAY DID SHE GO?????’
‘Sssssh! I hear something…listen…footsteps…’

Simon heard the footsteps go past his car door and then the sound grew distant until there was a still silence outside.

‘I think she’s gone’
‘Are you sure? Why won’t she just leave us alone? What did we do huh?’

As Louis kept asking these questions he slowly sat back up normally in his seat and then used his hand to rub off the mist on his car window. He only rubbbed enough in the middle of the window to see what was out there. He still couldnt see anything…just darkness. As he kept staring at his window he soon realized that he was actually staring at a dark garment…a dark, bloodied garmnent…

‘F**K!!! SHE’S HERE!!!!!

The car became an orchestra of sadistic and petrifying screams as the old lady tried to open Louis’s door. It was still locked but she viciously repeated to pull at the car door handle. A minute later, she suddenly stopped. The most peculiar thing happened immediately after. Louis’ door knob popped up automatically. Louis tried desperately to press it down to lock his door but unfortunately it was too late.

 
She opened his door and then she hastily reached into the car, mouth still dripping with blood. She hastily grabbed hold of Louis’ ankles and viciously yanked him out of the car. Louis managed to latch unto the handbrake but she was not relenting with each tug. Jake and Simon were more concerned with getting out of the car from the other side as fast as they could but both their doors wouldn’t open. Louis was losing his grip and wailed out to his panic-stricken friends.

‘HELP ME PLEEEASE! HELP MEEE UUHHH….AAAAARGH, PLEEEEEEEASE NAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!’
‘LOUIS!!!!!!’

With one final tug at his ankles the old bloodied lady violently dragged Louis out of the car and deep into the nearby woods. Simon and Jake beheld the frightful sight of their friend scampering to grab hold of anything to stop him being dragged to his doom. Jake tried to get out from Louis’ side but the door swung shut and locked itself to his surprise. After several attempts to open any of the doors they started kicking their soles against the windows. Louis’ faint screams were a constant reminder of why they needed to get out of the car fast. But all they got was a few cracks and then Simon turned round and noticed this nightmare was about to get much worse.

‘SH*T JAKE!!! SHE’S COMING BACK!!! SHE’S COMING BACK!!!!!

Jake and Simon began exerting even greater force with their kicks and the cracks started widening. But the old lady walked very slowly towards to the back door. Jake managed to give his window one last thrust of his two feet before the old lady started trying to open Simon’s door…and then he shattered his window, just in time for his escape. Simon tried to wriggle his way to the front seat once Jake crawled out of the jagged window space and at that precise moment…the old lady opened Simon’s door and grabbed his waist. Jake pulled Simon’s arms as he shrieked for help but the dreaded lady was unbelievably strong.

‘LEAVE HIM! YOU ALL DESERVE TO DIE! I WILL BURY EVERYONE OF YOU FOR ALL TO SEE!’

Jake struggled with the tug-o-war and Simon screamed in pain as he felt like he was being torn apart. Then, in a swift but horrible act of desperation, the old lady spat blood into Jakes eyes, to which he instantly let go of Simon. She gurgled a bloody laugh as she succeeded in dragging Simon into the woods. Jake tried to open his eyes but his vision was terribly blurred and even with the moonlight he still couldn’t see clearly. He started running along the road as he heard Simon’s screams behind him. Jake was determined not to get abducted tonight but he couldn’t see where he was going. He started to get tired and he felt helpless. He got down on his knees and began to weep at the loss of his friends to the evil hag.

As he cried he heard an unexpected sound like a branch being broken. He called out to see who was there but there was no answer. He strained to open his eyes and all he saw was a blurry figure standing a few feet away from him. In two steps the figure lunged at Jake and took a deadly swing to his head, rendering him unconscious.
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Months later, a group of campers stumbled across an abandoned white car in the woods. After hearing about an ongoing search for four missing teenagers last seen in a car of the same description, they immediately alerted the police who carried out a thorough investigation. The police later discovered that car was registered to a Mr. Vincent Cohen.

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Further investigations revealed that there were long fragments of pearl-white hair found in the boot of the car. The strands were eventually linked to a Ms. Teresa Feltz whose body was later recovered from a lake within the county. She didn’t have many friends and all she ever did was her gardening. The police confirmed that the dents on the car would explain the fractures found on the old lady and that the driver would have shoved her in the boot before dumping her in the lake. Tests revealed that the lady didn’t necessarily die from her injuries but she died from a heart attack, most likely from the fear of being trapped in a dark, enclosed space. 

There were also traces of blood found metres away from where the car was discovered. Forensic experts took blood samples from the parents of the missing teenagers and were able to make a match in all cases. The blood was that of Simon Miller, Louis Holden, Jake Griffith and Vincent Cohen. There was blood splattered across a section of the woods but no bodies were ever recovered to this day.

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Police have argued that the bodies must still be in the forest somewhere…

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I agree…

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but if only they looked a little closer…

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faceintree

..xTx..