Apr 23

Moments in tragedy can still be funny, right? – A Reflection on the Boston Marathon

chris bender

Moments in tragedy can still be funny, right? - A Reflection on the Boston Marathon

- by Chris Bender

 

I know we’re all sick of last year’s Marathon stuff, but leading up to Monday this has been on my mind. I am glad that this year’s race went well, and I can put this behind me.

 

 

Moments in tragedy can still be funny, right?

I didn’t ask myself that exact question – I would over the next few months – but that concept was circulating in my brain as I tried to answer a customer who inquired: “So, if we were standing right here when the bomb went off, would we be ok?” I wanted to say, “Well, if I use your body as a shield I’ll be fine.” I was answering thoughtless questions like that at least four times a day since Marathon Sports reopened it’s Boylston Street location on April 25, 2013. It was wearing on me. I had only worked there a few days before the bomb blew up and killed three people a few feet in front of our store. I saw awful shit. I had smoke in my eyes and alarms ringing in my ears as I helped a bleeding lady in our basement. In that moment I felt not the cinema-quality “This is it!” moment, but rather a heavy sense of resignation. After that day I didn’t want to be around comedy except I had a show in Davis Square three days later. While talking about that day, I cried on stage in front of everyone.

 

For the last handful of years I’ve found moments to laugh amidst tragic shit. I think most of us have. I think in most cases I had empathy sure, but joking about it was how I processed it all. Except when the jokes didn’t help me process anything at the time. It took me weeks to be able to joke about much of anything. I did laugh, however, at Sam Morril’s joke about how the marathon bombing reminded him that he needs to spend more time with his brother.

 

bostonI think the people who asked me stupid questions, “Like, was there blood?” want to sympathize, but a lot of times, in my experience, their dumb questions meant to satisfy their curiosity come across as callous. And do they want the answer? I don’t think they really do. We insulate ourselves from terrible details especially if we weren’t there. While we keep the details at arms length, you can forget that others are in a different place.

A woman – way too casually – asked where the bomb went off as if she was asking directions to the Prudential. And I think it was just that it had been weeks of this, and I just said, “You mean the bomb that scared an 8-year-old boy to run right into a second bomb and die?”

 

This woman and those other people had no idea that their questions were taking a toll on an actual person.
It would be like asking someone who just lost a relative: “Was their fear in his eyes when he died?”

 

At some point after being away from comedy for a bit, I started thinking more about what I say on stage and how it’s interpreted. How it might affect someone. Those customers didn’t think they had to consider their words, because who cares about one person? But we usually have a larger number of people listening to us. And I think we should still say what we want; I can’t emphasize that enough, but that we should take a few moments to consider how we address a certain topic and consider our intent. If you do this already, you’re a better person and comic than I am.

 

For about six months after the bombing I just didn’t want to be around comics – of any level – clumsily trying to make sense of it. I honestly was surprised by this, because I tend to process a lot of things through stand up. Now, that I’m doing mics and shows again, I try to to have a good reason behind everything I say on stage. I think I’m a less lazy writer. I think.

 

Is it cliche that a traumatic moment changes your perspective? Sure, but I think it’s unavoidable. It’s really easy to exist in a very small comedy-centric bubble. I think after this crazy shit, I have become better at listening, being patient, and at the same time periodically accessing a deep reservoir of rage. In a healthy way. I now think it’s important that I don’t immediately slam an audience member for disrupting when I talk about a sensitive subject – not immediately at least – because I think we all know what drunk manufactured outrage sounds like. My plan now is to try a meaningful approach first. Maybe – and this is a big maybe – their perspective might provide some clarity and help make it funnier for those truly affected by it. And if that fails then at least I tried.

 

Getting people to laugh about difficult, terrible things is the whole point of stand up, I think. That and catch phrases. I always hated the “too soon” knee-jerk reaction, and I still think the tragedy + time equation thing is stupid. However, I know the people who really do need more time about a subject shouldn’t be faulted for it, and at the same time we shouldn’t have to avoid what they’re sensitive to.

So, really, all I’m saying is that we can be our regular jerk selves, but we can be slightly more understanding jerks. It may even help with our regular lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 22

This One Weird Thing: Murder Mystery Party – by Christa Weiss

reddress_unsceneThis One Weird Thing: The Murder Mystery Party

I know a lot of weird things. This column explains why.

by Christa Weiss

 

 

 

The Murder Mystery Party

 

Fall in New England, late October. My ex-boyfriend is bloody and I’m covered in urine. Not my urine. Like, someone else’s urine. I’m cold and I’m angry. I can’t tell for certain, but I’m pretty sure this is not how these types of parties are supposed to go.

 

It started innocently enough. I was dating a guy named Jim* in Providence.  He was a nice and liked me and I liked his friends and hanging out in Providence. What I hated was confrontation. And crying. And emotions. Oh man, those are the worst. We started dating because he was cool and I needed a friend and we continued dating because I have the emotional maturity of a small rodent.

 

After a few months of dating October rolled around and Jim and his roommates decided to forgo the traditional Halloween party for a murder mystery party.

 

Jim hung around with a lot of musicians, peace core kids and people who worked at non-profits. They were all nutcases but they were a lot of fun, which is exactly what I look for in a group of friends. I too, am a nutcase. They all had the type of quirkiness that I liked a lot. They were a little bit hippish but not in an annoying way. Like a conscientious way. It was nice.

 

The peace corps kids were another thing all together. They weren’t all those gentle out-to-save-the world-types. There were some of those (Jim’s roommate were totally awesome), but there were also a lot of people who were trying to escape things. Some were escaping addition, or prison or mental illness or thier rich parents. Some of them didn’t really live anywhere. They just sort of couch surfed between missions until they were placed somewhere new. Those kids were a little bit dangerous but that’s what made them fun.

 

Tim Curry, was not there.

However, Tim Curry, was not in attendance.

Also, Kevin Costner’s daughters were there.

 

That sounds made up, but it’s not. They had gone to college in the area and were working for a local non-profit. I barely knew them but they were always very nice and made good scones.

 

I was always afraid to get close to the Costner girls. Most of the time I spent around them I used desperately trying to avoid ever mentioning Kevin Costner. In the back of my mind I was afraid that one day we’d be hanging out, watching TV and Waterworld would come on. What do you say, when you live in a world that just isn’t ready for a Kevin Costner with gills? I have yet to figure it out, but if I do, I think I will have seen god.

 

So, when I say this party with full of volatile people I meant it. Pent-up Waterworld anger is a thing you have to tread lightly around. From what I hear, murder mystery parties are usually kind of lame and are generally meant for people in loveless marriages who not longer fuck. Like not even hate fuck. And that’s the best kind of fucking.

 

This party was different. Usually, when someone throws one of these things, they buy some silly kit that gives you a cheesy story and cheesier characters. I hang out with mostly creative types, so the kids throwing it wrote the story and characters themselves. Everyone was super into it. Like unusually into it, but that’s what happens when you dress up a bunch of weirdos in 1800′s costumes and give them a ton of alcohol. I was an Asian Fortune teller because I happened to own a deck of Tarot Cards that I bought at a Hot Topic during the days when I used to have hope for my future. I’m not sure why I was Asian, or even what country I was actually supposed to be from, but for some reason that was important.

 

And here’s the thing. We were all having a great time. No one broke character, there was a lot of good food and booze and even the crazies were keeping to together. Perfect…for awhile.

 

Jim saunters up to me with one of the semi-homeless peace corps kids and asks me if I’d like to do some acid.

I tell him, “Um, I’m pretty sure that’s the worst idea ever.”

A house full of costumed drunk people who are not on hallucinogens, who are pretending to be people they’re not, who absolutely refuse to break character no matter what, is probably the most sure fire way to have an absolutely terrible time, for everyone.

“Cool,” he says, “Cuz I just did a bunch of acid.”

I knew this was not gonna end well. Annoyed, I walk away.

 

Even the semi-homeless kid he bought it from was smart enough not to do acid. And he’s not even smart enough to have a home.

 

I forget about it for awhile. I’m reading tarot cards and drinking when the ‘murder’ finally happens. Jim’s roommate is now walking around as a ‘ghost’ drenched in copious amounts of ketchup, which is supposed to be blood. It looks pretty convincing except she smells like a cheeseburger.

 

At this point, Jim starts to act crazy. Like really crazy. Like exactly how I expected he would act. He’s running around and shouting and is trying to pick fights. The acid has started to kick in.

Everyone knows it.

Everyone is trashed.

And everyone wants to fuck with him.

 

He gets his wish. There’s a fight, a silly, harmless one, but still a fight. His roommate throws a shoe at them, as a way to get them to settle down, but it ends up smacking Jim in the middle of the face.

 

There was a lot of blood. And it did not smell like a cheeseburger.

 

Jim runs off and we all follow him to make sure he’s okay. His nose isn’t broken but there is blood streaming all the way down his face and onto his shirt. It’s everywhere, it’s gross and he won’t sit still. He’s still yelling for some reason.

The group suddenly decides that since I’m his girlfriend it’s now my job to wrangle him. It works. Sort of.

I walk over and try to talk some sense into him, or at least get him to calm down.

He tries to make out with me.

 

If you’ve never made out with someone covered in blood before, know this: Vamp kids make it look waaaaaay better than actually is.

 

Mostly it tastes like salt. Salt and regret. I keep thinking that this ‘would never have happened if I had gone to grad school.’

I push him off.

“You need to calm down” I say. He stares at me, confused.

“Can you at least wash your face?”

“No.” He replies. He is adamant about this.

 

I manage to get him close enough to his room to push him though the door. He sits on the bed and immediately passes out, like a turtle on his back. A blood covered turtle on his back. I close the door and return to the party.

 

****************

A few hours later party’s winding down, and people are crashing in various places. There is nowhere to sleep except next to my passed out blood covered boyfriend. “Fine,” I think, “I’ll just do this for a couple of hours, and when morning comes I can go home and rethink my life.”

 

****************

I wake up early. I feel cold. Very cold. Weirdly cold….And wet….why do I feel wet? The sheets are wet but my pajamas are mostly dry…Oooooooooh no.

I come to the horrifying realization that Jim has pissed the bed.

And that’s when I realized, it was definitely time to break up.

And we did.

Three months later, due to something unrelated.

 

 

*Names have been changed to protect the not-so innocent.

Apr 21

HOW TO!: UnScene’s Weekly Column About How to Do a Thing – by Rich Karski

karski

HOW TO! #10: How to survive a hostage situation!

by Rich Karski

 

Welcome to another edition of Rich Karski’s HOW TO!: The weekly online column that gives you the knowledge needed to amass an impressive collection of gold and jewels.

 

There has been a lot of talk about terrorism recently, with the anniversary of the Marathon Bombings, that stupid Dutch girl who threatened an airline, and that disappeared plane that didn’t actually end up being taken by terrorists but everyone just assumed that it had because nobody wanted to admit that they just forgot where a plane went. Through all of this though, everyone seems to have forgotten about the original terrorists. That’s right, rouge East Germans who use their “terrorist attacks” to break into vaults containing millions of dollars in bearer bonds with the help of an annoying black nerd.

And this is exactly what they want from you. They’ll tell you there’s no more “East Germany” but then how do you explain that you can still Google it and like a thousand results show up? You can’t Google things that don’t exist. What they’re doing is biding their time until they find another building with a large vault worth stealing from, and then it’s only a matter of minutes before they’re on the phone with their black nerd friend talking about getting the band back together.

Nowadays, almost all business is conducted in large buildings, most of which probably contain some sort of vault. Since I already taught you how to get a job in business, it’s highly likely that you work in one of these large buildings that will most likely be the target of such an attack. Well I’m here to assure you that when these suave and sexy European bandits come and round up you and your co-workers, you won’t get caught holding your dick or your vagina or your friend’s dick. So, today I’m going to teach you:

HOW TO SURVIVE A HOSTAGE SITUATION

kitten_hostageStep One: Familiarizing Yourself With Your Surroundings

If you’re anything like me, you have had the same job for a very long time and are still thoroughly confused by the layout of the building. That’s okay. You’re not getting paid to figure out hallways (unless you’re the Manager of Figuring Out Hallways in which case seriously you need to get better at your job these hallways are fucking ridiculous.) Now however, this becomes knowledge that is essential to you. Are there hallways that lead to a special escape hatch that contains some sort of fireman’s pole that you can slide down to safety? If so, look for those. Those hallways will be helpful. If not, maybe there is a hallway that leads to some weapons? The weapon hallway should also be a priority in case you decide that you can thwart these terrorists on your own with the proper firepower. If there are no such hallways, try to figure out if anything in your general vicinity can be used as a weapon. Maybe like a really sharp book that you can throw at the terrorists to cut their heads off? Then you can say something like “Looks like you’ll never be HEAD of accounting.” And then you look at the head of accounting and give him/her a wink because you know that you guys will be making out later. If you don’t think you can escape or fight back, then you’re going to have to settle in for the long haul, which will be addressed in the following steps.

Step Two: Communicating With The Outside World

Nowadays, everybody has a Facebook and a Twitter and a phone that has these things inside it. If you do not, then start writing some letters and training some pigeons now grandpa because you won’t have the time when you’re staring down the barrel of a Custom German AF-349 or some other gun that is actually real. Take some pictures of your captors and fellow hostages and put those things online, but make sure to hashtag them with #whitepeopleproblems so your friends know that you’re still down to earth despite like alllll the news coverage and interviews and book deals you’re probably going to get once you’re freed. Maybe you’ll even get on Ellen! Wouldn’t that be wild? Do you think she would read your screenplay and maybe give you notes? I mean, you’re a hero now so it’s the least she can do. Stuck up bitch. Anyway, don’t let your captors find out that you’re subtweeting them because that’s rude and they will get very angry at you and possibly shoot your face. Maybe ask them for their @ handles so they can be part of the fun and you guys can possibly establish some kind of rapport.

 

Step Three: Crying and Peeing Your Pants—Strategically

Let’s face facts. If you haven’t found a way to escape or to murder your captors, then you’re going to be doing some crying and some pants-peeing. The problem is you can’t get all of this out of the way right off the bat, because you’re going to need this stuff later. Avoid crying right away, because if you do the terrorists will think “Yup, that person is terrorized we’re doing a very good job.” You need to make them work for it. Let them yell in your face a little, tire them out, make them think you’re never going to crack. Allow them one tear, after a long session of yelling, and when they’re like “Why are you crying you big baby? Are we finally terrorizing you?” that’s where you say “Nope, I was just thinking about a beautiful country that I love. A country called ‘America.’” And now after you say this be prepared, because you’re going to get hit with the butt of a gun. They’ll act like they’re mad at you, but in actuality you’ve won their respect and they will view you as just another soldier of fortune like they are, and maybe in another life they could even see sitting down for a beer with you but unfortunately life has put you on different sides of the same coin. Oh right so the pants-peeing. The pants-peeing needs to be saved for the rescue, because A) of all, you don’t want to be sitting around in your peed pants for the entire damn negotiations, and B) of all, if you’re not crying in the fetal position with your pants peed none of the firefighters are going to carry you down the stairs when they come up to save everybody. They’ll just be like “You can walk” and you’ll look like an asshole if you argue that you deserve to be carried so make them believe it’s true by peeing in your pants.

 

Step Four: Befriending Your Captors

This is a good idea if you think your plucky underdog Europeans have a chance of succeeding, because let’s look at the facts:

  • They’re super handsome.
  • They’re from Europe so they probably know where all the good sex is.
  • They’re about to be very rich.

 

So maybe if you can demonstrate your value to them as a hostage, they will take you along with them and let you live in wildly sensual European opulence for the rest of your days. The first thing you’re going to want to do to achieve this is to distinguish yourself from your co-workers, and then sell them out. Say things like “Oh wow, THANK GOD. FIIIIIINALLY there are some COOL people in this office. Not like that sow Amy. Hey, if you guys are looking for some snacks I know big fat Amy keeps Oreos in her desk! There should be a jar of Nutella in there too because she loves to dip the Oreos in Nutella isn’t that SOOOOO GROSS?!” And your captors will probably be like “Wow that is gross. I mean it sounds kind of delicious but Jesus Christ, Amy get your shit together.”

And then there’s no way Amy is going to be spending the rest of her days on a handsome European sex vacation. You’ll want to give them other helpful tips, things like “Hey the toilet in the third stall doesn’t flush!” or “All of the bearer bonds are kept off-site but I have a GPS in my Civic it will probably be a tight fit but I’m sure we could squeeze in as long as we don’t take lardass Amy, COME ON AMY YOU’VE GAINED LIKE THIRTY POUNDS IN THE LAST MONTH I KNOW YOU’RE PREGNANT BUT WE’RE THE ONES WHO HAVE TO LOOK AT YOU!” and your captors will be like “Wow you have all the information we need and your burns on Amy are so sick we will totally split this money with you.” And then, my friend, you are on easy street.

 

So there you have it.

Four easy steps on how to survive a hostage situation led by East German terrorists who are only out for gold and glory. You could also try watching Die Hard but I find that movie to be a tad unrealistic.

Apr 19

The Unsolicited Advice Column – by Ted Pettingell

t_pettingell_unscene

The Unsolicited Advice Column

- by Ted Pettingell

A weekly advice column with questions ripped from the headlines (of social media) and answered by our own delightful little scamp who probably hates you, Ted.

 

 

Happy Friday afternoon Everyone? Its Friday right? Thats the last possible day this could be put up this week. I mean it could go up on Saturday but people don’t look at the internet unless they are at work. They won’t even take time away from their precious day off to read my life saving advice. So, its Thursday night as I’m writing this and that means its going be up Friday because I’ll be god damned if I have to deal with the repercussions of having to post two of these in the same week again. People are still in the hospital from getting kicked in the dick with that much god-like knowledge.

Before we get to the questions this week lets get to a question. @AlexFier “asks @TedPettingell Ted where do I contact your advice column? Is it here on Twitter? Is there where I can try to get advice??”  Well Alex, if that is your real name, first of thank you for using question marks. Normally, the people who’s questions I answer don’t bother with such things. Also, my editor, some woman, has been all over my ass for not using question marks when I write. (Editor’s Note: To demonstrate the author’s gross disregard for punctuation, grammar and spelling, I have highlighted all of the corrections I have made in red. Suck it, Ted.) What she doesn’t understand is I don’t ask questions here, I answer them, and everything here should be taken as an emphatic statement of fact.

But back to you Alex. HOW DARE YOU ASK ME A QUESTION DIRECTLY! Oh, there should probably have been a question mark there. Well, it was a rhetorical question and I don’t play by anyone’s rules. Alex, this is an unsolicited advice column if you ask me directly, that defeats the point. If you want me to answer your question you have to ask the ether and hope I come across it and it strikes my fancy.  But maybe you knew that and you are just fucking with me. If that is what you are doing you will be sorry. I know where you live, Los Angeles. Maybe I don’t know specifically where in LA but I also know where your parents live, around the corner from me. And I’m sure I could pay them a visit, explain who I am and they would probably give me your current address. Have I made myself clear Rhetorical question. Now for the real questions.

 

Today’s first question comes from @Care2 Passionate about a cause or issue? Starting a #petition is easy: http://www.thepetitionsite.com  #activism

The face of internet activism.

The face of internet activism.

Good question, Short answer, No. Long answer, No and go Fuck yourself.  Longer answer, No the only thing I have passion for is physical act of love. Also a petition has never done anything. They are just a way idiots on the internet can feel like they are doing something without actually doing anything. This is what internet activism is. My column changes lives. This is what Internet activism looks like:

I’ll demonstrate it like this.  Lets say you sign an internet petition to stop global warming, then you fart because you are a gross idiot who spends all their time on the internet and drinking Mountain Dew.  The Greenhouse gasses in that fart contributed more to global warming then signing that petition did to stop it.

 

 

 

 

Our second question comes from, @senthorun The starting question for any political movement must be: what sort of society do we want to be a part of? #amnestyuniconf #activism

Another great question. I can only imagine where you plagiarized it from. Well, ideally I think we should all want to live in a world where creative individuals like myself, can live without fear of being plagiarized by self-righteous hacks like yourself. Its like I always say, “be the change you want to see in the world.”  So next time I catch someone stealing from me I am going to find their parents. Break up their marriage. Seduce the plagiarist mother. Marry her. Make the plagiarist feel the shame they have brought on their family. Then divorce their mother and take her for all she is worth.

 

Our last question comes from no one.

My usual theme is to search a random hashtag for questions and then for the third one find a famous person or corporation and write something that ties it all together. Well, after searching #activism I thought I would find an old tweet from Suey Park, yes that one and write some silly paragraph about, ‘How anyone is supposed to take you seriously when you ask why your farts smell so bad.‘  Well, I learned a few things. First of all as a white man, I am the devil. Secondly, you can only see the last 3200 tweets a person has made. Third, if you are an internet activist, that is about three weeks worth of tweets and none of them would even suggest that you enjoy your life at all.

So, for some real unsolicited advice to all the Suey Parks of the world: Go out in the world and have some fun. Eat something that should probably go in the trash. Have it make a weird smell come out of your body. Then tweet about it in confusion. Thats what living is all about.

 

See you next week. Please share this with all your friends and we can change the world together.  #hacktivism

Ted Pettingell

 

Apr 14

This One Weird Thing: Naked Figure Drawing – by Christa Weiss

reddress_unsceneThis One Weird Thing: Naked Figure Drawing

I know a lot of weird things. This column explains why.

by Christa Weiss

 

 

 

Naked Figure Drawing! Woooooo!

 

…Actually, the technical term is nude figure drawing. And do not “wooo”. Do not “woo” at all.

My college was weird. Like, super weird. It was an art school mashed in with a tech school that shared a campus with NTID, the National Technical Institute for the deaf. Basically, it was a campus filled with people who were completely incapable of communicating with each other, be it for physical reasons or social ones. For now, know this: What I am about to tell you is totally normal. For an art school, at least.

 

Freshman Figure drawing. I was excited for it. I love to draw and I was stoked that I was finally in a place that had real live models, that would actually sit still for more than a couple of minutes. It’s pretty difficult to find someone to just stare into oblivion for a long period of time, just because you asked them to. And yeah, I guess those people were supposed to be naked. I was a little weirded out by the idea, but I mean, models are supposed to be attractive, right? It couldn’t be too bad.

 

The perception, by the general public and shitty American eagle t-shirts, is that nude figure drawing is:

 

SNL's nude art class model sketch is the most accurate depiction of this I've seen to date.

SNL’s nude art class model sketch is the most accurate depiction of this I’ve seen to date.

A) SEXXXXY!!!

B) OMG those super hot models are totally gonna have sex with me!!!

C) I want to be a nude model and then chicks will look at my junk and have sex with me!!!

 

Guh. Buh. Arrrgh. No. Wrong.

 

 

I hate to say it, but oh man, those models were….not pretty. Think less Cindy Crawford and more Kathy Bates. Think less Ryan Gosling and more Zach Galafanackis…but older, and with presumably much saggier balls.

 

I understand body acceptance, I do. I’m jealous of people who are totally cool with themselves, just the way that they are. I wish I could be like that, but there’s a difference between being comfortable with your naked body and inflicting your naked body upon other people.

 

The population of figure models was mostly the latter. Lumpy, hippiesh, artsy types. They were usually pretty hairy. The dudes and the ladies.  A good number of them had terrible tattoos, usually of a wolf, or a moon or a wolf howling at the moon or one of those man or woman gender symbol things. Call me crazy but if there is symbol of a woman, on a woman, it seems redundant to me. That’s like tattooing the word ARM on your arm. I think they were trying to make some kind of point with those tatoos, but they just ending up looking forgetful.

 

My most memorable experience drawing a model was with a seemly delightful old man. He looked like he could have been someone’s grandfather. Old man nudity is not nudity I’m excited about seeing, but he appeared to normal otherwise, so at least I wasn’t afraid that I was going to get lice. Then he took of his robe. Old man, old dick, pierced balls.

 

Now, I know a thing or two about piercing. And I know a thing or two about dicks.

And what I know for certain, is that if you’re into that sort of thing, you can get a lot of sexual pleasure from piercing the head of the penis. Ergo, said ball piercing, was purely ornamental. I’ve seen stranger things, but not many.

 

To the models’ credit, figure modeling wasn’t nearly as easy as everyone thinks it is. You don’t get to sit in a chair for 5 minutes and just hang out. Usually, they had to drape themselves in awkward positions, or have their arms raised a certain way or stand up. Sometimes we’d do quick 5 minute poses but usually, sessions would go 15, 30 or 45 minutes. Have you ever tried to raise your arm above your head for more than 2 minutes? It’s pretty impossible if you’re a wuss like me. And if you’re reading this, you probably are.

 

If the posing itself wasn’t difficult enough, this class took place during the winter in Upstate New York. Like UP, upstate, where it blizzards and you don’t go to work for a week. The unfun, cold, boring part of Upstate New York. Those models were there, naked, in a drafty uncarpeted classroom. They usually had a couple of heat lamps pointed at them, so it gave them a similar glow to that of a rotisserie chicken. Say what you will about those models, but they certainly earned their money.

 

One would think that being exposed to this kind of awkward nudity would be jarring, and it was, at first. Quickly though, you just sort of forgot about it. Imagine a medical school student dissecting a cadaver. Terrifying initially, but soon you develop a sort of clinical detachment.

I didn’t really see the dicks anymore. I saw the lines around the dicks.

It really wasn’t so bad.

 

This detachment later prepared me for one of my first jobs, where I had to crop out the pubic hair of before and after breast cancer surgery photos. I was cool with seeing pubes and titties. What was a lot harder to deal with was seeing the pictures of lumpy scars where titties used to be. You had to stay detached…but, oh man, just thinking about it makes me want to go get a mammogram…like right now.

 

Anyway, there you have it. Nude figure drawing: Not sexy at all. No hot models, no sex with classmates and it’s a hard, shitty job. I did actually learn a few things. Drawing live figures really did make my technical drawing skills much better. At the end of the day dicks and pussies are just dicks and pussies. It was largely a positive experience.

And if there’s one thing I’ll always remember, it’s that shining beacon of light, reflected off the stainless steel barbell, that was pieced through an old man’s ball skin.

-FIN-

 

 

Note to any employers that may run across this article:

Yes, this article may be a bit racy, but know this: Figure drawing is a required class to graduate with a BFA in graphic design. As one cannot aquire a design job without a degree, YOU fair employers, are the ones that caused me to stare, for long periods of time at an old man’s balls…So please don’t fire me.

Apr 11

HOW TO!: UnScene’s Weekly Column About How to Do a Thing – by Rich Karski

karski

HOW TO! #9: How to be more confident in your appearance!

by Rich Karski

 

Welcome to another edition of Rich Karski’s HOW TO!: the weekly online column that makes an honest effort at molding its filthy garbage readership into human-mimicking trash-golems that can slowly assimilate into society undetected.

 

This week we’re back to turning the microscope onto you, the reader, and figuring out where you fuck up daily and trying to unfuck that terrible part of you that everybody talks about when you’re not around. I went back to the google, and tried to find what the general public hated most about themselves, and to nobody’s surprise it was their appearance. Well, the problem here is that most of us are ugly as hell and very unpleasant to look at. This is just a fact of life, because our ugly parents fucked and made ugly babies and now we’re stuck walking around looking for ugly people to fuck us to make more ugly babies who will then whine on the internet about being ugly. Although by that time the internet will probably be in their brains or controlled by the government or weaponized by spiders. Anyway, I already taught you how to find another ugly person to make these shitty spider-slave future-babies with, but today’s lesson is for you. So you don’t like the way you look, and that’s because you probably look like one of the puppets from The Dark Crystal had a baby with a fart. And that’s okay, because you’re always going to be hideous. What we’re here for today is to get you to accept that and own your disgusting visage with the help of misdirection and sleight of hand. So grab your fat person airline seatbelt extension and buckle up because today I’m going to teach you

 

***HOW TO BE MORE CONFIDENT IN YOUR APPEARANCE***

 

Step One: Distracting From Your Awful Face

pizzafaceA lot of your low self-esteem probably comes from the terrible nicknames you’ve gotten based on your horrible facial features. Nicknames like “Unibrow” and “Pizza Face” and “Hog Nose” and “Lazy-Eyed Mike” can be very hurtful no matter how accurate they may be. What you want to do is create a less offensive defining feature that overshadows these other, shittier ones, so that when people need to describe you, their go-to is something YOU control. There are a lot of easy ways to achieve this.

Personally, I grow my hair long so that when people describe me, it’s easier to say “the kid with the long hair” than “the kid with the dumb scars and weird moles and fucked up nose and gross pre-pubescent mustache.” Now you may not have the ability to grow your hair into a luxurious mane envied by gods and men alike, and that’s fine. Maybe you’re going bald. Well if you’re going bald, you can still grow out the hair you have left. Consider a long braid or even a rat-tail. “Rich but aren’t those kind of lame?” Yeah, if you’re not doing it IRONICALLY you fucking dolt. That way you’re controlling the discourse about your hair. “Haha yeah doesn’t it look ridiculous?! Far more ridiculous than my dead tooth I MEAN… I SAID NOTHING!” Whatever you do, just don’t throw on a goddamned fedora and assume that suddenly makes you interesting. Fedoras have already been ruined by men’s rights activists, ska bands, and lesbians in musicals. Trust me, it’s much better to be thought of as “Jerry with the harelip” than “Jerry with the fedora.”

 

Step Two: Fitting Your Clothes

This is where we run counter to the thinking in step one. You’re going to want your clothes to accent your body type in a way that says “I am aware of how I look, and I need you to be EVEN MORE AWARE of this.” If you’re heavyset, this means tight-fitting clothes and a liberal amount of flesh protruding from underneath them. Belly shirts, skinny jeans, and any shorts that would get you kicked out of the post office will do. Why should you feel uncomfortable with the way you look when you can make the people around you even more uncomfortable? You need to sexualize your obesity to turn it from a source of shame to a source of power. Let it seep out all over creation under shirts and shorts that are merely single XL, making you look like someone tried to pass two pizza’s worth of dough through a toilet paper roll. Maybe ice your nipples up before you leave the house too. No matter what people on the street will look at you and think “wow, gross” so your best way of combating this and winning the battle is to make them never want to look again.

If you’re a very skinny person, you want to go the complete opposite route. Start out by wearing clothes that are far too large for you. Then, purchase the exact same clothes in incrementally larger sizes, and wear a larger size every week so that everyone thinks you are getting even smaller. This will cause people to worry about you, because they will think you are disappearing and then maybe you can milk their concern for a free meal or two. If conning people into giving you free stuff doesn’t make you feel better about being sickly thin, then I don’t think I can help you.

 

Step Three: Accessorizing

This is probably the most important step towards making yourself feel more confident, because it involves the least actual effort. Picking out accessories to increase ones confidence goes back to the days of the Pharaohs when the weak idiot Pharaohs who couldn’t even grow beards because they were losers or women would make beards out of gold and paint snakes on them and say to the people “if I’m so weak then why do I have this golden snake beard? The fuck outta here…” Nowadays a beard just isn’t going to cut it because to be honest beards are pretty lame and gross and I’m not saying that just because I can’t grow a beard.

You need your accessories to exude confidence and speak for themselves. Try wearing a bandolier. A bandolier says “I have a LOT of bullets, and maybe one of them is for you.” Another good option is to wear a gauntlet with a bird of prey like a falcon or a hawk perched on it. This says “I am a master of beasts and I don’t even care that this bird has shit on my arm a whole bunch.” If you couple the bird of prey with an eye-patch, that says “Look this bird doesn’t even like me that much, and I’m the one who feeds it. Imagine what it would do to you, pal.” Maybe these things aren’t necessarily your style, but try to be creative, and try to be intimidating. Maybe you want to wear chains like a spooky ghost, or carry a samurai sword like someone who gets divorced a lot. Pick what works for you, but just try your best to make it terrifying so you can feed off the fear of those around you.

 

Step Four: Commanding Respect

If you’ve followed the first three steps, this one should not be hard. By now you should look like some kind of badass WWE wrestler who is not to be trifled with, which should gain you the respect of man and beast alike. However, in order to fully gain this respect you need to act like you deserve it. It’s not enough to look the part; you have to ACT the part as well. Sure, maybe you’re walking around with a hawk on one arm and a shotgun slung over your shoulder, but if you’re not acting like an entitled dick to everyone that you meet how are they going to know you mean business? You should be constantly sneering. Act disinterested and turn away from people in the middle of a sentence. Knock stuff over on purpose and don’t pick it up. If you’re wondering if any particular behavior is too dickish or not dickish enough, just ask yourself “Is this something a cat would do?” because cats are the biggest assholes and people fucking love them regardless. Act like a large mean cat, and you will be treated like a king.

 

There you have it, four easy steps on how to be more confident in your appearance. Now throw on your halter top and go threaten some guys with a sword.

Apr 10

The Unsolicited Advice Column: Part 2 – by Ted Pettingell

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The Unsolicited Advice Column

- by Ted Pettingell

A weekly advice column with questions ripped from the headlines (of social media) and answered by our own delightful little scamp who probably hates you, Ted.

 

 

 

The numbers don’t lie people. I know I said in an earlier article that this advice column was the most read thing on UnScene Comedy, but that was just me assuming no one actually reads anything on this website. I was informed by my editor, some woman, (Editor’s Note: Some Woman (SW) is responsible for putting 90% of the punctuation in this article, including all of the question marks…in an advice column…where people ask questions…Seriously, Theodore? I can’t believe I have to keep doing this.) that as it turns out my work is in fact the most viewed, so how about that.

Anyway, that brings me to my next point. Despite all the hits, my work is still the least retweeted, least liked, and least shared thing on UnScene. Goddamnit my computer really wants it to say unseen. So, somehow at the same time I am both the most popular and least popular writer on this site. What’s up with that people? Are you afraid to admit you love me? I know that feeling, if I could give myself some advice it would be admit you love yourself. But thats not how this works and I must continue to bare this cross of only giving advice and never receiving it. Well, if you want to be a bunch of hipsters about this then fine. Don’t tell anyone because its only a matter of time before I’m a pop culture phenomenon. Then you can stop hating me for being better than you and start hating me for being a sell out.

This is the second round of advice for the week because I missed last week. Why did you miss last week Ted? Were you lost in a fog of existential depression? Yes, I was, but no, that isn’t why I missed last week. My computer was broken, it still is broken but now I have a new shinier computer. Here’s the deal people. If you don’t want to be part of my ever expanding popularity that is fine, but if you like my advice column then just give me a dollar. If everyone who likes these does that then I will be able to afford a new computer every week. And I’m going to need them because I won’t just be writing like the F. Scott Fitzgerald of advice, I’ll be drinking like him too. And when you are that drunk all the time you are going to piss on some laptops. How can you not? You put them in your lap and they just feel so warm. Then nature just takes its course. Speaking of nature taking its course on to the advice.

 

First up today is @SheenaB_ she asks #Question : Do you think people date as a leisure activity or with an actual purpose?

Always with the relationship questions… Doesn’t anyone on the internet care about something other than getting their dicks wet/being a dick wetting station. Okay lets give this a shot. Can’t the answer be both? Maybe you have a purpose and its just a good old fashion leisurely boning. I would really hope there is a purpose. Why else would you be on a date, because you enjoy the company of other people? That just sounds gross. Also why did you call it a leisure activity? That makes it sound like a rich white man activity and according to your twitter picture, you are not that at all. Things typically described as leisure activities are golf, yachting, and denying civil rights to people who look like your profile picture. I hope that answered your question.

 

Our second question is from ‏@answerbag Should churches be taxed? Why/why not?

Holy fuck, I wish you hadn’t thought of that name first. Answer Bag, that would be a way better name for these things. Its also what I’m going to start calling know-it-alls behind their backs. Right now, I would say yes they should be taxed. With America’s growing deficit we should expect everyone to do their patriotic duty and chip in and pay taxes. I will feel this way until the United States Government gives myself and the Church of Ted tax exempt status. I know I haven’t filled out any of the actual forms to get a tax exemption but I’ve already got the messianic robe and shouldn’t that be enough? Anyway, that’s not going to stop me from claiming religious expiation this year. Because if I’m guilty of anything its loving to much… and tax evasion.

One more for the road, @PlayStationIE What is the best multiplayer experience you’ve ever had?

That isn’t exactly a question asking for advice but lets see what I can do. It was in my younger wilder years, I had been invited to a party by a friend and arrived under the assumption that it was to be attended by many other friends of mine. I was mistaken. When I arrived I knew almost no one there. For most people that would be a set back but myself be a master of social grace had not problem integrating myself into this new social setting. These people were not like my regular crew of companions. They were more refined, more cultured. After an evening of conversation and keg PBR, I left with an experience and a few new acquaintances. The next week one of these new acquaintances invited me to another party and this one was even more of a ruckus then the last. The early part of evening was spent imbibing plum wine. Eventually, a small group of us retired to an upstairs bedroom because the boorish nature of the many of the party goers had driven us away. As the week before, there was much conversation of art and life but eventually things took a turn for the sensual. Talk led to light petting and fingers through the hair, which led to a kiss. A simple kiss, and from that kiss, there was a spark in that room. And where there had been 5 or 7, (who was counting?) individuals, there was just now one being, one soul. And that one soul had the gayest, leatheriest, bondage orgy your mind can imagine. I hope that answers your question.

 

Well that was a journey. Tune in next week. I say tune in because I assume I will have a tv show at that point.

Forever Yours,
Ted Pettingell

Apr 08

Nixon’s Neurotic Musings: Interview Questions No One has Asked Me

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Nixon’s Neurotic Musings:
Interview Questions No One Has Asked Me.

by James Nixon

 

 
 

Has Kanye Changed Your Process?

Professional KanyeMost definitely, I am the greatest! So that’s where I start. I’m better than you and you need me.  I live off your attention and validation but I’m the greatest.  I got that TJ Maxxx swag bitches!  Ya, I added an X to the Tj Maxx name cuz when I try on some discount Ralph Lauren’s I expect 3 moms to eye fuck me and one to help me change out of ’em.  Boom. Gonna need a dressing for that pussay-ay after I reck that mutha in the changing room!  Shush baby, they just jealous, now shut up while I press yo tittays into the wooden slats in the door. Ima get those slats to tweak dem nips while I smash dem hips. Am the muthafuckin gift to all ya’ll!

But no, I wouldn’t say Kanye has really done anything to change my process.

 

 

Like what you see? Get all the James Nixon you can handle at www.nixoncomedy.com!

Apr 07

The Unsolicited Advice Column: Part 1 – by Ted Pettingell

t_pettingell_unscene

The Unsolicited Advice Column

- by Ted Pettingell

A weekly advice column with questions ripped from the headlines (of social media) and answered by our own delightful little scamp who probably hates you, Ted. 

 

 

Hello friends and followers. Who am I kidding you are are all mostly followers. I would apologize for missing a week but a brain injury I received as a child prevents me from feeling remorse.  So this week you luck out and get two advice columns, thats twice the Ted you normally get and hopefully this will keep you from enduring another Rich Car Keys article. That’s right I’m calling out old Car Keys again because it’s been brought to my attention by my editor, some woman, (Editors Note: I hate you.) that in Car Keys latest piece journalistic tripe he besmirched me. Not only that but he didn’t have the decency to use my real name and instead used a vague pseudonym, like the cowards he is. Well, Ted haven’t you been referring to him as Rich Car Keys? Yes, I have but that is only because I’ve given up on stopping my computer from autocorrecting his name. Now I don’t want to get into a weekly internet pissing contest where each week we spend half our articles taking shots at one another. So I’m going to be the bigger man and declare myself the winner right now. On to the advice.

 

Today’s first question comes from @HunainNaseer he asks:

I have a #Question. What makes you want to stop and read an article as you scroll down a page?

Well sir I can tell you one thing that will make me not want to read an article, a by line with Rich Car Keys name in it. That’s the golden rule. If you need more advice on picking out what you stare at instead of being the cubicle slave you are here are some more guidelines.

-Does the article promise advice on how to score chicks? If yes keep reading.
-Is this article a recipe for BBQ sauce? If it is, you are doing fine.
-How Nude are the celebrity photos it claims to contain? Very nude, then you are in it to win it.
-Was it written by a woman, thats a read (red) flag (I made a Pun)? Hopefully, its just a detailed account of her darkest sexual fantasies and not anything about being treated as an equal or what dresses she wore that week. (Editors Note: Look, I only did that 127 Dresses Blog for a month. I’d love to get started on that Darkest Sexual Fantasies Blog, just don’t be surprised when none of them actually include you.)

Well, I hope that helped. On a side note in your twitter picture you look like a fat version of my friend Ahmed. So you got that going for you.

 

Our second question comes from @emilywynne4. She writes:

If I put some sort of video on my YouTube channel, like a vlog or something ,would you guys watch it ?!? #question

Short Answer is No. Long answer is I would rather read anything written By Rich Car Keys, even if it was written while he was drunk on Dollar Store gin and cowardice. Did I mention he’s a coward and an alcoholic? Now I don’t want to knock any cocktail made with Dollar Store gin and cowardice. That is a mighty fine drink but I would like to point out Mr. Car Keys enjoys them to excess. He drinks so many of these things he has made flop sweat a recession proof industry. Here is my favorite version of the drink.

-1 Part dollar store gin. I prefer Debtors Prison Choice.
-1Part cowardice. If you can’t find flop sweat you can always use urine rung out of jeans.
-1 Part Fresh Lime Juice
-1 Part agave nectar.
Shake well and serve over rocks in a glass with a salted rim and you’ve made yourself a classic marga-retreat.  Another Pun!

 

Last Question! @RichKarski asks:

Hey @IamDonCheadle big fan quick question. What’s your favorite dog? Mine is my dog but I think other dogs are great too.

Is this what you spend your time doing? Harassing national treasure and acting great Terrance Howard?  This guy was in Iron man, Hustle and Flow, probably something that taught us how racism is suppose to be bad. You need to grow up man. Now, I know I said I wasn’t going to spend half my article taking shots at you, so instead I spent the entire article doing that. Because as Omar Little once said, “You come at the king, you best not miss…”  I hope you learned your lesson.

Well, thats was Part One of this weeks Two Parter. Come back and read another one tomorrow… or the next day… or when ever my editor, some woman, (Editors Note: Some extremely talented, smart and funny woman who doesn’t even care that you have a third nipple,) gets around to posting it.

 

Your Friend and Mentor,
Ted Pettingell

Apr 04

HOW TO!: UnScene’s Weekly Column About How to Do a Thing – by Rich Karski

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HOW TO! #8: How to dispose of a body!

by Rich Karski

Welcome to another edition of Rich Karski’s HOW TO!: the weekly internet column that improves your life without ever feeding into the illusion that dinosaurs were real.

 

 

Typically in this space I try to teach my readers how to do things that will not only better their lives, but society as well. This is not one of those times. Sometimes, you need to be looking out for number one, and you may find yourself in a jam that requires you to operate outside of certain boundaries created by man-made constructs such as “decency” and “morality.” We will be operating on a separate plane, one where self-preservation rules and all other motives are secondary. “Wait, plane like airplane?” No, not like airplane. “So don’t you mean ‘plain’ then? Like the Great Plains?” No it’s still plane, but it’s like a math plane. “I think you’re using the wrong word.” Just shut up for a minute.

Anyway, what if one day you wake up and your world has come crashing down around you? You’re disoriented. You’ve blacked out due to intoxicants or insanity or rage or a mix of all three. As you try to piece together what happened the night before, you notice that you’re not alone. There is someone else in the room with you, and they’re not moving. Your first instinct is to call the police, let them do their jobs, and hope and pray that you didn’t do what you think you did. Well cut that shit out and take a deep breath. John Law isn’t going to need to go sniffing around in your damn business, because today I’m going to teach you:

HOW TO DISPOSE OF A BODY*

*Let me be clear. UnScene Comedy is NOT condoning murder or in any way trying to help you get away with murder. Sometimes, COMPLETEY INNOCENT people wake up next to dead bodies and need to find a way out of the situation. This is for those people.

STEP ONE: Figuring Out How Long Since It Turned From A Person Into A Corpse

hotdogThis is important for a lot of reasons. A fresh corpse is both a good and a bad thing. Why is it bad? Because it means you probably committed a murder or at the very least this person is dead because of something that you did. But that’s neither here nor there, the important part is you’ve got a dead body, and what the heck are you supposed to do with it? Well, one of the benefits of having a fresh dead body is mining the organs for cash. You’ve got to accept that you’re an outlaw now, and you’re going to need some money to get yourself a new name and place and probably some ice cream because things just got rough and you can use this as an excuse to have a cheat day. Luckily organs are worth a ton of money. Who is going to buy human organs? Adventurous eaters probably but more importantly other outlaws like yourself! This will be a fun team building exercise with your new underground brethren.

Introduce yourself to the crowd! But make up a new name because your old name has corpse all over it and it was probably a shitty name anyway because your parents never really loved you which is kind of what led you down this path where you end up waking up next to dead bodies. Right. On the flip side, if the corpse is super old, then don’t even worry about it! If it’s old enough then it’s probably already a skeleton and you don’t even have to get rid of it. You can just dress it up as a pirate and have a spooky new friend! Now, if the body is very recent or recent enough to still have a majority of its meat, we will need to move on to step two.

STEP TWO: Making The Body Transportable

Okay, it’s not enough to just leave the room and let somebody else find the body. Somebody knows you were in that room, and if the body isn’t you they are going to assume you put it there whether that is true or not. So how do you get the body out of there? First of all, DO NOT roll it up in a rug. Every time anybody sees a rolled up rug they think “Hey I bet there’s a body in there” because that’s what movies and TV have led them to believe because that is generally true. Secondly, DO NOT put sunglasses on the body and pretend it is still alive and having a really great time because then people will see your cool new friend and want to hang out with them because they would also like to wear sunglasses and have a really great time.

What you want to do is cut the corpse into pieces. Now, don’t think of it as dismembering a body. Think of it as turning one large body into many smaller bodies that are easier to fit into trash bags. If you can’t bring yourself to cut up a human body, there is also the option of bringing in a lot of hungry animals to eat it. The downside to this plan is that it will look very suspicious to anyone who sees you coming and going with a lot of animals and maybe they’ll think you’re starting a zoo and then they’ll want to see the zoo and even if you tell them it’s not finished they’ll be really excited for it to open and then probably call the cops when it never does. I guess you could always eat the body yourself, but if that’s a road you’re willing to go down then you really don’t need me to tell you how to do this sort of thing. You’ve already got it all figured out. If cannibalism isn’t your thing just yet, you’re going to want to stick to dismemberment, and a saw is the best way to do this because it’s faster and just holding any type of power tool makes you feel like you’re really getting something done. Once the body is dismembered it’s on to step three.

STEP THREE: Transporting The Body

I have told you this several times before, but it bears repeating: DO NOT TAKE THE BUS! It makes you look poor and gross and if you have a trash bag full of human body parts the other gross poor people might try to steal some thinking it’s low-grade pork. If you’re using trash bags to transport the body maybe just find a nearby dumpster and throw it in there because usually people only find bodies in dumpsters when they’re whole and it’s very rare that a dismembered body thrown in a dumpster is discovered not that I would know something like that I am just making assumptions what are you a cop?

If you’re transporting the body in suitcases, which is also common, DO NOT THROW THESE IN THE TRASH. If somebody sees a suitcase in the trash they open it to make sure there isn’t a body or a bunch of dildos in there. Usually there is. Don’t fall into this trap. If you’re moving the body in suitcases just go to the airport. Everybody has suitcases at the airport and nobody cares what’s in them. Hop on a plane, maybe take the body to a new city, and then leave the suitcases in the lobby of some hotel. Then see some sights! You’re a fugitive now, and you might as well enjoy it.

STEP FOUR: Dumping The Body

Now I already gave you some options in the sections above, but if you don’t feel comfortable dropping the corpse in a dumpster or leaving it at a Ramada, finding a suitable dumping spot is going to be your next priority. Most people choose the woods, and that’s all well and good but the woods are EXACTLY the type of place that people go to look for dead bodies. I would suggest hiding the body in plain sight. Find a house near yours that has fallen into disrepair and already has a bunch of other trash and junk in the yard. Nobody is going to notice a few extra trash bags or suitcases, right? If you don’t have any such homes in your area might I suggest leaving the body near a funeral home? They might think it just fell out of the truck or something and get real embarrassed and not tell anybody about it. Just remember, if you’re feeling really desperate it’s still not too late to just eat it.

STEP FIVE: Not Telling Anybody You Just Got Rid Of A Body

This seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how often bodies are found because someone just HAD TO FUCKING BLAB ABOUT IT! Keep your damn mouth shut. If a few days go by and nobody finds the body, don’t get cute like you’re home free and have a few drinks and start running your mouth. Chances are one of the people you’re talking to is going to be related to a cop or a corpse sniffing dog and they’re going to be like “Hey you should check out this dirty yard I think there’s a body there” and then all your work is for naught! Once you dump the body, just pretend that nothing ever happened and move on with your life never to speak of it again. Unless you ended up eating it, in which case your hunger for human flesh can never be satiated and you’re on your own pal because this isn’t a goddamned recipe column.

 

So there you have it!

Five easy steps on disposing of a body in the event that you should find one in your vicinity and need to ditch it fast. Now go out and make some questionable decisions but DON’T MURDER ANYBODY because I will find out and I will be real disappointed in you.

 

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