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Ladies, how do you feel about guys who own guns? : AskWomen
Then this is where you truly belong, at our unique and open-minded matchmaking service. Connect with men and women who share your passions and interests. Whether your love of guns is a hobby, or you love to hunt, or you just feel the pride in being able to protect yourself, you should find a partner in life who feels the same way you do! Cosmo talked to some women who love guns, some who loathe them, and a lot in between. And every woman agreed that she would want to know if the man she was dating owned a firearm. As a military Firearms Instructor it is absolutely the oppsosite with women and guns. I believe that women with guns are even more sexy. I bought my wife her first gun and she feels absolutely empowered. Women and guns are incredible, and the writer Gabby Markowitz, gotta say she is pretty hot. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PRO-GUN DATING SITE LAUNCHES FOR GUN-LOVING, NRA-SUPPORTING AMERICANSAPRIL 11, 2018 – Finding… Posted by Pro-Gun Dating on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 and now women are as likely to be killed by dating partners as by spouses. 82 Ibid. Additionally, current federal law does not prohibit people convicted of misdemeanor stalking crimes from having guns. 83 Stalking is typically defined as repeatedly following, harassing, or cyberstalking another person. See, e.g., Fla. Stat. § 784.048. Join the Gun Lovers dating community and meet other gun-loving singles like you. Have fun messaging, sharing photos and hooking up for a date on the range. Avoid those generic dating sites that don’t cater to gun-lovers like yourself. The Gun Lovers dating community is your place to connect, share and grow with other sharp-shooting singles! I view men who own guns very unfavourably, even though I spent my teenage years on farms around guns - and was in the army. I mean shit, if people are allowed to say that someone being trans is a 'dealbreaker' then I'm allowed to say gun owning guys are a giant NOPENOPENOPE where I'm concerned. Interests: guns. Displaying a list of all dating singles with a shared interest in guns, ordered by most recent activity. Register for a free account and login to view only the gender you are seeking in this list! Signup only takes seconds! Click here to sign up! When we were dating and it was getting serious, I told her I had something to show her and threw open the door to the closet where the guns were stored. I asked her if she had a problem with guns and, by the way, there is a loaded .45 next to the bed. This article is sexist- I know plenty of women who are fine with guns and (dating or married to) Bernie bro men who cant stand them. Reply. Casey says: September 28, 2020 at 07:49 . Please unsubscribe me from “Dating tips for 15 year old boys” ...
I miss the old edp, straight from the go edp
2020.10.21 05:38 lordsalmon55I miss the old edp, straight from the go edp
Seriously man. It’s so sad to see where he’s gone. I think it all started going downhill when he broke up with that girl he was dating. Honestly, about a few years ago, he was just some goofy ass dude who liked football, video games and jerking off (still and always will be a porn addict). Sure the shit he said towards women wasn’t great and I’ve always thought it was out of line, but he wasn’t really an incel; he was just one of those people with a bitches aint shit mentality. He was losing weight at one point, pretty successfully. I am genuinely shocked when i look back at his videos from about 3 years ago. Now he’s irredeemable. I keep watching because to me this is the jew chris chan (don’t know if anyone in this sub knows about him https://sonichu.com/cwcki). I just wish he’d go back to being that goofy loser we all knew and loved, but he’s gone for good. Let’s just hope this doesnt end in someones death (saying due to his worsening mental state and obsession with guns and gore).
2020.10.21 04:26 throwaway2749042092(19f) in a complicated situation with (20m) I dont know whats going on or what to do?
We met in January and became instant friends and had a lot in common and would talk about everything together then began to hang out in March as friends. Nothing crazy, we would vent to each other and had personal issues in common and we also had the same hobbies and got along really well and I liked being around him. So then we became FWB (I didn’t want a relationship because I didn’t have romantic interest in him at the time and I tend to be more interested in women) also we both have no experience so! I felt really safe with him because our emotional intimacy and it felt really equal and he seemed to share my feelings. Most of the time we got along really well but after we hooked up the first time he tweeted something pretty much saying he was finally gonna have sex with someone (he says its a joke) and when I told him how upset I was because I trusted him, he was really upset in return that I thought he would actually say something like that about me but I think I’ve had a guard up since then. We resolved VERY quickly and kept hanging out and hooking up, and a couple weeks later, (after some mushy gushy texts) he asked me to be his serious girlfriend and also invited me to go away with him on vacation and pressured for PIV sex at a time (which we still haven’t had BTW but we were doing everything else and we would discuss the possibility but I wasn’t ready). I said no because I didn’t want a relationship and he inferred I was a user and that made me really upset and I still question if I am a user. It was also awkward because we were basically best friends at the time. However the next time we hung out I felt pushed for sexual stuff, even though prior I said no due to him liking me a lot and me not wanting to lead him on, but he was being pushy when I saw him next BUT he apologized and it wasn’t super serious or anything but still it adds up. I started to get attached and really clingy, and would kinda like take care of him in certain ways and honestly vice versa. (he was also the only person besides family I would see during the COVID peak.. my mistake.) and when he didn’t ask for a relationship and got over the bad stuff and he started to act better I started to contemplate it and I wasn’t sure how I felt? He is the only guy I’ve reallt dated or talked to and the only person I’ve done anything with so I am confused about what my feelings mean. I feel bad because I would get emotional and hysterical SO OFTEN and would cry about tons of stuff which he had to put up with. And my feelings would fluctuate about myself, him, and the relationship so often. Sometimes I would also be kinda push/pull due to my confusion on everything so idk if that’s emotional abuse? However, I would start to get jealous of him starting to pursue other girls and after all that I asked to be exclusive and try things out because jealousy must be an indication that I like like him? And we basically dated and May and June. We broke up once in between due to me stopping physical intimacy and him being borderline forceful to continue which was VERY bad and hurt a lot but I took him back after a medium reading promised me things would end up perfectly (I know that is INSANE but its true.) Even though deep down I wasn’t even sure if I liked men or even trusted him I just thought if I am gonna be with a man its him and I would express my confusion on everything and he would stick around and try to make sense of things with me, which is really nice, and he is really nice almost all the time. Later in June we broke up and I said maybe my gut is saying no because I am gay and really in denial, which he didn’t take well. I didn’t talk to him for a couple days after (he threw up and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and it made me nauseous) and that didn’t go well. So I talked to him again and he was being really nice and understanding and he asked if we could still see each other and hook up and I didn’t know what to do so I said yeah. So we did that and I would feel HORRIBLE after (but good during.) idk why but its confusing because with him I feel decent but when we are apart or after I see him I feel off. So then he started to seek out other women and would post about it like after a month of that, which really upset me idk why, so I tried to get distance. He told me he was on dating apps “as a joke” and he still wanted to see me and do all that. This is July. I would be distant but also stayed in contact? I was attached and secretly I still had these hopes of getting together and everything making sense and working out and I didn’t know how to deal. And I feel I have invested a lot and I get jealous and don’t want another girl to get the “good him” as selfish as I seem. He started talking to another girl with the same name as me (my name is not super common) and after that I told him I only want to see him in friend groups on occasion and he was absolutely hysterical. He told me he would be a good boyfriend and how he loved me and valued me and I didn’t know what to do, so he went out with the other girl the next day but he said he wasn’t looking for sex he just wanted to meet someone new but he did let everybody know he got in a car wreck on his way there. Then she and him didn’t work out and he begged for me back and I said no because I knew deep down he tried to have sex with the other girl and we don’t have a healthy relationship. BUT I WASNT DATING HIM AND SAID NO SO WHY DO I CARE SO MUCH? And after that I wouldn’t talk to him but after a while in August I agreed to see him AS FRIENDS. And he promised me he was trying to be better and wanted us to work out and offered me to meet his friends, he took me out somewhere nice, the whole thing. And a part of me wanted to say yes because I really love him and he says he loves me I just don’t know what it means, because I am not really close to other males, family included and I don’t know what to do. So after a while I let that dwindle down and I told him we shouldnt speak, which was early September. It was hard because I am really attached and I don’t know what the best choice to make is. And I feel really guilty because if I was confused I shouldn’t have talked to him but at the time I thought it was the right thing to do. If I liked sex with him I couldn’t be gay. At the beginning of October he reached out and we talked things through and I told him about the positive and negative feelings I had for him and the guilt and shame I felt and he told me how wrong I was to criticize myself and all that good stuff. And started to be exclusive again. We have never been officially together. And at first it was really fun and I felt I was making him happy and I really missed him and all the good he brings. THAT DIDNT LAST LONG. I suggested a condom and he didnt agree. He said I should’ve asked directly, and I agreed to it at the time. It didn’t go in anyways so we are fine. In the moment I was like eh but then we fought about it, because I feel he should’ve said yes ASAP. and he kept apologizing and saying nothing bad happened and I was still upset and said we were being dumb and he said if I don’t wanna accept his apology I can fuck someone else. We made up shortly after because he is right I said yes at the time. I hide the relationship from some people obviously and he told me if I didn’t come out about it he would leave me, because we couldn’t see each other a lot due to sneaking around and I yelled at him that I said NO. And he says he feels put down due to my criticisms, yelling, and contemplating breaking up which makes me feel guilty. At that moment I planned to break up with him, because when we stopped seeing each other, he said in his boys groupchat “the new _______ is prettier anyways.” We broke up for a solid 5 minutes and I had a panic attack because I felt like a jerk? And I wanted to get back with him to fix the issue and I said maybe talk to a clinician together to see what’s wrong but tbh now I dont wanna I want him to go alone.
However since then we have been doing really good? Like this past week or so has been fine and I have been having a lot of fun! And through the entire relationship he has worked really hard and has done a lot of good for me and we have been through a lot together and I don’t think he is a bad person and we are really close so I feel nmw I do I am screwed. Most days are good but I am ALWAYS on my toes.
I know something is wrong and I want to know what! I think we both have bad tendencies but I can’t shake worrying about if I am a narcissist or if he is. I feel guilty for the following: -what if I realize I am a lesbian and I just made up my feelings for him? but i mean i didnt call him my bf i just felt out the situation and tried my best idk but i feel like i shoulda sorted myself out first. it seemed to hit me when he asked to be bf/gf. but also we only talked for like 2 months i feel like thats NOT that long but in total its been 7 months -i said i really wanted to stay friends after so I feel like a liar leaving,if I wasnt sure I should’ve just left him alone and it makes me feel so guilty, letting him talk me out of my gut, what if I am being dramatic, i feel like a user, a piece of me feels like i was experimenting with him, i knew he was inexperienced so i kinda feel like i preyed on him? idk, i wish i stuck to my guns but my attachment got the best of me, i feel he struggles emotionally and i feel like this will make things worse and idk what thatll look like like idk i shouldnt have let this get so far if i wasnt sure, i wish we just stayed friends, being push/pull and uncertain but i think we BOTH dragged it out and he knew what he was getting into. Idk why he would pursue knowing my issues and I worry that may not happen because I feel like I am an abuser. He says there’s no abuse and hes really happy and I just have anxiety. Maybe I am dramatic sometimes and kinda can be moody. I tried telling him we may be trauma bonded because I think we have both been bad to each other but he says its not true and idk what to think. and lately mutually we have both gotten VERY possessive which worries me. I have no prior relationship experience. I feel bad staying or leaving. and I will miss him. TL;DR! I think I am in a bad relationship and I feel like an abuser and idk what to do.
2020.10.20 23:12 throwrabopbopI (M 25) get vidid sexual thoughts about children. Who can I fix myself?
Hi this is horrible so throwaway for obvious reasons. I don't know where to ask or what to search for help. For a long time, I have found myself attracted to young girls. I have never acted on it and never will. I purposely only date women with in 2 or so years of my age. I am not just going to go date an 18 year old. I won't date anyone with children or a job with kids. I don't watch porn anymore because a lot of it is acting like young girls. I am so disgusted in myself so I try not to engage. I am careful to not be around kids. I broke up with my girlfriend because she coached a children's sport. I am cautious of what I watch on tv and everything I do. But it is still so bad. I get these vivid fantasies for lack of a better word. I see myself raping a little girl as I walk by her in the street. I try to get the thoughts out of my head but I can't. I have nightmares of myself hurting them. I am giving myself anxiety. I have thrown up and had horrible pain attacks because of these thoughts. I would never do anything to a child. I am so cautious to make sure I am never near them and see them as little as possible. I live in the city so I see them a lot on my way to work. Children have a right to exist I just don't want to be near them. Its getting to the point where I don't want to leave my house. I am so scared of these thoughts. Its not a voice telling me to so something but these scenes that play in my head. I also have horrible dreams about being on fire or getting in car crashes. Its triggered just be the existence of kids. I will hurt myself before I harm a child. I carry a gun now and always keep it with me incase I get too bad. I was a victim of sexual abuse as a young kid. I hate myself for these thoughts. Its at the point where I can barely leave my apartment. I can't think. I can't sleep. I want to see a doctor. Maybe help control the anxiety but I feel gross and I don't want to tell anyone. Please tell me what I can do.
2020.10.20 07:36 SinCityInADressRealizing I don’t like my boyfriend as a person
He’s an intense trump supporter even tho he hasn’t stated I like trump it’s obvious we were sitting eating dinner one night and then some how we got on the conversation of presidents and he brought up how Trump isn’t star struck by celebrities and Obama was and I didn’t understand why he pointed that out but listening to all the Biden jokes he makes it pretty obvious who he’s voting for I personally am not a fan of trump but hey to each their own My boyfriend also thinks covid is a scheme to gain control of Americans and if you got the democrats an inch they’ll take a mile and it’s a hoax He’s a very proud liberal trump supporting gun owner with a black girlfriend and has only dated black girls so I’m kinda eh on that now like ?? Idk doesn’t seem right We were driving getting dinner the other night we were in a busy parking lot and a lady pulled out in front of him after we had been sitting for a few minutes he says 30 but he’s a drama Queen he honked his horn and followed her super close until she turned to get on the high way flicked her off and called her a bitch and his reasoning was she shouldn’t she cut me off and my response was wow and shock and I explained to him how dangerous that was like People get shot and stuff for stuff doing like that and he’s like well you don’t drive so you don’t understand and I explained to him like yeah I don’t drive yet but that was unnecessary those few minutes sitting in a parking lot and being cut off making you act like that is crazy He says he buys guns because the government will try to take them some day and I told him how fucking crazy that is but he said tons of Ppl think like him I don’t think his family is supportive that he only dates black women He has a very know it all attitude like you say anything and he’s spewing facts when you didn’t ask or You say a fact and he’s like telling you more Facts Idk I just realized or I’ve known and I’m finally Over all of it idk
2020.10.20 04:09 WhiskyTequilaFinanceConfessions of a former anti-gun voter:
If you grew up with firearms, don’t understand why people oppose the 2nd Amendment, why they vote for poorly written gun control laws, why the liberal are anti-gun, or who don't understand how to reach your wife/GF/friends on why 2A rights are so important – this post is for you. This is how someone who wasn’t raised around guns grew up to firmly believe in strict gun control, and how she came to change her mind. Tl;dr - Arguing gun control with someone that didn't grow up with them only works if you meet them where they are instead of being mad they aren't where you want them to be. If all you want is ideas on how to argue, skip to the numbered part at the bottom. I grew up in a town where cows outnumbered people, and we mostly grew corn – there weren’t many cows. People didn’t lock doors, “crime” was the football team toilet-papering the coaches’ house. Guns were owned by the police, military, and hunters. The idea of having a gun to protect our home from bad guys would have made as much sense as having a cactus for elephant protection. Bad things happen in Hollywood movies, not in real life. That was my reality until high school. The sport of marksmanship, the idea of shooting as a hobby, range day with friends - no more existed than competitive video gaming, fire-spinning or underwater basket weaving. Watch that point carefully – it’s not a judgement that people “shouldn’t” do those things, it is complete white-space to the idea they exist. Dating myself a bit, my sophomore year of high school was marked by the Columbine shootings. Now my list of firearms owners expanded to police, military, hunters and mass murderers. Bad things didn’t happen to good people, until every news station carried a 24/7 loop of bloody smeared handprints under a broken window left as children that looked like me fled a school just like mine. Subsequent shootings only served to cement that fear, and did nothing to add any factual information into my viewpoints. At that point, I could have identified a revolver as the ‘gun from the old western movies’, a pistol as ‘a cop’s gun’ and from there everything was either ‘a weapon you hunted with’ or ‘assault weapon for the military’ – and “assault weapon” was equivalent to saying “fully automatic weapon”. My 20s brought me to Chicago, my list expanded to police, military, hunters, mass murderers, gang members and people afraid of gang members. My view expanded, and I understood ownership for home defense now. Still incomplete though – the sport doesn’t exist, “automatic weapons” wouldn’t be practical for home defense. I did not willfully dismiss evidence contrary to my belief, I had no evidence at all. My 20s also taught me how brutally effective firearms were for suicide. Multiple funerals didn’t change my view on general firearm ownership, but it certainly cemented a solid fear of them. My friend circle expanded, now I knew police officers and military and knew they owned firearms – though I’d never seen them. I respected that completely, but still believed it was a skill you were taught professionally, and the NRA was who taught you to hunt. Normal people didn’t just learn to go shoot a gun, where would you learn anyway? Looking back, I did know several people who owned collections but it was never spoken of in front of me, so no positive role model to ask for information. Time marched on and more violence, active-shooter training in my offices, gang wars, the Bundy militia standoff, the rise of the alt-right movement, armed police on hand during layoffs, domestic terrorist attacks, Nazi marches in the streets and a steady diet of media that reinforced the belief that any weapon you couldn’t hunt with was “an assault rifle” which still equated to “automatic weapon”. Was I wrong? Yes, I was. But understand – every belief I held that was anti-gun was held in the firm belief that my vote was taking weapons away from terrorists and actively protected my family. I never saw responsible gun owners as acceptable collateral damage, I genuinely believed that I was voting for laws that protected their rights, while taking weapons away from criminals. How do you argue with someone like me? Someone who genuinely believes their actions will protect their family? Who literally doesn’t have enough factual information in their view to understand the flaws? That has guns as either “professional tools” or “things to be afraid of” and no other category? To be fair, much of this is more specific to women, but there’s a lot of us out there and women protecting their kids are known to do things like lift cars off them. Drive us to vote – or teach us to shoot – we’ll defend with equal viciousness either way. What doesn’t work:
Getting angry/defensive/raising your voice – The instant you’re angry, you’re dangerous to me. The minute I decide you’re dangerous is the minute I stop hearing anything you say. I will tell absolutely any lie necessary to placate you so that I can safely extract myself from the conversation. If I know you well I might give you a second chance, if you’re a stranger then it’s over. Is it fair? Probably not, but it’s kept me alive more than once, so I’m running with it.
Countering my opinion with insider terminology – Nobody likes feeling stupid, or admitting they don’t understand something. Arguing for the flaws in a particular weapons ban based on ballistics, or fire rates, or incorrect terminology or everybody knows that is more dangerous anyway might be factually accurate, but if I don’t understand the point you’re making then it’s lost. Building from the comments - it is not wrong to correct objectively inaccurate information, it's a fairly solid tactic to start with verifiable facts instead of hot-button topics. But if I tell my Sales VP his commission check is wrong because 'the accrual got posted on local format instead of ISO 8601, it'll flip next month', my answer is useless to him. Whereas 'the sale got input for 08/07/2020 instead of 07/08/2020, so you'll see it in next months' check' is identical and useful.
Attributing malice – My opinions were held from lack of information, or misinformation – never malice. I never saw the rights of a responsible gun owner as acceptable sacrifices, or that my ability to protect my family should come at the cost of you protecting yours. If you believe I’m malicious, then the conversation changes to placating you rather than educating me. Calling me a libtard and dismissing me as stupid might be satisfying, but accomplishes nothing useful.
Ask questions, and counter with approachable answers – The person who asked why I opposed assault weapon ownership got to teach me a little about weapon calibers and the idea that people buy parts to build their own firearms, so something could look capable of stopping a tank and be a caliber that could barely stop a deer. He didn’t fully change my mind, but he gave me enough to start recognizing the flaws in what I read.
Relate it to something they understand – The person who stopped me dead in my tracks asked me how I felt about back-door abortion restrictions like closing all but one clinic in a county, or scare tactics like “partial birth” garbage, or the idiot legislator that tried to argue embryonic pregnancies can be re-implanted successfully. He made the point that people who knew nothing about the subject, weren’t affected by the laws and understood none of the science shouldn’t be writing bills about it because it wouldn’t fix the problem anyway. He didn’t tell me my opinions were wrong, he taught me to look at the motivation and ethics of the people writing the laws. He taught me the questions instead of giving me the answers.
Be an approachable for information – Had any one of my friends said ‘I love target shooting, and I see some serious flaws in how the law they’re trying to pass will actually work and how it will affect me, happy to answer questions from anyone that wants to know more’ – I’d have asked in a heartbeat. I’d have listened to a trusted source, but I never knew I had one to ask. I don’t mean put a flashing sign on the front lawn, or risk your own safety – but don’t let the Proud Boys speak for you either.
Focus on safety, not on putting a gun in their hands – The person who finally broke my fear and ultimately taught me the fun of range day didn’t do it by dragging me there. He simply said that there were several loaded weapons in his home and asked if I’d like to learn to safely handle them if I came across one. Of course I wanted to learn safety. That led eventually to a range trip where he loaded a single .22 round and said if I hated it then we’d go home, and he’d be proud of me for trying it.
That last point was January 2020. 10 months later, I just wrote y’all War and Peace, range day is date night, and I’ve gone on to convince several other people to conquer their fear and take lessons too. I know exactly why those bans won’t make me and mine safer, and I’ve got a whole new set of skills that just might God forbid that day ever comes. If you've managed to read this far, hopefully something in this was useful. I'd love to hear ideas from other converts too. What changed your mind on gun ownership? Current politics sure, but what else?
2020.10.19 23:47 _Revelator_Clarkson's Columns: Down with Cruise Ships & the Aston Martin Aston Martin DBX Review
Sir Attenborough and St. Mark's can breathe a sigh: loathsome cruise liners are sinking at last By Jeremy Clarkson (Sunday Times, Oct. 18) A public information ad that nobody much paid attention to when it first appeared last year started doing the rounds last week. It suggested that girls who can no longer be ballet dancers should think about retraining for a career in cyber-technology. This made a lot of young people very angry, and I'm not sure why. Covid-19 forced theatres to close. So it's pointless sitting at home, banging your fists on the floor, saying, "I want to be a ballet dancer". It'd be like mewling and puking with rage because you can't be a town crier or a switchboard operator. Or a cruise ship steward. We were treated last week to the most joyous and uplifting spectacle. An aerial photograph of five gigantic liners being broken up for scrap in a Turkish shipyard. I gazed at it for several minutes, feeling all warm and fuzzy at the thought of how these hideous eyesores would never again ruin anyone's view of St Mark's or the Sydney Opera House or a Norwegian fjord. With their rear ends removed, you could see into the rabbit warren of their interiors and imagine how much misery had been generated. The loneliness. The diarrhoea. Let me illustrate my hatred of these gigantic floating vomit buckets with some numbers. In a typical week, a liner with 3,000 people on board will produce more than 200,000 gallons of sewage and a million gallons of grey water, teeming with body fluids, eczema flakes and HRT-flecked sick. Legally, all of this can be pumped into the sea. Along with the contents of all the bins. It was reported in the Financial Times last year that the luxury cruise operator Carnival's fleet alone produces more emissions of sulphur oxides than all of Europe's 260 million cars. Sir Sir Attenborough--a man so respected that they knighted him twice--was banging on in his recent Netflix eco-rant that we must all give up meat, but what's the point of taking that one small and unpleasant step if Wilbur and Myrtle are still allowed to fill the seas with their turds and the sky with enough carbon to make half a dozen Boeing Dreamliners? What has always fascinated me about these ships, though, is not the damage they do to the sky and the fish: it's the fact that they're full of drunk, weird people and there's no police on board. Between 2011 and 2015, 116 people simply disappeared while on a cruise. That may explain why sea levels are rising: because of all the dead plastic women who've been thrown into it by jealous husbands. By law, there must be a person on board with some kind of medical certificate. But who's to say the certificate wasn't issued after the person had spent six months in a remote village, administering ground-up bones and potions as a pox doctor's clerk? And then there's the question of who's cooking the food. If you are a good chef, you will get a job at a top restaurant or hotel in a bright and vibrant city. If you are less good, you will end up in a burger van at the side of the A429 or at café in the provinces. So how bad to do you have to be to wind up making gravy on a cruise liner? I can't imagine, then, that life on board is much fun, but it's better than what happens when they let you off. The problem is that the brochures talk about all the exotic locations you'll visit, but the truth is you have to dock in a shipyard, and they're not exotic at all. I once watched a cruise liner disgorging its orange passengers onto Barbados. They'd doubtless read about how they'd meet Simon Cowell at the Cliff restaurant and dip their toes in a turquoise sea. But instead, they got off, climbed onto what looked like a train, but was in fact a converted Ford Transit van pulling some rickety wooden carriages, and were deposited on the other side of the docks, outside some not-at-all convincing chattel houses, where they bought Rasta hats, before it was time to get back on board and head to Trinidad. Sure, they could tell friends in the Harvester back home that they'd been to Barbados, and they had, in the same way that I could say I've been to Minneapolis because I once changed planes at the airport. Anyway, the photograph of all those liners being turned into kettles demonstrates that the cruise holiday, mercifully for all concerned, is coming to an end. Or is it? Because last week we were all treated to the unedifying spectacle of P&O's brand new ship, the Iona, which is bound for its home port of Southampton. Billed, hilariously, as an "excellence-class" liner, it can handle 5,200 passengers and even has its own gin distillery. It is like Prora, the Nazi-built resort, only uglier. It is said this giant will set off on its maiden voyage early next year, but I wouldn't bet on that. And even if it does lumber off to ruin the peace and tranquillity of a pristine spring morning, I wouldn't count on it being what you'd call "packed". Which makes me wonder. If it can't operate as a cruise ship and it can't be scrapped because P&O just spent more than £700m building it, what does the future hold for this 19-deck monster? Well, there was a plan recently to house migrants on ships while their paperwork is sorted out, but for reasons I can't understand, young people were cross about this too. So how's this for an idea. The government takes the Iona off P&O's hands, puts it in the middle of the North Sea, renames it the HMP Alcatraz and fills it with prisoners. Escape would be impossible. Overcrowding in the current prisons would ease. And all the robbers and rapists would get what the cry-baby lefties have been demanding for years: a choice of restaurants, four swimming pools and a spa. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If there's a bump in the road, you'll find it The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBX By Jeremy Clarkson (Sunday Times, Oct. 18) The Aston Martin DBX is an all-new car that will compete in a sector of the market where the company has never been before. And to make that strategy even riskier, this SUV is being built in a brand new, untested factory and being launched into showrooms that have seen significantly fewer customers since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Other small motoring manufacturers around the world--Lamborghini, Bentley, Ferrari and so on--are owned by big car companies, so they have access to all the latest technology and are cushioned to a certain extent from any virus-related problems. Whereas Aston Martin's owners include a man who made his fortune by selling trousers. He and a consortium of other businessmen have invested £500m in Aston, which sounds a lot, but that's roughly what Renault would spend on a new heater knob. And the money arrived, as did the new boss--poached from Mercedes-AMG--when the DBX was pretty much finished. It was therefore designed on a shoestring by a company whose share price was wearing margarine trousers on a slide into oblivion. Plans to make the DBX all-electric were shelved early on, and the proposed fitting of a new V6 hybrid postponed, so it has ended up with a 4-litre Mercedes engine and lots of Mercedes kit that was bang up to date--about 10 years ago. After such a difficult birth, I was not expecting it to be any good, but if I say that here you will be very angry with me, because not liking an Aston Martin in this country is illegal. It's like saying you don't like the Queen. You just do. You were born that way. So. Here goes. The first thing that surprised me about the DBX is its size. It's like Richard Osman, who you see sitting behind his desk on Pointless in the evening. You assume that because he's a man, he must be man-sized, but he isn't. He's taller than a telegraph pole. I had the DBX for five days, and in all that time I assumed it was the same length as a Porsche Macan. But in reality it's almost 2in longer than a Range Rover. It's much lower, though, and perhaps that's what makes it so handsome. Well, that and the pillarless doors and the huge 22in wheels. And the optional bonnet blades. And, best of all, the colour. It was very definitely black. But when the sun came out, it was a dark green. It was wonderful. I was also taken by the seemingly endless ways of tailoring your new DBX. You can choose what colour badge you'd like and what sort of stitching you have on the seats. There's even a Pet Pack, which gives you a rear bumper protector and a partition. And a Snow Pack. You can also have a safe under the front passenger seat and a gun cabinet in the boot. So one thing is for sure: while the price of the DBX is £158,000, by the time you've spent a week or two on the configurator it's going to be way more than that. High prices have been a problem for Aston in recent years, because the interiors of its cars never really felt special enough. That certainly isn't the case with this SUV. It's very good, chiefly because the manufacturer has ditched a recent move towards the square steering wheel and reverted to something circular. Some may criticise the ageing Mercedes infotainment system but, actually, it's from a time before all these systems got far too clever for their own good. It works well. What doesn't work so well is the way you use buttons to select the gears. If my memory serves, we first saw these on a Ford Fiesta concept car back in the early 1990s, and I remember thinking at the time: "Wow. These don't work at all." They still don't--they're too far away. What also doesn't work very well is the way the leather has been stitched so the seams are visible. As one reviewer said, it looks like botched plastic surgery, and it does, but there's another problem too. One of these seams, on the centre console, digs into your arm as you drive along and is very annoying. But it's not as annoying as the bumpiness of the ride. When I read that the DBX was fitted with 48-volt active anti-roll bars, I assumed it would glide along like a hovercraft. But it doesn't. Partly because of the big wheels, I suspect, it crashes hard into potholes, which makes it a bloody nightmare in London, and on the motorway it literally wobbles. If you try to sing in this thing to pass the time, you will get a very clear understanding of what's meant by vibrato. I cannot understand how this has happened. Aston must know that the people who will buy this car are likely to be in their fifties and sixties, and that people in this age group are long past the time when sleeping on the floor is an acceptable end to the evening, no matter how good the party was. Sure, the DBX is a fast and rewarding car when you are in the upper echelons of the rev range and the differentials are busy whizzing power to whichever wheel is best able to handle it. But nobody who wants an SUV wants to drive like this. They'd gladly put up with a bit more lean and a bit more understeer if it meant they could relax on the way home from work, rather than getting an idea of what it might be like to drive on a road made from corrugated iron. Off road? I don't know, to be honest, and you never will either, because although it has all the right tech to deal with the rough stuff, it sits on fat, fast, low-profile tyres, so the instant you show it a field of wet grass you'll know you're going home on foot. This is all very worrying because I'm heading to the point when I have to tell a nation of Aston fans that the new car is not much good. However, I genuinely have a problem with most of the boutiquey SUVs that have come along in recent years. The Bentley Bentayga is a lot better-looking after its recent facelift, but it's still no beauty. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is wilfully awful to behold. The Lamborghini Urus doesn't quite have the courage of its convictions. The Maserati Levante is pointless. The Jaguar F-Pace is good, but in a different, lower league, and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio serves as a constant reminder you should have bought the Giulia Quadrifoglio instead. So, when you look at the competition, the DBX starts to make sense. And it continues to make sense right up to the moment you remember the car that started this particular ball rolling 50 years ago: the Range Rover. The first is still by far the best. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And here's the Sun column: "Without insects we could all be dead in 50 years – we need to save them"
2020.10.19 16:19 notstartingshtiswearProving I am a fit mother
I have noticed I am being provoked to look unfit. I do not want to trigger another silent treatment or freeze out but I would like to prove my innocence and that I am being provoked into reacting to things they are not perceived slights I have no history of schizophrenia. Either I am married to an emotional sadist which as stated in my. Background I can work with but it is my fear that I am being led to slaughter and led to an ambush divorce. I need to know what kind of breathalyzer Urine tests, and any other tests I can do to prove my innocence. I need to prove I am not schizophrenic which is. (Something he keeps playing on YouTube during arguments “conversations in which I maintain my tone and volume only to become frustrated”) Any resources to call and get chat records from certain apps. I know this story sounds bizarre I am not looking to hear that I am a victim I am looking for facts to prove my innocence and I am not trying to hurt or condemn my husband but I can not sit back any longer to endure another scheduled disconnect or fake argument. I am spending precious time trying to figure everything that’s happening and our children need my focus so please even though my background is concerning I am not interested in portraying my spouse as evil and I want real advice. Background: I thought my marriage was in reconciliation. I admit I tried setting up profiles to catch my husband but that was due to trickle truthing. I let my time be consumed by looking up Julian codes on condoms and reviewing phone bills. By the time I resolved to give up. I guess I was in denial then anger then, negotiated, then accepted then became numb. I’ve offered certain scenarios because I believe I am with a conflict avoidant that has a high need of things. We are very sexually active he never said I was emotionally abusive until two weeks ago. Has not stated he needs space. In this journey I became very submissive, to the point I was very suggestive, this was due to the way I was treated for good behavior and stonewalling during “unbecoming behavior” I naively thought my H was a red pill person and so I subscribed to the reddit with a few other Reddit’s to try to understand his mindset. The point is I have become so permissive and submissive the fact that I am still incurring a weekly disconnect or detachment is becoming very worrisome. He has said things like I am a better pool player when I am sober. He has lectured me etc. When I was dropping our kids off to our day care company they could tell I was upset and I confessed it was a personal issue that I was trying to wrap my head around my spouse taking me to a location where he had refused to kiss me once. The same person I noticed there is the same person I was encouraged to hang out with. They are the same person that casually suggested that I meet them at a Alcoholic Anonymous meeting. I have been berated in public and also sexually by other women. In my efforts to salvage things I remembered that when we spoke about his indiscretions he mentioned the OW giving him a three way, he would never confess to anything I didn’t have proof of before hand. I managed to find accounts that linked to his preferences and adult sites and one recurring theme was cuckholding and submissive. I am naturally up for anything which is why I responded so diligently to the discovery. I took accountability as I felt to blame because I think affairs and their discovery takes the main focus off of the person that stepped out it makes them the villain so I tried to get to the actual root of the problem. I did make it about myself the first month and that is because I had suspected for a long time. During this time after those months I noticed he would jerk his head around anytime he saw a white SUV and when we would make love in the shower he brought up a particular persons name and how they looks so innocent but in fact very devious. I also asked a woman to lunch and during that time she was kind and informative but during that time she leaned in and berated me I thought this was a test to see if I was a dom or submissive. She was very helpful in trying to understand my husband but she seemed to have an idea of me way before hand she spoke about things as if she understood why I was “possessive” and here I was calmly telling her I loved my husband and I wanted to see him happy and I would never stand in the way of that happiness. That one person could not really be another’s everything. I stated that I could not understand the disconnects. ******Anyhow recently we were in a couples profile of ours and routinely he gives out our Kik one particular chat was deleted that was obviously active before I recognized the name and I admit I was very aggressive. I was desperate and panicking that nothing I was doing whether it be voluntarily or suggested was repairing the bond with my long time husband and best friend. I typed out that I was very resentful to share a man when it’s so apparent he is deleting chats. I demanded to know her name and I told her that we were not interested in her but we were in another woman (the woman I had coffee with) I stated this because I am open minded and if my husband is polyamorous but ashamed I will help him come to this realization. Anyways- I said some things I regret and am truley remorseful she kept her calm and said do not “sass me” she also said “your blank is trash and that’s the real reason ya’ll are on the site looking for better” I knew how much this meant to him and I apologized and to my knowledge she brushed it off. I also confirmed upon her arrival privately that she was comfortable and if she had accepted my apology for being so aggressive I explained my “paranoia” as it were. She reassured me she had no problem with me and understood “that’s marriage for you”** After we were all intimate she asked to wash her hands and asked for a towel to dry her hands, I produced a clean hand towel and several other cloth towels and she started specifically asking for a PAPER towel she sat on the bed and crumpled it up and turned to my husband. She said “what is the word Basura is it” in which he responded “the word for trash yes” they both looked at me and smiled. I my was then that I started to realize my husband has encouraged me to meet with people he has met first or someone at his own suggestion. (( I do not want full custody unless I find that he has purposely manipulated me which would make him possibly do that to our sons. This aligns with the genres I found and the reoccurring theme of sub bullies home wrecking kinks and cuckholding. It is true I like to please my husband and see him pleased but I am not into being blind sided. It is something I could role play if it was consensual. ))) ***£Actual gaslighting here: The next hour she described her “bi polar friend” she described how her grandfather cut off the wings of chickens trying to leave the coop. All the while making strong eye contact with me. She mentioned she liked trucks and a specific brand and my husband mentioned my widowed father- she stated she would date my father and drive his truck around. She stated how her other friend is boring and only wears black no other colors these are all mere coincidences but then she mentioned she was an onlyfans girl. Before all of this happened I stated it’s a possibility for her to sleep over but after the hour of passive aggressive chuckling at me as if I was some dumb person and asking me how big my washing machines were and showing me her new washing machines. Telling us about animal torture and showing us her guns etc before she left she shook his hand and said “pleasure doing business with you” I started to remember other interactions with women that had connections platonically with him. One blonde who told me my clothes were old and had holes in them. It seems as if he is having women berate and degrade me so that I can react I’m not sure if it is a reaction for an emotional sadism which I could actually work with or if he is trying to make me seem unfit and paranoid. I do know he is trying to get a ride out of me and a reaction because on my birthday, people at the same location that he is a regular at kept saying “what a trash shot” any opportunity to use the words “trash” even on the way out. That night he urged me to drink a beer which I did not and he urged me to use the bathroom. This was something he almost got angry about. When we left he acted callus and unkind and very short with me things I would get atleast a two day silent treatment if I were to do them to him. One thing has remained through this time period and it is his effort to communicate his needs and also empathize with mine. I am often met with covert passive aggression including eye rolls sighs and mocking. For a long time I would basically sit in the floor and cry and feel absolutely crazy until I became submissive. After that submission to my marriage husband the fights became more and more bizarre as he ran out of material in my opinion.
First chapter of a longer story. **** Jeffery Morgan stared absently out the wet back window of his Uncle Tim’s station wagon, his mind in turmoil. His delicate chin rested in his upturned palm and his clear hazel eyes swirled with secret worry. A green rucksack containing all of his most important possessions sat on his lap, its weight comforting, like a hug. Fifteen and bookish with lank brown hair and clad in a maroon zip-up hoodie, Jeff liked to think he was smarter than the average kid...because that was the only advantage he had. He was tall and willowy, limbs too long, and the polar opposite of athletic. He didn’t like sports or roughhousing, and video games failed to hold his interest for very long. He wasn’t like his peers and both he and they knew it: Some picked on him, but most left him alone...totally and soul-crushingly alone. He didn’t have any real life friends, but he did have friends online. He sometimes wrote fan fiction for a cartoon show that he no longer watched but once loved, and through that he met a group of guys on Discord that he really got along with. They were slightly older and edgy - they laughed about Nazis in voice chat and called everyone they didn’t like the N-word or the F-word. Jeff didn’t really like that, but it’s not like they were really racist or anything. Like one of them once pointed out to him, they were teenagers rebelling against their middle class liberal parents, so what else were they going to be but dumb and racist? Even with them, though, he sometimes got lonely. If he wasn’t reading or writing, he’d start to feel his isolation the way one might feel the flu or a toothache. It was all the worse because he couldn’t just go out and meet people if he wanted; he was shy and self-conscious, which made meeting people hard. He sighed. Next to him, his sister Kelsy folded her arms over her chest and fixed the back of Aunt Margaret’s headrest with a petulant expression. Twelve and bratty, she wore a sleeveless dress and sandals despite the November chill and her dirty blonde hair in a sideways ponytail that she thought made her look fashionable but actually made her look like something from the nineties. Like him, her features were soft and her eyes light. Her pert nose was different from his pug, and her lips were just a little poutier, as they should have been. Up front, Uncle Tim fiddled with the radio and Aunt Margaret endlessly scrolled through her iPhone. They were currently making their way through downtown Keyser, a working class community perched on the muddy banks of the Potomac River separating West Virginia and Maryland. Antiquated brick structures dating back to the 1880s lined the slanted streets and the spires of the stately Potomac State College building loomed high over town. Rain hissed on the pavements and traffic moved at a crawl. Jeff craned his neck to see, and spotted a crumbling concrete bridge spanning the gap between states. A confused tangle of train tracks followed the shore, old tankers and rail cars sitting motionless along its length, their bodies rusting like unburied skeletons in the rain. Westernport, Maryland, their final destination, lay ten miles downstream, a collection of comfortable houses, narrow lanes, and shady trees edging one of the many bends in the Potomac’s course. Jeff’s grandparents lived there, and now, after the accident, that’s where he and Kelsy would live too. Thinking of the wreck that killed his parents turned Jeff’s stomach. They were out celebrating Dad’s Big Promotion at work. It started to rain, much like it was now, and on their way home, Dad lost control of the car. Jeff’s morbid curiosity - a longstanding trait that had never served him well - got the better of him and he looked up news reports online. The car skidded, struck the retaining wall, flipped, then burst into flames. The police said they died instantly, but Jeff wondered if they did, or if that was just another empty platitude meant to lessen the sting, like they’re in a better place. Most words of consolation are. Grown ups tell you and each other whatever they can to ease the pain, whether they actually believe it themselves or not. People, Jeff had already learned, almost always prefer pretty lies to ugly truths, and if you give them a choice, like that guy in The Matrix with a red pill in one hand and a blue in the other, they’ll go for the lie and clutch it like a scared little kid with a teddy bear. He was no different when you got right down to it. Uncle Tim settled for a station playing Taylor Swift and Jeff grimaced. He didn’t like Taylor Swift, or most music for that matter. On the other side of the bridge, the highway curved up and out of sight. Uncle Tim turned left and followed another road matching the swollen river bend-for-bend. Kelsey glared at Aunt Margaret’s seat and impatiently tapped her foot. She didn’t want to move to Westernport. Unlike Jeff, she had friends back home in Franklin. Her life couldn’t be picked up and moved as easily as his. Sometimes, Jeff envied her. “You guys excited?” Uncle Tim asked. He was a pair of limpid brown eyes in the rearview mirror. “No,” Kelsey said before Jeff could reply. Uncle Tim shrugged one shoulder, at a loss for how to reply. He and Aunt Margaret didn’t have kids and they always struck Jeff as uncomfortable around them. “You gotta give it time,” he said. “You’ll settle in, make new friends, and before you know it, you’ll love it there.” “No I won’t,” she said sullenly. Jeff didn’t think he would either, but he didn’t like Franklin, and if his memory was correct, he didn’t like Parkersburg before it. They lapsed into silence and Jeff vacantly regarded the river, flashes of brown and white peeking through gnarled trees. A sheer rock-face loomed over the highway on the right, putting Jeff in mind of ancient ruins, and the blacktop angled up with the terrain. Now the river was below and the misty, time worn mountains of West Virginia directly across. From here, Jeff could just make out Westernport in the distance, white clapboard buildings clustered among dense stands of trees. He picked out the green roofed steeple of the Methodist church on Front Street, named (presumably) because it fronts the river. A mile outside of town, a foul smell crept into the car, and Jeff’s nose wrinkled. Kelsey sniffed the air and threw her head back with an exasperated groan. The highway wound out of the hills and hit a straightaway. A brown sign with gold writing stood on the right. WELCOME TO WESTERNPORT, MD. The smell was stronger now, burning the insides of Jeff’s nose and sending his stomach rocking like the pitching deck of a ship in rough swells. He looked off to the left, and there, screened behind barren trees and a chain-link fence, was the source. The sewage treatment facility. Big, boxy, and drab, like a prison, it sat on a rounded peninsula jutting into the river, thick white smoke billowing from its single funnel. Kelsey pinched her nose and Jeff breathed through his mouth. The stench produced by the plant - which treated wastewater and sewage from Westernport, Luke, and Piedmont - permeated every inch of town, as inescapable as sand in the desert; shutting windows didn’t help, spraying Fabreeze didn’t help, nothing helped except for getting far, far away. No matter where you went, no matter what you did, the cloying whiff of shit would forever haunt the inside of your nose. “I don’t wanna live here,” Kelsey whined. She sounded like she was going to break down crying. Uncle Tim chuckled knowingly. He and Dad grew up here, so he understood. Even so, Jeff detected a mocking inflection - he, at least, got to go back home to Moorefield. “It’s not like this all the time,” he said. “Only certain parts of the day.” “That’s still too much,” Aunt Margaret said and waved her hand in front of her face as if to dispel the odor. “It’s bracing,” Uncle Tim said dismissively, “puts some hair on your chest.” Aunt Maragret sneered in distaste, and he erupted in hearty, not entirely good-natured laughter. In town, Westernport Road turns into Church Street. A gas station, a McDonald’s, and a Dollar General crowded the left flank and a gentle hill topped will houses fell back from the right. Near the river, tumbledown row houses with dirty siding overlooked 1st Street, and closer, Westernport Elementary, an archaic two story brick deal with big windows, huddled where it had since the twenties. Because of the village’s cramped layout, the houses on Church Street were virtually on top of the road, front yards consisting of cracked sidewalk or, if you were really lucky, a sliver of grass just wide enough to attract fallen leaves. A diner, a bank, a barber shop, and a hardware store gathered around a four way intersection comprised Downtown. Ahead, Church Street crossed over George’s Creek, which bisects Westernport before filtering into the Potomac, and slithered off into the highlands to the north. On the left, Victory Post Road entered the neighboring town of Piedmont, West Virginia, by way of a bridge with no name. Uncle Tim turned right, taking them deeper into town, and Jeff took a deep, calming breath. The sooner they got there, the sooner he’d have to start school, and of all the things he wasn’t looking forward to in the coming weeks and months, that was number one. On the very first day, he would walk in there an outsider, and everyone would know he didn’t belong, that he wasn’t one of them. He didn’t want that. He wanted to be invisible. Victory Post Road weaved through the rest of Westernport. Jeff spotted the library, a Lutheran church, an auto shop - big roll-top doors open to reveal the shadowy interior of a garage - and the American Legion Post 155. Just across the town limits, Uncle Tim turned into a dirt driveway wedged between two hillocks. At the top, Grandma and Grandpa’s house, a squat American Foursquare with red siding and a pitched roof over the porch, occupied a wide clearing ringed by woodland. Smoke drifted from the chimney and warm, inviting light shone in the first floor windows, lending the place a rustic charm that put Jeff at ease...even if only a little. The tires spun and squelched in the sodden yard, and Uncle Tim gunned the engine to keep from getting stuck. “Every time it rains or snows, this place turns into a swamp,” he commented as he killed the engine. “Didn’t your dad say he was going to put gravel down or something?” Aunt Maragret asked. Uncle Tim snorted. “He’s been saying that for twenty years.” He opened the door and climbed out, and Aunt Margaret followed. Jeff lingered a moment, delaying the inevitable, then got out himself; thin drops of cold rain beat down on his head and shoulders, dampening his hair and hoodie. Kelsey, arms still defiantly crossed, sat where she was, brows furrowed stormily. His first instinct was to leave her alone, but now that Mom and Dad were gone, he was sort of responsible for her. “You coming?” he asked. “No,” she spat. The venom in her voice was strong enough to kill a grown man ten times over. Jeff’s resolve wavered and he almost walked away. “You have to,” he said. Uncle Tim and Aunt Margaret stood by the trunk, Aunt Margaret with her head ducked against the rain and Uncle Tim grabbing Kelsey’s bags. “I don’t want to,” she said, “I wanna go back to Franklin.” He couldn’t believe he was saying this - well, thinking it - but he did too. “I know, but you can’t.” She drew a deep breath and pushed it back out again in a savage rush. Jeff opened his mouth, then reconsidered what he was going to say. Uncle Tim doesn’t want us so it’s this or an orphanage. He glanced at his uncle through the rear window, then leaned in. “We don’t have a choice,” he said, “we can’t stay with Uncle Tim.” “I could have stayed with Kendall.” Kendall Kramer was Kelsey’s best friend. They did everything together, from putting on make-up to talking back to the teacher, and leaving her behind hurt Kelsey more than she would ever admit. Jeff was starting to get annoyed, but forced himself to be patient. Losing Mom and Dad was just as hard on her as it was on him, if not harder. “No, you couldn’t have. Her parents didn’t want you living with them, no one wants you living with them but Grandma and Grandpa.” That came out much, much harsher than he meant, and Kelsey flinched. Great job. You should be a councillor one day. Why yes, little Susie, your mommy probably does hate your guts. “Me too,” he quickly added. “We just have to make the best of it. I don’t want to either but…what else am I going to do?” She turned her head pointedly away, and Jeff rolled his eyes. Whatever. Slinging his bag over his shoulder, he slammed the door and went around to the trunk. The mud sucked at his Vans and he almost stepped out of them. Grandpa had come outside and stood on the porch, a cup of coffee clutched in one hand. Tall and lanky with white hair and a Wayatt Earp mustache, he wore a thermal undershirt tucked into dark brown trousers. His face was rugged and weatherbeaten, but unlined, and his blue eyes were sharp and crystal clear. He was sixty-six but if he dyed his hair, he could pass for fifty, maybe even forty-five. He flashed a tight smile and nodded, and Jeff nodded back. Grandpa was what the books might call a salt-of-the-earth type. He worked at the paper mill in Lucas for thirty years, voted Democrat until they got too far left, and raised chickens and pigs out back (today only a few hens and a single rooster remain). He looked tough because he was, and he looked mean but wasn’t. Uncle Tim slammed the trunk lid and, with a bulging bag in each hand, he struggled to the porch, Aunt Margaret trailing behind. Jeff glanced at the car to see if Kelsey was going to get out, and when she didn’t, he went on without her. Fine, he thought, be that way. “What’cha got in there?” Grandpa asked and nodded to the bags. With a grunt of exertion, Uncle Tim sat them on the top step and leaned back as if to crack a troublesome muscle. “Kelsey’s stuff,” he said. “She brought everything we could fit.” Because Uncle Tim only had the car, Jeff and Kelsey couldn’t bring much. Grandpa was going to hire a moving truck to get the rest and bring it out. Kelsey, laboring under the delusion that whatever she didn’t pack was going to be thrown in the garbage (or worse, given to charity) stuffed every single outfit, plush teddy bear, shoe, and keepsake into her bag that she could. Jeff came up the stairs to get out of the rain and Grandpa looked at him. “That all you got?” he asked. “Yeah, I don’t bring anything else.” The corners of Granda’s mouth turned slightly up in one of his muted quarter-smiles that you’d be forgiven for mistaking for gas. “There you go,” he said, “a real man travels light.” “A real man helps his uncle with heavy things,” Uncle Tim put in. “Grab one of these bags, will you?” Jeff picked one up, and his arm nearly came out of his socket. Uncle Tim wasn’t lying, it was heavy. Grandpa scurried ahead, opened the door, and stepped aside. Jeff stopped, got a better grip, and fought the bag across the threshold. The living room was a pit of gloom, lit only by the blue glow of an ancient TV and the light falling in from the kitchen. The local news was on, a weatherman standing before a map of the area and chattering about low pressure systems and umbrellas, and metal clanging sounded from the kitchen. Jeff took a deep breath through his nose then coughed. Moth balls, old people, and rump roast. To his left, an armchair and a canned rocker bookended a wing-back loveseat with an Afhgan draped over the back. Framed photos dotted the green-papered walls. Knick-knacks, doilies, and ornamental plates packed a scarred oak-wood hutch that looked as old as Grandpa, if not older. A broad set of oaken stairs to Jeff’s right provided access to the second floor. Being careful not to knock any of the pictures down or trip on the runner, Jeff carried the bag to the top. The hall was pitch black and he stopped to feel along the wall for the lightswitch. He’d been coming here every summer since he was a kid and still had trouble finding it. When he got it, dim yellow light filled the hall, chasing the shadows to the corners, where they nested and plotted their return. Up here, the walls were split in two by brown chair rail molding, beige paper with a floral pattern on top and wood paneling below. A vase full of artificial flowers stood on an end table in a little alcove, and scuffed wood flooring creaked under Jeff’s weight. The spicy scent of age seasoned the warm air and black and white photos of relatives Jeff had never met stared down at him as he passed. There were three rooms up here. Grandma and Grandpa’s was at the end of the hall and Jeff and Kelsey’s on either side. At Kelsey’s door, he turned the knob and went inside. Back home, Kelsey had a TV and a computer in her room, ditto Jeff, but here the accommodations were little more Spartan: A single neatly made bed, a dresser, and a rocking chair by the window. Wan light fell through lacy white curtains and suffused the darkness. A florid landscape panting hung above the bed and a full length mirror took up one dusty corner. With only her phone to keep her occupied, Kelsey was going to be bored. And when Kelsey was bored, she bellyached. Leaving the bag on the bed, he went downstairs. Uncle Tim and Aunt Maragret stood in the foyer with Grandpa, and Grandma doted on Kelsey, who finally decided to join them. Grandma brushed her fingers through the little girl’s hair and cooed like she was the most adorable thing ever. “It’s so good to see you,” Grandma said. “You too,” Kelsey said, partly to be polite and partly honest. Grandma unhanded her and turned to Jeff. “You get taller every time I see you,” she said and held out her arms. A short, rotund woman with long, messy hair the color of burnished steel and a pleasant face, she wore a red flannel shirt over a billowy black T-shirt that rustled with her movements. She believed in comfort over style and preferred men’s clothing to women’s because they fit better. Her hands were calloused and mannish from years of carpentry and tending the land, and her arms, when she wrapped them around Jeff’s lithe frame, thrummed with power like high tension wires. All those decades of chopping wood really paid off, he guessed. “I’m only six,” Jeff demurred. “Almost as tall as your grandfather,” she said. “6’2,” Grandpa said. He looked at Uncle Tim, who barely reached 5’7. “It skips a generation.” Uncle Tim snorted. “At least I don’t have to duck under everything.” “You have to stretch,” Grandpa said. He patted Uncle Tim’s belly. “Think you’d have less of this.” ‘I’m saving up for the winter,” Uncle Tim said. “Must gonna be a long winter,” Grandpa said. After Uncle Tim and Aunt Margaret left, Jeff took his own bag to his room and sat heavily on the edge of the bed. Like Kelsey’s, it was sparsely furnished with a bed, a dresser, a high boy, a wardrobe, and a desk and chair set. Jeff drew a deep breath and looked around, taking in every detail. He loved his grandparents and their house was a place of good feelings and good memories, but he didn't want to live there. As filled with love as it might be, it wasn’t home. Home was his parents, home was his room in Franklin, home was the lax rules and minimal oversight Mom and Dad employed. His grandparents weren’t overbearing, but they were different, older, and their ways weren’t his parents’. He’d just have to get used to it, though. Because his parents were dead and from now on, this place, this town, was his life. Like he told Kelsey in the car, they just had to make the best of it. And he honestly believed that. But the question was: Could he? And for that, he had no answer. *** Robert Dunham, chief of the Westernport Police Department, started Thursday morning as he did any other: With whiskey, coffee, and a visit to Faye’s Diner. A tall, lank man with black hair beginning to gray at the temples and icy blue eyes that belied his genuine warmth, Dunham had lived his entire forty-three years in Westernport, and had been eating breakfast at Faye’s every day since he was fifteen. It was a ritual for him, and if Dunham was anything, it was a creature of habit. He woke at the same time every morning, went to bed at the same time each night, and did the same things he’d been doing for twenty years in exactly the same way. His philosophy was this: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Change isn’t a bad thing, but too many people these days just aren’t happy with consistency. With all the computers, Facebook, and iPhones, the human attention span had shrunk and now everyone had ADHD and just can’t sit still. Dunham’s parents, like many of the old timers inhabiting the hills around Westernport, were livestock farmers, simple people with simple ways and conservative values. They went to bed at the same time every night, had dinner at the same time every evening, and watched the same TV programs every week. They rarely deviated from course, and alterations came few and far between. For example, Dunham’s folks had the same living room set for forty years. It was plaid, threadbare, and ugly, but comforting too, because while everything outside changed, it - and everything else in the house - remained the same, an island of stability in the shifting sands of time. He didn’t always feel that way. When he was younger, Westernport bored him to tears; outside of mudding, swimming in the river, and watching the mountains erode, there wasn’t much to do. If you had a car, you could drive the twenty miles to Cumberland where there were restaurants, a movie theater, the YMCA, and the mall, but if not, you were pretty much out of luck. As a kid, he wanted action, adventure, big cities, all the things you’d expect a rural farm boy to pine for. But he never got them. He stayed right here in town, married, joined the department, divorced, and passed his days doing his best Andy Griffith - which was pretty good, if he said so himself. Like the fabled town of Mayberry, Westernport was clean, polite, and safe. No one left their doors unlocked - even Aunt Bea wouldn’t do that - but if they forgot to before turning in, well, chances are nothing would happen anyway. Unfortunately, that was beginning to change. Meth production (and consumption) was quickly becoming a popular pastime in the area just like it was in small towns across the nation. Last year, the state police raided a house on Pine Street and seized enough meth to power a fleet of truckers for a month, and the year before that, a tweaker attacked someone at Dell’s Tavern and nearly killed him. Dunham likened it to cancer. Right now, they were in the early stages, but give it time and it would spread. Another sign of the times, he supposed. Whether change was good or not, it was beginning to creep in like the rising tide, and sometimes, it left him feeling lost. That made his daily visits to Faye’s all the sweeter. Situated on the corner of Church Street and Victory Post Road, Faye’s was housed in a converted rail car, long and narrow with big plate-glass windows and a chrome finish. Neon letters spelled DINER across the roof like a beacon to the hungry, and a special board by the door listed all of the things you could buy inside...which wasn’t much. Faye kept the menu simple and cheap. It wasn’t fancy food, but it was good, stuck to your ribs, and didn’t break your wallet. Just past eight, Dunham pulled into the gravel parking lot and frowned at the pick-up truck in his usual spot. Such a small thing and inconsequential, but it still nagged him as he drew alongside it and parked. His greatest flaw, his ex-wife Jeni said, was being “OCD.” He liked things done a certain way and when something wasn’t the way it ought to be, it bothered him, like a loose pebble in his shoe. He didn’t see that as a flaw, but he could admit that he took it a little too far sometimes. Obviously, or else Jeni wouldn’t have left him. Shoving those thoughts away lest they sour his mood, he killed the engine and got out. Cold drops of rain pelted his green canvas coat and mud squelched beneath his meticulously polished boots. Inside, a lunch counter flanked the back wall and booths with red vinyl upholstery lined the front. A Pac-Man cabinet that hadn’t worked in twenty years sat next to the bathrooms, and the warm smells of sizzling bacon, frying eggs, and hashbrowns drifted from the order window. A fat man in a green vest and a John Deere cap with a mesh back took up one of the stools, his hairy ass crack bared to the world, and a waitress in a pink uniform refilled his coffee, then went to the window, where a plateful of pancakes waited. Dunham unzipped his coat, brushed the hem behind his gun, and sat, leaving two spaces between him and the trucker. “What’d you say, Curt?” he asked. Curt Fields glanced at him, then grinned when he realized who it was. “Hey, Bobby,” he said, “cleaning up the streets?” Another lifer - one who had grown up in Westernport and was fated to die there as well - Curt drove for P.H. Anderson Trucking out of Cumberland. He and Dunham went to school together and were good friends in seventh and eighth grade. They drifted apart in high school. There was no reason...no bad blood, no umbridge...it just happened. “Not on an empty stomach,” Dunham said archly. The waitress came back, grabbed a mug, and sat it in front of Dunham in one fluid motion, as though she had been doing this for thirty-five years. To be fair, she had. Tall with bushy blonde hair streaked through with gray, Maud Anson was like Faye’s itself: A permanent fixture by which you could set your watch. Deep lines radiated from the corners of her mouth and eyes and her skin had gradually taken the appearance of cracked leather. She had to be in her sixties, but Dunham didn’t know and had never asked: It’s not polite to ask a woman her age. “Mornin’, Bob,” she said and filled the cup. “Morning, Maud.” “Usual?” Dunham mulled that over a moment. Creature of habit though he may be, he did enjoy occasionally mixing things up. Normally, he had an egg (sunny side up), two strips of bacon, two sausage links, and a piece of white toast, lightly burned. It was good, it filled him up, and that’s all that mattered to him. These days, he was starting to think Jeni was right. You’re too predictable, she huffed once, it’s irritating. In his defense, Jeni was one of those people who fetishize leaving their small town. When they first started dating in high school, they both wanted to get the hell out of Westernport, and some evenings, they’d park on Prospect Hill, lay in the bed of Dunham’s battered hand-me-down Ford, and gaze up at the stars while talking about all the places they wanted to go. Dunham eventually grew up and got practical, Jeni didn’t; she was a near forty-year-old woman with stars in her eyes and still dreaming of New York City, as though it weren’t an overtaxed, anti-cop hell hole. She hated the mundane and the predictable...and unfortunately, he was both of those things. Maud was looking at him funny, and he sighed. “Switch out the sausage for grits,” he said. Nodding, she jotted his order down in her notepad, ripped it out, and stuck it to the wheel. While he waited, Dunham sipped coffee and went through his mental to-do list. The dining room filled by degrees until every seat was taken and the roaring din of three dozen voices talking at once choked the air. Willey Harper, Westernport’s resident drunk, sat on Curt’s left and conversed with Dan Strode, the minister. Tall and willowy with a shock of white hair, an unkempt beard, and perpetually bleary eyes, Willey was the janitor at the high school before he hurt his back and went on disability. For nearly ten years, he’d been cashing other people’s tax dollars and drinking himself stupid. Dan, short and pudgy with glasses and a combover, had conducted every burial, marriage, and Baptism in Westernport since George Bush Sr. was president. After eating, Dunham laid a twenty down on the counter and left. The rain had slackened and a chilly breeze washed over him. He zipped his jacket up, ducked his head, and went to the car. Behind the wheel, he started the engine, backed up, and swung right. A truck hauling timber blasted by on Victory Post Road, and Dunham’s eyes went to the rusted chains keeping the logs together. Ever since Final Destination 2, those trucks made him nervous. All it took was one weak link and BAM, Armageddon in downtown Westernport. Turning left, he drove the three blocks to the police station, a modern brick-and-glass building on Church Street with a blue awning over the door. He parked in the side lot, cut the engine, and got out. In the lobby, he wiped his feet on the carpet and shook himself dry like a fussy dog. Tammy Reid, the secretary/dispatcher, sat behind a counter shielded from the public by durable plexiglass, her plain face buried in paperwork. A man-sized door to its right provided access to the squad room, and Durham went through. Cluttered desks dotted a wide, tile-floored room, and metal filing cabinets stood sentry against dingy white walls. Billy Norton, the station rookie, got up from his terminal and carried a sheet of paper over to the fax machine. Tall and thin with blonde hair, his brown uniform fit him perfectly, but still seemed somehow too big, as though he were a kid playing dress up and not a real cop at all. The illusion was strongest when he laughed. Mike Van Scoy came out of the break room with a styrofoam cup of coffee and took a long, languid sip, looking for all the world like a man who wasn’t on the clock. A ten year veteran of the force, he was Billy’s opposite in every way: Short, olive complexioned, and cynical to the point of parody. Crime wasn’t ubitious to Westernport the way it was to larger towns, but listening to Mike talk, you’d think he’d seen everything from serial killers to terrorism. In actuality, the worst thing he ever saw was - Dunham’s lips settled into a sour frown. “Morning, Chief,” Mike said. “Morning,” Dunham said. Mike fell in next to him. “Anything exciting happen?” Mike worked the overnight shift along with Gavin Holmes. “Just Craig Donner beating his girlfriend up again.” Dunham made a disgusted noise in the back of his throat. Every town over a certain size has its designated Bad Boy, and Craig Donner had been Westernport’s since he was fifteen. A few years older than Dunham, he started small, egging windows and fighting, then graduated to theft, assault, and manufacture and sale of meth. Willey Harper might be the town drunk, but Craig Donner wasn’t far behind, and whereas Willey was a happy drunk who didn’t bother anyone, Craig got mean. In the nearly twenty years Dunham had been with the department, he ran Craig in on thirteen different occasions, five of them for slapping his girlfriend, Candy, around. “Is he in a cell?” Dunham asked. There were ten holding cells in the basement, all of them empty as of yesterday afternoon. Mike shook his head. “Nah, Candy begged me not to so I left him.” That was Candy alright. When Craig got liquored up and started hitting her, she called, then when it came time to put him in the back of the car, she went to pieces. Dunham didn’t believe in victim blaming, but Candy had every opportunity to get away from Craig and be done with it, but she never took it. Hard to feel sorry for someone being bitten by a rabid dog when they refuse to leave its kennel. “Anything else?” Dunham asked. “No, sir,” Mike said and took a sip. “Alright, you can go home.” Mike nodded and rushed off, and Dunham went into his office. A small but tidy space with blue carpet, white walls, and a large oak desk that gleamed in the overhead lights, it was an oasis of order and stability and here, surrounded by plaques, certificates, and commendations from the state (some signed by the governor himself), Dunham found the peace that he had long missed at home. Sitting, he powered on his computer, then slipped a glossy photograph from the desk’s center drawer. A pretty girl about sixteen smiled up at him, her blonde hair spilling over her shoulder like waves of wheat and her crystal blue eyes still like mountain lakes. The atmosphere darkened with tension and Dunham’s lips screwed up in a puckered grimace. Veronica Nicely was three weeks shy of her seventeenth birthday when someone killed her in September. Her body was found in a farmer’s field west of town. She was fully clothed and face down, arms and legs splayed like the broken appendages of a discarded mannequin. Her chest and stomach had been slashed with razor sharp talons and her entrails fell onto the ground with a sickening wet plop when the medical examiner turned her over. Shedded fur salted her tacky skin and the ground around her. Dunham concluded that she was attacked by either a large dog or by the wolves who lived in the surrounding hills. Then the M.E. found the bite marks on her legs and inner thighs. They were human. Later on, the M.E. ascertained that the other wounds were made with a razor, not claws. They’re too clean, he said and traced one with his gloved pointer finger. Claw marks are messy, they tear the flesh. These are clean and precise. The killer wanted to make it look like an animal attack and did such a good job it fooled Dunham. If it weren’t for modern forensics, they might have gotten away with it. In the near two months since, Dunham had been following leads, asking questions, and compiling evidence...of which there wasn’t much. Veronica was pretty, popular, and kind; she never got into trouble, didn’t have a boyfriend, and didn’t drink or use drugs. At first, Dunham surmised that she was known to the killer, but by now, he had to admit that it was probably random, the work of an itinerant killer just passing through, here and gone like a shadow in the night. That nagged him. Having a cold case on his hands triggered his OCD and left him feeling restless. Thinking of her...a bright and vivacious girl with a promising future snatched rudely away...pissed him off. Her killer was out there right this very second while she lay under six feet of dirt in Mount Carmel. The unfairness of it all weighed down on Dunham’s shoulders and if he wasn’t careful, it would start to consume him. “We’ll find him,” he promised, and the croak of his voice in the silence disturbed him. This was one of his daily rituals, soothing in its monotony. At this point, he didn’t know if they’d catch her killer or not, but as long as he was out there, Dunham had hope. Returning the photo to the drawer, Dunham logged onto his computer and started his day.
2020.10.18 20:44 SurprisePure7515Covid has mad me a better person
During quarantine I spent the first 2 months all depressed but then I realized it would be a rare opportunity to do things that I would have never had the time for ... so I got my PPL( Private pilots license) started riding motorcycles again after a long pause , and finally finished my credits and received my bachelors! Now when I go on dates with my newly acquired skills/ lifestyle it’s seems that women love everything about me! And my dating life has increased from average to near Top Gun Level romance .. lol in all seriousness though we must all use this rare opportunity to home in on our skills and do what we love NOW!
2020.10.18 20:09 MrOmegakid[AA] Case #0074 - Eric Bryan
"Please... I just need to know what happened to my son..." Eli had seen a lot in his life. He'd dealt with all sorts of seedy types. Hell, he'd been shot a time or two. But there was no defense in his arsenal against a crying mother. Adding to that, she grabbed his shirt and started crying into his chest. He knew she couldn't afford his fee, but... he was rather trapped. He could do one pro-bono job... Nothing wrong with that. "Alright. I'll look into it. Tell me what you know. The last time you saw him, the last place he was, age, appearance... anything that could be useful." She sat back, taking just a second to compose herself slightly, "Six... six months ago. H-he was supposed to pick up milk from the store and he went out with his friends instead. We had a... We had an argument. He left so angry with me... And I haven't seen him since..." She paused as another wave of sobbing threatened to overwhelm her. "I understand this is hard, but I need any information you can provide. Anything that tells me how to find Eric." Eli gave her a smile that felt as fake as it probably looked, "Did you go to the police?" "I-I did... they came back a day later with this picture. Here... let me..." Mrs. Bryan stood and walked over to the kitchen table. She pushed aside the stacks of 'missing' posters and pulled up a small photograph. She hurried back to Eli, pressing the small item into his palm, "They said he left. That this picture is all there is and all there needs to be. This picture... this is not my son. My son has red hair, and this boy has black hair. My son is... bless his heart... a little heavyset... but this boy is as skinny as a rail. Mr. Thorne, he's sixteen. He's top of his class and dating the class president. He just got a new job. He wouldn't just leave." "And even if he had, why wouldn't the police bring him back?" Eli nodded, "Interesting. This class president... any chance Eric just ran away with her for a while?" "No. Eric isn't like that. He would have said something. I already reached out to her family. Mr. Thorne... their daughter is just as worried as I am... but her parents... they said I've never had a son and they hung up on me. I've known them for years. They knew my late husband. They were at the hospital when Eric was born... They know I have a son." Eli took a sharp breath. That was something he'd seen before. The police not searching for a missing underage boy was strange, but could be easily chalked up to lazy or dirty cops. Close family friends forgetting the boy entirely? That wasn't natural. That was very unlikely to be a cop on the take. It was more likely to be something far worse. But he couldn't himself think about that. Eli sat forward and "Mrs. Bryan, do you know where your son would have gone for the groceries? Somewhere that I can start looking?" "Tom and Alva's on North Cherry. I can find you the address so-" "No need. I actually shop there myself. Killer prices on produce." Eli stood and sighed, "Look... I'm not here to give you false hope. I will find out what happened to your son... one way or another. But I... I can't promise that I'll be able to bring him home." She nodded her understanding and tried her best to keep it together, but as Eli pulled on his hat and coat, he could hear her sobbing behind him. Without looking back, he left the house. ****** Eli stood on the corner of North Cherry and West Haverford. Tom and Alva's, the little mom n' pop's drug store, was standing there, quiet and ignored by most. A few kids played on the corner nearby; not promising. A very shady-looking individual with a hoodie stood on the corner across the street from him; a potential witness. A police car rolled by every twenty minutes on the dot; more potential witnesses. He saw nothing on the street itself, which was not a surprise as Eric had disappeared six months prior. Turning to look at the storefront, he noted a security camera pointed at the door; a potential witness in its own right. Eli pulled out his notebook from his coat pocket and clicked his pen, "Security camera... drug dealer... police..." Eli turned and walked through the front door of Tom and Alva's and removed his hat. Ah, that familiar jingle of the bell always brought a little smile to his face. Aisles of chips and snacks made the place look like it had little more variety than a common gas station, but it was hard to deny that small-town feel the store gave off. The only thing he didn't like to see were the prices. Two whole dollars for a bag of chips that small? How did anyone afford things in that town!? Their produce was priced fine but... that was no small amount. Or maybe it was. Things seemed to be more expensive without anyone caring. Plus, it seemed that money was either worth less or everything was worth more. Inflation was stupid. He looked to the counter. It wasn't Tom or Alva manning the cash register. Just some young lady. Perhaps eighteen, nineteen... cute as a button with sheer boredom in her eyes. "Excuse me, miss. My name is Elias Thorne and I was wondering if-" "What are you supposed to be?" "I'm a private investigator." "You realize the 30s happened ninety years ago, right?" Eli looked down at his clothing. The old trench coat, the white button-up and black vest, five-o-clock shadow on his face... even the Sinatra hat he held... yeah... he did look a little out-of-place in the modern day. Appearing to be in his mid-twenties didn't help his case any. Eli looked up at the shopkeep and shrugged, "My mom said I looked like a very handsome man. Now, I have some-" "You some sort of noir detective?" "Yes... I'm... some sort..." Eli shook his head, "Miss, I really need to see your security tapes. The camera out front. I think it may have seen a crime six months ago, and-" "Footage is deleted every month." She shrugged, "You're fresh outta luck. The gun store across the street deletes theirs every year. You might have some luck there." "Obliged." Eli left the little store and returned his hat to his head, grumbling the whole way across the street about irritating shopkeeps who wouldn't let him finish a damn sentence. Thankfully, the young woman had been observant enough to notice the external security camera on the gun store, aimed out at the street. He made his way into the gun store. Bars on the windows; that was a great sign. Guns of all sorts lined the unlocked cases. Hunting gear rested on the racks with ammunition sitting on the shelves. A portly, middle-aged man stood behind the counter. "Excuse me, sir. My name is Elias Thorne-" The shopkeep scoffed, "That's not a real name." "It's on my driver's license." Eli rolled his eyes, "Look, we can talk about my name later. I need to see your security footage from six months ago. I believe it may have witnessed a crime." "Sure thing. Where's your warrant?" "Oh, I'm not with the police. I'm a private investigator. I'm looking into the disappearance of a young man named 'Eric Bryan'. Do you mind if I take a look at those tapes?" "They're not on tape. Digital. And you won't be seein' them without a warrant. I know my rights." "And I can see several things going on here that are terribly illegal. Maybe the cops will ignore it, but if I bring up that you have guns in unlocked cases with ammunition just sitting out... Well, even if the cops don't want to do anything, the newspaper will have a hell of a time writing up an article about your little shop." Eli walked up to the counter, "Now... how about those digital things?" ****** Eli looked through his notebook as he walked toward where he left his car. Young boy matching the rough description of Eric Bryan that he had gotten from Mrs. Bryan left Tom and Alva's. There had been a black, unmarked panel van. The license plate had been easily read from the camera. Six, clearly-armed men had thrown another man in the back of the van and taken notice of Eric Bryan when he had screamed. Eric had been forced to join them in the van. One of those men... he looked sick. Unnatural. Like his skin was too loose to fit on his deformed skeleton. That man had been playing with something he shouldn't have been. He pulled out his new phone from his pocket. The damn thing had no buttons. He stabbed at the screen with his finger, putting in the short passcode his assistant had helped him with. He needed information he couldn't ask around about. Thankfully, his business partner had some connections at the police station. His business partner, Howard Malone, had always been a strange man, stating that he liked to keep Eli around because weird things always happened when Eli was present. He'd been kind to Eli, though. Kind enough that Eli was more than willing to not ask questions about what Howard had been reading when Eli walked into his office once and he slammed the book down under his desk in a hurry. Although, that was probably less about how kind the man had been and more about Eli not wanting to know what Howard read when he was alone. Contacts... 'H'... 'Howard Malone'. He hit the button that looked like a phone and pushed it up to his ear. An older, husky voice answered, "Howard Malone, Private Investigator and part-time birthday clown. Which one might you be inquiring about today?" "Howard, I know my name pops up on the screen thing when I call you. You know it's me." "Elias! Haven't heard from you in a while. Kinda thought you'd gotten on the bad side of the wrong people." Howard laughed, "After what happened on Pine Street last week, I'm surprised to hear from you. How are you today?" Pine Street. Another case he'd solved. It had started as something about a corrupt local politician that had gotten a man laid off, and ended with the politician taking potshots at Eli with a shotgun. It wasn't the first sticky situation Eli had escaped from, and the man had wound up in prison. Granted, he had been arrested for tax evasion, not attempted murder, but Eli had learned to count his victories where he could. He hadn't quite figured out how the guy had known he was coming, but that was a case for a different day. "I need to have a license plate looked into. Can you pull some strings with Doris down at the station?" "Of course I can pull some strings for you. Just a fair warning, she's not going to be particularly happy that it's you coming to see her, so I might leave that little detail out. If you send me the plate, I'll send it ahead to her and have her ready for you." "Alright, I'll read it to you. Got a pen?" "I'm babysitting my niece. No, I don't 'got a pen'. Just text it to me." "Just find a pen." "Elias, you gotta learn how the technology works at some point. Hell, I'm twenty years older than you! You should be teaching me!" "Stuff it, Howard." Eli groaned, "There's a kid here. I'll just hand him a quarter to show me how it's done." "One quarter isn't as much as you think." "I'm doing it anyway." ****** Fifteen quarters, one irritated kid, and a twenty-minute drive later, Eli pulled up in front of the police station. His car, piece of junk that it was, broke down as soon as he stopped. That was probably a sign that he needed a new one. Maybe if he hadn't done the job pro-bono, he could put that money toward a car that was able to drive for more than five miles. He pulled his coat back to look down at his holstered .45 M1911. Walking into a police station with a gun on his hip was likely not a good idea, even if he had a concealed carry permit. On the other hand, he had the permit for that one, even if the permit was registered to a fake name. Maybe it would be fine. If they saw the unregistered .38 snub on his left hip, though... perhaps he would get in trouble for that one. He decided to hold on to his weapons. Leaving them in a car that couldn't lock was just asking for trouble. He got out of the car and walked across the street to the station. It was a decently-sized building of brick, with a big, bright 'Police of Haven City' sign on the top. Squad cars lined the street, looking a lot sleeker than he remembered them. He made a special note of the black truck about a block away. Two men sat in the truck, both watching him intently. Eli walked through the front door and walked up to the counter. The officer behind the desk eyed him up and down and reached for the stack of incident reports. "Mr. Thorne. Your partner called ahead and said your business needed to speak with Doris. Why are you here?" "I was in the neighborhood, thought I'd come visit. I'm sure Howard will be along shortly." Eli removed his hat, "Any chance I could wait for him downstairs with Doris? I'm having trouble reaching him." "Fine. But you better make it quick. I don't need a repeat of last month on my head." "It's really not my fault that she had that vase. What the hell was a vase doing in a police station anyway!?" "Just go through the damn door. I'll buzz you in." Eli walked away from the counter, sticking his hands in his coat pockets. He waited at the door to the stairs until he heard the buzz and walked through. Descending down the stairs, a pang of nerves hit him. He never liked being underground, even if it was a basement. Always made him uncomfortable. Maybe that was why he was more on edge the month before. He rounded the corner into the records. Doris, a woman with glaringly-red hair and leopard-print glasses, sat at her desk, sorting through papers. She had a file sitting to the side with a pink note attached to the top, bearing Howard Malone's name. Eli walked around to the front of her desk and cleared his throat. "Doris." He tapped his fingers on the file, "Is this for Howard?" "What the hell are you doing here?" "I need the information for a case. Missing boy. Eric Bryan." "Eric... Is that the same 'Eric Bryan' that that woman keeps calling us about?" "One and the same." Eli started to slide the file from her desk, "I'm just going to take this and go. No need for any unpleasantness." Doris's hand slammed down on top of the file, "Don't even think about it, Thorne. Howard called for that license plate to be run, and the information is for his eyes only. You better be on your way now or I'm calling upstairs to have them send Officer Brown down here to straighten you out again." "Ha! Brown is on vacation in Maui this week. He sent a postcard to the office. Shows what you know." Eli chuckled, "Alright, Doris... Just let me take the file." "I need to hear an apology." "I'm sorry about the fire." "You are responsible for more than that." "A woman cried in front of me this morning because her son is missing. I need this information to find out what happened." "Fine." Doris moved her hand, "Asshole." "Obliged." "And because I thought it was Howard coming to pick up that file, I left a little note in there that you should ignore." Eli flipped the file open to see a handwritten note. Eli blushed, grabbed the note, and slapped it back down on her desk, "Doris! What would Mister Roberts think!?" "You're lucky I don't pull your address and give it to Mr. Roberts for what you did last time you were here." "Aw, I didn't know you cared so much. I gotta say, you seem angrier than that wizard-guy I interrupted in the middle of a ritual." Doris's eyes got wide. Eli let out an incredibly awkward, completely and clearly fake laugh that held no joy. Doris laughed uncomfortably and looked down at her desk. Eli flipped through the file, "This is just one piece of paper with an address." "That's all there was on the plate." "Anything about Eric Bryan?" "I have to keep putting in another file each time that woman calls. I've looked into it before, and there's nothing in our system about that woman having a child. I just can't believe she's so desperate that she hired you. Guess she really has snapped." "Doris, you're a treasure. Don't ever change." "Go to hell." "That's the spirit." ****** Eli closed his car door and threw the file on the passenger seat. He flipped it open to read the address and struggled to get his phone to call Howard. Voicemail. Great. He scrolled up through the 'contacts' list until he reached 'C'. Chase Meyers, his assistant, was just some young kid who needed the income. He wasn't much for investigation, but he had a passion for helping people. It was almost inspirational. He had outright refused to take the job offer until Eli promised him that they weren't going to be following cheating spouses around Haven City snapping pictures. Good kid. "Chase here." "Chase, it's Eli. I need you to do that thing you do with computers and get everything you can on an address." "Sure thing. Text me the address." "Chase..." "Oh, right. Read it out to me, then." "1890 East Providence Drive." Eli fought with his car as the clicking of a keyboard sounded in his ear. With a small burst of relief, the car rattled to life. "Chase, I need to put you on speaker. How do I do that?" "Hit the button that says 'speaker'." "There's no button." "On the screen. It's an icon with-" "Got it." Eli set the phone in his lap and started to drive. He listened to Chase type rapidly as his car pushed forward. He leaned back in his seat as the car rattled along. Maybe a rattling sound wasn't the best sound for an engine to have. It was probably fine, though. He wasn't a mechanic, so he couldn't decide that the car was busted on his own. That black truck was behind him. It was a distance of about two cars... but it was there. The driver was talking into a phone. Bald man. Sunglasses. Dark skin. The passenger pointed at Eli's car. Brown hair. Pale skin. Bright orange jacket. "Chase, I've got a tail. Anything you can see before I have to hang up?" "Yeah... It's an old abandoned factory and... just... It looks like there are a lot of invoices from a "Happy Farms Butcher Shop" to that address. Several shipments of... of meat. I mean, beef, chicken, pork... all that stuff. Whoever lives there, they were really hungry." "Or 'whatever' lives there." Eli muttered, "What do you mean 'were really hungry'?" "Well, it looks like the last invoice was from six months ago. Eli, there are some posts online warning about gang activity near that address. Bodies turning up nearby. People missing. Drugs all through that area... but all of that stopped six months ago, too." Eli felt a cold shock run through his heart, "Thanks, Chase. I'll go check it out." "It looks like it might be dangerous, Mr. Thorne. Do you want me to call Mr. Marwan?" "No thanks. I've got this one. Let... Let Sam know where I'm going to be, though. If I don't give you a call by midnight, send him in." "You got it, Mr. Thorne." Eli pulled over into a parking lot and fished the map out of his glovebox. He unfolded it and rested it against the steering wheel. East Providence was a thirty-minute drive across town. If his car could survive the trip, it wouldn't even be a problem. He just needed to- Something tapped on his window. He looked up to see a man in a bright orange jacket. He was tapping on the window with a gun. Eli was suddenly feeling quite cooperative. The man motioned for Eli to get out of the car, and Eli obliged. "Boss got a call that you're sticking your nose where it don't belong." The man muttered, "So, we're gonna go someplace nice and quiet and have a little chat." "Well, I do like nice and quiet places." Eli eyed the gun in the man's hand as the other one started patting him down. "You're quite friendly." Eli muttered. The man felt down Eli's hips, stopped, and pulled back the right side of his coat to reveal the .45 M1911 on his hip. He pulled the gun out of the holster and stuck it in the back of his pants. He patted down Eli's legs and then moved up toward his left hip. "Oh, you don't have to worry about that. I never cross-draw." Eli chuckled. The man quietly pulled back the left side of Eli's coat and removed the .38 snub, holding it up for Eli to see. "Well... except for sometimes." Eli shrugged. The man grabbed Eli's left arm all the way down, then moved to his right arm, stopping at his forearm. "What's this?" Eli raised his left arm and pulled his sleeve down, revealing a leather and steel brace, "I injured my arm a bit ago. The doc said I had to wear this. I don't know why. I'm no doctor." The man shrugged and pulled a black bag from his pocket. He unfurled it, took Eli's hat, and pulled it over Eli's head. ****** Eli would have complained about the bag over his head, except that it was remarkably thin, and he could see almost everything. That was likely something those two morons were unaware of. He recognized the street signs around him as they went. These guys were taking him in the direction of East Providence Drive. That was convenient. Or quite bad if people really did keep disappearing around there. The building they approached was an old factory. What it produced, Eli couldn't tell. It looked run down and dirty. The fence had a 'no trespassing' sign that Eli's drivers ignored completely. He could see a small bit of smoke coming from one of the stacks. Perhaps the place wasn't as abandoned as Chase had believed. Eli was shoved from the truck as both men escorted him toward the door. They stopped before entering, pulling his arms behind his back and securing them with handcuffs. That would be a minor complication. They pushed him through the door and he stumbled, almost falling to the ground. He caught himself and tried to look around without moving his head as much as possible. Empty metal vats were all around him, lining the walls. The floor was concrete with drains running in the middle. The lights were at that perfect fluorescent flicker that made him mildly nauseous. He was pushed into a much larger room, one lined with tables manned by people packing bags of what looked like a very illegal substance. There were stairs to his right leading up to the second floor. Four men and two women in that room had guns. A man and one woman stood to the left of the door Eli was quickly approaching. The rest stood near the stairs. The rest of the people were very clearly unarmed. Potential slaves. Potential employees. Hard to tell. A quiet, terrible, almost musical shriek came from the basement, and everyone shuddered. They walked him past that room and into a much smaller one, decorated by only a single chair and a series of pipes. He felt a fleeting wonder cross his mind about why bad guy groups always seemed to have rooms like that to bring their kidnap victims. Eli was shoved down into the chair, his arms looped around the backrest. One of his captors pulled the bag from his head and discarded it on the floor. Clawing, growling, sloshing noise rose from the drain under Eli's feet. "Well, if you wanted some alone time with me, you could have just bought me dinner." Eli grumbled, "So... what's this all about?" "The man we work for got a call-" "That I'd been snooping, yeah." Eli rolled his eyes, "But... what was I snooping in that bothered him so much?" The men said nothing, just stood there with their guns drawn and pointed at him. The door behind them opened up and a man walked through. He wore ordinary street clothes, but he looked wrong in every way. His skin looked like a deflated balloon. His bones were shaped at odd angles. Strange markings lined his skin, some tattoos, some healed wounds. His breathing was wet and ragged, though he didn't look to be in pain. His pale skin had splotches of color, as if he had paint all over him. "You must be Elias Thorne. I've got a source that says you're looking into the disappearance of a kid that doesn't exist." "Right, yes, and I'm sure that me looking for the Easter Bunny would also piss you off?" "Easter Bunny..." The ragged man laughed, a shrill, piercing noise, "Elias, I think you've stumbled onto something you don't need to be concerned with." "You know, part of me was thinking the same thing until your goons threw me into a truck." Eli shrugged, "It took me under a day to find a path that led to this location. I thought for a minute that it would mean dirty cops, but... we both know it's something more... unnatural." Eli sat up and leaned forward as much as he could, "What kind of books do you read, sir?" The man's eyes narrowed with seething hatred, "Utah, find out what he told the cops and then put two in his head and take him downstairs. I'll be upstairs reading my books. Come get me when it's done." The man named Utah stepped forward. He was the one who had taken Eli's weapons. That was good. Eli tried his hardest to focus on the positive and ignore the sound of scratching coming from just under his feet. The boss and the man in the bright orange jacket walked out of the room, leaving Eli alone with Utah. Utah cracked his knuckles and stood over Eli, smiling down at him, "You're gonna tell me everything. We can do this the easy way or hard way." "Oh, easy way of course!" Eli squirmed over, "I'll tell you exactly what you want to know." Utah lowered his hands a little, a look of confusion on his face. "See, when I was about... oh... nineteen or so, I went to Susie Miller's pool party." Eli moved his left arm a little, "Started out as some underage drinking, but then it turned into a game of truth or dare, and you would be surprised where that ended up! I mean, running from the cops on a bicycle at two in the morning in only my long johns and a tiara." Utah's fist flew out, cracking Eli across the face. Eli spit blood from his mouth and looked up at Utah, retaining his grin. "What do you think you're talking about?" Utah grumbled, "What did you tell the cops? What did you find!?" "Asshole! I was getting to that! Eventually." Eli twisted his arm a little more, "See, there were a few things I learned that night." Eli shifted his right arm just a little bit... almost there, "One thing was that you never do truth or dare with Susie Miller's friends. Another was that if the police ask why you were doing something strange and unexplainable, say nothing or risk looking as mad as a hatter." Eli smiled as he got the right position, "The last lesson I got... was how to escape from a pair of handcuffs with a thin blade." There was a quiet pop and Utah opened his mouth to shout. Eli jumped up, driving the blade mounted on top of his right forearm into Utah's throat. "You really should have taken the brace from me." Eli hissed, "You think this is the first time I've been grabbed? I've learned a lot about how to get out of tricky situations. I've got lock picks hidden in my watch, knives hidden across all my clothing... I tell you, I really appreciate the engineering possibilities in this day and age. By the way, I never told the cops anything. You could have let me go about my day, and you'd still be alive in the morning. Any last words?" A quiet, strained gurgle escaped Utah's lips. "Well put." Eli dropped Utah's body and knelt down, picking up his hat and returning it to its rightful position on his head. He grabbed his M1911 and holstered it. After sliding the .38 back into its holster, he picked up Utah's gun. He figured he had about two shots from that before people paid too much attention. Six people in the next room would try to kill him. He could handle that. He'd been in worse situations. A content, unearthly wail issued from the drain. Eli looked down to see that Utah's blood was flowing down into the drain. He knew what waited in that basement. He'd seen one before. Rare, deadly, and able to disappear someone in every conceivable way. The perfect pet for a career criminal. Eli shook the thought from his head. He ejected the magazine from Utah's firearm and pulled the slide back to eject the last bullet. He wouldn't be needing it. He dropped the gun and walked up to the door, drawing his M1911. Eli thrust his leg into the left door, turning sharply to his right. He fired two shots. One hit the man, one hit the woman. He heard shouts from the people in the room. He rounded the door and fired two more times, killing two of the armed men before they could react. The remaining woman lifted her weapon and held the trigger down. Eli dove behind a support column as bullets rained into the concrete. He'd been on the receiving end of that kind of gun before. Three seconds of continuous fire and it would be empty. One. Two. Three. The shots stopped. Eli rouned the column and fired one more shot, dropping the woman. The man fired back at Eli rapidly, missing each desperate shot. Eli fired once and didn't miss his target. Six bullets. His gun held seven, plus the one in the chamber. He was down to two. He fired both into the air, shouting for the people to run. Not a single one disobeyed. Eli ejected the magazine and grabbed the one from his coat pocket, sliding it into place and cocking one into the chamber. Seven more bullets. He crossed the room quickly, heading up the stairs. He peeked through the metal door at the top. Two men stood at the end of the hallway with their guns aimed at the door Eli was behind. Eli tapped the glass and waved. Bullets reduced the window to shards of glass immediately. Eli bounced up from his hiding place behind the metal door and fired two clean shots. He pushed the door open and walked down the hallway. Five rounds remained in his gun. "Mark! Shawn! What's going on out there!?" Eli ran at the door the two men were guarding and kicked it open. The ragged man was reaching for a revolver on his desk. Eli fired one shot, ripping the man's hand in half. The ragged man fell to the floor and crawled quickly into the corner, screaming and crying about his hand. Eli sized up the room quickly. Redwood paneling, green carpet like a lawyer's office, and a rich mahogany desk with one open book on top. A couple file cabinets, a couple guns here and there. No guards in the room at all. "Shut up!" Eli lifted the gun to aim at the ragged man's head, "Let me be clear about one thing: I will kill you for kidnapping me. But I need to know what part you played in Eric Bryan's disappearance. I need to know if I'm going to be killing you for that as well. Because I think I know what happened, I just want to hear you say it." "A-aren't you going to arrest me?" "I just killed eight people after being kidnapped without calling for backup. Do you really think I'm a cop? Now, tell me about the boy. He disappeared six months ago after you and yours threw him into a van. I want to know what happened." "I-It was a year ago... th-this thing appeared... when... I was reading that book... speaking the words..." the ragged man pointed at the open book on his desk with his good hand, "And it... it appeared." Eli walked slowly to the desk, looking down at the book. Strange symbols composed the main body of work. Words and notes in English were scrawled into the margins. Eli had seen these before. Not that book specifically... but books, formulas, and strange objects like it. "Looks like someone was dabbling in magic." Eli let out a soft chuckle, "Trust me. That's a mistake. Playing with forces you don't understand... it turns you into something. It makes you not what you were. Something less than human that believes it's more than divine. But you summoned something... didn't you? Something hungry." "It ate... it ate one of my men... His friends... no one remembered him after that creature..." The ragged man whispered, a few tears running down his face, "A-at first... it was satisfied by meat I ordered in... but... it was so desperate to eat... to eat men... I kept reading... The power in that book... a man could become rich with it. It was DeMarcus... he tried to get me to stop... and that... that boy saw it..." The ragged man tried to push himself farther into the corner, "So... we brought... We brought him back here..." Eli gritted his teeth, "You fed a sixteen-year-old boy to that thing in the basement." "It was just a matter of convenience... It wasn't... I would never kill a child! I just... I could use that thing... better for business than leaving a body-" "I'm going to burn this place down with that thing still inside." Eli readjusted his aim, "I'm going to tell that woman that her son was murdered and his body disposed of. And you? You're going to rot in hell for what you've done." "Not what I've done... what... What that thing did... what that book made me do!" "But you opened the book." "Please, man... I don't..." The ragged man looked up at Eli in terror, "Who are you?" "I'm just a man who doesn't belong here." Eli shrugged, "Nothing more. Nothing less. I've seen things that would make your toes curl. Magic. Wizards. Monsters..." Eli let out a dry chuckle, "Monsters exist. But you know that, don't you? That's what you've got in the basement." "I didn't know... that book was... I never thought of what it might be... of what it might do... But it told me things... things about the world... things about what lives around us... things hidden in the shadows... things hidden in plain sight..." "In my life, I've found one great mercy in this world. Most people never put together all of the disparate facts that reveal the reality that we live in. Monsters, magic... They chalk it up to hallucinations and madness. They all live in a small room surrounded by darkness and they are so afraid to ever open the door. They try so hard to explain everything away with science and mental illness. One day, though... that door is going to be flung open. The world will see what waits in the dark, and they will not take kindly to it." "Please... I have money... two million in the safe there. It's unlocked right now... just take it and let me go..." "Well, thanks. I'm going to be giving that to the boy's mother, though. Well... most of it. Turns out, I probably need a new car." Eli shook his head, lowering his gun, "Oh, before I forget, who was it that tipped you off about me?" "I never got a name... I just... He told me where you were... what you were up to... He said he just wanted to borrow my book for a little bit... that he collects them... That you wouldn't approve... that it benefited both of us..." Eli gritted his teeth. A man who hid books Eli would disapprove of and would benefit in more ways than one if Eli was suddenly not part of his business. Seemed like Eli would be having a chat with Howard Malone. Eli raised his gun, "Any last words?" "I didn't... I didn't harm the boy. It was Utah. He-" Eli pulled the trigger three times. Any feedback and whatnot is appreciated!
2020.10.18 17:38 Hemightbegiant39[m4f] Watch horror movies and cuddle?
I'm in Connecticut. I have a solid job and a car. Like everyone else, my 2020 has sucked pretty hard, but I am still alive so... I am a big dude, but I am working on being less large. I am down 25 lbs from my highest point, and still have a long way to go. Love me some keto diet and I grill a mean New York strip steak. Looking to make friends right now, that could become something else later. I am currently doing a lot of self improvement work, including therapy. Huge fan of Weird Al Yankovic and They might be giants. I listen to a wide variety of music. I would love to meet a woman who likes concerts. Going alone is ok, but sharing the experience is so much better! I can be weird and goofy. That tends to be my default, but I know how to be serious when I need to be. I tend to quote shows and movies too much... Intelligent. Sometimes witty. Sometimes corny. I love puns! I have been told I am funny. OG nerd. I like a lot of the "standard" nerd stuff. LOTR, Marvel universe etc. Board games and card games are always a good time. I am constantly seeking to improve myself. Fiercely loyal to those I care about. Recently divorced (3/17/20 it was official). Ex moved out in June 2020. Living alone for the first time in 11 years. I am passionate about reptiles (especially snakes) and arachnids. I have both as pets. I don't like needlessly killing things. I relocate insects/spiders and help turtles cross the road. I recently got into keeping Isopods as pets. (Rolly pollies, pill bugs, wood louse...whatever you know them as.) I have 3 frogs as well. I also just adopted a baby bearded dragon who had a rough start and I am trying to nurse him back to health. I enjoy the occasional concert and still have a few bands I would like to see live, and a few I want to see again. (Assuming that ever happens again.) I listen to various podcasts, including Mbmbam, The Adventure Zone, Serial Killers, Lore, Critical role, and the Practical Stoic. My sense of humor is one of my strongest attributes. I have 4 cats. I don't mind dogs, but I am a cat dude. Hobbies include but not limited to: Leather crafting. Novice woodworking. Learning. I Google a lot, and watch YouTube videos. Fishing, but like...not obsessively. I like to sit by a lake and hope I catch a fish. I enjoy the nature aspect and have seen some cool stuff. Self improvement. Collecting select vinyl. (My favorite bands, especially if it is colored vinyl.) I game on PC sometimes as well, and if you are into that...it would be awesome. (7 days to die, Ark and a few others. I can reinstall World of Warcraft as well.) I also play D&D twice a month, and may start up my own online campaign. Lately I have been watching a lot of astrology/tarot videos and "ghosts caught on tape." I love spooky stuff. I keep telling myself to just build a tomahawk throwing target, but I haven't yet. Soon... I like guns, but I am not a gun nut. I have my CCW. You have to be comfortable with that. Fan of horror movies. It takes a lot to freak me out when it comes to horror movies. Who am I interested in? The Morticia to my Gomez. Women, 29-42 age range would be ideal. Closer to Connecticut would be ideal, but there is wiggle room. Honestly, if you are vegetarian or vegan, we probably won't do well. I eat low carb/keto and that is mostly meat. Just putting that out there. Someone not afraid of snakes and spiders is a good bonus, as I love both, and that is not changing. Someone who doesn't see me as a "project". I am my own project, and I don't need another one for that matter. No one can fix you but yourself. I'm done taking in little wounded birdies and trying to fix them. (Figuratively speaking. I may actually take in literal wounded birdies as that is just something I would do. Lol.) I am not going to change things I like or my passions to impress anyone. I am past that shit. Putting on different masks to make different people happy is not a way to live your life. Someone who is okay with me hobby jumping. I like to dabble in hobbies. I tend to like nerdy, girl-next-door types. Awkward geeky ladies who like video games and board/table top games. Intelligence is a turn on. Someone who will wax philosophically with me about life, the universe and everything. I actually have a house lined up where I will be able to do this, I just need to wait a bit before I can take it. (The current owner is working on getting a mortgage and needs to find a new house. It is not concrete though, just the current plan. It could change.) Someone who likes fishing would be nice. (And baits their own hook.) Or would like to hang out with me while I fish. A fellow animal lover, as I tend to adopt unwanted animals often...and I am a sucker for them. Someone who realizes there is more to life than paying bills and dying. I have the idea of homesteading in the back of my mind, but I am not even sure where to begin. There is a good chance I am not having my own kids, as I had a vasectomy in early 2020 (I was convinced children weren't in the cards for me, and then the divorce happened.) However, I am not against having it reversed in the right situation, adopting/fostering, or dating someone with young children. I am great with kids. I'd be one hell of a dad. I have a nephew who I love to death and my best friends kids call me "Uncle Luke". https://imgur.com/a/scHdMMC Please include a pic if you message. I like putting a face to a conversation. Trump supporters need not apply, and if you are under 18...don't bother. I can promise you we have nothing to talk about. Honestly my minimum cut off would be 25...
2020.10.17 22:05 ChadThundagaCockTheres nothing wrong with hitting on women at their jobs during a pandemic.
People here have said to leave women alonw at work. But I beg to differ. It's a pandemic. How else are single men supposed to meet women nowadays? Online dating is a shitshow. There are a few baristas I like. Hard to tell if they're actually interested in me or just friendly because it's their job. But that's the game you play. It's a dice roll. Either shit or get off the pot. You could be the 3000th man to hit on her that day, especially if she is in the sevice industry. But those men only auditioned to get the role of banging her. If you don't audition, you'll never know. Just be the best audition she's watched all day. Nobody leaves their houses anymore. Bars suck now. Tinder has always sucked. Hired guns are the best bet now. I don't see any other options. And if gyms open up, women working/working out there are fair game now too. You may not like it, but I don't really care.
2020.10.17 16:00 Angel466[Bob the hobo] A Celestial Wars Spin-Off Part 0193
PART ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY-THREE Friday War Commander. The curt voice of Johansen knocked on Angus’ mind with all the subtlety one would expect of an older pryde fighter. Angus immediately straightened off the car doors on to the sidewalk. Report, he shot back. If it were critically urgent, Johansen wouldn’t be waiting for Angus’ permission, which meant it was important, but not serious. Yet. Mica’s view of the situation between Sam and his little floozy is gaining credence. Everyone even loosely connected to this assignment had heard at least some of Mica’s opinions about Geraldine Portsmith (mainly because Mica was a fighter, and they weren’t trained to spare people’s feelings), and although Angus hadn’t dismissed her claims out of hand, for a fighter like Johansen to start adding his concerns, the problem was being fast-tracked. Her older brother has a history of crushing women with low confidence. And they don’t come much lower than Sam’s. Thankfully, Mica’s shift with Sam ended soon after they’d arrived at the tattoo parlour, which meant Kulon was with him now. Kulon, he sent. Yes, War Commander? Observe the actions of Sam’s girlfriend and be on the lookout for any signs of passive/aggressive dominance that will erode Sam’s budding confidence. Those actions are to be … discouraged. Permanently? Angus took a moment to consider that. Whilst his first instinct was a resounding yes to anything that could be seen as a threat to either the pryde or his assignment, the memory of the last time he followed his gut when dealing with humans still weighed heavily on him. Equivalent retribution, he sent. If she stings his pride, you sting her. If the damage to his pride lasts a week, select a poison that will linger accordingly. But keep it explainable. Avoid anything exotic that doesn’t exist locally. Mosquitos, bees, wasps… Black mamba? No. Indian red scorpion? Australian funnel-web spider? Angus looked up at the sky for patience. He may have put young fighters on Sam to keep them roughly within the boy's age bracket, but the downside was … he’d put young fighters on Sam. Older ones wouldn’t try to be funny like this. No. Consider the ramifications of your next suggestion carefully. Yes, sir. He still didn't regret the debacle at the sex club. Using Uttu webbing on the humans to silence them may have been the obvious choice for its durability and flexibility, but it was also a dead giveaway for pryde involvement. On the front lines, making a statement like that was the preferred way to go as it prevented the need for any future explanation. On Earth, he needed to be more … devious. Lesson learned. He could do that. His phone pulsed in his breast pocket and he answered it by tapping the earpiece he was wearing. “Angus.” “Angus, it’s Llyr.” “Yes, sir.” “This isn’t a ‘sir’ situation, War Commander.” Having already deduced that, Angus remained silent, waiting for him to explain himself. He wasn’t kept waiting long. “I don’t trust Sam’s judgement where this new girl is concerned, but I don’t want to undermine his confidence by having him formally chaperoned. Nor am I interested in bringing Cuschler’s people in on this either as their solution as soon as our concerns are justified would be to have their entire family die in a gas leak that’ll wipe out the rest of the building.” “And why would that outcome concern you?” “It won't be something I can keep from Sam for long, and eventually he’ll learn their deaths were his fault. In his fragile state, it’ll destroy him.” Ahh. Of course. Not the deaths themselves, but how those murders would affect Sam. “Most likely,” he agreed, thinking about the boy's generous nature. “Do you have anyone that you would trust to follow him discreetly on my behalf?” “If I did, are you offering me a boon in exchange for my assistance in this matter?” Knowing Llyr couldn't see him, Angus' eyebrows shot up sharply as he said this anyway. Favours from the divine weren’t the same as human ones. They were binding. Compelling. Those involved in the contract had no choice but to uphold their sides of the bargain once one was struck. The seconds of silence from Llyr spoke volumes. Angus had expected him to refuse as soon as it was suggested on principle. “What’s your price?” Llyr finally asked. “To be named at a later date.” An unspecified boon was the worst favour of all, as that locked someone into an agreement where only one side of the cost was stated upfront. The other half could literally be anything, however disproportionate, which was why no one entered unspecified boons unless they were really desperate. More silence, which was even more surprising. Surely he doesn’t consider this worthy of a… “If you place a pryde security detail on Sam until such time as I deem it is no longer necessary, protecting him from all manner of harm, I, Llyr, God of Mystal’s Oceans, shall owe War Commander Angus an unspecified boon to be named and claimed at a future date.” Wow. Did NOT see that coming. Llyr had literally just put his neck on the line for Sam. All Angus had to do was say the words “I accept your unspecified boon” and the deal would be sealed between two divine beings. “Just get it over with, will you?” Llyr growled as Angus took a moment to reflect on this. There was no way Angus would’ve done this for his own hatchlings, or anyone else. (Well, he would for the Eechee and Eechen, but they already had that level of commitment from him.) As a War Commander, he simply couldn’t afford to. The border relied on him, and all it would take would be someone to order him to sabotage his position, and he’d have no choice but to obey his new master to fulfil his side of their bargain. “No,” Angus said, negating the offered agreement. “I will put the pryde on Sam until I deem they are no longer necessary. His safety will be seen to until such time as I contact you, to let you know they're being pulled back. There will be no outstanding debt from your side.” A moment of shocked silence was followed by a flabbergasted shout of, “Then why the hell did you just put me through that?!” “To see if you would.” “Fuck, you’re a realm-damned fucking asshole!” The phone was abruptly disconnected, causing Angus to chuckle darkly. The offer to sting the cheeky blighter is still on the table, sir, Johansen sent, hearing the conversation from Llyr’s side. No need, Angus replied, still smirking to himself. His pride is smarting enough already. If anything, Llyr’s willingness to sacrifice an unspecified boon for Sam like that moved him a few slots higher in Angus’ eyes. He’d never seen the old blood put himself out for anyone before. Ever. He knew the Mystallians closed ranks when it came to the crunch. He’d seen plenty of examples of it his whole life. If any of Llyr’s family had asked something of him, chances were, he’d be right there, bringing his mastery of the ocean to bear if it was deemed necessary. But this was the first time Angus had ever seen the Oceanlord supplicate, and it wasn't for self-gain. * * * After Thomas dropped Miss Geraldine home, he rang Mr Portsmith directly. “Yes?” Like all Portsmiths, Tucker Portsmith didn’t waste words on employees. “Sir, I need to speak with you in person and Miss Geraldine has her concert to go to this evening. Is there any chance Donald and I could switch places while I come and see you?” The fact that he was bothering the boss at all made the line of, ‘it’s really important’ redundant. Donald was Mr Portsmith’s personal chauffeur, and just like his position, the placement doubled as an armed bodyguard for their charge. “Be here in fifteen minutes.” As Thomas pulled out into traffic, he dialled Miss Geraldine’s number and waited for her to pick up. “What?” the youngest of the Portsmith family demanded. “Ma’am, I am to switch places temporarily with Donald. He will be here in fifteen minutes to drive you to Mr Arnav’s home.” “So long as someone can drive me, I don’t care which of you it is.” “Very good, ma’am.” He waited for her to hang up on him. The one time he'd made the mistake of hanging up first, he’d had to work three days without pay to keep his job. Thomas had worked for some hard taskmasters over the years, but the Portsmiths were definitely in the top few for challenging. Fortunately, they were also one of the better-paying jobs. He knew from the GPS when Donald passed him at the top end of Eleventh Avenue, though in five o’clock traffic on a Friday afternoon, the odds of catching sight of him were slim. He pulled up in the vacant CEO’s car park and climbed out, locking the doors on his way. The whole way over, he was working out the best way to approach his thoughts. In the end, he decided to just come out and say it. “What is it, Thomas?” Mr Portsmith demanded, still pouring over multiple computer screens that were built directly into his desk. “Sir, I have gone toe to toe with almost every branch of the world’s special forces and held my own with considerable ease.” Mr Portsmith frowned. “Your point?” This was the part that his boss could take two ways. “I caught a couple discreetly spying on Miss Geraldine and Sam Arnav, and when I bounced them, it turns out they were Sam’s driver and one of that driver's subordinates. The subordinate had me on my back seeing stars in seconds, and Sam’s driver looked on like he expected nothing less. I have never, in my life, seen anyone move that fast. They were something else again, sir.” “And you thought you needed to see me in person to have this discussion?” Thomas nodded. “I would not have been able to convey the sincerity of my assessment of them over the phone, sir. You pay substantially to have the best, and she put me down for almost an hour with one strike that was over before it began. I have worked for warlords in war-ravaged countries and I have never seen anyone move that fast, sir. She turned back to Sam’s driver seeking out her next set of orders before I’d even fallen over.” “Did they say anything else?” “Yes, sir. Once the subordinate left, Sam’s driver took my gun and told me if Sam ever saw it, he’d kill me and leave my body where no one would find it. When I didn’t answer quickly enough to answer him, he struck me with it, sir. He knew exactly what he was doing with that weapon.” “It would seem the Arnavs have better bodyguards than I,” Mr Portsmith said over a double-fist which he braced in front of his chin by planting his elbows into the table. “Sir, I recognise every special forces company in the world by their unique moves and I have had extensive training in undermining all of them. Certain ways they hold their bodies or the way they fight. I. Have. Never. Seen. Anyone. Move the way this woman did. It was like grabbing the body of a snake and being dead before you realise it wasn’t a stick after all.” “You do realise you’re talking yourself out of a job here.” “I know, sir. But I still thought you should know the Arnavs have their own muscle that is over and above the norm.” "So you keep saying, Thomas.” "Sir, I would strongly recommend digging into the Arnav background. The level of capability their driver's subordinate showed is not someone who chauffeurs a twenty-year-old to school." * * * PART ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY-FOUR Previous Part 192 ((All comments welcome)) I made a family tree/diagram of the Mystallian family that can be foundhere For more of my work including previous parts or WPs:Angel466 or indexed here FULL INDEX OF BOB THE HOBO TO DATE CAN BE FOUNDHERE!!
2020.10.17 10:16 CrofterNo2"The Beast With the Breath of Hell": Giant Ground Sloths in the Amazon
Six families of prehistoric ground sloths are now recognised: Megatheriidae, Mylodontidae, Nothrotheriidae, Megalonychidae, Scelidotheriidae, and the Carribean Megalocnidae. First discovered at the end of the 18th Century, much is known of the appearance and lifestyle of many species. Generally they were very robust, vaguely bear-like animals with wide tails, strong claws, and the ability to walk quadrupedally and bipedally. But they were highly adaptable: by the end of the Pleistocene, several dozen species existed in South America, including the largest ever, and their Pleistocene range stretched from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska. Throughout the ages, some browsed, some grazed, some swam in coastal seas or freshwater, some burrowed, and some lived in trees or on steep cliffs. Some families spread to North America before the Great American Interchange, and when animals from the north invaded, they were unaffected—until one last animal moved south some ~12,000 years ago. Given their adaptability, is it possible that at least one species may have survived into modern times? Since their discovery, many people have believed so. But where's the best place to look for them? For most of the 20th Century, the answer to that was Patagonia, thanks to sightings reported mainly by the Argentine palaeontologist Florentino Ameghino. But in On the Track of Unknown Animals (1955), Bernard Heuvelmans suggested that the tropical forests of the Amazon and the Andes, not Patagonia, were the place. Noting that the ground sloths were likely wiped out (?) by overhunting, he asked...
[...] what has happened to them in their impenetrable retreat in the vast Amazonian selva and the boscosa of the Andes, through which they passed in the course of ages? It is hard to see what, in the peace of these forests rarely inhabited by man, could have led to their extinction. Only human traps were able to put an end to these armoured brutes against which beasts of prey were powerless. Might they not still live in this 'green hell' and find it a heaven of peace?
But Heuvelmans attributed most stories of hairy humanoids in the Amazon to primates, and it would be 38 years before his question was seriously considered in print. Mapinguari, stinking beast of the Amazon American ornithologist David Oren arrived in the Brazilian Amazon in 1977, and immediately began to hear stories of various forest myths. One of the most common of these was the mapinguari, which had been covered by Heuvelmans and by Ivan T. Sanderson, and which they had believed to be a giant primate. To Oren the mapinguari initially appeared to be just another part of the folklore of the rainforest: for every person who claimed to have seen it, four mocked the idea that it could be real, as did the alleged eyewitnesses prior to their own experiences. The mapinguari was a creature of the seringueiros, or rubber-tappers, but even during the silver age of the rubber plantation it was not taken seriously by others. The modern folkloric-pop cultural version is a huge cyclops with a mouth in its stomach, and is not too different to the very earliest descriptions (the earliest use of the term I can find dates to 1896, where it's called an evil Tupi spirit). But a 1913 newspaper article on the subject also mentions the macaco de borracha, or rubber monkey of Acre, an animal covered in long and tangled hair which repels bullets. The macaco de borracha was the size of a Newfoundland dog when on all fours, but was taller than a man when standing upright on its hind feet. And in 1960, a cabloco took issue with a newspaper repeating the traditional description of a giant man, claiming that the mapinguari was really a sort of huge and horrifying horse-like animal. He said that such an animal had recently been seen by men working on "the road which will link Acre to Brasilia". Nevertheless, when cattle were found dead with their tongues missing, the mapinguari was often blamed; this and a 1930 sighting of a monkey-like mapinguari on the Urubu River, reported in On the Track of Unknown Animals, cemented the mapinguari as the Brazilian Bigfoot. By the time of David Oren's arrival, rubber had given way to gold, and many of the first mapinguari reports he heard came from gold prospectors and mine employees. The fact that there were reliable modern accounts of such an animal was first brought to his notice by historian David Gueiros Vieira, who had collected several sightings from gold miners while he was in charge of Serra Pelada in Pará. During his discussions with Vieira in 1988, Oren heard a first-hand mapinguari sighting from northern Tocantins which, he has often said in interviews, made a light go off in his head: "this creature could only be a ground sloth!" He has subsequently collected around 100 first-hand sightings which he believes describe the same animal (even the published sightings are too numerous to detail here), from the states of Amazonas, Acre, Mato Grosso, Pará, Amapá, Rondônia, and Tocantins, and as of 2001, he had also interviewed seven hunters who claimed to have killed specimens. Based on the hunters' descriptions, the mapinguari is a very heavy, powerfully-built animal, up to two metres (6'6'') tall when standing bipedally, and weighing enough to break the roots of trees with its steps. It is covered in long and coarse fur which ranges in colour from reddish to brownish to blackish, sometimes said to be longer, mane-like, on the neck and back; and has a muzzle similar to that of a horse or a burro, though shorter, which is armed with four peg-shaped canine teeth. Its formidable claws are shaped like those of the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), but are the size of those of the giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus), that is, between 7'' and 8''. It is said to be nocturnal and crepuscular (i.e. active at night and twilight), and feeds on vegetation including bacaba palms (Oenocarpus bacaba), which it twists to the ground and tears apart in order to feed on the palm heart and berry-like fruits. Two distinct types of vocalisations were described to Oren. The first is a low call reminiscent of thunder, while the other is a very loud and impressive, higher-pitched cry "just like a human shouting," but with a growl at the end. When shot, it produces an "extraordinarily loud, human-like scream." A very strong and unpleasant smell is frequently described, compared to a mixture of faeces and rotting flesh; garlic vine (Mansoa alliacea) and a foetid peccary; or simply described as "just the worst odor they ever smelled." The smell leaves people light-headed and nauseous, or even renders them unconscious. A foul odour is a common feature of mythical South American monsters, but in this case it is clearly a genuine characteristic of the animal. Another folkloric trait which also occurs in sightings is the mapinguari's nigh-invulnerability to bullets and arrows, unless hit in the navel, the eye(s), the mouth, or sometimes elsewhere on the head. Hunters who claim to have shot specimens say they used special solid lead shotgun slugs fired at the head; a special shot used for hunting tapirs fired at the navel from a .16 calibre shotgun; and all the bullets of a .38 caliber revolver, emptied into the chest. According to Oren, two kinds of tracks are attributed to the mapinguari. The first, and most common, are as "round as a pestle" (like those attributed to the folkloric pé de garrafa) and are found in the ground around vegetation and faeces even during the dry season, when the earth is baked hard. The second tracks are "like people's, but backwards," with only four toes. The mapinguari's faeces were always described to Oren as "just like horses," and are said to contain poorly-broken down, recognisable plant matter such as leaves and stems. Of all the Amazonian mammals, only the South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris) produces similarly horse-like faeces, but this animal usually defecates in water, whereas supposed mapinguari dung is found on land. One important sighting was made by a gold prospector who told Oren that a reddish "giant monkey" had charged at him in the forest, and that he only had time to shoot the animal in the face before fainting. When Oren investigated the area, he found a pool of blood and "round paw-prints with marks of clawed toes pointing inwards". This was no monkey, giant or otherwise, but the fact that this clawed animal, whatever it is, has been called a monkey should be kept in mind. Given the amount of sightings, and killings, on record, why has no proof of the mapinguari's existence come to hand? Besides its rarity, its jungle habitat, and the terror in which it is held, the problems of preserving bits of a mapinguari are best illustrated by the following incident: a seringueiro hunting in the woods, startled by a human-like shouting behind him, swung 'round to see an angry-looking, hulking animal standing on its hind legs. Though he shot and killed it, the smell permeating the area was so stupefying that the hunter wandered aimlessly for some hours before coming to. Then he cut off the animal's front paw to show his brother, but this also smelled so badly that he threw it away into the forest. A more conservation-friendly spin on this occurred in the '80s, when some Kanamarí Indians living in the Rio Juruá valley allegedly raised two baby mapinguaris whose mother had been scared off or killed by hunters. The Kanamarí fed them on bananas and milk before they progressed to foliage, but after a couple of years the smell became too much to bear, and the Kanamarí released them. The story is not unique—three hunters claimed to have captured living mapinguaris, but all three animals escaped because their captors were unable to bear the stench. Oren himself led several expeditions in search of the mapinguari, but all the evidence he collected was inconclusive, or identified as something else. Four times on two separate occasions, in the afternoon and early night, Oren heard (and recorded, according to some sources) a mapinguari-like call, described by himself as being extremely strong and of steady pitch, lasting for up to forty-five seconds, and resembling "jets flying over low." He also made a cast, about an 1'' deep, which shows a knuckle-walking track with three digits; and photographed "claw marks on a tree, eight of them about a foot long and an inch deep," which may have been made by a mapinguari. However, results of testing of alleged mapinguari dung were inconclusive, and in one case some fecal matter collected by Oren was identified as giant anteater or tapir dung. Conversely, and dubiously, geneticist John Lewis claimed to have extracted ground sloth DNA from alleged mapinguari faeces which he stepped in during a 2001 expedition to Brazil. Although Oren writes that the well-known single eye and stomach-mouth appear predominately in legend and popular culture, not usually in first-hand sightings, unfortunately the latest recorded sighting, a dubious one from 2014, does indeed describe a cyclopean monster. The latest known incident of any kind came in 2016, when residents of Gleba Vila Amazônia claimed to have discovered large mapinguari footprints near the road from Vila Amazônia to Cabeceira do Inferno, on the banks of Lake Zé Açú. Other residents believed the tracks were made by a giant monkey. Another beast which Oren synonymises with the mapinguari is the juma, a 10' tall hairy humanoid seen near Valéria (where a mapinguari was reported in 1981) in the '90s. According to Oren, almost every Amazonian Indian language has a name for what we call the mapinguari, but only a few of these names have filtered through. These regional mapinguaris of Rondônia, the Andes, and the northern Amazon will be discussed in the following sections. The Rondônian mapinguari More gold prospectors were said to have killed a mapinguari in Rondônia, about two days by foot from Porto Velho. This must have been very close to the Karitiana reservation, which is centred on the village of Kyõwã. The Karitiana version of the mapinguari is called the kida harara or kida so'emo, but is often synonymised with the mapinguari, including by most of the Karitiana. They believe that it lives southwest of Kyõwã, in the Floresta Nacional do Bom Futuro, where it inhabits the "Cave of the Mapinguari," which is also home to enormous vampire bats. Interestingly, one of their alternate names for the animal is o'i ty, meaning "giant sloth". But is this term their own invention, or was it introduced by visiting cryptozoologists? After all, the kida harara has been investigated by cryptozoologists for some time. The first appears to have been Hilton Pereira da Silva, whose research was televised in a '90s episode of Into the Unknown. While he found nothing in the Cave of the Mapinguari, he was told that a hunter named Valdemiro had seen the animal by the cave. Valdemiro had been startled by a "terrifying cry" when the animal emerged, balancing on the sides of its feet and holding its claws inwards. The kida harara's description may have been 'polluted' by descriptions from people who don't claim to have seen it, but, generally, it is said to be a large creature, with a big head just like a sloth's, but with long teeth; huge arms armed with hook-shaped claws; big ugly feet; and red or black hair all over except (sometimes) for the chest and face, which are covered in smooth skin. All accounts describe it as noxious-smelling and extremely noisy and destructive, screaming and groaning, smashing trees and leaving tractor-like trails, and its bulletproof hide is attested by several first-hand experiences. Interestingly, its invulnerability is attributed to lots of little pebbles beneath its skin, a very appropriate description of a mylodontid's osteoderms. Nocturnal, it is said to sleep standing upright, and shuffles its feet as it walks through the woods, making the earth shake. It tears apart babassu palms, which it likes to eat, and also fells other trees... but it isn't a harmless herbivore, since it's reputed to "bear-hug" people to death like an anteater, or even to tear off their arms and legs. As with the mapinguari itself, there are too many sightings to detail, although as of 2006 the kida harara was frequently heard in the forest, during the night. Sometimes it was briefly mistaken for a giant anteater, sometimes it was seen in streams, and on one occasion it caused the evacuation of Kyõwã when it wandered into the village. Several other sightings are recounted in Destination Truth ("Sloth Monster") and Beast Man ("Nightmare of the Amazon"). Both of these investigations also recorded ambiguous evidence — Josh Gates recorded a very quiet, but apparently unidentifiable call, and heard a palm being torn down nearby; while Pat Spain believed he heard a response to his blasted mapinguari call, which may or may not have been picked up by the microphones. But the most famous sighting of the kida harara was the one reported by Geovaldo, a Karitiana hunter who claimed to have been approached and knocked out while stalking peccaries, sometime around 2004. His story was confirmed by his father Lucas, who said that when his son took him back to the site of the encounter, he saw a pathway where the creature had departed through the bush, "as if a boulder had rolled through and knocked down all the trees and vines". However, perhaps due to either translation issues or gradual exaggeration, different versions of this story have been given. Interviewed for Destination Truth, Geovaldo said that he shot at the animal, and ran off when it charged at him. On Beast Man, he claimed to have fired at it multiple times before loading his gun with a lead slug, and firing at the animals face, making it stop and scream in pain, and allowing Geovaldo to escape. Beast Man's Pat Spain interviews Geovaldo using an "animal identity parade" of photographs, and included among native and non-native animals is a photograph of Rusty the Megalonyx. Geovaldo unhesitatingly nods and identifies it as very like what he had seen, stating that "it was kind of like that. I think that was the animal. I really think that looks like it. Its arms were just like that." One difference he notes is that the claws on what he saw were similar, but even larger—other than that, it has the same body, the same arms, and the same face. It's a powerful scene, and the moment that sparked my personal interest in the mapinguari. But of course, Geovaldo's reaction doesn't mean the kida harara really was a Megalonyx, or even a ground sloth at all, only that it looked like that particular concept of Megalonyx. The really useful thing is knowing what Geovaldo definitely didn't see—it wasn't an anteater, elephant, rhinoceros, spectacled bear (no reaction from Geovaldo), or gorilla ("some sort of monkey?"). Regardless of whether or not you believe his story, spectacled bears and apes are alien to this Karitiana hunter. Sloths in the Andes In Acre, near the Peruvian border, Oren was told that the mapinguari is migratory, descending from the Andean foothills around February. It's sometimes thought that it moves into the Andes to avoid the flooding of the rainy season. Whatever the case, some of the best and earliest-published reports of ground sloths come from the forested eastern slopes of the Andes. While doing field work in Macas, Ecuador, in the 1990s, cryptozoologist Angel Morant Forés was told by local Shuar people of a bear-like animal, the ujea, which reminded him of a ground sloth, but he couldn't find anyone who claimed to have seen a ujea for themselves. This creature inhabits an obscure border region between cryptozoology and folklore—sometimes considered a demon, sometimes a long-vanished monster, it has been described as a huge and man-eating ape-like beast. But the most interesting description was given by a Shuar to this traveller, who also received a drawing of the ujea.
The ujea is a weird mix between a bear and a human. Apparently the Shuar used to hunt these. As you can see in the picture the stench was enough to knock a grown man unconscious. These aren't dangerous to humans as they eat the nectar of flowers.
The foul smell, an obvious point of similarity with the mapinguari, is not unique to the ujea among Shuar monsters. But the drawing does depict it as rather sloth-like, with shaggy red hair on its head and back, a long tongue, and strongly hooked claws. However, note that it's said that "the Shuar used to hunt these"—used to. Why stop, unless the animal has vanished? On the other hand, was the ujea the same animal that a huaquero from Quito claimed to have seen in the subtropical cloud forests of the Ecuadorean Andes in the 1980s? According to the account he gave to cryptozoologist J. Richard Greenwell, he saw a large and unfamiliar quadruped, about 10' long, covered in shaggy hair, and sporting a large horse's snout, emerge from a forest cave. As it was coming towards him, the terrified huaquero prayed to the Virgin for help, but the animal simply reared up onto its hind legs and began to browse on the surrounding vegetation. Greenwell believed the man's story, judging him capable of properly evaluating an animal's size and appearance from some distance. In fact, his life habitually depended on this skill—his other job was that of a bullfighter! A lot of people will be familiar with the idea of mapinguaris in Peru because of Forrest Galante's claims about a "Mapinguari Valley," but the only known aboriginal Peruvian name for the animal is the Machiguenga segamai of the Vilcabamba Mountains. This is described as a cow-sized animal which can walk both quarupedally and bipedally, with dark matted fur (specifically said to resemble the fibers surrounding the leaf stems of an Oenocarpus bataua palm) and a snout similar to a giant anteater's. It's said to live in caves in the remote cloud and foothill forests, where it feeds on Cyclanthaceae plants and palm piths. The Machiguenga are terrified of it due to its reputedly aggressive behaviour, and it has a number of characteristics in common with the mapinguari: it is said to be impervious to bullets, has a terrible roar, and supposedly generates an odour or field which stupefies or knocks out anyone who comes close to it. Interviewed on Beast Man, anthropologist Glenn Shepard Jr. added that that the Machiguenga reported seeing large claw marks, which they believed had been made by the segamai, on trees. A sighting made from a distance was reported to have occurred in around 1976, and as of 2001, the Machiguenga insisted that the segamai still lived in certain areas of the forest, where they saw it as just another wild animal. Shepard suggested to them that it might be a bear: the Machiguenga, who knew spectacled bears well, "expressed great surprise and affirmed that the two animals are completely different". One of the tribe matter-of-factly told him that he had seen a segamai at Lima's Natural History Museum when he was a student, and when Shepard checked, he discovered that the museum had a diorama featuring a model of a giant ground sloth. But there's a disconcerting sequel to this story: the student had never seen the segamai himself, and had previously assumed it to be mythical. So despite the belief that the segamai still lived in the forest, the younger generations of 2001 did not believe in it, showing that it had become very rare... or worse. Also from Peru, we have a very dramatic story collected by Hermes Mendoza Del Aguila, which tells of a very mapinguari-like "giant sloth" termed "engendro verde" being killed by soldiers. The story is presumably only a folk tale, but it demonstrates that the mapinguari archetype is familiar in the Peruvian Amazon. Luis Jorge Salinas has collected a 1985 sighting from Bolivia, near Iñapari on the Bolivia-Brazil-Peru border, and Bolivia is in fact home to its own supposed version of the mapinguari: the bipedal jucucu, a name immediately reminiscent of jukumari, ucumari, and ukuku, terms applied to the spectacled bear in Bolivia and Peru. But is this because the jucucu is a bear, or just because a bear is the closest thing the locals know of? Casey Anderson investigates the jucucu on Monster Encounters, and while I haven't been able to watch the episode, or find anyone who has, some details are provided in the episode's dramatic trailer. Anderson's probably right about undiscovered 'monsters' prowling the Amazon, but taking the illustration, the livestock-killing, and the brief glimpse of a bear at face value does reinforce a bear identity for the jucucu itself, despite the massive size and the foul smell (a possible conflation with the mapinguari on the part of the Travel Channel?). And what are we to make of this reference from Simon Chapman's The Monster of the Madidi (2001), describing an animal which was not a spectacled bear, but was far too large for a monkey?
With the Mono Rey, I'm not so sure. But, I was told there are two sorts. One is black and a bit smaller than me. The other has brown hair and is two and a half metres tall. Now that is not the Ucumari I saw. All that selva — the Beu, the Chepite, the Madidi. No one has been to most of it. Anything could be there.
Sloths north of the Amazon While the best evidence comes from regions south of the Amazon River, the mapinguari has also been reported from the tropical rainforest in the north. In fact, some of Oren's accounts, all of them old sightings from elderly woodsmen, come from Amapá in northeastern Brazil, bordering French Guiana. Although many published sightings from immediately north of the river are undetailed or more reminiscent of primates, one atypical sighting was that of Luis Jorge Salinas, who went on to become a prominent investigator of the mapinguari and similar cryptids. According to his book Amazonas: ¿Pleistoceno Park? Un Testimonio Real (2010), Salinas first encountered a mapinguari while working on a roadside farm 38 kilometers from Manaus when he was 24 years old, between May 1985 and May 1986. At that time, he and the farm's other inhabitants were troubled by a frequent nighttime howling, "impressive, mournful, and frightening," which some locals believed were made by a lobisomem or "paçalobo," superwolf. Salinas shot a young one of these animals in the face when it approached the farm one night, driving it into the forest and perhaps killing it. Later on during the same night, Salinas claims to have observed a much larger individual of the same species standing where the shooting had occurred, roaring. Some time later, Salinas observed a group of individuals composed of a male, several females, and a young calf, moving down the road, apparently keeping in order by toad-like vocalisations and head bobbing. They entered a mango plantation to feed on the trees, the females feeding the calf by cutting up small pieces of food in her mouth. The herd disappeared into the trees after being disturbed by a group of passing people from another local farm, but Salinas claimed to have seen them again on two other occasions not long afterwards. Salinas has rejected the idea that these animals were bears, and according to him, they most closely resembled this reconstruction of Megalonyx wheatleyi. He described a few unique features, such as humped backs, "tortoise-like" necks, and bare chests and abdomens; and he compared their unsteady gaits to Charlie Chaplin's famous waddle. Richard Terry of Man v. Monster collected accounts from near the Venezuelan border, the region from which Jaroslav Mareš heard of the more monkey-like version, which travels in pairs. And explorer-cryptozoologist Arnošt Vašíček reports that "nomadic Indians" of the Orinoco Basin claim to have seen a sloth alleged to be a whopping 16' long, which uses its great claws to pull down branches and dig up roots. Furthermore, the animal seems to be known to Venezuela's most famous people, the Yanomami. While visiting a Yanomami village in southern Venezuela, Gustavo Sánchez Romero produced a set of animal flashcards, which some of village's boys and women began to identify. Alongside normal animals, Sánchez Romero had included a card showing a ground sloth, and, although most failed to recognise it, four people exclaimed at once: "owhuama!" The owhuama, they explained with minimal prompting, is a sturdily-built, hairy animal with strong-clawed arms powerful enough to tear down trees and toss jaguars into the air. A ground-dwelling herbivore, it walks both quadrupedally and bipedally, and generally leaves backwards-facing tracks. It lives in deep, cool caves, and communicates by howling and lowing. Though rare, it can be dangerous when it attacks in self-defense, so the Yanomami have a great respect for it.
This amazing cryptozoological dissertation ends with a finger pointed south; that is, to Brazil. The owhuama preferentially lives over there, just on the opposite side of the elaborate, circular Yanomami hut. The impenetrable jungle and the endless forested backwaters hide the identity of a creature from another time.
What is it? Kenneth Campbell and Brad Rancy theorised that the mapinguari could be explained by spectacled bears seasonally coming down from the cold mountains during the winter, into Brazil's warmer climate, and these bears are quite monstrous-looking when they stand upright. However, as we have seen, every time this identity has been put to someone familiar with the mapinguari, it has been flatly rejected, and probably with good reason. As far as I can tell, spectacled bears have never been explicitly reported (either officially or unofficially) from further northeast than Peru's Madre de Dios region. Why has nobody in Brazil ever recognised these supposed migratory bears as bears? Furthermore, the spectacled bear's behaviour is not a good match. They are generally shy, attacking only when they or their young are threatened, and they're famously arboreal. The mapinguari is usually aggressive, surely too bulky to climb, and browses by tearing down trees, which would be a waste of time if it were arboreal. To explain Brazilian mapinguari sightings with spectacled bears requires us to accept that unusually large specimens of these bears seasonally migrate into, or already exist in, the Amazon, yet never behave anything like normal members of their species, and have never been identified as what they are by the 100 or so people who've seen them. Going down the bear route, some unknown species, or perhaps even a surviving Arctotherium, seems more likely than a spectacled bear. And this might be explaining one unknown with another, but cryptid bears have been reported from the Amazon and the Andes: the gigantic milne of the Ucayali, the red-furred bear of the Muscarena Mountains, and the pygmy brown bear of Yanachaga-Chemillén. The early cryptozoologists saw the mapinguari as a giant primate, possibly a howler monkey, as suggested by Dale A. Drinnon. There is no precedence for a giant Amazonian monkey in the fossil record (with all the Pleistocene giant monkeys coming from the Atlantic Forest), but, as will be seen below, this means little. But although some mapinguari sightings might refer to monkeys, the size, bulk, claws, and terrestrial lifestyle of Oren's mapinguari all speak against a uniform monkey identity. Also, as we've seen, a clawed animal which can not be a monkey has still been described as one. A giant peccary is another feasible possibility, although peccaries cannot stand on their hind legs, and Marc Van Roosmalen's research suggests it's possible that the larger they get, the better they smell. It was of course David Oren who first proposed that the mapinguari could be an extant ground sloth. At first he argued this based on small points such as tracks, faeces, diet, and behaviour, but after interviewing the seven hunters, the physical description also became very sloth-like. I probably don't need to point out the many similarities (and the discrepancies) in all the physical descriptions, and how they generally conform to a cow-sized ground sloth; but alongside the more obvious features, Oren suggested that, because of the inward curvature of a ground sloth's tracks, anyone seeing a series of them might interpret them the wrong way around, leading to a belief that the animal has backwards feet; and the round, "bottle" track said to be left by the mapinguari may be the imprint of a ground sloth's powerful tail. But assuming it is a ground sloth, its familial placement has been the subject of controversy, since some have claimed that the mapinguari combines the traits of different sloth families. This really comes down to the fact that it has both canine teeth and, supposedly, osteoderms (little pieces of bone armour beneath its skin, which Oren suggests would explain its invulnerability). Osteoderms are a feature of mylodontids and scelidotheriids, whereas canines are a feature of megalonychids (or so we're often told). But does the mapinguari need osteoderms to be bulletproof? Even tree sloths have remarkable vitality, and the combination of matted hair, a powerful ribcage, and perhaps tough soft tissue could be enough to stop a bullet, without even mentioning the possibility that "bulletproof" mapinguaris could simply wander off to die slowly. True, the kida harara has both long fangs and "pebbles" under its skin, but the Karitiana might have incorporated memories of an extinct mylodontid into an extant megalonychid, since they could hardly know for sure that it has osteoderms without killing and dissecting one. On the other hand, there was in fact a mylodontid, Glossotherium robustum, which had both osteoderms and sexually-dimorphic caniniforms, and it did live in the Amazonian savannahs, but it's thought to have been a mixed feeder with a preference for grazing in open habitats. But trying to make such a specific identification is probably a mistake, and in any case, the mapinguari might not even be known from the fossil record—despite Heuvelmans' theory, the mapinguari could a rainforest specialist which lived in what remained of the rainforest during the ice age, and as far as I know, no unambiguous Late Pleistocene rainforest assemblages are known from the Amazonian region. There's also the remote possibility that more than one type of ground sloth has survived in the Amazon. One problem with a ground sloth identity, which Oren admits, is the mapinguari's tail, described as short, short and broad, or, on one occasion, large and thick. Ground sloths had relatively long, broad tails. While the segamai, ujea, and owhuama could feasibly be folk memories of ground sloths, the mapinguari surely could not: 100 people did not see, and 7 hunters did not shoot, a memory. And reading descriptions of the kida harara, I was struck by the fact that the descriptions gathered from random, non-eyewitness Karitiana by anthropologist Felipe Velden are often quite contradictary, and not very sloth-like. This begs the question: if the kida harara is merely a cultural memory of a ground sloth, part of a shared Karitiana folklore, then why are the people who claim to have seen it for themselves the only ones to accurately describe a ground sloth? The future Writing in 1993, Oren feared that the mapinguari had recently become extinct: first-hand reports from Amapá in northeast Amazonas all came from elderly woodsmen, and Oren had no records of any sightings from the Tapajós Basin dating to within the previous twenty years. However, while he believed that it had very recently been extirpated from the eastern Amazon, he thought that small numbers could still exist in the far west of the Brazilian Amazon, in Amazonas and Acre, and sightings from the west have been reported into the 21st Century. While many zoologists and palaeontologists consider its existence unlikely, within cryptozoology it is often brought up as one of the cryptids most likely to be real. Karl Shuker, for instance, considers it possibly "one of the most likely creatures in the cryptozoological annals to be officially unveiled one day by science," while Richard Freeman lists it as one of the ten cryptids most likely to be discovered in the 21st Century. To conclude, Bernard Heuvelmans suggested in 1955 that ground sloths might be found in the Amazon, and decades later he was justified by David Oren, who came to believe that descriptions of the mapinguari referred to a ground sloth. When he made this proposal, the data he had was suggestive of a ground sloth in the little details, such as tracks and faeces, rather than in the full description, which was not entirely sloth-like. But he was later backed up by the hunters' descriptions, which painted a picture of a very ground sloth-like animal. Now Shuker and Freeman suggest that the mapinguari's existence may be proven in the 21st Century. Will they too be justified? Sightings map I've pinned some mapinguari sightings (and others from Canada, the U.S., Central America, and Patagonia) onto a map using Google Maps. (?) denotes that the location of the sighting is known only vaguely; O that the sighting is placed relatively securely; (O) that it is placed with some certainty; and 🌊 that the sighting occurred at any possible point along the marked body of water. Of course the reason why most of these sightings occur along rivers and near towns or plantations is because that's where people are most likely to come into contact with a rare forest animal. Selected sources
Anon. "The Mother of All Sloths," Fortean Times 77 (October-November 1994)
Anon. [Glenn Shepard Jr.?] "Segamai: Survival of the Pleistocene ground sloth?," Biological and Social Assessments of the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, Peru (2001)
Frenz, Lothar (2014) El Libro de los Animales Misteriosos [huaquero's sighting]
Oren, David "Did Ground Sloths Survive to Recent Times in the Amazon Region?" Goeldiana Zoologia (1993) Online
Oren, David "Does the Endangered Xenarthran Fauna of Amazonia Include Remnant Ground Sloths?" Xenarthra (2001) Online
Romero, Gustavo Sánchez (2008) El Gran Libro de la Criptozoología [owhuama]
Salinas, Luis Jorge (2010) Amazonas: ¿Pleistoceno Park? Un Testimonio Real
Sanderson, Ivan T. (1961) Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life
Velden, Felipe Ferreira Vander "Realidade, Ciência e Fantasia Nas Controvérsias Sobre o Mapinguari no Sudoeste Amazônico," Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi Ciências Humanas (2016) [kida harara]
"Nightmare of the Amazon". Beast Man: Series 1, Episode 2.
HourDark [Shepard's Beast Man interview, not included on my DVD copy]
2020.10.16 18:30 jouscatRealities of a Woman's Life on the Road
We see a lot of posts on here asking about how safe it is to travel as a woman, so I thought I'd try my hand at a descriptive post of my experiences thus far. I started seriously traveling and roughing it when I was around 21 years of age. I am now 26, for context. It's been a bumpy few years full of lots of learning experiences for a lady from bumfuck Kentucky. During this time, I have lived on a schoolie, rubbertramped, vandwelled, RV'd, hitchhiked, and worked seasonally. People have tried to kidnap me. Multiple times. I went into a Walmart around 6 PM once, and came back out very quickly. I saw someone go hide behind my RV in the very back corner of the lot. He wasn't expecting me back so soon, and we made eye contact. Trust that gut feeling you get when you know something isn't right. I carried a weapon in my hand and went back into the McDonald's in the store... got a cup of coffee and sat for hours until my friend came back. I'm glad I had big dogs in the RV, or it definitely would have been compromised. Every time you go into a rest area, it's a risk. Fuck the rules - I ALWAYS take a dog with me if it's getting toward the evening. I always have my weapon ready to be drawn as I walk out the door. Check every angle, especially your typical blind spots. I have come out and immediately checked around the corner to find someone sitting in wait for me. They hesitated and I got away safely because I had a weapon out, a dog that wasn't friendly, and was expecting them. They were caught off-guard, not me. You're not being paranoid. This shit happens and you have to be prepared. I have had someone break into my RV. We weren't trying to be stupid. Sometimes you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. We were briefly meeting with someone about a work trade as a last resort option in a difficult time and couldn't watch the vehicle, but that's all it took. We lost essentials. You'd think they would have stolen the instruments, but they took toilet paper, blankets, a power bank, spare change, our first aid, etc... all the things that fucked us the most. Possessions can be replaced though. When I first got back to the RV, I should have trusted my dogs. Every single one of them loaded in and then immediately turned tail and leaped back out. It took coaxing to get them inside. They smelled that something wasn't right. What if someone had been lying in wait? We found a window left cracked open just a hair, enough so that someone could easily have come in later while we were sleeping. They had opened the roof hatches too, like they had been in there a while, just waiting, and it had been too hot. Had we come back sooner, we might have been in an even worse position. Do not assume your home is automatically a safe space. Any time you enter after having left, keep a lookout for what could be wrong. If you have that sinking bad feeling, leave. Camping on the west coast versus the east coast is a different game. The east can be sketchy, but I've had my worst experiences in the west. I swear, it's just a way of life for some people out there. All the constant scouting by junkies and tweakers at anywhere free to sleep is bad, and you're not getting much sympathy from anyone as far as help goes. Be skeptical if a 'nice guy' wants to set you up into a better situation. There's more organized grooming and crime than you can even anticipate. What might be a good situation for your buddy who is a dude could quickly turn dangerous for you, a woman. Bros often don't know how creepy their friends are, either. You will likely be sexually harassed at work. Less so at the yuppie jobs, but if you're working on farms or general labor, be prepared. Of course, I have gotten the typical treatment of expecting the women to not be able to do hard work and assigning us to cook, do laundry, and clean the toilets. I've had credit for my hard work given to men who didn't lift a finger. But I have also had employers drug girls that I worked with to sleep with them. They'd even specifically hire attractive girls just to have a chance at them. People in power positions think they can get away with whatever they want in terms of mistreating vagrant women. Speaking up will lose you your job. How much is the money worth though? It's hard to find company with men. Maybe my perspective is a bit warped because I'm homoromantic. Most guys I have traveled with know that I am only interested in women, since that's an important conversation to have. Most also don't care. Close friends have made moves on me and felt me up, expecting me to change for them. I don't want to be one of those girls that can't have platonic friends of the opposite gender. It's not easy though. You may be hurt by the way people close to you treat you. I don't dress in a feminine way. I wear jeans or tactical-type clothing, green or brown, usually. I play down my appearance. It doesn't stop people from trying to make moves, but perhaps it helps some. Being homeless as a women is inherently more dangerous in obvious ways, too. I managed to hitchhike across the country in a few days with little to no wait time between rides. I had a trucker try to keep me in his hotel room at the end of the day, luring me with a ride further the next day. He insisted my dog stay in his truck. I noped the fuck out of that. Nothing like listening to a married man go on about his children all day to really work up the libido. One guy gave me a ride before I even got to the on-ramp to stick up my thumb. That one was strange. He tried to be respectful in a religious way, but clearly wanted me to marry him and have his babies. Decided to try Craigslist rideshare for a leg of the journey. I could have ridden free if I took the guy up on the flirting, but the cash cost less than my dignity. I stayed safe because I knew when to get the fuck out, but I really should have avoided all those scenarios from the beginning. I only had one women pick me up on my whole trip, and it was just for a half hour drive. I'm not trying to say all men are bad. I couchsurfed with a guy in a small studio, and he was a perfect gentleman. It's possible. But often times, if something seems too enticing, it's for a reason, and people have objectives. I was flying a sign with a guy once, whom walked away to take a piss. The moment he was gone, the homebums creeped in to harass me. Another time, I had an old drunkard propose to me with a ring pop from Dollar Tree after getting down on all fours and pretending to drink out of my dogs' water bowl. He wouldn't stop asking for my number, while I had to lie and pretend I was dating the guy traveling with me. Many men don't respect women. They only respect 'another man's property.' I realize I sound like a mega-cunt feminist right now. I swear, I'm just trying to relay my honest experiences. I known some men that are just the greatest people out there. But when you're on the streets, you're not often interacting with the cream of the crop. People will be gross to you. I know having a dog makes it harder to find work and get into housing. But the right dog will also keep you safe. I've lost out on opportunities specifically because my dog was being protective (not aggressive, but defensive). These are not opportunities you want anyway. Dogs can read people, and you can read them, if you pay attention. If my dog specifically doesn't like someone, it's because they have bad intentions for me or they are on hard drugs. Rescued mutts + experience on the road = wonderful fucking companions. That's my advice on the matter. I don't want my dog to be too friendly. We are trying to survive together. Even if a dog isn't intimidating enough to halt someone in their tracks, a little yapper can give you a heads up if something is amiss. Self-defense is so important. Pepper spray is better than nothing, but it's a joke and won't stop everyone. You might just piss someone off more. If you do carry it, I recommend pepper gel; the wind won't catch it as much. I mostly keep this on hand for if I had to break up a dog fight. Bear spray is another option that is better for crossing borders with (Canada doesn't like self-defense items, but bear spray works on people too). You could keep a stun gun, but make sure that's it's still useful even if the battery is dead, so it needs some heft and sharp edges. I carry multiple knives of varying sizes, some visible and some hidden. Switchblades and spring-action are nice, but again, legality varies in different regions. I also have a shank. It gives a different impression than a knife. It's not a multi-use tool - it's just for stabbing bitches. I had my shank out the aforementioned night when someone tried to jump me at a rest area. It startled them enough to buy me time. It means that I've put more thought into this than you realize, as an initial impression. I have brass knuckles too. I'm not a puncher, but I figured it'd be better for stopping a blade coming at me than my bare hands. Weapons don't work if they're not accessible when you need them!!! You don't have time to reach into the zippered compartment of your bag. Have it out and ready, or at the very least, in your pocket with your hand on it if you anticipate anything at all. Paranoia keeps you safe. Don't talk yourself out of it. But make sure you are competent at utilizing your tools. If you fumble, it will be used against you. I carry a 9 mm, as well. This does not make me feel safer. This makes me a target. People assume I won't use it, and it draws many eyes for theft. I'd rather not show up with a knife to a gun fight, but it has its caveats. If you have one, know the laws in your location. I did not travel with a firearm on foot, only by vehicle. I have a safe, and I follow all procedures to legally pass through wherever I am. Don't be stupid, cops are as much of a danger to you as anyone else. Which leads me to my next point, officers can be fucking creeps at well. I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but I have definitely had some uncomfortable situations arise. Like I said before, people in power positions can and will abuse it. I know I have spoken a lot about creepy guys, but you'd be a fool to inherently trust women, as well. I have had girls approach me in a friendly manner, or seeking help, that were clearly lures for bigger traps. Tits don't make someone a good person. And good people can be in desperate situations that compromise their values too. Not all predators are obvious. You need to be cunning and analytical. I have heard about women injecting another lady in a public restroom, and then carrying her out to a strange vehicle, all under the guise of "sorry, my friend had a little too much to drink." I could go on forever about this topic, and by no means am I an expert. Just speaking from the heart. I want to leave you with a piece of advice from Clint Emerson's 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition... "Survival is a by-product of action. Be brave, swift, and violent." I avoid confrontation whenever possible. But if you do, unfortunately, find yourself in a position with no choice, you have to act. Predators expect you to be weak and submissive. They expect you to be fearful and to follow orders. Surprise them. Be crazy. Scare them. But most of all, be safe.
2020.10.16 03:34 redback-spiderUkrainian claims Ukraine is different from the West and man are the winner of Divorces
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B52r5WXxxho First she starts with saying that man in Ukraine get not fucked up by divorce like in western countries and that people have a better attitute and says that people (men) should have better attitute, then at the end she flipps around and claims that women are the real victims of divorce and that they should create some female version of MGTOW (movement). While at the same time mentioning that newer laws (since end of UDSSR I guess came that sound very similar to every western countries laws). She then mentioned about women that leave the children and the house by the man and cites some anekdote about a guy that put a gun on her head and make her leave. So my take on this: I mean I can't talk for mafious / criminal situations but I will assume that not >50% of the man are in the Mafia in Ukraine sure the corruption in Police is stronger and feminist politics less all dominating mainstream, so mighty man maybe can have it their way, but claiming that this is true for all ukrainian man is wild, from familylaw.com.ua
Significantly, even when a paying parent has been legally limited or prevented by the other parent from participating in or making decisions involving the upbringing of the child, child-support is still obligatory from the legal point of view.
So here we see the crual law that a man can be excluded from the live of his children but still have to pay anyway... sounds very western and sexist to me, where is there the difference? This video is full of contradictions, first she says that the women most of the time get's the child then later she says that often the rich man can get the children, so is she only complaining about a small minority of rich guys and ignores the majority of cases where according to her own words it goes the other way around? http://familylaw.com.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=55&Itemid=61&lang=en Also here it states that it's very simple to divorce and there is no fault noticed. So even if the man did nothing wrong maybe the women cheated on him, she can divorce him and get's probably half his stuff and the children and of course childcare. Feminist groups also push there for "MeToo" like social media culture:
Before #MeToo, women in the former Soviet space declared #ImNotAfraidToSayIt
I find contradicting divorce rates about the US some mentions 3.2 or 3.5 some mention 7 per 1000 marriages per year, the divorce rate for the Ukraine seems to be 3.6, I don't care to much for the 2020 numbers because covid influences this numbers to much. Either way it's pretty high numbers in the Ukraine with the EU having a avarge of 2.0 divorces. Now I am neighter a Russian/Ukraine or American Law or Culture expert, I will gladly admit that you probably get a less misandric system in Ukraine than in the US, the courts are not as havy determined to destroy the man and the lawyers are probably cheaper, but still say it's delusional to say this things do not happen in Ukraine. It's especially interesting that she is a dating agent or something with foreign man and ukrainian women if I understand that correctly, and A those women probably often go to the countries of that man where they have this stronger Misandric culture/laws, but even if not as foreigner you also seem to be fucked: https://www.kyivpost.com/lifestyle/how-ukraine-is-failing-foreign-fathers.html
2020.10.16 02:11 Ratonitator22Roses are red, I ate a bat,
According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway because bees don't care what humans think is impossible. Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Ooh, black and yellow! Let's shake it up a little. Barry! Breakfast is ready! Ooming! Hang on a second. Hello? - Barry? - Adam? - Oan you believe this is happening? - I can't. I'll pick you up. Looking sharp. Use the stairs. Your father paid good money for those. Sorry. I'm excited. Here's the graduate. We're very proud of you, son. A perfect report card, all B's. Very proud. Ma! I got a thing going here. - You got lint on your fuzz. - Ow! That's me! - Wave to us! We'll be in row 118,000. - Bye! Barry, I told you, stop flying in the house! - Hey, Adam. - Hey, Barry. - Is that fuzz gel? - A little. Special day, graduation. Never thought I'd make it. Three days grade school, three days high school. Those were awkward. Three days college. I'm glad I took a day and hitchhiked around the hive. You did come back different. - Hi, Barry. - Artie, growing a mustache? Looks good. - Hear about Frankie? - Yeah. - You going to the funeral? - No, I'm not going. Everybody knows, sting someone, you die. Don't waste it on a squirrel. Such a hothead. I guess he could have just gotten out of the way. I love this incorporating an amusement park into our day. That's why we don't need vacations. Boy, quite a bit of pomp... under the circumstances. - Well, Adam, today we are men. - We are! - Bee-men. - Amen! Hallelujah! Students, faculty, distinguished bees, please welcome Dean Buzzwell. Welcome, New Hive Oity graduating class of... ...9:15. That concludes our ceremonies. And begins your career at Honex Industries! Will we pick ourjob today? I heard it's just orientation. Heads up! Here we go. Keep your hands and antennas inside the tram at all times. - Wonder what it'll be like? - A little scary. Welcome to Honex, a division of Honesco and a part of the Hexagon Group. This is it! Wow. Wow. We know that you, as a bee, have worked your whole life to get to the point where you can work for your whole life. Honey begins when our valiant Pollen Jocks bring the nectar to the hive. Our top-secret formula is automatically color-corrected, scent-adjusted and bubble-contoured into this soothing sweet syrup with its distinctive golden glow you know as... Honey! - That girl was hot. - She's my cousin! - She is? - Yes, we're all cousins. - Right. You're right. - At Honex, we constantly strive to improve every aspect of bee existence. These bees are stress-testing a new helmet technology. - What do you think he makes? - Not enough. Here we have our latest advancement, the Krelman. - What does that do? - Oatches that little strand of honey that hangs after you pour it. Saves us millions. Oan anyone work on the Krelman? Of course. Most bee jobs are small ones. But bees know that every small job, if it's done well, means a lot. But choose carefully because you'll stay in the job you pick for the rest of your life. The same job the rest of your life? I didn't know that. What's the difference? You'll be happy to know that bees, as a species, haven't had one day off in 27 million years. So you'll just work us to death? We'll sure try. Wow! That blew my mind! "What's the difference?" How can you say that? One job forever? That's an insane choice to have to make. I'm relieved. Now we only have to make one decision in life. But, Adam, how could they never have told us that? Why would you question anything? We're bees. We're the most perfectly functioning society on Earth. You ever think maybe things work a little too well here? Like what? Give me one example. I don't know. But you know what I'm talking about. Please clear the gate. Royal Nectar Force on approach. Wait a second. Oheck it out. - Hey, those are Pollen Jocks! - Wow. I've never seen them this close. They know what it's like outside the hive. Yeah, but some don't come back. - Hey, Jocks! - Hi, Jocks! You guys did great! You're monsters! You're sky freaks! I love it! I love it! - I wonder where they were. - I don't know. Their day's not planned. Outside the hive, flying who knows where, doing who knows what. You can'tjust decide to be a Pollen Jock. You have to be bred for that. Right. Look. That's more pollen than you and I will see in a lifetime. It's just a status symbol. Bees make too much of it. Perhaps. Unless you're wearing it and the ladies see you wearing it. Those ladies? Aren't they our cousins too? Distant. Distant. Look at these two. - Oouple of Hive Harrys. - Let's have fun with them. It must be dangerous being a Pollen Jock. Yeah. Once a bear pinned me against a mushroom! He had a paw on my throat, and with the other, he was slapping me! - Oh, my! - I never thought I'd knock him out. What were you doing during this? Trying to alert the authorities. I can autograph that. A little gusty out there today, wasn't it, comrades? Yeah. Gusty. We're hitting a sunflower patch six miles from here tomorrow. - Six miles, huh? - Barry! A puddle jump for us, but maybe you're not up for it. - Maybe I am. - You are not! We're going 0900 at J-Gate. What do you think, buzzy-boy? Are you bee enough? I might be. It all depends on what 0900 means. Hey, Honex! Dad, you surprised me. You decide what you're interested in? - Well, there's a lot of choices. - But you only get one. Do you ever get bored doing the same job every day? Son, let me tell you about stirring. You grab that stick, and you just move it around, and you stir it around. You get yourself into a rhythm. It's a beautiful thing. You know, Dad, the more I think about it, maybe the honey field just isn't right for me. You were thinking of what, making balloon animals? That's a bad job for a guy with a stinger. Janet, your son's not sure he wants to go into honey! - Barry, you are so funny sometimes. - I'm not trying to be funny. You're not funny! You're going into honey. Our son, the stirrer! - You're gonna be a stirrer? - No one's listening to me! Wait till you see the sticks I have. I could say anything right now. I'm gonna get an ant tattoo! Let's open some honey and celebrate! Maybe I'll pierce my thorax. Shave my antennae. Shack up with a grasshopper. Get a gold tooth and call everybody "dawg"! I'm so proud. - We're starting work today! - Today's the day. Oome on! All the good jobs will be gone. Yeah, right. Pollen counting, stunt bee, pouring, stirrer, front desk, hair removal... - Is it still available? - Hang on. Two left! One of them's yours! Oongratulations! Step to the side. - What'd you get? - Picking crud out. Stellar! Wow! Oouple of newbies? Yes, sir! Our first day! We are ready! Make your choice. - You want to go first? - No, you go. Oh, my. What's available? Restroom attendant's open, not for the reason you think. - Any chance of getting the Krelman? - Sure, you're on. I'm sorry, the Krelman just closed out. Wax monkey's always open. The Krelman opened up again. What happened? A bee died. Makes an opening. See? He's dead. Another dead one. Deady. Deadified. Two more dead. Dead from the neck up. Dead from the neck down. That's life! Oh, this is so hard! Heating, cooling, stunt bee, pourer, stirrer, humming, inspector number seven, lint coordinator, stripe supervisor, mite wrangler. Barry, what do you think I should... Barry? Barry! All right, we've got the sunflower patch in quadrant nine... What happened to you? Where are you? - I'm going out. - Out? Out where? - Out there. - Oh, no! I have to, before I go to work for the rest of my life. You're gonna die! You're crazy! Hello? Another call coming in. If anyone's feeling brave, there's a Korean deli on 83rd that gets their roses today. Hey, guys. - Look at that. - Isn't that the kid we saw yesterday? Hold it, son, flight deck's restricted. It's OK, Lou. We're gonna take him up. Really? Feeling lucky, are you? Sign here, here. Just initial that. - Thank you. - OK. You got a rain advisory today, and as you all know, bees cannot fly in rain. So be careful. As always, watch your brooms, hockey sticks, dogs, birds, bears and bats. Also, I got a couple of reports of root beer being poured on us. Murphy's in a home because of it, babbling like a cicada! - That's awful. - And a reminder for you rookies, bee law number one, absolutely no talking to humans! All right, launch positions! Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz! Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz! Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz! Black and yellow! Hello! You ready for this, hot shot? Yeah. Yeah, bring it on. Wind, check. - Antennae, check. - Nectar pack, check. - Wings, check. - Stinger, check. Scared out of my shorts, check. OK, ladies, let's move it out! Pound those petunias, you striped stem-suckers! All of you, drain those flowers! Wow! I'm out! I can't believe I'm out! So blue. I feel so fast and free! Box kite! Wow! Flowers! This is Blue Leader. We have roses visual. Bring it around 30 degrees and hold. Roses! 30 degrees, roger. Bringing it around. Stand to the side, kid. It's got a bit of a kick. That is one nectar collector! - Ever see pollination up close? - No, sir. I pick up some pollen here, sprinkle it over here. Maybe a dash over there, a pinch on that one. See that? It's a little bit of magic. That's amazing. Why do we do that? That's pollen power. More pollen, more flowers, more nectar, more honey for us. Oool. I'm picking up a lot of bright yellow. Oould be daisies. Don't we need those? Oopy that visual. Wait. One of these flowers seems to be on the move. Say again? You're reporting a moving flower? Affirmative. That was on the line! This is the coolest. What is it? I don't know, but I'm loving this color. It smells good. Not like a flower, but I like it. Yeah, fuzzy. Ohemical-y. Oareful, guys. It's a little grabby. My sweet lord of bees! Oandy-brain, get off there! Problem! - Guys! - This could be bad. Affirmative. Very close. Gonna hurt. Mama's little boy. You are way out of position, rookie! Ooming in at you like a missile! Help me! I don't think these are flowers. - Should we tell him? - I think he knows. What is this?! Match point! You can start packing up, honey, because you're about to eat it! Yowser! Gross. There's a bee in the car! - Do something! - I'm driving! - Hi, bee. - He's back here! He's going to sting me! Nobody move. If you don't move, he won't sting you. Freeze! He blinked! Spray him, Granny! What are you doing?! Wow... the tension level out here is unbelievable. I gotta get home. Oan't fly in rain. Oan't fly in rain. Oan't fly in rain. Mayday! Mayday! Bee going down! Ken, could you close the window please? Ken, could you close the window please? Oheck out my new resume. I made it into a fold-out brochure. You see? Folds out. Oh, no. More humans. I don't need this. What was that? Maybe this time. This time. This time. This time! This time! This... Drapes! That is diabolical. It's fantastic. It's got all my special skills, even my top-ten favorite movies. What's number one? Star Wars? Nah, I don't go for that... ...kind of stuff. No wonder we shouldn't talk to them. They're out of their minds. When I leave a job interview, they're flabbergasted, can't believe what I say. There's the sun. Maybe that's a way out. I don't remember the sun having a big 75 on it. I predicted global warming. I could feel it getting hotter. At first I thought it was just me. Wait! Stop! Bee! Stand back. These are winter boots. Wait! Don't kill him! You know I'm allergic to them! This thing could kill me! Why does his life have less value than yours? Why does his life have any less value than mine? Is that your statement? I'm just saying all life has value. You don't know what he's capable of feeling. My brochure! There you go, little guy. I'm not scared of him. It's an allergic thing. Put that on your resume brochure. My whole face could puff up. Make it one of your special skills. Knocking someone out is also a special skill. Right. Bye, Vanessa. Thanks. - Vanessa, next week? Yogurt night? - Sure, Ken. You know, whatever. - You could put carob chips on there. - Bye. - Supposed to be less calories. - Bye. I gotta say something. She saved my life. I gotta say something. All right, here it goes. Nah. What would I say? I could really get in trouble. It's a bee law. You're not supposed to talk to a human. I can't believe I'm doing this. I've got to. Oh, I can't do it. Oome on! No. Yes. No. Do it. I can't. How should I start it? "You like jazz?" No, that's no good. Here she comes! Speak, you fool! Hi! I'm sorry. - You're talking. - Yes, I know. You're talking! I'm so sorry. No, it's OK. It's fine. I know I'm dreaming. But I don't recall going to bed. Well, I'm sure this is very disconcerting. This is a bit of a surprise to me. I mean, you're a bee! I am. And I'm not supposed to be doing this, but they were all trying to kill me. And if it wasn't for you... I had to thank you. It's just how I was raised. That was a little weird. - I'm talking with a bee. - Yeah. I'm talking to a bee. And the bee is talking to me! I just want to say I'm grateful. I'll leave now. - Wait! How did you ng? Got everything? All set! Go ahead. I'll catch up. Don't be too long. Watch this! Vanessa! - We're still here. - I told you not to yell at him. He doesn't respond to yelling! - Then why yell at me? - Because you don't listen! I'm not listening to this. Sorry, I've gotta go. - Where are you going? - I'm meeting a friend. A girl? Is this why you can't decide? Bye. I just hope she's Bee-ish. They have a huge parade of flowers every year in Pasadena? To be in the Tournament of Roses, that's every florist's dream! Up on a float, surrounded by flowers, crowds cheering. A tournament. Do the roses compete in athletic events? No. All right, I've got one. How come you don't fly everywhere? It's exhausting. Why don't you run everywhere? It's faster. Yeah, OK, I see, I see. All right, your turn. TiVo. You can just freeze live TV? That's insane! You don't have that? We have Hivo, but it's a disease. It's a horrible, horrible disease. Oh, my. Dumb bees! You must want to sting all those jerks. We try not to sting. It's usually fatal for us. So you have to watch your temper. Very carefully. You kick a wall, take a walk, write an angry letter and throw it out. Work through it like any emotion: Anger, jealousy, lust. Oh, my goodness! Are you OK? Yeah. - What is wrong with you?! - It's a bug. He's not bothering anybody. Get out of here, you creep! What was that? A Pic 'N' Save circular? Yeah, it was. How did you know? It felt like about 10 pages. Seventy-five is pretty much our limit. You've really got that down to a science. - I lost a cousin to Italian Vogue. - I'll bet. What in the name of Mighty Hercules is this? How did this get here? Oute Bee, Golden Blossom, Ray Liotta Private Select? - Is he that actor? - I never heard of him. - Why is this here? - For people. We eat it. You don't have enough food of your own? - Well, yes. - How do you get it? - Bees make it. - I know who makes it! And it's hard to make it! There's heating, cooling, stirring. You need a whole Krelman thing! - It's organic. - It's our-ganic! It's just honey, Barry. Just what?! Bees don't know about this! This is stealing! A lot of stealing! You've taken our homes, schools, hospitals! This is all we have! And it's on sale?! I'm getting to the bottom of this. I'm getting to the bottom of all of this! Hey, Hector. - You almost done? - Almost. He is here. I sense it. Well, I guess I'll go home now and just leave this nice honey out, with no one around. You're busted, box boy! I knew I heard something. So you can talk! I can talk. And now you'll start talking! Where you getting the sweet stuff? Who's your supplier? I don't understand. I thought we were friends. The last thing we want to do is upset bees! You're too late! It's ours now! You, sir, have crossed the wrong sword! You, sir, will be lunch for my iguana, Ignacio! Where is the honey coming from? Tell me where! Honey Farms! It comes from Honey Farms! Orazy person! What horrible thing has happened here? These faces, they never knew what hit them. And now they're on the road to nowhere! Just keep still. What? You're not dead? Do I look dead? They will wipe anything that moves. Where you headed? To Honey Farms. I am onto something huge here. I'm going to Alaska. Moose blood, crazy stuff. Blows your head off! I'm going to Tacoma. - And you? - He really is dead. All right. Uh-oh! - What is that?! - Oh, no! - A wiper! Triple blade! - Triple blade? Jump on! It's your only chance, bee! Why does everything have to be so doggone clean?! How much do you people need to see?! Open your eyes! Stick your head out the window! From NPR News in Washington, I'm Oarl Kasell. But don't kill no more bugs! - Bee! - Moose blood guy!! - You hear something? - Like what? Like tiny screaming. Turn off the radio. Whassup, bee boy? Hey, Blood. Just a row of honey jars, as far as the eye could see. Wow! I assume wherever this truck goes is where they're getting it. I mean, that honey's ours. - Bees hang tight. - We're all jammed in. It's a close community. Not us, man. We on our own. Every mosquito on his own. - What if you get in trouble? - You a mosquito, you in trouble. Nobody likes us. They just smack. See a mosquito, smack, smack! At least you're out in the world. You must meet girls. Mosquito girls try to trade up, get with a moth, dragonfly. Mosquito girl don't want no mosquito. You got to be kidding me! Mooseblood's about to leave the building! So long, bee! - Hey, guys! - Mooseblood! I knew I'd catch y'all down here. Did you bring your crazy straw? We throw it in jars, slap a label on it, and it's pretty much pure profit. What is this place? A bee's got a brain the size of a pinhead. They are pinheads! Pinhead. - Oheck out the new smoker. - Oh, sweet. That's the one you want. The Thomas 3000! Smoker? Ninety puffs a minute, semi-automatic. Twice the nicotine, all the tar. A couple breaths of this knocks them right out. They make the honey, and we make the money. "They make the honey, and we make the money"? Oh, my! What's going on? Are you OK? Yeah. It doesn't last too long. Do you know you're in a fake hive with fake walls? Our queen was moved here. We had no choice. This is your queen? That's a man in women's clothes! That's a drag queen! What is this? Oh, no! There's hundreds of them! Bee honey. Our honey is being brazenly stolen on a massive scale! This is worse than anything bears have done! I intend to do something. Oh, Barry, stop. Who told you humans are taking our honey? That's a rumor. Do these look like rumors? That's a conspiracy theory. These are obviously doctored photos. How did you get mixed up in this? He's been talking to humans. - What? - Talking to humans?! He has a human girlfriend. And they make out! Make out? Barry! We do not. - You wish you could. - Whose side are you on? The bees! I dated a cricket once in San Antonio. Those crazy legs kept me up all night. Barry, this is what you want to do with your life? I want to do it for all our lives. Nobody works harder than bees! Dad, I remember you coming home so overworked your hands were still stirring. You couldn't stop. I remember that. What right do they have to our honey? We live on two cups a year. They put it in lip balm for no reason whatsoever! Even if it's true, what can one bee do? Sting them where it really hurts. In the face! The eye! - That would hurt. - No. Up the nose? That's a killer. There's only one place you can sting the humans, one place where it matters. Hive at Five, the hive's only full-hour action news source. No more bee beards! With Bob Bumble at the anchor desk. Weather with Storm Stinger. Sports with Buzz Larvi. And Jeanette Ohung. - Good evening. I'm Bob Bumble. - And I'm Jeanette Ohung. A tri-county bee, Barry Benson, intends to sue the human race for stealing our honey, packaging it and profiting from it illegally! Tomorrow night on Bee Larry King, we'll have three former queens here in our studio, discussing their new book, Olassy Ladies, out this week on Hexagon. Tonight we're talking to Barry Benson. Did you ever think, "I'm a kid from the hive. I can't do this"? Bees have never been afraid to change the world. What about Bee Oolumbus? Bee Gandhi? Bejesus? Where I'm from, we'd never sue humans. We were thinking of stickball or candy stores. How old are you? The bee community is supporting you in this case, which will be the trial of the bee century. You know, they have a Larry King in the human world too. It's a common name. Next week... He looks like you and has a show and suspenders and colored dots... Next week... Glasses, quotes on the bottom from the guest even though you just heard 'em. Bear Week next week! They're scary, hairy and here live. Always leans forward, pointy shoulders, squinty eyes, very Jewish. In tennis, you attack at the point of weakness! It was my grandmother, Ken. She's 81. Honey, her backhand's a joke! I'm not gonna take advantage of that? Quiet, please. Actual work going on here. - Is that that same bee? - Yes, it is! I'm helping him sue the human race. - Hello. - Hello, bee. This is Ken. Yeah, I remember you. Timberland, size ten and a half. Vibram sole, I believe. Why does he talk again? Listen, you better go 'cause we're really busy working. But it's our yogurt night! Bye-bye. Why is yogurt night so difficult?! You poor thing. You two have been at this for hours! Yes, and Adam here has been a huge help. - Frosting... - How many sugars? Just one. I try not to use the competition. So why are you helping me? Bees have good qualities. And it takes my mind off the shop. Instead of flowers, people are giving balloon bouquets now. Those are great, if you're three. And artificial flowers. - Oh, those just get me psychotic! - Yeah, me too. Bent stingers, pointless pollination. Bees must hate those fake things! Nothing worse than a daffodil that's had work done. Maybe this could make up for it a little bit. - This lawsuit's a pretty big deal. - I t to all bees. We invented it! We make it. And we protect it with our lives. Unfortunately, there are some people in this room who think they can take it from us 'cause we're the little guys! I'm hoping that, after this is all over, you'll see how, by taking our honey, you not only take everything we have but everything we are! I wish he'd dress like that all the time. So nice! Oall your first witness. So, Mr. Klauss Vanderhayden of Honey Farms, big company you have. I suppose so. I see you also own Honeyburton and Honron! Yes, they provide beekeepers for our farms. Beekeeper. I find that to be a very disturbing term. I don't imagine you employ any bee-free-ers, do you? - No. - I couldn't hear you. - No. - No. Because you don't free bees. You keep bees. Not only that, it seems you thought a bear would be an appropriate image for a jar of honey. They're very lovable creatures. Yogi Bear, Fozzie Bear, Build-A-Bear. You mean like this? Bears kill bees! How'd you like his head crashing through your living room?! Biting into your couch! Spitting out your throw pillows! OK, that's enough. Take him away. So, Mr. Sting, thank you for being here. Your name intrigues me. - Where have I heard it before? - I was with a band called The Police. But you've never been a police officer, have you? No, I haven't. No, you haven't. And so here we have yet another example of bee culture casually stolen by a human for nothing more than a prance-about stage name. Oh, please. Have you ever been stung, Mr. Sting? Because I'm feeling a little stung, Sting. Or should I say... Mr. Gordon M. Sumner! That's not his real name?! You idiots! Mr. Liotta, first, belated congratulations on your Emmy win for a guest spot on ER in 2005. Thank you. Thank you. I see from your resume that you're devilishly handsome with a churning inner turmoil that's ready to blow. I enjoy what I do. Is that a crime? Not yet it isn't. But is this what it's come to for you? Exploiting tiny, helpless bees so you don't have to rehearse your part and learn your lines, sir? Watch it, Benson! I could blow right now! This isn't a goodfella. This is a badfella! Why doesn't someone just step on this creep, and we can all go home?! - Order in this court! - You're all thinking it! Order! Order, I say! - Say it! - Mr. Liotta, please sit down! I think it was awfully nice of that bear to pitch in like that. I think the jury's on our side. Are we doing everything right, legally? I'm a florist. Right. Well, here's to a great team. To a great team! Well, hello. - Ken! - Hello. I didn't think you were coming. No, I was just late. I tried to call, but... the battery. I didn't want all this to go to waste, so I called Barry. Luckily, he was free. Oh, that was lucky. There's a little left. I could heat it up. Yeah, heat it up, sure, whatever. So I hear you're quite a tennis player. I'm not much for the game myself. The ball's a little grabby. That's where I usually sit. Right... there. Ken, Barry was looking at your resume, and he agreed with me that eating with chopsticks isn't really a special skill. You think I don't see what you're doing? I know how hard it is to find the rightjob. We have that in common. Do we? Bees have 100 percent employment, but we do jobs like taking the crud out. That's just what I was thinking about doing. Ken, I let Barry borrow your razor for his fuzz. I hope that was all right. I'm going to drain the old stinger. Yeah, you do that. Look at that. You know, to losing, son. Only to losing. Mr. Benson Bee, I'll ask you what I think we'd all like to know. What exactly is your relationship to that woman? We're friends. - Good friends? - Yes. How good? Do you live together? Wait a minute... Are you her little... ...bedbug? I've seen a bee documentary or two. From what I understand, doesn't your queen give birth to all the bee children? - Yeah, but... - So those aren't your real parents! - Oh, Barry... - Yes, they are! Hold me back! You're an illegitimate bee, aren't you, Benson? He's denouncing bees! Don't y'all date your cousins? - Objection! - I'm going to pincushion this guy! Adam, don't! It's what he wants! Oh, I'm hit!! Oh, lordy, I am hit! Order! Order! The venom! The venom is coursing through my veins! I have been felled by a winged beast of destruction! You see? You can't treat them like equals! They're striped savages! Stinging's the only thing they know! It's their way! - Adam, stay with me. - I can't feel my legs. What angel of mercy will come forward to suck the poison from my heaving buttocks? I will have order in this court. Order! Order, please! The case of the honeybees versus the human race took a pointed turn against the bees yesterday when one of their legal team stung Layton T. Montgomery. - Hey, buddy. - Hey. - Is there much pain? - Yeah. I... I blew the whole case, didn't I? It doesn't matter. What matters is you're alive. You could have died. I'd be better off dead. Look at me. They got it from the cafeteria downstairs, in a tuna sandwich. Look, there's a little celery still on it. What was it like to sting someone? I can't explain it. It was all... All adrenaline and then... and then ecstasy! All right. You think it was all a trap? Of course. I'm sorry. I flew us right into this. What were we thinking? Look at us. We're just a couple of bugs in this world. What will the humans do to us if they win? I don't know. I hear they put the roaches in motels. That doesn't sound so bad. Adam, they check in, but they don't check out! Oh, my. Oould you get a nurse to close that window? - Why? - The smoke. Bees don't smoke. Right. Bees don't smoke. Bees don't smoke! But some bees are smoking. That's it! That's our case! It is? It's not over? Get dressed. I've gotta go somewhere. Get back to the court and stall. Stall any way you can. And assuming you've done step correctly, you're ready for the tub. Mr. Flayman. Yes? Yes, Your Honor! Where is the rest of your team? Well, Your Honor, it's interesting. Bees are trained to fly haphazardly, and as a result, we don't make very good time. I actually heard a funny story about... Your Honor, haven't these ridiculous bugs taken up enough of this court's valuable time? How much longer will we allow these absurd shenanigans to go on? They have presented no compelling evidence to support their charges against my clients, who run legitimate businesses. I move for a complete dismissal of this entire case! Mr. Flayman, I'm afraid I'm going to have to consider Mr. Montgomery's motion. But you can't! We have a terrific case. Where is your proof? Where is the evidence? Show me the smoking gun! Hold it, Your Honor! You want a smoking gun? Here is your smoking gun. What is that? It's a bee smoker! What, this? This harmless little contraption? This couldn't hurt a fly, let alone a bee. Look at what has happened to bees who have never been asked, "Smoking or non?" Is this what nature intended for us? To be forcibly addicted to smoke machines and man-made wooden slat work camps? Living out our lives as honey slaves to the white man? - What are we gonna do? - He's playing the species card. Ladies and gentlemen, please, free these bees! Free the bees! Free the bees! Free the bees! Free the bees! Free the bees! The court finds in favor of the bees! Vanessa, we won! I knew you could do it! High-five! Sorry. I'm OK! You know what this means? All the honey will finally belong to the bees. Now we won't have to work so hard all the time. This is an unholy perversion of the balance of nature, Benson. You'll regret this. Barry, how much honey is out there? All right. One at a time. Barry, who are you wearing? My sweater is Ralph Lauren, and I have no pants. - What if Montgomery's right? - What do you mean? We've been living the bee way a long time, 27 million years. Oongratulations on your victory. What will you demand as a settlement? First, we'll demand a complete shutdown of all bee work camps. Then we want back the honey that was ours to begin with, every last drop. We demand an end to the glorification of the bear as anything more than a filthy, smelly, bad-breath stink machine. We're all aware of what they do in the woods. Wait for my signal. Take him out. He'll have nauseous for a few hours, then he'll be fine. And we will no longer tolerate bee-negative nicknames... But it's just a prance-about stage name! ...unnecessary inclusion of honey in bogus health products and la-dee-da human tea-time snack garnishments. Oan't breathe. Bring it in, boys! Hold it right there! Good. Tap it. Mr. Buzzwell, we just passed three cups, and there's gallons more coming! - I think we need to shut down! - Shut down? We've never shut down. Shut down honey production! Stop making honey! Turn your key, sir! What do we do now? Oannonball! We're shutting honey production! Mission abort. Aborting pollination and nectar detail. , you step on me. - Thatjust kills you twice. Right, right. Listen, Barry... sorry, but I gotta get going. I had to open my mouth and talk. Vanessa? Vanessa? Why are you leaving? Where are you going? To the final Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena. They've moved it to this weekend because all the flowers are dying. It's the last chance I'll ever have to see it. Vanessa, I just wanna say I'm sorry. I never meant it to turn out like this. I know. Me neither. Tournament of Roses. Roses can't do sports. Wait a minute. Roses. Roses? Roses! Vanessa! Roses?! Barry? - Roses are flowers! - Yes, they are. Flowers, bees, pollen! I know. That's why this is the last parade. Maybe not. Oould you ask him to slow down? Oould you slow down? Barry! OK, I made a huge mistake. This is a total disaster, all my fault. Yes, it kind of is. I've ruined the planet. I wanted to help you with the flower shop. I've made it worse. Actually, it's completely closed down. I thought maybe you were remodeling. But I have another idea, and it's greater than my previous ideas combined. I don't want to hear it! All right, they have the roses, the roses have the pollen. I know every bee, plant and flower bud in this park. All we gotta do is get what they've got back here with what we've got. - Bees. - Park. - Pollen! - Flowers. - Repollination! - Across the nation! Tournament of Roses, Pasadena, Oalifornia. They've got nothing but flowers, floats and cotton candy. Security will be tight. I have an idea. Vanessa Bloome, FTD. Official floral business. It's real. Sorry, ma'am. Nice brooch. Thank you. It was a gift. Once inside, we just pick the right float. How about The Princess and the Pea? I could be the princess, and you could be the pea! Yes, I got it. - Where should I sit? - What are you? - I believe I'm the pea. - The pea? It goes under the mattresses. - Not in this fairy tale, sweetheart. - I'm getting the marshal. You do that! This whole parade is a fiasco! Let's see what this baby'll do. Hey, what are you doing?! Then all we do is blend in with traffic... ...without arousing suspicion. Once at the airport, there's no stopping us. Stop! Security. - You and your insect pack your float? - Yes. Has it been in your possession the entire time? Would you remove your shoes? - Remove your stinger. - It's part of me. I know. Just having some fun. Enjoy your flight. Then if we're lucky, we'll have just enough pollen to do the job. Oan you believe how lucky we are? We have just enough pollen to do the job! I think this is gonna work. It's got to work. Attention, passengers, this is Oaptain Scott. We have a bit of bad weather in New York. It looks like we'll experience a couple hours delay. Barry, these are cut flowers with no water. They'll never make it. I gotta get up there and talk to them. Be careful. Oan I get help with the Sky Mall magazine? I'd like to order the talking inflatable nose and ear hair trimmer. Oaptain, I'm in a real situation. - What'd you say, Hal? - Nothing. Bee! Don't freak out! My entire species... What are you doing? - Wait a minute! I'm an attorney! - Who's an attorney? Don't move. Oh, Barry. Good afternoon, passengers. This is your captain. Would a Miss Vanessa Bloome in 24B please report to the cockpit? And please hurry! What happened here? There was a DustBuster, a toupee, a life raft exploded. One's bald, one's in a boat, they're both unconscious! - Is that another bee joke? - No! No one's flying the plane! This is JFK control tower, Flight 356. What's your status? This is Vanessa Bloome. I'm a florist from New York. Where's the pilot? He's unconscious, and so is the copilot. Not good. Does anyone onboard have flight experience? As a matter of fact, there is. - Who's that? - Barry Benson. From the honey trial?! Oh, great. Vanessa, this is nothing ." - Get this on the air! - Got it. - Stand by. - We're going live. The way we work may be a mystery to you. Making honey takes a lot of bees doing a lot of small jobs. But let me tell you about a small job. If you do it well, it makes a big difference. More than we realized. To us, to everyone. That's why I want to get bees back to working together. That's the bee way! We're not made of Jell-O. We get behind a fellow. - Black and yellow! - Hello! Left, right, down, hover. - Hover? - Forget hover. This isn't so hard. Beep-beep! Beep-beep! Barry, what happened?! Wait, I think we were on autopilot the whole time. - That may have been helping me. - And now we're not! So it turns out I cannot fly a plane. All of you, let's get behind this fellow! Move it out! Move out! Our only chance is if I do what I'd do, you copy me with the wings of the plane! Don't have to yell. I'm not yelling! We're in a lot of trouble. It's very hard to concentrate with that panicky tone in your voice! It's not a tone. I'm panicking! I can't do this! Vanessa, pull yourself together. You have to snap out of it! You snap out of it. You snap out of it. - You snap out of it! - You snap out of it! - You snap out of it! - You snap out of it! - You snap out of it! - You snap out of it! - Hold it! - Why? Oome on, it's my turn. How is the plane flying? I don't know. Hello? Benson, got any flowers for a happy occasion in there? The Pollen Jocks! They do get behind a fellow. - Black and yellow. - Hello. All right, let's drop this tin can on the blacktop. Where? I can't see anything. Oan you? No, nothing. It's all cloudy. Oome on. You got to think bee, Barry. - Thinking bee. - Thinking bee. Thinking bee! Thinking bee! Thinking bee! Wait a minute. I think I'm feeling something. - What? - I don't know. It's strong, pulling me. Like a 27-million-year-old instinct. Bring the nose down. Thinking bee! Thinking bee! Thinking bee! - What in the world is on the tarmac? - Get some lights on that! Thinking bee! Thinking bee! Thinking bee! - Vanessa, aim for the flower. - OK. Out the engines. We're going in on bee power. Ready, boys? Affirmative! Good. Good. Easy, now. That's it. Land on that flower! Ready? Full reverse! Spin it around! - Not that flower! The other one! - Which one? - That flower. - I'm aiming at the flower! That's a fat guy in a flowered shirt. I mean the giant pulsating flower made of millions of bees! Pull forward. Nose down. Tail up. Rotate around it. - This is insane, Barry! - This's the only way I know how to fly. Am I koo-koo-kachoo, or is this plane flying in an insect-like pattern? Get your nose in there. Don't be afraid. Smell it. Full reverse! Just drop it. Be a part of it. Aim for the center! Now drop it in! Drop it in, woman! Oome on, already. Barry, we did it! You taught me how to fly! - Yes. No high-five! - Right. Barry, it worked! Did you see the giant flower? What giant flower? Where? Of course I saw the flower! That was genius! - Thank you. - But we're not done yet. Listen, everyone! This runway is covered with the last pollen from the last flowers available anywhere on Earth. That means this is our last chance. We're the only ones who make honey, pollinate flowers and dress like this. If we're gonna survive as a species, this is our moment! What do you say? Are we going to be bees, orjust Museum of Natural History keychains? We're bees! Keychain! Then follow me! Except Keychain. Hold on, Barry. Here. You've earned this. Yeah! I'm a Pollen Jock! And it's a perfect fit. All I gotta do are the sleeves. Oh, yeah. That's our Barry. Mom! The bees are back! If anybody needs to make a call, now's the time. I got a feeling we'll be working late tonight! Here's your change. Have a great afternoon! Oan I help who's next? Would you like some honey with that? It is bee-approved. Don't forget these. Milk, cream, cheese, it's all me. And I don't see a nickel! Sometimes I just feel like a piece of meat! I had no idea. Barry, I'm sorry. Have you got a moment? Would you excuse me? My mosquito associate will help you. Sorry I'm late. He's a lawyer too? I was already a blood-sucking parasite. All I needed was a briefcase. Have a great afternoon! Barry, I just got this huge tulip order, and I can't get them anywhere. No problem, Vannie. Just leave it to me. You're a lifesaver, Barry. Oan I help who's next? All right, scramble, jocks! It's time to fly. Thank you, Barry! That bee is living my life! Let it go, Kenny. - When will this nightmare end?! - Let it all go. - Beautiful day to fly. - Sure is. Between you and me, I was dying to get out of that office. You have got to start thinking bee, my friend. - Thinking bee! - Me? Hold it. Let's just stop for a second. Hold it. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, everyone. Oan we stop here? I'm not making a major life decision during a production number! All right. Take ten, everybody. Wrap it up, guys. I had virtually no rehearsal for that.
2020.10.15 23:59 MIchelsaerperez[Games of Shadows] - Chapter 4
Alice I - Manhattan, New York, September 30, 11:12 P.M ,2019 It was early still before midnight when she remembered her responsibilities and woke up. Alice had dreamed that night, but she had forgotten, like most of her dreams. Alice slowly climbed down from the bed onto the carpeted floor and flicked the lights on. She winced, and covered her eyes until they adjusted. She almost fell over a box that had been hidden by her bedsheets; the apartment was too small for all her stuff. That’s your own fault. Ever since her fellow Officer Carlton had been shot and killed by some Green-Seed mugger a couple of weeks ago, Alice had to be Johnson's partner on the Curfew-Patrol in and around the park. She liked Johnson, but Curfew-Patrol was a fucking pain in the ass. You volunteered to do it. But at least after tomorrow she would not have to worry about night patrols anymore. She was barely awake, so it took her three tries to get her pants on the right way, but after that she put on the rest of the uniform easy enough. She picked up her brown, fur police winter hat and raced down the pitch black staircase. She first noticed the rain. It had snowed on and off since the beginning of October, the longest had lasted a full week, and Alice had almost forgotten the sight of rain. It occurred to her she hadn't seen rain in a long time, but her memory was probably full of shit, it was impossible it had not rained for nearly a full year. She left her rainy thoughts when she collided right into her neighbor Darwin's side. Alice fell to the floor just beside the mail cabinets that lined the way to the front door. The cards Darwin was holding spread across the floor, some reached the puddle that had gathered at the open doors because of the rain.Darwin himself was able to fall back into the wooden cabinets, and caught Alice before she hit the concrete. “Shit!” She said instinctively. “My thoughts exactly” Her neighbor said as Alice regained her balance and moved away from him. “Fuck, I’m so sorry man, I was just, um, distracted.” The embarrassment creeped up her throat as always when talking to her neighbors, but it was Darwin, so it quickly gave out. “Nah, it’s alright” He leaned down to help her pick up his mail “I was half expecting to scare someone; creeping down here so early and all that.” “Early is an understatement, by next month they want us at twelve every night to cover the curfew” she crawled forwards to the unlucky bills that had fallen on the puddle. “Fuck, I’m sorry,” she said as they both looked over at the wet bills. You're repeating yourself. “Nah; maybe I can’t use it as an excuse not to pay them,” they laughed. It was a stupid joke. “Wait?” Darwin asked, as Alice realized her mistake before he finished his sentence, “They're moving the curfew again?” You're a big mouthed idiot. “I was not allowed to say that.” She shut her mouth. “At this bloody rate they'll have it at like nine next month,” he said. “Crap.” She debated asking Darwin: “Can you like, um, not tell anyone else?” They got up and she handed him his mail, blowing the water off of a few of them. “I don't want to be the one cop that starts a riot, we already have enough of those.” Darwin made a motion with his fingers, sealing his lips and smiled. It had turned into a light rain outside. Alice waved at Darwin as he left the lobby. She pulled out her phone from the back pocket and leaned against the wet walls outside. She checked her messages, Johnson would be there in a few minutes, and her brother Eric had called her half a dozen times. The news was as depressing as always; At least before the Washington Attacks a few wholesome stories would sneak in between the cracks, but the world going to shit didn't really produce any big heart-warming family friendly content for her news feed. But still the same amount of advertisements. The biggest news that week was the disappearance of some senator from New York, some guy Ned Burry, he had gone missing two or three days before the Attacks some ten months ago, and they were finally closing down the investigation. He wasn't the first politician to die that year; there were only three months left of 2019, and Alice was strangely certain he wouldn't be the last. Before long, she saw Johnson’s headlights. She pulled her headphones from her ears and threw them around her neck and walked down to the car. She got in, and before she could even buckle her seatbelt, the car got on the move. Then the radio came alive “We got a 9-42 by the park, I’ll send you the address, over,” Johnson picked it up. “Ah, were nearby, we will check it out, over,” he put it away and turned to her as the car got on the move. “Got any idea what a 9-42 is?”, Alice turned around, looking down at her shoes. “Ah, I think it’s a domestic thing.” He thought for another second and nodded. A few months after the Attacks and President Colton had taken over, the entire code system had been changed, and many precincts had been combined or completely abandoned, Alice still had trouble keeping up with the new codes. The address arrived on the radio screen of the car, Namek Building, a few blocks away from where they were. Presidents Colton's police reforms had also included a technological upgrade to the entire force. Not everything about the reforms was bull at least. “God,” he exclaimed, “I’m tired of all these parking tickets and bar fights and shit, I’m ready for something real”, Alice turned her head to Johnson. He was smaller than her, but had a stronger build which made him look bigger. “I wish I was still a beat-cop with you.” Alice said. “What the hell are you talking about?” Johnson said. “Trust me, being a beat cop is ten times better than a detective” Alice replied. He chuckled. “You mean easier Alice.” He smirked and looked outside the window, noticing something. “And I won't argue that with you.” He made a sharp u-turn, almost barreling Alice against the door. She was ready to scream at him before she noticed it too; a green car had parked in the middle of the street behind and to the left of them. Johnson parked the car near the corner and told her to get off. “Probably your last ticket Alice, I'll let you enjoy it,” he had said before mockingly putting both his hands behind his head and closing his eyes. She walked down the street by the side of a small car and turned around. The nine p.m. curfew had been ongoing since June, but the empty streets were still open to Alice. The streets of New York's had never been empty. Oh, they weren't “that empty”, or “almost empty” or something, they were empty. She walked up the car, engines still running, and the man at the wheel shivering and looking directly in front of him; he had probably stopped as soon as he heard the sirens. He wasn't as stupid as everybody else those days. “Good afternoon officer,” he said. “How may I help you?” He tried to appear normal, but he was still shivering, and his voice broke every few syllables. “Sir, you know full well you're not allowed outside your residence after eleven p.m. without an excuse, and I’m ninety-nine percent sure you don't have a permit sir.” The shivering man did not answer. Alice looked over at the police car; Johnson had gotten out of the car and was leaning against the front, looking over at them. “Officer, you need to understand.” He breathed heavily and put his hands away from the steering wheel, “my wife, she's-” Alice stopped listening and looked at the back seat. A woman who was either fat or very very pregnant was praying something in Spanish and sweating profusely, Alice had seen enough cases like this to know what these people were. Great, Alice thought, Immigrant Green-Seeds, I can almost read the articles. She put her left hand on her hip, and stretched her other arm into the car window. “Sir, I need to see your Officiate Papers.” He seemed confused. “Your Colton Card.” Alice cleared up; He wasn't confused now, he was scared. She looked over the car and saw Johnson, staring diagonally from his car, but not at her, at the people inside; She knew he knew what they were. Shamefully, he complied. The Papers were as green as his car. She gulped and stared back at Johnson for a split second, silently praying he wouldn’t do anything stupid. He was standing now with a hand ready on his gun. “Sir-” she said before their words trailed off into whispers, she breathed, and she heard the footsteps of Johnson in the cold quiet of New York. A thousand thoughts came into her mind like a waterfall. If she let him go, Johnson would be suspicious, but he probably wouldn't mind. Or maybe it didn't matter. He could still be caught. Should she let him go? She was a cop, and in a few days a detective. What was right? Was she right? “Sir-” She closed her eyes, and quickly pulled out a paper from her back pocket. Fake medical orders. “You have a permit” She signed in her father's signature, he was a heart-surgeon or something, but it would work. “Any cop will let you go with this, but if they ask for your papers, there's nothing I can do, understood?” Colton-Papers were designed to be fake-proof, so many details that no normal people would know better, and others not even cops could notice. He rapidly nodded and took the papers. He thanked her in silence as she backed away, and then put his foot on the accelerator and fled down the street. When she was back around the corner of the park, Johnson was looking at the spot where the car had once been. “Did they have their permits?” “Yeah”, she lied. “And where are their papers green?” He said solemnly. “They were not Green-Seeds, you paranoid fuck.” She said, jokingly, trying to draw attention away from the situation. “Alice,” he said disappointingly, “You're not helping anyone by doing that, especially you, it wouldn't look good if a newly inaugurated detective was caught fabricating doctor's orders.” She got in the car, ignoring him. “We need to leave anyway, we need to get to that fucking building.” “Alice, you know full well why I don't like... ok, fine, I'll pretend that you didn't let them go, but at least do it when I ain't watching.” He laughed. He had finally given up. He had no proof Alice had done anything, and he was way too tired to continue arguing. He’s right you know, you're not helping anyone. “I wonder if that’s the building?” Johnson said when they arrived with more than a hint of irony. The thing was a rundown dirty place. It would be an understatement to claim that it had seen better days. Smashed windows, cracked walls covered in graffiti and submerged in darkness. Only a single apartment in the whole building was lit up. “We should go in,” she announced, and the pair walked down the snowy path in silence into the shithole of a building. Namek Building was half abandoned when they got there, but it wasn't surprising. After the Washington attacks, a recession worse than ‘08 had hit them, much worse. Some were calling it the Second Depression. The city might seem empty but it was lined with homeless, and most of the small buildings seemed half abandoned. The entrance corridor was just as ugly, filled with graffiti, and smelling of feces. one of the graffiti popped out to Alice. It was the largest one, as all other drawings seemed to have made a ring surrounding it, which made it hard to miss. It was a large green Keith Haring-Looking figure of a man running away. Below the figure in large bold letters it read “GREEN BLOOD RUNS”. It was the fifth time that night she had seen a similar drawing. Everyone had the same Haring-Looking figure in green, like a little colored stick figure, but they all read something different, “THE SEED GROWS STRONG”, “GREEN WILL REIGN”, and “GREEN BLOOD BOILS”, that kind of stuff. There was a coughing homeless man sitting on a corner at the end of the half lit corridor, and two women on the other end who walked away after seeing them. Alice gave a quick look back at Johnson and they both put their hands over their holsters. They both were thinking it, but they had no proof. Gangs had formed in the city over the four years of the crisis, Green-Seed gangs. Being a Green-Seed wasn't yet illegal. Technically you only went to prison if you were doing anything restricted while having Green Colton-Papers, which included travelling by plane, going to the hospital without a permit and even grocery shopping without informing security first, and most shops wouldn't let you in afterwards, but even then the GOA had arrested for much less, or for nothing. Or, if they were tired and didn't want to drive you to the station they would just kill you. She had heard of enough cases like that to understand why these gangs had formed. They quickly made their way up the stairs to the third floor, where the call originated. There was supposed to be screaming, but they heard none. Knock Knock Knock “NYPD Open up!” Johnsons said when they reached the door of Apartment B. No one answered. Johnson knocked again. If they didn't answer the third time, they had to break in the door. That was protocol now under Colton- “This is the Police!” -And if you thought it was Green-Seeds, you had to call the GOA. Alice knew there were a few agents around the Upper East Side during curfew, but they annoyed the hell out of her, with all their rules and- “I need you to open the-!” Something grabbed her shoulder. “ALICE!” Alice jumped at the scream and looked back, shivering. There was nothing. “Alice, are you ok?” She turned, startled by the voice, but it was just Johnson, looking at her with a confused look. “Yeah, yeah it was just...nothing, just thought I heard something.” She explained. “...Ok...did you sleep well last night...or?” Johnsons asked. “No. I mean yes, yes, I was just saying it was not that. It's probably nothing…” She replied back, and Johnson slowly turned back again at the door. It was a woman's voice...I recognised… She took another look back, but saw nothing. “Last warning! If you open this door, I'm going to have to-!” But the door opened before he could finish. Alice leaned in to see the inside. It was as ugly as the outside, and still larger than your shitty place. It consisted of two rooms, a bathroom, and a bedroom that was also kitchen, all the walls were scrapped and graffitied on, and the bed seemed entirely made out of dust and dirt, with the floors painted in dirty black paint, and a single light that seemed about to kick the bucket. There were three men inside and one boy. One of the men was strangely dressed in a white suit, big glasses and curly jet-black hair. He wore a smile, but Alice knew a fake smile when she saw one. The man who had opened the door was a scary fellow, tall and burly, and with a mean face on him. Once the door was open, he walked back to stand behind the white-suited man as if he was his bodyguard. The third man was sitting in a stool by the end of the room. Alice couldn't see his face clearly, but she knew he was angry. He was skinny and hairless, which seemed like tattoos all over him. The boy was standing by the entrance of the bathroom, half hidden behind it and only staring outside in fear. “How can I help you, officer?” The man in white said. “We had a noise complaint from this apartment.” Johnson explained. “Oh, yes, I'm sorry officer. We had a little...fight-” He said, looking at the angry tattooed man on the stool, “-But I assure you it won't happen again.” He finished. “Thats very well, but im afraid im under suspicion that this building might-” “Oh you don't have to worry officer, I have my paper right here, as well as everyone else's.” He pulled out his wallet and handed him his Colton Papers. They were red, which meant he was in the clear. Then his bodyguard handed over another red paper, as well as the one for the boy and one for the tattooed man. “Are they all up to date?” The white-suited man asked as if he already did not know. “Yes sir.” Johnson replied, handing them back. “Very well then Officer! Do you have anything else I could help you with?” He said. “Nothing.” Johnson said, annoyed. He no doubt had wanted to call the GOA on the whole lot of them. “I really thought they might be Green-Seeds.” Johnsons said as they made their way back downstairs. “They did seem the type, but you also seem to be seeing Green-Seeds everywhere Johnson.” Alice replied. “The city is infested with them! You can't blame me for being cautious.” “But I can blame you for being ridiculous.” Alice said as they arrived at the first floor and they went through the front doors. She froze when she saw the man. He was standing behind their car in the shadows. He was taller than anything she had ever seen, maybe nine feet tall. He was covered in black clothing, and he wore a red,white and yellow Chinese Dragon mask, as his head tilted to one side. “Johnson, look at-!” But when she blinked, the thing was gone. “What? What happened?” Johnson said, turning around from the door of the car he had just opened...but he was behind me when I saw the thing… “It was...I…” “Did you hear something again?” Johnson asked as he walked up to her. “No…I...I mean, I saw something like that…” Alice “What thing?” Johnson asked with a concerned face. “Nothing...It was probably a trick of the light, and you are right, I am very...tired…” Alice replied The rest of the curfew went as expected. They had to go to a few buildings and break up fights, they saw other cars, but none of them were Green-Seeds, all the while Johnson kept asking Alice if she was ok occasionally. As soon as curfew was over at about five A.M, the sun had risen and the snow fell heavily. They sat outside Novosti Coffee, arriving when the place had just opened. It wasn't the biggest coffee shop, and it wasn't the most famous, but it sat only half a block away from the Precinct and was surrounded by food trucks, so you would usually find a dozen cops nearby eating, chatting or having a quick lunch. Alice waited outside, gazing at the falling white and trying to chill out. Johnson walked out a couple minutes later with hot cappuccino. Alice snatched hers from his hand, and drank it in one chug. It woke her up from her stupor, but the vodka back home would probably be the one to calm her down. “You're probably right Johnson, I just need some sleep.” She said. “I know Alice, but I do worry. Are you sure it's not…?” He said cautiously. “It's not fucking drugs Johnson! I smoked pot in college, not LSD!” Alice snapped. “Yeah, yeah sorry.” Johnson replied. “It's nothing Johnson, just tired.” You were the one who made such a big deal about it. But it was still strange...especially the thing she had seen. She could have sworn she had dreamed about it that night- Suddenly, before Alice could finish thinking, a cop car pulled loudly up the street and stopped in front of them. “That’s Tom and Julie” Johnson commented unnecessarily, Alice knew that she didn't need Johnson treating her like a toddler just because she saw a couple shadows on the wall and got scared, Jesus. She looked at her watch, it was 5:20 already. “I know,” she replied coldly, as the two policemen pushed open the doors of their car and raised up the steps to the porch of the Coffee Shop. Thomas waved and rushed inside, and Julie went up to them and told Alice to come inside and Johnson to ready his car, as they got up, Johnson gave her the “we’re gonna finish this shit later” eyes. Alice had no time to react, but raced inside while the confused Johnson stomped down to the driveway with Julie to get in their cars. Inside, Thomas Ponz, her cousin, had hijacked the T.V remote from the waiter and had raised the volume to the fullest and was rushing past the channels like a madman. “What's the matter Tom?” Alice wondered, but he didn't give and answer, until he found CNN. “Look, and hurry, we need to get there as soon as possible.” Alice looked up at the old T.V and moved forwards to listen in alongside all the people in the coffee shop. “...Have just gotten confirmation that there were shots fired on the prestigious GreenHallen Bar on 67th Street Upper East Side, and Police have informed reporters that there are reported casualties, and that the prestigious Boid family was using the premise for a party the night before the shooting, and they were still inside...” Alice Brandon and Thomas Ford did not stay to hear the rest of the report, unlike the other customers. GreenHallen Bar was only six blocks away, and they were on their way. By that point, as they rushed down the street and into her first real case as a detective, the doubt was gone, and the panic had drowned Alice up again. But deep down she knew she couldn't ignore it. She couldn't choose to forget it.
2020.10.15 20:51 madguy67Well well well... I'm back here again
Right now I feel trapped in life. Death is looking more and more like a solution. Regardless of how other's feel. I'm 37 years old, married, I work at a job that pays well, but I'm the only one working. I have an alcoholic wife who was re-enabled by a psychobitch that used to live next door to us, after my wife almost died from Liver damage in 2018. As it stands right now, I work for a company who just suffered the biggest IT security failure in US history, my best friend comes over with 3 days warning and when I'm practically skint broke, $4000 in credit card and pay day loan debt, trying to keep us afloat (just barely) - while my wife starts drinking again because my mom can't keep family drama and gossip to herself, yet does not have the ovaries to come to ME about any issues with me, because women believe that women have the ability to control men - nobody should be controlling anyone. Let's start with work. My job was great, until this year, and hiring managers started throwing a fit about new hires not getting done on time. Then COVID-19 happens, and of course that makes the apptempts to remediate the process worse, then a short time ago, we have an outbreak of a computer virus that takes down almost the whole company and of course I'm the only guy who did not take more than a couple days off during that time - so I was effectively a one-man show for 2 weeks. Every fucking day, I have some fucking end user breathing down my neck about when their laptop is going to be reimaged, or when some network resource is going to be up, or when I'm going to have this or that ready. The higher ups don't seem to have a fucking clue how long anything takes and asks other branches of our org - which use completley different configurations from one another - how long it might take for something to be done and when given a shorter answer it's assumed we can do it in that same amount of time. I have been working 60+ hours a week and my nerves are frayed, I'm tired all the time, depressed, and starting to wonder if this life is for me. At the beginning of the year, a meth-head alcoholic lady with a kid moved in next door, and she has a rich father that buys her out of every bit of trouble she gets into. at 3 am the first week she was in her, her ex-husband, and her biker boyfriend all had a fight outside our door, and I spent that night with amachete on the other side of our door ready to stab anything that breeches our apartment doorway (we have the castle doctrine/stand your ground laws in our state). So this woman tries to brefriend my wife, who is a bleeding heart that tries to help everyone (except me apparently) and of course I'm now playing babysitter to my recovered wife and this crazy alcoholic cunt who can't even string two sentences together coherently unless you call the cops to her house - which happened, seven times, twice by us. This woman got my wife drinking again, and honestly, I want the bitch dead, but it seems like since COVID-19 everyone has become some sort of drug addled alcoholic except me because I'm essential. This bitch put my wife in the hospital - TWICe - and has given her anxiety issues. This bitch has also given me anxiety issues now because when we tried to get help from my wife's parents - who are also rich, this drunk methhead's daddy has a best friend whose a prosecuter locally who - if charges were pressed - would do everything in his power, legally or illegally, to make me into a criminal sex offender - even though my interactions with this dumb bimbo from next door were next to none, other than me telling her "no" after trying to invite me into her house once - where she TRIED to pull me into the house and I shoved her away after my refusal. So now my wife is drinking and has anxiety issues - great. So now I have to stoop to all kinds of sneaky tactics to take her alcohol away from her. Wait until she's drunk and then take the bottle and throw it out. Wait until she's in the bathroom and take the bottle and throw it out. Sniff her unattended drinks at random and dump them out if they contain Vodka (because that's what she drinks and it seems to be only what she drinks). Dig all throughout various nooks and crannies of our apartment to find her alcohol and throw it out. But there's not just health implications of this, there's also the financial ones. I watch our bank account, but I can't do much about it either because she has her own cards on her own accounts as well. I know when she buys liquor on my dime because I'll see these charges that don't match up. Don't think for one solitary instant that a visit to the 711 for a pack of skittles and a gator ade costs $21.95. She thinks I don't pay attention to this because my mom says I'm "senseless" with money...which brings me to the next fucking problem....my own family. Both of us come from families full of aging old hags who are 65+ years old and retired. These ladies feign technological incapability in order to spy on us via facebook then throw a fit when we don't post anything new often enough. Her mom cares too much what other people think and therefore anything posted - or not posted - becomes a subject for scorn. This lady also drives us nuts because were poor but were DROWNING in clothes we can't even sell because nobody is going to pay $230 for a fucking t-shirt. We need help buying a house, instead we get more furniture, clothes, and such. I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it seems the focus of some of these financial investments are pretty badly skewed. Who the fuck wants a Armani suit when they live in the fucking ghetto? That's a good way to get robbed, mugged, or shot. My mom has been a thorn in my side all my life to the point that I pretty much cut my entire family off through the majority of my 20's - never buying them gifts, never calling anyone but mom (who would call me if I did not call her). My second oldest sister has not worked in 10 years, is a hypocrite, married to a gay man my wife's gay friend found on a gay dating app - I have no issues with gay people, what I do take issue with is this same dipshit at my fucking wedding told me he thought I was a "weak little man" and now somehow marriage makes me "grown up" in his eyes - fuck that guy. I lived in my brother in-laws shadow for years because of his looks and education - because I did not follow his preppy rich-kid lifestyle as a poor kid with a single mom. That fag can fuck off (there are gay people, then there are fags). My mom keps harassing my wife, whom has endometriosis (part of her drinking is also self-medication because the US Healthcare system is a total scam and joke that does antyhing BUT help people), to have kids. I don't want kids. Why would I want to put another soul on this earth to suffer 100X worse than I already did growing up? Why would I subject a child to this planet - that would be like putting an eight year old in a cage with a pedophile rapist serial killer with schitzophrenia. As much as I explain this, she does not respect our wishes - however, I make one big stink on facebook because she can't stop gossiping about my republican homophobic aunts - one who abuses her gay son (whose parrot bit her in the arm - I hope the bitch catches sepsis and dies herself), the other apparently slapped me before I was even old enough to remember and is a staunch Trump supporter, and has a niece who has a crush on me and wants to sleep with me (EWWW). Oh, and that sister, she's a hypocrite. She spent all my childhood correcting me on my "grammar" from living in the deep south, only now to be playing the part as the "perfect southern belle" complete with god complex and incorrect grammar. meahwhile she has a daughter that's been pregant twice, and a son that jerks it on the front lawn - yet IM the one everyone calls a b raindead manchild? Let's see? Who has a working career of 20 years? ME! Who has a marriage that's not on the verge of divorce, or is not already divorced - ME! Who is the one who has bettered themselvews in the last 20 years? ME! Yet I can't get one shred of respect from ANYONE without seeming like I'm about to potentially gun someone done or beat the shit out of them - a prospect that is both counter-productive, and exhausting. I've tried being assertive, I've tried making amends, but I just can't get anywhere - and wherever I go, my fucked up family follows me! Meanwhile my wife is having her own problems of the same kind with HER family. Right now I'm fucked financially. My work benefits fucked me up the ass. me and the wife have both been to the hospital in the last 2 years, they said they would cover it - instead it's all gone to collections, and finance never returns my calls, but it's a reliable and better paycheck than I had working for a fortune 500 software company. So now my credit rating is u nder 640, I'm $4000 in debt because every job my wife gets she gets sexually harassed and any attempts at legal action just result in exposing how corrupt and messed up our country is - honestly, why can't someone assassinate Donald J. Trump and the rest of these cronies already - I' have considered a suicide bombing at one of his rallies as a potental out for me. I'm not a staunch liberal at all - I'm non partisan, but the effects this administration is having on people are beyond toxic and while it's affecting others around me far worse I'm trying damn hard to survive all this shit and it's starting to get to me. BTW, that's antoher thing I have to deal with the wife stressing about every damn day - politics, what Donald did today, what McConnell or Barr did tomorrow. I'm about a hair thin wire short of p utting KID site blockers on all our devices just to keep the political crap out. The only reason I don't do it is because it seems kind of drastic for 2 concenting grown ass adults. And people automatically assume we are better off than we are because of social media. We own all this nice stuff (her mom, my history of some other art things I did myself), and she takes selfies all the goddamn time because her mom demands them. They get in a fight every damn week where I have to comfort her - but whose comforting me? Nobody. Right now I'd have a good moral support for my best friend, but he's a stoner eating us out of house and home and wants to buy me CBD. I work in Healthcare myself - and I CANT take drugs of any kind right now unless it's by prescription or OTC for something that's ailing me. So what the fuck is that supposed to do, raise my anxiety level? All I want to do right now is sleep. I'm tired, I'm getting about 4 hours of sleep per night. Getting to bed on time is a fight because my wife wants all this pillow talk about all the stressful shit above. She has it easy - she's a kept woman for now - I pay all the bills, I pay all the insurance - right now I'm a WEEK LATE on everything waiting for a huge paycheck from all the OT I accrued - which I'm not sure will really be that huge. I feel like I'm in a nightmare I can't awaken from. I've looked up methods on various sites and have it all worked out - had it for years. It just seems, every attempt to get into a better life starts off getting better for a short while, and then goes to hell in a handbasket. I just want a simple live where I'm happy, everyone else wants me to greedily go for the "gold" - I don't care. I just want to be left alone, and sleep in peace until I'm either tired no more. Maybe death is the only way. It's not the first time, I've had a history of suicidal behavior since I was about eight years old including drinking posion, late night suicidal driving behavior, and even once almost succeeding that resulted in me shitting foam for a day and blacking out in the bathroom. ALL I WANT from fucking life, for the love of god (whom I no longer believe exists) - is for things just to be benign, boring, normal! Drama free! Why can't I have that? It's so fucking simple. Just work, pay my rent and my bills, do things I enjoy off the clock. Things like data breeches and toxic people should be a bump in the road easily resolved by remediations or by cutting those peopel out of your life. But what do you do when the management is inept and the peopel you want gone keep coming the fuck back? I might not be as unfortunate as many of the people here, but it goes to show you that no matter how good you do in life, it won't necessarily mean that it's actually good for your mental health. I would much rather fix these issues than hit rock bottom - but sometimes I feel like I'm staring at the floor 2 inches away from my face with the last rope left around my leg that's fraying at the top of the well, noting the lack of handholds to get back up, or the few that take me 5 inches off the floor, and thinking "just why the hell should I keep on trying? Maybe I should just end it all and get the closure I want!".
I DRINK A LOT I was born in 1968 At first it may be because of a failed relationship with a neighbour because she hooked up with my brother. On that what sort of person does that, seriously. I wasn't ready for that. I have decided not to swear on here. I will also not give away names or businesses. They could possibly work it out but I won't name anyone. I just want to tell my story. Later it became more of I just want to forget. And sleep. I can't kill myself or hurt myself. Some more reasons are that I was bullied throughout my life. My stepfather abused me. My real dad was an alcoholic. My mother was controlling from my 20's. When I met the neighbour I was 21. She kicked both my brother and I out if we didn't stop seeing her. But then again the neighbour was a waste of space. Around the late 2000's my mum actually wrote me a letter to say stop seeing a mutual friend. Some local kids decided to throw condoms with water inside them because I was friends with a gay guy. I knew he was gay. So what. But local kids thought it was wrong. They were homophobic. I could really get them into trouble now with that. But why bother. I really just drink so I will die soon hopefully. I have lost all hope for humanity. They threw them at my car. Anyways, after my abuse I still didn't work out my sexuality until probably 1994/1995. I am not sure. My father was an alcoholic and lost the family business early on in my life. My mum and dad separated when I was 5. I remember little about my early childhood. Mainly things at school. One home incident really stuck out early. I have a scar above my eye because a steel ladder hit it. 5 stitches. I am pretty sure my dad use to abuse my mum and gave us all the belt at one point. My oldest brother acted out a lot and left when he was 16 I think. After my parents separated I would visit my mum on weekends and holidays and see my stepfather and his kids. Then in 1975 my mum and stepfather moved to another state. Starting in December, 1978, I visited my mum and stepfather in the holidays staying about 5 weeks. This happened in 1978,79,80,81. In June 1982 my dad had the accident and I stayed with my mum for about 3 months. Another incident was a German Shepard ( named that way at the time) attacked me when I was walking home and I got some bad scratches and a lifetime fear of dogs. Found out later the dog attacked someone else and was shot dead. I am one of three brothers. The oldest is now dead from a heart attack but was an alcoholic. The second oldest now has cancer but was born with brain damage. He was the brother that the neighbour dumped me for him. ( again yea who does that?) Me. I am an alcoholic and had been abused, bullied, cheated on, lost a son to a girl who cheated on me. Yea so life is great hey. I worked out my sexuality in 1994? Maybe. Well in 2000 I moved to a big city and started driving a taxi. I left a winery because the lead hand wouldn't stop pushing his ideas on me. One of my last conversations to him was that I would kill him and bury him. I think I got the point across. In 1978, I had a weird conversation with my stepsister. She asked me how I masturbated. I didn't at that point. 2 years later after my mum and stepfather met another couple, some of my abuse started. Yes it was sexual. I can't say I was forced. I wanted to do it. I know that doesn't make it right. Its just what happened. With one of the sons of the other family some things happened. We visited a nudist camp and nudist beach. The other family had 6 children. They were a blended family. The oldest was about 16. The 2 stepsisters were a year older then me. The 2 stepbrother's were my age. There was a younger girl. About 3 years younger. In 1982 I had extra relations with the other brother and both stepsisters. We were all about 14 and 15 when this happened. Actually in 1982, my father had a bad accident. He was going to buy a bottle of sherry from a pub. Apparently he said he did a u-turn and hit a tree. Actually he hit the tree at speed. He claimed someone ran him off the road. He hit that tree with such force that the car, a ht panel van, had a rounded dent in the front that it was amazing he was still alive. He had broken ribs, broken legs, and troubles with eating and other things. He couldn't walk properly afterwards. When I saw him in hospital I fainted. It was horrific. So I went to live with my mom. When he recovered I went back to him. He continued to drink. We moved from one city to a town then to a beach town. At this point I was experimenting with wearing women's clothes. And in the beach town I continued with meeting men. In 1984 my father died. He couldn't eat properly. And still drank. I started stealing things from 1982 and ended up spending 3 months in a detention centre in 1983 ( I think) then had probation until age 18. When I left the centre I again run away but my children services officer found me. Anyways. I stopped acting out and lost my father. In 1981, I was in a school in grade 8 in a high school that I knew nearly everyone in the school. 1982 year 9 I did it then had to continue year 9 in another school where I was bullied. 1983 I had to repeat year 9 but when I was sentenced to 3 months prison after stealing bicycles, a boat and tried to steel a car and succeeded in stealing my dad's car and drove to a big city, my dad took me to the police. In the police interviews they first tried to pin a lot of stuff on me and i played along until i got sick of the righteous cop who thought i was some sort of crime wave. I wanted to leave school. One of the best things I made friends with the strongest guy in that place. Funny thing I remember when a yacht won for a small country. And a song about still standing. I made a coffee table too. After my father's funeral me and the second oldest brother returned to my mother's and stepfather's place. A caravan with all of my toys and coffee table, my brother's models and telescopes and clothes was stolen as well as school photos. The caravan was recovered but nothing else. Who steals photos and toys? 2 incidents that happened about 8 years apart in 2 different states really affected me badly. The day after my birthday in 1986 I picked up my car from the pub, saw some friends, then drove home when I got to my turn I saw some police cars and an ambulance and a car that looked like it was sideswiped. Turns out the driver who was killed was a local popular girl and was pushing her car after running out of fuel. The drunk driver lost his licence and not much else. I reckon he should have been locked up for murder. Another 8 years or so in another state a local kid hopped into his classic car and headed into town but a big 4wd driven by another drunk driver was headed towards him and collided and killed him. The drunk driver got a slap on the hand. He, too should have been put in jail for murder. 2 more wastes of spaces. I want to tell my story to everyone for free. I don't want money. I am a unemployed carer for my brother who has cancer. If anyone wants to donate, donate to a worthy cause of your choosing. In year 7 the teacher's kid was in his class and because of that I got the cane for several times. Of course I would like to find that kid now and whip him but he is another waste of space. The principal was also a waste of space and at one time kept us all on the parade ground where someone fainted from the heat. À girl at the school who I liked lied that she liked me but was joking. I did see her again in 1989 maybe. The third bf of the neighbour punched me because I started stalking her, oh yes I did stalk her but again who the hell hooks up with my brother after dumping me. That couple later was arrested for drugs and later left the area. A local drunk who abused me for the following and stalking ended up getting run over and died. I thought at least one waste of space is now dead. A stupid idiot died. Good. There were some great experiences from my childhood. Like a cat that was blind that I called pinky. She was a white albino cat. She was probably blind. She was the greatest pet I ever had. She had a litter in my dad's doctor's case. She once followed me all the way to the local shop ( about 4 kms) and back but I had to carry her the last few hundred yards. But as all great things it ended with tragedy. I came home from school and couldn't find her. My dad said he found her after being attacked by dogs, her back broken he had to put her out of her misery. I have never since had a pet like her. I don't know what happened to the dogs, but another reason I hate dogs. Put it this way. If I had a gun and a dog walked up to me I would pull the trigger. On my stepfather. Yes he abused me and another kid. His reputation could be ruined by this. His paintings are hanging in a council office and a park is named after him. If anyone thinks they should be changed then I will get that done. If not I will leave it. My stepfather passed away in 2005 from a heart attack because he still smoked. My mother was controlling. I think in the early 2000's I told my mum and stepfather about a girl I was interested in. That didn't work out. I never told them any other relationship again. I think I picked younger girls because I missed out on girls from 21 to 33. I met many girls from 2001 to 2019. Most were younger. Only one was older. But they were always of legal age. I could never be an abuser. And I couldn't be with a married woman either. Some of the first girls were Aussie, but I soon moved to Asian ladies, even marrying a Vietnamese girl so she could stay in Australia. It failed though cause she was too busy making money as a hooker. She claimed she was a stripper but she would bring guys back to the house. In 2010 I changed to mostly African girls. My last lady friend was Hispanic. A "gf" in 2017 to 2018 who I had a baby with who was still born because of her not telling me that her water had broken. She also cheated on me. I don't know when it started. Soon after leaving a job where I was bullied and treated like rubbish a guy came to the house and she hoped I wasn't home. After some distinctive noises I did leave. She wanted to have a second baby but after finding out she cheated I didn't want to have another kid with her. Soon after we left the house and I went back to living in my car. Living in my car. Pretty sure I did this from December 2009. Anytime I had work in big city. At one point I joined a gym so I could shower. Other times I went to swimming pools. Later I found a truck service station that wouldn't mind who used the showers as long as you bought something. Actually some great meals and people at the place. I couldn't really afford it but at least I wasn't paying rent. Yes I am an alcoholic. I won't stop. I want to die. I am ashamed. If anyone wants to stop me guess you will have to lock me up. In the world we have a megalomaniac who wants to rule the world. We have minorities who are continually dying in custody. If even one person doesn't do anything then nothing changes. Met a lovely person in 2011. Things ended in 2012 when I left a Job to be with her. Job later folded. Owners were another waste of space. But I loved this person. I know it wouldn't have worked though. I was too old. If I had met her in, oh that wouldn't work out. Let's just say if I was 20 years younger it would have been better. I can only think of one woman who was my perfect match but that didn't work out. Or if we were born in different times. Pretty sure that I will never find true love or another job. Thanks to the federal government for forgetting unemployed people over 35. Thanks for one state government for blaming another government for closing state boarders then recording more infections. And thanks to a waste of space. Pandemic. Look at the numbers. One country has the most. This country never took proper precautions. Their leader is another waste of space. My new catch phrase. Another waste of space. Jobs I left. 2 times at the winery. Firstly one couple couldn't work fast enough. I know I am slow but this couple was retarded. Second time was because of that leading hand. Driving taxis I just moved depots when I moved houses. In 2002 I worked for a guy to deliver junk mail. He was another waste of space. I lived with him and his gf ( being a friend of mine) I woke up one night to his swearing, actually turning out to be a reminder to my dad. I worked for a depot in 2008-09, because the mechanic thought it was funny to trap me in the window. Guess what another waste of space. I worked for a depot where the owner was a waste of space. A dealership I worked for where I was bullied and that. Well everyone there was a waste of space. Oh yea bonus material. A girl and a cop tried to frame me for hitting her car. She actually reversed into me. Her and parents ran a shop with adult videos and drugs. The cop was involved. Anyways later on I heard he tried to pick up another girl and got his brains blown out. In that place before we moved I could get anything I wanted. For instance I could buy a gun. So should I keep drinking. I also ran a few businesses of my own. And even one on an app. Again probably making less then $10 an hour. More wastes of spaces. Talk about slave labour. Even in this country they still want people to pick fruit and be paid for weight. Again another waste of space. From October 2018, after I left that house I would work up to 8 days then drive up to the little country town and buy and cook dinner for my brother. Sometime in September 2019 I noticed my brother had a lump on his neck. He said he had it for awhile. I got him to see a doctor and when he did she referred him to a ct scan. Then he referred to an oncologist. He was diagnosed with incurable cancer. Mum passed away in 2013 from cancer. I moved all my stuff up to the house to care for my brother at the end of September. Cook and shop and stuff. Drive him to his appointments. We have visited another town which is 100kms away 26 times. My brother has had all of his treatments and all is good for now. I will no longer risk my brothers life now. I won't be meeting anyone for years. Now to this year. I have almost paid off a big debt. Started in 1994/1995 with a bankcard. Up to $13000. Paid it off in 2012 after my ute got written off. But then made it again after the move to be with that girl. This year I also got the remainder of me super. ( a stupid idea. Why not have your money now). Anyways bought some gadgets, paid off debt and may have a road bike end of this year. My body isn't too good. I am overweight and have high blood pressure. I had also started smoking when I was 15 then gave up when I was 23. So at a later date I may develop cancer as well. Do I want to know. Part of me does and my doctor has suggested I find out via an x-ray. Part of me does not. We all die. I have now reached out to see a psychologist to talk to someone about my mental health and life. But I also want to tell my life story to my family, some day. I stopped drinking the other day will now take it one day at a time. I know I have to be here for my brother. After that I don't know.
The Cowboys in Black Fancy Dress and Operation “Hi Ho Silver”
Today is the eighth anniversary of the New Zealand Police paramilitary operation carried out in the Urewera and elsewhere by a bunch of over-hyped, poorly led, poorly trained and poorly disciplined cowboys. To date in this series on Operation 8 I have concentrated on a critical analysis of the Intelligence process leading up to the paramilitary operation on 15th October 2007. I have done that from the perspective of a retired Intelligence analyst with twenty years military experience and over thirty years experience in community and Maori development. In this post I am looking at the paramilitary operation itself, euphemistically called the “Urewera Raids”. I claim superior expertise to critically analyse that operation as well. In my twenty years in the NZ Army my primary specialty was as a combat arms commander. I was experienced in planning and conducting operations of the type on display on 15th October 2007 . During my deployment to Vietnam in 1967 I commanded an infantry platoon that took part in the “cordon and search” of several towns and villages. They were towns and villages where it was 100% certain that any enemy in hiding would fight fiercely if discovered, and there usually were enemy combatants hiding out in the villages. Additionally in my final posting in the Army 1980-82 I was involved at HQ staff level in the establishment of a counter-terrorism capability. For a long time after 15th October 2007 I had assumed that the paramilitary police Special Tactics Group (STG) must have had very little time to plan and rehearse their paramilitary operation. It was obviously way over the top and has since been found by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) to have been illegal in many respects (he says unlawful, I say illegal). That would seem to indicate a lack of time to prepare a plan that met all legal requirements. However the IPCA Report of 22nd May 2013 reveals that on 27th September 2007 the Operation 8 team briefed the Police Commissioner and senior staff at Police National Headquarters and on 10th October 2007 the Commissioner authorised the “termination” operation. Warrants for the paramilitary operation were obtained that day. The Police National HQ and STG leadership had at least five days and up to 18 days to prepare for their paramilitary operation. There was therefore no excuse for the illegal aspects of the plan. There was however some justification for the ferocity of the plan because of the flawed information they were given to base that plan upon. The planning process for the operation was the standard military and police operational process and the IPCA states that it was followed. However that process was only as good as the people who conducted it and the Intelligence on which it was based. The summary of that Intelligence is shown in this extract from the IPCA Report: “93.The information which STG relied upon in formulating the plan included the following:
“the targets possessed numerous weapons including “heavy calibre military style semi-‐automatic weapons”and were part of a group actively training in military tactics;
“they had received training in the use of rudimentary explosives and incendiary devices;
“intelligence suggested they were prepared to “die for their cause” and use lethal force to achieve their purpose, including sleeping with weapons under their beds to be better prepared for any attack on them;
“the intention of this group was to achieve “an independent Tūhoe nation within the Urewera area”;
“the area where the training camps were situated was rural and some distance from comprehensive medical facilities;
“not all attendees at the training camps had been identified by Police;
“intelligence suggested there was an unknown “local group” in the area who could pose a threat to Police; and
“the feelings of the community towards the participants in the training camps were largely unknown and thus it was stated that “the existence of sympathisers and supporters for their cause cannot be discounted””.
Having analysed the Intelligence process in detail I have absolutely no doubt that the last two of those bullet points were wild assumptions for which there was no Intelligence or evidence either way. They were however critical elements in the planning of the paramilitary operation. The third and fourth bullet points were not supported by corroborated and verified evidence. It was a way-over-the-top intelligence assessment that led to the way-over-the-top paramilitary operation. In several previous analyses of the Intelligence process I have shown why it was unprofessional, incompetent, lacking in depth, unverified and wrong. To that I now add way over the top. That briefing to the STG also shows that the Police were proceeding into New Zealand’s first major counter-terrorist operation with insufficient and incomplete information, and on the basis of some wild assumptions about the “terrorists”, their capabilities and their intentions. That was a command failure at the highest level. In several of my previous analyses I have referred to Commissioner Broad’s statements after the event. It is appropriate to do so again. He admitted that he had no indication of an imminent terrorist event and that he authorised the operation only to “nip it in the bud”. With a full on assault on an innocent community? Despite there being some justification for the style of operation they mounted based on faulty Intelligence and a failure of command, the STG and Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) teams committed some egregiously unlawful behaviour involving innocent whanau and communities. This extract from the executive summary of the IPCA Report describes that behaviour: “10. … the planning and preparation for the establishment of the road blocks in Ruatoki and Taneatua was deficient. The Authority has found there was no lawful basis for those road blocks being established or maintained. There was no lawful power or justification for Police to detain, stop and search the vehicles, take details from or photograph the drivers or passengers. “11.There was no assessment of the substantial and adverse impact of such road blocks on the local community. The road block at Ruatoki was intimidating to innocent members of that community, particularly in view of the use of armed Police officers in full operational uniform. “12.The majority of complaints received by the Authority in relation to property searches were not from target individuals but rather from other occupants at these properties complaining about the way they were treated by Police. Some felt they were being treated as suspects. A number of occupants were informed by Police that they were being detained while a search of the property occurred, despite there being no lawful basis for such detention. Police had no legal basis for conducting personal searches of these occupants. The behaviour of the Police that day has been publicly documented. It included:
Detaining at gunpoint several innocents, including women and children still in their night attire, and sometimes in stressful positions; some were made to kneel on concrete paths with guns at their heads;
Conducting intrusive body searches of women who were not suspects;
Forcefully separating children from their carers;
Detaining a woman and her children in a shed for hours without food and water and toilet facilities, and laughing when she asked for relief.
The IPCA Report states: “Police actions led occupants at five properties to have reasonable cause to believe that they were being detained while the search was conducted. The detention of occupants at these properties was contrary to law, unjustified and unreasonable”. There were other stupid behaviours including:
Chain-sawing through a fence when a gate was wide open a few metres away; and
Smashing doors that weren’t locked.
The most egregious behaviour related to the callous and intimidatory attitude of several “black role” Police officers towards innocents and to the disregard for their human rights and their dignity. It was an assault on human rights. That behaviour displayed to the discerning eye of someone who has trained and commanded combat troops:
a culture of arrogance;
that they were over-hyped;
that the recruitment and selection process is poorly designed;
that they were poorly trained;
that they were poorly disciplined;
that they were poorly led; and
at the command and policy level they were poorly governed.
I am not alone in my assessment. And it is why I have called them “cowboys in black fancy dress”. They deserve the opprobrium. I am aware that some in the Defence community call them “The Keystones”. In Vietnam we were on active service against an armed and very dangerous adversary. Yet in our “cordon and search” operations we never treated innocents with such arrogance and disregard for their rights. We did search them at roadblocks but with as much respect as was possible in the circumstances. We did remove them from the houses we searched but as respectfully as we could and never with the same shouting and pointing of weapons. People will do what you ask if you treat them with respect. It was a disciplined approach. We were never masked. Nothing is more calculated to instil fear than the mask, despite the Police’s claim that it is an operational necessity. We tried to minimise the fear. The innate empathy and friendliness of the New Zealand soldier went a long way towards that. There was no empathy or friendliness shown to innocents in the Police paramilitary operation on 15th October 2007. Just arrogance and hostility and intimidation. There’s a fucked up mentality behind that attitude. A serious culturally ingrained fucked up mentality. It was reported that the cowboys in black fancy dress were given their operation orders as late as 3am on the morning of the operation. They were fed the over-the-top terrorism story almost immediately before they went into action. They went out fired up and ready to combat terrorists. Their superior officers hyped them up and set the adrenaline surging. But that is no excuse whatsoever for their arrogant and hostile treatment of innocents. That was a function of poor policy and governance, poor leadership, poor selection, poor training, poor discipline and a serious culturally ingrained fucked up mentality. Before the Special Tactics Group (STG) can be deployed a formal STG Request for Assistance has to be submitted.
Who wrote that request?
Who submitted it?
When was it submitted”
Who approved it? The Commissioner? Deputy Commissioner? Assistant Commissioner Operations?
Who conducted the “appreciation” to assess the risks posed by an STG paramilitary operation to “terminate” Operation8?
What were the identified risks, if any?
Who conducted the after action debriefing?
Is there a written record of that debriefing?
These questions need to be asked. The IPCA again: “13.The Authority has concluded that a number of aspects of the Police termination of Operation Eight were contrary to law and unreasonable. In a complex operation of the type that was undertaken here, there are always a number of important lessons to be learned about future Police policy and practices. The Police internal debrief following the termination of Operation Eight has already identified a number of those lessons and necessary changes to Police training, policy and operational instructions have been made. The Authority has made a number of other recommendations in light of its own findings. This includes the need to re-‐engage, and build bridges, with the Ruatoki community”. The Police debrief and resulting recommendations did not address the real failures of Operation 8 and did not address the real shortcomings of their paramilitary policy, structure, culture, training, leadership and discipline. It glossed over all of that and seemed to focus on what they needed to do to recover from their disastrous operation, including what they needed to do to repair their relationship with Ngai Tuhoe. A major part of its deliberations were about the paramilitary uniform and concluded that the “black role” and Nomex hoods were still necessary. It recommended that the Commissioner engage with Ruatoki and it dumped most of the responsibility for repairing the relationship on the National Manager Māori & Pacific Ethnic Services. The same Superintendent Wally Haumaha who had been deliberately excluded from Operation 8 and would surely have moderated its excesses was now responsible for cleaning up the mess. No-one has been held publicly accountable for all of that illegal and unprofessional behaviour. The Police have since paid compensation and have apologised to some whanau. They have apologised to Ruatoki and Ngai Tuhoe. They’ve got a long way to go yet. A new generation of Ngai Tuhoe have been given renewed reason to distrust the Police and 15th October 2007 will live on in tribal memory, forever. Stupidity, paranoia and incompetence know no bounds. It could all have been avoided. Me maumahara tonu matou."
2020.10.14 19:19 Hemightbegiant39 [m4f] Trying again. Weirdo looking for similar
I'm in Connecticut. I have a solid job and a car. Like everyone else, my 2020 has sucked pretty hard, but I am still alive so... I am a big dude, but I am working on being less large. I am down 25 lbs from my highest point, and still have a long way to go. Love me some keto diet and I grill a mean New York strip steak. Looking to make friends right now, that could become something else later. I am currently doing a lot of self improvement work, including therapy. Huge fan of Weird Al Yankovic and They might be giants. I listen to a wide variety of music. I would love to meet a woman who likes concerts. Going alone is ok, but sharing the experience is so much better! I can be weird and goofy. That tends to be my default, but I know how to be serious when I need to be. I tend to quote shows and movies too much... Intelligent. Sometimes witty. Sometimes corny. I love puns! I have been told I am funny. OG nerd. I like a lot of the "standard" nerd stuff. LOTR, Marvel universe etc. Board games and card games are always a good time. I am constantly seeking to improve myself. Fiercely loyal to those I care about. Recently divorced (3/17/20 it was official). Ex moved out in June 2020. Living alone for the first time in 11 years. I am passionate about reptiles (especially snakes) and arachnids. I have both as pets. I don't like needlessly killing things. I relocate insects/spiders and help turtles cross the road. I recently got into keeping Isopods as pets. (Rolly pollies, pill bugs, wood louse...whatever you know them as.) I have 3 frogs as well. I enjoy the occasional concert and still have a few bands I would like to see live, and a few I want to see again. (Assuming that ever happens again.) I listen to various podcasts, including Mbmbam, The Adventure Zone, Serial Killers, Lore, Critical role, and the Practical Stoic. My sense of humor is one of my strongest attributes. I have 4 cats. I don't mind dogs, but I am a cat dude. Hobbies include but not limited to: Leather crafting. Novice woodworking. Learning. I Google a lot, and watch YouTube videos. Fishing, but like...not obsessively. I like to sit by a lake and hope I catch a fish. Self improvement. Collecting select vinyl. (My favorite bands, especially if it is colored vinyl.) I game on PC sometimes as well, and if you are into that...it would be awesome. (7 days to die, Ark and a few others. I can reinstall World of Warcraft as well.) I also play D&D twice a month, and may start up my own online campaign. Lately I have been watching a lot of astrology/tarot videos and "ghosts caught on tape." I love spooky stuff. I keep telling myself to just build a tomahawk throwing target, but I haven't yet. Soon... I like guns, but I am not a gun nut. I have my CCW. You have to be comfortable with that. Fan of horror movies. It takes a lot to freak me out when it comes to horror movies. Who am I interested in? The Morticia to my Gomez. Women, 29-42 age range would be ideal. Closer to Connecticut would be ideal, but there is wiggle room. Someone not afraid of snakes and spiders is a good bonus, as I love both, and that is not changing. Someone who doesn't see me as a "project". I am my own project, and I don't need another one for that matter. No one can fix you but yourself. I'm done taking in little wounded birdies and trying to fix them. (Figuratively speaking. I may actually take in literal wounded birdies as that is just something I would do. Lol.) I am not going to change things I like or my passions to impress anyone. I am past that shit. Putting on different masks to make different people happy is not a way to live your life. I tend to like nerdy, girl-next-door types. Awkward geeky ladies who like video games and board/table top games. Intelligence is a turn on. Someone who will wax philosophically with me about life, the universe and everything. I actually have a house lined up where I will be able to do this, I just need to wait a bit before I can take it. (The current owner is working on getting a mortgage and needs to find a new house. It is not concrete though, just the current plan. It could change.) Someone who likes fishing would be nice. (And baits their own hook.) Or would like to hang out with me while I fish. A fellow animal lover, as I tend to adopt unwanted animals often...and I am a sucker for them. Someone who realizes there is more to life than paying bills and dying. I have the idea of homesteading in the back of my mind, but I am not even sure where to begin. There is a good chance I am not having my own kids, as I had a vasectomy a few months ago. (I was convinced children weren't in the cards for me, and then the impending divorce happened.) However, I am not against having it reversed in the right situation, adopting/fostering, or dating someone with young children. I am great with kids. I'd be one hell of a dad. https://imgur.com/a/scHdMMC Please include a pic if you message. I like putting a face to a conversation. Trump supporters need not apply, and if you are under 18...don't bother. I can promise you we have nothing to talk about. Honestly my minimum cut off would be 25.
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