Breakfast Special, #27, “Lily’s Coat”

Lily’s Coat

“Well, I’ll be damned. Hells’ bells! We’re not open for ten minutes and look who comes through Big Bob’s new door. Good to see you, Benj. You too, Patrick. How’s Nora? Your Dad? Everything good with the clan?” Stanley set up three cups of coffee, one for himself and the two men who were the first to come inside and currently the only people in Big Bob’s.

“Hey Stanley. You’re looking good.” Benj kicked the snow and rock salt from his shoes as he held the door open for Patrick doing the same behind him before crossing the threshold.

“What can we do for you two fine young fine men? Whatever you want. It’s on the house considering you’re the first folks back in here.” Stanley waved a hand indicating that the bar was empty of customers except for the two O’Mara brothers.

“Just a couple of coffees and sweet rolls,” said Patrick. He took a bar stool next to Benj and began toying with the salt and pepper shakers.

“Oh come on, you two can do better than that. You got a stomach bug or what? Huh?” Stanley poured steaming coffee into the cups.

“Nora stuffed us before we headed for Falls. Preventive breakfast I call it. In case we get stuck in a snow-bank along the way, at least we’ll be stuck with full stomachs.” Benj knocked shoulders with Patrick next to him as they laughed.

Stanley set two sweet rolls on plates for them. “That’s Nora alright. So what brings you two to our National Guard Disaster area?  Don’t you dare say it’s because you enjoy the scenery on the ride here. That would be a whole lot of snow-shit anyone can see anywhere.”

His fingers dancing around the rim of his coffee cup, Benj said, “Actually we came in thinking we might meet up with Sarge.”

“Well, he has not been here this morning. He usually comes around every so often after a shift for the breakfast special and a sweet roll. With the docks still closed, I wouldn’t expect him though.” Stanley nodded at the window view of the shoulder-high mounds of snow all along the street with only one lane cleared for traffic. “If Reggie Dawson hadn’t taken it into his head to clear the street that much on his own, I wouldn’t be open either.”

Patrick followed the direction of Stanley’s glance and nodded in understanding. “When was Sarge last in for a special?”

Stanley sipped his coffee. “Let’s see. Pretty sure it was the Friday of the week before the snow really became a bitch. Yep. It was. I remember now. He sat there right at the end. Came in at the end of us getting slammed. Had his usual over-easys.”

“He seem okay to you then?” Benj dipped his sweet roll into his coffee.

“Oh hell yeah. Right as rain. Had a book as usual. Gave me a little lip for fun.”

“You ain’t seen him since then?” said Patrick.

“No.” Stanley shook his head. “Last I saw of Sarge he was high-tailing it out the door in hot pursuit of Lily. Have no idea if he caught up with her, but he sure put a leg on after she left.”

Benj and Patrick looked at each other, then at Stanley. Patrick leaned over his coffee expectantly. “How long has Sarge been seeing this Lily?”

Stanley shrugged his shoulders. “Never saw them together before that Friday. All I can say is that he sat down next to her. They gave each other a little grief. She ate like a starving pig as usual. He ate. She left. He grabbed his sweet roll and left right after. What more can I tell you?”

Benj grinned. “So what do you know about this Lily? Besides she eats like a pig.”

Stanley shook his head. “Oh that Lily, she’s something else, Benj.”

“What? She like some hot to trot firecracker?”

“Hot to trot firecracker? Lily? Hell no, Patrick. Atomic bomb is more like it.”

Mistaking Stanley’s line of thinking, Benj and Patrick laughed with glee. “So she’s like, what, stacked to the max?”

“How’s her ass action? She got a cute little wiggle in her walk?” Patrick shook his sweet roll to illustrate this notion.

Stanley laughed. “I hate to disappoint you guys, but you got it all wrong.”

“Awww Stanley. You’re such a tease,” said Patrick before eating half his sweet roll.

“You’re just yanking our chains with the atomic bombshell bit?” Patrick slumped dejectedly on his stool for a few moments.

“No. I’m not. I meant it. Only not like you two are thinking.”

Patrick punched Benj in the shoulder while keeping eye contact with the barkeeper. “Okay. Okay. So how did you mean it, Stanley?”

“Wait a minute.” Stanley glanced at the door and out the window. “I don’t want to start something I can’t finish. Let me lock the door. Fifteen minutes more of being closed won’t hurt anyone.”

“What the hell, Stanley?” Benj swirled on the bar stool while watching Stanley lock the entrance door. “You got FBI secrets to share or what?”

Returning to his place behind the bar, Stanley got comfortable on a stool, topped off everyone’s coffee, then looked from Benj to Patrick. “Remember when the shit hit the fan big time at St. Luke’s Church in the Flats a couple of years back?”

“You mean all that about Father John being a pedophile?”

“That’s it, Benj. That’s what I’m thinking of.”

“Oh I remember that. That was one storm that just wouldn’t blow over. So what’s this Lily got to do with that?”

“So—Lily started that shit-storm and kept it blowing for as long as it did.”

“I don’t recall reading about any Lily in the papers.” Patrick shook his head as he wiped his hands on a napkin. “I think I’d remember if Father Joseph had said anything about a Lily during Sunday Mass when he talked about St.Luke’s and Father John.”

“That’s because Holy Mother Church didn’t want it getting out who was really calling the shots in the Flats. Church didn’t want anyone finding out about what Lily knew any more than necessary. Lily knew a hell of a lot about what Father John did, when, where, who and how many times. Last thing the Church wanted was some reporter getting in deep with Lily. And they sure as hell didn’t want their own giving anyone any ideas about chatting her up. The parents were another thing. The Holy Fathers couldn’t care less about how they were carrying on. They just came across as clowns in the papers and on television because of how they looked and talked. Church could deal with the parents. Or so it thought at the time.” Stanley drank his coffee and waited for a response from either of the two men.

“But this Lily could have just gone to the papers herself. Why didn’t she?”

Stanley grimaced. “Lily wasn’t interested in getting press. What she wanted was Father John out of the Flats and out of the priesthood. She wanted him listed as a sex offender with the police and that was just for starters. She wanted him prosecuted to the full extent of the law. On top of that she had other priest fish to fry. And they weren’t in Falls. Now the only reason I know this is because my cousin Pauline manages Father Richard’s office in M-. She’s been there for two decades. She types up all the top line letters herself to keep things quiet and contained. According to Pauline, Lily and Father Richard had a meeting in person, right there in Father Richard’s office for about an entire day.  Right after that, Father Richard got busy and put some serious hurt on a priest in Minnesota, another one in Texas, and one in Washington State. Pauline doesn’t know what happened after that because only those letters went out. Nothing came in reply. Nothing in writing anyway. Everything else Father Richard did was either on the phone or face to face behind closed doors.”

Patrick hunched his shoulders and leaned over his coffee. “You’re saying he didn’t want any records or a paper trail.”

“Exactly.”  Stanley topped off his own cup of coffee and then Benj and Patrick’s. “But that didn’t put an end to what was going on in the Flats. When Father Richard’s hands were tied by higher-ups in regard to Father John, it was Lily who organized those folks to drive Father John out of business and basically shut down St. Luke’s on their own. The Sunday donations stopped. The tithes stopped coming in. The people stopped coming to mass. There were even carpools for getting people who wanted mass over to St. Teresa’s or any other church. Till this day, if anyone wants to go to confession they go to St. Teresa’s. Baby needs a christening; it’s done at St. Teresa’s. Someone needs last rites; they get the priest from St. Teresa’s to the Flats for them.  All of that is still going on. There may be a priest in residence at St. Luke’s, but only God Almighty hears him say mass. That church is a tomb.”

“Ahh ha. And this Lily is behind all that?” Benj exchanged looks and shrugs with Patrick before they both turned doubtful eyes back on the older man.

“Obviously none of that would have happened if people hadn’t paid attention to her. But she’s the one who light their fuses. No doubt about it.” He watched the two brothers smirk while remaining good-naturedly attentive to him. Deciding to take advantage of their interest and the lack of anyone walking or driving down the one lane street, Stanley warmed further to his subject. “As if that wasn’t enough, after those people got a taste of what they could do, they started doing other things. They formed what they call the Neighborhood Watch out there. It’s got ex-gang bangers, retired cops, blue-collar guys, white-collar guys, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Indians, Asians, the whole nine yards. You name it, if it lives in the Flats; they got it in the Watch. Falls PD may ignore 911 calls from the Flats, but the Watch doesn’t.”

Benj stretched his arms and locked his hands behind his head. “How you know all this, Stanley? Is there a Flats newsletter going around or some such?”

“How do I know all this?” Stanley’s eyebrows arched high as he met Benj’s eyes. “I know all this because my sister’s daughter, Joyce, she’s a nurse at St.Syms, lives in the Flats. Joyce bought a house god awful cheap there some time back because she wanted something close to work. As Joyce tells it, Lily pulled all those people together when she went after Father John for those kids he was messing around with. She really put the hurt on St. Luke’s when she got up at some community meeting and made some speech about if people still wanted to go to church and listen to some priest tell them how to live their lives after what Father John had done to their children, then they needed to go find a good man, because that’s what makes a good priest. So some people started visiting the other churches to check out the priests.”

Patrick laughed. “That’s funny, Stanley. Sounds like she sent them shopping for a better deal.”

Pointing his cup at Patrick, Stanley nodded. “That’s about what it boiled down to, Patrick. Now, lots of folks had been dishing some priest at St. Teresa’s ever since he arrived because he stuttered so much. They didn’t like listening to him trying to talk right. You know how that goes, especially with the old timers who want everything just perfect. They figured the Church had given them a lemon priest. Some of the Flats people go to St. Teresa’s to check out this priest anyway. When they show up out of nowhere to have a little chat, he stops what he’s doing and gives them his undivided attention until they’re good and ready to say bye-bye. Those folks didn’t give a damn about his stuttering. They just wanted a priest who flew right and played by the rules. They wanted a good man.  Joyce said that when the people from the Flats showed up at St. Teresa’s for Sunday Mass for the first time it was like a people bomb had exploded. Church was packed from the first pew to the last and out the doors. Guess which priest was saying Mass that Sunday. After checking out all their options in Falls and M- and everywhere in between, they chose the lemon priest. Now every time the lemon priest says Sunday Mass, St. Teresa’s is stuffed to the gills. That priest doesn’t even have a chance to ask for help. Roof needs patching. It’s done. Window needs fixing. It’s done. His funny little scooter needs a repair. It’s done. St. Teresa’s food pantry needs filling. It’s filled. Why? Because when the people from the Flats call him, he answers without any bullshit.  And he doesn’t mess with their kids.” Stanley drank the rest of his coffee.   “Ever see a picture of an atomic bomb exploding?”

“With the mushroom cloud and all spreading out.” Benj illustrated with his hands. “Oh yeah.”

“Same thing with Lily.” The barkeeper spun his empty cup in its saucer. “When she delivers a payload there’s a big bang, mushroom cloud goes up and down. Ripples just keep on spreading out wider and wider.”

Scratching his head, Patrick sat up straight and frowned at his brother and Stanley. “This does not sound like a woman who’d be up Sarge’s alley.”

“Anything but. Way too labor intensive.”

“You fellas are probably right. You’re his brothers.” Seeing a certain sort of opportunity in the situation, Stanley decided to make the most of it. “But if you saw how they were checking each other out here at the counter, both of them being sly about it, you might be singing a different tune.”

Not at all buying Stanley’s line, Patrick said, “If Sarge was giving this Lily the once over, then she must have something to grab his eyes. What does she look like anyway, Stan?”

Benj backed up his older brother. “Come on Stan. Give us something besides a yarn about the freak show in the Flats.”

“Alright already. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, you two are a couple of Peter Pan Pests today. Tell you what. Next time you see a Hudson Bay Blanket coat hoofing it in Falls, that’s Lily. “

“You got to be kidding. Oh Stan. I don’t know about Patrick, but you’re killing me with your bullshit. I’m thinking I’m going to take you up on that freebie breakfast just to make up for doing you the favor of listening to all this shit.”

“I’m serious. You want to know what Lily looks like and if she might trip Sarge’s trap, then go find the Hudson Bay Blanket coat. You do know what one of those looks like, don’t you?”

“What do you take us for? A couple of morons? We know what a Hudson Bay coat looks like. She can’t have the only one in Falls.”

“True. But she’s the only person I’ve seen in the last, what four or five years wearing one all winter long. If I see the coat on the street, I think, ‘there goes Lily.’ What do you know, every time I drive past that coat and see a face, it is Lily. Never yet have I been wrong about who is wearing that coat here in Falls. Not once. Okay. Now, let’s fire up the grill and have us all some eggs because I don’t think anyone else is coming through that new door until some more folks are dug out.”

Patrick and Benj banged their palms on the bar-counter in agreement. “Hell yeah, fill us up for the return trip with sunny-siders and some burnt pig, Stanley.”

After Patrick and Benj departed, Big Bob’s grill man, Murray, came out from behind the grill blind. Joining Stan in another cup of coffee at the empty counter he pulled apart a cinnamon roll and ate it piece by piece. “Stan, are you sure that was a good idea, telling those two about Lily and her coat? They might do that and give her grief she don’t need. ”

“Ah they’re harmless as far Lily is concerned. They won’t lay rough hands on a woman. A man, now that’s an entirely different story. They’ll fight any guy dumb enough to swing a dick in their direction. They don’t care who or how big in any sense of the word.  I think Sarge has given them the slip again and they’re trying to pick up his trail anyway they can. Telling them to look for Lily when who they really want to find is Sarge, is like sending them on a wild goose chase. If they’re looking for her coat, then they’re not looking for Sarge. And in my book, them not finding Sarge for as long as possible is a damn good thing all by itself.”

“No argument on that score from me. Why they don’t just let Sarge do his own thing is beyond me.”

“It’s all about control, Murray. All about control. I’ve known Dylan and Nora for years. They always held their boys pretty damn tight when they were just kids. Now they hold the boys and their families tight too. Seems like they all want it that way. Except for Sarge who has been fighting that tight hold ever since he was a little kid. Unlike his brothers, Sarge was born with a mind of his own. That’s why Sarge and crazy Kozy get along so well.”

“Stan was that legit what you told them about Lily and Father Richard or were you just blowin’ smoke up their asses?

“Oh it’s legit all right. I could tell by the looks on their faces they weren’t buying one word of it even though I was telling them the gospel truth according to Pauline. I figure, hey, truth is stranger than fiction. My conscience is clear. I didn’t lie to them. They think I did though. So they won’t be wasting any time sharing that story. They forgot it before they even went out our new door.” Stanley looked at Murray. “Probably best you forget it too.”

Murray popped the last of the cinnamon roll into his mouth. “What? You say something Stanley?”

~~

Breakfast Special, #28, Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 1, Les Mis:

https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/breakfast-special-28-fair-trade-creed-reads-pt-1-les-mis/

~~

Breakfast Special, #28, Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 2, Stealth:

https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/breakfast-special-28-fair-trade-creed-reads-pt-2-stealth/

~~

Breakfast Special #28,  Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 3, Two Guys On a Roof:  https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/breakfast-special-28-fair-trade-creed-reads-pt-3-just-two-guys-on-a-roof/

Breakfast Special, #16, “Alternate Realities”

Alternate Realities

Lily stood in her dark apartment looking out at the snow in the small backyard between the alley and house glistening in the moonlight. The quiet felt good after nearly constant social interaction all day and late into the night. The impromptu potluck that had started out as a simple way for people to gather for an easy meal had gradually evolved into a full-blown social event. For several hectic hours there’d been a nearly constant flow of food, music, news and talk on the first floor of JJ’s home. Then, thankfully later than the weather advisory report had estimated, snow began falling in earnest and people gradually returned to their homes. The makeshift walkway made of boards, cardboard, plywood and house siding was now being stacked onto the porches in order to keep it from disappearing under the new snow.

Yesterday she’d tired herself out mentally with studying and working ahead on her coursework. Today had been unexpectedly satisfying concerning the never-ending neighborhood assistance work. It had worn her out physically and mentally by the time they’d put JJ’s home back to rights after the potluck. Throughout the evening she and Sarge had met up several times, but only in passing as she moved from one task to another: washing and rewashing plates, checking in with the crews, updating information about current needs, passing out boxes of food, clothing, baby items and children’s toys.  While she’d been changing out the food dishes at the potluck she had noticed that he and Anton appeared to be keeping company together in the way of men and wondered what to make of it. Whenever she’d observed him during the course of the evening it seemed he was always in paying attention mode as if he was literally reading the people around him like people did books on tape. She’d been grateful that he hadn’t come pestering her for attention when there had been so much to do.

Only when Sarge finally came through the apartment door, having finished stacking the boards on the porch after refusing to allow her to help him, did she think about turning on a light. He sat down on the red rug to remove his boots as she flipped the light switch. “Hey, leave it off if you want. There’s plenty of light coming in from the windows.”

“You sure you don’t mind?” She hoped he wasn’t just being polite as she did not really did not want to leave on the artificial light which entirely changed the room’s atmosphere and its connection to the world outside the windows.

“I’m sure. It feels good in here after all the people and music. Smells nice too, sort of like the pine trees in the park but way better.”

Lily quickly turned off the lights. “Hey, Little George sent over some pants and a couple of shirts that might fight you close enough for a change of clothes. Loose is better than tight, right? That is if you don’t mind wearing someone else’s clothes.”

Sarge laughed a little while unlacing his boots. “I have five brothers. While growing up there was nothing but someone else’s clothes. From the looks of Little George, my belt should keep things decent. Mine definitely need at least a rinsing out after today. It’s very considerate of Little George to share his threads.”  Boots off and on the mat, he remained seated on the rug as he looked up at her. “How are you?”

“Me? Oh I’m okay. It’s been a busy day.”

“And night.” It had not escaped Sarge’s notice that Lily had been perpetually in motion the entire evening. Only briefly had he wondered if she was avoiding him. Observing Esther, JJ and several other women and men also constantly putting forth the same efforts to keep the food tables and the first floor rooms generally in order, passing out cardboard boxes with items to meet specific individual needs, talking with and taking notes from nearly everyone who put in an appearance, he quickly realized she was doing what she normally did on such occasions. He looked past her to the windows where he could see that the snow was falling harder and thicker now. “Has Mother Nature gone loco or what? ”

Lily perched on the couch’s arm. “It would be easier to put up with if there was at least some sunshine. The constant grey sky day in and day out is depressing. Five brothers. That’s a lot of ‘guy’ under one roof. Any sisters?”

Sarge shook his head, rose from the floor and went to the windows. “No sisters. How about you?”

“Just one brother.” Now bitterly regretting having brought up the subject of siblings in an effort to learn something more about him, Lily searched for a way of immediately dropping of it. Just thinking about her brother Peter threatened to push her beyond exhaustion to a crying jag she didn’t want to have. Trying hard to suppress a sudden surge of memories, she struggled to remain in the present. Clenching her hands, she worked on refocusing her mind by watching Sarge leaning against the radiators to look upward at the night sky.

“Ever feel like you’ve been grabbed by aliens and dropped into an alternate universe, Lily?” said Sarge.

“Every goddamned day.”  Having spoken aloud without intending to, Lily covered her mouth with both hands to stop herself from saying anything else.

Hearing the anger in her words and the strain in her voice, Sarge turned around.  “Hey, Lily. What’s wrong?” Even though he’d never before seen the frantic expression he now saw on her face, Sarge knew it wasn’t a portent of good things to come. When he carefully moved towards her, she shook her head, hands still over her mouth, meanwhile sliding off the couch arm onto the cushions.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that.” Lily said quickly as Sarge sat down near her on the couch. She took a deep breath, held it then slowly exhaled. “I’m okay. Just too much snow. “

*

*

“Yeah, too much snow. Do you want me to go get Rosa?” Unsure of himself and what to do, Sarge sat very still watching Lily trying to regain her composure.

“No, don’t do that. Don’t bother Rosa. She doesn’t need anything else to do. It’s just been a very very long day.” Thinking she had herself under control, she pushed her hair behind her ears and tried to smile at him. “Just nerves.”

“Nerves? Am I making you nervous? Uncomfortable? I don’t mean to if I am. I could go over to Anton’s place and crash there if that would help. Just say the word.”

Lily shook her head vigorously. “It’s not you. Really it’s not.” She rubbed her forehead hard while deciding how much she wanted to say. “Actually, now this may sound strange. But I mean it actually it helps with you being here.” She wiped away a sudden tear. “I just need, I need to not think about the snow. Okay? You being here has kept me from thinking about snow too much. This isn’t making any sense to you, is it?”

“Not much. Yet. Keep going. Why shouldn’t you think about the snow?” Sarge glanced out the window at the new falling snow.

“It reminds me of home. Especially now with all of it making everything look like not here, but like there. Like I remember it.” She took another deep breath and let it go. “Remember it is all I can do. I can’t go back . . . can’t go back home because it doesn’t exist anymore. Not the way it was anyway. Here definitely feels like another world. Yeah, it’s exactly like I’ve been grabbed by aliens and dropped in another universe. ”

“I understand that. It’s how I’ve been feeling the last couple of days. But in a good way.”

“I bet. A crazy woman feeds you soup, and after that everything goes topsy turvy.”

“Hey, I ate that soup totally of my own volition.” Sarge hesitated. “Where is, was, home, Lily?”

“Where?” She laughed a little. “Nowhere. It was in the middle of absolutely nowhere; in Alaska, near the Canadian border.”

“Do you mean like in the wilderness? No city? No town?”

She nodded. “No city. No town. Nothing to find on a map. Just some people living together like they had for a very long time.”

“What happened?”

Lily stared out the windows. She thought about going through the contents of Sarge’s coat pockets with Esther and why she’d given into doing that. She looked back at the man patiently waiting for her to talk or not. “A Stealth Bomber happened. Didn’t know what it was at the time. Not until quite a long time afterwards. But that’s what it was. Three of them flew overhead. One had a technical malfunction and dropped a bomb. Right there in the middle of absolutely nowhere a bomb falls on a village so tiny no one ever put it on any map. What are the odds of that? Tell me, what are the odds?” She snapped her fingers. “Just like that thirty-three people are gone. With all the rest of nowhere for a bomb to fall on by accident, one fell right there. Is that crazy or what?”

“That’s definitely in the insane not probable odds category.” Sarge decided against asking any of the questions that were quickly coming to mind. Though she’d relaxed considerably while talking, now in the dark room with only the light of the moon reflected off the snow delineating her face, her raw grief was starkly evident. He followed her gaze out the window for a moment as he considered his next move. Deciding being practical offered the best route of action, he stood up and moved to block her view of the windows. Offering her both his hands he spoke to her in the tone he used with his brothers’ children. “Come on. It’s way past your bedtime, Missy. There’s a down quilt with your name on it waiting.” When she tentatively put one hand and then the other in his, Sarge gently pulled her to her feet. “That’s it. Up we go. Since you’ve been such a good girl today, I’ll tell you a bedtime story.”

“Oh really? Do I get to pick which one?” Lily let go of his hands as they turned together towards the bedroom.

“Sure. Which one would you like to hear? The Three Pigs? Red Riding Hood? Peter Pan?” When he uttered the last, Lily gasped, then, as her knees buckled, grabbed hold of his shirt to keep from falling to the floor. Sarge reacted by catching her around her waist with one arm. Feeling her struggle to regain her feet and fail to do so, he adjusted his stance, slipped his other arm under her legs and lifted her up.”Okay, well so much for that.idea. You have definitely played way too hard today, little Missy.”

One hand clutching the back of his shirt, Lily pushed lightly against his chest. “I’m okay. You can put me down. Just need some sleep.”

Instead of putting her back on her feet, Sarge decided to carry her into the bedroom. “First you need to reach the bed then comes the sleeping. Here we go. Okay, toss or drop? Which do you prefer?”

“Huh? I have no idea what you mean. Just put me down already.”

“’Just down’ sounds like a drop to me” With that, Sarge leaned a little over the bed and let her fall out of his arms onto it. Feeling along the wall in the dark until he found the switch he turned on the small wall light. She stared up at him.

Lily whispered, “Sarge, Peter will never grow up.”

He nodded. “Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s the point of Never Never Land. Some people never grow up, no matter what their age.”

Lying in the middle of the bed where he had dropped her, Lily shook her head slowly from side to side. “Not them. I mean, my brother, Peter.”

Sarge carefully sat down on the bed next to her. “Oh the shit that comes out of my mouth at the wrong times. What are the odds, Lily? What are the odds?”

“Oh I’m too damn tired to work that problem in my head right now. Can I get back to you with the answer in the morning?”

“Better yet, how about drawing me a map?”

“A map of what?”

Sarge tapped lightly on her forehead. “Of all the minefields in there so I stop making things go Boom boom!”

Lilly laughed softly. “You’re funny, Sarge.”

“If you say so, I must be.” He watched her try to keep her eyes open then give up and fall deep into a hard sleep.

~~~

Breakfast Special, #17, Never Hook a Gift Fish In the Gills https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/breakfast-special-17-never-hook-a-gift-fish-in-the-gills/

Breakfast Special, fifth helping, “Pussy No More” , #5

Pussy No More

When morning made a feeble attempt at sending a few dull rays of sunlight across Nora’s glossy cherry top dining table, Dylan was stirring a single spoonful of honey into his cup of fresh black coffee. Setting the spoon aside he pulled the cup close so he could inhale the steam rising from the rich dark roast. He watched his wife glance towards the empty stairs then back at the window where her array of snake plants resided on the wide inner sill. “He slept in the back bedroom last night. Didn’t go out after the rest left, judging from his shoes.”

Nora turned in her chair a little and pointed with her cup towards the closet near the front door. “Coat dry? It snowed a little just before I got up”

“Very dry. Checked when I first saw his shoes still on the mat where he set them after helping Francis load up his brood.”

Nora made a face. “Dyl, do you think he’s, I dunno, maybe he’s like coming out of the closet?”

A ripple of quiet laughter flowed from the big man as he shook his head. “You mean like a gay fella? No, Nora, I certainly think not!”

“I could handle it if that’s what’s going on with him. Be a bit of an adjustment certainly. . . But I’d cope. I know could. There are worse things than having a gay son. Never mind what Father Joseph says. Don’t care much for half of what that sad excuse for a priest yaps about anyways. I think he hates anyone who enjoys sex judging from what comes out of his mouth.”

“No argument from me on that score, love.” Dylan sipped his coffee then rubbed his chin. “I’d have placed good money on Sarge stepping out with Blondie last night though. You see the legs on that girl? Sweet Mother of God. Can’t say Irene didn’t pull out all the stops with her.”

“No blaming Irene at all indeed. Nor the rest of them. Sure there’s been a few poor picks over the years, but that’s got to be expected considering human nature. You never know for sure what some people will turn into after a few glasses of wine.”

“Or bottles of beer.”

“Indeed.” Nora folded her hands around her cup. “Did I go too far with the razor yesterday, Dyl?”

“Naw. Don’t think so at all. It was a good move having you lead the charge. He’d have fought me tooth and nail soon as he figured the score. But not you. No way he’d ever lift even a finger against his Ma. You didn’t bleed him a bit. Even if you had, hell, the result is worth it. He’s a fine-looking man. Cleans up right well. He ought not to go round looking like same damned overgrown stray dog.” Dylan reached out and put a huge hand around Nora’s. “Might be that our Sarge is just one of those fellas who play the field their whole life, love. It’s not like we’re wanting for grandchildren either.”

Nora nodded then frowned. “Could be, Dyl, could be. But then shouldn’t he have gone off with Blondie?”

“Well, you got me there for sure. I Can’t figure that score at all, Nora.” At sound of the doorbell, Dylan went to the front door. “Well, well, if it ain’t Benj come bearing gifts.”

Dylan held the front door open wide for their youngest son, Benj, who entered holding a large bakery box. “Morning, Ma. Hey Dad. Went to Pearl’s first thing to get sweet rolls for Sharon and they had a fresh load of chocolate éclairs.”

“Oh they’ve not had those in months. You’re a dear, Benj. Thanks so much. Can you stay for one and some brew or are you on the move?” said Nora as she opened the box holding a baker’s dozen of her favorite pastry.

“I’ve got time for a hot cup and a taste. Sharon’s not even awake yet.” Benj hung his coat on the back of his chair then sat down as Dylan poured him a cup of coffee. Benj was as tall as his father and eldest brother but with his mother’s lean slender frame. “He up yet?” said Benj with a nod towards Sarge’s shoes on the mat by the front door.

“If so, he’s being deadly quiet about it,” said Nora.

Benj licked a smear of dark chocolate icing from his éclair. “Who did the dirty deed?”

“Your Ma can lay claim to the fine work.”

Benj held up a hand for a high-five with Nora. “Good job. Why did you stop? His mop needs major clipping.”

Nora swallowed before answering. “Wasn’t sure I could keep from just taking it all off.”

Benj snorted. “It wouldn’t have mattered if you had. Rogaine would make a fortune if they could figure out how his mop grows so fast and market it to baldies. You should have gone whole hog on him. You remember when we were kids and we would chop it off just to see how long it would take it to grow back.”

“Oh do I ever.” Nora laughed a little at the memory. “Speak of the devil. Here he comes now.”

The trio enjoying coffee and éclairs watched Sarge come down the stairs and warily approach the table. Benj turned sideways in his chair to make eye contact with his oldest brother who had come to the room’s arched entrance but no further. “So big bro, what’s the score? Hmm? You blow a major man fuse or what?”

“What the hell are you talking about, Benj?”

“You leaving that scorching hot dish to freeze last night is what I’m talking about, Sarge. What else did you think?”

“Is this some kind of intervention or what?” demanded Sarge as he looked at his parents and youngest brother in turn.

“Hey, good word, Sarge. Yeah, this is an in-ter-vent-ion. Humor me just a tad will you, Sarge. Considering how invisible you’ve been for the last month or so, can you at least satisfy my very healthy male curiosity as to why you left Debbie high and dry last night? Hmm?”

“Your healthy male curiosity can mind its own business, Benj. I’ll mind my mine.” Sarge eyed the empty cup, Dylan held up to see if he wanted coffee. “No thanks, Dad.”

“Frankly, all things considered, my curiosity would like a little satisfaction too, Sargent.” Nora pushed a chair towards Sarge with her foot indicating that he ought to take a seat. She stared at her son and waited for him to sit until he took a few steps backward instead. “What’s going on with you? Hmm? Tell me or you’re gonna get a visit when you least expect one. If you didn’t hit it off with Debbie, that’s fine. No problem. Just say so if that’s the case. Shed a little light on the subject is all we’re asking.”

Sensing that his son was suddenly planning a fast exit rather than answer Nora or Benj, Dylan quietly rose and made his way to the front door mat and picked up Sarge’s black loafers. Holding the shoes behind his back, he stood silently but effectively blocking access to the front door. This did not go unnoticed by Sarge who was also aware that Benj was already sitting directly in the path to the kitchen door rear entrance.

Wondering what sort of attack the trio was plotting, Sarge backed up against the nearest wall. “What do you want from me? Huh? What?”

“Jesus, Sarge, we just want to know what the hell is going on with you. And I don’t mean the last few weeks. Even before the lousy weather set in, you have been more AWOL than present. Right, Ma? I figure you been weirding out for at least the last eight months.”

Nora nodded. “Oh yeah, eight at the very least, Benj. Maybe eleven if I really start thinking about it.”

Sarge considered his options. “Nothing is going on with me. Just been working my ass off is all. Between regular shifts, overtime and helping Kozy with the wiring and plumbing I’ve just been busy.”

“Busy? Aha.” Benj’s disbelief was obvious. “You’ve been too overworked and busy for a single pussy run? Seriously, man for over eight f’n months? We’re not morons.”

“Benj, don’t be vulgar.” Nora glanced at Dylan who shrugged and remained silent. “Sargent, are you sick? You catch something along the way with all your flying about from girl to girl? Forget to use a condom in the heat of the moment?”

Stunned by his mother’s candidness, Sarge couldn’t do more than shake his head in denial.

“So? What then, Sarge? Hmm?” demanded Benj.

Feeling cornered and unsure of how to get out of the situation Sarge looked around the dining room in frustration. The Sunday morning paper caught his eye and he recalled the start of his conversation with the delectable, but never to be tasted, delight named Debbie. Grasping for any straw with even half a chance of ending the current standoff, Sarge said, “Okay, okay. No big mystery. I’m seeing someone.”

“What?! Who?!” demanded Benj. Rising out of his chair he faced off with his brother.

An exchange of incredulous surprised looks passed quickly between Nora and Dylan. Forcing herself to remain seated, Nora took a deep breath and held it for a count of twenty while waiting for Sarge to answer the questions Benj had spoken on everyone’s behalf.

“Just someone. A woman. Satisfied? Okay? Everyone happy now that Sarge’s big secret is out of the bag?”

Benj shook his head. “Bullshit. No way.”

“You calling me a liar, Benj?”

“Oh yeah. Big time. If you’ve been seeing someone steady why not bring her home for a meet? Hmm? Why not?”

“Bugger off, Benj.”

“Hey, just because I’m your only brother here at the moment doesn’t mean we all haven’t been wondering, Sarge. We all have been.”

Nora looked from son to son and wondered what her eldest was really lying about. “This someone have a name?”

Thinking that no one would ever be the wiser, Sarge decided to give them whatever it would take in order to make an escape from the brownstone as soon as possible. “Lily. Her name is Lily. Don’t believe me, Benj? Hm? Make a curtsey run to Big Bob’s on Fifth. Ask Stanley who I had breakfast with Friday morning. Go ahead. Remind him that Lily ordering poached eggs pissed him off.”

Without a single squeak from the hardwood floor, Dylan came up and dropped Sarge’s shoes next to his stocking feet. When Sarge looked him in the eye, Dylan arched his brows and returned to his seat at the table. Without another word, Sarge slipped on the loafers, grabbed his coat from the closet, walked to his mother, took her birthday present out of the inner pocket and laid it on the table next to her coffee cup. Seeing the dark look in her eyes, he decided against kissing her cheek. “Dad. Benj. Later.” Pulling his coat on, Sarge nearly ran out the front door in spite of his effort to maintain some semblance of calm.

As Sarge made haste down the street putting distance between himself and the family home as quickly as the slick soled loafers allowed, Nora, Benj and Dylan waited for someone else to speak first. Dylan filled everyone’s cups then sat down slowly. “Do it Benj. Have a word with Stan. See if he has any clue.”

“About this fake Lily? What for? We all know he’s lying through his teeth.”

Dylan shrugged, “Lily or no Lily makes no difference at this point, Benj. We need to find out what’s up and clearly Sarge ain’t talking. He’s been catching breakfast at Big Bob’s for a while now. Stan’s got good eyes and ears. So maybe he knows something we don’t.” Dylan and Benj turned their attention to Nora as she opened the small envelope like package Sarge had given her. “What’s it this time? How much did he blow?”

Nora shook her head as she laid out a pair of plane tickets and other travel information on the table for them to see. “Some resort in Jamaica for a full week. Plane, room, tour guide, meals, everything paid for. Maybe three grand?” She picked up a gift card with a note tapped to it and waved it. “For new swimsuits it says.”

“He’s nuts. If he was really seeing someone steady he’d be stashing whatever cash he wasn’t spending on snaring her. That’s more proof he just bullshit his way out of here,” declared Benj. “Furthermore, what guy in their right mind takes their steady squeeze to Big Bob’s for breakfast?”

Nora ran her hands through her hair then held her head in her hands. “Okay. Benj do like Dyl said. As soon as you can, make a delivery run out to Bob’s or nearby. Hit Stan up for anything he might have noticed. Dylan, get Irene on the phone. Tell her to get a hold of that Debbie and haul her back over here. We want to know everything she and Sargent talked about last night. Make sure she knows we’ll pay for a taxi if she needs one.”

“On it,” said Dylan as he went for the phone.

“I’ll call Sharon and get her started on finding baby sitters so we can have a decent family meet tonight,” said Benj.”Then I’ll call James and Patrick.”

Nora nodded. “That’s good, Benj. Do you think that Kozy will talk to me if I make a call or should I just show up in person?”

Benj listened to Dylan talking to Irene on the phone before answering. Tapping his fingers on the table top he thought hard. “Kozy’s kinda in his own world, Ma. I don’t think he’ll pay attention unless you’re right in front of him. Even then it’s dicey. Let’s face it; Kozy’s idea of normal is pretty far off from anyone else’s normal.”

“Well, that’s a given, Benj. I’d have to talk to him about Sargent without directly talking about Sargent. Maybe we can come up with something tonight. Need to out think Kozy or he might get the wrong idea.”

Benj laughed. “That’s rich, Ma. Really rich. Wrap our heads around Kozy’s? Better break out the hard liquor for that.” He looked up when Dylan returned to the table and immediately went to call Sharon.

“Irene is pretty sure she can get Debbie here with them. Seems she and Irene already had quite a little chat last night. So no problem there. And she’s gonna get Francis to call Mark so that’s all covered.” Dylan stared at the coffee pot. “What’s the name of that girl Patrick and Denise brought round? The last one we know Sarge stepped out with for a while.”

“The one with the gold streaks in her hair? That one?”

“Yeah her. You remember her name? Maybe we should have a chat with her too.”

“Mellie or maybe Millie. Denise will know for sure. I like that, Dyl,” said Nora.

“We’re gonna need some food for tonight. How about I go see if Pearl’s has a fresh turkey?”

“Yeah, that would do the trick, Dyl. If not, then just pick whatever’s not frozen that they got enough of on hand.” Nora helped her husband into his coat and kissed him hard before he set off for Pearl’s Market. Back at the table she stood looking over the plane tickets for herself and Dylan to the flashy resort in Jamaica. “Sargent, whatever is going on in your head? Jamaica? Me and Dyl? Swimsuits? Snorkeling? What the hell?”

~~~~~~~

Breakfast Special, sixth helping, ‘book-ends’ ~ In Pursuit of The Fox aka Volpone and Toe-ing Behind the Lines  —>>https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/?s=Breakfast+special+sixth+helping++book+ends

Billionaires = “Budget” Busting Buds with Benefits: Beast Bait Banter Beams: Walker Is Koch Cozy

For those of us following developments in Mad-city the Beast Prank is “old” news.  But if you’re trying to catch up on all the fuss, I’m doing my tiny part to help out.  I think we’ve all got Dictator Scott Walker under our belts by now. Walker’s  Koch connection might need a little of that transparency which is the current media byword that seems to have replaced truth, honesty and integrity.  Every time I hear the word all I can think of are see-through dresses–huh? Yeah, go figure how my brainpan spills regarding word associations. Enough of my egocentric language allusions. 

Let’s start with getting some visuals on the Koch Bros courtesy of Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! headline:

If you’re wandering around capitol square in Mad-city, be sure to pay a visit to the Kochs’ lobbyists’ office there. I’m sure it’s clearly marked for tea party tourists and progressives liberals alike.  Shh! Don’t let on if you support Greenpeace environmental actions.

Still scratching your scalp and thinking hard to  place these fellows? Koch who? Wanting more info? No problem, Greenpeace has the goods on the environmental blues billionaire brothers.

Desiring something less esoteric than Greenpeace satire? Perhaps the Turks are more to your brainpan’s liking. The Young Turks clarify the Koch agenda via the Kochs’ own letters:

Oh my, where are the teabaggers when Kochs need them? These folks sure are NOT buying what the Kochs are selling. Some coverage of a recent rally to protest secret meeting of Kochs with other big wig movers and shakers, including Clarence Thomas and Antoine Scalia. Yes, those supreme court justices are Koch cozies.  OMG–is this what corporate personhood is all about???  

Audio Beast: 

 In case the Beast link FAILS, you can read a transcript of WI Rep. Gov. Scott Walker’s  fun and games with faux Koch at –>

http://host.madison.com/wsj/article_531276b6-3f6a-11e0-b288-001cc4c002e0.html

Ian Murphy of Buffalo Beast poses as David Koch and gets more ear respect  from Gov. Walker than he gives to the people camped in the capital building. Being a Billionaire has benefits, right? The Beast site is back up and running. You can read and hear yourself  Ian Murphy’s prank foreplay and Walker’s shamelessness:

http://www.buffalobeast.com/?p=5045

Craving some floor sight human interest news? Views of the occupying force camping at the capital charm:

http://host.madison.com/video/#vmix_media_id=65834391

Another quick kick at the Kochs and their billionaire cronies:

So, now is everyone “good” on the elusive Koch Bros? If you’re not a conservative billionaire Republican or a Supreme Court Justice willing to play corporate personhood ball, they could be a tough click capture for your camera safari on the mean streets of Wichita, Kansas. 

BIG picture parting shot.  Does your child have a dark side? Mine sure do. I don’t wonder why. I think they’re in cahoots with this kid. –>

Go Cheeseheads! Video Rally: Ground Zero Mad-City!

Oh the nbc15.com video of the protestors drowning out Wisconsin’s Koch Puppet Rep. Gov. Scott Walker’s speech shows one loud defiant crowd. It must have been deafening in that lovely capital building.  It requires more than a tad bit of patience to view the latest videos on nbc15.com so I thought I’d post a few recent videos here for any interested parties. But take note, the comments for each piece of local Madison news coverage are plentiful–some 900+ for one piece– and interesting to read. Yes, you can learn things right there on that news comment section from the folks posting. More than you might gather from the news coverage itself! Go figure! Then again let’s consider the location–Madison, Wisconsin–University of Wisconsin students and graduates in abundance. Many of them are much better informed than the mainstream news reporters.  This standoff has also received coverage on AlJazeera English online–a news venue I’m willing to wager the Billionaire Koch brother cadre pay much to keep from being on mainstream boob tube.  Okay, on with the video rally show.  Do note that the satirical piece contains “colorful” language so please be forewarned instead of offended.

 Keep it up, Wisconsin!

A begging we shall go, because the Koch brothers demand it. Walker working to make it SO!

Koch political puppet WI. Rep. Gov. Scott Walker has stated that direct deposit will no longer be available to the Democratic State Senators. They will have to appear in person at the Capital building in order to pick up their paychecks from the Majority Leader.  It is not clear from the statement if this also applies to himself and the Republican State Senators.  What word best describes this latest Republican strategy? Bribe? Blackmail? Bait?

 Oh  the Koch brothers want their union busting bill vote and they want it BAD! 

 Walker is having a cozy fireside chat with Wisconsin residents this evening. I’m sure it will be a revelatory one-sided monologue suitable for future Koch backed  Republican Governors’ handbooks for dealing with  vocal working class people exercising their right to freedom of speech and assembly.  

On at Each Little World there are more excellent photos by Mark Golbach.  I think this one captures everything at the core of the protests.   

Click Mark Golbach's photograph to view more at Each Little World.

Is WI Rep. Gov. Scott Walker a Koch Brothers’ Tool?

Is WI Rep. Gov. Scott Walker a Koch brothers’ political too? Well, if we follow the money trail it’s surely looking that way.

According to Democracy Now!’s Headlines ” information from campaign finance indicates that Koch Industries supplied $43,000 to Scott Walker’s political  campaign. They dumped over another million into  the Republican Governors Association. AND Walker has been keeping  buddy buddy with the Koch funded Americans for Prosperity. The head of this rich elite club, Tim Phillips told the New York Times that they wanted to provoke a conflict with the unions in Wisconsin.”

Um, does this sound like a conspiracy? huh?

Americans for prosperity? Whose prosperity? The Tea Party’s? Sarah Palin’s? Glen Beck’s? Naw, for Wall Street and the military industrial complex.  The Koch brothers and their  devious corporate personhoods. Is  America  is up for auction to  the highest bidder? Do we now have “Democracy by State Dictatorship” as the Kochs pull Rep. Gov. Scott Walker’s strings–and all the other Republican Governors too it seems. Will we soon return to the era of the Ludlow Massacre when workers could be exploited until dead? Hmm? No need to kill people when you can bankrupt them and get away with it scott free.

Information Source  Democracy Now!  http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/22/headlines#9

Will the rampant greed of the rich elite destroy America? It sure looks that way. 

Perhaps there is a certain sort of “employment” waiting for the unemployed across the country.  Oh, and Gov. Walker is threatening to increase the ranks of the unemployed by laying off workers–though not saying WHO–even as I type.

Yet Another Ed and his Car Adventure

He deserves this one big time:  One day my brother Ed went to visit some pals who lived in a  rural trailer park. They were not home.  But some other guys sure seemed to be and they had a passing acquaintance with my speed demon addicted brother. They requested the use of his trunk for ‘moving’ a large television set from one trailer to another. Being a fairly good natured fellow and bored to boot, Ed cheerfully lent a hand, the trunk of his car, and a ride to one of these beaming fellows to their new place.

Once rewarded with a cold brewski or two and after enjoying a baseball game on the big screen television, Ed departed for home base.

Later that night the local authorities arrived and inquired if Ed knew who had taken said tv and other appliances where. He did indeed know the whereabouts of desired items.

Was he aware that said items were stolen?

“Stolen by who? Hey, that’s a shame cause I just helped those guys move into their new trailer.”

 

More Ed:  “Joyride or Another Ed Adventure in Driving”; “New Star Trek Stunt brings back memories”—and more Ed to come. He has not caught me–yet!

Joyride or Another Ed Adventure in Driving

Ah yes, talk about indulging in guilty pleasures: some people indulge in triple chocolate ice cream, others wallow in fine Polish vodka—yeah, all things Chopin, and others pursue an escape from the insanity of this American Life via illegal substances.  I indulge in relating  tales, not from the crypt, but from the escapades of the little brother I never wanted. It’s true, I confess to going on a tantrum deluxe when I learned that my mother had given birth to, eegads, a boy. I was swimming in boy cousins from sunrise to sunset and their nefarious deads by the dark of the moon and in broad daylight–quite gleefully too as they remind me at every funeral we meet at these days. Yeah, I helped paint Uncle Tommy’s car white, inside and out and the gas tank too. So what? That didn’t mean I needed yet another vandalizing minded imp to romp with. But I digress….back to Ed, yes, the same baby goat bottle feeder of another post.  Some people pursue their fifteen minutes of fame, catch it and are satisfied. Not so with Ed. He got his fifteen minutes of fame, albeit small town fame–or infamy depending on your perspective–several times and then again and again and again. This particular tale lasted much longer than fifteen minutes and the fame has followed him for decades ever since.  If he’d really wanted to evade it then he ought to have migrated out of them there backwoods and into a nice big big city and commenced to obey all traffic laws all the time.  He did not. He eventually got himself to the point where he was prohibited from driving even a riding lawn-mower. Yep, true stuff—no mechanical horsepower at all for Ed–unless he wanted to do time in the local pokey. 

Lots of folks like to watch cars race round and round a track. Not my brother. He doesn’t like to watch cars race at all. Nope. He likes to race them. But not around a track. And he has no interest in NASCAR driving competition methods. No, my brother has more invested fish to fry on an engine.  Now what I, a non-car worshipper–though I do relish going fast, faster and fastest too–recall about this most delightful speed demon dream was that it was a four door blue Mercury with fourth gear of 1950s origin–and the capacity to attract the jealous attention of local authorities. 

Hwy 13 is a long and often straight highway that runs past a 24/7 truck stop with a huge billboard sign squatting low to the ground at the south end–a perfect speed trap location if there ever was one. Ed knew this well. Ed did not care about this fact. Why did  Ed not care about the nearly always staffed truck stop billboard speed trap? Ed did not care because he had infinite confidence not only in the ability of his Mercury to beat out any automobile for miles around, he also had infinite confidence in his ability to out drive any other driver, local gun toting authorities included, for miles and miles around.

So, on one summer afternoon Ed gleefully offered a ride to the middle-aged farmgate peddler who made the mistake of admiring said vintage Mercury. In less than a minute the Mercury was clocked at 90 miles per  hour and rising by the truck stop billboard speed trapping officer on duty. Said small town policemen immediately went on the usual fundraiser. Brother Ed duly noted the flashing lights attempting to close the distance between him and said officer. Brother Ed grinned and assured the farmgate peddler that all would be well–as he slammed on the gas and shifted gears and increased the distance between himself and the gun toting speed trapper.  I  don’t think it’s necessary to relate at great length just what a gun toter in pursuit of a speeder who won’t stop speeding is likely to do. In short,  back-up was requested.  And back-up came in the form of State level gun toters in fast cars. This only sweetened the pot in brother Ed’s eyes. He was so delighted with the new arrivals that he decided to take them to his favorite fishing spot, then then down the dying so called road to the banned bridge crossing, and then through the dairy farm, through the cornfields, over the river and into the woods and out to the turkey farm. I suppose curiousity kept them gun toters  following him even when there was no road to follow on.  They invited some guys in a crop plane to play along and then some fellows with a helicopter too. 

It was the helicopter that put an end to all the fast fast fun when it got lucky and anticipated correctly brother Ed’s intended path and set itself down to block the way.  As all the gun toting parties gathered around with guns no longer toted but out and ready, brother Ed exited the Mercury, happy as a catnip stuffed cat, and said, “Hey, you guys wannna go again? That was fun! You’d have never have caught me if I hadn’t messed up fourth gear on last night’s run.”

 

More Ed: “New Star Trek Stunt brings back memories”;  “Yet Another Ed and his Car Adventure”  –and more Ed on the way–oh yes indeedy!

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