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Monday, June 30, 2003

Ride this

I'm not one to hop on or start a bandwagon. However, The Unrepentant Texan came up with a clever idea a few days ago. Frankly, I thought I'd like to try one on for myself. The idea...build your own backstage hospitality rider like any big star would. The question...what's in your dressing room? Here's mine:

OTIS' Dressing Room

PURCHASER will be required to set up PERFORMER's dressing room at the venue as follows. Perfomer does not require star treatment and will perform for a few beers and a couple of listeners. Anything on this list will elicit hugging, kissing, and perhaps a few inappropriately copped feels.

Furnishings required (all of the following must be structurally sound and free from vomit)
One (1) sectional sofa, long enough on both ends to sleep two comfortably, and three if two of the people are hooking up.
One (1) poker table, five (5) chairs, 150 multi-colored poker chips, four (4) new decks of playing cards (two red, two blue)
Two (2) bathrooms
One (1) copy of the local newspaper, lifestyle and classified sections removed
One laptop computer with high-speed internet connection
One stereo (portable stereos are unacceptable) with multi-disc CD player
One big screen television with DirecTV or some reasonable facsimile thereof.
Six can/bottle coozies (red)
One full-sized fridge with freezer and ice maker.
Six (6) glass rocks glasses.
Two (2) acoustic guitars with new strings (guitars may be rented for the evening, but must be of exceptional and professional quality)
One (1) lined composition book.
Map of local bars with dives and live music venues highlighted

One (1) case of Diet Coke or Diet Mountain Dew, cold.
Six (6) packages of Sweet Tarts (Spree may be substituted. Chewy Spree may not)
Three (3) pounds of chicken wings (Performer prefers Chief's Original Hot from Greenville, SC)
One (1) box of sweet cereal (Apple Jacks, Fruit Loops, and Corn Pops preferred)
One (1) case of Bud Lite beer, extra cold.
One (1) full bottle of Johnny Walker red label scotch.
One (1) case of bottled water.
One (1) bottle of pain killers (generic brands accepted)
One (1) box of 12-hour acid reducer (Rolaids, Tums, an other chewables are not accepted)

Weekday dinners may come from the best Chinese, Mexican, or American Steakhouse eatery in town. Each dinner must contain an optional chicken dish to pacify the performer's Communist wife.
Friday dinners must be a seafood buffet for the entire crew. Stone crab, gulf shrimp, and Low Country Boil are preferred.
Saturday is Porterhouse night on the tour. All steaks must be cooked to a perfect medium rare. Six larges steak knives must accompnay plate. A1 Steak sauce must be provided in the event your chefs suck. Baked potatoes and green beans are suitable side dishes. One grilled chicken breast and a copy of the Communist Manifesto must be made available for performer's wife. For an explanation of how his wife's reluctance to eat beef and pork is related to her Communism, see performer after half the bottle of Johnny Red is gone.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Weekend at Sobriety's

They are few and far between and sometimes welcome when they come.

However, as this one ends, I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite authors. Chew on it as you begin your work week.

Of the demonstrably wise there are but two: those who commit suicide, and those who keep their reasoning faculties atrophied by drink. ~Mark Twain, Note-Book, 1935

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Hey, honey...wanna exercise our Constitutional rights?

WARNING: This entry is not for all audiences. Easily offendeder readers, please refer to your parents for a birds and bees discussion.

So, I never really worried about getting arrested for getting a hummer. That's a good thing, because the last thing I want to worry about during a fine moment of oral pleasure is Joe Friday messing up my Saturday. After all, natural sex act or not, it felt pretty natural to me.

If you're not a gay American or, like me, you've never worried about your state's sodomy laws, you might have missed Supreme Court ruling on a Texas law today. Apparently, the idea of barging into a person's home, finding that person engaged in a moment of passion that doesn't square with society's conventions, and then arresting that person violates the U.S. Consitution. Go figure.

My state's Attorney General didn't like the ruling very much. He, along with Alabama and Utah (again, go figure) filed an amicus brief in support of Texas. He said...

"Texas, just like South Carolina, has the fundamental right and authority as a sovereign state to enact laws prohibiting behavior deemed inappropriate and detrimental to the state. The citizens of our state, through their elected representatives, have seen fit to have our law against sodomy in effect since the Lord Proprietors governed South Carolina. This decision recognizes a "fundamental right" to engage in consensual sodomy. We believe this precludes prosecution under our law of this conduct. What other conduct may be protected or affected by extensions of this decision remains to be seen."

I thought I'd look up South Carolina's codes on morality and decency. Turns out, there's nothing definitively illegal about me getting a blow job in South Carolina. Allow me to pause while I breathe a quick sigh of relief. However, beyond that, I could be in some real trouble.

I'm fully aware my wife considers anal sex to be abominable. I wasn't aware that my state's code of laws stated that. Here's the law:

"Whoever shall commit the abominable crime of buggery, whether with mankind or with beast, shall, on conviction, be guilty of felony and shall be imprisoned in the Penitentiary for five years or shall pay a fine of not less than five hundred dollars, or both, at the discretion of the court. " I don't even think murder is described as harshly in our code of laws.

In other bad boy news, a few years ago, I lived with my then-fiancee and had sex on a semi-regular basis. As we were unmarried, we were violating South Carolina's fornication law. I could've been sent to jail for up to a year.

If now I finally got fed up with my wife for feeling that buggery is abominable and decided to have sex with another woman, I would be guilty of the state's law against adultery and could face a year in jail.

And here's my favorite...should I decide to divorce my wife and get back out in the field, I would be breaking the law if I promised to marry a woman in order to get her to sleep with me. That's punishable by up to a year in jail. That is, unless the woman is "lewd or unchaste." Then, I'm okay.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go pee. I've got to ask the State of South Carolina if I can borrow my cock for a couple of minutes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

The Medicine Man

Circle in closely. Warm yourself by the fire. Chant if you like. The peace pipe will be around shortly.

In an effort to maintain a sense of physical invincability, I again did not participate in the company's flu shot program. In past years I've had no need for it. I rarely fall ill and when I do it's usually quite brief.

About this time last week my neck started to get stiff. Then my chest felt tight. My nose, a bit stuffy. I was feverish and tired. By Saturday I felt like a champ. Sunday morning, it all began to manifest itself into one real menace of a head cold. My brother, just two months from Med School graduation, called. I laid out the symptoms.

"How long has this been going on," he asked.

"About five or six days now," I said.

"Oh..." He trailed off.

"Why?" I was curious.

"Because you have the symptoms of menengitis. But, if it's been five or six days, you're probably okay."

"How's that?"

"Because if you had menengitis, you'd probably be dead by now."


I've been sick more often in the past four months than in any year in recent memory. I'm feeling a bit better today, but I'm suffering from a monster case of Medicine Head.

Which is why I'm having visions of Native American Sweat Boxes and peyote delusions.

If it weren't so cold in New Orleans right now...I'd really like to be at a Mardi Gras parade.

The Best and Worst of December 5, 2002

First, the worst...

Few people I know can boast of a life free of bad drunken experiences. In fact, even at my advanced age, I still have a few now and then. But I have to believe that will change a great deal when I father a child. Sure, I'll still drink and maybe sometimes to excess. But--and it seems so obvious it is almost silly--taking care of the kiddos will come first.

I only bring it up because if the most irresponsible person I've run across in the last few days. Read about this immature, stupid, redneck bitch here.

Now...the best...

Today, South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond turns 100 years old. He was once a segregationaist wacko, but over the years has become one of the most revered men in South Carolina and Washington D.C. He now retires having helped more people on an individual basis than probably anyone who still breathes. And what I like most about the guy...he's a horny old man who doesn't mind telling the ladies how much he loves them.

Happy birthday, Strom. May you live another 100.

Easier to read, harder to understand

Why I felt the need to work in 10-point font for nearly two years, I don't know. However, I'm feeling closer and closer to admitting that maybe I was afraid you'd actually read every word here. So, as I fight minor epiphanies at 1:30am, you might be able to read what I'm thinking (By the way...if it's too big for you, let me know).

It's a lot like home improvement projects I avoid at home. I let them go and let them go and eventually when I get around to doing them I discover the project will only take five minutes.

The font endeavor was actually an attempt to avoid writing about the real reason I'm still awake.

You might have heard it called "breaking news." It's an overused phrase that in its purest form means news of import that is happening as we speak, without time for planning, without regard for schedules. In the business, we also refer to it as spot news.

This afternoon I had two routine feature stories under my belt, too much time on my hands, and too much boredom to care about my job very much. The combination made me say something stupid.

"I'd kill for some spot news right now."

Zippy pointed out that if I killed I'd be creating spot news. We shared a small laugh and killed a few more minutes. Shortly, Zip informed me a 17 year old girl from around town had gone missing. Probably just a runaway, I figured. We sent out a nightside reporter. We sat. We speculated.

A while later the reporter walked back in and mentioned (in passing, mind you) that deputies thught they had found the girl's car...but no girl.

Zip and I share an understanding and a bit of a knack when it comes to covering breaking crime news. When bad things happen, he's the guy I need in my corner. In short order, we had joined the story and in essence taken it over.

The events that followed are none I care to recount in great detail. Suffice it to say, it wasn't long before I was looking at a semi-closed circuit video feed of a dead girl's body. We don't know for sure if it is the missing girl, but we...well, we know.

It wasn't until much later that I remembered my little quip about killing for spot news. Even now as I sit here, listlessly playing online poker and trying to dilute the caffeine in my bloodstream, I know that the girl was dead long before I made an appeal to the news fates for something to do. Still, it makes me queasy.

There was a time where I would chide the old lady about being afraid to walk to walk the dog by herself after dark. There was a time I would snicker at her for locking the door behind me when I left in the middle of the day. As Uncle Tupelo once sang..."there was a time you could put it out of your mind, leave it all behind. That time is gone."

I drove home tonight with the windows down. I wave at both of the hookers I passed on the way out. I half-wanted to pull ver and warn them about sexual predators, then thought better of it. They know about sexual predators and I don't need to get caught talking to hookers.

So, my font is now bigger. My faith in the world is smaller. I've never bought a whore.

That's pretty much my night in a nutshell.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

The Enemies List

Step with me if you will onto the slippery slope. I don't tread here often. I prefer a good red herring falacy to a slippery slope. However, there are times when a man as logical as I consider myself must slide down the slope at his own peril. Alright...here we go.

I'm a little concerned about the federal government. There, I said it.

The epiphany comes from the revelation that President Bush has declared a man a so-called "enemy combatant." That means the man that was under prosecution by federal authorities for allegedly assiting terrorists is now no longer afforded due process. He can be locked away in a Charleston, SC Navy brig and kept for just about as long as the military wants to keep him. If you think he'll have access to an attorney, ask dirty bomb suspect Jose Padilla. He's been in the brig waiting to see an attorney for about a year now.

It's not that I don't think these guys are potentially bad men. They very well may be. However, as flawed as our justice system may be, it tends to afford criminal defendants a respectable amount of protection from a potentially corrupt government. Again, don't get me wrong. If these guys did what they are accused of, then throw the book at them. But do it in the open where we all can see it. Sunshine works.

The argument for declaring someone an enemy combatant stands in part on the fact that vital intelligence secrets and/or sources may be leaked if proceedings took place in the sunshine of an open courtroom. It could put operatives at risk. It could allow the enemy to know what we know. That, of course, wouldn't be a good thing.

Now, here's where the slope gets really slippery (it's the same one gun control opponents use from time to time, so be forewarned).

Say we set this precedent. Say we can declare people who seek to commit terrorist acts on American soil enemy combatants. Say a new administration takes over. Say that administration is a little more corrupt than some right-thinking Americans would appreciate. Say it becomes necessary to find ways to work against that administration. Say that government can use its power to declare right-thinking Americans enemy combatants. Just say.

Of course, it would never get to that point. However, it frightens me to consider the power our government has to take an enemy off the face of the earth.

Frankly, this is never going to affect me directly. I'm a good American (hear that Big Brother? I'm a good American! No enemy combatant here! No, sir!).

However, the latest developments in the war against getting our asses blown up...sort of frightens me.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Notes from a tired mind

An interesting note from a few leagues under the sea...Researchers are saying that the sea horse's instinct to be monogomous is hurting its chances at survival. When taken away from its mate, the sea horse refuses to get it on any more. A more jaded writer might draw a parallel between humankind and the sea horse. I probably would, except for a striking difference between the two: The male sea horse actually carries the sea horse children. That is, the man gets pregnant. Now, I suppose you could argue that if the human male had to carry kids he might be a little leary about sticking it to his neighbor's wife.

"Did you hear about Mr. Johnson? He's knocked up with the milk maid's baby!"

That would be interesting. I wonder how much the rate of infidelity would drop if males risked getting pregnant.

A note from the world of the career man...I'm tired. I want a summer vacation. I want to spend six weeks doing nothing but reading, grilling, hiking, and laughing. I think I'd do a lot better job at work if I could have that.

Ah, well. Eventually my mind will give out. I've only been slightly insane before. A full-scale freakout might be interesting.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Chasing adrenaline

It is the absence of brake lights that hits a cop's main line. It means a lawman's job will--in an instant--morph from writing tickets and breaking up redneck brawls into one of the most exciting moments a police officer can have. The high-speed chase is 100cc's of pure adrenaline, injected straight into the heart.

The necessity of the high speed chase is a matter of debate. Critics cite the numerous deaths and injuries caused by irresponsible officers who chase for little reason other than the offending driver refused to stop. Proponents argue that if high speed chases became illegal, it would give criminal's free reign on the highways and byways.

Above you'll see the result of a two-day riot in Michigan. Hundreds of people are burning houses, attacking police and news reporters, and chanting in the street because a motorcyclist who was running from police ran headlong into a building. The offender died. The Michigan town burned. Police argue that if the guy--who was found to have a suspended license and a small amount of dope--had just stopped for police, he'd be in jail rather than dead.

Me...I have no sympathy for a person who dies while running from police. Zero. It's the price you pay for being stupid and arrogant. I tend to agree with one of my local elected Sheriffs. He says failing to stop for police should be a felony. It would act as a deterrant for people who figure, "Well, it's either get busted for the roach in my ashtray, or risk a misdemeanor charge of failing to stop for blue lights."

With that in mind, there is a lot to be said for not putting up to a dozen screaming weapons (the cars of the offender and chasing police vehciles) on the road, risking the life of the innocent driver on the way to get a loaf of bread and package of bologna.

A few years ago, I got called away from a story I was working on to cover the end of a police chase in a small South Carolina town. Ordinarily, the end of a chase isn't news. This time, however, a guy who was driving a stolen car and running from police at 100mph+ t-boned a small red car. His bumper slammed right into the side of the car where a little girl named Tiffany sat. I stood across the street from that car while they cut it open and pulled the little girl's body out. It made me wonder if recovering a stolen car was worth Tiffany's life.

I am as fascianted by a high-speed chase as anybody else. I'll be the first to admit that I feel a small surge of arenaline every time my police scanner blares, "Be advised, Charlie three is 10-58 on I-85."

The riots in Michigan got me to thinking again. And as ruler of my own little world, here's my little piece of legislation that will deal with recent and future events.

1) All the rioters in Michigan should be arrested and forced to undergo five years of stupidity therapy. Given, I've never been a rioter, but there are many other ways to get attention and further your message than throwing rocks at cops and burning down your own town.
2) Anyone who fails to stop for blue lights can be charged with a felony and is subject to a mandatory jail sentence of not less than one year.
3) Anyone who fails to stop for blue lights and causes the death of another person as a result can be setenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.
4) Police who are able to obtain the license plate number or driver's identity shall not engage in a high speed chase unless the suspect driver has already been charged with a felony or is suspected of committing a felony. In the absence of identifying information, police can chase until such time that the chase becomes dangerous to the public or identifying information has been obtained. Failure to abide by this will make the police department subject to civil penalty.

Now...back to the police scanner. I think Charlie three may be getting ready to fire up again.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Grandpa's weekend at Bernie's

A few months ago I won a pretty big award. I was touched by the number of cards and phone calls I got in congratulations. However, as I opened each card or listened to each phone call, I noted something curious. Most of the hearty applause was preceded by something like this: "When you're dad called, he said he had some really good news about his elder son. We expected him to say you were having a baby. Congratualtions, anyway. And get on that baby-making thing."

And, thank you for making me feel like a sperm-less, selfish, irresponsible, genocidal heel.

I get no real pressure from my parents about fathering a child. In fact, I get mixed signals. Sometimes the pleas come in the form of jokes: "Better get on the stick, boy. Your boys won't swim forever!" Other times, in more serious conversations it sounds like: "Make sure you're ready. Make sure you're ready."

For several years, I've been listening to the latter. And about every six months (the bi-annual time I start thinking it is time), I go through a several-week personal argument between the need to procreate and the fear of bringing a child into the world before I know I'm ready to take care of it.

Friends with children indicate that I will never be "ready." I'm pretty sure they're right on that front. Further, I heard somebody say the other day that marriage without children is just two people fucking and paying each other's bills. That may not be too far off the mark either.

And yet, I hesitate. I wonder whether I should shoot the moon professionally first. I wonder if I need a year of full abandon to exorcise all of my personal demons. I wonder...well, I wonder a lot of things.

For now, I'm not overly troubled. This doesn't prey on my brain constantly. However, I was heartened to learn this morning that one of America's elders just became a grandfather for the first time. He may be in a state of suspended animation. He definitely is 100 years old.

Regardless, Strom Thurmond is now a grandfather.

Patience, my friends, is among the greatest of virtues.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Shooting from the hip with a sawed off shotgun

When you have no defined target, a sawed off is good to spray-shoot the products of a scattered brain.

Sexy decoys and the human response-- Maury Povich has dedicated a few shows to the sexy decoy. Put a man in a limo or back room with a "sexy decoy" and see how he reacts to overt acts of sexual provocation. Provide human reaction to man's signifcant other. Just add saltwater tears and you have a show. The problem is in the premise that no man who loves his woman could be tempted by a sexy decoy. In fact, the man of fidelity is a tempted man just like a man who decides to break his marriage vows. The difference between the two men is that the man of fidelity goes out of his way to avoid temptation he can't combat. That is, he does not put himself in situations where he's offered a hummer by a girl he's never met (or if he does put himself in those situations, he knows how to handle them). A wife agreeing to sick a sexy decoy (aka hooker) on her hubby is the biggest mistake she can make. She's inserting temptation that he might have otherwise avoided. She might as well just buy him a whore for the night and enjoy the free time to paint her toenails.

I've already been an in-law. I want to be an outlaw-- Living on the edge of the law just might be the kind of adrenaline I need. Sometimes life--espcially in the wake of supreme fun--can seem a little boring. I don't really have much desire to commit crimes or skirt the law, but I have to assume it would be quite a rush. Prison, of course, would suck. Mayhaps a good crocodile attack is what I need.

It's not the flies you want-- A lesson for all wives: If you want your husband to drop what he's doing and give you some of that loving you so deserve, don't interupt him when he's deep in concentration and start with a volly of "So do intend on doing this for the next few hours or what?" It just isn't the kind of pillow-talk that gets a guy's juices flowing.

Stick it to the man? But I want to BE the man-- I've recently become re-enamored with the idea of entrepreneurial spirit. I have it. I think I could scrounge together some dough. Problem? No friggin' idea what kind of business I would create. Of course, I have ideas, but I'm afflicted with a fantastic case of Failure Fear.

The future may not be bright--- But I need a pair of sunglasses anyway. A cheap pair. Maybe from the dollar store. Maybe something in a rose-colored lens. That's the outlook I need.

That's all for now. Good weekend, all.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

A ball, a trash can, a purpose

When the first sound of bump-bump-bumpbumpbumpbump hit the roof of my house, I thought less of impending rain and more of a game called Peak. Outside my house, a group of men I consider my brothers were tossing a child's toy ball up on the roof of my house, trying to resurrect an old college game. The rules were as simple as they were silly. Call the shot, toss the ball, cheer a victory, drink a few beers.

They realized quickly that the roof wasn't the same. The ball wasn't the same. The game just couldn't be played.

It could've been cause for depression. It could've signalled the end of an era. People change and the reindeer games just don't work anymore.

I was caught up trying to pay attention to the necessities of the impending party. I barely noticed when the group again assembled in my garage. One man held a ball. Another held a broom. I gathered quickly the game involved putting the ball in the trash can. The broom served as simple ball control.

Rules formed quickly. Beers crackled open. Laughter, taunting, pointing, and poking sprang from the semicircle. Soon, new friends were joining the half-moon of silliness. Debates began over the name of the game. Would it be Trash Can or Trash Ball? Without a doubt, there was trash talk.

I sat down briefly and tried my hand at the game. They were a precious few moments.

In the short time I sat, I realized that while the assembled group would soon spread out again across the country to tend to familial duties and professional aspirations, the heart was in the hastily formed rules of a game. Just like Peak, competition was less the goal than the ability to sit, laugh, point, poke, etc.

Everything is going to change. Like the game, we'll morph into something new. But the roots will be the same.

It's enough to force a guy to remember that life is too fucking good to be bad.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

On the homefront

"You killed my father. Prepare to die."

I can still hear Randy Young slipping the words of a fictional Spaniard through his Southwest Missouri accent. He and I on stage in a small-town production of The Princess Bride was the not the stuff of great theatre, but it was fun.

Randy died this past weekend. I'm still mining for details, but I'm told it was not a happy ending.

I hadn't seen Randy since the days we acted and played softball together. I heard he had gone on to ride bulls and act as a rodeo clown for a living. I thought many years after I had last seen him that his choice of careers suited him well.

The e-mail that fell into my box Monday morning hit my heart instead of my eyes. Randy was never one of those people you'd expect to go like he did.

I cannot know what happened over the last eleven years. In my eyes, Randy still looks like he did in the obituary picture. It was an old one and made me wonder if more people wanted to remember him as he looked in a baseball cap.

Tussin, tonin, whatever

I need some tussin, because my tonin (sera or otherwise) seems to have found its way out of my head.

Again, my ability to write effectivley is hindered. I've only figured this out: Good friends are one of the best drugs in the world. They're addictive.

I overdosed on Satuday night. Now I've slipped into let-down mode. I want all my friends back. I want life to be as happy as that one weekend of fun. I want to sit in my garage and toss a ball into a trash can. I want it to have meaning.

I'm sure I'll get back up to speed eventually...but damn if that wasn't fun.

Monday, June 09, 2003


There are stories upon stories to be told. We'll get them told eventually.

In the meantime, I just want everyone to know I have the best friends/family in the world.

Until the house is clean and my synapses start to fire regularly...

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Bradoween--The Professionals

As Bradoween approaches, the Bradoween Steering Committee has enscripted a list of professionals to help us through the evening. Currently, the list of likely guests is larger than it ever has been for an event on Mt. Willis. We continue to monitor RSVP's to ensure the best possible Bradoween environment.

Speaking of environment, the BSC has employed the Official Bradoween Meterologist (OBM) to monitor weather conditions leading up to the festivities. Below you'll find the OBM's latest assessment of the weather situation (Words in CAPS are the weather-talking-guy terms. Lower case is the translation for the rest of us).


That's good.




Deepening is bad. Tracking into the Southern Appalachians is bad.



Mountain rain is fine...we're not mountains.




If the low moves fast and the front is stalled, that means just widely scattered showers. If the low moves slow, that means more rain.
The further away the low, the less chance for rain. Move that low fast!



That's a cover your ass move.





Keep it moving. Keep it moving. Keep it moving.

Also, for the first time ever, the BSC has employed a medical professional to oversee the physical needs of the guests. Dr. Beaker will be on-hand for the party from beginning to end to tend to any injuries suffered during the footrace, field agility tests, or the Challenge.

Stay tuned for updates in the coming days.

More reality, somewhat different subject

What I find remarkable about my current quandry (again, which I'll relate at another time) is that this other thing happened in MY neighborhood last night.

That's a protest in front of my county councilman's home. The only thing I share with that councilman, by the way, is a zip code.

This is a remarkable world we live in.

And again, bring Bradoween the fuck on.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

A brief moment of reality

There are things that I can't write about, even in this dangerously honest forum. There are things that can threaten a person's professional life. There are things that are so ridiculous that the mere possibility that they may be taken seriously boggles the mind.

Some fine day, I will write about these things. But for now, let this suffice:

To all friends: I thank you for your shoulder, your ear, and your support.

And bring Bradoween the fuck on.

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
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