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I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part One
NOTE: Although I was originally planning on posting this whole review at once, I was about a third of the way through the book when I realized that I was already quickly approaching the full length of my previous posts. So, in the interest of making this a pleasant experience for us all, I'm sharing the first half now, and will follow up with the second half in a few days. And honestly, KKB's writing reminds me of Inception in that it's almost certainly hazardous to spend too much time immersed in any single sitting. So fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the ride! ------- So, a lot of you guys have been asking about Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot! (wow, is this what it feels like to be an influencer?), and I am thrilled to report that my adventure through this book's 264 pages was even more confounding than I could have possibly anticipated. I have a feeling that I'll need every ounce of my strength if I want to have any shot at conveying to you all exactly how bonkers this purported self-help book is, so -- without further ado -- let's begin. I Can Make You Hot!, subtitled The Supermodel Diet, has a fairly straightforward premise. Kelly, who "has done it all when it comes to nutrition and her body," will share her hard-earned wisdom with us, her humble readers. Or, as she says in her own words on the back cover:
In I Can Make You Hot! I'm going to clue you in to all the tricks I've learned from a variety of experts and that I now use to live my own life. I want you to be the best you -- happy, attractive, shapely, interested, interesting, and most of all, smokin' HOT!
The blurb promises that the experience of reading this book will be "like rooming with a supermodel and going on a diet together." Truly, only someone with Kelly Bensimon's tenuous grasp on reality would say this as if it were something exciting, rather than a scenario taken directly out of the third circle of hell. But before we can truly learn what it means to be HOT!, we're treated to a foreword by none other than Russell Simmons. As he shares with us:
Kelly is a great mother and is constantly instilling strong principals [sic] in her daughters. In my opinion, that's the essence of being HOT. Kelly is smokin'.
And just like that, I Can Make You Hot! is knocked out of the running for First-Book-I've-Read-By-A-Bravolebrity-That-Is-Also-Free-From-Glaring-Typographical-Errors. Better luck next time, champ! In case you were at all hesitant about Kelly's suitability for the job of helping the less fortunate among us reach their maximum potential, Russell clarifies:
Her beauty truly comes from within, and her clear internal compass and well-balanced lifestyle is what makes her an arbiter for what's hot. She has always had her own individual road map and is one of those people who beats to their own drum. Many are amazed by her leaps of faith and courage, which are products of her sustainable soul. And back to that energy! I used to think: If we could only package it. And now Kelly has!
I would kill to be a fly on the wall during a conversation between Russell Simmons and Kelly Bensimon. But all of these endorsements are making me impatient to dig into Kelly's advice, so I skim over the next few pages and arrive at the introduction: "What's HOT and What's Not." Almost immediately, Kelly reassures us that she was not always the gorgeous, talented socialite she is today -- "No. Let's just say that I was never one of those tiny, cute blonde girls who guys named their hamsters after." Excuse you what?I literally just walked away from my laptop to go talk to my boyfriend and make sure I'm not just ignorant of some otherwise well-known traditional male courtship ritual in which young men adopt rodents and christen them after the women they love. That doesn't seem to be the case, although please reach out if you can shed any additional light on this situation. Reasonably enough, before we can learn how to be hot, we have to know what hot is. Fortunately, Kelly wastes no time in getting us up to speed:
When I was trying to come up with a title for this book, I kept asking myself how I would define what I love. "HOT" is the word that best describes what I love, and it's not a word I throw around lightly. "HOT" is attractive, unique, and first-rate -- never mediocre. Avril Lavigne made a video called "HOT." There are "HOT" issues of all my favorite magazines. Hotmail.com was given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service, and www.urbandictionary.com, whose definitions are created by their readers, defines "hot" as (among other things) attractive, the best, and someone who makes you wish you had a pause button when they walk by because you don't want that moment to end. (I want you to feel like that "someone.") Health, wellness, and fitness are always hot topics. "HOT" may be a buzzword but it's also how I describe the best there is and the best you can be. I've used the words "smokin' hot" for everything from a killer chicken wing red sauce to a coveted couture gown.
There is…a lot to unpack here. My leading hypothesis is that Kelly must have accidentally exposed her internal circuitry to water and started shorting out while writing this passage, causing her to string together a rambling parade of incoherent sentences with no relationship to one another, save a tangential association with the amorphous concept of hotness. Also, it's factually inaccurate. A cursory Google search reveals that Hotmail.com was not "given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service." Rather, the service's name was selected as a reference to the use of HTML to create webpages, as is more apparent from the original stylization, HoTMaiL. I know from her savvy allusion to "www.urbandictionary.com" that Kelly is capable of navigating the Internet, so I'm disappointed that she's made such a careless oversight within the first three pages of the book proper. Kelly next takes us through a few scenes from her past to illustrate how she has come to understand the true meaning of "HOT." Here are just a few of the assorted pearls of wisdom that Kelly is gracious enough to share with us:
Is skinny hot? Naturally skinny is hot. Starving yourself in order to change your natural body type in order to get skinny is not hot.
For me, the ultimate HOT girl is the nineteenth-century Gibson girl.
…Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack and didn’t let it stop her from pursuing a sport she loves. She's smokin' HOT.
pregnancy is smokin' HOT
I'm distracted from my diligent note-taking by a line that truly makes me laugh out loud.
I don't want to pretend that I'm "just like you." To do that would be disingenuous, and you wouldn't believe me anyway. But I may be more like you than you think. My hair may be ready for Victoria's Secret, but my values are still Midwestern.
I appreciate the honesty! As I continue reading, I am pleased to learn that I am, in fact, already consuming this piece of literature in the appropriate way. As Kelly says:
I urge you to make notes as you go along, either in the book itself or, if writing in a book is anathema to you, in a little notebook to use as your own personal guide. Jotting down ideas as they pop into your head is the best way to process them and be sure that they don't leave again before you've had a chance to commit them to long-term memory. Then, if you've made a mistake, when you go back and see it there on paper, you'll remind yourself not to do it again. Or, as I like to say, you'll avoid getting bitten by the same food dog twice!
Bitten…by the same….food...dog? Never change, KKB. (As an aside, what's the oveunder on Kelly having even the slightest idea what the word 'anathema' means?) If I'm being totally honest, this book is making me feel a little superfluous. What more can I add when the source material is so impenetrable to begin with? How does one parse the unparseable? Newly humbled, I suppose I'll have to be content with just gaping in confusion alongside the rest of you. And now that I think about it, what better book to build me up from these insecurities and encourage me to be my best? In the words of Kelly herself:
After all, why wouldn't you want to be HOT? What's the alternative? Being "not so hot"?
The book is organized into seven chapters, one for each day of the week, focusing on seven distinct facets of hotness. We start our journey on "Monday: Make a List -- Plan and Prepare!" and are immediately blessed with another one of Kelly's philosophical ramblings:
To me, living well is the only option. What, after all, is the only alternative? Living badly? Who aspires to live badly? I want you to live well, and that's going to take some planning.
Eager to improve myself, I read on:
What are your goals for yourself? If you're going to make changes in your life, you need to have a plan, you need to prepare, and you need to take the time to get it right -- so that you don't wind up wasting your time. This is my plan, and from now on it's going to be yours. Monday is going to be the day you make a HOT plan and prepare for the rest of your week. Let's get started together!
I can't help but feel like this is one of those answers that beauty pageant contestants give when they don't actually know how to respond to a question. Or like a motivational speech written by a rudimentary AI. I can't quite articulate exactly what it is that makes Kelly's writing seem so utterly devoid of logical coherence, but it truly falls into the literary equivalent of the Uncanny Valley. Reminding us that "this isn't just about budgeting your food; it's about budgeting your life," Kelly peppers us with even more helpful tips -- "You don't want to be that person who is snacking while you're shopping. That's not hot -- period." and shares a stream-of-consciousness-style list of "Staples I keep in my house." Which may possibly be some kind of freeform postmodern poetry. Judge for yourself. Kelly advises the reader to "get out your calendar or PDA" to get a sense of your schedule. "Then use your PDA to find the closest well-stocked market and go there. Making life easy for yourself is what it's all about." Now is as good a time as any to clarify that this book was published in 2012. I'd be lying if I said reading so many consecutive Housewives memoirs hasn't made my grasp on sanity a bit shaky, but I am fairly positive that 2012 was not a banner year for the Personal Digital Assistant. Kelly has taken the time to pluck out a few particularly incisive pearls of wisdom throughout the book to highlight as "Kelly's Cardinal Rules." I would love to help clarify exactly what this one means, but I'm afraid I'm utterly clueless. One thing I do know for certain, however, as the chapter comes to a close, is that "human contact is HOT; texting is not!" The week continues with "Tuesday: A Little Ohm and a Little Oh Yeah! -- It's All About Balance." It is imperative that you work out, says Kelly, adding, "I've never met a smokin' hot couch potato and I bet you haven't either." Her personal exercise routine, as she shares, combines aerobics and yoga "because life is all about balance." As she quips, "I'm sure even Gandhi cracked a smile from time to time." A panel titled "HOT Tip" admonishes the reader: "Don't call it working out because exercise shouldn't be work!" If you'd like to spend a morning in the style of Kelly Bensimon, it's as easy as eating "a couple of oranges" and drinking coffee -- "I love coffee; I would probably marry coffee if it proposed." She also lets us in on some of her secret, highly advanced workout routines designed to maximize your time in the gym and propel you towards your full potential. Such as the "Happy Twenty," in which you run for 18 minutes and then do 2 minutes of squats. We get further instruction on the hottest ways to run on the following page, where a two-page spread advertises "a few of my HOT tips for having a fun run." To ensure that you're able to start your journey to HOT as quickly as possible, I've taken the liberty of transcribing one of her most valuable nuggets below:
Run in the street instead of on the sidewalk. I took a lot of flack for this when they filmed me on Season 2 of the Real Housewives of New York City. The thing is, I think that people walking down the street while texting are a lot more dangerous than a car. Drivers will go out of their way to avoid you (accidents are too much paperwork, and they really mess up a day), but strolling texters will walk right into you without even seeing you. You could also get smacked by a shopping bag, a stroller, or even an oversized purse. Sidewalks are really obstacle courses. Beware!
Kelly shares some standout tracks from her workout playlist ("It's much more fun exercising to music!"), including the perennial pump-up-the-jam classic, "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver. With no regard for thematic continuity or overarching structure, the next page is dominated by the header "Get Leggier Legs."
An April 10, 2009, article about me in Harper's Bazaar captioned one of the photos "She's got legs." I was born blessed with long lean legs, but I work very hard to keep them looking the way they do. I'm tall, but I could just as easily have long, large legs. And long and large is not hot. Unfortunately I can't give you my legs. But I can help you to be the best you can be.
Truly inspirational. I think. We continue on with Kelly's advice for "how to avoid the 'freshman fifteen," accompanied by a list of what she refers to as "Kelly rules." These run the gamut from near-sinister
Get rid of any negative thoughts. Negative-town isn't Fun-town.
For every cheeseburger and fries, you owe me 12 cartwheels on the quad with your friends.
to bizarrely specific and also racially insensitive.
If you starve yourself for a day because you want to lose weight for Homecoming, you owe me 5 minutes of sitting Indian style in a corner and meditating on why you thought that was a good option.
Upon further reflection, I think I would actually be extremely motivated to stick to a diet if the alternative was being reprimanded by Kelly and forced to think about my poor life choices. As a scientist myself, I was ecstatic to see that Kelly has drawn from a diverse array of scientific disciplines to develop her HOT tips and tricks. Physics, for example:
From Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion A body in motion stays in motion. The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. So if you want to step up your exercise routine, try running in sand instead of on the pavement, or bike through gravel. That way your body will have to work harder in order to stay in motion.
Even biology has something to teach us about how to be HOT:
You are a living organism; life is an organic process. You need to be up and active, ready to enjoy the process. Be open and available and ready to do fun stuff. Participating in what you love is HOT.
I'm truly impressed by Kelly Bensimon's unparalleled ability to reframe the most basic common sense as divinely inspired wisdom. We see this in lines like
If you're feeling a bit frazzled and you need to calm down, you might want to take a yoga class.
or, as we read in another "HOT Tip" panel
Don't be afraid to drink water while working out.
I refuse to believe that this is a problem any person has ever faced. Even Aviva Drescher is not afraid of drinking water while working out (although, for the record, she is afraid of aluminum foil). Kelly closes out this chapter by encouraging the reader to "do one thing every day that takes you out of your comfort zone." If you find yourself lacking inspiration, she provides helpful suggestions, such as "try a fruit you've never eaten" and "try tap dancing." As she asserts, "there's nothing more foolish than sitting on your butt when you could be moving your body and having fun." I turn the page, and the clock rolls over to Wednesday -- "Diet = 'DIE with a T.'" Cute. I bet Kelly would find that Tumblr post that's like "she believed" to be unbearably clever. She wastes no time in letting us know:
I don't believe in diets; diets are for people who want to get skinny. I want you to be happy. If you feel good about yourself, you'll make good choices. If you starve yourself to be skinny, you'll be undermining your sense of self-worth and you'll be unhappy every day. Eating well -- a variety of high-quality, fresh, unprocessed foods -- is for people who want to be happy -- and if you're not happy you won't be hot! Happy is always better than skinny.
This is starting to feel like some sort of word problem from Algebra II. If happy is better than skinny, but hot is equal to happy, diet = die + t??? Kelly tells us that all women fall into two categories: overachievers and underachievers. Being an overachiever is good, and being an underachiever is bad. Here are some things you can do to become an overachiever:
Make good choices.
When in doubt, have fun.
Kelly's motivational-phrasebook app apparently starts to glitch out right about here, but she continues on:
Stay positive and move forward. This is your last try at today. Yesterday may not have been great, but, today is better -- you just need to see it that way. The choice is up to you.
The idea of someone being in such a dark psychological place that they are able to find inspiration in those words is so deeply sad to me that I can hardly bear to consider it. Thankfully, Kelly has already taken a hard left turn into what I think is some sort of extended metaphor:
I've already said that you need to treat your body like a Ferrari, but maybe you prefer a Maserati, an Aston Martin, a Corvette, or even a Bentley. Whatever your luxury car of choice, if you treat it well, it will increase in value; if you treat it like a bargain rental car, it's just going to wear out -- and being worn out is not hot!
Ah, yes, I'd momentarily forgotten that cars almost always increase in value after they're purchased, and don't have a culturally ubiquitous reputation for losing most of their resale value immediately. Solid analogy. Apropos of nothing, we get a "HOT Tip" list of "model diet secrets that DON'T work." I'm extremely glad that Kelly encouraged us to take notes while reading -- I'd be devastated if any of these pointers had escaped my attention.
Eating Kleenex to make yourself feel full does not work.
The Graham cracker diet does not work.
Drugs do not work.
Well, I suppose this clears up some Scary Island confusion. Had Kelly indeed been doing meth (as the reported cat-pee smell might suggest), she would be fully aware that many drugs are, in fact, extremely effective ways to lose weight. But lest you start to lose faith in the expertise of our fearless leader, read on: "when it comes to food choices, I've probably made every mistake in the book." By which she means that she ate Chinese chicken soup before giving birth to her first daughter and it made her sick, so she ate a turkey sandwich before giving birth to her second daughter and she didn’t get sick. To be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to find a way to apply this wisdom to my own life, but I'm sure it will become clear in no time! Kelly is relatable for the first time so far in the following passage:
When I was accused of being a "bitch" on national television, I was really upset. My response was to find comfort in Mexican food and margaritas for lunch and dinner three days straight.
But we promptly return to form on the next page as she recounts her daily diet of "2 green juices," "a KKBfit lunch," and "a KKBfit dinner." I'd like to take a moment to appreciate how generous it is of Kelly to share her wisdom -- earned through a lifetime of catastrophic missteps -- so freely. It certainly didn’t come without a cost, as the following anecdote illustrates:
On the last day of my juice fast, I took my older daughter to a Yankees game where we gorged on sushi. (Yes, they have sushi at Yankee Stadium) As a result, I was stuffed and blinded by carbs when A-Rod came up to bat and hit a home run. Was I able to savor that A-Rod moment with my daughter? Absolutely not. I was in a food coma. Will I ever let myself be thrown into a food frenzy again? No! Lesson learned: I made another stupid food choice, and because of that choice I missed that home run moment with my daughter. From now on, when I go to a Yankees game I'll have a small hot dog instead….I want you to do the same.
Verily! Heed her words of wisdom, lest ye not also lose the precious chance for thine own A-Rod moment. But don’t think this caution means that you have to get caught up in the minutia of your day-to-day. On the contrary, appropriate planning means "you can stop obsessing about your carrot intake and concentrate on what it is that's going to make you a great person in life." To help illustrate this point, Kelly introduces us to the "Kelly pie."Otherwise known as a pie chart. This is a helpful way to really visualize how much time you'll have now that you can cut that pesky carrot-pondering out of your day! Kelly even offers some thoughtful "hints" to divide your pie:
Celebrate your own health. We take health for granted.
Get up in the morning and say, "I'm so grateful to be where I am and look the way I do," no matter what your size is.
Tell yourself you look HOT, because you do.
Believe in your ability to make good choices today and every day.
Be mindful of what you eat. If I have to be mindful of what I eat, so do you. We're in this together.
Ooh, sorry Brad, I won't be able to make it to this afternoon's meeting -- it actually conflicts with my daily session of believing in my ability to make good choices today and every day. No, I understand how that could seem like an abstract sentiment rather than something that actually takes up time within your daily schedule, but if Kelly has to do it, so do I! And to be honest, my day is packed enough as it is -- it takes at least a second or two for me to tell myself I look HOT (because I do!), and I'm just worried that if I try to squeeze anything else in, it will cut into my mid-morning health celebration. Wish I could help! In a strangely threatening aside, Kelly commands: "Write down what you ate for the last two days. Don't lie. We can start fresh tomorrow, one bite at a time." In a section titled, "What I Eat Every Day," Kelly enumerates her "three go-to breakfasts": "two oranges or a plate of mixed berries if I'm not going to be very active, all-bran cereal or some other high-fiber cereal with almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk if I'm going on a long run, riding, or doing something else that requires extra energy, and on weekends, I love making pancakes to eat with my girls." As should be apparent, this is far more than three breakfasts. I am irrationally angry, in the same way I was when a Bachelor contestant said their favorite food was a charcuterie platter. That's cheating. (And yes, I do strongly identify with my Virgo moon, thanks for asking.) Kelly inexplicably (apologies if I've used that word for the zillionth time already) tells us that "a plastic cup that says 'Forced Family Fun' from www.themonogramshops.com makes the smoothie go down with a giggle." Also, "sitting alone in front of the TV eating ice cream is not hot!" We are then introduced to one of Kelly's more advanced strategies, which she calls "Energy Economics." This means that you might need to eat more on days when you are busy and/or exercising, and less on days when you're relaxing. So many innovative ideas, this book has really packed a punch for its < $5 price tag! Another ingenious idea? "Stuff cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, or even onions with ground meat, chicken or turkey seasoned with salt and pepper. Bake until the meat is cooked through and the vegetable is softened." Granted, I have been a pescatarian for almost a decade at this point. But disemboweling an onion, jamming it full of hamburger meat, and cooking it for some indeterminate amount of time at an unspecified temperature seems…wrong. Circling back to her theory of Energy Economics, Kelly explains,
If I don't eat [well], I'm violating my own laws of energy economics and my body goes either into inflation mode (too much energy when I don't need it) or recession mode (not enough energy in the bank for me to draw from). The key is to create economic equilibrium: eating well so that I feel good, which allows me to be happy.
I am begging someone to start a GoFundMe where we raise money to pay Kelly to explain how the economy works. The next page introduces us to "The KKB 3-Day Supermodel Diet," which is less of a diet and more a random assortment of miscellaneous health-related sentiments that reek of the 2009 pro-ana tumblrsphere:
Chew your food 8 times instead of 3 or 4.
Brush your teeth and chew mint gum as soon as you finished eating. When your mouth is fresh and minty, you'll be less tempted to eat again.
The final tip ("nurture yourself") includes a reminder to "blush your checks [sic]." Which may be a typo, but could also very well just be some strange Kelly saying that no one else has ever used in the history of the English language. On the next page, we're introduced to "Kelly's Food Plate."Which other, less sophisticated people typically refer to as the food pyramid. Kelly also takes a brief aside (in a feature box labeled "hot button issue") to expound upon her favorite delicacy, the humble jelly bean:
If you're a fan of the Real Housewives of New York City you probably remember that on Season 3 I took a lot of flack for eating jelly beans and talking about processed and unprocessed foods. I was actually making light of that food snob moment. Who stops at a gas station and asks for carrots? Did you bring your organic food cooler with you on this road trip? The important part is not to be a food snob; but when in doubt choose the best option. Sometimes it's better to be happy than it is to be right. Was I able to make my point? Clearly it wasn’t in the cards at that moment.
This is a truly stunning synthesis of her experience. Underestimate Kelly at your own peril -- this girl has been playing 4D chess for longer than we know. The chapter continues with some tips from Kelly on how to make the most of your meal planning and shopping experience. And no -- you have no excuses:
There's absolutely no reason why you, wherever you live, can't eat "colorful" foods. All over the country there are "gi-normous" supermarkets where fruit and vegetable aisles are bursting with every color of the rainbow.
I am starting to get a "gi-normous" headache trying to make sense of this chaos. Kelly's advice that we can "mix and match what's there to make a FrenAsian or an ItaloGreek meal" is not helping. We also get some tips for how to grocery shop responsibly:
Always go with a list and never buy more than two items you planned on taking home.
This is incoherent, right? I know I need to wrap up Part 1 of this write-up pretty soon, because I've read this sentence at least two dozen times trying to make some sense of it, and am still at an utter loss. I assume she's left out a negative somewhere, but at this point, I realize I've already thought about this tip for approximately ten times longer than Kelly ever has, so I'll move on. For the third or fourth time so far this book, Kelly segues into a literal grocery list. To be fair, this is a very effective strategy to take up several pages with minimal text. And what could be more compelling than
Shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs
Truly the voice of a generation! Decades from now, English teachers will be teaching their students about a fabled wordsmith who once uttered those eternal words, "shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs." Because this book has absolutely no respect for logical cohesion, we are hurled immediately into a diatribe about how expensive it can be to buy organic -- "I recently walked out of an organic market having paid $400 for just three bags of groceries." As I read on, however, it becomes quickly apparent that Kelly has no idea what the concept of 'organic' even means:
"Organic," in any case, seems like something of a misnomer to me. I know the Food and Drug Administration has regulations for certifying foods organic, but to me, for foods to be truly and totally organic, they would have to be grown in a test tube or a greenhouse with no exposure to the natural elements.
Well, sure Kelly. If that's what you would like to use the word "organic" to mean, be my guest. She tosses us another crumb of helpful guidance, but it only serves to make me feel exceptionally sorry for Kelly's daughters and everything they have to endure:
Plate your food as if it were being served to you in a fine restaurant. Use a fancy foreign accent as you invite everyone to come to the table. Or try saying it in French. My girls love it when I announce, "Le dîner est servi!"
We learn in yet another "HOT tip" that "fast food doesn't have to be fat food," and Kelly tells us for the eighth time that she eats two oranges every morning. In what has already become a recurring theme for me in this book, the following passage makes me desperately curious to know how Kelly thinks science works:
One question people frequently ask me is whether I believe in taking vitamins or supplements, and the answer is "yes, I do," because, even though I know my diet is healthy, I can't be sure that I'm getting all the nutrients I need. All the vitamins and minerals we need can be found naturally in foods, but how do we know, even if we're eating a healthy diet, that we're getting everything we need?
I flip back two pages to confirm that Kelly told us quite recently how important it is to read nutrition labels to know what is in the food we eat (to make sure we avoid foods "whose labels are full of words you can't pronounce"). Exactly how she is reading these nutrition labels yet still manages to have no inkling how anyone could possibly begin to assess their vitamin and mineral intake eludes me. She continues:
I don't want to take that chance. I think of the food I eat as fuel and vitamins as my oil -- my body's engine needs both. Vitamins and supplements are not food replacements, but we're exposed to so many environmental toxins on a daily basis that I believe we need to supplement our diets to counteract all the harm those substances can cause.
I can certainly think of something that is causing harm to my psychological stability at this particular moment, which I should probably take as a sign to wrap things up for today and go read some incredibly dense Victorian prose or something to remind myself what a properly constructed sentence looks like. Promise I won't leave you waiting for long!!
This hurts to write about. It hurts to close my eyes and reopen them because I find myself back in the nightmare of what happened. This experience I am going to tell you about happened on October 5th, 2006, which makes you probably wonder why I am writing about it now. Truth be told, I am babysitting for my sister’s child, who has finally come of age to start taking the bus to school. All the horrid memories came swinging back since I saw her take the bus and due to the coronavirus, I’ve had limited access to my therapist. So, I am hoping maybe writing this story on different sites that I use might comfort me somehow. I don’t think it will work, but me lying awake at night until 5:00 in the morning obviously isn’t working either. If you care to hear on, well here goes my story. I was in 5th grade and going after school to my science club, basically to get away from my parents arguing back and forth each day about why the mortgage wasn’t being paid and who cheated on who. That kind of shit was something my 10-year-old brain couldn’t handle. And so, on that day, I stayed after school. I remember having a blast and peeping over the microscope to look over to my school crush Haiti. I guess you understand the real reason why I wanted to be in this club. She was smart, pretty, and of course the popular girl. I was the typical nerdy kid that people didn’t hate or despise, but knew I wasn’t on the same level of hierarchy as the “cool kids.” Case in point, I spent time enjoying the science club studying insects and multi-cellular organisms under the microscopes and goggley-eyeing my crush from afar. After I took the last few notes for the club’s homework, I did my best to put some big boy pants on and approach her. And as soon as I tried to do so, my best friend at the time Jason came to stop me. He pulled me by the arm with that serious but friendly smile with closed eyes and a sigh. “I don’t want to see you get hurt Leo.” When he said those words, I felt sadden. It was like giving a box of chocolates to that special someone you like, just to have them laugh at it and crush it beneath their feet. I looked up to see Haiti kissing a stupid moron named Derek and taking off to the buses holding hands. I sighed too and patted Jason’s shoulder. “Thanks Jay’. I needed that.” He nodded and patted mine too. “Guys like us Leo, we don’t get the picture-perfect ones. We’re better off keeping our noses in our books. Besides, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather wait ’til college when girls are hotter and more mature.” He gave a gentle nudge and playfully ruffled my messy hair. He was such an ass, but I loved him for it. “You’re such a dick. I’m shocked you even manage to get straight A’s considering all you do is watch porn on YouTube instead of studying.” “Who needs to study when you’re a genius?” I laughed so hard. “You do know you’re a dick, right?” “I know, I know. Come on. We’re gonna miss the bus.” With that, we raced to the buses laughing at each other and cracking jokes along the way. You would think that I would be more hurt about seeing my crush with somebody else. Truth be told, at the time, I knew I would’ve never been able to be with her. She was just out of my league and I was a weird geeky kid with terrible social skills. I’m sure a lot of you out there have had the feeling. Still, none of that mattered. I was pretty much in fantasy land thinking that once they broke up with each other, I would swoop in and be the prince charming. So, as Jason kept making fun of Haiti’s butt and I kept mocking him for watching porn rather than trying to actually have a crush on someone, we made it to the bus with an unusual surprise: A different bus driver. Now it’s not like this was completely out of the ordinary. It happens all the time. Sometimes the usual driver calls out sick or something but it’s not like I was shocked or confused. It didn’t bother me much. It’s just that me and Jason knew our usual bus driver well and she would always be super nice to us and let us fool around on the bus, even though we should’ve gotten in trouble for some of the dumb stunts we pulled. Nonetheless, Jason and I got on the bus and said hi to the male bus driver. Allow me to describe him for you because I need to for the sake of my mind. The bus driver, aside from being male, was quite tall. Tall enough that his head reached a little farther than normal above the head rest of the driver seat. He looked middle-aged with a shaved face, thick round glasses, and a pale coat to his skin color. Not albino or anything, but as if he hadn’t seen sunlight for at least a long amount of time. He had a Tampa Bay baseball cap on and a smile that was cheerfully intoxicating. I say that because most bus drivers are tired or calm with their smiles, like the smile a cashier gives you after a seven-hour shift. But his smile was…nice. Like really nice. I know that sounds weird, but I’m trying to say that it felt like a genuinely happy smile. I just remember thinking to myself that he was so nice. So, I was extra polite and said, “Hello sir. How are you?” With a tip of his cap and that pure smile, he said, “I’m doing well. Thank you, sir.” He said it without being condescending and without mocking my pleasantry. I just thought he was nice, and I walked a few seats back behind the bus driver where Jason and I sat together. The way the bus worked was the cool kids sat in the back and the “not-so cool kids” sat to the front. Jason and I didn’t care though. Him and I would sneak our Nintendo DSs in our backpacks so that we could play Pokémon together after school. Of course, both our parents didn’t want their straight A students getting distracted with video games, so we weren’t allowed to bring them to school. And let’s be real: does that ever stop kids? So, we played our games, made stupid jokes like usual, and eventually he had to get off for his stop. So, we said our famous goodbye which was, “See ya later sucka!” and playfully stuck our middle fingers at each other. Yeah, we were fucking dumb. At this point, I put my DS away and just began staring out the bus window bored out of my mind as I was subjected to the cool kid’s loud laughter and dumb comments about after school parties. What always made me bored was that I was always the last stop. My house was just located far enough out. That meant that it was always pretty much an hour-long ride. And since Jason got off in the middle of it, that pretty much meant I had another half of the hour to go. So, to get to the point, I watched as every other student got off the bus, and now I was left shyly alone with a bus driver I wasn’t familiar with. Normally, this part of the trip was fun for me because my usual bus driver Becky would always ask me how I was and talk to me like a grown up and not just a lame old kid. But now I just felt awkward. I decided to just keep looking out the window and avoid eye contact with him through the rear-view mirror when he spoke very nicely again. “Hey kid, everything okay with you?” I looked up from the seat and shyly said, “Yeah, I’m okay. Thanks for asking.” He gave a chuckle and bellowed, “Come on. Don’t be shy. Come up here. Let’s talk. Clearly something is weighing on your mind. What’s up? Is it school? Someone’s not bullying you, is there? Because if there is-” “No sir, nothing like that. It’s just…” I sighed as I grabbed my backpack, dragging it along the floor and walking up to the front seat behind the bus driver. For some reason, he just seemed so nice. And the way he asked about me made me feel like he actually cared rather than my parents. So I caved in and relented in a polite way. “It’s just that there’s this girl that I like. I like her a lot. But I found out today that she has a boyfriend.” He frowned and tucked his hat downward again. “I’m deeply sorry to hear that kid. I’ll tell you this though: I can tell by looking at you that you’re a sharp kid. You think that she’s better than you and you would give the world to her. The truth is you should value yourself. If she has someone, then that’s okay. You’ll find someone too. Don’t waste time on someone that won’t notice you the way you deserve to be.” I thought it was odd for him to say the way he said it, but I appreciated what he meant by it. I nodded and thanked him. “Believe me kid, when you get to be my age, there will be so many girls for you to get a chance to be with.” I laughed at the corny joke and said, “Yeah, I’ll bet.” He smiled softly and looked at me through the mirror. “What’s your name kid? I feel bad calling you kid all the time,” he said with a chuckle. “No worries. My name is Leon.” “Good to meet you Leon. My name is Caleb.” He reached his hand over to shake mine, and I of course shook it. “So, what kept you after school Leon? Don’t tell me you’re a troublemaker getting detention,” he said with joking tone and that hypnotic smile. “No sir, nothing like that. I’m in the science club.” “Ohhhh, science! I used to love astronomy when I was your age. What subject are you studying?” “Biology mostly. Right now, we are studying different insect exoskeletons.” “I’ll be honest with you Leon. I sucked at science. I flunked every class. I’m sure you know way more than I do.” When he said this, I immediately hated him. I still thought he was nice and friendly, don’t get me wrong. But I hated having conversations with people where they complement your intelligence by calling themselves dumb. It seemed forced and pathetic. Like why would anybody ever admit to being stupid like that? To flunk science? To flunk any subject? Let alone a 5th grade level course? Like I said, I hated him. Maybe that’s not quite it, but I suppose I just felt tired of the conversation. Luckily, because of that, I realized that when I looked out the window, we were no longer on route to my house. Normally, I wouldn’t be freaked out by this because sometimes other bus drivers made mistakes or didn’t know where my house was. But since it was winter and with day light savings about, it got dark very fast. At this point, the sun was already setting, and it was only 4:40ish. So nervously, I interrupted the conversation. “Excuse me sir, I think you’re going the wrong way to my house.” With another nice-looking smile, he said, “Oh gosh, I must’ve missed the turn blabbing. I’m sorry Leon. Let me make the turn at the end of this light here.” Then I realized two more things. The first one being that I had no idea where I was. There were houses and street names on the signs. I’m not talking Silent Hill shit or anything. But I mean I didn’t recognize the area. NOT AT ALL. Like this wasn’t anywhere in my town. When you take the bus long enough, you recognize where the local areas are. This wasn’t anywhere local. Just where the hell did he take me to I thought. Mind you that I wasn’t allowed to get a phone until I was fourteen because my parents didn’t want me getting distracted from schoolwork. So, with no way to call my parents, it almost being dusk, and having no fucking idea where I was, I started sweating amongst my arms and face. Just as I was looking around the windows, I noticed the worst thing ever. And to be honest with you, I am so grateful to God that I did. In case you don’t know, usually school buses they have the bus driver information. Some school systems handle this differently, but in my school’s case, they hire bus drivers and use their own school buses. This means that they work for the school district of the town. In order for the safety of kids and for parent’s peace of mind, they have the information of that driver on the front either on the corner windows or beside the mechanism that opens the door. This applies even for new drivers or for substitute drivers too. In this case, it was on the window. And when I looked to read the name, it read “Aaron Jackson.” I remember to this day trembling with goosebumps. He told me his name was Caleb, and I knew it wasn’t a mistake on the ID sticker because above it was Becky’s information. So, I knew this was the bus she used. And I knew the information below belonged to “Aaron.” But this guy wasn’t Aaron. As deeply afraid as I was and cold I felt all over, I tried my best not to freak out screaming and give away that I caught onto what was going on. I didn’t know what his true intentions were and to this day I still don’t, but what I did know was that he wasn’t planning on taking me home. So stuttering, I began to lie. “Oh, oh shoot! I think I-I lost my phone,” I said pretending to check my pockets, “I think I left it in the…um…the other seat.” From the rear-view mirror as I glanced back, I didn’t see a smile anymore. I saw a stern glance. I suddenly felt the bus turning to the right into a parking position at the side of the road. That’s when I booked it. I ran to the back of the bus where the emergency exit was and thank the lord, I remembered how to use it from what I thought were nonsense fire drills. “Hey come back here!” Caleb said, no longer with the same politeness in his voice. I lifted the latch of the exit door and jumped from the bus taking off down the road. The problem was that I had no idea where to go. There were no cars and the sun was now beneath the horizon. It was purple-black outside and all I could think was to run into the wooded area where I could hopefully lose him. I could hear him chasing after behind me, screaming creepy things to me. “Leon!” “Leon come back here now!” “Don’t make me tell your parents about this Leon!” “You’re going to be in big trouble mister!” “If you come back now, I promise I won’t hurt you!” “I’m taking you back home Leon! I swear! I just got a little lost is all!” At this point, I stopped running and crawled underneath the fall leaves. Even now, I can feel the scratches upon my arms from slamming into the trees and twigs. I was so fucking scared, and all I could do was try and keep levelheaded. All I could do was listen to him creepily promising me things and sounding awfully nice and awfully mean at different times. “Leon! I know you think I’m going to hurt you but I’m not!” “Don’t you want to see your family again Leon?” “Leon! Stop this now!” “If you don’t come to me this instant, you’re going to be in big trouble!” “Don’t make me hurt you Leon!” When he shouted that, I choked. I was holding my breath at this point, but I coughed up air. I could tell he heard it because I heard his footsteps stop and I heard the leaves crackling in my direction. “You think you’re so clever, don’t you Leon? You really thought you were gonna hide from me? You’re being such a bad boy Leon. Now you’re going to get your punishment.” The leaves kept crumbling and crunching. Louder and louder. Louder. Crackle. Crackle. Snaps of twigs. I just kept holding my breath until underneath me I felt a twig. It was then that I had an idea. I waited until his footsteps matched my movements so he wouldn’t hear me fidgeting. I reached for the branch underneath my foot and threw it over to a broken tree stub I could barely make out in the distance. Somehow and I do believe that it had to be God’s doing, I landed the branch to crackle loud enough that it broke the other branch and made a thud. Caleb stopped his footsteps and ran over to that sound, no longer screaming my name. I could now see his phone light jumping up and down in the distance after the sound as he tore through leaves. “Where are you Leon? GET BACK HERE NOW! I’m going to fuck you up Leon! You have no idea what I have in store for you!” I had no choice. In my mind, I no longer could think rationally. I got up and booked it again in the opposite direction. At this point, he realized now I was running and began chasing after me. What scared me most now that he was no longer screaming my name or ranting creepy shit. He was just breathing really hard. And I mean really hard. I would occasion turn back to see his phone light shifting around the darkness. It was so bright at this point that I could catch glimpses of his face getting lit up. That’s the thing even now at night I see so vividly. That face that he faked on the bus wasn’t there anymore. It was just anger and malice. The kind you see in a spider ready to leap on twitching mosquito. There was just a cold blank stare, as if he knew he was going to get me. I had no choice at this point but to drop my backpack because it was getting too heavy and making me slow. All I could think was keep running. Keep running. It was then I made it back to the road I was on before, except I found a run-down gas station out in the distance. I just kept running and running, afraid to look behind me when I threw myself inside the station. The cashier, a hard scruff looking college kid, quizzically saw me panting and pressing my face against the glass door when she came around the counter asking me what was wrong. Out of breath and light-headed, I just ran into the back of the bathroom and cried relentlessly. When I refused to explain the situation to her, she told me she was calling the cops and within what I think was fifteen minutes or so, two cops came and knocked on the door. “Son, my name is Charlie and my partner Lauren is here too. We are police officers. We just want to come through the door and talk to you. Can you open the door?” In between sobs, I pleaded for them to please keep Caleb away. Obviously, they didn’t know who that was, and calmly suggested I open the door for them. Not knowing what else to do at this point, I decided to crack open the door a little bit, making sure Caleb wasn’t somehow behind the door. When I saw the two officers and the cashier lady behind the door, I opened it all the way and cried profusely all over again. I can’t really remember much of exactly what was said from this point and all I remember was them asking for my name and my parents picking me up from the gas station. The police from I think happened to get a statement and explained to my parents the events that I sort of was able to convey to them. It turned out that I wasn’t all that far from house, but still far enough that I was half an hour out. My parents took me home and were paranoid from everything I could ever do at this point. No more after school. No more friend visits to Jason’s house. And no more bus trips. They drove me to school from there on. Of course, I didn’t go to school immediately after. I stayed at home for a few weeks and explained to Jason what happened over AIM (remember that using that stupid thing?). Anyhow, I basically spent all my time inside afraid to go out for those few weeks and I had nightmares, insomnia, and the shit that comes with PTSD. I had counselors, routine check-ups from doctors, and the police came back every so often to ask me for more details to what happened. Unfortunately, to make a long sob story short, the case went cold. They couldn’t find Caleb or any evidence to suggest he had any prior connection to the school, nor did they find any fingerprints on the bus or DNA evidence to suggest he was there to begin with. They canvased the area of the woods where I was for weeks, but that’s all I know from what they told me. I don’t know all the details concerning the investigation. I spent the following years doing my best to recover from this. For a while, by the time I made it to high school, you could say I was finally able to function normally, or as normally as anyone can. I didn’t have any more nightmares or panic induced episodes. I could even talk openly about what happened without freaking out. But now that I’ve been looking at the school buses for my niece, this has all come back to haunt me. So, before I go and I suppose lose more time for sleeping, I will say that something that still concerns me about what happened. I don’t know if he chose to do what he was planning to do to me on purpose or if it was just because I was the unlucky last kid to get off the bus. But I told you I dropped my backpack in that wooded area and to this day as far as I know, the police and investigators haven’t found it. Which leaves me to believe that the creep took it. Now thankfully it didn’t have my address or anything like that in it, but it did have my name on it. MY FULL NAME. I can’t help but wonder if he gave up on trying to get me, or if he will one day come back to get me. That scares me most and I will do my best to respond to your questions if you have any, but for now, I am going to do my best to force myself asleep and pray that I will be safe from that man.
Kvothe always assumes that Ambrose instructs the thugs to find him in Imre, but they say a few interesting things that make me question this assumption.. “We’ve lost him twice already. I’m not having another cock-up like in Anilin” P474 NOTW So they were possibly waiting for Kvothe to arrive in Anilin, but of course he ended up getting off at the University. The lute player (Josn) joined Roent’s caravan before Kvothe left for the University, and continued onto Anilin with Denna. He would have loosely matched Kvothe’s description, and the thugs know he is able to play the Trouper’s Lute. But how could they know this? Lots of people have told me that this comment is made in passing by the thugs, as in, describing another job that went wrong, but if that is the case, the remainder of the text doesn’t quite make sense to me.. Also Denna mentions she was attacked by men in Anilin once, and thought it was a test from her patron.. If that is the case, Denna had her patron before she even met Kvothe, and has been keeping it a secret.. “No confusing descriptions. No names. No worrying about disguises” P474 NOTW Disguises? Kvothe never wears a disguise, apart from when he is so dirty in Tarbean, his hair looks black!! The inn-keeper comments that he looks like a different person, as his hair is now red not black. No longer in disguise.. “Even in this grubby inn Waterside, I was attracting attention. My shirt was nothing more than an old burlap sack with holes for arms and head. My pants were made out of canvas and too big by several degrees. They reeked of smoke, grease, and stagnant alley water. I’d been holding them up with a length of rope I had dug out of some trash. I was filthy, barefoot and stank.” P199 NOTW “There was more dirt than boy before. And I would have bet a solid mark your hair was black. You really don’t look the same.” P203 NOTW So Kvothe went into the inn as a dirty boy with black hair, and this boy did not emerge again. Although a lordling waltzed his way through the streets out of the inn not long after. If someone was watching for Kvothe, they would not have recognised Kvothe as the lordling. “Follow the needle, find our man, and have done with it.” P474 NOTW Someone has gotten hold of Kvothe’s haiDNA somehow and they are now dowsing for him.. Denna seems to be the obvious choice here.. The only people in Tarbean, within both books who call Kvothe by his name, are Skarpi and Trapis.. Skarpi description: Skarpi is described as a thin and weathered man with thick white hair on his arms, face, and head. He has a deep, dark tan and is very old when compared to the fifteen-year-old Kvothe. He is said to have "eyes like diamonds and the body of a driftwood scarecrow." Also, a connection between coal and diamonds: It's easy to see where the idea came from, though. Diamonds and coal are both, at their base, different forms of the element carbon (C on the periodic table). And yes, pressure is a key part of what turns decaying carbon-based life forms such as plants into coal, as well as what turns carbon into diamonds Could Skarpi be one of the Seven or an Amyr? Selitos? or Cinder with his coal-black eyes? Trapis is described as having grey hair, but appearing no older than forty. He displays a tender demeanor, never complaining about his situation. Most notably Trapis is described as never wearing shoes, as well as only owning a single heavily patched robe. He lives in the basement of a burned out building in Tarbean, taking it upon himself to care for children who cannot take care of themselves due to disability or infancy. He is also well loved by the child waifs of the city, as he is known to provide them medical care, food, and shelter when and if he can. Teccam is also barefooted: His 'classic pose' is depicted as a man standing barefoot in the mouth of his cave, speaking to a group of students. Auri and Master Elodin are also know for running around barefoot.. Maybe this is the mark of a nameknoweshaper?.. Anyway a little off topic… back to the original point.. I suspect that whoever has been following Kvothe closely since his parents were killed, will turn out to be a major character.. Cinder is told to make Kvothe forget everything (put his mind to sleep), and kvothe is only re-awakened when Skarpi says his real name in Tarbean.. could the person sending the thugs be Cinder? As he cannot go against Haliax’ wish to save Kvothe directly to destroy The song about Lanre ..…. Or is it Selitos who wants to make sure all of Arlidens positive song of Lanre is scrubbed from Temerant for good.. or someone else? Either way, I don’t think Ambrose is the culprit.. What do you guys think? Edit: thinking about it, the tehlin justice also hears Skarpi say Kvothe’s name and looks around wildly looking for who Skarpi was talking to.. could the priest be the one who instructs the thugs to kill Kvothe??
I found tapes my grandfather left behind. This one's about the Babysitter's Club.
If you haven't read my first post do that before reading this one. It'll help explain what's going on. Since everybody wanted to know more about the tapes before I explained the predicament they've put me in, I figured I'd start you off where I started. With tape #1. Be warned. Kids die in this one, and that's not the worst of it. Tape #1 — NEBRASKA - 1979 - MB - P CLASS —
-silence- -sigh- I KNOW I SHOULDN’T BE SURPRISED TO FIND THAT YOU’VE HAD ME FOLLOWED. MUCH THE SAME WAY I’M SURE YOU WEREN’T SURPRISED WHEN YOUR CRONIES DIDN’T RESPOND AT THEIR NEXT SHIFT CHANGE. YOU’LL FIND THEM AT -redacted-. I HOPE THEY DIDN’T HAVE FAMILIES. THAT MIGHT DEFEAT THE PURPOSE OF THIS TAPE I’M RECORDING RIGHT NOW. WE SPENT DECADES TOGETHER, DIDN’T WE? SOMEWHERE CLOSE, AT LEAST. HOW MANY FAMILIES DO YOU THINK WE REALLY SAVED, AMBROSE? I’VE TALLIED THEM UP AND I HONESTLY DOUBT WE’VE DONE MORE GOOD THAN NOT. PERHAPS THAT’S WHY YOU WANT ME DEAD. WELL TOO BAD. I’VE PICKED UP A THING OR TWO WITH THE -redacted- AND YOU CAN BET THAT WHEN I DO DIE IT WILL BE OF OLD AGE IN THE ARMS OF THE WOMAN I LOVE. YOU’RE NOWHERE NEAR THE WORST THING I’VE ENCOUNTERED DURING MY TENURE WITH -redacted-. I’VE FOUGHT AND KILLED THINGS OLDER THAN THIS COUNTRY— THAN THIS CONTINENT. SEVEN ARMED GUNMEN FOLLOWING ME ON A HUNTING TRIP DON’T COUNT FOR SHIT AGAINST THAT. -pause- I’M CREATING THIS TAPE FOR YOU BECAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW WHAT I’M DOING. YOU’VE SUSPECTED IT, OTHERWISE YOU WOULDN’T HAVE SENT THOSE MEN AFTER ME. BUT I’M GOING TO CONFIRM IT FOR YOU NOW. I HAVE EVIDENCE— TESTIMONIAL AND OTHERWISE— OF MANY OF MY MISSIONS WITH -redacted- OVER THE YEARS. YOU ALWAYS CALLED THEM “MISSIONS”, DESPITE WHAT THEY WERE. HUNTS. AND I’VE COLLECTED AND SAVED EVIDENCE OVER THESE DECADES ABOUT THE HUNTS WE PERFORMED, INCLUDING ALL THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE WE CAUSED. THEY ARE PREPARED IN NEAT FOLDERS, READY TO BE DELIVERED TO LAWYERS, LEGISLATURES, AND FAMILIES OF THE DECEASED, (OR WORSE), AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE, WITH SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS IF I WERE TO DIE AN UNTIMELY DEATH. I’VE LET A FEW PEOPLE IN ON MY LITTLE SECRET, AMBROSE. I KNOW WHEN I’M SUPPOSED TO DIE, AND NOW SO DO OTHERS. IF I OR ANY IN MY FAMILY PASS BEFORE THEIR APPOINTED TIMES, THEN YOU CAN REST ASSURED THAT THE VAST ENTIRETY OF -redacted- WILL FIND ITSELF NONEXISTENT AND COVERED IN A CLOUT OF LAWSUITS AND ATTACKS OF A MUCH MORE PUBLIC NATURE. JUST IN CASE YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME, I INCLUDED IN THESE FILES THE LOCATION OF -redacted-. I BET YOU THOUGHT I DIDN’T KNOW WHERE THAT WAS. IF YOU FOLLOW THROUGH ON THESE THREATS, YOU ASSURE OUR MUTUAL DESTRUCTION. EXCEPT YOU’LL HAVE TO LIVE THROUGH YOURS. -lengthy pause. There’s a sound of ruffling papers and flipping pages, (in a book or on a notepad? This next part sounds like he’s reading from a script)- I, GILIAN -redacted-, ADMIT TO THE MURDER OF BEATRICE -redacted-, 9, DANIEL -redacted-, 12, AND JESSICA -redacted-, 16, ON THE EVENINGS OF -redacted- IN THE TOWN OF -redacted-, NEBRASKA IN THE SUMMER OF 1979. TO PROVE THIS, ALLOW ME TO LIST SOME DETAILS THAT WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE PUBLISHED REPORTS. -NOTE: it is important to know that Beatrice and Daniel were siblings- BEATRICE’S RIGHT FOREFINGER WAS IN DANIEL’S STOMACH. IT WAS CHEWED OFF— NOT MISSING AS WHAT WAS REPORTED. THE BITE MARKS WOULD MATCH DANIEL’S DENTAL RECORDS. SHE WAS KILLED WITH A -redacted- SHOT TO THE HEAD. DANIEL’S -redacted- TEMPLE WAS CAVED IN WITH A BASEBALL BAT. THE MAKE AND MODEL OF WHICH WAS -redacted- AND YOU WILL FIND IT BURIED -redacted-. IT SPLINTERED UPON IMPACT, SO YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO CONFIRM MY CLAIMS BY COMPARING THE WOOD. AND THE BLOOD. JESSICA WAS SHOT WITH -redacted- FOURTEEN TIMES. I PROMISE YOU THAT EVERY SHOT WAS NECESSARY. EIGHT BULLETS WERE SOFT TIPS. THE OTHER SIX WERE CUSTOM ARMOR PIERCING ROUNDS TIPPED WITH THE SILVER ALLOY -redacted-. THERE WERE TWO OTHER SILVER-TIPPED BULLETS IN THE WALL OPPOSITE THE ENTRYWAY TO THE HOUSE. I’M SURE YOUR CORONER’S REPORT ON HER KEPT THE OFFICERS UP FOR WEEKS. -clears throat- I WAS NOT INVOLVED IN THE DEATHS OF MISTY -redacted- AND DOUGLAS -redacted-, SHERIN -redacted- AND ADEM -redacted-, OR RAYMOND -redacted- ON THE NIGHTS OF -redacted-, -redacted-, AND -redacted-. THOSE WERE THE CASES THAT DREW OUR ATTENTION. NOTE: again, it is important to know that Misty and Douglas were siblings, that Sherin and Adem were siblings. Raymond had a younger brother.- I TRAVELED TO -redacted-, NEBRASKA IN JUNE OF 1979 TO INVESTIGATE A SERIES OF… MYSTERIOUS DEATHS AND DISAPPEARANCES. MISTY WAS FOUND IN THE WOODS BEHIND THEIR HOUSE. HER CLOTHES WERE MISSING AND SHE WAS COVERED IN BOTH HER OWN BLOOD AND THE BLOOD OF HER BROTHER. SHE WAS MISSING HER LOWER JAW AND HAD EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO HER ESOPHAGUS. HER RIBS WERE CRACKED AND HER STOMACH WAS DISTENDED. INSIDE WAS FOUND THE ENTIRE REMAINS OF HER LITTLE BROTHER, DOUGLAS. WHEN HER JAW WAS FOUND NEARBY IT WAS DETERMINED IT HAD BEEN RIPPED OFF. MANY OF DOUGLAS’ REMAINS WERE NOT BITE-SIZED, ESPECIALLY FOR A CHILD THE SIZE OF MISTY. SOMEBODY HAD FIRST DISLOCATED HER JAW BEFORE REMOVING IT ENTIRELY IN ORDER TO ALLOW THE GIRL TO EAT ENTIRE LIMBS. ONE OF DOUGLAS’ FEMURS WAS ENTIRELY INTACT, AND IT IS PRESUMED THAT FORCING THE LIMB DOWN HER THROAT WAS THE MAIN SOURCE OF THE TEARS AND BRUISING FOUND IN HER ESOPHAGUS. NONE OF THIS MADE THE PAPERS. -sighs. It sounds like he flips a page.- SHERIN AND ADEM WERE FOUND MUCH THE SAME WAY. RAYMOND, HOWEVER, WAS BY HIMSELF. HIS ARMS AND BOTH OF HIS LEGS WERE FOUND INSIDE HIM. THE WOUNDS SUGGESTED THEY’D BEEN TWISTED OFF. WHOEVER REMOVED HIS JAW HAD FORCED THAT DOWN HIS THROAT AS WELL. WHAT THESE CASES ALL HAD IN COMMON WAS THAT THE CHILDREN HAD BEEN LEFT WITH THEIR BABYSITTER. THEIR USUAL BABYSITTER. NONE OF THEM SHARED THE SAME BABYSITTER. MISTY AND DOUGLAS’ BABYSITTER, KELLY -redacted-, WASN’T EVEN IN THE SAME STATE, THOUGH THE CHILDREN’S PARENTS SWORE THEY LEFT THEM WITH HER. SHERIN AND ADEM’S BABYSITTER, WINONA, WAS AT A HIGH SCHOOL PARTY AT A LAKE WITH DOZENS ABLE TO CORROBORATE HER STORY. RAYMOND’S BABYSITTER… -rifles through pages- DOESN’T MATTER. HIS BABYSITTER WAS ALSO SOMEWHERE ELSE THE NIGHT THAT HE DIED. WHAT’S IMPORTANT HERE IS THAT THE COMMON THREAD WAS THE MISSING BABYSITTER. -pauses. There’s a squeak from his chair(?) as he gets up. He comes back and sets something on the desk. There’s more rifling through pages, but this sounds more like a book. It no longer sounds as if he is reading from a script.- AUFS ARE AN INTERESTING SUBJECT. TYPICALLY, STORIES OF THEM WERE USED TO DISMISS OR EXPLAIN UNDESIRABLE DISABILITIES OR ILLNESSES IN YOUNG CHILDREN. PARENTS WOULD CLAIM THAT FAIRIES HAD COME ALONG AND SUBSTITUTED OUT THEIR REAL CHILD FOR A FAIRY ONE. AS FAR AS I KNOW, THIS WAS NEVER THE CASE. I’VE SEEN ENOUGH NOT TO QUESTION THE EXISTENCE OF THE FOLK, BUT I’VE NEVER HAD AN EXPERIENCE WITH THEM. WHAT WE HAD HERE WAS NOT QUITE A CHANGELING. THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT HAD ASSUMED THE IDENTITY OF A LOCAL PERSON AND LIVED IN THE COMMUNITY FOR A WHILE. SPECIFICALLY, IT HAD ASSUMED THE IDENTITY OF JESSICA -redacted-. AND WHILE WE DON’T HAVE A SPECIFIC NAME FOR IT, IT WAS SOMEWHERE NEAR A P-CLASS PHENOMENA. WE SEARCHED THROUGH THE WORST PARTS OF TOWN— THE PARTS THAT PEOPLE TEND TO AVOID. THE PLACES WHERE PARENTS MIGHT NOT NOTICE THEIR DAUGHTER OR NEIGHBOR HAS BEEN ACTING STRANGELY. IT ONLY TOOK US THREE DAYS OF CANVASING. I POSED AS A BUSINESSMAN, CLAIMING MY WIFE HAD HIRED A BABYSITTER FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD WHO HAD LEFT SOMETHING QUITE VALUABLE WITH US THAT I WANTED TO RETURN. IT WASN’T THE CLEANEST JOB, BUT I WAS NEWER THEN. THAT LED US TO THE -redacted- RESIDENCE, WHERE I MET JESSICA’S FATHER. JESSICA HAD BEEN BABYSITTING AND BRINGING HOME MONEY EACH OF THE NIGHTS THAT THE CHILDREN DIED. MORE THAN THAT, SHE WAS BABYSITTING AGAIN THAT NIGHT. MY PARTNER, -redacted-, FOLLOWED HER FROM SCHOOL. WHEN I ASKED ABOUT HER HE TOLD ME SHE WAS STRANGE. SHE LOOKED NORMAL, JUST ANOTHER KID, BUT FOR SOME REASON WHEN SHE WALKED NEAR OTHER STUDENTS OR PASSED PEOPLE ON THE SIDEWALK THEY’D MOVE OUT OF HER WAY. SHE WAS THE ONE WE WANTED. -sighs- I WAS AT THE HOTEL GETTING READY WHEN THE PHONE RANG. -redacted- TOLD ME HE’D LOST HER. SHE’D TAKEN A SHORTCUT THROUGH THE WOODS. HE’D TRIED TO FOLLOW, BUT STOPPED WHEN HE FOUND WHAT HE DESCRIBED AS A “PILE OF FLESH AND GOOP” ALONG WITH THE DISCARDED CLOTHES THAT SHE’D BEEN WEARING IN A DUFFEL BAG NEARBY. SEVERAL OTHER CHANGES OF CLOTHES WERE IN THERE. HE’D FOLLOWED THE TRAIL TO A NEIGHBORHOOD ROAD NEAR AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. HOPEFULLY, SHE WAS THERE SOMEWHERE. WE SPENT FAR TOO LONG SEARCHING FOR HER. WE’D RING A DOORBELL, MAKE UP A BULLSHIT STORY ABOUT A SURVEY WE WERE DOING FOR A CHURCH, GET TURNED AWAY, THEN MOVE ON TO THE NEXT HOUSE. IT WAS TWO HOURS BEFORE WE GOT LUCKY. THE GIRL LOOKED NOTHING LIKE JESSICA. HER HAIR WAS BLONDE AND INSTEAD OF THE DARK CLOTHES SHE WORE DAISY DUKES WITH A CROP TOP. SHE ALSO LOOKED OLDER THAN SIXTEEN. WE LEARNED LATER THAT THE BABYSITTER WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THIS OTHER GIRL, -redacted-, A LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR. WHEN WE ASKED TO SPEAK WITH HER PARENTS SHE EXPLAINED SHE WAS BABYSITTING AND COULDN’T LET STRANGERS IN, “ESPECIALLY WITH WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON.” SHE SPOKE THROUGH THE CRACKED-OPEN DOOR. THERE WAS A CRY FROM SOMEWHERE INSIDE THE HOUSE AND SHE CLOSED THE CRACK TIGHTER AND OFFERING UP A DISARMING SMILE. WE DIDN’T WAIT. -redacted- TRIED TO KICK THE DOOR OPEN, BUT IT WOULDN’T BUDGE. THE AUF’S EYES TURNED BLOOD RED, DROPPING ITS FACADE IN THAT SPLIT SECOND AS IT RELIED ON ITS PRETERNATURAL STRENGTH. ITS LIPS PEELED BACK IN A GRUESOME SMILE, REVEALING FLESH AND ROTTEN GUMS. THAT’S WHEN I OPENED FIRE. WE’RE TYPICALLY ASKED NOT TO USE FIREARMS IN THIS LINE OF WORK. -redacted- DOESN’T LIKE SPENDING THE MONEY ON CLEANUP. BUT IN THIS CASE, WITH CHILDREN ON THE LINE, IT WAS NECESSARY. MY FIRST ROUND WENT THROUGH ITS NECK. I HEARD A CRASH FROM INSIDE AS THE BULLET RICOCHETED INTO A LAMP. WHEN THE ONLY RESULT OF MY SHOT WAS HER WIDENING GRIN, I LET OUT THE REST OF MY MAGAZINE. SIXTEEN SHOTS TO THE HEAD AND CHEST. IT WAS ON THE THIRD SHOT WHEN SHE STAGGERED BACK AND -redacted- WAS ABLE TO GET THE DOOR OPEN. BUT THE MOVEMENT DREW HIM OFF BALANCE, AND HE ENDED UP IN FRONT OF ME, BETWEEN ME AND THE GIRL. SHE GRABBED HIM LIKE A VISE. I HEARD BONES SNAPPING AND HE CRIED IN PAIN. I REPLACED MY MAGAZINE WITH ONE CONTAINING SPECIAL SILVER-TIPPED BULLETS. BEFORE I COULD GET ANOTHER SHOT OFF HER EYES TURNED RED AGAINR AND SHE WHISPERED SOMETHING INTO HIS EAR. TWO WORDS. “KILL HIM.” THEN SHE THREW HIM AT ME AND TOOK OFF INTO THE HOUSE. -there is a long pause here. It sounds like he covered the mic.- -sniffs- AFTER I TOOK CARE OF -redacted- I FOLLOWED THE BLOOD TRAIL UP THE STAIRS. IT STOPPED AT A CLOSED DOOR. BEHIND THE DOOR I COULD HEAR A LITTLE GIRL LAUGHING AND CRYING. I HEARD NOT-JESSICA’S VOICE. “IT TICKLES, DOESN’T IT? DON’T YOU LIKE BEING MADE OF CANDY?” I OPENED THE DOOR AND STOPPED. -there’s sounds of papers again, and he sounds like he’s resumed a different section of the script- DANIEL AND BEATRICE WERE STANDING NEAR EACH OTHER, WITH BEATRICE’S HAND IN HIS MOUTH. SHE WAS MISSING HER FOREFINGER, AND DANIEL WAS WORKING ON HER THUMB. BLOOD RAN DOWN HIS FACE ONTO THE SHAG CARPET. BEATRICE WAS LAUGHING, WITH HAPPY TEARS POURING DOWN HER CHEEKS. SHE GIGGLED. ON THE FLOOR BETWEEN THEM WERE TWO SCREWDRIVERS, A KNIFE, SOME ROPE, AND A HAMMER. NOT-JESSICA SPRANG AT ME AND I UNLOADED MY REMAINING SIX ROUNDS INTO HER CHEST. THE SILVER SEEMED TO DO THE TRICK. BEFORE SHE DIED SHE TURNED TO ME, HER EYES RED. SHE BEGAN TO SPEAK. I COVERED MY EARS AND AVOIDED WHATEVER POWER SHE HAD. SHE TURNED TO DANIEL AND SPOKE TO HIM INSTEAD. TWO WORDS. I KNEW ALREADY FROM MY EXPERIENCE WITH -redacted- THAT DANIEL WOULD NOT DISOBEY HER COMMAND. I TOOK A STEP BACK, HOPING THAT WHEN SHE PASSED— SHE WAS CLOSE. HER BODY WAS SHAKING AND HER RED EYES ROLLED WHITE— THE SPELL WOULD LOSE ITS POWER. BUT I WAS WRONG. A RED FLASH PASSED BETWEEN NOT-JESSICA AND BEATRICE, AND SUDDENLY IT WAS JESSICA’S BODY LYING THERE IN THOSE DAISY DUKES AND THAT CROP TOP. I DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO WORRY ABOUT BEATRICE, HOWEVER. DANIEL HAD GRABBED THE KNIFE. HE WAS ONLY A KID. BUT HE WAS A KID WITH A KNIFE WHO WAS UNABLE TO STOP HIMSELF FROM TRYING TO MURDER ME. HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO RESTRAIN AN ANGRY CHILD? THEY’RE RELENTLESS. HE THREW HIMSELF AT ME, BUT I STEPPED OUT OF THE WAY AND HE CONTINUED OUT THE DOOR. IT WAS THEN I HEARD BEATRICE START TO TALK. I GRABBED DANIEL’S BASEBALL BAT FROM WHERE IT LEANED AGAINST THE WALL AND I SWUNG AT HER AS HARD AS I COULD. THE AUF HAD A HARDER TIME TRYING TO TALK TO ME WITH A BROKEN JAW. I WAS DISTRACTED AND DIDN’T HEAR DANIEL REENTER THE ROOM. HE BURIED THE KNIFE TWO INCHES INTO MY SIDE BEFORE I SWUNG AROUND AND KILLED HIM. THEN I RELOADED MY FINAL MAGAZINE AND SHOT BEATRICE BETWEEN THE EYES WITH ANOTHER SILVER BULLET. -there is another pause here. When he resumes speaking, he sounds tired.- WHILE THIS WAS NOT A PROPER CHANGELING, THE GIRL HAD EFFECTIVELY BEEN REPLACED BY SOMETHING VILE. I CALLED FOR CLEANUP AND LEFT. THIS IS THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THESE DEATHS. THE PEOPLE WHO KNEW THE TRUTH AND DIDN’T TELL YOU ARE CALLED -redacted-. YOU CAN SPEAK TO SENATOR -redacted- AND THEY WILL DENY THIS, BUT IT WILL RAISE HELL WITHIN -redacted-. SHOULD YOU RECEIVE THIS TAPE, THAT MEANS THAT I HAVE MET AN UNTIMELY DEATH AND YOU SHOULD FOLLOW UP WITH -redacted- WHO CAN GIVE YOU MORE INFORMATION REGARDING -redacted-. THIS IS JUST ONE STORY. THERE ARE MANY OTHERS. -silence-
— When I listened to that last tape my grandpa recorded, the one from 2008, I didn’t know what to make of it. So, naturally, I went back to the beginning. The tapes are numbered, and this one was #1. I remember listening to this tape for the first time, sitting by myself in the guest room— well, in my room, I suppose. I remember feeling a chill creep into my bones as I listened to my grandpa tell this story. My fingers were numb as I opened up a browser on my iPad and searched for these dead children. They didn’t exist. I grew up in the age of Google. I know how to search for things. I’ve learned how to research and how to find shit, and let me tell you: those children didn’t exist. I can’t begin to describe to you how I felt. Was this some sick sort of joke? I couldn’t believe that to be the case. I didn’t know my grandpa well at all, but I knew he was a serious man. So I decided to dig deeper. “Hello?” She sounded a little older than I’d expected. “Uh, hi, ma’am. Is this the -redacted- residence?” Sherin and Adem had a unique last name, and Fastpeoplesearch had turned up a result in Nebraska. “Yes, it is.” The accented voice said. “Who is this?” It was a shot in the dark. “I’m calling about your children, Sherin and Adem? I’m writing a paper, and—” The line went dead. When I tried to call again the message said I’d been blocked. So I gave it an hour or so as I made lunch and then called from the house phone. “Hello?” “Ma’am, please don’t hang up. This is important.” “No.” Her voice sounded stressed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about and—” “Adem and Sherin -redacted-, who died in the spring of 1979. I need to know if they were real.” I spoke quickly, trying to get my words out before she hung up again. She didn’t hang up, but she was silent long enough that I thought she’d just left. Then, in a whisper, “Of course they are real. My boy and my little girl are real, no matter what they told me.” “Wait, what did They tell you?” Was there something to this after all? “I will not speak of this. Do not write your paper. Do not call back. Don’t ask any more questions.” “But Ms. -redacted-, why—” There was a click. I didn’t try calling back. Somehow, these children have been erased from our history. Their stories don’t appear when you Google them. The people who knew them have been told… something. Whether they were scared off, threatened, bought off, or locked in asylums, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that my grandpa was telling the truth. Since then, I’ve found some of the “paraphernalia” he talked about in his tapes. I found a newspaper from summer of 1979 headlined, “THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB”. The article talked about the dead children, all who had been left with their babysitters. It ended with a description of how the babysitters had been found with demonic books, bones, and “witches tools”, as well as serious amounts of LSD. They confessed to murdering those children for satanic purposes, though their friends continued to protest their arrests, claiming that they all had alibis. Stapled to the paper from 1979 were notes from a 1983 study on using LSD and hypnosis to create fake memories. These people are serious. They’re powerful. They have resources. Somebody commented on my last post that it sounded like I was in hiding. You’re not wrong. For the most part, this house and this land are protected. But I’ve seen somethings in the last few weeks that have me looking over my shoulder. Some new lawyers showed up, claiming to be from “the estate” and asking to have a look around inside. I told them talk to my Gram’s lawyer and piss off. They didn’t like that, and assured me they’d be back. I’ve got to go now. I’ve been searching the land for something my Gram talked about before she passed; about a place my grandpa liked to spend time at. I learned a lot about her and my grandpa before she died— like how he decided he didn’t want children anymore after a work trip in the late 70s. I’ll update again, soon. I know it’s important for me to get these stories out. I need to find where my grandpa worked on these tapes first, though. I have a feeling that the measures he put in place to protect us aren’t working as well as he’d hoped, and I need more information on them. But for now, keep letting me know what you think. Give me your insight and critiques on the situation and whether I was able to relay it to you clearly. My next entry will hopefully give a bit more background on what’s happened to me more recently, and about the fiery lights in the sky I sometimes see at night. Grandpa talked about those, too, in tape #16. Maybe I’ll share that one with you next. Stay safe. Keep watch.
My new toy.... (Highlander Galakrond Priest in Standard)
For the TL;DR crowd, I'll post the decklist right away :).
Highlander Priest (v1.17)
Year of the Phoenix
1x (1) Cleric of Scales
1x (1) Holy Smite
1x (1) Renew
1x (2) Imprisoned Vilefiend
1x (2) Penance
1x (2) Sethekk Veilweaver
1x (2) Shadow Word: Death
1x (2) Shadow Word: Pain
1x (2) Thoughtsteal
1x (2) Wild Pyromancer
1x (2) Zephrys the Great
1x (3) Apotheosis
1x (3) Breath of the Infinite
1x (3) Madame Lazul
1x (3) Shadow Madness
1x (3) Vulpera Scoundrel
1x (4) Holy Nova
1x (4) Shadow Word: Ruin
1x (5) Chronobreaker
1x (5) Harrison Jones
1x (5) Ruststeed Raider
1x (5) Sandhoof Waterbearer
1x (5) Time Rip
1x (6) Kronx Dragonhoof
1x (7) Galakrond, the Unspeakable
1x (7) Siamat
1x (7) Soul Mirror
1x (8) Murozond the Infinite
1x (9) Dragonqueen Alexstrasza
1x (9) Plague of Death
AAECAa0GHh7cAZcCyQaQB/YH0wrXCuubA6WhA/yjA9GlA4SnA5mpA5+pA9ysA/KsA82vA46xA5GxA+O0A5i2A5O6A5u6A6+6A/S7A8i+A9y+A8jAA6bVAwAA For those of you sticking around, here's why you should give this deck a shot... The last two decks I've posted have been pushed to rank 1 NA by myself or a streamer using them. I don't post here often, mainly because I'm a busy nursing student not seeking any sort of professional run in Hearthstone. I've got no stream to advertise. I'm not here to farm reddit karma. I just like building good decks and throwing monkey wrenches into the metagame when I have time to play regularly :). Sjow once called me the "Tech Card King" of NA, which is a nickname I loved since it highlights my love of deckbuilding more than play lol. Since this is CompetitiveHS, let's talk stats... The deck has currently gone through 17 versions so far (told you, I like to experiment). All 17 versions combined are at a 62% win rate, having gone 136-84. It's currently 51% against reno mage, and 33% against libram paladin and quest warlock. It beats literally everything else at a rate of 65% or better, which is why I'm confident enough in the deck to post it here. I'm sure someone with enough play time could easily grind this to #1, given that warlock and paladin are a relatively small portion of the current meta. Here's a general strategy guide for the most popular decks in the meta at the moment. (Disclaimer: While a guide will help you, only practice and feel will really help you push the win rate of this deck to where you want it to be. Toolbox control decks are my favorite type of deck, but they're also very hard to play. You have to know your deck as well as all of your opponents', and have a feel for when to switch roles between control and aggro. Practice makes perfect!) Demon Hunter Mulligan for early plays that impact the board right away. Don't keep cards like Thoughtsteal or Sethekk, because if you let them have the board while you wait on those cards to provide value, you're already dead. You can occasionally steal a win in the midgame with Apotheosis on a Vilefiend or 5-drop, but more often than not you're just fighting to keep your life total high and and exhaust all of their resources. It's often right to not play Galakrond, as healing is more important than the card advantage Gala's hero power provides. This only changes if you also have Kronx and can close the game out quickly afterwards. Token/Hybrid Druid Your role in this matchup really depends on your starting hand. Mulligan aggressively for aoe clears, zephyrs, and cards that steal from your opponent's deck. Druid wins by outramping you and developing a board that you don't have the mana to deal with. The easiest way to fix this is an early Zephyrs or Madame Lazul to keep up with them. If you don't fall behind too much on mana, you should easily be able to clear everything they try to do. If you don't have any of the suggested cards to mulligan for, your best bet is to develop a big board ASAP. A few beefy early minions both pressure the Druid into making a board earlier than they'd like, while also minimizing the damage a Glowfly Swarm might do to you. Much like Demon Hunter, they'll fatigue themselves out quickly if you can keep up with their threats. Warrior The variant of warrior really doesn't matter. Egg/Bomb/Pirate all play similarly. Pirate and Egg punish you the most for having a slow draw, so it's important to mulligan aggressively for weapon removal and early plays. Fortunately for you, you typically have far more answers than they do threats. For Bomb Warrior, you want to be aggressive with your Zephyrs. Play it early for an ooze or removal spell, as it's likely that you'll have a couple bombs in your deck at some point and not be able to use it later. Should you fail to find weapon removal and wind up with 5+ bombs in your deck, your goal should be to get to a full hand ASAP and only play spells when you can reload your hand. Bomb Warrior has enough filler in it that you don't mind burning through a few cards of your own. The goal = to burn through the bombs so you don't take damage. If you only have 2 bombs, you can also use Cleric of Scales to find a bomb on your own terms and free up Zephyrs/Dragonqueen. Galakrond Priest Perhaps the second best reason to play this deck. This might seem like the mirror, but you having Zephyrs and Dragonqueen gives you huge trump cards over what's probably the most popular deck in high ranking legend at the moment. You can still lose some matches where your opponent gets all of the best RNG from their Galakrond while you keep getting Cleric of Scales, but assuming even RNG, you're a big favorite here. You want to mulligan aggressively for the important cards in the matchup. Zephyrs, Thoughtsteal, Galakrond, Dragonqueen, and Murozond. It might seem counterintuitive to keep expensive spells, but having them in your hand means your opponent can't Thoughtsteal them, and that's more important in this matchup than most early removal. Try and save Zephyrs and Alex until after they've played their Galakrond and Soul Mirror, as you don't want your opponent having their easy answers to them. Much like the mirror, you can be wary of the race to fatigue, but don't be afraid to use Cleric of Scales to find removal if they develop a sticky board. They NEED the fatigue battle to win, but you don't. Your trump cards give you inevitability vs them, assuming relatively close RNG. Highlander Hunter You're the better highlander deck, and you occasionally get to use some of their own weapons against them. The matchup typically revolves around you having answers for a few key cards - Stormhammer, Phase Stalker, Evasive Feywing, Dinotamer Brann, and Zixor, Apex Predator. Because of this, I like to mulligan aggressively for hand steal cards and answers to those cards specifically - Zephyrs, Shadow Madness, Shadow Word: Death or some other form of "big guy clear". The incidental damage you take from everything else doesn't matter as much. I'm pretty stingy with Shadow Madness here. I'll only use it to kill off a Phase Stalker, Zixor, or to slam a poison dragon into their Feywing :). Don't be afraid to aggressively use Zephyrs to take out a Stormhammer or Deadly Shot a Feywing, as the goal here is to keep your life total high enough to be out of range for their couple of big damage combos (Brann + Kill Command, Unleash + Zephyrs + roabloodlust, Nagrand Slam by itself, etc). I think this is a good start for now. Other popular decks are currently less than 10% of the meta it seems, although that might change with the DH nerf. I'll update with strategies for other decks if requested. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! As a future nurse, I should also ask that you mask up and stay safe out there! Don't let the sight of others not using a mask discourage you from doing what's best for you and those around you.
4/20/2020: I'm trying to keep this post updated, and trying to keep up with questions. Thanks everyone for helping answer questions in this post! Go teamtax! Stimulus Payment = Economic Impact Payment = EIP = Advanced 2020 Recovery Rebate
Please do not call the IRS asking about stimulus payments aka Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). Nobody is there to answer the phone right now. There will be a special phone number available for EIP-specific questions; I will post that when it's available.
4/16/2020: There are a lot of issues with Get My Payment. If you are getting error messages, there are quite a few reasons why that's happening and the IRS is working to fix them. Here's an article from Washington Post that I'll try to excerpt below: Glitches prevent $1,200 stimulus checks from reaching millions of Americans. 4/15/2020 (afternoon PDT): Economic Impact Payment Information Center has been updated with some FAQs for the Get My Payment application, including error messages and questions about Direct Deposits. Get My Payment FAQs are now on a separate page (Updated 4/17/2020). Also if the IRS attempted to direct deposit your payment to a closed account, then there's no option to update the bank account information. You will receive a paper check in the mail to the address the IRS has on file for you (usually the address on your last tax return unless you updated it). The IRS clarified today that SSI recipients DO NOT NEED TO FILE a simple tax return unless they need to add qualifying children dependents. Automatic stimulus payments should be sent out by early May. 4/15/2020 (morning PDT): Get My Payment is now live, but you may have to wait a few minutes to get through. Also a lot of people are getting error messages - not sure if this is due to server overload or personal information not matching. My suggestion is you try again tomorrow. To begin, you need your Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and Address and Zip Code from your most recently filed tax return. If you get through and need to add your bank account information, you'll need your Adjusted Gross Income from your most recently filed tax return (Line 8b for 2019, Line 7 for 2018), the refund or amount owed from your latest filed tax return, and Bank account type, account and routing numbers. See also this News Release: Treasury, IRS unveil online application to help with Economic Impact Payments; Get My Payment allows people to provide direct deposit information and gives payment date Some issues noted:
Make sure you type the address exactly as it appeared on your most recently filed tax return, either 2019 or 2018. If that doesn't work, try spelling out abbreviations, like "Street" instead of St.
You may get timed out, or if you make three attempts that don't match you will have to wait until the next day to try again. Get My Payment is updated once daily, usually overnight, according to the IRS News Release.
People who did not owe taxes or have a refund on their most recently filed tax returns are not able to get through the verification process. I believe this will affect everyone who filed a Stimulus-Only or Non-Filer tax return, either through the IRS or another tax software provider. (Added 4/17/2020)
As suspected, there does not appear to be any way to update your direct deposit information if the IRS already sent a DD payment to you. If it was sent to a closed account, you most likely will have to wait 4-5 weeks for a paper check (if the timing is the same for a rejected tax refund). Update: This is addressed in the expanded FAQ in Economic Impact Payment Information Center.
If you owed money for 2019 or 2018, it sounds like you need to enter your bank account information even if you already entered it to pay your taxes when you filed. Some people with this issue are receiving error messages for some reason.
You should receive a notice in the mail within 2-3 weeks after your payment is sent. Save the notice for your 2020 tax return. There should also be contact information on this notice that you can call if you didn't receive your Economic Impact Payment (EIP) or if your EIP was not the amount you were expecting.
Some people are not getting the full amount they were expecting. Why? Not clear - however within a couple of weeks you should receive a letter in the mail from the IRS. "The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment." - See the IRS EIP Info Center. You can try calling your Congress Representative's office if you are experiencing a financial hardship, but I don't believe the Taxpayer Advocate Service can help with EIP issues.
Some people are reporting getting EIPs while their 2019 tax return is still processing. Good news! As a reminder, if you are experiencing a financial hardship because your regular tax return is still processing and you need your refund ASAP, contact your local Taxpayer Advocate Service and also call your Congress Representative's office.
Still waiting to see what options will be available with the IRS Get My Payment application, expected April 17th.
First payments anticipated to be sent Direct Deposit starting week of April 13th-IRS News Release
Checks anticipated to be mailed starting April 24th starting with lowest-income taxpayers -Washington Post story
Social Security Retirement, SSDI, and Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits recipients do not need to use this application unless they want to include a qualifying dependent under the age of 17. Added 4/15/2020 - SSI recipients & VA beneficiaries are now included in the automatic payment group, but should still use the Non-Filer application to add qualifying children dependents.
If your 2019 tax return is still processing for any reason, it sounds like you probably won't receive the stimulus payment until that return is finished processing. It's likely going to be awhile, sorry.
I edited the post to try to make it easier to read. Nothing really new to update though.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Stimulus payments will be available for the rest of 2020. It sounds like you do not need to wait until next year if you miss the first round of stimulus payments. Update: File no later than October 15, 2020 to make sure you receive a stimulus payment this year, according to the IRS. (Revenue Procedure 2020-28) NOTE that your tax return needs to be processed before you'll receive the payment. Normal processing time for an e-filed tax return is 2 - 3 weeks but if your identity or wage information needs to be verified it might take much longer. We now return to the original post with updates: The CARES Act (H.R. 748) has now been passed by Congress and signed by the President. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers that I believe to be true based on the text of the bill, reliable news sources, and some educated guesses based on the stimulus payments sent out in 2008. Please let me know if I got anything wrong. Link to section in the bill about 2020 Recovery Rebates (edited link 4/9/2020) What is this?
The stimulus payments are advanced tax credits being sent out. This is not a prepayment of your regular refund; it's an advance of a new tax credit created for this year. It is not taxable income. You do not need to adjust your paycheck withholding for this.
The advance payments being sent out will be based on information from:
2019 tax returns; or
2018 tax returns if you didn't file in 2019; or
2019 SSA-1099 & RRB-1099 information if you didn't file tax returns either year; or
It's likely if someone doesn't receive an advance payment now they will be able to claim the credit on their 2020 tax return as long as they are eligible for 2020. (Clarified 3/31/2020)
It sounds like ADVANCE stimulus payments will continue to be sent out based on 2019 or 2018 tax returns filed throughout the rest of the year. See IRS News Release linked at the top of this post. (Clarified 3/31/2020)
Up to $1200 per adult and an additional amount up to $500 per qualifying child (a child under the age of 17 at the end of 2019).
Parents of children born or adopted in 2020 should be eligible for the additional $500 qualifying child credit on their 2020 tax return, based on how the 2008 stimulus payments were structured.
If you could have been claimed as a dependent for 2019, you are NOT ELIGIBLE at this time. See section below for more details about dependents.
Who will get the ADVANCE stimulus payments?
Taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2019 and/or 2018 and meet the eligibility criteria, and/or who received Forms SSA-1099 or RRB-1099 for 2019. If you could have been claimed as a dependent for 2018 and 2019, you are NOT ELIGIBLE at this time. See section below for more details about dependents. (Clarified 3/31/2020)
Everyone else who does not have a filing requirement should use the IRS Non-Filers application to register for the stimulus payment.
It sounds like stimulus payments will continue to be sent out based on 2019 or 2018 tax returns filed throughout the rest of the year. See IRS News Release linked at the top of this post. (Added 3/30/2020)
If you didn't file 2018 or 2019 and you have a filing requirement, try to e-file your 2019 return ASAP using the IRS Free File program, MyFreeTaxes.com, or FreeTaxUSA.com. If you need assistance, try GetYourRefund.Org, a site where you can upload your information and IRS-Certified volunteers help prepare your taxes. (Clarified 4/9/2020)
If you just e-filed or mailed in a 2018 or 2019 tax return, you should receive your stimulus payment that you are eligible for once that return is processed. (Added 3/31/2020)
Who is eligible?
US Taxpayers with valid Social Security numbers with Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) below amounts specified in the bill, including US Taxpayers living overseas. See AGI amounts below.
Anyone who qualified as a dependent for 2019 is NOT ELIGIBLE for the advance payments. More information below.
If you are eligible but haven't filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you need to submit a 2019 tax return or use the IRS Non-Filers application to get an advance payment this year unless you received a SSA-1099 or RRB-1099 for 2019. (Updated 4/10/2020)
Paper checks will be mailed starting April 24th. Current plan is to send weekly batches starting with lowest AGI first according to WaPo:
AGI under $10,000 starting April 24
AGI under $20,000 starting May 1
AGI under $30,000 starting May 8
AGI under $40,000 starting May 15
Every week add $10,000 to AGI threshold
September 11, 2020 is est. date for paper checks to be sent to people who did not have tax information on file earlier and/or who need to apply for checks. (Added 4/3/2020)
Just to compare, in 2008 it took about 8 weeks for taxpayers to receive stimulus payments. Taxpayers with accurate direct deposit information on file should receive payments first; it most likely will take 4-5 weeks after that for paper checks to be mailed out. Waiting for official IRS statement on timelines. (Added 3/30/2020)
What AGI Qualifies?
Married Filing Joint (MFJ) taxpayers: Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) up to $150,000
Head of Household (HOH) taxpayers: AGI up to $112,500
Single / Married Filing Separately (MFS) taxpayers: AGI up to $75,000
UNCLEAR: What about Qualified Widow(er) Filing Status? Probably same as MFJ?
What is the Phaseout Range for AGI? For those of you who want to calculate it, the phaseout is 5% by the amount you income is over the AGI limits above. The phaseout range grows by $10,000 per qualifying child. There are also online stimulus check calculators.
MFJ AGI $150,001 – $198,000 (with no qualifying children under age 17)
MFJ AGI $150,001 – $208,000 (with one qualifying child)
HOH AGI $112,501 – $136,500 (with no qualifying children under age 17)
HOH AGI $112,501 – $146,500 (with one qualifying child)
Single / MFS AGI $75,001 – $99,000 (with no qualifying children under age 17)
Single / MFS AGI $75,001 – $109,000 (with one qualifying child)
What if I had a baby / adopted a child this year?
You won't receive any stimulus for your child now, but you should be able to claim an additional $500 credit on your 2020 tax return. (Updated 4/10/2020)
What if I alternate custody of my child with another person every year?
UNCLEAR. It's likely the parent/taxpayer who claimed the child and filed a tax return for 2019 will receive the $500; if nobody claimed the child yet for 2019, the taxpayer who claimed them in 2018 will likely receive the $500. I believe the credit will be limited to $500 total per qualifying child, based on the precedent of "no double-dipping." (Clarified 3/31/2020)
Anyone who doesn't have a valid Social Security Number (SSN)
You filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or Form 1040-SS for 2019. (Added 4/8/2020 from IRS information)
Nonresident aliens (UNCLEAR as of 4/2/2020)
DACA Recipients without SSNs (UNCLEAR as of 4/2/2020)
Anyone with an ITIN instead of SSN, unless their spouse is a current member of the Armed Forces
Estates and Trusts
What if I was claimed as a dependent for 2018 & 2019 but I will not be a dependent for 2020?
You should be eligible for a tax credit on your 2020 tax return. (Edited 3/31/2020)
Should I amend my 2019 tax return to say I was not a dependent?
First, MAKE SURE YOU DID NOT QUALIFY TO BE CLAIMED AS A DEPENDENT in 2019. You can qualify to be claimed as a dependent at ANY AGE if you did not pay more than 1/2 your basic living expenses yourself. Also note that it does not matter if anyone claimed you; it's whether COULD be claimed by another taxpayer. See Overview of the Rules for Claiming a Dependent and Worksheet for Determining Support for more details.
Second, are you sure you didn't qualify to be claimed as a dependent for 2019 based on IRS guidelines? Filing a fraudulent tax return just to get the stimulus payment is probably going to result in you having to repay the stimulus payment plus penalties and interest.
Third, amended tax returns have to be mailed to the IRS. They usually take about 4 months to be processed, but IRS is currently unable to process individual paper tax returns. Once the amended return is processed you should receive a stimulus payment but it could take months. (Updated 4/10/2020)
What if I didn’t file tax returns for either years?
If you have a filing requirement, e-file your 2019 tax return if you have everything you need to file a complete & correct tax return. E-filed tax returns usually take about 2-3 weeks to be processed; once your tax return is processed, you should receive an stimulus payment. (Clarified 4/1/2020)
If you did not have a filing requirement, use the IRS Non-Filers application. Not necessary if you received a SSA-1099 or RRB-1099 for 2019 unless you want to add a qualifying child dependent.
HOW TO FILE a tax return: Try IRS Free File options first; if you don't qualify based on income, try FreeTaxUSA. If you need assistance, try GetYourRefund.Org, a site where you can upload your information and IRS-Certified volunteers help prepare your taxes. Your 2019 income needs to be less than $66,000. (Edited 4/1/2020)
2018 can be e-filed if you go through a tax professional with that capability. If you usually file on your own, FreeTaxUSA is probably your best bet but that tax return will need to be printed out and mailed to the IRS. Processing times for paper tax returns are normally 3 – 4 months but the IRS is not processing individual paper tax returns as of April 9th. (Updated 4/10/2020)
You received a 1095-A and/or subsidy for health insurance through the marketplace. You have a filing requirement.
You worked under the table and/or did some random jobs paid in cash; if your income was at least $400 in 2019 you have a filing requirement. This is reported as Self-Employment income - you can use any of the options on the IRS Free File site to report this.
What if I need to update my mailing address and/or direct deposit information with the IRS? Please DO NOT CALL the IRS at this time.
You can file Form 8822 to update your mailing address with the IRS.
To help everyone check on the status of their payments, the IRS is building a second new tool expected to be available for use by April 17. Get My Payment will provide people with the status of their payment, including the date their payment is scheduled to be deposited into their bank account or mailed to them. An additional feature on Get My Payment will allow eligible people a chance to provide their bank account information so they can receive their payment more quickly rather than waiting for a paper check. This feature will be unavailable if the Economic Impact Payment has already been scheduled for delivery.
NOTE: This does not say you can UPDATE your direct deposit information, only that you can ADD it if you didn't include it on your tax return.
If you received your refund through a third-party processor like Santa Barbara Tax Products Group, had tax preparation fees deducted from your refund, and/or had your refund loaded onto a prepaid debit card please check with the company you used for more information.
What if I owe back taxes?
You are in luck, this exception was included in the bill & you should still get a stimulus check. This applies to federal and state tax debts.
What if my student loan is in default?
You are in luck, this exception was included in the bill & you should still get a stimulus check.
What if I owe unemployment compensation debt? (Added 3/28/2020)
You are in luck, this exception was included in the bill & you should still get a stimulus check.
What if I owe child support?
You are NOT in luck, any taxpayers with past due child support reported to the Treasury Department will not be receiving a stimulus check if the amount owed is larger than the stimulus payment. There may be relief for MFJ taxpayers who filed Form 8379 with their recent tax returns. https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-8379
What if I don’t get a stimulus payment and I really need the money? This SUCKS.
That does suck, and the only advice I can give is to contact your senators and representative to let them know. In addition, there is expanded unemployment assistance available, including to people who normally don’t qualify like self-employed taxpayers.
What if I have other questions? Should I call the IRS? Feel free to ask questions below, and/or check https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus, but DO NOT CALL the IRS at this time. Some added FAQ: What if I receive the stimulus payment but don't qualify for it?
"Except in cases of fraud or reckless neglect" you shouldn't have to pay back any portion of the stimulus payment on your 2020 tax return if you don't qualify based on 2020 AGI. But if a taxpayer who should be claimed as a dependent files a 2019 tax return as independent in order to receive the stimulus payment - would they have to pay it back? Or only if they are a dependent in 2020?
Is this going to make my taxes go up, or my refund be less next year?
NO, this payment is not taxable income, and it's not coming out of your regular tax refund. There will most likely be a worksheet on the 2020 tax return but you shouldn't have to pay back any of the stimulus payment "except in cases of fraud or reckless neglect" as written in the bill.
Item #:SCP-2510 Author: Cerastes Hello SCPDeclassified, Brewsterion here. Today, I wanted to tackle SCP-2510, which while it's an older slot it's a newer article due to shenanigans. This one was requested by a few people, so without much further ado, let's just dive in. Now before I start the piece off, you know the drill and the disclaimer. This declass is my personal interpretation of what both the events in the piece are and what the meaning of the piece is, and while some parts may have been confirmed by the author to match their interpretation, you are free to come up with your own. This declass is going to do double duty as both discussing the events and what I feel the meaning is. With that established, let's hop in and start snitching on this secret. Unfortunately, the conprocs don't tell us much that we don't find out immediately, so I'm going to be skipping them and jumping straight to the description. It saves us time, I swear.
Description: SCP-2510 is a phenomenon surrounding Samantha McArthur (hereby referred to as SCP-2510-1), a 17 year-old high school senior who from 2016 to just before her death in 2019, attended Oakhill Secondary School in Converse, Indiana. While autopsy reports have been inconclusive due to the condition of her body, Foundation coroners have estimated SCP-2510-1 died approximately five months prior to discovery, in late December. Her death is currently believed to be self-inflicted and non-anomalous.
Ah. So 2510's some sort of phenomenon surrounding the corpse of this girl, a high school senior from the middle of nowhere, Indiana. Whatever it was, it somehow caused her to just be stuck unnoticed for five months after she... yeah. Something fucked's happened here.
All individuals within Converse will refuse to acknowledge SCP-2510-1, ignoring it entirely when within the vicinity. If brought up tangentially in conversation, those affected will choose to focus on other topics of the discussion. When directly pressed on SCP-2510 or SCP-2510-1, individuals will remain entirely silent. Individuals appear to possess the relevant knowledge, but are unwilling or unable to express it. Individuals pressed sufficiently will refuse to speak with Foundation personnel any longer.
So everybody in Samantha's town just won't acknowledge what happened. They ignore the body when they're near it, they brush it off in conversations, and anybody that directly asks them about it won't get answers. For some reason, they're just ignoring a young girl's suicide. Now, we're gonna ask why.
Discovery: SCP-2510 was discovered by Reba Sinclair, the aunt of a student at Oakhill, who traveled to Converse to attend their nephew's graduation. Upon entering the women's bathroom and encountering SCP-2510-1 she became distressed and called the authorities, who were also subject to SCP-2510. Sinclair then escalated to the Indiana State Police, informing them that the local police were refusing to investigate a death, where Foundation-embedded agents responded.
She—what—she was in the bathroom for five months? Let's assume that they didn't go in the stall as a side effect of whatever the 2510 effect actually is, so nobody went and reported the corpse to anybody. That's still just...wow. She was in the bathroom, and nobody gave a shit. This is just tragic now.
Foundation attempts to investigate SCP-2510 have been unsuccessful at this time. The initial attempt involved posing as state police, and attempting to question students and faculty about McArthur. Despite threats of legal action or jail-time, all individuals refused to speak about the anomaly. Attempts to place undercover agents in either the faculty or student population, while being successful, have not resulted in any individuals willing to share information. Attempts to covertly gather information on SCP-2510 have resulted in suspicion towards the agents' unorthodox behaviour, forcing the Foundation to withdraw them.
The list of Foundation attempts to figure everything out that worked is a nice shade of blank, it seems. Not only are the people ignoring it, they get really suspicious and weird when asked repeatedly about it. It's almost like they're trying to ignore it.
Analysis of SCP-2510 has identified it as a type of socio-antimeme, spread through social bonds rather than traditional methods. Any attempts by Foundation personnel to learn it would thus be impossible, as no Foundation staff had any social links to the community of Converse.
This doesn't tell us much that we couldn't already tell, it's an antimeme, but I personally find the idea of an antimeme spread through social bonds absolutely fascinating. The point is that this is specific to the people of Converse. They're really emphasizing how it's just specific to this town, huh.
Efforts have instead shifted to finding an individual that would be considered sufficiently removed from the community to be willing to speak to the Foundation, but also possessed knowledge of SCP-2510-1.
Yeah, good luck with that in a small Indiana rural town—you got one? Wow. Alright, let's check this interview out.
Interviewed: Zachary Amos Interviewer: Agent Barnes Foreword: Searching school records for new arrivals, the Foundation contacted Amos, a senior at Oakhill who moved to the area six months ago, in order to discuss SCP-2510.
There's two important things to notice here. This kid moved to Converse a month before Samantha died, but he's also only been here two months, so while he has to know what happened it's entirely likely the community doesn't fully accept him yet. It's a small rural town, you've seen the movies. They're not exactly the friendliest to people new in town. So let's start listening to our snitch.
Barnes: Thank you for agreeing to speak with me. Most of your friends haven't been so cooperative. Amos: No problem. Can we… can we just keep it between us? I don't want them to know about it. Barnes: We'll make sure they're kept unaware. (pauses) Do you think they'd be mad at you for speaking to me? Amos: Not sure. I think it's more of an unspoken thing, maybe? Like I don't know all of them that well, but I just… I don't know, get the feeling I'm not supposed to talk about… it. Barnes: I see. And what exactly is "it" supposed to be? Amos remains silent, although visibly distressed.
Well we're off to a solid start.
Barnes: Can you tell me about McArthur? Why was her body left undiscovered in a school bathroom for five months? Amos remains silent.
Even for somebody so removed from the community, the antimeme's kicking in. Damn, this thing's effective.
Barnes: You know what, let's talk about something else for now. Tell me about your life at Oakhill. Do you like the place? Amos becomes visibly relieved. Amos: Yeah, it's a good school. I was kinda worried about moving, you know, how everyone in these types of town know each other. Like, everyone. You know what I mean? Barnes: Yes, I think so. Continue. Amos: It kinda feels very closed off, from what you see in movies and stuff. But I got over it. It's great. Everyone knows each other, and everyone watches out for each other. No matter what.
You know, something makes me think that last line's just not true.
Barnes: Noted. Can you tell me about your classmates? Anyone who comes to mind, for any reason? Amos: Kevin Cosniak and Derek Thompson. They're both on the football team, everyone knows them. Very popular. Sort of the ringleaders of the school. Barnes: Have you interacted with them- Amos: I mean, they're kinda dicks, If I'm being honest. But they're not that smart. They get through most things by dumb luck, from what I can tell. That's just what I think of them.
We've got more names. Kevin and Derek, two highly popular star football players. Apparently not the smartest, but popular. Based on what Amos just said, I'm willing to bet the whole town would be willing to cover for these two, and coincidentally that's what the author said this section is trying to imply. The two players might be suspicious, but they also didn't technically or directly cause the antimeme. This wasn't something that stemmed from one specific person.
Barnes: …Ah. I'll keep that in mind. But going back to the question, have you interacted with them much? Amos: Uh, not that much. Like, I'd see them around school, I had most classes with them, homeroom too, same with- never mind. But we didn't really talk to each other.
Oh? Same with who? Maybe he was in the same class as Samantha? Not much else he would try to avoid in a conversation.
Barnes: Why not? Amos: Well, they're kinda dicks, already mentioned that. But I always got this weird feeling from them. Barnes: Can you elaborate? Amos remains silent.
Wait. He's trying to avoid something in the conversation again. But the only thing he would be trying to avoid is... What the hell did these football players do involving Samantha? Let's try and find that part out.
Barnes: Alright. When would you say is the last… significant encounter you had with either Derek or Kevin in the past, let's say five months? Amos: It was at the party. Team just won a pretty important game against the- well, you wouldn't really care. Just meant we were contenders for the state. So Derek invited some people over to his place to celebrate, it's pretty big. Barnes: Anyone interesting attend it? Amos: Uh… well there was Derek, his girlfriend Caroline, Kevin, everyone on the football team and our homeroom, a few people from the other classes as well. Barnes:Everyone from your homeroom? Amos nods enthusiastically.
Oh no. Parties with that many people don't go well. But the fact Samantha was there...this doesn't sound too good.
Barnes: Alright. How did the party go? Amos remains silent. Barnes: Let me rephrase that. How was your mood at the beginning of the party? Amos: Pretty good. Derek's older brother managed to get some beer, so everyone was having a pretty good time at first. Everyone got pretty drunk, though. Like Derek and Kevin.
Barnes: Did Derek or Kevin do something to disrupt this mood? Amos nods, but does not elaborate.
Barnes: From what we've seen, most students at your school seem to be in a good mood. Would you say that you and most people disagreed on the incident? Amos: I think one of the things about small towns like Converse, like I said earlier, everyone looks out for each other. Especially for the football team. No one wants to ruin anything. Barnes: People didn't want to rock the boat. Even if it meant covering something awful up? Amos remains silent. Barnes: Everyone just ignored whatever they did? Amos remains silent. Barnes: What did they do to Samantha? Amos remains silent, and is visibly distressed.
Oh no. That's the end of the interview. Amos doesn't say anything else the whole time, and they give him amnestics and let him go. But I don't think he needs to tell us much more. Two drunk football players, a party with lots of empty room, something they did that the town then tried their hardest to cover up, something that Samantha was likely the victim of. Something that, when combined with the stress of the town ignoring that it happened and trying to cover it up so the football players can get off scot-free, led her to commit suicide. They sexually assaulted her. At least, that's what I think they did. It could realistically be quite a few things, but this is what immediately jumped to my mind, so let's stick with that as what happened. The football players sexually assaulted her, but she's not in a city. She's in a small Indiana town. Some people, like Amos, wanted to call the players out on it and make them face the consequences, but it's a small town. Everybody knows each other, nobody wants anybody to suffer. And apparently, they thought the futures of two football players were more important than the life of a young innocent girl. Eventually, she couldn't take it anymore, and...yeah. But even then, the town ignored it. They ignored it to the point they literally blocked it out of their minds. Some people could talk about it a bit more than others, but more just ignored an absolute tragedy, essentially giving up a transfer student so two football players that happened to be popular could get away. From here, we're going to get into what my personal interpretation of the piece is, what the deeper meanings is and all that. This part is all subjective, so if you don't care or want to voice your own interpretations, hop to the end or jump into the comment section. Honestly I'd love to hear y'all's interpretations, but I'm gonna get mine out of the way first. This piece has a twofold meaning. One of them is more obvious, the small town culture that covers up things that go wrong. Samantha was new. A transfer student. Kevin and Derek were popular football players, known by everybody. From the perspective of the people in the town, they didn't have a choice. They wanted to cover for their fellow students, and they viewed Samantha as an outsider. This culture of those in town and those from outside it made this division in the town, leaving Samantha high and dry, without any support as they ignored her, trying to save the futures of the two football players who ruined her life. Ever after she died, they just ignored her, pretending the whole thing never happened. They didn't even move her corpse, because even the slightest acknowledgement of what happened to her could ruin Kevin and Derek. I did say the meaning is twofold, which leads into my own interpretation. To me, this piece stands as a direct callout of American high schools' responses to suicides--or lack thereof. Often, high schools react to student deaths by simply doing nothing about it, acting as if it is a problem that's not there. This stands as a direct correlation to the piece, with the town, not just the school, acting like it's not a problem. Of course, often a problem isn't just the event, but the aftermath as well. And like how schools in life ignore the aftermath effects of students dying, moving on and pretending like everything's fine when there is something very clearly wrong, the school and town in the piece did as well. Even when everybody saw that something strange was at work in the town, preventing them from talking about this event, they just ignored it and continued as normal. People in life, in all circumstances, more often than not like to ignore problems they don't want to address, and that almost never ends well. But, again, I'd love to see your all's interpretations of this piece in the comments. And so ends SCP-2510, a tale of covering for people and getting lost in who you should back up. I hope this helped you understand this SCP better. Thank you all for reading, and remember that some secrets shouldn't be kept.
As much of the bee movie script as Reddit will let me post
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 learn to do that? - What? The talking thing. Same way you did, I guess. "Mama, Dada, honey." You pick it up. - That's very funny. - Yeah. Bees are funny. If we didn't laugh, we'd cry with what we have to deal with. Anyway... Oan I... ...get you something? - Like what? I don't know. I mean... I don't know. Ooffee? I don't want to put you out. It's no trouble. It takes two minutes. - It's just coffee. - I hate to impose. - Don't be ridiculous! - Actually, I would love a cup. Hey, you want rum cake? - I shouldn't. - Have some. - No, I can't. - Oome on! I'm trying to lose a couple micrograms. - Where? - These stripes don't help. You look great! I don't know if you know anything about fashion. Are you all right? No. He's making the tie in the cab as they're flying up Madison. He finally gets there. He runs up the steps into the church. The wedding is on. And he says, "Watermelon? I thought you said Guatemalan. Why would I marry a watermelon?" Is that a bee joke? That's the kind of stuff we do. Yeah, different. So, what are you gonna do, Barry? About work? I don't know. I want to do my part for the hive, but I can't do it the way they want. I know how you feel. - You do? - Sure. My parents wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor, but I wanted to be a florist. - Really? - My only interest is flowers. Our new queen was just elected with that same campaign slogan. Anyway, if you look... There's my hive right there. See it? You're in Sheep Meadow! Yes! I'm right off the Turtle Pond! No way! I know that area. I lost a toe ring there once. - Why do girls put rings on their toes? - Why not? - It's like putting a hat on your knee. - Maybe I'll try that. - You all right, ma'am? - Oh, yeah. Fine. Just having two cups of coffee! Anyway, this has been great. Thanks for the coffee. Yeah, it's no trouble. Sorry I couldn't finish it. If I did, I'd be up the rest of my life. Are you...? Oan I take a piece of this with me? Sure! Here, have a crumb. - Thanks! - Yeah. All right. Well, then... I guess I'll see you around. Or not. OK, Barry. And thank you so much again... for before. Oh, that? That was nothing. Well, not nothing, but... Anyway... This can't possibly work. He's all set to go. We may as well try it. OK, Dave, pull the chute. - Sounds amazing. - It was amazing! It was the scariest, happiest moment of my life. Humans! I can't believe you were with humans! Giant, scary humans! What were they like? Huge and crazy. They talk crazy. They eat crazy giant things. They drive crazy. - Do they try and kill you, like on TV? - Some of them. But some of them don't. - How'd you get back? - Poodle. You did it, and I'm glad. You saw whatever you wanted to see. You had your "experience." Now you can pick out yourjob and be normal. - Well... - Well? Well, I met someone. You did? Was she Bee-ish? - A wasp?! Your parents will kill you! - No, no, no, not a wasp. - Spider? - I'm not attracted to spiders. I know it's the hottest thing, with the eight legs and all. I can't get by that face. So who is she? She's... human. No, no. That's a bee law. You wouldn't break a bee law. - Her name's Vanessa. - Oh, boy. She's so nice. And she's a florist! Oh, no! You're dating a human florist! We're not dating. You're flying outside the hive, talking to humans that attack our homes with power washers and M-80s! One-eighth a stick of dynamite! She saved my life! And she understands me. This is over! Eat this. This is not over! What was that? - They call it a crumb. - It was so stingin' stripey! And that's not what they eat. That's what falls off what they eat! - You know what a Oinnabon is? - No. It's bread and cinnamon and frosting. They heat it up... Sit down! ...really hot! - Listen to me! We are not them! We're us. There's us and there's them! Yes, but who can deny the heart that is yearning? There's no yearning. Stop yearning. Listen to me! You have got to start thinking bee, my friend. Thinking bee! - Thinking bee. - Thinking bee. Thinking bee! Thinking bee! Thinking bee! Thinking bee! There he is. He's in the pool. You know what your problem is, Barry? I gotta start thinking bee? How much longer will this go on? It's been three days! Why aren't you working? I've got a lot of big life decisions to think about. What life? You have no life! You have no job. You're barely a bee! Would it kill you to make a little honey? Barry, come out. Your father's talking to you. Martin, would you talk to him? Barry, I'm talking to you! You coming? 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 guess. You sure you want to go through with it? Am I sure? When I'm done with the humans, they won't be able to say, "Honey, I'm home," without paying a royalty! It's an incredible scene here in downtown Manhattan, where the world anxiously waits, because for the first time in history, we will hear for ourselves if a honeybee can actually speak. What have we gotten into here, Barry? It's pretty big, isn't it? I can't believe how many humans don't work during the day. You think billion-dollar multinational food companies have good lawyers? Everybody needs to stay behind the barricade. - What's the matter? - I don't know, I just got a chill. Well, if it isn't the bee team. You boys work on this? All rise! The Honorable Judge Bumbleton presiding. All right. Oase number 4475, Superior Oourt of New York, Barry Bee Benson v. the Honey Industry is now in session. Mr. Montgomery, you're representing the five food companies collectively? A privilege. Mr. Benson... you're representing all the bees of the world? I'm kidding. Yes, Your Honor, we're ready to proceed.
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