Johnny Deep dating

"Points for Originality" [TW: suicide]

2020.10.23 14:54 northside_nostalgia "Points for Originality" [TW: suicide]

Content warning for suicide/self-harm & walls of text
[I'm a medic student in my final semester, doing 24-hour rides on our city's fire-based ambulances. Posting under a throwaway just on the off chance that anyone who knows me is on this sub. I guess I'm hopping on the train of long form posts about calls.]
***
It's only our second date, but I already like Dan a lot. He's smart, funny and irreverent but knows how to be kind and professional with patients when they need it. He has a lot of wisdom to share after 10 years on a busy municipal fire department, and he's happy to share it. His partner, Johnny, doesn't mind having a student around, either.
I'm working on my third cup of free coffee when the bell rings:
"AMBULANCE 69. GUNSHOT VICTIM. 1234 SOUTH MAPLE ST."
This one's a surprise. Our city has more than its fair share of gun violence, but almost all of it goes down on the other side of town, not in sleepy middle-class neighborhoods like this one. Once again I'm vibing, jump bag on my lap, full of caffeine and ready to save lives.
We pull up on scene behind a fire engine parked in front of a three-story brick apartment building, at the exact same moment that two police cruisers arrive from the other direction. "Bring the monitor," says Dave. "This might be a DOA." I grab the Lifepak and hop out the side door before anyone can stop me.
On the sidewalk in front of the gate is another woman with her dog. She's about 40, and the Goldendoodle in the crook of her arm is about 12 weeks. Needless to say, the puppy doesn't really understand the gravity of the situation as his mother is being questioned by two serious-looking cops.
"I think my neighbor sh-shot himself," she whimpers. "I came out on the back porch to walk the dog, and he was lying there, and there was blood, and oh my god I'm sorry, I forgot to put on a mask..." She starts rummaging in her pocket.
"Do you think it was intentional?"
The woman screws up her pale, round face, and nods as though trying very hard not to cry.
"Ye-es!" she sobs.
Police, fire, EMS and neighbor follow the brick path around the side of the building into a cute little backyard with a well kept lawn. The neighbor points up the weathered wood balconies built against the back of the building: good for drinking in the summer and storing muddy boots and miscellaneous shit in the winter.
"Up at the top," she says weakly, as one of the cops draws his old-fashioned revolver and starts to climb.
"What is this good boy's name?" I ask the neighbor, hoping to distract our her from revisiting the scene, because she looks on the verge of a panic attack.
"What? Um, oh, this Maggie," she replies, taking a deep shuddering breath in with her free hand over her heart.
"Maggie? Wow, what a good girl!"
Maggie, who doesn't understand death, much less suicide, wiggles all of her limbs and gnaws eagerly on my gloved finger.

"You guys can come up now. It's safe."
The cop is leaning out over the railing of the third-floor balcony, and his sidearm is back in its holster.
"Okay, gotta go. I'm sorry you had to see that, ma'am," I say, even though I haven't even seen 'that' yet. I power walk across the lawn and follow Dan, Johnny and four firefighters up the steps: in the rear with the gear. As I reach the top step I can hear Dan talking with the officer, but all I can see from behind the mass of firefighter ass is a brown-skinned, pajama-clad leg hanging over the edge of a table.
"Where's the gun?"
"The scene is secure."
"OK. But where's the g--oh*...huh*."
There's a long pause as the firefighters gawk and I try to get a better look.
"Well, this guy is super dead. You all can go," Dan says to the fire company. "Where's my guy with the monitor?"
"Right here." I eagerly squeeze past the firefighters and set the Lifepak down on top of the table between our patient's legs. Then I get a good look at him for the first time.
I'm pretty sure that I audibly muttered "What the fuck?"
This guy is definitely capital-D-dead: he's as cool as the October air; his splayed limbs are rigid; and his eyes are two wide black pools that don't react at all when I flash my penlight across them. My own eyes keep drifting back up to his face as I pull up his flannel-lined shirt and start sticking the four limb leads to his torso. He's in his 30s, with dark skin (Middle Eastern or South Asian? I can't be sure) a strong nose, and maybe a week's worth of scruff. And he is super, duper dead. I've seen a couple of dead bodies before, working in a Level I trauma center, but this one gets points for originality.
"That one goes on the other side, buddy."
"Oh yeah...his left, not my left."

While the Lifepak is printing its strips, I do a quick exam for other injuries. Both of our friend's wrists are dressed with gauze and tape. Other than that, nada. Not that there needs to be anything else to explain his condition.
"I'll call it in," I say, fumbling with my phone and opening the app with the list of hospital telemetry numbers. I may be green in the field, but there are two things I'm proud of: I can write a good narrative, and give a good report. It feels a little indecent how eager I am to be making this call. Am I fucked in the head? I wonder, not for the first time.
The pone rings, and rings, until I think that nobody will pick up. Finally, a man's voice answers. He sounds annoyed; I probably caught them in the middle of shift change.
"[Redacted] go ahead."
"Good morning [Redacted] this is Ambulance [Redacted] calling to document a DOA."
"OK, go ahead."
"We were called to an apartment building for report of a self-inflicted injury. On arrival we found this approximately 35-year-old male lying supine on top of a table saw that's lodged in the right side of his neck around C3. Uh...quite a big pool of blood under him. Pupils are fixed and dilated, jaw is pretty well rigored, asystole is confirmed in leads I, II, and III. Police are on scene to take over, badge No. [Redacted]. Um...any questions or comments?"
The ECRN doesn't sound impressed by my story.
"Nope. Your log number is 5331. This is Jason."
"Uh. Thank you Jason. Over and out."
Edit: I don't really have a cute ending for this one. I heard through the grapevine that his wife had left him and was filing papers. We covered him with a sheet, went back to the firehouse, talked it over for a little while, then moved on to the next call. Got to meet a cute puppy, though.
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2020.10.23 06:45 InsomniaConfessions Today marks ten years since I was assaulted

Content warning: sexual assault, suicide, addiction, cancer, chronic illness
He was my crush from childhood: we were neighbors. He had a crush on me when we were eleven and played tag together at the playground. When we got older, I had a crush on him when we were thirteen. I got over it: by fifteen, I was creative and pretty and self-proclaimed “Renaissance man” and everything was music practice, singing, trumpet, creative writing, boys, creative writing, boys, boys, horses, boys, philosophy & world religions and boys, hippies and Stevie Wonder and Johnny Cash and boys, boys, boys. All innocent enough. A parade of sweethearts.
Then.... October, 2010. Nothing happened with the neighbor boy until we were sixteen, when we shared the same bus stop (alone) and he told me that I was cute. We were in a weird, sort-of-relationship-but-definitely-not-a-relationship when he started pushing me to do things I didn’t want to— when I would say no, he’d just hound me about it until I would give in, or sometimes he’d just go ahead and touch my butt or my breasts and then insist that I liked it afterward even when I tried to tell him that I didn’t. I liked and was enthusiastic for some things that we did, but hated and felt hurt by others. I wanted to but didn’t know how to communicate that my enjoyment of one activity didn’t mean that my “no” for a different activity was invalid. And so on.
For years, I have blamed myself for staying, for being hurt yet craving his approval, and for also not acting like myself when I was with him— I’m smart and I pretended to be dumb, among other things.
I think that I stayed because I felt the loneliest and most empty that I had ever felt in my life: several close family members were in crisis and weren’t talking to my parents and me at the time and I was in the middle of finding out about a kidney disease that I’ve had since birth but wasn’t detected until my teens. In the roughly one-month window that our “thing,” for lack of a better term, was going on, the doctors first thought that I had cancer and I was freaking out and bottling it up inside. (I was later properly diagnosed with my kidney disease in November or December of that year.) This boy and I would walk around my neighborhood and talk and in normal conversations it was like he was a different person and I enjoyed spending time with him, then we’d make out all over the neighborhood. For one split second, I thought he liked me for me. Then he said in a conversation on Facebook— and I remember it clearly because when I thought about it after our “thing” was over, it made me feel so worthless— “the walking and talking is for you, the hooking up is for me.” Like he didn’t care at all about my thoughts and feelings and what I had to say, like he felt it was beneath him to spend time with me, even though he was constantly messaging me to meet him to hook up.
I thankfully found close friends shortly after all of this, but at that time I was hurting and lonely and hungry for any attention and companionship. Even after cruel zingers like that one, he could also be sweet at times, and it would reel me back in. Also, part of me wanted to explore and was enjoying exploring my sexuality.
Then came the day when he pushed me too far. It happened when we were hanging out in our neighborhood after school, outside near our bus stop. In broad daylight. He shoved his hand down my pants and when I tried to push it away, he kept pushing. I was in a haze and didn’t say anything. He kept telling me to trust him. Then, he pushed forcefully, and it fucking hurt. I screamed and he stopped. I wanted to tell him that I wasn’t ready for someone to touch me there, we were in public and it felt so humiliating, yet another part of me wanted his approval and acceptance, then I also felt angry. I couldn’t summon anything to say, so I just turned to him and looked him straight in the eyes. I still remember feeling defiant, and thinking that I wanted him to feel my pain and anger, that I wanted to sear my hurt into his brain. For a moment, it worked, or at least he gave the impression that it got through: his face collapsed in horror and he cried a little, then he apologized. I think that I turned to leave. The last thing that I remember is that he pulled me back to him, into an embrace. He hugged me from behind, then grinded his erection against my thigh until he finished. He had an iron grip on my stomach. It was awful and at this time, I felt very scared. So I just stayed there, waiting for it to be over. It felt so degrading that I decided then and there that I was going to end things with him and tell him to stay away from me. I thought that I just needed to lure him over to the street in front of my house so that I could do it in front of my Dad who I knew would be watching for me in the front window, who thought that he was a “nice boy” (the boy never touched me in front of my parents, he’d talk to me and be all friendly, he waved and was nice to my Dad when he’d drop me off at the bus stop, etc).
Shortly after the boy humped my leg, a car pulled up to his house, down the road from where we were standing. A girl and a few other people got out of the car. He wouldn’t stop looking at the girl. He looked at her like the expression “oh, shit” took human form. I asked if he wanted to go on a walk with me, the first step in the plan that I was throwing together. Still looking at her, he told me that he had to go. He ran(?) down the street, or maybe I walked away, but either way I was alone and my sweatpants covered in um, him, if you catch my drift: the absolute worst I have ever felt in my life. I felt so disgusted & disgusting, disrespected, humiliated, devalued, worthless, ashamed, overwhelmed, and afraid that I’d have to see him again at the school bus stop and he’d try to do it again or do worse, overwhelmed by my cancer scare on top of all of it, that I decided to kill myself by drowning myself in a retention pond in our neighborhood.
On my walk over there, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going, and I almost got hit by a car, which snapped me out of my suicidal thoughts. The retention pond also wasn’t deep: it was more like a puddle overgrown with weeds. I went home.
I told my parents that I had gone on a jog and was tired, then curled up in my bed. I looked on his Facebook and realized that the girl I saw was a girl he referred to (on Facebook) as the great love of his life. On top of everything else, I felt rejected, abandoned, and “not good enough,” then I shamed myself for feeling this way.
This all happened on a Friday. On Monday, he didn’t show up to school. He left our high school to go to cyber school and it turns out that he had been planning this move for some time, since at least the summer. He never told me. I already felt betrayed and worthless from the assault, then this turn of events made me feel worse, even though I was also relieved that I wouldn’t have to face him. My head was not in a good place and my grades slipped. I felt too ashamed to tell anyone what had happened, especially since I had consented to some of what we had done before the assault and we had likely been seen by neighbors kissing with gusto all over the suburbs. I didn’t think that anyone would believe me, not even my parents, once it would inevitably get out that I had been all-for certain things. After about a week went by, I apologized to him, I guess because I was breaking things off, and I said goodbye. He texted back something crude.
I deleted all of my social media. Basically, I never heard from him again, until years later (in 2014) when he friend-requested me on my new Facebook: twice. On his profile, it said that he was dating the girl I saw pull up to his house and that they had been dating since 2010. When I rejected his request and blocked him, he requested me from a different account that had his name spelled a bit differently and wasn’t linked to his girlfriend, which made me feel ashamed. I rejected that request and blocked him. For good measure, I blocked every single person on Facebook with his name.
When he kept requesting me like that and I read his name, it dredged up a lot of stuff that I thought I had worked through. I hadn’t thought about him in years, then suddenly it all came rushing back. I’ve been re-living painful memories every now and then ever since. This month (October) marks a decade since it all happened, with today exactly ten years since the assault, and I’ve been having warped thought patterns lately, like wondering if I hurt his feelings by “bailing” on him, wondering if he is also a survivor of assault and then feeling some empathy for him, wondering what models of sexuality he was informed by and if he didn’t know how to communicate around sex & consent. I also recognize now that he was probably on hard drugs for a lot of the time that I knew him, which doesn’t excuse what happened, but I lost a friend in college to addiction and I hope that he’s found a road toward recovery. My first instinct is to shame myself for these thoughts but a therapist said that they are all part of the healing process: I am moving away from anger and slowly beginning to explore a range of other emotions, as well as begin to let in forgiveness.
An acquaintance told me that he now has a daughter and a seemingly happy family.
I kept a detailed journal about everything that happened that day, then in the months that followed, wrote a short fictionalized story based on it. The story won a creative writing competition, which in turn secured a creative writing scholarship to go to college. I graduated Salutatorian of my college class, even going through kidney failure my last year as my genetic kidney disease progressed, and other amazing things happened that I won’t specify for fear that it might give my identity away, and then right out of college I got into and am currently making good progress on a competitive, fully-funded and nicely salaried PhD program/university teaching position. A heavily-revised excerpt from that same short story was one of three writing samples in my PhD application. I’ll be Dr. in two years, then I plan to serve in a Communications role with the National Kidney Foundation or related organization and also teach at a community college.
Every year, I hurt around this time and especially on this date. I hurt for my past self— I want to protect her, wrap her up in my arms, tell her not to meet up with the boy on that Friday in October, catch up with her on her lonely route toward the retention pond and steer her in the opposite direction. Yet I wouldn’t have my particular accomplishments if that day never happened. It changed the course of my life.
Today is painful, but I am here, and I have a voice.
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2020.10.19 18:01 youto2 It Just Means More - Part One

We slowly fade from black into the live stream, where we see the jam packed venue for tonight’s show, with 1090 WiR fans in attendance cheering, holding up their signs and chanting as we go on air.
Crowd: W-i-R! W-i-R! W-i-R!
The camera cuts and we see Paisner and Woodbridge at the commentary desk, as the crowd continues to be loud.
Paisner: Welcome everyone to the jam packed GSU Sports Arena in Atlanta Georgia, where WiR presents…..IT JUST MEANS MORE! I’m Allen Paisner, joined here by Mark Woodbridge-
Woodbridge: -who’s joined here by Johnnie Walker Black!...
Woodbridge displays his bottle to the camera, as Paisner picks the introduction back up.
Paisner: And these WiR fans are JACKED for what promises to be a great night of action!
Woodbridge: You ain’t kidding! KCJ defends her Independent Title against Tony Stevens, The Stargazers defend the World Tag Belts against The Horde, and we crown the Interim WiR World Champion in a 6 Man Scramble!
Paisner: Not to mention Team BS vs. The Young Cardinals in Tag Team Action, and Austin Balandran vs. Klutch, which has MAJOR implications for the legal future of this company!
Woodbridge: Right! But up first, it’s gonna be a DANDY! Jim Baker vs. Cam’ron West, with a very unique stipulation!
Paisner: It’s gonna be the SOUL ON A POLE match, and it‘ll be a hell of a way to start this thing off! Let's take it down to our ring announcer Javier Babaganoush for the introductions.
We cut to the hard cam, and see Javier Babaganoush in the center of the ring with mic in hand, ready to speak.
Babaganoush: Ladies and Gentlemen, your opening contest is a SOUL ON A POLE MATCH!!!
Crowd: YYYEEEEEAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Babaganoush: In this contest, there are no Pinfalls, No Submissions, No Count-outs and No Disqualifications! The ONLY way to win, is to retrieve the Lunchbox containing the “Soul” of each competitor from the top of the pole!
The camera pans to the large Pole which has been attached to the corner of the ring. At the very top there is a Lunchbox dangling from a small steel chain, the same lunchbox Cam’ron West used to “extract the souls” of each competitor on the recent episode of House Party.
Babaganoush: Your referee for this contest is Mia So Hung!
Mia So Hung steps through the ropes into the ring, and waves out to the audience to a small pop from the crowd.
Crowd: YYYAAAAAAAYYYY!!!
Paisner: Here we go, It’s Soul on a Pole, and this match is brought to you by, somewhat befittingly, Disney & Pixar’s SOUL, coming to the Disney Plus streaming service on December 25th this year!
Woodbridge: Can’t wait for that one!
Jim Baker’s theme hits the sound system, and the camera erupts in a mix of cheers and boos, but the reception is definitely mostly positive. Baker himself steps through the curtains, wearing a Horde Jacket, and his usual black trunks and boots. Baker shadowboxes and the top of the entrance stage, before walking down the aisle, stretching his arms out as he does so, warming himself up as he walks.
Babaganoush: Introducing first, representing The Horde, from Cincinnati, Ohio, weighing in at 245 pounds…………..JIM…..BAAAKKKEEER!!!!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
Jim Baker rolls himself into the ring, and continues to stretch, knowing that he’s gotta stay in decent shape, considering this is his first of 2 matches tonight.
Paisner: And here comes Jim Baker of The Horde, and this won’t be his only rodeo tonight. First he has this match with West, and later on tonight he’ll be challenging for the Tag Titles!
Woodbridge: And you gotta wonder how that’s gonna play into this one. Is Baker looking to the Horizon and not in front of his face? We know he wants to bring the World Tag Titles to The Horde, but he’s gotta stay 100 percent focused on Cam’ron here, and worry about the Tag Match later.
Paisner” But one thing is for sure; win or lose, the faster Baker can get through Cam’ron here, the better it is for his chances at winning the World Tag Titles tonight.
Baker looks ready to go, and his music fades away. We soon hear none other than the Anime intro-like theme of Cam’ron West, as West steps through the curtains to a pop from the crowd!
Crowd: YYYEEAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Cam’ron stands at the top of the stage, with very minimalist pyro going off, before walking down the aisle and towards the ring.
Babaganoush: And his opponent, from Another World, weighing in at 180 Pounds……..CAM’RON…….WEEEESSSTTTT!!!
Crowd: YYYYYYYEEEEEEAAAHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Cam’ron West is a bit of an oddball, but he’s no doubt got heart, and the fans respect him for it.
Woodbridge: He’s not only got heart, but he’s got a set on him too! He burned Jim Baker’s park bench to ashes, for god's sakes! I heard around the grapevine that he basically lived on that thing for a year!
Paisner: The rivalry between these two has escalated at a lightning fast rate these last few weeks, but now, at It Just Means More, someone’s ‘Soul’ will be claimed in this match!!!
Cam’ron hops up to the apron, and steps through the ropes into the ring. He doesn’t take his eyes off Baker, and Baker’s eyes are firmly locked on West as well. Cam’ron’s music fades away, and the two are left in their opposite corners, as the referee, Mia So Hung, checks to see if each competitor is ready.
Woodbridge: In a match like this, no DQ, no Count Outs, no submission or pinfall to record, Mia’s basically just out here to check on the general well being of the competitors, and that MAY very well be a good idea with these two heated rivals.
Mia sees that both competitors are ready, and calls for the opening bell!
DING DING DING!
Cam’ron and Baker immediately meet in the middle of the ring, and start throwing wild right hands at each other, trading blows back and forth!
Paisner: And here we go, this one’s starting off HOT!
Baker and Cam’ron continue to trade shots, back and forth, but after a bit it appears as if Cam’ron gets the upper hand. Baker appears to be much groggier than Cam’ron. Cam’ron throws another shot at Baker, but this time Baker doesn’t follow up, and Cam’ron hits him with another, and another, and another! Baker stands on wobbly legs in the middle of the ring, and Cam’ron takes a couple of steps back, winding up his arm before lunging at Baker with a big punch, but Baker blocks it, and catches Cam’ron with a punch of his own! Now Baker starts hitting West with a flurry of right hands, and backs Cam’ron into the ropes! Cameron stands a bit dazed, leaning against the ropes, and Baker turns around to run towards the opposite set of ropes, rebounding off of them and charging at Cam’ron!
Woodbridge: Look at Baker!
Baker dashes towards Cam’ron, and clotheslines him over the top rope and to the floor! With Cam’ron out of the ring, Baker quickly makes a beeline for the Pole, running towards the corner and starting to climb the turnbuckles, quickly trying to reach up at the Lunchbox containing the ‘Souls’!!
Paisner: Baker’s gonna win it right here!!!!
But Cam’ron quickly gets back up to his feet, using the ring apron to help him back up. Cam’ron slides back in the ring, and runs over to the corner, jumping up and hitting Baker in the spine with a forearm shot.
Woodbridge: Cam’ron’s not gonna go down without a fight!
Baker continues to try and reach the Lunchbox to pull it down, but Cam’ron grabs Baker by the leg, and pulls him off the top rope! Baker comes down and hits his face on the top turnbuckle, and stands near the corner looking a bit dazed! Cam’ron grabs Baker by the head, and takes him down to the mat with a Snapmare, immediately followed up with an elbow strike to the top of the head!
Crowd: YYYEEAAAAAAHHHHH!!!
Baker lays on the mat clutching his head, and Cam’ron gets back up to his feet, and walks over to the corner with the ‘Souls’ on the Pole. Cam’ron starts climbing up the turnbuckles, trying to reach the Lunchbox, but he’s out of reach as he stands on the second rope. Cam’ron looks about ready to climb up to the top rope, but before he does, he turns around to see Baker getting back up to his feet. Cam’ron decides against going for the ‘Soul’ for now, and turns his body around to face Baker as he stands on the second rope. Baker gets back up to a vertical base, and Cam’ron leaps off the second rope to catch him with a dropkick!!
Crowd: YYYYEEEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!
Paisner: And what a dropkick from Cam’ron West!
Woodbridge: Cam’ron’s not your typical wrestler, but that was a veteran move from him to check on Baker’s status before going all the way up to the top rope.
Baker lays on the mat in pain, as the crowd applauds the athleticism from Cam’ron. Cam’ron gets back up to his feet, and leaps up into the air before coming down onto the prone Baker with a Legdrop! Baker rolls towards the ropes, and rolls out of the ring to the floor. Cam’ron walks over to the ropes, and steps through them onto the apron, dropping onto the floor as well. Cam’ron peels Baker off the floor and up to his feet, and tucks his head, before lifting him up and dropping him with a Snap Suplex to the floor!
Crowd: OOOOHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Snap Suplex to the floor!!!
Baker lays in a heap on the floor, clutching his back, and wincing in pain. Cam’ron doesn’t give him much of a rest though, as he bends down to pick Baker back up off the floor, and once again he grabs a hold of him, dropping him to the floor with another Suplex!
Paisner: Another suplex from Cam’ron to Baker on the floor!
Woodbridge: And Cam’ron can do it again and again and again if he wants to! There’s no risk of getting counted out in this match!
Baker yells in pain now as he lays on the floor, while Cam’ron turns his attention to the apron of the ring. West lifts up the ringskirt, and looks underneath the ring for a potential weapon! After a bit of searching, Cam’ron pulls a TABLE out from underneath the ring!
Crowd: YYYYEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Cam’ron’s got a table! This doesn’t bode well for Baker!
Cam’ron starts undoing the table legs, and setting the table in its upright position at ringside. Cam’ron gets the table completely set up, but as he turns around to check on Baker, he gets caught off guard with a big forearm shot to the face! Baker follows up with another forearm, and another, and another! Baker then grabs Cam’ron by the back of the head, and bashes his face into the set-up Table!
Crowd: OOOHHHHHH!!!
Woodbridge: Baker smacking Cam’ron’s face against that hard wooden table! Cam’ron may have taken a bit too long to get that table set up!
Paisner: Or maybe he didn’t damage Baker enough before trying to set up the table in the first place! Either way, Baker’s back in the driver's seat!
Baker sends Cam’ron back through the ropes and inside the ring and Baker slides in after him. Cam’ron starts trying to get back up to his feet, but Baker hits him with a hard kick to the gut, and follows up by grabbing him, and lifting him over his head and to the mat with a Pumphandle Suplex!
Crowd: YYYEEAAAAAAHHHHH!!
Baker starts making his way over to the corner with the pole, but he hesitates for a moment. He turns around to see Cam’ron trying to push himself up to his feet, and he realizes more work must be done. Baker walks back over to Cam’ron, and grabs him by the head, planting him on the mat with a SPIKE DDT!
Paisner: SPIKE DDT!!! Good lord!
Woodbridge: Baker just drilled him!
Baker gets back up once again, and starts making his way to the corner with the pole once more. Baker starts climbing the turnbuckles again, but as he gets up to the second rope, he hears some rustling behind him. Baker pauses his climb for a moment to turn around, and he sees Cam’ron once again starting to stir, starting to get back up to a vertical base.
Woodbridge: Cam'ron-sama is refusing to stay down!
Paisner: And this seems to be throwing a monkey wrench in Baker’s plans! He’s trying to win this ASAP so he can be fresh for the Tag Title Match later tonight, but Cam’ron is proving to be tougher than he may have expected!
Baker hops off the turnbuckle once again, and makes his way to Cam’ron. Baker pulls Cam’ron up to his feet, and grabs Cam’ron by the back of the head. Baker now has his eyes locked on the table that Cam’ron set up at ringside!
Crowd: OOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Baker’s got eyes on that table!!!
Woodbridge: THIS will keep Cam’ron down!
Baker grabs a hold of the back of Cam’ron’s head, and starts running with him to the ropes!
Woodbridge: He’s gonna send him through!!!
Baker chucks Cam’ron over the top rope, but Cam’ron hangs onto the top rope for dear life, as he stands on the apron in dangerous proximity to the table!
Paisner: Cam’ron hung onto the top rope, and that saved him from going through that table!
Woodbridge: But look at Baker!
Baker bounces off the opposite set of ropes, and starts charging at West, looking to knock him off the table, but Cam’ron gets his feet up, catching Baker on the side of the head with an Enziguiri! Baker takes a few steps back, looking a bit rocked after that kick, and Cam’ron somersaults through the middle rope, before popping up and taking Baker down with a big dropkick!!!!
Crowd: YYYYEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!
Paisner: What a move from Cam’ron!
Woodbridge: This may be his opportunity!
Baker scrambles back up to his feet, but he runs right into the arms of Cam’ron, who takes him down to the mat with a BIG BLUE THUNDER BOMB!
Crowd: YYYYYEEEAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Blue Thunder Bomb! Blue Thunder Bomb!
Woodbridge: Cam’ron’s starting to feel it!
Baker looks dazed, laying in a heap on the mat, but he slowly starts to roll onto his stomach, push himself up, and rise back up to a vertical base. Cam’ron stands against the ropes, lying in wait, looking fired up!
Crowd: CAM-RON! CAM-RON! CAM-RON!
Paisner: This crowd’s on their feet!
Baker, with a look of pain on his face, makes his way up to his feet, and Cam’ron lunges with full force towards Baker………………. taking him down with a big RUNNING LARIAT!
Woodbridge: THE WEST-ERN LARIAT!!!
Instinctually, Cam’ron goes for the cover, hooking the leg, but Mia reminds Cam that the match cannot be won by pinfall!
Paisner: But Pinfalls don’t count!
Woodbridge: If they did, Cam’ron would’ve just won this!
Paisner: Cam’ron just let muscle-memory take over. He’s from another world, and as such he may be getting used to regular wrestling matches, but he’s not entirely used to matches like this, where there are no Pinfalls!
Cam’ron looks a bit flustered, but he doesn’t let it affect him for long. Cam’ron now starts walking over to the corner with the Pole, and starts climbing up the turnbuckles, while Baker lays in a heap on the mat!
Woodbridge: Now Cam’ron has his eyes on the prize, and this may be the beginning of the end of this match!
Camron climbs all the way up to the top rope, and starts reaching up at the lunchbox, mere fingertips away!
Paisner: Cam’ron’s close! He’s real close!
Camron tries to grab a hold of the lunchbox, but as he reaches up, Baker starts getting back up to a vertical base, and starts hobbling towards the ropes.
Woodbridge: Baker’s up, fighting through the pain!
Baker hobbles towards the ropes at a great speed, and flails his body at the top rope, causing Cam’ron’s foot to slip off the rope, and Cam’ron crotches himself on the top turnbuckle!!!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Woodbridge: DAMN! Right in the family jewels! And look at Cam’ron, he’s in agony!
Camron sits crotched on the top turnbuckle, with a look of pure agony and pain on his face! Baker hobbles over to West on the turnbuckles, and pulls his body downwards with his feet still hooked on the turnbuckles, setting Cam’ron up in the Tree of Woe!
Crowd: OOOOHHHH!!!
Paisner: Tree of Woe! This could be DISASTROUS for Cam’ron West!!!
Baker steps through the ropes, and starts climbing up the turnbuckles, slowly making his way up to the top rope, and using the pole to help balance himself. He looks down at Cam’ron, who hasn’t moved very much in the tree of woe, and Baker starts reaching up for the Lunchbox, trying to grab a hold of it, unhook it and put this match to rest!
Paisner: Baker’s got another match to worry about later tonight, he’s doing the smart thing here, trying to end this ASAP!
But as Baker tries to grab the Lunchbox, Cam’ron starts using his core strength to slowly pull himself back up!
Woodbridge: But Cam’ron’s not quite done yet!
Baker looks down to see Cam’ron trying to get back up, and he kicks him right in the face, sending Cam’ron right back down in the tree of woe position!
Paisner: Baker’s gotta create some separation between himself and Cam’ron, and I think he may realize it too!
Baker now stands on the top turnbuckle facing Cam’ron, looking down at him as he tries to pull himself up again. Cam’ron tries to use his core and pull himself back up asain, but Baker leaps off the top, and comes down onto West with a DIVING DOUBLE FOOT STOMP!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: WHAT A STOMP! CAM’RON’S GOTTA BE OUT!!!
Cam’ron lays on the mat with a look of agony on his face, while Baker quickly rolls out of the ring, and lifts up the ringskirt to look for a weapon! Baker pulls a STEEL CHAIR out, and slides it into the ring before rolling in the ring himself!
Woodbridge: Now Baker has a chair! Cam’ron’s in deep shit!!!
Baker positions the Chair flat in the center of the ring, before making his way over to the vulnerable West. Baker bends down, and grabs Cam’ron by the arms, dragging him to the center of the ring. Baker pulls Cam back up to a vertical base, before tucking his head in between his legs, lifting him up……...and DROPPING HIM RIGHT ONTO THE STEEL CHAIR WITH A THUNDEROUS POWERBOMB!!!
Crowd:OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!
Paisner: POWERBOMB!!!! ONTO THE STEEL CHAIR!!!
Woodbridge: HOT DAMN! CAM IS OUT!!!!
Cam’ron looks to be nearly motionless on the mat, and he seems absolutely physically spent!
Woodbridge: Cam’ron just got sent for a ride, and now Baker’s going for the ‘Souls!’ This has gotta be it!
Baker wastes no time after the Big Powerbomb. After dropping Cam’ron, Baker immediately makes his way to the corner with the pole, and he starts climbing up the turnbuckles as fast as his body can muster!
Paisner: Baker’s climbing, and Cam’ron’s still down!
Baker climbs up the turnbuckles and stands on the top rope, reaching up and grazing his fingers on the Lunchbox!
Paisner: Baker’s got his fingers on that Lunchbox, he’s just gotta get a good grip on it!
Baker, while trying to keep his balance on the top rope, desperately tries to reach for the Lunchbox, and he almost gets a good grip on it…
Woodbridge: Baker’s about to put this one away!
Baker finally grabs a hold of the Lunchbox………....but Cam’ron West, fighting through all the pain in his body, starts getting back up to his feet on the mat, and he quickly hobbles himself over to the corner!
Crowd: YYYEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: How is Cam’ron standing?!?!
Woodbridge: I don’t know, but he may be too late!!!
Cam’ron wastes little time, and climbs up to the second rope, throwing forearm shots into the back of Baker. Baker still keeps his balance on the top turnbuckle, hanging onto the pole for stability, as he grabs a hold of the Lunchbox with his other hand!!!
Paisner: Baker’s just gotta unhook the Lunchbox!!!
Cam’ron now climbs all the way up to the top rope, and grabs Baker by the waist, leaning back and trying to use gravity to pull him off the turnbuckle!!! Baker starts to tip backwards, and he releases his grip on the lunchbox to grab the pole with both hands, hanging on for dear life!!!
Woodbridge: Cam’ron’s trying to take him down!
Paisner: Baker’s desperately trying to hang on!!!
Cam’ron throws a couple more forearm strikes to the back of Baker, and tries to pull him off again, but Baker hangs on!
Crowd: PLEASE-DON’T-DIE! PLEASE-DON’T-DIE! PLEASE-DON’T-DIE!
Paisner: How much longer can Baker hang on!?!?!
Cam’ron, still with one arm wrapped around Baker’s waist, now starts reaching out to Baker’s upper arm with his free hand, hitting him with hammer strikes to the bicep, trying to break Baker’s grip as he hangs on for dear life with both hands!!! With each strike from Cam’ron to Baker’s bicep, Baker loses more and more grip, and his fingers start slipping off the pole!
Paisner: Baker’s slipping!!!
With Baker’s grip severely weakened, Cam’ron hooks both arms around Baker’s waist once again, and leans back………………throwing Baker off the top rope with a SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX!!!!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX!!!! BAKER COLLAPSES IN A HEAP!!!!
Baker lays nearly motionless on the mat, but Cam’ron starts using the nearby ropes to help pull himself back up to a vertical base! Cam’ron looks up at the Lunchbox, and starts climbing the turnbuckles!
Crowd: YYYEEAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Baker’s down, and Cam’ron West may be a few small moments away from victory!
Cam’ron slowly climbs up the turnbuckles, reaching up to the Lunchbox, but he’s not quite there yet. He climbs up to the top rope, grabbing a hold of the pole to balance himself, and he reaches up to the lunchbox, grazing his fingers on it!
Woodbridge: Cam is close, he’s REAL close!!!
Cam’ron manages to get a good grip on the Lunchbox, and starts trying to unhook it!
Paisner: It looks like Cam’ron’s got it!!!
Cam’ron just about unhooks it, but before he can, suddenly a whole entire STEEL CHAIR is thrown by a kneeling Baker in the ring, and it thwacks Cam’ron on the back of the head!!!!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Woodbridge: DAMN! Baker just chucked that chair at West!
Paisner: Baker didn’t have enough time to get up and physically pull Cam’ron off that turnbuckle, but thanks to that Steel Chair that was used earlier being close to him on the mat, as well as a great throw, Baker’s momentarily still in this one!
Baker stays in his kneeling position on the mat, still in a great deal of pain, while Cam’ron pulls his hand off the Lunchbox to favor the back of his head, as he stands groggy on the top rope.
Woodbridge: Cam may be out on his feet on that top rope! This is a very precarious position!
Baker drops down from his knees to flat down on the mat, and rolls over to the side of the ring, rolling underneath the ropes, and using them to pull himself back up to his feet on the apron. Baker walks over to the corner, and starts throwing punches at Cam’ron’s thigh, causing Cam to hunch over and try to balance himself against the pole. With Cam hunched over, Baker reaches up……….shoving Cam’ron off the top, sending him CRASHING THROUGH THE TABLE SET UP AT RINGSIDE!!!!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Woodbridge: JESUS!!!
Paisner: CAM’RON THROUGH THE TABLE!!!
Cam’ron lays in the wreckage of the broken table on the floor, and Mia So Hung immediately checks on him. The crowd starts chanting at what they’ve just seen!
Crowd: HO-LY-SHIT! HO-LY-SHIT! HO-LY-SHIT!
Paisner: And the table that Cam’ron set up earlier in the match just came back to haunt him, and now Baker’s all but won this thing!
Baker looks down at the wreckage of the table and Cam’ron, before climbing up the turnbuckles, slowly getting closer and closer to the top while Cam’ron remains motionless on the floor. Baker stands on the top rope, hanging on to the pole for support, while reaching up at the Lunchbox, grabbing ahold of it……..and unhooking it from the pole, securing the Lunchbox with the ‘Souls’ of himself and Cam’ron and winning the match! Mia So Hung calls for the bell!
DING DING DING!
Paisner: Jim Baker has done it, he has the ‘Soul’ of Cam’ron West!
Babaganoush: At a time of 17 minutes and 20 seconds, here is your winner……….JIM…..BBAAAKKKEERRRRR!!!
Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOO!
As Baker’s music hits, the crowd rises to their feet and starts applauding, clapping for both men for their efforts in the match. Baker stands on the top rope against the pole, looking elated after this big win.
Paisner: Holy SMOKES what a brawl that was! Both men gave it their all, and they’re standing here in Atlanta!
Baker climbs down off the corner with the Lunchbox in hand, raising his fist in the air in victory, but taking some deep breaths as he does so.
Paisner: Congratulations to Baker, but hats off to Cam’ron as well! What a way to kick this show off!
Baker rolls out of the ring, with the Lunchbox in hand, and he looks down at Cam’ron who is still being tended to by Mia So Hung. Cam’ron barely has his eyes open, but Baker nods his head slightly down at him, a small show of respect from Baker to West.
Crowd: YYYYEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: West gave it a hell of a go in that match, and while Baker may not like him, I think he’s earned a bit of Baker’s respect here tonight.
Baker walks back up the aisle, not limping, not showing any major signs of injury, but he definitely looks to be in a great deal of pain, and looks slightly exhausted.
Paisner: After that match, the two questions on my mind are ‘Where does Cam’ron West go from here?’ and ‘What shape will Baker be in later tonight?’
Woodbridge: After that showing, I’d say Cam’ron’s getting better and better in the ring, and he’ll continue to improve his game. As for Baker, he’s gonna have a couple hours to recuperate before his Tag Title Match tonight, but he took a LOT of punishment in this match. Even with a couple hours rest, I don’t think he’ll be at 100% later tonight.
Paisner: Time will tell, ladies and gentlemen. But now, coming up next we have tag team action as Team BS, Buster Braggadocio and Stephen Romero take on Miles Alpha and Dalidus Nova of the Young Cardinals.
Woodbridge: And there’s a lot to say for the partnership between Buster and Romero. They’re two sides of the same coin more or less, both of them proud of their ethnicity and who they are, but there’s a disparity between the attitudes of the two.
Paisner: Nova and Alpha at first glance would seem to be a more cohesive unit, but I wouldn’t dare count Buster and Romero out. If there’s any group who’s insufferable enough to get Romero and Braggadocio on the same page, it’s the Young Cards.
Woodbridge: We’ll send it down to my boy Javier for the introductions!
We cut to Babaganoush, who stands in the ring with the mic.
Javier: The following tag team contest is scheduled for one fall…..
Crowd: ONE FALL!
Javier:......with a 60 Minute Time Limit! Your referee is Ivan Itichicock!
The crowd applauds for Itchicock as he enters the ring. We pan over the crowd as some funky beats begin to play over the sound system.
Javier: Introducing First, From Atlanta, Georgia……….
Crowd: YYYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Paisner: Hometown pop!
Javier:...the first half of Team BS: BUUSTTERRR BRAGGAADOOCIIIIOOOOOO!!!!
Crowd: WOOOOOOOO!
Buster saunters through the entrance of the runway without a care in the world. He stops for a moment, turning around to reveal "Straight Outta TEAM BS" sewn onto the back of his vest. It’s clearly his own handy work, with the letters hastily stitched on with the same material as his flashy red pants.
Crowd: WOOOOO!
Crowd: BOOOOO!
He continues down the runway, mostly getting cheers from his hometown…..until he starts accusing fans of being ‘crackers’ regardless of their heritage.
Paisner: Once again Buster has chosen to keep his entrance for this tag team match.
Woodbridge: We all know that Romero and Braggadocio don’t necessarily see eye to eye on everything - but this is looking more and more like a sign that things may not be all sunshine and rainbows.
Paisner: Woodbridge, may I give some professional feedback? As a friend?
Woodbridge: … Yes?
Paisner: Maybe we shouldn’t run straight to the rainbow metaphors when speaking about these two.
Woodbridge: That’s not what I…
Paisner: Because his partner is-
Woodbridge, pinching the bridge of his nose: Yes. Noted, thank you.
The lights dim as another familiar song begins to play throughout the ring.
Javier: And hailing from Sacramento, California, STEEEPPHHENN ROOOMMERRROOOO!
Crowd: RO-MER-O! RO-MER-O!
Romero appears at the end of the runway, playing off of the cheering fans who jump to greet him. He stays friendly, handing out fist bumps along his walk to the ring, but those who look close enough can see that he isn’t feeling as confident as usual.
He steps into the ring and hops up onto the turnbuckles, running a hand through his hair before raising a fist to the crowd. After returning to his corner, he looks expectantly to the top of the runway just in time for the lights to dim once again.
PA: GO!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOO
Dalidus Nova and Miles Alpha walk out wearing matching military jackets with the canadian flag stitched onto the arms
Javier: And their opponents, representing The Vanguard. At a combined weight of 415 pounds, The YOOOOOOOOUNG CARDINALS, MILES ALPHA AND DALIDUUUUUS NOOOOVA!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOO!
Paisner: The former tag team champs have had issues with the newly formed Team BS for a few months now.
Woodbridge: Yes, but despite being a team for years, they might not be fully on the same page either, as Joey McCarty has been busy with individual championship pursuits to help his fellow Cardinals tonight.
The Cardinals walk straight to the ring, ignoring the fans and staring down Romero and Braggadocio. The two Cardinals step into the ring, Alpha subtly bopping his head to the music, as the two hand their jackets to Chondon. Their music starts to fade away, and both teams get ready in their respective corners. Itchicock confirms both teams are ready, and calls for the opening bell!
DING DING DING
As the bell sounds, Romero and Nova stare one another down, before both charging from out the corner! Romero swinging out with a lariat, an action Nova seems to have anticipated as he quickly gets slow to slide under and in between Romero’s legs to get behind him! Nova quickly rises and jumps up to deliver a dropkick to Romero’s back! Sending Romero stumbling towards the ropes, as Alpha runs over to the center of the apron to try and catch Romero with a kick to the head from the outside! But Romero manages to duck his head under, as he turns around, and sees a charging Nova coming right for him! Romero sidesteps just as Nova goes for a superkick, Nova nearly kicking Alpha, but Alpha reacting fast enough to catch Nova’s leg, and try to turn it right back around into their favor as he spins Nova by the leg to try and get him to catch Romero in the head with it! But Romero ducks straight under it! Then rises up to clock Nova on the jaw with a stiff forearm strike! Sending Nova stumbling back and onto a knee, as Alpha tries to run over to near Romero and swing with his own strike, but Romero catches him with a back elbow! Dropping Alpha to his ass on the apron!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Paisner: The Cardinals managing to avoid taking each other out, and hell, nearly turning back around a potentially bad situation into getting one over on Romero, but Romero with incredible awareness and timing with his moves! Subduing both cardinals!
Nova has groggily gotten up and backed themselves up into a corner, which Romero turns his head to see, and charges at Nova with a clothesline in the corner! Sending Nova sinking down in the corner! Romero then grabs Nova and brings him back up, before heading to the opposite corner, and rushing back with a second clothesline! This one knocking the air out of Nova, as he falls to a seated position in the corner!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Romero has a confident look on his face, as he grabs a hurt Nova, struggling to get air into his body, then just biel tosses him across near all the way across the ring! Nova landing right near the opposite corner!
Crowd: WOAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Woodbridge: The absurd strength of this man! That’s over 220 pounds tossed like it’s nothing!
Nova is loopy in the corner, grabbing the ropes, and slowly pulling himself up. Eventually making his way up to his feet, as Romero goes to rush towards him again!.....but Nova slips himself through the ropes, then flicks himself up to connect with a pendulum kick to the head of Romero! Stunning him in the center of the ring! Nova then steps back into the ring, taking a moment to catch his breath, before running towards Romero, then jumping up with an enziguri to Romero’s head! Sending Romero a bit wobbly on his feet!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Nova then grabs the wobbly Romero, and tosses him into his tag corner, where we see a now-recovered Alpha standing up. Nova tags in Alpha, as Romero in the corner tries to quickly grab Nova and strike Nova away, but Alpha strikes Romero in the head from behind to stun him, and stop him! Nova begins to lay in hard kicks to Romero’s midsection as Alpha then steps into the ring, where he joins in with the kicks to the midsection! Romero sinking down in the corner as The Cardinals send kick after kick into his chest! Before the two link arms, as Alpha whips Nova towards the center of the ring, before Nova turning himself to whip Alpha even closer to the center, before Nova then sends Alpha running back towards Romero! Alpha sent at a high speed as he jumps up with a hesitation dropkick to the face of Romero! Leaving him completely seated and loopy in the corner!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Woodbridge: Young Cardinals seeking to do what they do best, on point teamwork learned from years of experience not only as just general tag wrestlers, but with each other specifically. Buster and Romero may know the tag ring very well, but they can’t compete with how well Nova and Alpha know each other specifically.
Nova then heads over to the apron, as Alpha walks towards Romero, and goes to press his boot into Romero’s neck! Romero grabs onto Alpha’s legs, and goes to pry him off quickly, but Alpha drops down to dropkick Romero’s face to re-stun him, before getting up and extending his leg out again to successfully press it into Romero’s neck and choke him out!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
All the air is pressed out of Romero, as he struggles around while Alpha applies the choke. Itchicock eventually begins to count Alpha off, who breaks only right before the 5 count!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Alpha smirks at his work, Romero holding at his neck on the ground, struggling to breath, as Alpha then just begins to lightly tap at Romero’s head with his boot!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Paisner: And now just palpable disrespect from Alpha! Taunting Romero on the ground!
Alpha keeps booting the head of Romero, yelling out taunting remark after taunting remark as Romero begins to push himself up against it. Romero gets to a knee, as eventually Alpha switches to doing something more legit harmful, as he shoots down forearm strikes into the head of Romero! Sending a hard one right down into Romero, but Romero moves through and continues to rise up! Alpha then strikes with another rough forearm to Romero, but still Romero is not deterred! Alpha beginning to panic, starts striking rapidly with the forearms, looking to subdue Romero with an absolute onslaught of forearms, but eventually, Romero forcefully pushes himself up and breaks through! Alpha is sent flying across the ring, falling on his ass, as he scrambles to his feet and rushes back at Romero to try and re-take advantage, but runs right into Romero tossing out an open palm chop! Impacting Alpha’s chest hard, and flooring him right to the ground!
Crowd: YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Alpha writhes around on the mat! Moaning in pain, clutching at his chest, now left with a big red spot in the middle, as Romero then lets out a roar!
Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Romero then takes a moment to catch his breath and collect himself, before he then sizes Alpha down, and goes to run the ropes!.....but gets caught with a kick in the back from Nova as he hits them!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Romero tenses up for a moment, before he goes to turn around to strike Nova off of the apron! But Nova ducks under the elbow Romero throws at him, and grabs his head to pull Romero down into the ropes to whiplash his face off of them!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Woodbridge: Romero trying to come back, but the Cardinals sneaky tactics quickly cutting him right back off! Excellent work from Nova!
Romero is sent back from the ropes, holding at his face as he falls to a knee. While we see Alpha beginning to stir from the chop he had just taken. Romero begins to try and rise from his knee, but Alpha runs in with a dropkick to the back of Romero’s head! Forcing him back to the ground!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Alpha then grabs Romero, and does his best to try and bring Romero up, but the significant weight difference makes it a struggle. So instead, he works from the position he has. Dropping Romero and allowing him to hit the mat, before applying a rear chinlock to the larger man.
Paisner And now Alpha trying to ground the big man, wear down Romero. And this can not only take even more energy out of Romero than has also been took, but also drain the morale of Buster to try and get Romero back into it!
Alpha grinds in on the chinlock, getting low to the ground as possible to sink out as much as he can from Romero. Romero tries to power up, but Alpha is quicker, and delivers an elbow strike to the shoulder and neck that drops Romero back to the mat.
Buster: COME ON STEVE! THE hWHITE MAN CAN’T CONTINUE TO GRIND US DOWN LIKE THIS!
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2020.10.17 00:10 spacefoxtrap • HUGE INFORMATIONS NEWS • (Contains spoilers. Read this at your own risk)

• You can swim • You will be able to get into any car, but you will need the appropriate force perks to open doors or hack perks • There is a PC in your apartment which is usable • You can pet cats! • The physics of the car will be quite realistic • You can damage / dismember enemies, then leave them alive and (presumably) disarmed instead of killing them (a pacifist sequence will be possible) • The game has some sort of "hidden" morality system, * the game will secretly keep the number of "good" and "bad" choices you have made * ** (not confirmed yet) ** • All weapons and cyber-software will be customizable in color • There are at least 20 perks × 12 skills = 240 perks • One of the quests has 7 different results (depending on V's choices) • Companions are really useful, and not just in combat • Your user interface is determined by the upgrades you have equipped and your choice of class. • Due to changing character allegiances: you are wary of every character you meet • XBD or illegal braindance (torture and pornography) can be found on the black market, or in some night markets sold by lousy individuals ** (unconfirmed if you will have access to them) ** • There are children in the game. * You cannot kill them *
• When the tutorial ends, it's 6 months later and it starts where the E3 2018 gameplay demo started: with the "No Future" elevator • The trauma team and the police will stalk / shock you (taser) if you do not follow their orders • There are animals (but very few of them). * It is implied that most of them are artificial * • Yorinobu Arasaka has the chip Johnny Silverhand • Gun Shops can offer you missions • There's a roaming CyberPsychos NPC that goes on a rampage as side mini-bosses • There are more than a dozen radio stations [12+] • There is a Rock music station • You can hear live police reports via radio • It was reiterated that all music on the radio is made up of all new original songs performed by famous artists and CD Projekt Red's own sound team • The side quests are extremely varied • The map is full of things to see and do • You can enter many buildings * (conflicting reports on this) * • Lots of attribute benefits with upgrade trees attached to each • Wide variety of weapons. Even similar weapons have entirely different stats and abilities • The vehicles all have unique interiors
• There are "Bounty Hunter" missions in the game. One of them allows you to track down an infamous and extremely dangerous gang of CyberPsychos • Sometimes when you level up you get an attribute point. No word on how often this happens, as you don't get one every time you level up • Your advantage skill levels cannot be higher than the corresponding attribute level: so, for example, if your primary skill for stealth is 6, you cannot exceed 6, unless you increase the number. of this governance attribute to 7 or more. • Each skill in the game has between 20 and 30 perk options • Street Cred is not a morality system (it can only go up) • There are items in shops and vendors that you can only buy if you are well known in Night City. • There are tons of easter eggs in the game • You can add cybernetic enhancements to your circulatory system • There is a "Metriod-esque" trope at the beginning, where after the tutorial if blinks 6 months later and all your cyber software and abilities are removed: forcing you to start from scratch • You can watch TV • The skill tree (it's like a huge spider web) much larger than the attribute tree shown last year. • Auto aim can be turned on or off. • You can shoot while driving whenever you want • You can take enemy weapons and use them
** 1 hour in real time = 8 hours of play ** (3 hours = 24 hours ig)
• If you have no experience with a weapon, you will have difficulty aiming and reloading it. • You can skip time without loading time • The number of NPCs will be connected with the time and area • NPCs can pee (realistically!) • If you look at someone long enough, they will respond (No unnecessary choices) • No repeated lines from NPCs, they talk to you in real time
Only 4-5 actual scenes in the game (where you have no control over what happens)
• There are things that cannot be e kept only at a certain temperature (a nano chip for example) • There is fall damage (and mods that can reduce it) • Each attribute can be upgraded to level 20 • At least 20 cyberware mod slots • At least 85 side quests • At least 70 street stories ** (unconfirmed) ** • There is an endurance bar for melee attacks, blocks, counter attacks, combos, etc. • Your animations will reflect your weapon skill, and they will improve like your skill * (the only images we saw of melee / sword combat were from a low level V) * • You can be a bounty hunter by hacking NCPD police database to hunt wanted citizens and collect bounty money • Nudity can be turned on and off at the start of the game and optionally whenever you want * (The reporter who played in recent demos said that full nudity is possible. You can turn it on or off. censoring nudity / underwear or having the character completely naked) *
LIST OF ICONS SEEN ON THE MAP:
Main job Extra work Gun For Hire Search and recovery Flight Saboteur Agent SOS Merc needed Special delivery Assault in progress CyberPsycho Sighting Clothing stores Ripperdocs Techies Gun / gun stores Trainers Food / Restaurants Bars * And other side quests *
Departure choice:
• When you select Corpo, you start the game at Arasaka Tower • When you select Nomad, you start in the Badlands • When you select Street Kid, you start at a Night City bar
Class choices have an impact on where the story begins and how NPCs interact with you later.
Most interesting advantages (TO DATE):
STREET BRAWLER: "Guerilla" - Killing with pistols increases critical hits by 60% for 10 sec ATHLETICS: "Hard motherfucker" - Armor and resistances increase by 20% for 10 sec ANNIHILATION: "Redacted" - Dismembering enemies reduces knockback by 50% for 6 sec REFLEX: HANDGUNS: "Redacted" - Hit a critical hit and gain armor boost for 20 sec SHOTGUNS: "Punisher" - Kill an enemy to negate weapon swing and propagate for 10 sec BLADES: "Dragon Strike" - Mighty attacks consume stacked bleed effects and deal 15% damage
TECHNICAL ABILITY:
CRAFTING: "Revamp" - Increases the sale price of crafted items by 25% ENGINEERING: "Crazy Science" - Increases tech weapon damage by 25%
COOL : STEALTH: "Toxicology" - Poison duration has been increased by 5 seconds COLD BLooD: "Merciless" - if Cold Blood is active, critical chance +1 0% and critical damage + 2%
INTELLIGENCE: DEVICE HACKING: "Transmigration" - Increases violation time protocol by 25% TARGET HACKING: "Master Memory" - Increases memory regeneration rate by 25%
DELETED things:
Metro - Car personalization - Personalization of the apartment - Being able to have more than one apartment - Cupboards in your apartment - Running wall - Flathead: * the robot dog from the beginning * (we will not be able to use it) Techie class (it is now merged with the netrunner class)
ROMANCES:
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2020.10.15 23:14 raresaturn Live Tapes 5 - Bondi Lifesaver

The legendary Cold Chisel have unearthed a fierce live recording from deep in their archives. Captured on two multitrack tapes on a Friday night at the arse end of February 1980, after a blinding 43 shows over 56 days, it showcases the five-piece band at a pivotal moment - just 3 days before they entered Paradise Studio in Sydney's Woolloomooloo to record their breakthrough album East.
The 2 inch tapes had sat completely untouched in the band's archive for just over 40 years. Nobody had listened to them because everybody forgot they existed. When they were unearthed earlier this year it started a long chain of events that will come to fruition on 11 December 2020 when The Live Tapes Vol 5 - Live at the Bondi Lifesaver is released on vinyl, CD, as a digital download, and across all streaming services.
The two tapes were sent to sound engineer Phil Punch to transfer to digital so the band could hear what was captured 40 years ago, but on examining the tapes Punch said that before they could be played, they needed to be baked in an 'audio oven'. They were sent away to a Turtle Rock mastering, baked twice, and sent back to Punch. Punch said that too much oxide had built up around the tapes and that they would need to be baked again. The tapes went into the oven again and then sent back to Punch but he was still not happy so he cut each of the bulky masters in two and had the four 'half-tapes' baked again. He then finally set about transferring them to digital, stopping after each song to wipe the tapes and machines clean of all the primordial ooze (which seemed particularly appropriate for recordings made at the notoriously grimy Bondi Lifesaver). This painstaking, labour of love took 6 weeks.
The files were then sent to Cold Chisel’s longtime producer, Kevin Shirley, who did a quick comp mix of the set to see if the show was any good. What came back gobsmacked the normally hard-to-impress band. The Bondi Lifesaver was the band's de facto home and the band clearly loved the venue, playing there with kinetic speed and verve, tearing blistering holes through the legendary bar.
Kevin Shirley was given the green light to bring his trusted ears to properly mix the live recording, which frontman Jimmy Barnes says, "might be our live best recording ever."
Of particular interest to Cold Chisel fans is hearing the 7 East songs in their pre-studio form (Choirgirl had been released as a single in late 1979). Some songs were still coming together, only 3 days prior to the album recordings; parts were still being written and a couple of sections were ad-libbed. Others (Standing On The Outside and Tomorrow) reveal substantially different arrangements to what the band subsequently crafted with East producer Mark Opitz. "It's great to hear this earlier arrangement of Tomorrow. We re-worked it with Mark Opitz - and he brought a great pop discipline to the album recording sessions. But I do like this version," smiles songwriter and piano player, Don Walker.
Another then-new song is Jimmy Barnes' My Turn To Cry, the first single fromLive at The Bondi Lifesaver, and it's delivered here with raw, unhinged power and emotion. “In 1980, we were fighting fit and hungry, playing every show like it was our last – and often it almost was,” laughed Barnes recently, when recounting the times. “We were still playing pubs, with the audience spilling onto the stage and the band spilling into the audience. I was living just around the corner from the Lifesaver - and probably half the audience ended-up back at mine."
The whole band is captured in killer form on Live at the Bondi Lifesaver. "I can't believe Steve and Phil's playing" says guitarist Ian Moss referencing the band's bass player Phil Small and their late drummer Steve Prestwich. "They set the whole tone here - we're just trying to keep up. Jimmy is also in incredible form, wailing and nailing everything."
In addition to the East songs, Cold Chisel tear through songs that were already becoming classics: Khe Sanh, One Long Day, Merry-Go-Round and a steamrolling take on Shipping Steel; some rarely heard gems: Rosaline, the never-before-physically-released The Dummy; and five cover songs includingJohnny Kidd's Shakin’ All Over and a never-before-released take on The Yardbirds' The Nazz Are Blue.
From this incredible live recording in February 1980 to their phenomenal sold-out national “Blood Moon” Tour dates in early 2020, Cold Chisel’s longevity is a testament to the special connection between the band, their songs and their legion of die-hard fans. Earlier this week Cold Chisel revealed that ongoing connection, scoring two ARIA Award Nominations for Best Rock Album(Blood Moon) and Best Australian Live Act (Blood Moon Tour 2020), with Kevin Shirley also getting a nomination for Producer of the Year for Blood Moon.
TRACKLISTING
  1. Juliet
  2. Tomorrow
  3. The Dummy
  4. Shakin’ All Over
  5. Breakfast At Sweethearts
  6. My Turn To Cry
  7. Best Kept Lies
  8. Standing On The Outside
  9. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
  10. Star Hotel
  11. Merry-Go-Round
  12. Four Walls
  13. One Long Day
  14. Shipping Steel
  15. Khe Sanh
  16. The Door
  17. Goodbye (Astrid, Goodbye)
  18. Georgia
  19. Choirgirl
  20. Ita
  21. I’m Gonna Roll Ya
  22. Rosaline
  23. The Nazz Are Blue
  24. Wild Thing
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2020.10.13 16:00 Angel466 [Bob the hobo] A Celestial Wars Spin-Off Part 0189

PART ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-NINE
Friday
It was a good thing Lucas still had his keys on him, for Robbie had left his behind in his haste to be out the door. “Mason!” they both called, the moment the door swung open.
Despite the urgency, Robbie couldn’t help but look into the pokey little lounge that they’d all managed to squeeze into for so many years. The three-seater just fitted in the opening between the sealed off kitchen and the corner of the room. Even the TV that they had all gathered around for so long seemed small.
“Christ Almighty,” Lucas swore, and glancing to his left, Robbie could see him making the same unwelcome appraisal of their old apartment that he was. It was amazing how fast one could grow accustomed to more space. “I think our new bathroom is bigger than this lounge.”
Robbie went into his imagination and overlaid a ghostly 3D image of the two spaces. “It is,” he confirmed as soon as he came out. Lucas didn’t need to know it was because Llyr had expanded their side of the apartment out by several feet to be more accommodating to the five men.
“There you are!” Mason cried, barrelling around the hallway to collect them both around the shoulders in a relieved hug. He then pulled away before they could return the hug and demanded, “What the hell is going on?”
“How did you get out of the hospital?” Lucas asked, ever the cop.
Mason waved the enquiry aside as insignificant. “I signed myself out. My parents were driving me crazy all day about moving back to Illinois. Like I’m gonna do that when I’ve barely got a couple of months to go to finish my Bachelors of VS.”
“You just … got up and left?” Lucas reiterated incredulously.
“Well, I got dressed, obviously. Otherwise, I’d still be wearing those fucking hideous farm PJs that Nonna gave me for Christmas when I was seventeen.” As if just remembering that, he shot Robbie a dirty scowl. “And what the hell were you thinking letting them dress me in those things anyway? I thought you were supposed to be my friend! They need to be burnt, not worn!”
“It was either them or the Johnny gown you were in for weeks before that in the ICU. Once your parents arrived and you were moved into a regular room, their decisions over you superseded mine.”
“Don’t think for a second that that’s as clear a choice as it seems. Next time, I’d rather wolf-whistles for exposure over the humiliation of those damned smiling cow and sheep PJs.”
“And how did you get your hands on your personal effects anyway?” Lucas’ eyes travelled over the clean shirt and freshly pressed long pants that Mason was wearing.
“Mom brought me up my keys and wallet this morning along with a change of clothes. She said I could be going home as soon as tomorrow, especially since I wasn’t needed by the cops anymore. Since the hospital was talking about releasing me anyway, Mom wanted to bundle me up and head back to the farm to recuperate. I wasn’t on board with that.”
“Why aren’t the cops with you anymore?” Robbie demanded.
Lucas answered before Mason could. “I told you, man. It’s not our case anymore. What the feds choose to do with the people involved is up to them.” In a blatant attempt to change the subject, he shifted his focus to Mason. “But do your parents know where you are?”
The hesitant look in Mason’s eyes answered before his lips did. “I just wanted some time by myself. To decide what I wanted to do going forward. So like I said, when they went back to the hotel to freshen up, I went to the nurse’s station and signed myself out. Then the pretty nurse wheeled me to the taxi stand, helped me in, and I came home. I don’t know what meds they put me on in the hospital, but I’m telling ya’, I did those stairs like a freakin’ track star!”
Again, Lucas and Robbie looked at each other. “Why didn’t you use the lift?”
Mason’s eyes went huge. “That thing works now?”
Robbie threw his head back and laughed. He couldn’t help himself. Then he locked his arm around Mason’s neck and gave him a noogie, even as the younger man scrambled to break his hold. “C’mon, pipsqueak. Let’s grab some trash bags out of the kitchen and move your stuff downstairs while there’s three of us here to lug it.”
“After I call your parents,” Lucas added, already reaching for his phone as Robbie dragged Mason (still in a headlock) towards the kitchen. The two wedged in the narrow doorway.
“Je—eeeeez, this place is small,” Robbie ground out the modified curse as he released Mason’s neck and the younger man backed into the hallway with a snort of laughter. “How in the world did we all fit in here anyway?”
“It was big enough,” Mason insisted. “Especially when no one was home! Where'd you all get to?”
“Sam’s dad bought the bottom two levels of the apartment block while he was still pretending to be Bob the hobo. He was waiting for the right time to move in with Sam and take over being his dad. After you were attacked, he had his excuse to bundle us all up and move us down to the second floor.”
Mason’s brow gathered into a frown. “How’d Boyd take that?”
His frown grew as Robbie and Lucas shared a troubled look. “He’s getting better,” Robbie answered evasively. “Just don’t treat him any differently when you get down there and everything should be fine. Okay?”
Mason let out a deep huff and shook his head.
“Heeey,” Robbie poked Mason in the shoulder. “You just got yourself out of the hospital. Don’t sweat it. Everything’s under control. Right, Lucas?”
“Sure,” Lucas said, re-joining the conversation without really knowing what he was agreeing to. “By the way, Mason. Your parents are on their way over and they’re not happy with you.”
“You’re a first-class asshat, you know that, Lucas?”
“I think you mispronounced ‘responsible’. You should try it sometime, brat." Lucas then puffed his chest up and stepped forward, raising an accusing finger which he started stabbing the air between them with. "And you can start by telling me next time you suspect there’s a problem in the apartment instead of sneaking out by yourself like a goddamn lunatic…”
“Okay! Okay, okay,” Robbie said, pushing himself between them before Lucas could barrel headlong into the lecture he’d been waiting over a month to land on Mason with. He turned to look at Lucas, keeping Mason behind him. “First we help him pack. Then we…” As he spoke, he saw Mason lift himself on to his toes and poke his tongue at Lucas in the reflection of the tv, and drove his elbow back into the younger roommate’s ribs in retaliation.
“Owww!” Mason immediately howled, dropping back to being flat-footed and doubling over, all in one. “Foul!”
“…can have this conversation downstairs before people notice we’re the ones missing,” Robbie concluded. He then turned and raised both hands to his cheeks, his eyes wide in mock horror. “Mason! Oh, my goodness! Are you alright, sweetie? Oh, how clumsy of me! I just didn’t see you there…” in a completely over-the-top, high-pitched dramatical way that made Lucas chuckle.
“And to think I was happy to see you two jerks a minute ago,” Mason griped, still rubbing his chest.
“Then don’t be such a—word that rhymes with tick,” Robbie said, more normally. Unable to help himself, he flicked his thumb at Lucas and added, “That’s his job now.”
“Ha-fucking ha.” Lucas looked at Mason, but kicked his head towards Robbie. “Did you know he’s in profanity prison for the next four weeks?”
“I heard,” Mason snickered. “He tried to swear half a dozen times yesterday during my interview and it wouldn’t come out right. You should’ve heard the things he was saying instead.”
“And that’s blood to each of us and this isn’t getting Mason’s stuff moved downstairs. I don’t know about you two, but I want to be back downstairs before Sam gets home and sneaks off again to his weekend getaway with his girl. I dread to think what he’ll pack if I’m not there to supervise.”
Humour drained from Mason’s face as shock took its place. “Sam has a girl?”
Robbie launched at Mason with every intention of wrapping him up in another headlock, but Mason ducked low and bolted for his room. Robbie took just enough time to grab the roll of trash bags from the second drawer, then he and Lucas followed Mason down the hall.
“We’ll just take your clothes and stuff first,” Robbie said. “Don’t worry about furniture until we get down there and you see what you need.”
“Hold on. Before we go to all this trouble, I need to know, is Angelo coming back?” Mason asked, his voice absolutely serious.
“No,” Lucas answered, before Robbie could say ‘of course.’
Robbie froze, then turned ever so slowly towards Lucas. “What do you mean, ‘No?’” he asked icily.
Lucas’ expression returned to the pensive one he’d worn when he first came home. “He’s both a victim and a material witness against the bigger players in all of this, Robbie. For the next few years at least, he’s going to be in protective custody until this thing plays itself out, and after that he’ll probably go into witness protection if he knows what’s good for him.” Grimacing, he added, “And now you know why my promotion made me so sick to the stomach, man. It’s like I was selling him out somehow, even though there wasn’t a damned thing I could do about it.”
“Uhhh … hello! Me too!” Mason said, waving his hands over his head to gain their attention. “If you want to fuss over someone, I was kinda in the hospital forever because of that prick too, remember?”
“Mason, you of all people know what happens to a human body when it’s in heavy withdrawal,” Robbie rounded on the younger man, wanting to put one fire out before starting another himself. “It devastated him to know he wasn’t strong enough for you when in truth, no one could be. He wasn’t just on heroin. He was on a cocktail that for a while there they didn’t think he’d survive coming off of.”
“I’m glad you were the one who said that, because I’m not allowed to anymore,” Lucas said. “Everyone touched by this is under an NDA.” As if realising what he said, Lucas skewered Mason with a look. “They would’ve nailed you with one too before they left.”
“Yeah,” Mason griped. “So?”
Lucas covered his eyes. “Do you even know what an NDA is?!”
“It’s a gag order.”
“So GAG IT!”
“Nooo!” Robbie growled, throwing his hands out to ward them both off. “ Un- gag it if anything, and go back to the part where you think I’m never seeing Angelo again! That’s pull-chit!”
“I know it’s a shock, but … you’re gonna have to accept he’s gone, man. I don’t know where he is and I wouldn’t know who to ask to find out. Even if I did, I can’t because of the NDA I’m under.”
“So, if I went back to his room at the hospital …”
“They’ve been moved. All of them. Both floors. Robbie, I mean it. You have to let this go …”
“No,” Robbie said, shaking his head. “No, I don’t …”
“Rob. ROBERT!” Lucas shouted his full name, earning him a second or two of Robbie’s attention. “If you go after this, you will be arrested. They’ll lock you up and throw away the key until you agree to sign their NDA. Don’t test them on this. The Patriot Act has no problem with taking prisoners.”
“But we’re the only family he’s got!”
“All the easier for him to start over when this is laid to rest.”
Robbie saw the sincerity in his friend’s eyes and felt his own burning with unshed tears. Lucas’ hands went to his shoulders. “There’s nothing you can do, man. I wish to God there was,” he said softly, giving his friend a comforting squeeze to convey that wish. “But you have to be okay with letting him go.”
Numb with disbelief and wanting to be alone, Robbie dislodged Lucas’ hold with a sweeping wave of one hand and ran from Mason’s room, ducking into his own across the hall. He used his weight to shut the door, then slid to the floor, wedging himself against the base of the door to prevent anyone from forcing themselves in. Then he covered his face with his hands and rolled his thoughts inwards once more.
Lucas is wrong. This isn’t the end. This isn’t going to BE the end. Not for Angelo.
He wouldn’t let it.
* * *

PART ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY

Previous Part 188
((All comments welcome))
I made a family tree/diagram of the Mystallian family that can be found here
For more of my work including previous parts or WPs: Angel466 or indexed here
FULL INDEX OF BOB THE HOBO TO DATE CAN BE FOUND HERE!!
submitted by Angel466 to redditserials [link] [comments]


2020.10.12 17:08 stldanceartist [WTS] Auction Leftovers #3

Good morning once again!
This listing is for items that did not sell during the October 11 Auction (most likely due to BP/fees, or maybe just because the "right" buyer didn't see the auction, who knows) - so you can buy anything you want right here and right now - no buyer's premiums, no additional fees - JUST DISCOUNTS ON EVERYTHING:
*FREE shipping for any order over $100.
*All the Graded/Slabbed Coins are available at 30% off the listed price guide (which should be accurate, was checked about a month ago.)
*Any Sterling Silver non-coin item will be available at MELT (plus shipping.)
*EVERYTHING ELSE is 10% off the listed start price.
Each lot was individually imaged (front and back) for the auction - so the easiest way for you to see exactly what you're buying is to visit the auction link (the auction is over, so I'm not advertising anything different or advertising an upcoming auction) - so here that is:
https://www.auctionzip.com/auction-catalog/HTF-Coins-Silver,-US,-Foreign-more_FYWN25UAV6?page=0&searchWithAll=&size=200&sort=
Here is the required "prove you still have the stuff" photo with the username card and today's date:
PHOTO
Payment: PayPal. I do not have Venmo/Zello/Bitcoin or any other form of digital payment at this time. No notes if using PPFF, please. Thank you.
Shipping: I will charge you what it costs me for the USPS label rounded up to the nearest dollar. For First Class that is usually $4, for USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Small Box it will be $9. I will get you a tracking number right after payment is received and will get your package scanned into the USPS system within 24 hours of receipt of payment. I will offer "Risky Shipping" (via stamped greeting card) at my discretion for $1 - for single, small coins ONLY. NOTE: These prices are for Continental US shipping only - if you live outside the continental US, shipping will be more expensive. I am still happy to do it under the same rules as above, but just keep in mind it's going to cost more.
What do YOU need to do to buy coins from this group: send me a list of which lots you want (for example, I want to buy lots # 51, 52, 53, 54, 55) and I will send you a total. There are too many coins here (plus there are duplicates) so I cannot look up the coins you want by description - just give me lot numbers and it will be much simpler.
I'd like to make a simple and polite request - if I have sent you my PayPal information (meaning we've agreed to a deal) please finish it up as soon as you can so I can check you off the list and move on to the next person. This helps make sure you get all the coins we discussed and no one else is in limbo.
I will do my absolute best to update the ad as soon as lots sell.

LEFTOVERS:

11 1973 Proof Set $9.00
12 1973 Proof Set $9.00
13 1974 Proof Set $9.00
15 1975 Proof Set $9.00
17 1975 Proof Set $9.00
18 1975 Proof Set $9.00
19 1975 Proof Set $9.00
20 1975 Proof Set $9.00
21 1975 Proof Set $9.00
22 1975 Proof Set $9.00
23 1975 Proof Set $9.00
24 1975 Proof Set $9.00
25 1975 Proof Set $9.00
26 1975 Proof Set $9.00
27 1976 Proof Set $9.00
28 1976 Proof Set $9.00
29 1977 Proof Set $6.00
30 1977 Proof Set $6.00
31 1977 Proof Set $6.00
32 1977 Proof Set $6.00
33 1978 Proof Set $6.00
34 1978 Proof Set $6.00
35 1978 Proof Set $6.00
36 1978 Proof Set $6.00
37 1978 Proof Set $6.00
38 1975 Proof Set $9.00
51 Toner US Type Set 1 $55.00
52 Toner US Type Set 2 $30.00
53 Toner US Type Set 3 $30.00
54 1949 S Franklin Half UNC KEY DATE $40.00
55 1949 S Franklin Half UNC KEY DATE $40.00
59 1949 S Franklin Half UNC KEY DATE $40.00
60 1976 D Eisenhower Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $4.00
64 1977 D Eisenhower Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $4.00
65 Toner US Type Set 4 $25.00
66 Toner US Type Set 5 $30.00
67 1953 D Franklin Half UNC FULL BELL LINES $25.00
68 Toner US Type Set 6 $65.00
70 1936 Mercury Dime Doubled Die Obverse HIGH GRADE $30.00
73 1955 Roosevelt Dime UNC TONED $8.00
75 1955 S Roosevelt Dime UNC TONED $5.00
76 1955 S Roosevelt Dime UNC TONED $5.00
78 World Silver - Canada 1913 25 Cents $5.00
80 1956 Roosevelt Dime UNC TONED $8.00
81 1958 D Roosevelt Dime UNC TONED $5.00
83 1964 Roosevelt Dime UNC TONED $3.00
84 1964 Roosevelt Dime UNC TONED $3.00
85 World Silver - Canada 1906 10 Cents $3.00
89 1928 S/S Standing Liberty Quarter Rainbow Toned $20.00
90 1974 D Eisenhower Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $4.00
94 France - 1865 BB 5 Centimes $1.00
95 Illinois Governer Otto Kerner Inauguration Medal $4.00
96 1928 S "Inverted MM" Standing Liberty Quarter $35.00
113 Type Coin Lot $50.00
114 50 Indian Head Cents, Mixed Dates & Conditions $40.00
115 50 Indian Head Cents, Mixed Dates & Conditions $40.00
116 50 Indian Head Cents, Mixed Dates & Conditions $40.00
117 75 Indian Head Cents, Mixed Dates & Conditions $60.00
154 1958 Type B Washington Quarter UNC $12.00
156 1956 Washington Quarter UNC RAINBOW TONED $15.00
158 Denmark - 1921 5 Ore $2.00
159 1968 D Kennedy Half UNC TONED $10.00
160 1958 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC $15.00
162 1959 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC $12.00
163 1959 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC TONED $15.00
166 1960 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC $12.00
167 1960 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC $12.00
170 1875 Indian Head Cent $3.00
171 1963 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC TONED $15.00
172 1963 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC TONED $15.00
173 1964 Kennedy Half Mint Clip Error $15.00
175 1964 D Washington Quarter UNC TONED $12.00
179 Stag Beer Wooden Nickel "Fair on the Square" $1.00
180 The TV Shop Slidell, LA One Wooden Buck $1.00
185 St Helena - 1981 25 Pence (Crown Sized) $3.00
190 1996 D Kennedy Half UNC MINT CELLO $2.00
191 State of Missouri Sesquicentennial Medal $2.00
193 State of Missouri Sesquicentennial Medal $2.00
194 State of Missouri Sesquicentennial Medal $2.00
199 1974 D Kennedy Half Dollar DDO UNC $35.00
200 Star Wars Episode III Limited Edition Token/Medal $3.00
253 1978 D Kennedy Half Dollar UNC from Mint Set GEM BU TONED $40.00
255 World Silver - Switzerland 1953 1/2 Franc $3.00
256 1979 Kennedy Half Dollar UNC from Mint Set GEM BU TONED $15.00
257 1986 D Kennedy Half Dollar UNC from Mint Set GEM BU TONED $30.00
258 1986 D Kennedy Half Dollar UNC from Mint Set GEM BU TONED $15.00
259 1954 S Washington Quarter UNC $15.00
260 1957 Washington Quarter UNC TONED $15.00
261 1963 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC TONED $30.00
262 1999 D Kennedy Half Dollar UNC from Mint Set GEM BU PROOFLIKE $10.00
265 Panama - 1975 Proof 5 Centesimos in OGP cello $1.00
266 1971 D Eisenhower Dollar "Talon Head" Obverse Die Clash / "Moon Line" Reverse Die Clash UNC TONED $20.00
269 Maybrook NY Golden Jubilee Good For 10 Cent Wooden Nickel $1.00
270 Maybrook NY 1975 Golden Jubilee 25 Cent Wooden Nickel $1.00
271 World Silver - Australia 1939 Sixpence $4.00
272 1974 Eisenhower Dollar UNC RAINBOW TONED $20.00
274 1957 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
275 1974 D Eisenhower Dollar UNC RAINBOW TONED $15.00
276 World Silver - Australia 1920 Shilling $8.00
277 1959 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
278 2010 S Buchanan Presidential Golden Dollar from Proof Set with Doubled Edge Lettering $10.00
279 1960 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
280 World Silver - Australia 1943 Shilling $8.00
281 1961 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
282 2011 S Johnson Presidential Golden Dollar from Proof Set with Doubled Edge Lettering $10.00
286 1963 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
287 1983 Lincoln Cent DDO FS-101 $40.00
288 1964 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
289 1983 Lincoln Cent DDO UNC $40.00
290 1983 Lincoln Cent DDO UNC GEM BU $75.00
291 1964 D Washington Silver Quarter UNC TONED $10.00
292 2000 "Wide AM" Lincoln Cent UNC $20.00
293 1960's Terre Haute, IN Sesquicentennial Wooden Nickel $1.00
294 .999 Silver 1 oz MLB Mike Piazza Limited Edition Silver Proof Round $30.00
295 1964 "The American Indian - America's First Pioneer" 1 oz .999 Silver Round $30.00
296 "Winter Scenes" Sterling Silver Art Round $25.00
297 Illinois "Illiniwek" Mascot Sterling Silver Art Round TONED $25.00
298 1982 Buffalo NY Sesquicentennial Wooden Nickel $1.00
299 1958 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
300 1959 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
351 1960 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
352 Denmark - 1950 5 Ore KEY DATE $25.00
353 1961 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
357 1990 Rappahannock Area Coin Club Wooden Nickel $1.00
359 1962 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
360 Old Time Wooden Nickel Co Support Our Troops Wooden Nickel $1.00
361 1963 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
362 Switzerland - 1874 B 5 Rappen $40.00
363 1964 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
366 1957 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
368 1958 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
370 1959 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
371 Great Britain - 1920 1/2 Crown NICE $60.00
372 New Zealand - 1942 1/2 Crown $35.00
373 1960 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
374 Sudan - 1972 50 Ghirsh UNC $4.00
375 1961 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
377 Clear Lake, IA Perkins Wooden Nickel $1.00
378 Lake of the Woods 40th Anniversary Bimetallic Token $1.00
379 1962 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
380 Great Britain - 1981 25 New Pence UNC $3.00
383 Guyana - 1970 1 Dollar UNC $3.00
384 New Zealand - 1953 1 Crown $5.00
385 Illawarrra Numismatic Association Membership Discount Wooden Nickel Token $1.00
386 San Juan Quality Royale Casino Token $1 Face Value $2.00
388 Artisan Silverworks Temecula, CA Wooden Nickel $1.00
390 1963 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
393 Netherlands East Indies - 1945 S 1 Cent UNC $2.00
394 1964 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
395 1957 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
396 Netherlands Antilles - 1965 2.5 Cents UNC TONED $10.00
397 Virginia Numismatic Association Encased Cent $3.00
398 Netherlands - 1921 1/2 Cent BETTER DATE $3.00
399 Netherlands - 1922 1/2 Cent BETTER DATE $5.00
400 1958 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
451 1959 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
452 Belgium - 1902 1 Centime $1.00
453 Netherlands Antilles - 1959 1 Cent UNC $4.00
454 Belgium - 1901 1 Centime $2.00
455 Canada - 1930 5 Cents NICE $8.00
456 Canada - 1930 5 Cents NICER $10.00
458 Canada - 1948 5 Cents $1.00
461 Barbados - 1973 Proof 5 Cents in OGP $1.00
462 Barbados - 1973 Proof 1 Dollar in OGP $1.00
463 Barbados - 1973 Proof 25 Cents in OGP $1.00
464 Barbados - 1973 Proof 10 Cents in OGP $1.00
465 World Silver - Canada 1882 H Ten Cents $10.00
466 World Silver - Canada 1886 Ten Cents $15.00
467 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse Book High UNC $2.00
469 Trinidad & Tobago - 1973 Proof 10 Cents in OGP $1.00
470 World Silver - Canada 1899 Ten Cents $8.00
471 Trinidad & Tobago - 1973 Proof 1 Cent in OGP $1.00
472 British Virgin Islands - 1974 Proof 10 Cents in OGP cello $1.00
473 Trinidad & Tobago - 1973 Proof 50 Cents in OGP $1.00
474 World Silver - Canada 1908 Ten Cents $4.00
476 British Virgin Islands - 1973 Proof 1 Cent in OGP $1.00
477 Netherlands - 1906 1 Cent NICE $1.00
478 British Virgin Islands - 1973 Proof 25 Cents in OGP $1.00
479 1961 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
480 Barbados - 1980 Proof 25 Cents in OGP cello $1.00
481 1962 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
482 Panama - 1976 Proof 5 Centesimos in OGP cello $1.00
483 Panama - 1976 Proof 10 Centesimos in OGP cello $1.00
484 Netherlands - 1912 1/2 Cent NICE $3.00
485 1963 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
486 1964 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter (starts at melt) $5.00
488 Netherlands East Indies - 1921 1/2 Cent NICE KEY DATE $12.00
490 British Virgin Islands - 1974 Proof 1 Cent in OGP $1.00
491 Denmark - 1920 10 Ore Doubled Die Obverse (date) $5.00
492 India - 2010 10 Rupees UNC $1.00
494 British Virgin Islands - 1974 Proof 5 Cents in OGP cello $1.00
495 France - 1946 C 5 Francs $3.00
497 World Silver - Canada 1874 H 25 Cents $8.00
498 British Virgin Islands - 1974 Proof 10 Cents in OGP $1.00
499 France - 1952 5 Francs KEY DATE $10.00
500 France - 1946 5 Francs $1.00
551 Switzerland - 1906 1 Rappen BETTER DATE $10.00
552 World Silver - Switzerland 1963 1 Franc NICE $5.00
553 Switzerland - 1902 2 Rappen KEY DATE FIRST YEAR $15.00
554 Panama - 1975 Proof 1 Centesimo in OGP $2.00
555 Panama - 1975 Proof 10 Centesimos in OGP $3.00
556 Panama - 1976 Proof 10 Centesimos in OGP $2.00
557 Switzerland - 1910 2 Rappen BETTER DATE $10.00
558 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse Book Low UNC $2.00
559 Panama - 1975 Proof 25 Centesimos in OGP $2.00
561 Panama - 1975 Proof 5 Centesimos in OGP $2.00
562 Panama - 1976 Proof 5 Centesimos in OGP $4.00
568 Panama - 1974 Proof 5 Centesimos in OGP cello $1.00
570 France - 1889 A 5 Centimes $1.00
572 Panama - 1973 Proof 1/10 Balboa in OGP $1.00
573 France - 1854 D 5 Centimes $1.00
574 Barbados - 1973 Proof 1 Cent $1.00
575 Panama - 1973 Proof 1/4 Balboa in OGP $1.00
576 France - 1862 K 5 Centimes $1.00
577 1934 Washington Quarter Medium Motto NICE $15.00
579 Liberia 1941 2 Cents NICE $6.00
580 World Silver - Denmark 1874 25 Ore $6.00
581 Liberia - 1974 Proof 5 Cents in OGP $1.00
583 France - 1856 BB 5 Centimes $1.00
584 Liberia - 1974 Proof 10 Cents in OGP $1.00
585 Mexico Mint Set 1965 (includes silver) $5.00
587 Mexico Mint Set Mixed Dates (includes silver) $5.00
588 France - 1863 K 5 Centimes $2.00
590 France - 1855 D 5 Centimes $1.00
593 France - 1854 K 5 Centimes $1.00
594 Bahamas - 1970 Proof 1 Cent in OGP $1.00
595 France - 1853 D 10 Centimes $1.00
596 France - 1856 K 10 Centimes $1.00
599 France - 1854 W 10 Centimes $1.00
600 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse Book Low UNC $2.00
651 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse Book Low UNC $2.00
652 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse Book Low UNC $2.00
653 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 012 UNC $2.00
654 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 012 UNC $2.00
655 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 012 UNC $2.00
658 World Silver - Austria - 1868 10 Kreuzer $2.00
660 World Silver - Canada 1916 25 Cents $6.00
661 Greece - 1959 10 Drachmai UNC $10.00
663 World Silver - Canada 1921 25 Cents $8.00
664 World Silver - Canada 1921 25 Cents $8.00
666 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 001 UNC $2.00
667 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 002 UNC $2.00
670 Barbados - 1973 Proof 1 Cent and 5 Cents in OGP (two coins) $1.00
671 Barbados - 1973 Proof 10 Cents and 25 Cents in OGP (two coins) $1.00
672 Cayman Islands - 1974 Proof 5 Cents and 10 Cents in OGP (two coins) $1.00
673 Bahamas - 1973 and 1974 Proof 1 Cents in OGP (two coins) $1.00
674 Bahamas - 1973 and 1974 Proof 5 Cents in OGP (two coins) $1.00
675 Switzerland - 1921 10 Rappen NICE $8.00
676 Switzerland - 1936 2 Rappen KEY DATE $5.00
677 World Silver - Switzerland 1955 1/2 Franc BETTER DATE $4.00
679 1982 Silver Proof George Washington Commemorative Half Dollar in OGP $11.00
680 1982 Silver Proof George Washington Commemorative Half Dollar in OGP $11.00
681 1982 Silver Proof George Washington Commemorative Half Dollar in OGP $11.00
682 1982 Silver Proof George Washington Commemorative Half Dollar in OGP $11.00
684 World Silver - Saint Thomas & Prince Island (Sao Tome et Principe) 1951 2 1/2 Escudos LOW MINTAGE $25.00
685 1986 Proof 2 CoinStatue of Liberty Set (Silver Dollar and Clad Half) in OGP $22.00
686 1986 Proof 2 CoinStatue of Liberty Set (Silver Dollar and Clad Half) in OGP $22.00
687 Bahamas - 1976 Proof 25 Cents in OGP $1.00
689 Two French Notgeld Tokens $2.00
690 1986 Proof 2 CoinStatue of Liberty Set (Silver Dollar and Clad Half) in OGP $22.00
691 Two French Notgeld Tokens $2.00
692 1986 Proof 2 CoinStatue of Liberty Set (Silver Dollar and Clad Half) in OGP $22.00
693 Mexico - 1954 5 Centavos UNC $3.00
694 World Silver - Japan 1932 50 Sen $6.00
695 Mexico - 1966 20 Centavos UNC $5.00
696 1986 Silver Proof Statue of Liberty Dollar in OGP $20.00
697 World Silver - Canada 1929 10 Cents $3.00
698 1986 Silver Proof Statue of Liberty Dollar in OGP $20.00
699 Mexico - 1973 20 Centavos UNC $6.00
700 World Silver - Canada 1948 10 Cents $3.00
751 1986 Silver Proof Statue of Liberty Dollar in OGP $20.00
752 Mexico - 1955 5 Centavos $1.00
753 Mexico - 1955 5 Centavos $1.00
755 Canada - "Heads and Tails" RCM Mint Booklet with 1968 Mint Set $5.00
756 Four Canada 1991 UNC Cents (4 coins) in OGP CELLO $1.00
757 Four Canada 1991 UNC 5 Cents (4 coins) in OGP CELLO $1.00
759 Four Canada 1991 UNC 10 Cents (4 coins) in OGP CELLO $2.00
760 Philippines - 1975 Proof 10 Cents in OGP $1.00
761 Nepal 1974 Proof Set LOW MINTAGE $3.00
762 Philippines - 1975 Proof 5 Cents in OGP $1.00
766 Four Canada 1991 UNC 50 Cents (4 coins) in OGP CELLO $4.00
767 Four Canada 1991 UNC 1 Dollar (4 coins) in OGP CELLO $7.00
768 Belize 1974 Uncirculated Specimen Set in OGP $25.00
771 Jamaica - 1976 Proof 1 Cent in OGP $1.00
773 1961 Silver Proof Washington Quarter DEEP CAMEO $10.00
774 1964 D Washington Quarter UNC TONED $8.00
775 1961 Silver Proof Washington Quarter DEEP CAMEO $10.00
776 1974 P Kennedy Half Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $2.00
777 Poland - 2014 2 Zlotych UNC $2.00
778 Two Mixed World Coins $1.00
779 1959 Silver Proof Washington Quarter DEEP CAMEO $10.00
780 1956 Silver Proof Washington Quarter $6.00
781 1956 Silver Proof Washington Quarter $6.00
782 Two Mixed Tokens $1.00
783 1976 P Kennedy Half Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $2.00
785 1956 Silver Proof Washington Quarter $6.00
787 1941 S "Large S" Lincoln Wheat Cent $1.00
789 1953 Silver Proof Washington Quarter NICE $20.00
794 2011 S Silver Proof Glacier Quarter $6.00
795 St Pierre & Miquelon - 1948 1 Franc UNC $8.00
796 2013 S Silver Proof Great Basin Quarter $6.00
800 1995 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse $20.00
851 1971 Lincoln Memorial Cent NGC MS67RD (Price Guide $195)
852 1971 Jefferson Nickel NGC MS66 6FS (Price Guide $125)
853 1946 S Roosevelt Dime NGC MS67FT (Price Guide $95)
854 World Silver - Egypt AH1293 (Year 10; 1884) 10 Qirsh $12.00
856 1965 Roosevelt Dime NGC MS67 FULL TORCH (Price Guide $750)
857 1965 Washington Quarter NGC MS66 (Price Guide $30)
858 1971 Washington Quarter NGC MS66 (Price Guide $50)
859 1971 D Washington Quarter NGC MS67 (Price Guide $65)
860 1963 D Franklin Half Dollar NGC MS65 FULL BELL LINES (Price Guide $190)
861 1971 D Kennedy Half Dollar NGC MS67 (Price Guide $120)
862 1971 P Eisenhower Dollar NGC MS65 (Price Guide $80)
863 1825 Half Cent NGC VG10BN (Price Guide $85)
864 1939 S Jefferson Nickel PCGS MS65 Rev 1940 (Price Guide $90)
865 1943 P Silver Jefferson Nickel DDO (Doubled Eye) NGC XF45 (Price Guide $75)
866 1941 D Jefferson Nickel NGC MS66 5 Full Steps (Price Guide $40)
867 1941 D Jefferson Nickel NGC MS67 5 Full Steps (Price Guide $175)
868 2011 S Silver Proof Chickasaw Quarter $6.00
869 2013 S Silver Proof White Mountain Quarter $6.00
870 1943 D Jefferson Nickel Old NGC MS67 (Price Guide $90)
871 1956 D Jefferson Nickel NGC MS65 TONED (Price Guide $20)
872 1956 D Jefferson Nickel NGC MS65 TONED (Price Guide $20)
873 1958 Proof Jefferson Nickel NGC PF69 (Price Guide $110)
874 1978 D Jefferson Nickel NGC MS66 5 Full Steps (Price Guide $60)
875 1945 S Micro S Mercury Dime NGC MS66 (Price Guide $140)
876 1946 S/S Washington Quarter RPM-002 NGC MS65 (Price Guide $75)
877 1946 S/S Washington Quarter RPM-002 NGC MS65 (Price Guide $75)
878 1947 S/S Washington Quarter RPM-001 NGC MS66 (Price Guide $285)
879 1950 Washington Quarter DDR NGC MS66 (Price Guide $150)
880 1957 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse PCGS MS66 (Price Guide $110)
881 1958 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $100)
882 2013 S Silver Proof Fort McHenry Quarter $6.00
883 1959 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS64 (Price Guide $40)
884 1959 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS64 (Price Guide $40)
885 1959 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS64 (Price Guide $40)
886 Canada - 1962 "Hanging 2" 1 Cent UNC $8.00
887 1959 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $55)
888 1959 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $55)
889 1959 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $55)
890 1959 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $55)
891 1959 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $55)
892 1960 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $65)
893 1960 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS64 (Price Guide $50)
894 1960 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS64 (Price Guide $50)
896 1960 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $65)
897 1960 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $65)
898 1960 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $65)
899 1962 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse PCGS MS65 (Price Guide $110)
951 1963 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse PCGS MS65 (Price Guide $130)
952 1963 Washington Quarter Type B Reverse NGC MS65 (Price Guide $130)
953 Philippines - 1944 D/D 20 Centavos NGC AU58 RARE Variety (Priced at $55)
954 1942 Walking Liberty Half DDR NGC AU58 (Price Guide $100)
955 1942 Walking Liberty Half DDR PCGS MS67 GEM (Price Guide $6,000)
956 1953 D Franklin Half Bugs Bunny PCGS MS64FBL (Price Guide $170
957 1954 D Franklin Half Bugs Bunny PCGS MS64FBL (Price Guide $100)
958 1954 D Franklin Half Bugs Bunny PCGS MS64FBL (Price Guide $100)
960 1974 D Kennedy Half DDO PCGS AU58 (Price Guide $35)
961 1977 D Kennedy Half DDO NGC AU58 (Price Guide $175)
962 1977 D Kennedy Half DDO NGC AU58 (Price Guide $175)
963 1977 D Kennedy Half DDO NGC MS61 (Price Guide $250)
964 1977 D Kennedy Half DDO NGC MS62 (Price Guide $350)
965 1977 D Kennedy Half DDO ANACS MS63 (Price Guide $100)
966 1977 D Kennedy Half DDO NGC MS65 (Price Guide $250)
967 1977 D Kennedy Half DDO NGC MS65 (Price Guide $250)
968 1885 O Morgan Dollar NGC MS63 TONED (Priced at $100 due to toning)
969 Sterling Silver Cup Engraved "Johnny" 53.3 grams
971 Sterling Silver Cigarette Case Engraved "CML" 67.5 grams
972 2010 S Silver Proof Mount Hood Quarter $6.00
974 2011 S Silver Proof Olympic Quarter $6.00
976 2010 S Silver Proof Yosemite Quarter $6.00
977 1964 D Washington Quarter BU NICE $5.00
978 1959 D Washington Quarter BU NICE $5.00
979 Sterling Silver Tongs 19.1 grams
980 Sterling Silver Tongs 19.0 grams
981 1984 P Kennedy Half Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $2.00
982 1979 P Kennedy Half Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $2.00
983 1959 D Washington Quarter BU NICE $5.00
984 1959 D Washington Quarter BU NICE $5.00
985 France - 1919 10 Centimes NICE $2.00
986 1953 S Silver Washington Quarter NICE $8.00
987 France - 1945 C 5 Francs $2.00
988 France - 1945 C 5 Francs $2.00
989 Sterling Silver Spoon Engraved "Eugene 1892" 10.0 grams
990 France - 1946 C 5 Francs $3.00
991 France - 1946 C 5 Francs $3.00
992 France - 1946 C 5 Francs $3.00
993 France - 1946 C 5 Francs $3.00
994 1964 D Washington Quarter BU NICE $5.00
995 Sterling Silver Spoon Engraved "1893" 10.0 grams
998 1964 Washington Quarter BU NICE $5.00
999 1962 Washington Quarter BU NICE $5.00
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2020.10.09 20:12 throwawayaracehorse The Massacre at Crybaby Bridge: An Oral History, Part 1

I was in preschool when it happened. I wouldn't hear about it until I was much older, though. I suppose they kept it from us back in those days, and rightfully so. Who in their right mind would expose a young child to such a story?
Still, there was only so much the adults could do and as I came of age I heard about some of the occurrences of that terrible night. It was in junior high where I first heard about the death and destruction, the grief and gore. It was always worse around Halloween and every version I heard of the story seemed to be different. In some versions the killer wielded a chainsaw, in others a machete. He wore a mask or didn’t. The body count changed frequently. The causes of death, too. He had run over a guy with a brush hog, fertilizing a pasture with him. He strung a girl’s guts around a tree like tinsel on a Christmas tree.
I chalked it all up to a junior high pissing contest, each kid trying to one up the other with each version of the story more gruesome than the last. Still, it gave me pause. I knew something had happened at some point in the town’s history. I would ask my parents about the killings at Crybaby Bridge and what Crybaby Bridge even was and they would deflect, tell me it was a bad accident that had happened years ago. Most small towns had them. If you lived in a place long enough you were bound to be witness to such tragedies.
In college I majored in journalism. For my senior capstone I decided to uncover the truth about the Crybaby Bridge Massacre once and for all. I sought out the people who had lived it. I spent many months contacting sources, arranging interviews. The hours I put into the project were many.
I got an e-mail from my professor a couple days later. She told me they couldn’t accept this, unfortunately. The subject matter was just too grim, she had said. It was just too scary for a general audience and most would find it hard to believe.
I understood. It had even scared me while researching it, going through the areas of my hometown with that new knowledge was something to behold. I didn’t dare visit the sites at night. Knowing what I know now it just seems too risky.
As for my professor, she gave me an extension to come up with something else. Maybe I could retool it to talk about small town traditions? Take out the grisly stuff.
All of my hard work for nothing….and yet...someone told me of a place on the internet that would be interested in the full story.
So here it is:
________________________________________________
PART 1
In any town, in any city, there are secrets and stories, myths and legends. The Crybaby Bridge legend is one that had been born out of the small town of Somerset and various other towns across the contingent United States. With regards to Somerset, there have been no historical documents to back up its truth or origin, yet that doesn’t mean that it didn’t occur. It has been passed down all the same.
The incident that occurred in the fall of 2003 does have documentation however, and in the wake of this tragedy a new legend regarding this specific bridge has emerged, The Massacre at Crybaby Bridge.
I have interviewed numerous individuals with firsthand knowledge of the event. The majority of the interviewees were high schoolers in 2003 and their grade at the time of the incident is given. Others have contributed to the story when applicable.
Utmost care was taken to obtain many different perspectives, and in the end, I feel that I have obtained the definitive story of that tragic and terrible night. The wounds may never heal for those that lived it, but for the rest of us it has become a compelling and uncanny story. It is a story that feels most appropriate when the days get shorter and the nights are colder and the leaves start to burn, a story that crosses our minds when we hear something rustle off in the brush when we are all alone and feel a sudden rush of fear before calming ourselves by thinking, “nah, that couldn’t happen to me….”

Autumn, 2003

SKYE BRIGGS, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR**:** It was my junior year at Somerset and really I was just not having it anymore, the whole high school experience. I didn’t really feel like I fit in with any particular group, I didn’t have a boyfriend and I spent a lot of time feeling lonely. Teen angst stuff, I guess. If I could jump ahead to my senior year and graduate early, then I’d definitely do that. I was ready to get out of Somerset and the small town life.
STEPHEN PARKER, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR: Yeah, I guess that Somerset was kind of a shithole. I definitely thought so at the time. Looking back though and becoming more familiar with some of the other towns in the area, by comparison it was actually a pretty nice little town. Charming and homely, I guess. They have this quaint little downtown area with these brick streets and old buildings. There’s also a lot of trees that line the streets downtown.
“Got a case of the doldrums? Have some time to kill and need to get out of the city? Why not take a daytrip to Somerset? But in all actuality we think you may need more than a full day to see and explore all Somerset truly has to offer, so why not make it a full weekend and stay at one of the fabulous hotels located conveniently next to the interstate or one of our very own bed and breakfasts? From parks and a city lake, to a museum devoted entirely to G.I. Joes, we have something for everyone! Visit our beautiful and historical downtown area, shop for antiques, and get a bite to eat at one of the many diners and cafes. Take note of the beautiful trees as well. We’ve been designated Tree City USA by The Arbor Day Foundation. Definitely a must-see during autumn when the foliage is beautiful. So come visit Somerset! Small town charm, big time heart.-Town Of Somerset Tourism Brochure, Somerset Chamber Of Commerce 2002.
RONALD TARVER, SOMERSET CITY MANAGER: We cut the majority of the Main Street trees down in 2011 actually. There was an issue with excessive bird droppings. It got to be a real nuisance.
STEPHEN PARKER, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR: Oh yeah, I forgot. I saw that they had cut all those trees down the last time I went for a visit. I was just passing through and wanted to take a trip down memory lane, I guess. I drove downtown, to the Sonic, the theater, and the depot. Down to the park. All those old haunts. Basically where everything started. I wanted to see if it triggered anything in me and it did. Man, it really did.
SKYE BRIGGS, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR**:** In a town the size of Somerset, the kids would get creative when it came to entertainment. There’s stuff we did that people had never heard of when I went to college back east. One thing that a lot of people did back then was to “cruise town.”
BOB SCHROEDER, LOCAL HISTORIAN: “Dragging main” or “cruising town” was a social activity that came to prominence in the area in the halcyon days of the late 1950’s. It was depicted in the classic movie, American Graffiti. Practiced primarily amongst teenagers, cruising consisted largely of the kids driving their vehicles slowly in a predetermined route that had long been established by the kids from the previous generation. At various points along the route kids would stop and park their vehicles and then get out and socialize. Cruising would occur primarily on Friday or Saturday nights.
STEPHEN PARKER: You would just drive around until you saw someone you knew. Sometimes it would be like a bunch of your friends hanging out in a specific area, sitting on the back of tailgates, standing around, just talking and stuff. You never knew who would be around at any given time, you would just kind of show up and see who was there. It was basically like a chat room occurring in real life. Except with more fossil fuels, I guess.(laughing)
DYLAN BAKER, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR; QUOTE FROM THE SOMERSET SABERTOOTH WEEKLY SCHOOL NEWSPAPER, 4/11/2003 : You never know what’s going to happen when you cruise town. You might run into some buddies who know about a kegger that’s going on and you pile into their car and go there. You might see a fight break out. You might find some girls that want to ride around with you and maybe fool around a little. You might get bombarded by water balloons launched from a whole block away by a slingshot. A kid could piss himself on camera in front of everyone for five bucks. Sometimes nothing happens at all, but you don’t want to miss out on the craziness, the opportunities. That’s why I love to cruise town.
BOB SCHROEDER: Featuring the intermarriage between the U.S. car culture and the freedom of being a teenager with a driver’s license, cruising was the quintessential American activity, just pure small town Americana. However, like drive-in movie theaters, this vehicular pageantry has all but faded to nothing in the present day.
SKYE BRIGGS: I wasn’t the biggest fan of it. I was never one of the cool kids and it wasn’t exactly my scene. The whole thing just seemed kind of stupid. It was this whole big ritual, see and be seen, y’know? Who has the coolest car, who has the biggest truck. Just people being idiots and looking for attention. I got drug along into it by my friends on several occasions though. I mean obviously.
The night it happened I was hanging out with Hailey. It would’ve been a Saturday because it was fall and there wasn’t a football game going on.
HAILEY ADAMS, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR: Skye was my best friend since kindergarten. I’m nothing if not loya,l and it didn’t matter to me that as we got older we didn’t exactly jibe on a social clique-y level. I mean she was all introverted and shy and not really outgoing. She liked music and art and movies and stuff and staying in on the weekends. I was the opposite, but she was a good listener, I could tell her anything and I trust her not to tell. We grew up across the street from each other. She was like a sister to me. “Shy Skye, My Ride or Die” —that’s what I liked to call her, haha.
SKYE BRIGGS: I grew up across the street from her and we were best friends when we were kids. Once we hit high school it was clear that we were on different paths, though. I think we kind of grew apart, but she never acted like she was too good for me. If anything, I kind of blew her off because I didn’t like a lot of the people she was friends with. She was one of the most popular girls in school. Everyone wanted to date her.
BILLY POOLAW, SOMERSET HIGH, SENIOR: Hottest chick at Somerset High? That would definitely have to be Hailey Adams. Bar none.
STEPHEN PARKER: Hailey could’ve been a model. All the light in the room was drawn to her. She also seemed pretty chill. Not stuck up. I was still kind of intimidated by her.
DYLAN BAKER, MSN MESSENGER CHAT TRANSCRIP TO STEPHEN PARKER, JANUARY 2003: I can’t get Hailey off of my mind. Since you have fourth hour with her do you think that you could get in good with her and ask her to lunch? She doesn’t have a driver’s license yet and I know she rides with other people. Maybe that’s my shot? If you and some other people were around, I think I could chill out a bit and get the balls to ask her out.
DALTON FREEBOLT, SOMERSET HIGH, SOPHOMORE: Oh man. I had so many fantasies about her. She was like something from a magazine. Her body was just unreal. I really blame her for my whole cheerleader fetish. I got this costume from Spirit Halloween and my wife wears it sometimes, but it’s really just not the same. I’m still imagining it’s her when we're...y’know. Wait, are you going to quote me on this? Can you take that last part out?
ALLISON McCORMICK, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR; VOTED FIRST RUNNER UP FOR CLASS OF 2004’s MOST ATTRACTIVE : I mean she wasn’t that pretty.
BRYSON VANDERBILT, SOMERSET HIGH, SENIOR: Hailey Adams? Yeah I guess she was hot. Kind of a bitch, though.
HAILEY ADAMS: Bryson said that? Of course he would. I was riding around town with him one day and we parked out by the depot and started making out a little. It didn’t mean anything. I was bored and it was just something to do. But then he started trying to undo my bra and I was like “nah, I’m good”. Then he was all like, “how about this then” and whipped his thing out. He looked like he thought I’d be impressed. It looked so little sticking out of the fly of his jeans and I just wasn’t expecting it. I started laughing and couldn’t stop. He yelled at me and told me to get out of his car.
SKYE BRIGGS: (laughing)I remember her telling me that. Hailey was full of crazy stories like that.
STEPHEN PARKER: Dylan was always coming up with these schemes to get chicks. He had this whole strategy in place before he would ask them out. He wanted to like endear himself to them, y’know? I think it was because he was kind of scared. He had it laid out where he wanted to first become a casual acquaintance, then become their friend, and then he would feel comfortable enough to ask them out. If in the meantime they came onto him first, even better. So this is why he liked to cruise town so much, why he put so much effort into his truck. He hoped he would stumble into these situations where girls would just fall for him. He was just clueless. I guess we all were. The thing was, he actually had quite a few girls out there that had crushes on him, but he never pursued those avenues. He had his sights set on the girls that seemed impossibly unattainable, gals he put on pedestals, your Hailey Adamses of the world.
SKYE BRIGGS: Hailey picked me up that evening. I finally caved to her after she asked me several times. I hadn’t seen her much over the summer and we had only gone to lunch a few times that year. We’d kept in touch with MSN Messenger and the like, but that was it. I was actually looking forward to hanging out with her. I had been daydreaming about getting a boyfriend of sorts and there was this guy, Stephen Parker, that I had a crush on. We sat next to each other in Computer Science. He didn’t seem to be the cruising town type, but I remember that I felt this sort of anticipation that night before Hailey picked me up, that I would see him out there or maybe even someone else and something would happen.
STEPHEN PARKER: Dylan and I were hanging out in the den at my house. We were watching a movie and thinking about smuggling in some beers down to chug and maybe fire up a video game. We had already smoked a joint out in the alley, but the mood was just off, though. It was like this malaise had set over everything.The den felt claustrophobic and the thought of another quaint night down in here with Dylan—staying up late playing video games and watching movies—seemed really depressing. Maybe it was Dylan’s antsy-ness rubbing off on me; he was fidgeting throughout the movie. “Wanna cruise town?” he asked. “Nick’s gonna be down there for a bit. Said there might be a party later.” I shrugged and said, “okay.” It seemed like a good idea at the time.
SKYE BRIGGS: I said bye to my parents and got in Hailey’s car. They didn’t feel the need to tell me any specific curfew. I think they were just happy I was getting out of the house, that I was dressed up and going somewhere to possibly socialize. For the first time, I was actually excited about going to town. I had butterflies in my stomach and everything. I had this lyric in my head and it was from a Jimmy Eat World song, the lyric was “I’m gonna fall in love tonight.” I remember playing that song while getting ready and I was thinking about Stephen...well Stephen’s the one that introduced me to the song.
HAILEY ADAMS: As far as I know, Skye had never had a serious boyfriend. I think she may have kind of dated some guys in band, made out a little on the bus here and there and stuff, but I think that was it. She was crushing hard on Stephen Parker. Said he had made her a mix CD and everything. I don’t know why he hadn’t asked her out yet or what he was waiting for. He seemed like the shy type. They would’ve been perfect together. If we ran into him that night I had full plans to be Skye’s wingman and get them hooked up.
DYLAN BAKER, MSN MESSENGER CHAT TRANSCRIPT TO STEPHEN PARKER, SEPTEMBER 2003: Interesting that you are sitting next to Skye in Computer Science. Did you know she and Hailey are really good friends? I mean they used to be closer back in junior high and Skye is kind of goth or whatever, but I know they still hang out. Maybe if you get in good with her we could all hang out some night? I think she’s pretty cute. I’m not sure what your thoughts are.
SKYE BRIGGS: First off, I wasn’t goth, okay? I’m well aware that in a town like Somerset, any girl that didn’t fit the norm of wearing Abercrombie or whatever and liked to wear dark jeans and band t-shirts from time to time and had a little fun with her eyeshadow was going to get some sort of label. Second, there wasn’t like any sort of goth scene or clique and I don’t think I would’ve been part of it if there was. I didn’t like to draw that much attention to myself. I shopped at Hot Topic every now and then and liked unpopular music. Big deal.
STEPHEN PARKER: We found Nick De Luca down by the depot, sitting on the tailgate of his red Chevy. He was wearing a Black Carhartt half unzipped to reveal a white t-shirt and had a big fat dip in his mouth. He looked like some sort of redneck James Dean. Definitely putting out some cool loner vibes. Dylan pulled in next to Nick’s truck and we got out. He asked us where we had been, said there was a party going on out at Buster’s and was thinking about heading out there. He said there were rumors that there would be a keg.
SKYE BRIGGS: The cruising path was laid out in a circular route, an elongated oval more or less with a few detours that snaked around and some area like the police station or the stretch of four lane highway . The turnabouts occurred at the Sonic Drive-In and at the old train depot.
TOWN OF SOMERSET WEBSITE, INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: The depot was built in 1903 and was saved from demolition in the early eighties. The Somerset Historical Society has lovingly restored it to its former glory. When your tires rumble over our brick streets as you make your way to the depot, you might imagine you are in a horse drawn carriage or a Model-T, on your way to the station to ride the train or pick up a passenger!
SKYE BRIGGS: We were sipping on Ocean Waters from Sonic, parked in the stall and listening to music. Talking. Chilling. Hailey had splashed some rum in our drinks from a pint that her older brother had given her. There were people standing around outside their cars talking and laughing. People from school. People I knew and people I didn’t know. Hailey didn’t have any interest in getting out at the moment and that was fine with me. Eventually, we pulled out of the stall and made our way through the route towards the depot.
STEPHEN PARKER: “It’s her! It’s her!” I remember Dylan jumping around and saying when he saw Hailey’s red Mustang making its way up the main drag towards the depot. Nick just spit out in the street and looked over at him. We had been chilling a bit and seeing who all was in town before we headed out to Buster’s. Dylan looked over at Nick, his eyes pleading. “Can you get her to stop?”
SKYE BRIGGS: Hailey said, “omg Skye, look who it is. Don’t you have a crush on that guy? Didn’t he burn you a mix CD? Oh and there’s Nick and Dylan. Nick’s waving us down. Wanna pull in and say hey?” I was getting nervous and could feel myself blushing. “Uhh, I dunno” was all I managed to say. “C’mon Skye, don’t be a puss. Let’s get out and talk a little. I’ve got your back.
“Fine,” I sighed.
HAILEY ADAMS: That was one of the definitive moments, us seeing them there and deciding to get out and talk. We could’ve just drove on by with a wave. None of this would’ve ever happened. It would’ve just been a Saturday night like any other. Forgotten.
SKYE BRIGGS: I probably wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you if I had turned Hailey down that night. Sometimes—well actually lots of times—I think about how different things would’ve turned out if I had just stayed in, made up an excuse to not go out. Or if instead of saying, “fine”, I had said, “nah, keep going. Let’s go rent a movie.” Would the end result be the same? I don’t think it would. See I think it’s like a Jenga tower or something that was stacked carefully in such a way to create some sort of monstrosity. All these little events before the massacre were the foundation. You remove one of them and the tower doesn’t get built. It collapses before anything can happen.
STEPHEN PARKER: Would this have still happened if I didn’t go out that night? Like a butterfly effect or something? Shit man, I dunno. Probably. I wish I didn’t go out that night, yeah. But you’re telling me you get a chance to pile into a car with your friends and classmates and your crush and you don’t take it? It seemed like a dream come true. I could see it playing out in my head. Fuck my curfew. Wherever the night took us, that’s where we would be. I could call my parents and tell them I was staying the night at Dylan’s. They could read between the lines. I knew they wouldn’t ask too many questions, just be happy that I was safe.
SKYE BRIGGS: There were other moments, too. Moments when we could’ve called it a night and just gone home. I don’t know, how about the chainsaw and the blood and the screaming? The torn jeans soaked in blood and the flayed open leg? That would’ve been a good time to end it.
STEPHEN PARKER: Maybe it still would’ve happened some other night. It’s almost like it was just lying out there waiting for us.
BOB SCHROEDER, LOCAL HISTORIAN: What was the night like in which our intrepid youngsters departed? On the surface, it was a Saturday night like any other...except not. There was a palpable energy in the air. I know because I was seeing a movie at The Ritz, Somerset’s two-screen movie theater that sat on the corner and was adjacent to the depot parking lot. I exited the theater and the town was alive...glasspacks and exhaust tips rumbled and filled the air with their obnoxious noise crying, “look at me! Look at me!” There was the deep thump of bass from stereo systems, Kicker Amps stashed in trunks rattling windows and any sense of decency.
Groups of teenagers congregated on various street corners and wherever convenient while their shouts and laughter echoed through it all. Perhaps our high schoolers were among them. The records show that they would have left at approximately that time period.
I believe the film I had seen was Secondhand Lions starring Michael Caine and Robert Duvall and the Sixth Sense kid. Maybe it would’ve been more fitting if I had seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre which came out a few weeks later. I wouldn’t have had the option, however. Johnny, the owner of The Ritz, opted not to pick that film up out of courtesy for the deceased.
BECCA BONEY, PECAN VALLEY FUNERAL HOME DIRECTOR: I think they did a good job with retrieving the bodies. Well, let me rephrase that. They did a good job with retrieving the bodies and all of their respective parts. You have to understand we were working over a large area and there are coyotes and other things. Some things were impossible to recover, but I’d say they got the majority.
HAILEY ADAMS: It’s the sounds I can’t seem to shake. The images are blurry and I’ve managed to drink and drug them away into some hazy memory, but the sounds...the sounds are a different story. I still hear them. And it's not like I'm just replaying them in my head either. I mean I hear them out in the world. In the static of broken up cell phone coverage there will be a mechanical cry for mama, mama, mama. There's the screams that I can hear late at night, off in the distance. The goddam screams. I can hear each and every one of them. Even my own. A scream that came from somewhere deep within me, from a place I didn’t even know existed, a sound I didn’t know that I could make.
Part 2
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2020.10.07 00:46 throwawayaracehorse The Massacre at Crybaby Bridge: An Oral History - Part 1

In any town, in any city, there are secrets and stories, myths and legends. The Crybaby Bridge legend is one that had been born out of the small town of Somerset and various other towns across the contingent United States. With regards to Somerset, there have been no historical documents to back up its truth or origin, yet that doesn’t mean that it didn’t occur. It has been passed down all the same.
The incident that occurred in the fall of 2003 does have documentation however, and in the wake of this tragedy a new legend regarding this specific bridge has emerged, The Massacre at Crybaby Bridge.
We have interviewed numerous individuals with firsthand knowledge of the event. The majority of the interviewees were high schoolers in 2003 and their grade at the time of the incident is given. Others have contributed to the story when applicable.
Utmost care was taken to obtain many different perspectives, and in the end, we felt that we have obtained the definitive story of that tragic and terrible night. The wounds may never heal for those that lived it, but for the rest of us it has become a compelling and uncanny story. It is a story that feels most appropriate when the days get shorter and the nights are colder and the leaves start to burn, a story that crosses our minds when we hear something rustle off in the brush when we are all alone and feel a sudden rush of fear before calming ourselves by thinking, “nah, that couldn’t happen to me….”

Autumn, 2003

SKYE BRIGGS, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR**:** It was my junior year at Somerset and really I was just not having it anymore, the whole high school experience. I didn’t really feel like I fit in with any particular group, I didn’t have a boyfriend and I spent a lot of time feeling lonely. Teen angst stuff, I guess. If I could jump ahead to my senior year and graduate early, then I’d definitely do that. I was ready to get out of Somerset and the small town life.
STEPHEN PARKER, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR: Yeah, I guess that Somerset was kind of a shithole. I definitely thought so at the time. Looking back though and becoming more familiar with some of the other towns in the area, by comparison it was actually a pretty nice little town. Charming and homely, I guess. They have this quaint little downtown area with these brick streets and old buildings. There’s also a lot of trees that line the streets downtown.
“Got a case of the doldrums? Have some time to kill and need to get out of the city? Why not take a daytrip to Somerset? But in all actuality we think you may need more than a full day to see and explore all Somerset truly has to offer, so why not make it a full weekend and stay at one of the fabulous hotels located conveniently next to the interstate or one of our very own bed and breakfasts? From parks and a city lake, to a museum devoted entirely to G.I. Joes, we have something for everyone! Visit our beautiful and historical downtown area, shop for antiques, and get a bite to eat at one of the many diners and cafes. Take note of the beautiful trees as well. We’ve been designated Tree City USA by The Arbor Day Foundation. Definitely a must-see during autumn when the foliage is beautiful. So come visit Somerset! Small town charm, big time heart.-Town Of Somerset Tourism Brochure, Somerset Chamber Of Commerce 2002.
RONALD TARVER, SOMERSET CITY MANAGER: We cut the majority of the Main Street trees down in 2011 actually. There was an issue with excessive bird droppings. It got to be a real nuisance.
STEPHEN PARKER, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR: Oh yeah, I forgot. I saw that they had cut all those trees down the last time I went for a visit. I was just passing through and wanted to take a trip down memory lane, I guess. I drove downtown, to the Sonic, the theater, and the depot. Down to the park. All those old haunts. Basically where everything started. I wanted to see if it triggered anything in me and it did. Man, it really did.
SKYE BRIGGS, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR**:** In a town the size of Somerset, the kids would get creative when it came to entertainment. There’s stuff we did that people had never heard of when I went to college back east. One thing that a lot of people did back then was to “cruise town.”
BOB SCHROEDER, LOCAL HISTORIAN: “Dragging main” or “cruising town” was a social activity that came to prominence in the area in the halcyon days of the late 1950’s. It was depicted in the classic movie, American Graffiti. Practiced primarily amongst teenagers, cruising consisted largely of the kids driving their vehicles slowly in a predetermined route that had long been established by the kids from the previous generation. At various points along the route kids would stop and park their vehicles and then get out and socialize. Cruising would occur primarily on Friday or Saturday nights.
STEPHEN PARKER: You would just drive around until you saw someone you knew. Sometimes it would be like a bunch of your friends hanging out in a specific area, sitting on the back of tailgates, standing around, just talking and stuff. You never knew who would be around at any given time, you would just kind of show up and see who was there. It was basically like a chat room occurring in real life. Except with more fossil fuels, I guess.(laughing)
DYLAN BAKER, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR; QUOTE FROM THE SOMERSET SABERTOOTH WEEKLY SCHOOL NEWSPAPER, 4/11/2003 : You never know what’s going to happen when you cruise town. You might run into some buddies who know about a kegger that’s going on and you pile into their car and go there. You might see a fight break out. You might find some girls that want to ride around with you and maybe fool around a little. You might get bombarded by water balloons launched from a whole block away by a slingshot. A kid could piss himself on camera in front of everyone for five bucks. Sometimes nothing happens at all, but you don’t want to miss out on the craziness, the opportunities. That’s why I love to cruise town.
BOB SCHROEDER: Featuring the intermarriage between the U.S. car culture and the freedom of being a teenager with a driver’s license, cruising was the quintessential American activity, just pure small town Americana. However, like drive-in movie theaters, this vehicular pageantry has all but faded to nothing in the present day.
SKYE BRIGGS: I wasn’t the biggest fan of it. I was never one of the cool kids and it wasn’t exactly my scene. The whole thing just seemed kind of stupid. It was this whole big ritual, see and be seen, y’know? Who has the coolest car, who has the biggest truck. Just people being idiots and looking for attention. I got drug along into it by my friends on several occasions though. I mean obviously.
The night it happened I was hanging out with Hailey. It would’ve been a Saturday because it was fall and there wasn’t a football game going on.
HAILEY ADAMS, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR: Skye was my best friend since kindergarten. I’m nothing if not loya,l and it didn’t matter to me that as we got older we didn’t exactly jibe on a social clique-y level. I mean she was all introverted and shy and not really outgoing. She liked music and art and movies and stuff and staying in on the weekends. I was the opposite, but she was a good listener, I could tell her anything and I trust her not to tell. We grew up across the street from each other. She was like a sister to me. “Shy Skye, My Ride or Die” —that’s what I liked to call her, haha.
SKYE BRIGGS: I grew up across the street from her and we were best friends when we were kids. Once we hit high school it was clear that we were on different paths, though. I think we kind of grew apart, but she never acted like she was too good for me. If anything, I kind of blew her off because I didn’t like a lot of the people she was friends with. She was one of the most popular girls in school. Everyone wanted to date her.
BILLY POOLAW, SOMERSET HIGH, SENIOR: Hottest chick at Somerset High? That would definitely have to be Hailey Adams. Bar none.
STEPHEN PARKER: Hailey could’ve been a model. All the light in the room was drawn to her. She also seemed pretty chill. Not stuck up. I was still kind of intimidated by her.
DYLAN BAKER, MSN MESSENGER CHAT TRANSCRIP TO STEPHEN PARKER, JANUARY 2003: I can’t get Hailey off of my mind. Since you have fourth hour with her do you think that you could get in good with her and ask her to lunch? She doesn’t have a driver’s license yet and I know she rides with other people. Maybe that’s my shot? If you and some other people were around, I think I could chill out a bit and get the balls to ask her out.
DALTON FREEBOLT, SOMERSET HIGH, SOPHOMORE: Oh man. I had so many fantasies about her. She was like something from a magazine. Her body was just unreal. I really blame her for my whole cheerleader fetish. I got this costume from Spirit Halloween and my wife wears it sometimes, but it’s really just not the same. I’m still imagining it’s her when we're...y’know. Wait, are you going to quote me on this? Can you take that last part out?
ALLISON McCORMICK, SOMERSET HIGH, JUNIOR; VOTED FIRST RUNNER UP FOR CLASS OF 2004’s MOST ATTRACTIVE : I mean she wasn’t that pretty.
BRYSON VANDERBILT, SOMERSET HIGH, SENIOR: Hailey Adams? Yeah I guess she was hot. Kind of a bitch, though.
HAILEY ADAMS: Bryson said that? Of course he would. I was riding around town with him one day and we parked out by the depot and started making out a little. It didn’t mean anything. I was bored and it was just something to do. But then he started trying to undo my bra and I was like “nah, I’m good”. Then he was all like, “how about this then” and whipped his thing out. He looked like he thought I’d be impressed. It looked so little sticking out of the fly of his jeans and I just wasn’t expecting it. I started laughing and couldn’t stop. He yelled at me and told me to get out of his car.
SKYE BRIGGS: (laughing)I remember her telling me that. Hailey was full of crazy stories like that.
STEPHEN PARKER: Dylan was always coming up with these schemes to get chicks. He had this whole strategy in place before he would ask them out. He wanted to like endear himself to them, y’know? I think it was because he was kind of scared. He had it laid out where he wanted to first become a casual acquaintance, then become their friend, and then he would feel comfortable enough to ask them out. If in the meantime they came onto him first, even better. So this is why he liked to cruise town so much, why he put so much effort into his truck. He hoped he would stumble into these situations where girls would just fall for him. He was just clueless. I guess we all were. The thing was, he actually had quite a few girls out there that had crushes on him, but he never pursued those avenues. He had his sights set on the girls that seemed impossibly unattainable, gals he put on pedestals, your Hailey Adamses of the world.
SKYE BRIGGS: Hailey picked me up that evening. I finally caved to her after she asked me several times. I hadn’t seen her much over the summer and we had only gone to lunch a few times that year. We’d kept in touch with MSN Messenger and the like, but that was it. I was actually looking forward to hanging out with her. I had been daydreaming about getting a boyfriend of sorts and there was this guy, Stephen Parker, that I had a crush on. We sat next to each other in Computer Science. He didn’t seem to be the cruising town type, but I remember that I felt this sort of anticipation that night before Hailey picked me up, that I would see him out there or maybe even someone else and something would happen.
STEPHEN PARKER: Dylan and I were hanging out in the den at my house. We were watching a movie and thinking about smuggling in some beers down to chug and maybe fire up a video game. We had already smoked a joint out in the alley, but the mood was just off, though. It was like this malaise had set over everything.The den felt claustrophobic and the thought of another quaint night down in here with Dylan—staying up late playing video games and watching movies—seemed really depressing. Maybe it was Dylan’s antsy-ness rubbing off on me; he was fidgeting throughout the movie. “Wanna cruise town?” he asked. “Nick’s gonna be down there for a bit. Said there might be a party later.” I shrugged and said, “okay.” It seemed like a good idea at the time.
SKYE BRIGGS: I said bye to my parents and got in Hailey’s car. They didn’t feel the need to tell me any specific curfew. I think they were just happy I was getting out of the house, that I was dressed up and going somewhere to possibly socialize. For the first time, I was actually excited about going to town. I had butterflies in my stomach and everything. I had this lyric in my head and it was from a Jimmy Eat World song, the lyric was “I’m gonna fall in love tonight.” I remember playing that song while getting ready and I was thinking about Stephen...well Stephen’s the one that introduced me to the song.
HAILEY ADAMS: As far as I know, Skye had never had a serious boyfriend. I think she may have kind of dated some guys in band, made out a little on the bus here and there and stuff, but I think that was it. She was crushing hard on Stephen Parker. Said he had made her a mix CD and everything. I don’t know why he hadn’t asked her out yet or what he was waiting for. He seemed like the shy type. They would’ve been perfect together. If we ran into him that night I had full plans to be Skye’s wingman and get them hooked up.
DYLAN BAKER, MSN MESSENGER CHAT TRANSCRIPT TO STEPHEN PARKER, SEPTEMBER 2003: Interesting that you are sitting next to Skye in Computer Science. Did you know she and Hailey are really good friends? I mean they used to be closer back in junior high and Skye is kind of goth or whatever, but I know they still hang out. Maybe if you get in good with her we could all hang out some night? I think she’s pretty cute. I’m not sure what your thoughts are.
SKYE BRIGGS: First off, I wasn’t goth, okay? I’m well aware that in a town like Somerset, any girl that didn’t fit the norm of wearing Abercrombie or whatever and liked to wear dark jeans and band t-shirts from time to time and had a little fun with her eyeshadow was going to get some sort of label. Second, there wasn’t like any sort of goth scene or clique and I don’t think I would’ve been part of it if there was. I didn’t like to draw that much attention to myself. I shopped at Hot Topic every now and then and liked unpopular music. Big deal.
STEPHEN PARKER: We found Nick De Luca down by the depot, sitting on the tailgate of his red Chevy. He was wearing a Black Carhartt half unzipped to reveal a white t-shirt and had a big fat dip in his mouth. He looked like some sort of redneck James Dean. Definitely putting out some cool loner vibes. Dylan pulled in next to Nick’s truck and we got out. He asked us where we had been, said there was a party going on out at Buster’s and was thinking about heading out there. He said there were rumors that there would be a keg.
SKYE BRIGGS: The cruising path was laid out in a circular route, an elongated oval more or less with a few detours that snaked around and some area like the police station or the stretch of four lane highway . The turnabouts occurred at the Sonic Drive-In and at the old train depot.
TOWN OF SOMERSET WEBSITE, INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: The depot was built in 1903 and was saved from demolition in the early eighties. The Somerset Historical Society has lovingly restored it to its former glory. When your tires rumble over our brick streets as you make your way to the depot, you might imagine you are in a horse drawn carriage or a Model-T, on your way to the station to ride the train or pick up a passenger!
SKYE BRIGGS: We were sipping on Ocean Waters from Sonic, parked in the stall and listening to music. Talking. Chilling. Hailey had splashed some rum in our drinks from a pint that her older brother had given her. There were people standing around outside their cars talking and laughing. People from school. People I knew and people I didn’t know. Hailey didn’t have any interest in getting out at the moment and that was fine with me. Eventually, we pulled out of the stall and made our way through the route towards the depot.
STEPHEN PARKER: “It’s her! It’s her!” I remember Dylan jumping around and saying when he saw Hailey’s red Mustang making its way up the main drag towards the depot. Nick just spit out in the street and looked over at him. We had been chilling a bit and seeing who all was in town before we headed out to Buster’s. Dylan looked over at Nick, his eyes pleading. “Can you get her to stop?”
SKYE BRIGGS: Hailey said, “omg Skye, look who it is. Don’t you have a crush on that guy? Didn’t he burn you a mix CD? Oh and there’s Nick and Dylan. Nick’s waving us down. Wanna pull in and say hey?” I was getting nervous and could feel myself blushing. “Uhh, I dunno” was all I managed to say. “C’mon Skye, don’t be a puss. Let’s get out and talk a little. I’ve got your back.
“Fine,” I sighed.
HAILEY ADAMS: That was one of the definitive moments, us seeing them there and deciding to get out and talk. We could’ve just drove on by with a wave. None of this would’ve ever happened. It would’ve just been a Saturday night like any other. Forgotten.
SKYE BRIGGS: I probably wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you if I had turned Hailey down that night. Sometimes—well actually lots of times—I think about how different things would’ve turned out if I had just stayed in, made up an excuse to not go out. Or if instead of saying, “fine”, I had said, “nah, keep going. Let’s go rent a movie.” Would the end result be the same? I don’t think it would. See I think it’s like a Jenga tower or something that was stacked carefully in such a way to create some sort of monstrosity. All these little events before the massacre were the foundation. You remove one of them and the tower doesn’t get built. It collapses before anything can happen.
STEPHEN PARKER: Would this have still happened if I didn’t go out that night? Like a butterfly effect or something? Shit man, I dunno. Probably. I wish I didn’t go out that night, yeah. But you’re telling me you get a chance to pile into a car with your friends and classmates and your crush and you don’t take it? It seemed like a dream come true. I could see it playing out in my head. Fuck my curfew. Wherever the night took us, that’s where we would be. I could call my parents and tell them I was staying the night at Dylan’s. They could read between the lines. I knew they wouldn’t ask too many questions, just be happy that I was safe.
SKYE BRIGGS: There were other moments, too. Moments when we could’ve called it a night and just gone home. I don’t know, how about the chainsaw and the blood and the screaming? The torn jeans soaked in blood and the flayed open leg? That would’ve been a good time to end it.
STEPHEN PARKER: Maybe it still would’ve happened some other night. It’s almost like it was just lying out there waiting for us.
BOB SCHROEDER, LOCAL HISTORIAN: What was the night like in which our intrepid youngsters departed? On the surface, it was a Saturday night like any other...except not. There was a palpable energy in the air. I know because I was seeing a movie at The Ritz, Somerset’s two-screen movie theater that sat on the corner and was adjacent to the depot parking lot. I exited the theater and the town was alive...glasspacks and exhaust tips rumbled and filled the air with their obnoxious noise crying, “look at me! Look at me!” There was the deep thump of bass from stereo systems, Kicker Amps stashed in trunks rattling windows and any sense of decency.
Groups of teenagers congregated on various street corners and wherever convenient while their shouts and laughter echoed through it all. Perhaps our high schoolers were among them. The records show that they would have left at approximately that time period.
I believe the film I had seen was Secondhand Lions starring Michael Caine and Robert Duvall and the Sixth Sense kid. Maybe it would’ve been more fitting if I had seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre which came out a few weeks later. I wouldn’t have had the option, however. Johnny, the owner of The Ritz, opted not to pick that film up out of courtesy for the deceased.
BECCA BONEY, PECAN VALLEY FUNERAL HOME DIRECTOR: I think they did a good job with retrieving the bodies. Well, let me rephrase that. They did a good job with retrieving the bodies and all of their respective parts. You have to understand we were working over a large area and there are coyotes and other things. Some things were impossible to recover, but I’d say they got the majority.
HAILEY ADAMS: It’s the sounds I can’t seem to shake. The images are blurry and I’ve managed to drink and drug them away into some hazy memory, but the sounds...the sounds are a different story. I still hear them. And it's not like I'm just replaying them in my head either. I mean I hear them out in the world. In the static of broken up cell phone coverage there will be a mechanical cry for mama, mama, mama. There's the screams that I can hear late at night, off in the distance. The goddam screams. I can hear each and every one of them. Even my own. A scream that came from somewhere deep within me, from a place I didn’t even know existed, a sound I didn’t know that I could make.

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2020.10.06 22:37 sadpotato231 Cross country road trip (part 3)

For those of you who didn’t read my last 2 posts, my other half of 10 years passed about 2 months ago and I’m traveling the country spreading her ashes. It has been incredibly difficult at times, but this is my story. It is long, but I like to think it’s a good read.
Nashville, TN: day 1
I guess I was just burning the candle at both ends. After a good night’s rest, I’m feeling much better. I’m sitting out on the back patio of my hotel enjoying a free cup of coffee. The sky is a bright and cloudless blue, the pool is open, and for once it seems that I am awake before the rest of the world.
After some debate on where to go and what to do, I decide to just head straight into the center of the city and walk until I find something worth while. Hopefully, I can find somewhere appropriate to spread some ashes, though I doubt it at the moment. I believe this will just be a pit stop to my next destination.
People here are relatively fearless about COVID. While some are quick to mask up, others are more reluctant to do so. Even walking through crowds is a minor deterrent for most. When we see a second wave of this virus, I will be the first to assign blame.
Holy hell. Never before have I seen so much live music in one square block. I’m not a big country fan, but I think I may have to adapt my preferences while I’m here. As I pull onto broadway street, I can immediately head a jumbled up mess of roughly 6 separate live music venues playing. The streets are lined with overflowing bars, with drunk tourists flooding into the streets, and frantic parents midway through realizing that perhaps, Nashville was not the best place for a family vacation. While I sit by, sip my black coffee with a shot of espresso and people watch. This may not be where country music was born, but it is certainly where it was conceived.
I’m not yet sure how I feel about Nashville. While surely, there is endless entertainment to be found here, I wish that it were a little more spread out. I like a good long walk on on a trip. There is no self sufficiency required to find a worth while destination here. Step onto Broadway and walk. You’ll find something you like. While convenience seems to be king, sometimes I like a hunt. However, it is impossible to deny the superlative quality of music here, nor the great abundance that it comes in.
Me to a local: What is there to do here? The local: Drink? Me: it’s not even 2 yet! The local: Hit a museum?
I spot the Johnny Cash Museum and talk to the barista.
Me: Is it worth it? Her: No. Me: Thanks for your honesty! Her: I get in for free and still haven’t bothered to make it all the way through. Me: So what would you do if you were only in town for 1 day? Her: There’s a lot of good restaurants around here. Me: I’m not all that hungry. Her: Drink?
I decide to stop asking locals for travel advice and check the maps to figure out what to do next.
They were not kidding, this city is big on alcohol. As I sit near a small fountain, I spot around a dozen bachelorette parties on open faced busses and biking I am determined to stretch my dollar as far as it will go when I spot my own personal back to back havens on my map. Option 1: a free of admission bar with preloaded arcade games Option 2: The Comedy Bar of Nashville
Upon further inquiry, I learn that the comedy show is sadly sold out. I will have to settle for arcade games.
As I step in, I spot a full floor of pinball as well as the classics, Pac-Man, Joust, Galaga, etc. While Katie and I were in Seattle, we found a similar bar, Art Marble 21. We spent roughly 6 hours in this bar, taking part in some intense ping pong playoffs against one another which eventually inspired us to purchase our own table in a 1 bedroom apartment. I still can’t believe I convinced her. Initially, we would play for hours until we were dripping with sweat, but as time went on we began using it less and less. Given the success of coin slot in TC, Katie and I quickly drew up some figures towards the potential cost of implementing something like this in TC. We had gone as far as to check out the price of various arcade games and to try to figure out how much a technician would cost in order to perform basic maintenance. We thought Right Brain’s building would be ideal for this, but since it was taken, the Warehouse district became our ideal choice. After figuring all the costs, we realized that we couldn’t have gone through with something like this without at least a decade of saving up. Still, it was a fun concept that we liked entertaining from time to time. Katie always suggested that we start with a taco truck and expand to our own bar if the truck was successful. Even in a major foodie city, I would kill for one of our shrimp tacos right now.
Alright Nashville, you’ve grown on me. I have found the alley that was meant for me. As I sit and enjoy the surrounding passerby’s I see a man walking with his puppy on his shoulder like a parrot. A block away there are 3 separate street performers. I’m currently sitting in an alleyway with 6 separate live music venues. Most of the bars have a small cover, so I’m waiting for the right one to spend my night at.
I’ve decided upon the free one. While the singer isn’t the best I’ve heard tonight, I’m enjoying the atmosphere greatly. As the guitar strums, my entire body is filled with vibrations from the amplifier. I immediately wonder what the occurrence of hearing loss is in this area. My money is on 20%, but that’s a conservative estimate. I’m not complaining. There’s a reason why his amplifier goes up to 11.
Nashville:2 Nick: 0
I bide my time by listening to a free concert outside of a popular club. This group is fantastic. While they deserve every dollar of the cover charge, I do not want to spend needlessly. As time went on, I ended up at Miss Kelli’s karioke. If you want to know where the real show is in Nashville, it lies not in the street performers or in the scheduled gigs, but in this goofy band of misfit locals. I’ve heard renditions of songs in this portion of my trip that have made every scheduled live event that I have ever attended look like pure unadulterated dogshit. I will not apologize for my vulgarity. I’ve heard world-class levels of country, funk, pop, and rock all in one bar. I’ve spent a total of 9 dollars on drinks with no regrets. There’s a guy singing blink 182 and sum 41 songs that remind me of middle school. He’s pretty good. He sounds almost identical to the band, but throws in little catch phrases and dances around like a madman. He’s having fun with it, but he’s also not taking himself too seriously. It’s a good show.
A slightly stout and awkward 20 something year old steps up onto the stage with her friend, a confident young woman with obnoxiously long fake eyelashes and long hair. The bartender leans in to tell me “she used to work here, you’re gonna want to watch this one.” I couldn’t determine which individual she was talking about, but nonetheless, I move up to the front row with excitement. I hear the karaoke attendant announce that they will be singing Shallow from the A Star Is Born soundtrack. Not my favorite song, but I’m interested to see how they handle it as a duet. The woman with the fake eyelashes begins. Huh... she’s good but not incredible. I really hope at this point that the other woman is the one who the bartender was talking about.
It was the other woman. Not only has this she now captivated the entire bar, for the first time in my life, my jaw is literally agape for an entire duration of a song and it’s a song that I don’t even really like all that much. I’m near tears. It’s not just the most beautiful performance I’ve heard live, it’s the most beautiful performance I’ve heard anywhere. It’s so good that her friend has stopped singing entirely and is just staring at her with the biggest smile as though she knows, it will not get better than this anywhere in this city tonight. There are times when the English language is horrifically lacking in the translation between intent and written word. It is possible for me to describe someone who is good, great, or even incredible. New words would have to be created to describe exactly what this young woman’s performance was like.
She finishes the song and is immediately twirled around by her husband. I make it a point to go over and say hello to them and to tell her how fantastic her voice is. Immediately, I see that there is a line of likeminded individuals forming behind me. I tell her most of what I have written here, but without gushing too much, and ask if she’s going to sing again tonight. She is not. I say my goodbyes to the group and am asked if I’m going up by one of the guys in the group.
Something that you guys don’t know about me is that I will do Johnny Cash songs at karaoke, but only after a few drinks. I cannot say whether it is good, but I believe it to at least be adequate. I don’t have much of a singing voice outside of that, but after some slight intoxication, I can delude myself into thinking that I sound enough like him to try. I explain my predicament and tell them, “I’m not actually sure if it sounds any good and I’m certainly not brave enough to follow what she just did.” The husband turns and says “Let’s get you a drink and find out.”
Nashville: 3 Nick: 0
Alright Nashville... at this point I have spent roughly a total of 80$ for this night, including my food, an Uber, drinks, and my hotel room. The husband of this insanely talented woman has been plying me with drinks and I have finally worked up the courage to go up. Before I approached the stage, he gives me a Jell-O shot “for good luck” and I head up to sing “Boy Named Sue.” There are strangers in the front row who I hear yell at one another “he’s pretty good!” In a venue like this, I’m beyond flattered. This is the highest complement that I could have hoped for. I stumble over a few of the lyrics, but quickly recovered. Afterwards there was some light cheering and I was able to retire for the evening with my head held high.
As I exit out onto the streets, I make small talk with the bouncer. He’s been making jokes with me all night and is now serving hot dogs out in front of the club. He shouts out, “Hey big man! Want a hot dog? Guaranteed, best in the country.” I turn and say “Best in the country? That’s a powerful statement there. I just got back from Chicago and I’m not sure anything will ever beat that hot dog.” He tilts his head back and replies “man, what’s Chicago got that we don’t got?” I say, “Hell man, you could eat at a McDonald’s in Chicago and it’ll still be the best meal ever. I don’t know what they do to food there, but it’s all just flawless. I don’t even like sauerkraut or coleslaw, but they load stuff like that on a hot dog in Chicago and it’s the greatest thing ever.” He narrows his eyes and as though he’s telling me a secret and almost whispering says, “We’ve got sauerkraut.” I take a hot dog with everything but relish and begin to scarf it down. I tell him, “This is a fantastic hot dog, but I will tell you that Chicago dogs are still the best.” “Really?” He replies. “Absolutely.” “Damn, I guess I’ve gotta go to Chicago.”
Day 1: Knoxville, Tennessee
I decided to stop in Knoxville on my way to West Virginia because of a deal that simply could not be beaten. A 3 star hotel for only 24$ per night. It’s about a 10 minute drive from the center of the city and at that price, I could hardly say no.
Who in their right mind rated this place 3 stars? The tattered siding combined with the bulletproof glass between the front desk attendant and I should have been a strong deterrent, but I paid online and am therefore screwed. The courtyard has an outdoor pool but the entire area looks relatively like a minimum security prison or like the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. There is discarded furniture in the hallway, chained up doors, and unsupervised toddlers playing in the street. I immediately reconcile myself to either stay entirely in my room or to head into the city, but nothing else.
Entering my room, I am immediately expecting the bathtub to contain an unconscious man with an open cavity where his kidney should be. Thank god I brought my own blankets. I sit on the bed for a minute and to my surprise, it’s a relatively comfortable tempurpedic. Just kidding. It’s a rock. I shudder at the thought of the potential creepy crawlies living within it, but quickly remind myself that it’s just for 2 nights and that I saved a good amount of money by doing this. I miss Shirley so goddamn much right now. Her Airbnb was so cozy in comparison.
I spend a moment resting on my boulder and trying to figure out how I will occupy myself outside of this room in the near future. While searching things to do in this area, a plane passes overhead. And then another. And another. I’m a mile away from the airport. I quickly check the flights coming in and out today and find that there is a flight every 2-45 minutes from now until midnight. They start back up at 6 AM. So basically what I’m saying is that if you’re staying in Knoxville, I know a great place.
There is something majestic about the sky in Tennessee. Inexplicably, it seems like there is more of it here. The surrounding areas are filled with high rolling hills and trees for miles, but somehow it is the sky that I am fixated on.
I grab a bite to eat from the closest restaurant, a well reviewed Mexican spot. I order the chicken chimichanga and am delighted to see that it comes with all the fixings. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a messy slop or food on my plate, but it’s all I ever want. I turn into a giddy schoolboy when my plate is filled with toppings to slather all over my delicious deep fried bit of goodness.
As I sit after, I run into the same familiar predicament that seems to be plaguing my days lately. I’m not ready to go to bed. I’m in a new and unfamiliar city. It feels like a waste to sit inside, but there is also very little to do. I could go to a bar, but it isn’t as though I really want to.
I decide to just stay in and watch the wire. I have always felt that this is the unsung hero of HBO shows. It makes most other police based shows look like absolute trash. While there are exceptions to that rule, there are not many. There are speeches in this show that I think about long after watching them.
Day 2: Knoxville, Tennessee
I wake around 12 and find out that the hike I was going to go on is listed as closed due to COVID. I’m very confused and will have to find someone to contact to make sure. It seems a little hard to believe that restaurants are open and that hiking trails are closed.
I decide to head for a sandwich shop in town. It’s listed as 4.8 stars and only sells at 6$ a sandwich. A good sandwich and a cup of soup will always be near the height of luxury for me. While I love a bit of fine dining when I can afford it, there’s something comforting to me about this little hole in the wall diner. It’s run by an elderly couple who charges next to nothing for what should be 10$ minimum in any pub in the city and still seem to make a profit. I start to reason that their overheads are low. They’re located in a mostly abandoned little strip mall, so rent is probably reasonable. Their decoration budget includes mostly fake plants. Their staff consists mostly of themselves. They’re not out to make a fortune, they just wanted to work together and feed hungry folks for a reasonable price.
I decide to just drive out to Ijams nature center in hopes that it’s a fluke and luckily, I find that they are open. I head on into the visitors center and begin to ask about the trail. There is an option to zip line throughout roughly 3 miles, but I quickly decide that wouldn’t be the best venue for spreading ashes. Instead, I opt for the nature walk along the Tennessee River.
Despite my best efforts, I always seem to forget how much my mental status is improved by a nice long walk. I try to stay mindful of the importance of regular physical activity, but it can be difficult to continue through with once you build up to my particular size. Just know that if you are of a reasonable weight for a man my age, a mile of hiking for me is a mile of hiking for you if you were wearing a lead vest. It feels good though. With each step I feel my ligaments snapping back into working order. Muscle memory is a miracle.
It feels good to keep moving. It’s always easier when the environment is this gorgeous. I spot a bench with an immaculate view and while I don’t want to take a seat, I would be a fool to not bask in it for a few moments. As I sit, a shirtless man on a kayak is casting out his reel while he kicks his feet up on either side out of the kayak. He’s listening to black eyed peas. He bobs his feet in the water to the music as he slowly drifts through the motionless water. This man may never catch a fish, but he is surely living his best life.
He’s got a pull! I’m so excited for him! He tries to reel it in, but comes up empty. He shouts out, “Son of a bitch took another lure off of me! This fish has got a wicked sense of humor on him!”
I continue on walking until I find what looks like a reception area. There is a wooden gazebo with a handful of picnic tables along with a gorgeous garden, and a small stream that leads out to the river. After walking through the area, I feel a warm rush of euphoria rush over me. This is a peaceful, beautiful, quiet, and happy place. It’s filled with nature. There is a scurry of baby chipmunks that are prancing across the trail in front of me. I think she would like this. She used to feed the rabbits and squirrels outside of our apartment with whatever veggies we could find when we spotted them. It always used to make me smile. I really should start traveling with some carrots in my bag. With some effort, I head to the top of the stream to leave a small sprinkle here and head back to the car. Initially, I am bothered that the ashes sunk to the bottom of the stream rather than floating down it, but I quickly notice that of the small identifiable bits of ash, one moves down the stream every few minutes. Upon this discovery, I am immediately comforted and even overjoyed at the idea that she will move continuously throughout this stream for quite some time. She would like it here.
I decide to head on into the downtown section and am incredibly glad that I did. There’s a charming little plaza known as the market square. It contains roughly 30 shops all lined up next to one another. It’s mostly restaurants and bars, but there’s something about the practicality of it that I enjoy. I’m on a park bench listening to “take it easy”. He’s not particularly good, but this has always been one of my favorite traveling songs, so I stop for a minute to enjoy some free music. If traverse city is ever to make an adjustment towards big city living, it should involve a massive influx of live music in the streets. Interlochen is right there! For whatever change you have on you, you can enjoy an amateur concert in the park while people-watching. I would happily pay 5-10$ to enjoy such a glorious opportunity. Nearby there is a crazed homeless man with an equally crazed dog. The dog is aggressively barking at passing individuals. The singer has moved onto Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown and I decide that this will be my new spot to hang out for the foreseeable future. Free entertainment is always better. The area is relatively tame, but still has the aesthetic of a larger metropolitan. Nearby are trolleys that offer free transportation. The smell of good food is in the air. Every corner has live music. While it’s not always good music, it is always nice to post up for a minute and hear what the local bard has to offer. I’m decidedly a big fan. I expect that this area will get much crazier very quickly as the night presses on.
A man has taken the front stage in front of me and is doing a dead on Mitch Jagger impression with just a slight southern accent. It’s just enough to separate himself from any other impersonator. He came equipped with his own mic and amplifier. He’s covering Rolling Stones songs. I figure out that there’s a bar out front with seating that is right in front of his stage. This town feels a little more my speed. As I sit down, I feel obligated to order a drink, but I tell the waitress not to worry about me past that. She tells me that they have a special on whiskey drinks for 5$ so I order an old fashioned and hang out for roughly 2 hours. So many have told me that this town is dead and not to bother with it, but I’m a big fan. If this is this city when it’s dead, I’m not even sure I would love it as much when it was filled with people.
Next to me is an older man playing chess with a younger man who I assume is his son. There is a trio of friends playing a game that I have never seen behind me. It’s played on a small board. There are roughly 12 pucks, 6 of 2 different colors. On each player’s side is a rubber band that allows the players to place the puck flush against the rubber band, pull back, and try to shoot it through a small hole into the other player’s side. Generally, you just smash your puck into the other player’s. Once all your pucks are on one side, you have won. They’re losing it for this game and I find great amusement in this. Anyone who tells you that happiness can’t be bought chose the wrong thing to spend their money on.
This city feels like they anticipated it to be much busier than it is. There are trolleys that run all throughout the city, free of charge. There are sky high buildings, but seem to be relatively few actual citizens out. Maybe it’s just because I just came from Nashville, but it seems like this is among the most mellow cities I’ve been to so far and I love it.
The whole time, I have been writing this, I haven’t so much as had a sip of my drink. It’s the most fantastically smooth old fashioned I have ever tasted. The waitress tells me that they use an orange simple syrup and an orange bitters. As I enjoy, I spot a police officer coming by to cut the man on stage off from singing. Apparently somebody in the area complained about the noise. Real disappointment. I make a bit of conversation with the singer and he asks if he can trust me to watch his stuff while he runs back to get his car. Apparently this is the sort of city where you can trust a stranger with hundreds of dollars in equipment and roughly half that in tips. I’ve turned into a hawk. My eyes are fixated on this equipment and any stranger who approaches anywhere near it. He returns and thanks me heavily, telling me that if I’m in town tomorrow that I should swing back through and he’ll be playing different songs at the same spot. This is only the second time that I have wished that I would stay for another day, even in my terrible hotel room.
This city is simple and fantastic. I try to measure cities based on a specific criteria. 1: the number of experiences per square mile 2: the general vibe of people 3: the sights 4: the food 5: the general feel that you get when I’m there 6: the music 7: would I live here?
Oddly, this city hasn’t knocked any category out of the park, except for one. I have an inexplicable gut feeling that this is the right location for me at this time. It’s peaceful, but it’s big enough. It’s got music, but it’s not obnoxiously loud.
On my way out, the waitress tells me to hit up the local speakeasy, Peter Kern’s Library. It’s a small spot that was a speakeasy dating back to prohibition. I walk in, order a cheap glass of Pinot noir, and grab a spot to relax. There are a total of 5 booths and 1 table. The room is dimly lit with candles and there are soft vibrations of music pumping out of the speakers. The music has a quiet and beautiful sadness that is completely absent from the radio today. The wine is exquisite, with heavy notes of chocolate and black cherry. Sometimes when you get a wine with those notes, it just turns into a boozy form of sugary welches, but this is perfect. There’s a man in overalls and a newsboy cap talking about his experiences in the music industry with the bartender. He’s a musician turned promotemanager who had traveled all throughout the country. He’s regaling the bartender with stories of old about traveling by car all over while he lived on couches and slept out of his car. I chime in and explain what I’m doing and he offers to buy me a mixed drink. I reluctantly accept and decide that I will be taking several hours to walk and enjoy the city before driving home. It’s still only 6 PM, so I have at least 4 hours to explore, giving me more than enough time to work off 3 drinks. I order the Holly Golightly, named after a character from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s made with strawberry and raspberry infused vodka, lavender liqueur, lime juice, strawberry vodka, and Prosecco. While I am more of a whiskey guy most days, I am also a fanatic for raspberries and high quality raspberry flavored things and this drink is no exception. It’s sweet and a little bitter in all the right ways. If it weren’t alcoholic, I would drink this in lieu of water. Each ingredient pops at alternate times. It’s like a rave of flavors on my tongue. Each unique characteristic is easily discernible from one another, but they all blend together so flawlessly that I immediately start to treat this drink as a precious delicacy that is meant to be cherished for as long as humanly possible. I thank the man in the overalls as he exits and I contemplate what exactly it is about me that causes strangers to want to ply me with alcohol when I travel. This is oddly not a unique experience for me, but it is always met with great confusion and graciousness. When Katie and I were in Chicago we were bestowed many free gifts (if you don’t know the story, I won’t be the one to share it here). It was not uncommon for us to go out and meet a fellow couple who was willing to pay for shots. I do not know whether this is unique, I only know that it has happened regularly since I was roughly 24. Through sheer discipline, I was able to make the drink last over an hour.
There is a restaurant that I have passed twice called Nama that I have immediately determined to be fantastic, but also outside my price range. As I’m passing I hear a couple sitting at an outdoor table. The man tilted his head back and yells out “half of sushi is awesome!!!!!” It’s the best unintended advertisement I have ever seen in my 29 years of existence. Rolls are roughly 5$ a piece, so I order 2 and await the joy that I expect to ensue. The sushi is great.
The waitress is wearing a Rolling Stones mask and asks what brings me to Knoxville. I tell her that I’m traveling the country. She asks why. I tell her and I immediately feel that familiar choke in my throat as my eyes begin to swell up. I can see the look of empathy in her as her eyes begin to water. She chokes up but gets out the sentence, “well she was lucky to have you.” It’s all I can do to shake my head, clear my throat, and let out a heavily restrained, “No... I am the lucky one. She was the best.” By the end of the meal we had both teared up in separate corners. I apologized for making her cry and she insisted on giving me a hug before I left. Ordinarily, hugs can be give or take. There are but three options. 1: the hugger squeezes too hard and hangs on for too long. This is typical of larger drunken men 2: the hugger squeezes too lightly and doesn’t know when they’re allowed to let go. This is typical of obligatory huggers 3: the hugger has studied from the masters. They have been preparing for this moment for their whole lives. In one flawless effort, they let out an appropriately long and sincere hug that leaves the huggie feeling fully embraced and comforted without crossing into any awkward territory.
Thankfully, she was the third. I thank her for the service and the hug and tell her that there is a guy in the market square who covers Rolling Stones songs and that he sounds just like the band. I tell her that if she’s free, she should check it out.
After finishing my meal, I decide that I have given myself an appropriate amount of time to sober up entirely and decide to head back to my shabby little hotel.
Day 1: Roanoke, Virginia
I pull in and check out what looks like a relatively uneventful city. There’s traffic, but not much else going on. That’s alright with me, I’ve been on the road for 5 hours and mostly just wanted an Airbnb to do laundry in. I’m wearing my cleanest dirty shirt and jeans that I’m fairly certain contain trace amounts of salsa from 2 days prior. I pull into an empty parking lot and discover that from the outside, this looks like an abandoned flower shop. All the blinds are down and there are no signs that anyone occupies this space except for the statues in the windows. I’m immediately concerned, but I punch in the code and get the green light to enter. Oh man! Don’t judge a book by it’s cover! Not only is this place pretty awesome, it also has a 55 inch tv in my room and the comfiest bed that I have ever lied down on. Next to the bed is a delightful glade plugin with a delightful scent that I am unfamiliar with. For 30$ a night it could not be beaten.
I take a moment to catch my breath while I schedule my trip for tomorrow to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia. For a total of 50$, I will be spending 2 nights camping in what I believe will be one of the most beautiful parts of my trip.
I pick up some food, have a couple drinks, and head back to binge on some tv while I relax before the trip ahead of me.
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2020.10.04 19:19 PostMortem33 LoveHatePainScars

Have you ever heard of the broken heart syndrome? It exists and it takes over your body and mind, as a result of emotional or physical stress, which leads to rapid and severe heart muscle weakness.
I’ll tell you my story, even if it’s hard for me to write these words. It’s even harder when the wound healed so hard and the scar is etched on my chest. When I was young I fell in love, as most of us do. Your heart beats faster, you get nervous when you make your first move and you know you can’t screw it up.
I remember we went out exactly after the rain stopped. We felt the petrichor in the air, I loved the smell of dust rising up in the air after the raindrops hit the ground. Well, used to love it. Now I kinda hate it when I feel it entering my nostrils because it always remembers me of that first date.
I picked her up and we went for a walk, and we started chatting about various things like what were each other’s hobbies, what bands we liked, what authors we enjoyed reading, things like that. Before I knew it, evening came and we decided to go to the highest spot in the city, on top of the hills, where we watched the stars.
She told me that she never saw clearer skies and brighter stars than she saw that night. We were both laying on our backs watching the shiny dots and as I extended my hand to take hers, I felt my heart racing.
Be still my beating heart, I told myself. I reached to kiss her, not before locking eyes with hers just to see if we were on the same page. Sometimes I do that, I can feel if it’s the right thing to do or not.
As our lips touched, I felt something pass through me. A feeling I’ve never felt before that evening. I think it was the first time I fell in love; it happened on the spot. Of course, I would have never believed it to be possible. Gusts of winds were whooshing through the small trees and that’s when I saw her eyes lighting up.
“I’ll make you feel things you’ve never felt before. No one will ever make you feel this way ever again,” she told me, as she kissed me again.
I was dumbstruck, mesmerized, and I felt like I had the whole world at my feet. I felt like the luckiest bastard in this world and the next. Time suddenly stopped, making me feel like I was trapped with her somewhere else, in another galaxy perhaps.
Some time passed and we were genuinely happy, always laughing and I felt that she was everything I’ve ever dreamt of.
Then one day came when I called and she failed to pick off the phone. I called back two hours later and as I started panicking with the phone in my head, I jumped when it started vibrating.
“Listen… uh… Jonathan, I can’t do this anymore. I need a breather,” she said.
“What are you talking about, what’s gotten into you, Alice?” I said, raising my voice a bit.
“It’s… uh... it’s complicated. I need a few days off. I don’t wanna talk to you or see you, ok?” she said, hanging up.
I felt my whole world collapsing. The windows of my soul’s home were shattered like an explosion took place nearby. The house I’ve built with her was collapsing as a result of a massive heartbreaking earthquake.
I started shaking and I slammed my fist against the table. I was at a loss for words and I started walking in circles in my living room because I felt like my whole being was ripped to shreds and my soul was torn apart.
A few days passed, I forgot I needed food to sustain myself and water to stay hydrated. I tried calling her a few times but she never answered.
Then one day I went to the grocery store and I saw her at the arm of another man, they laughed, they giggled and then they kissed. Neither of them saw me and I quickly ran outside, I leaned back against a wall and broke down crying, tears hitting the concrete below. I saw a flash before my eyes and felt a strong pain hitting where my heart was.
I was having a heart attack and as I tried to squeeze at my chest where the pain was, like that would’ve made any difference, I collapsed to the ground and everything went black.
I woke up the next day in the hospital. I was alive, I survived. I felt like I was split in two but the halves weren’t properly glued together. I felt nauseous, sick, in pain, hurt. Heartbroken. Twice in a single day. What a mess.
Fast forward three months and my recovery was complete. While being in the hospital, I kinda forgot about her, I focused more on my health, both mental and physical. And…
The nurse was very nice to me every day; she took really good care of me all those months. So after asking around if she was single, the doctor told me that yes, she was.
I kinda felt my heart racing for the first time in a long, long while. I didn’t know if it was physically good or not, but emotionally and mentally it sure felt really good.
I took the courage to ask her out but immediately after doing so I realized that I was a little afraid. What if what had happened before would’ve happened again? What if I’d have another heart attack and this time I’ll close my eyes for good?
I felt like the sun was shining again on my alley. She told me that if I take care of myself until I got out and didn’t give her too much trouble, she would go out with me for a coffee.
Fast forward a few months and I was really happy with Layla. We hit it off pretty well, but even then I had little flashes of what happened before. I snapped out of it when I heard my phone ding. It was a DM on Instagram.
It was from Alice. I felt my heart sink. She casually asked how I was, and if I doing alright. Like nothing ever happened, like I didn’t have a heart attack because of her. It was like she knew I was happy and well but she just sent the message to fuck with me and my mind one more time.
Then another one asking me if I wanna meet for a quick chat. I started sweating, trembling, shaking. I dropped my phone on the floor and then I replied that I’d meet her. Just out of curiosity.
Layla was in the shower and I told her I had an errand to run and that I’ll be back shortly. I lied to my girlfriend for the first time. Why did I do that?
Alice waited for me right in front of the place we went for a drink on our second date. It brought back bitter memories seeing her there, memories that seemed to run through my mind like rays of light reflecting from a mirror. It almost made me dizzy.
As she turned, she smiled at me. I dropped my head and asked what the urgency was. She said that she has been thinking of me lately and that she wanted to get back together.
I gave her a negative answer and that’s when she smiled and jumped to kiss me. I rejected her but she managed to place her hand above my racing heart and squeezed hard at it.
I felt another heart attack coming and, as I dropped to my knees, I asked her why. She took me by the chin and carved a line on my chest with her fingernail. Right before fainting, I felt blood coming out from the wound.
I smelt burning sage. Upon waking up, I found myself in a cold dark room. There were no lights on, it was complete and utter darkness, and I started searching for a light switch or a door handle so I can get out.
After maybe ten minutes of searching, I finally turned on the lights. I saw Alice standing in a chair in one corner of the room, she was looking towards a white door.
She told me that we’ll be happy forever in that room, that I won’t ever need to leave. I replied, screaming, that it wasn’t possible, I was in another relationship and that I was happy.
She started laughing, telling me that I wasn’t happy, that she was still in my heart and she’ll probably be there forever. Inside my heart that she broke two times already.
I said that I needed the key to that door because my girlfriend was probably worried sick. That’s when an impossible thing happened.
Her skin turned red and her fingernails were replaced by claws. She grew fangs and her eyes turned from a hazel hue to a dark crimson, like she had blood inside her irises.
I completely froze. She said she needed me, she needed my love and all my feelings and emotions; she needed them as food, to sustain herself.
She started running towards me, enraged. I ducked, but she managed to scrape some skin off my face. I ran towards the door, trying to break it open.
She came at me again. She grabbed my face and as she kissed me, I felt the very essence of my being leaving my body. Little by little, my soul was being sucked away by this evil entity I once knew as my girlfriend.
I snapped out of it and pushed her away. I broke down the door and that’s when I saw Layla yelling my name.
“You gotta fight her, Johnny. I can see everything from here. You gotta fight her and come back to me,” she said. “Just… Just let her go. Deep down in your heart, you still care for her. Let her go now, and come to me, please…”
I told myself, “Get out of my heart, get out of my soul, and leave me alone. I’ll never think of you again; I don’t love you anymore. The love I felt for you is gone,” I said, feeling like I was reciting a poem.
I don’t know what made me say those words but when I turned I saw her starting to feel weak. I decided to extend my hand and try to take Layla’s as she was reaching for me. That’s when Alice grabbed me with both hands, I can remember vividly as it happened. Exactly like this. Suffocating both my body and my soul.
I started crying and I thought it was the end. That I’ll die and stay trapped in that room forever with her. That she’ll feed on me on and off for eternity.
Layla told me to resist it, to not give up. I closed my eyes and imagined how my life with her would be, where we’d be if I’d survive Alice’s dark devices. My heart needed to beat again and I wanted it to beat for Layla and no one else.
As I reached out for her, I understood that I needed to cast out all the ghosts and memories of Alice. I needed to banish them from the house of my soul.
I woke up on the pavement to see Layla’s teary eyes and a smiley face.
“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry. Thank you for saving me,” I said, while I still coughed and gasped for air.
She told me everything was alright, that the devil woman was gone. She took me in her arms and we headed home. I asked her how she knew where I was and she told me that my Instagram account was opened on my laptop and she accidentally looked.
Thank God for that.
I think Alice or whatever her name was defeated because I decided that I don’t want anything from her or with her ever again. She needed someone weak, who wouldn’t let go of the past, who always and constantly needed to go back.
No more of that. I wanted to be happy and leave the past where it belonged. Although the scar on my chest will always remember me of that. I guess that’s the way it was always supposed to be. Sometimes love turns to pain and hate turns to scars.
If you don’t deal with what has hurt you, then you will bleed on those who never cut you.
submitted by PostMortem33 to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.09.18 21:09 crvstycvnt Your Funeral. Another whatever. Idek if this is “poetry” anymore and not just me whining into my notepad. So be it

Your Funeral
You were fourteen. I was twelve. You were my first. I was your last. By the time summer rolls around every year, so do the thoughts of you and I and our two years together. Just two years. In hindsight, that was merely a blink of my eyes, and yet that hasn’t stopped me from dwelling over our deaths these last eight years.
I’ve grown to hate you less over this near decade. Unfortunately, the hatred and anger and confusion was replaced with guilt, turmoiling trauma, and near debilitating attachment issues.
Your dad abused you, in more ways than I care to think about. Your peers bullied you, to brinks I care not to imagine. Your bi-polar schizophrenia toyed with you, similarly to how everyone woman since you has toyed with my heart. Be that as it may, I didn’t excuse you. I didn’t excuse you from the pain you inflicted upon me to try to escape from your own.
Because of your forcing of me as a sexual partner, I am left with an eternal haunting feeling of being entirely unsatisfying and inadequate as a man to fulfill my partners physically. I pick at my insecurities like scabs, and they never heal.
Because of your mauling of me when I was reluctant to blindly follow your ways, I feared future women as if they were rabid animals. I was left always treading deep water, constantly in fear of drowning in a sea of “loving” fists.
Because of your emotional manipulation, I never felt it was okay for me to have my own problems. My life was falling apart before me, and I was forcibly unaware that I was dancing upon a ledge of death that I would inevitably tumble over. To this day, I grow distant with women I date because I fear they’ll throw my issues back into my face and I’d much rather be sick and stable than healthy and alone. So far that hasn’t worked, though, since here I sit both sick and alone.
I found my escape one day and took it. I couldn’t bare another day of pressuring and coercion and abuse. So I ditched ship and swam to my nearest shore, caring little about how you would fare alone. I cared even less on that fateful day, June 26, 2015, when you dm’ed me an essay of an apology. You had gone to rehab for your substance abuse. You had sought therapy and medicine for your mental disease. You had realized the error of your ways, and the error you caused in my psyche. You wanted nothing of me, just to let me know you still loved me. But I was bitter, I had already fallen apart and was in a relationship nearly just as bad, and I was on yet another brink. I snapped at you.
It was only three days later that I received word of your suicide through an invitation to your wake, and I was instantly flooded with regret and guilt. Just then, my fear became reality, and I was drowning. It wouldn’t be more than a few mere hours until I tied my own noose and said goodbye. At least for a few moments. My poor brother had no idea what he was waking me up from, confused why there was twine around my neck and why I was unconscious. Today I can’t express in words how grateful I am to be stumbling around this earth some more, but back then, nothing felt worse than knowing I couldn’t even die correctly. My life was entirely out of my hands, and I felt more lost and out of control than ever before.
Despite all of this, I forgive you. You had your struggles, and they picked you apart like vultures feasting off a leprous corpse. But I’m alone now, left in a mental squalor. Someone else used to occupy your space, but you’ve once again taken up residency, yet somehow I’m the one paying a mental rent. I don’t want you as a tenant in my mind, but if you weren’t here I would feel so horrendously hollow. Maybe I feel that way regardless. I hear your voice in others, I see your face in others. It all bounces around my skull like an echo. Johnny got his gun, all I have are my thoughts and they’re of you.
One day in the peak of summer, when the heat ripens the thought of you like the scent of your decaying carcass, I’ll visit your grave, and pour out all my emptiness onto your bones where it belongs. Then and only then do I think I’ll finally be done with you.
https://www.reddit.com/OCPoetry/comments/ivabtd/wrote_this_today_after_reading_some_of_the_poems/g5qce0l/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf&context=3
https://www.reddit.com/OCPoetry/comments/iumcr1/1975/g5qckw6/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf&context=3
submitted by crvstycvnt to OCPoetry [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 22:46 Byebyekittty Why I think Mackenzie/Aaron will stay! (Not spoiler just speculation)

Huge fan of this show!! I've loved reading all your posts :) I just can't help but love the insightful, intense deep analysis of reality television stars LOL. But I wanted to share some of my thoughts! I love Mackenzie alot, I can't help but root for her! I know a lot of her actions are questionable at best and even I can't defend everything she does but I don't think anything she does is ever intentionally trying to hurt others. She's not acting out while knowing that her actions are sometimes in the wrong, unlike some people. (I'm looking at you Jalen and Johny). She just seems unaware of how she comes off, or how she communicates. But I really want her to stay so here's what I'm thinking:
1.) Twitter polls/reddit polls: It seems like this sub has a lot of Mackenzie fans and on twitter she gets a lot of hate. But I do see her getting a decent amount of votes on twitter polls and support on twitter as well.
2.) I agree that she has a massive amount of haters, exponentially more than she has supporters. But her haters aren't voting her out, they're likely voting for fan favorites who are getting the majority of the votes anyways. Jaleb/Kiersten. I do notice that she has some supporters (although not very large) but I can see all her supporters voting her because she's clearly in danger.
So that leaves the people who I think would be in the bottom:
Laurel/Carrington: Honestly well liked overall, but who is voting them favorite? Do they have that much energy? I pretty much don't see anything about them. They're like everyone's 2nd or third choice. And so that just automatically leaves them with little votes.
Moira/Connor: Seems like people find them pretty boring. I'm not sure about them, I can see Connor getting a lot of support and producers look like they're pushing them to be Connor's "redemption arc" (to which i say ugh whyyyy lol.) But I still don't see them being a "Favorite" they seem to fit in with Laurel/Carrington above.
Johnny/Cely: People don't like Johnny...RIGHT? that seems obvious. I feel like it would be perfect for them to be at the bottom but NOT go home so Cely get's kind of a wake up call.
Jalen/Sher: Jalen's pretty much every girl's dating nightmare, he can leave. Sher doesn't seem interesting enough to gather supporters. They're a sure thing at the bottom.
Those are pretty much my thoughts! Maybe i'm reaching the denial stage in this roller coaster ride of supporting Mackenzie but I just don't want to see her go!
submitted by Byebyekittty to LoveIslandUSA [link] [comments]


2020.09.13 21:49 spindizzy_wizard [Alien Ecologists] Part 03

Alien Ecologists: Part 03

first previous next last

Mitchell Island: John Little's Radio Shack

"Rock House, Rock House, Rock House, do you read, do you read, do you read, this is Mitchell, Mitchell, Mitchell."
"Mitc$$$$$$$$$ell, Mitchell, we read you, we$$$$$$$$$$read you, $$$$$$$ Rock House, Rock House, $$$$$$$$$$"
Depending on conditions, radio communications can be excellent, execrable, or impossible. Today, they are somewhere north of execrable. Code might be better, or might not. At least this way, you can hear some of the voices. We will dispense with an accurate rendition of the communications in favor of something more legible.
"Rock House, USS Enterprise sunk, Admiral Parker dead, most crew recovered."
"Mitchell, Understood, Location Captain Young?"
"Rock House, Captain Young on hand."
"Mitchell, Please put him on."
As difficult as the conversation was, when you put it all together, it sounded something like this.
"Rock House, this is Captain Young. Admiral Parker proclaimed Empire of the Rockies, claimed leadership. Circumstances required sinking Enterprise. All but power crew, Lieutenant Hernandez, Admiral Parker, and five crew recovered. Bridge crew state Admiral Parker shot Lieutenant Hernandez without justification. Power crew commendation, believe they deliberately flooded to avoid further meltdown. Believe they deliberately sacrificed selves to save others. Crew mutiny found justified, I say again justified. All cleared of charges."
"Mitchell, CNO Jackson, Actions approved pending after action report. Status mission?"
"Rock House, Get stuffed Jackson. Actions stand as stated regardless. Man on the spot rule. Actions essential mission. Crew resolution essential mission. Mission critically important. Say again, Critically Important."
"Mitchell, Get stuffed yourself, Young. Actions approved. YOU will stand for action review. Explain mission."
"Rock House, Accepted. Will stand for personal actions. Mission complicated. Require current code to report further."
"Mitchell, Ship's Doctor present?"
"Rock House, Ship's Doctor speaking."
"Mitchell, Confirm sanity Captain Young."
"Rock House, Confirmed sane, I say again, sane. Mission as stated."
"Mitchell, Wondering about you. Assistance required?"
"Rock House, Captain Young speaking, assistance useful, assistance unlikely to arrive in time."
"Mitchell, Assistance days away. New USS Enterprise, last reported position approximately two days away. Radio on board. Frequency 3.3 MHz. Only operable 1200 Rock House and 0000 Rock House. Will Contact 0000 Rock House Today. You contact 1200 Rock House Tomorrow."
"Rock House, Advise Enterprise, Do Not Fire, on any unusual craft or station seen. Repeat Do Not Fire, on any unusual craft or station seen."
"Mitchell, What the hell have you gotten into Young? Will so advise. Strongly suggest rendezvous before Eastern Islands for conference. Orders unusual, cannot guarantee no fire, man on the spot rule."
"Rock House, Understood, Will rendezvous. Who Captain Enterprise?"
"Mitchell, Captain Simmons. Any further?"
"Rock House, require authorization, man on the spot rule, ambassador plenipotentiary."
"Mitchell, Cannot confirm until report from Captain Simmons. Will have decision 24 hours or less from Simmons report. Guaranteed."
"Rock House, Nothing Further. Radio Watch from 0600 Rock House to 1000 Rock House. Other times erratic. Operator, John Little."
"Mitchel, Rock House Out."
"Rock House, Mitchell Out."

USS Missouri: Captain's Cabin

I stand at my window, looking out over the construction in the distance. I am troubled. Even though I have yet to be confirmed as the legitimate authority, the Greys have continued construction as though I was. If they say they will stop if a legitimate authority asks them to, then should they not stop when such authority has yet to be granted?
"You called for me, Captain?" He sounds cheerful enough, but he has never looked this pleasant before. Always a certain degree of reserve. I am reluctant to make this request, but he is the only one likely to get the information we need. Which I need before I contact the new USS Enterprise.
"Yes. Doctor, I would appreciate it if you would do something for me." I am pensive when I speak, thoughtful. Much as the doctor used to speak when he was not sure of the Greys. I hope he will take my meaning.
"What is it, Captain?" Ah... the careful speaking. Good, he has picked up on the tone of my voice.
"Observe the Grey's construction activities. Carefully. Up close and personal." Almost absent-minded. As though it was just an afterthought. Not important at all.
"I... I believe I understand." The care with which he chooses his words. I nod to him.
"Good Doctor. Good. Take Bo'sun McBride with you, you may find that he has invaluable insights. Join the local people who observe the works. They are expected and ignored. They are also allowed quite close to the works."
Only shooed away when some particularly dangerous maneuver requires it. Those dangerous maneuvers have increased, despite the rate of construction remaining the same. If there will be an unguarded thought, or one very firmly held, that will be the time.
"Yes, Captain. I understand." The confidence in his voice. I hope he remembers to remain calm and undisturbed. "I can play that game too, Captain."
Good. Good.

SS Johnny B. Goode: Zulu3

  1. Two-masted fishing craft. Small enough that two can handle, although three or four might be better. The fishing nets or lines can be heavy.
"Thank you for taking us along with you, Captain Sadler."
"Ah, well now, I'd not have done it, but we're to fish in the area anyway, and you being seafarers, I can trust not to do something stupid. The Greys be nice enough, but they've got to chase us away often enough that the fish have recovered. If they don't chase us away today, we should have a good catch."
"Captain, have they ever granted you additional time if the fishing lines were being pulled in?"
"Yes, they have. Forgive me, Doctor, but I get the feeling that you have more than seeing what they're up to on your mind."
"Perhaps, if you would be so kind, drag your feet a little while drawing in the lines. Not much, just enough that it might make a nervous human with something to hide a bit more nervous."
"We'll have to pull out no later than the last tourist boat."
"Good enough, good enough, Captain."

"The Builder's Barge"4

  1. The primary craft of the Greys, handling all construction. The other units are all observation boats, keeping an eye on things all around the primary craft. The name is a rough translation made at the time.
(We need to move another (untranslatable) into the housing. Move the humans away.)
(How many more?)
(Four. One more today, three tomorrow.)
The engineer be praised, almost done, and no one has said no! This will be a fine world for our people!
(Keep your mind calm. Some of these creatures are sensitive!)

SS Johnny B. Goode

In a voice so calm it takes a moment to register, the Doctor asks for a peculiar service of McBride. "Bo'sun? I have a strange order for you. As an officer of the ship, I require you to obey it immediately, without question. ... Knock me unconscious at once."
beat ... beat ... SMASH!
"Oy! What ye' do that for! He's your officer!"
"Yes, please depart with all deliberate haste. Take us back to the Missouri, directly, and turn us both over to the Captain. I've some explaining to do."
"I'll say you do! You'll be lucky to just get keelhauled!" Turning away to direct his men, he continues muttering, "Last damn time I take any bloody tourists along, even if they are naval men. Damned fools, and me right with them for taking them aboard!"

"The Builder's Barge"

(What of the Goode?)
(what of it?)
(The captain's mind is disturbed.)
(Ah, a disagreement of some sort between two tourists. He's going to take them to the local authority.)
(Very well. Keep an eye on them, make sure that's where they actually go.)

USS Missouri

"Hoist Away!"
The Ship's Doctor is drawn aboard in a litter rigged by Bo'sun McBride.
"Bo'sun?" The Captain is almost unconcerned.
"Per his orders, Cap'n." McBride hesitates for a moment. "Cap'n? Would it be a good idea to weigh anchor? A bit of training for the crew?"
"An excellent idea, the crew can use the training. Please see to it at once. I will have the Doctor in my cabin. Come when we are well underway. General course is northerly at best speed."

Observation Craft: "The Builder's Barge"

(What are they up to?)
(Training. The crew is surprised, so it must be 'good training'.)
(laughter)
(Let them go, there's nothing they can do. Their armament is too weak.)

USS Missouri: 6 Hours Out

"Cap'n?" He sounds a bit worried. That's all to the good. He has struck a superior, so he should be concerned.
"Yes, Bo'sun?" Calm. Calm. Give nothing away. Calm. Calm.
"We're 6 hours out, and there hasn't been an observation craft seen for the last three hours." I sit there. Calm. Calm.
"None at all?" Calm. Calm. Bo'sun is worried. Calm. Calm.
"Yes, Cap'n." It takes time to register. A deep breath. My face feels stiff. I attempt a smile.
"Thank you, Scott." He's still a bit worried, but I'm coming back fast. "I promise an explanation shortly. I'm still waking up."
"Ah. Meditative trance then, avoiding anything ... provocative."
"Yes, Scott. Which is why you did not know anything, and the doctor knew only what he needed to. Whatever he learned, it was provocative enough that he felt compelled to have you render him unconscious. You are cleared of any charges, and the order doing so has already been written.
If you would be so kind, repair to the sickbay, and obtain the smelling salts. It is past time we found out what the doctor discovered."
...
sniff inhale "Faugh! ... Ohh... What a headache! Is ... ah, thanks Bo'sun. Although I don't think I'll ever ask you to do that again. Captain? Are we well away?"
"Some three hours since the last observation craft seen."
"Good... I hope it's enough. Captain? What they're doing may restore Gaia, but only as a secondary effect. Its primary purpose will make the planet much better suited for them than for us. We have only tomorrow left. They will not stop until a local authority tells them absolutely no. They're also going to be very insistent that the authority be the authority. After they finish? It's too late."
"As I thought... Duplicitous as humans... Devious as the Devil parsing a contract. We will be meeting the new USS Enterprise shortly. I made arrangements earlier today with them. I'm afraid I had to chase Mr. Little out of his radio shack. I do hope he isn't too put out with me."
"Cap'n? What type is the new Enterprise?"
"She's in a class all her own, Bo'sun."

USS Enterprise (BB-30)[5]: North of Mitchell Island

Name USS Enterprise
Design Armored Barque-Rigged Steamer Sloop
Crew 175
Arms 3 Turrets armed with 2 Rifled Breech Loading Cannon
  1. Technically, she's a cross between a barque-rigged screw sloop and an outstanding job of design for a turreted sail/steamship with armor plate. She's also quite a bit larger to create stability for the guns, and room for the ammunition. Because of her beam and length, she still only draws about 5 meters. The designation as a battleship is in some dispute. Yes, her armament is almost certainly the heaviest available in the world, which might well have counted her as a dreadnaught. Others claimed that because of her paucity of guns, she should be no more than a battlecruiser, or even a cruiser. Sentiment won out though; as the best they had mobile, she would be the new Enterprise and would be a battleship.
"Any sign of the Missouri, Lieutenant?"
"No, Captain. But this fog isn't helping either."
"Have we been sounding?"
"Aye, Captain, due for another one..."
"AHOY, ENTERPRISE!"
The hail is far too close, and even at these speeds, potentially catastrophic, the watch on Enterprise calls for an emergency maneuver.
"HELMSMAN! HARD ASTARBOARD!"
The Missouri hearing the call, and having some idea of relative motion, commits to hard aport, scraping by with three feet to spare as the Enterprise goes past her bow, crossing behind the Enterprise.
Both ships straighten their course, and Missouri moves up alongside the Enterprise.
"AHOY, MISSOURI! I know we're supposed to rendezvous for a close held council, but don't you think that's a might too close? You might scrape our paint!"
"STOP COMPLAINING, SIMMONS! YOU GOT THE CHOICE COMMAND!"
"THAT I DID, YOUNG! AND I'M HOPING TO BRING HER BACK WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A DING ON HER! NOW LET'S HAVE THAT CONFERENCE SO I CAN GO BACK AND TELL THEM THE ALIENS ARE A TERRIBLE JOKE!"
"I ONLY WISH THEY WERE, SIMMONS. I ONLY WISH THEY WERE."

USS Enterprise (BB-30): Captain's Mess6

  1. As with many other navies, this navy believes in having its officers dine together to build understanding among them. It's also an excellent place to bring up issues — after dinner — in a formally informal setting. Unfortunately, only larger ships can carry the space for such.
The greetings are polite but distant. The officers of the Enterprise are not rude, but they obviously have some issues with Captain Young. Captain Simmons invites everyone to be seated.
"Alright, Captain Young, we're all gathered. Wow us with your fantastic stories." His attitude makes it clear that he does not believe anything he has been told and does not expect to do so now.
"Captain Simmons, is it your contention that the aliens are nothing but fantastic stories?" Politely asked, without any adverse inflection.
A short, no-nonsense, biting reply. "It is."
Regretfully, "Then we have nothing further to say, except that I would appreciate the use of your radio room for some time. I have reports to forward to the CNO that I would not trust to Mr. Little's radio."
"If those reports have anything to do with aliens, you'll not use my radio." A cold flat statement.
"You would deny a fellow officer the opportunity to communicate with his commanding officer? May I ask on what grounds?" Again, Captain Young is remaining polite, but his eyes have tightened.
"On the grounds that I am the senior commander here, and I will not have my resources used for frivolous purposes."
"What frivolous purposes? I have only a need to file my reports to date with the CNO. If those reports are frivolous, would it not suit you to have me file them? I know already that you do not believe the aliens exist. If the CNO agrees, will I not be recalled? That should certainly suit you very nicely." The phrasing is polite, as is the tone, but there's an edge to it as well.
"Captain Young, you are..."
Bo'sun McBride has been ... listening a little too close to the door; when he hears Captain Simmons' opinion, he enters without authorization. The conversation shifts to Captain Simmons and Bo'sun Scott McBride, or perhaps it is Montgomery Harrison, former instructor at the Naval Academy.
Captain Simmons, outraged. "Seaman! Get out of here!"
With a distinct note of disapproval, and a certain amount of disgust. "No, Captain Simmons. You're just as boneheaded as I remember. Aren't you, Midshipman Disaster."
He starts out angry but suddenly realizes what's been said. "I'll have you in chains you insolent ... What did you say?"
"Midshipman Disaster." Calmly, precisely, and without emotion. Just as he once dressed down a midshipman who should have known better before getting three two-man sailing craft sunk at the same time through his own boneheaded mistake.
In the tone of one remembering something from the distant past. "The only person to ever call me that was..."
"Professor Montgomery Harrison, at your service." Once an instructor resigned and disappeared about the time that Parker decided to push for the reactivation of the USS Enterprise carrier. A possibility that Professor Harrison raised as a purely theoretical problem, to show the terrible cost it would have should it ever be attempted. Parker decided to ignore the issues and drive ahead anyway.
"Yes, the resemblance is there. Why as crew, and not an officer?" Truly curious, but with an edge of suspicion.
"Parker wouldn't take "no" for an answer. Any officer would have come to his attention swiftly."
"So, it's true. You abandoned him." In disgust for a disrespectful act.
"Captain Simmons, are you aware of what Parker did?" The professor is back, teaching a recalcitrant midshipman.
"He brought back the USS Enterprise."
"At what cost?"
"A few prisoner's lives who were already slated for the hangman anyway."
"Captain Simmons, did you ever read my original report? The one which included the expected cost in lives for the process?"
"There was no such section."
"I regret to inform you that there was and that you have seen only the redacted report that Parker circulated without my permission or support."
"You accuse him of lying?"
"By omission? Yes."
"Conveniently waiting until he is safely dead, and cannot defend himself."
With strained respect, "Captain Simmons, did you hear the charges that he was brought up on?"
"An obvious fabrication, no officer would have sent a thousand men to their dooms."
"Captain Simmons, did you not see the evidence provided? The reports of the mass graveyards. The missing persons reports? The AWOL reports? Many of those accused of AWOL were exemplary sailors who had no record of infractions until they fell into Parker's hands. He covered their deaths up any way he could. In any case, your report is low. It was two thousand five hundred and thirty-four able seamen."
"That's a LIE!"
"Then get on your radio and ask CNO Jackson! Or even President Davis! Or anyone that wasn't on Parker's sycophant's list! Every one of them will tell you the same thing. Parker was responsible for every one of those deaths. He was going to face court-martial. With the charges involved, he would have been stripped of rank, cashiered, and HUNG for mass murder. Do you know why he wasn't?"
"Because the charges were false!"
"No, Captain Simmons, not at all. He was protected by a triumvirate of three Admirals: Mayfield, Friedman, and Felix. All three of which were in positions to hamstring the entire navy if they didn't get their way. All three of which were entirely in favor of recovering the old Enterprise no matter what the cost. They knew what he had done and supported him anyway.
In any case, can you tell me where those three Admirals are now?"
"Dead."
"Why Captain Simmons? Why are they dead?"
"They... they..."
"They died because they backed Parker in an insane plan to overthrow the government, push the restoration of the old Enterprise, and establish the Empire of the Rockies."
"That's a ..."
"A what? Captain Simmons? Or is it still Midshipman Disaster speaking before thinking? Surely you have received the same reports as we from Rock House? Didn't you? ... Captain Simmons, I must insist on an answer to that question. Did you, or did you not receive those reports? ..." Captain Simmons remains silent, obviously seething but unable to reply.
Lieutenant Dixon, seeing his captain's distress, stands. "Captain Simmons? Should I throw this ill-mannered lout out?"
Captain Young sighs. "Please, Lieutenant. Sit down. Let your Captain make his own decisions. He is in charge here, and there is no emergency to justify you taking the initiative."
"Captain Young, you are not onboard your ship, I am not in your command, and do not have to accept your orders."
In a tired, cold voice, Captain Young replies. "Lieutenant, up until now, I have given no orders, simply good advice to a junior officer to let his commander handle the issue. Unless you have relevant testimony you wish to provide, you will sit down now Lieutenant. And yes, Lieutenant, that was an order because if you do not sit down immediately, you will be shot where you stand." Captain Young lifts his hand just above the edge of the table, his revolver in his hand. The hammer is already cocked.
With a sneer on his face and in his voice. "You wouldn't dare."
"Captain Simmons? Would you kindly save your Lieutenant's life?"
"Yes... Sit down, Dixon. He will shoot you, and you are out of line. I appreciate the expression of support, but please do not push this. It is my responsibility."
Dixon looks at his captain, sees the certainty in his face, nods to him, and sits quietly. Albeit still seething at the treatment his captain has received at the hands of an apparently ordinary seaman; and a captain from another ship, far inferior to the USS Enterprise.
"Thank you, Dixon. I value your services and would be hard-pressed to replace you. In any case, you are mistaken about the gentleman who has just been addressing me. He is Professor Montgomery Harrison, formerly of the Naval Academy. An excellent instructor to someone not too bound up in his family status to listen. Since you have all been party to this discussion, you should remain for the resolution. I have several apologies to make; to my officers as well as Captain Young and Professor Harrison.
"First. Captain Young. I apologize for my initial behavior. Aliens? Isn't one of your crew well known for memorizing every one of the incidents that he can get his hands on? It's too fantastic, and the sole source of evidence is a radar that we can barely operate, the fragmentary reports of a civilian radio operator, and your own reports purportedly relayed through the same operator. How could anyone accept this! It's blatantly impossible!
"Second. You were also right that I should have let you send your reports. Had Rock House agreed with me, you would have been recalled immediately. I had no right to deny you access to the fastest means to return your reports to the Admiralty. As the Professor has noted, I do have a tendency to stick with my initial assessment. A tendency that I have obviously not done enough to correct. It serves me well in action, as I will drive the attack home, but it disserves me when not in combat.
"Third. Professor Harrison had an absolutely unimpeachable reputation before his departure from the Academy. My insults were inappropriate. In explanation, but not expiation, my only reports on his departure did come from Admirals Parker, Mayfield, Friedman, and Felix. Who are now all reported dead of various causes, or lost and presumed dead in the case of Parker.
"Fourth, there were rumors of the charges against Admiral Parker, but only rumors. I was under Admiral Mayfield's command at the time. He informed me in no uncertain terms that the accusations were completely false, and that other officers were jealous of Parker for bringing back the old Enterprise when everyone else thought it impossible.
"Fifth, the orders which initially sent me in this direction came from Admiral Parker, not CNO Admiral Jackson. Admiral Parker's orders were to relieve Captain Young of his command and return the Missouri to Rock House. Captain Young to be in close arrest, and the crew of the Missouri to be maintained in careful watch. The subsequent orders from CNO Admiral Jackson also ordered me in this direction to assess, aid, and, if necessary, support Captain Young in the matter of Aliens, which I did not believe in and am still not sure I do.
"All of these orders, and the reports supporting them, were marked Captain's Eyes Only, with an internal caveat that I could reveal them to officers who had some need to know. Since the orders were so fantastical, I have withheld them from you all. If I found them so unbelievable and confusing, how should I explain them to you?
"Sixth. Professor Harrison, would you consider accepting a post on the USS Enterprise, as my own personal tutor in accepting the apparently insane as reality?"
The junior officers present are dumbfounded. Maybe even aghast, at the admissions from their Captain.
"Gentlemen?" Begins Captain Young, "I would strongly recommend that you never repeat any of this to anyone below the rank of Admiral, and even then only if pressed. I know Captain Simmons and had any of this been less than fantastical, I'm sure he would have accepted the orders. Lord knows, when I first arrived, I had no reason to believe any aliens were present. It deserved investigation, and if something had happened, the citizens of the United States residing on the Eastern Islands were entitled to assistance and/or defense."
Lieutenant Dixon twitches.
"Lieutenant Dixon? Did I note a possible disagreement with my last statement?"
"Captain Young? I hesitate to raise any disagreement. Thinking carefully, I should not even have twitched! It's in the oath after all, and we do claim the Eastern Islands as part of our land. It's just that there never seemed to be anything worthwhile to expend the resources on. A very few people who could easily have moved to Rock House, and no industry to speak of."
A small laugh from Captain Young, "Lieutenant — in fact, everyone here — was supposed to think exactly that. A plan long in the making to establish a second base, not to raid the industry of people who had worked hard with little support to gain what they have. I am not sure what Rock House will order now, but only those ships ordered to check the Islands have ever received a briefing about them." Turning to Captain Simmons, "May I now present my reports? Both for the edification of yourself and your officers, as well as for immediate transmission to Rock House? I'm afraid we have little time. We must have a response from Rock House before tomorrow, and have returned to Mitchell island as quickly as possible. In fact, it would be best if we got underway immediately so that we are as close to the islands as possible by the time Rock House responds."
"Indeed, Captain Young, you may do so. However, who shall deliver your orders to your ship?"
"Why, Bo'sun Scott McBride. My best subordinate ever! Best course and speed to reach Mitchell island as early as possible."
Dropping into his deckhand speech, Professor Harrison answers. "Aye, Cap'n, I'll just be doing that thing."
Captain Simmons' jaw drops. "YOU are Bo'sun McBride?!? The avid fantasy seeker? The raconteur of the fleet? The wizard with sails? The only reason that Captain Young has never asked for any additional officers?"
"Aye, Captain Simmons, that be who I am. Perhaps young Dixon can take me to your navigator? I'm sure, with the help of such a fine young officer, I can convince your navigator to work with me. We'll come back with the course notes as soon as we have them."
Captain Simmons turns to the young lieutenant, "Lieutenant Dixon, would you be so kind as to escort Bo'sun McBride to the navigator? Assure the navigator that I have full trust in Bo'sun McBride's skills and knowledge in navigation, and that if he doubts him, he'd better be ready to take to a lifeboat."
"Yes, Sir. Or should I say Aye, Cap'n?" That gets a small chuckle around the room, and smiles from both captains.

Mitchell Island: Early the next morning.

Captain Young is back aboard his ship, with the Enterprise following along behind. "Good, it looks like construction is still ongoing."
"Yes, Sir, it does." Ship's Doctor Vincent Blandings replies. Both the Captain and Doctor are doing their best to remain calm. No urgent thoughts, no strong emotions. The crew is a bit jumpy, but then they've just been through some "good training," so perhaps the aliens will buy that as an excuse. None of them know anything more than that they have rendezvoused with Enterprise, and are on their way back to Mitchell.
"We'll be heading directly for the Builder's Barge. No time to mess about with half measures. We must inform them in no uncertain terms that they are required to immediately cease all operations."
The plans have been discussed, along with some well-drawn diagrams from Dr. Blandings showing the position of various alien facilities. He can feel some of the officers and crew of the Enterprise experiencing shock at the appearance of the alien craft, and the speed of the observation boats.

"The Builder's Barge"

(A new ship has arrived. The USS Enterprise? I thought we heard that it was destroyed.)
(So we did. What is this vessel then? A ruse?)
(If the vessel is a ruse, it is a very well armored and armed ruse.)
(Sufficient to damage us?)
(Possibly. It will depend on what sort of ammunition they carry.)
(We should order them to stand off! How dare they bring such a ship into close proximity to us!)
([Lieutenant equivalent], We do not yet have legal ownership of this planet by our own laws. We cannot force them to leave. Should they choose so, they can park that thing right on top of our construction, and prevent us from completing it, regardless of the legalities involved.)
(The question then becomes, are they aware of this? Or are they insane enough to do so despite our obvious superiority?)
(That is indeed the question. Doctor Blandings should never have been allowed within listening range of the construction site. Unfortunately, he was. We can only hope that he did not learn anything of import while there.)
([Leader!] The Missouri and the Enterprise are making straight for Superiority7 of Builders!)
(Issue a construction warning. Let's see what they do.)
  1. This is a far more accurate translation of the name. Although not known until some time later.

USS Enterprise

"We have good sight on the Missouri's flagman?"
"Yes, Captain. Clear line of sight."

USS Missouri

"A construction warning, that should at least get the civilians out of the way. Make sure that they know we are coming through. Signal Enterprise to sound regularly."
The order is shortly received, and a blast on the steam whistle is met with some startlement of the locals. The effect on the Greys is a bit more profound.

"The Builder's Barge"

(The sound! They have steam power!? Why was this not noted!)
(During the prior year's exploration, no such device was noticed anywhere on the ocean. Their steam engines on land were all far too heavy for any ship!)
(They advanced from land-based steam to ship based in one year? Am I expected to believe that these backward creatures could achieve such an effect? It took us a thousand years to go from land steam to ship steam!)
(Evidence of our eyes and ears makes it clear that they have achieved this. However they did it is immaterial for our current purposes. You can also see that they are not stopping at the construction signal. In fact, their sounding started moments after the construction warning. They are telling both the locals and ourselves that they are coming through, regardless of any objections.)
(How far are we from completion?!)
(Two more insertions!)
(Get them going now! Both of them, at the same time!)
([Leader], the danger!)
(I know, but so close to success we cannot afford to lose now!)
(You cannot afford to lose now, but the rest of us? No, risking our lives for your aggrandizement is not wise.)
(Do not think to defy me.)
(Or what? You'll have me executed? Before all these witnesses? Besides, my thought was that only you who could not afford to lose; for the rest of us, the risk was unwise! I poll the assembled officers!)
A consensus process is invoked, a sort of multi-round debate and vote conducted at the speed of thought.
(Consensus: The risk is too great. Let us see if we can stall them long enough to complete. Send the watercraft to request them to stop before they enter the danger zone.)

USS Enterprise

"Ship Ahoy! Dead Ahead! FIFTY KNOTS?!? THAT'S INSANE!"
"Lieutenant Dixon, my compliments to the helmsman, bring us parallel to the Missouri as previously planned."
"Aye, Sir! HELMSMAN! ALL HASTE TO STARBOARD SIDE OF MISSOURI! MIND THE HULL!"
"AYE! STARBOARD PASSAGE!"
"Quietly confirm battle stations, and make sure the guns are loaded as planned."
"Aye, Captain." Dixon takes off with all deliberate speed, not at a run, but to speak to each of the petty officers on their section's readiness, and to use the communications tubes to speak with each gun crew. Returning to Captain Simmons' side, "All is in readiness, Sir. We must retire to the quarterdeck."
"Yes, Lieutenant. Let us hope that those aliens — which I admit I still hoped were fantastical stories — are reasonable beings."

Grey's Water Craft

(That's a monster!)
(She's not a patch on the Superiority.)
(Yeah, but built by these lot? That's a big ship for them to build!)
(Irrelevant, she will stop at our command.)
([Lieutenant], you're dreaming.)
(Obey your orders.)
(Of course, but I'm also expected to provide you with my opinion. And my opinion says that they are not going to stop for us and that they have the means to disable us, if not outright destroy us! We are not on the Superiority!)
(Even so, we have our orders. We can only do our best.)

USS Missouri

"Well, Cap'n. Like you thought."
"I am disheartened to be proven right. They are likely following orders and have little choice. Signal the Enterprise. Warning shot, then fire for effect, if needed." The Captain is still maintaining his calm. The Greys have the best read on his crew and him in particular. As long as he and the Doctor can keep calm, they have a chance to stop this.

USS Enterprise

"Signal from the Missouri, Sir."
"I saw it." Moving to the speaking tube for the forward gun. "Forward gun, fire one across the bow, if she doesn't turn back, fire for effect." The response comes back, "Aye, one for warning, then sink them if they don't listen."
"Mind you give them at least five beats to come about!" A cheerful response, "Aye, Sir! I can hope, can't I?"
Muttering, "bloodthirsty gunnery sergeant."
"Yes, Sir, he's also the very best we've got at shooting."
"I know. I just hope it isn't necessary. We don't know what they are armed with either, now do we."
"No, Sir, we don't. We can only do our best."

Grey's Water Craft

([Lieutenant!] The larger ship! Her forward turret has displaced a few degrees on us!)
BADOOM! Despite the water craft's speed, the shot still cuts across her path with no more than a few meters to spare, making a significant splash in the ocean not too far from the craft.
(Good Lord! What that an intentional shot?)
(Intentional, yes. Deliberately aimed to kill? Not sure. Strongly urge turning back!)
(You know we cannot do that! Take evasive maneuvers! Continue the approach!)

USS Enterprise

"Well, that's a definitive answer. It seems he wants to play chicken with us. FORWARD GUN! FIRE FOR EFFECT! SINK HER!"
The forward gun, with two barrels, opens fire in a duet for breach loaded cannons. One firing, and then the next, in even intervals. The shots walk closer to the alien craft, despite its evasive maneuvers. After five shells, the next two hit directly amidships. The crew is killed instantly, and the ship itself starts to sink.

"The Builder's Barge"

(They sank her! They sank her with a simple cannon!?)
(No, [Leader], with a rifled cannon. The shells are encased and loaded with explosives. Preliminary analysis shows that the steel they are made from is over a hundred years old. They must have had far greater technology than we thought when they lost control of their atmosphere.)
(And how was THIS missed?)
(You want the comforting answer, or the real one?)
(BOTH!)
(Comforting, their technology simply wasn't robust enough to survive a hundred years of flooding, they also have signs of a terrible war about the time the flooding started. The real one? Budget cuts.)
(Damned [untranslated][8]!)
  1. Individuals charged with counting the multitudes of small nutritious food items that spill easily and scatter widely.

USS Missouri

"Scratch one watercraft and crew. I don't mind about the watercraft, but sending that crew with orders to bull through? Stupid, even if we didn't have the Enterprise with us. I don't think much of the alien leadership now."

"The Builder's Barge"

I don't think much of the alien leadership now.
(Was that?)
(The Missouri's Captain, yes.)
(That was insulting!)
([Leader], how would you react to someone who sent a crew in with orders that made it impossible to retreat in the face of overwhelming force?)
Untranslatable but carrying connotations of betrayal by a trusted subordinate.

USS Missouri

In an amused tone, "Captain, I think someone on the Builder's Barge shares your opinion of the leader."
"As well they should."

"The Builder's Barge"

([Leader?] Did you pick that up?)
(Yes... I did... Damned impudent...)
(And quite powerful enough to hole us and keep us here forever.)
(Sigh... Yes... Yes, they are. Keep the construction warning up, and add the parley signal.)

USS Missouri

"Is that? Yes, it is! The parley signal!"
"Just so, Doctor. Flagman, signal the Enterprise. Parley positions."

USS Enterprise

"Yes, Lieutenant, I saw. Parley positions. I sure hope Young knows what he's doing. For as irritated as I get with him, he's still a damn fine Captain, and his crew is first-rate. Losing him, McBride, his crew and his ship would be a terrible blow.
"Bring us into position and drop anchors. Then train the main guns on the Builder's Barge. Set the bow and stern guns to take their building platforms. Any sign of lowering a device into either of the constructions and we will fire to take all three out. Whether or not the Missouri or her captain and crew are clear. As Young ordered."
"I understand you had to take those orders, Sir, but they still suck."
"Yes, but what are you to do with an Ambassador Plenipotentiary and a Commodore?"

"The Builder's Barge" and associated construction platforms

(CEASE ALL WORK. DOWN TOOLS! RETURN TO THE SUPERIORITY! LEAVE ALL MATERIALS AS THEY ARE! RETURN TO THE SUPERIORITY!)

USS Missouri and USS Enterprise

"HOLY SEA BISCUITS! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!"
"Stand Ready! What you just heard was the aliens telling their work crews to return aboard their ship. We are doing well in our mission! Hold to your orders!"

USS Missouri

"Very well, they have halfway capitulated. Time to convince them to go the whole way. Ideally, fix global warming as discussed, and not according to their duplicitous plan. Secondary position, leave the devices and all the necessary information with us, we will finish the job. Tertiary? Blow their ship to hell and try to piece it together ourselves."
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2020.09.13 19:13 randallfcooper An American in Hogwarts (Part 15)

Part 1 Previous Next

Walking back to the Great Hall, Daphne and I were silent the entire time, as we got closer, we could hear the hum of the chatter on the other side of the wall. Daphne pulled me aside.
"Hey, I just wanted to let you know, you can talk to me about whatever you want, whenever you want. Right?" Daphne said.
"Of course," I nodded and gave a slight smile. "And same goes for you. I showed you a lot today."
"I know," her lips curved up. "I'll tell you more soon, it's just been a long day. Let's eat dinner, yeah?" Daphne turned around and strolled ahead. Opening the door and I followed right behind.
Everyone turned their heads around like we were kids coming in late to class, but they were quick to return to their meals. A swarm of yellow and black robes came up to me like an army of bees.
"Rollie!"
"Congrats!"
"You were sensational!"
"Can I get your autograph?"
They all crowded me as I tried to sit next to Bran and Edna, who were both beaming.
"Aw'right aw'right! Let the American bloke have some dinner!" Clark hushed the pack of younger students and waved them off.
All the other houses at the tables glared in my direction. The bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Hufflepuffs shuffled back to their seats as Clark stared at them like a strict professor.
"Thanks, man," I put my hand on his shoulder, about to sit down, but he stopped me.
"No, thank you. What you did earlier was unbelievable. I haven't stopped shaking since I fell off the broom. I owe you one, mate."
"Madame Hooch would have saved you at some point, it's no big thing."
"No, Rollie, seriously, I'll never forget what you did," he patted my shoulder. "It's an honor to have you on the team," Clark sauntered back to his seat towards the front of the table, and I joined my friends.
"I feel like we're gonna kick some serious ass this year in Quidditch," Bran smirked.
"Language, Mr. Lyptus," The Friar sang out as he floated up from the table.
"Edna will be a chaser, no doubt, Rollie will be out there seekin', and then Daphne will be pullin' out all the stops! It's gonna be amazing to watch," Bran had an innocent, child-like excitement in his smile.
"We'll see, our first match is third week of November against Ravenclaw, who was the second-best last year," Daphne poked at her plate of meatloaf and potatoes then dropped her silverware, clanging on the plate. "Gosh, I really hope we can take down that smug Layla Moors."
I exchanged glances with Bran and Edna as Daphne refused to look up from her plate.
On our way back to the Hufflepuff common room, Daphne walked ahead, chatting with Edna on her Quidditch picks while I was next to Bran.
"Can you tell me anything about Layla Moors?" I said.
"Like, why does Daphne hate her so much?" Bran guessed.
"Yeah."
"Well, she's the top student for Ravenclaw and Hogwarts. Number 1. is Layla Moors, 2. Magdalene from Gryffindor, but Daphne was number 3 last year after being number 2 from first through third year. Then actually at number 4. is Leon, I believe. But Layla's family has a running rivalry with Daphne's, so that certainly doesn't help."
"What's with the family rivalry?"
Bran slowed his pace to further us from Daphne and Edna. "So Layla's family owns the Remembrall brand Moorbrall. Which probably explains why she's so dang smart, she can't afford to forget anything or her family will disown her. And then there's Daphne's family, her parents own Practical Potions, not sure if it's sold outside England, but they make basic elixirs for wizards and witches that don't want to spend time making potions themselves."
"Whoa, how come this is the first time I'm hearing this?"
"Believe me, Edna and I didn't know about Daphne's family's background until our second year. She doesn't like to talk about it," Bran held his finger up to his mouth. "So mum's the word."
"Of course."
In the Hufflepuff common room, everyone sat around studying or playing games at the tables and on the floor. Up in the fifth year's boy's dormitory, I sat at a desk in our room and wrote a letter to my grandpa. Asking him for any and all information about his acquaintance Zane Thumblebatch, along with notifying him that I had made Seeker for the Hufflepuff Quidditch team.
A few hours passed by, and everyone tucked themselves in bed, myself included, even though I wasn't even tired. I tossed and turned, trying to think about what the Quidditch season would be like, but they kept being interrupted by thoughts of Farrah. The memory of her breaking up with me and dating someone else shortly after repeated like a broken record.
I need some air.
Checking my bedside pocket watch, I saw it was already 12:30 AM. I'd been laying down much longer than I thought. All the boys around me were sleeping like rocks.
I slipped out of bed, threw on my robes, and grabbed my denim jacket, for there was a bitter chill to the air. I tiptoed out of the dormitory, and left the common room, navigating the flagstone corridors that were becoming familiar to me.
Ducking out through the door that led to Hagrid's cottage where we had Care of Magical Creatures, there was a decent amount of field space.
I took in a deep breath of the crisp night air, followed by a quieted exhale. It felt like a perfect autumn evening even though it was still technically the summer, I strolled around the edge of the field, stretching my legs.
I can't believe I'm at Hogwarts this year. A fresh start couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I'm so fortunate to be here, at this beautiful castle, with friends who already care about me.
I gazed up at the wondrous castle that would be my home for the next years.
"Rollliieeeeee…"
A whisper echoed in my mind, my head uncontrollably turned to the Forbidden Forest.
"Rollliiieeeeeeee…"
I took a few hypnotic steps towards the forest. Trying to scream or make some sort of sound to get me to snap out of the—
"Rollie?" a familiar voice whispered from my periphery.
The possession lifted, like a criminal fleeing the scene of a crime. My eyes widened as I turned towards the voice that saved me. I couldn't see much except a hovering amber glow of a tiny circle, somebody was apprehensively approaching.
Burning tobacco smoke drifted in my direction.
"Rollie? What are you doing out here?"
"Leon?" I guessed, judging by the voice. "Are you smoking?"
The red circle glowed brighter for a second. "Evanesco," Leon whispered as he whipped out his wand. The cigarette disappeared. "I don't think I need to remind you to forget what you've seen?"
"No, your secret is safe with me," I said. "Just a little surprised."
Leon shrugged. "Gotta be on good behavior this year, but I need some vice to get me by that won't kick me out if I'm caught."
"I get it," I chuckled.
"What are you doing out here?"
"Couldn't sleep. Wanted to walk around, used to do it all the time at Huntshrow."
"Why were you walking like a robot towards the forest?"
"Uh, I dunno really, I thought I heard my name."
"I didn't hear anything, but even if you did hear your name, you should stay away. Coming from a former 'troublemaker' myself, I wouldn't even go in there."
"Thanks," I looked down at the grass. "Well, I think I'll go back to the castle then."
"I was on my way inside, too," Leon turned around and paced ahead.
I jogged up to him. "Leon, I gotta ask you something."
"Lower your voice," he didn't slow down.
"Why do you hang out with Sable and Johnny? You seem much nicer than either of them," I said.
"Ha," he laughed. "You don't know me very well then. Look, you're new here, but I wasn't always this…" he clenched his jaw. "…Restrained. Regardless, I rather enjoy their company, they make me laugh, even if I can't join their hijinks like I used to."
"They're pretty rude though."
Leon halted and elbowed my arm. "Watch it. Don't think I won't tell them your remarks if you keep it up."
"Calling them 'rude' for making fun of me on the train and harassing my teammates during Quidditch try-outs is a little generous."
"It's all in good fun though," Leon devilishly grinned.
"Is that right? Well, you better rein them in around the other Hufflepuffs," I said.
"Or else what? Are you threatening to blackmail me?" Leon cocked an eyebrow.
"Blackmail you? No, but I won't hold back on them."
Leon's lips curved upward. "Rollie, I like you a lot more than those other Featherpuffs. You might actually react if Sable or Johnny messes with you."
"Notice how I'm not reacting to 'Featherpuffs,' but a year ago, I would have taken a swing at you. Take that how you will."
"You wouldn't dare," Leon dropped his jaw but was still lapping it up.
"It would be a perfect time, you couldn't say anything after I throttled you," I shrugged.
"Blech," Leon rolled his eyes. "I'm finding your machismo rather annoying now."
"Forget I said anything," I thought about the escalation of the conversation and what he did for me earlier. "Sorry, don't take anything I said the wrong way. I'm not trying to make waves as the new guy around."
"You're alright, Rollie," he picked his pace up back towards the castle. "Let's go to this entrance, I've been doing this for two years now."
We walked into a different entrance than the one I had exited from earlier. Leon propped the door for me first, and I stepped inside. As soon as I did, a small flagstone room to my right was aglow from a lantern with a long-haired, dopey-eyed guy sitting at a desk.
"Whoa," he lazily spun to face me. "Uh, you really can't be uh going out this late at night."
"Oh. Sorry, I'm just coming back from being outside," I glanced back at Leon who was stifling laughter.
"You were already outside? Oh man…" he rubbed his forehead. "Look, uh, kid, uh, you really can't be going out late, and I'll let you off with a… wow look at all those patches!" he whispered, gaping at the jacket. "I had a coat just like that back in the '80s! You have some great taste!"
"Thanks, sounds like you have some great taste too," I said.
His face broadened with a smile. "Gosh. It's been forever since I've listened to any of those groups. Reminds me of better days…" he gazed up at the ceiling with eyes full of nostalgic memories. "Sorry, where are my manners, the name's Mr. Lancaster, pleasure to meet you," he waved me in his little office and gave me a handshake. "I'm the caretaker of the castle."
"Nice to meet you, I'm Rollie."
"Ah, that's right, the American. Good to see you appreciate English music so much. You'll fit right in… at least with the older folks like me," he snickered.
Leon followed in behind me, arching his brow.
"Leon, you were outside too? Bollocks! How many more of you are out there?" Mr. Lancaster stood up from his stool.
"Just Rollie and I."
Mr. Lancaster sighed. "Leon, I thought you were gonna keep your night walks a secret? This isn't good!"
"Rollie was out on his own, I just so happened to bump into him. Us Slytherins and Hufflepuffs don't really intermingle."
"You have a point," Mr. Lancaster stared back at me. "Now, I shouldn't do this, I know, but I let Leon walk out at night. We have a little agreement, but I can't keep doing this for a bunch of other kids," he frowned. "But I suppose one more wouldn't be so bad. Just keep it between yourselves! Don't tell anyone I'm letting you do this."
"I rarely even go out anyways, so it wouldn't be a problem," I whispered.
"Well, you can if you really really want, but just be careful. Although with a music taste like yours, I can tell you're a good chap," he smiled. "Come by anytime during the day, and we'll talk about those bands a little more. For now, though, you two should head off to bed. I'm serious."
"Thanks, goodnight Mr. Lancaster," Leon and I said.
"Goodnight boys, if more kids start popping up out there late at night, I'll have to enforce disciplinary measures," he pointed at us as we walked down the corridor, back to the part of the castle with the common rooms.
I'm on Patreon! You can get the next three chapters by becoming a $3 patron. Thank you so much to those who've subscribed and those that keep reading. I'll continue to release at least a chapter a week, and you also get advance three-chapter access to my other story, Drac's Ascension (a continuation of The Piano Pact).
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2020.09.10 18:45 SirCompliments The entire r/okaybuddyretard banned posts list

DISCLAIMERS:


The following will result in a ban almost every time


Relevant bans (recent bans as well as old ones that people still post)


Bans regarding specific characters / people


Extremely old bans that are still valid / bygone trends (why would you post these anyway?)


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2020.09.10 06:25 gdude0000 Friend going through divorce. Am I Doing the correct thing?

I don't know where else to go or what else to do. I need some external advice. Some background on the situation.
My friend is getting divorced from his wife after 9 years together (dating and marriage). She ruined that man, my dearest friend. Sucked the joy from him, bit by bit. I just watched, because every time I brought it up he brushed it aside since they had 2 children together and he dreams of having that "perfect family life" tm. After 6 years she had an affair, which started emotionally but ended with her sleeping with the guy at a stag and doe for her own cousin beside my friend as she thought he had drank too much to wake up from the sex she was having. That turned out false and he awoke to the two of them going at it. I pushed for him to split but instead she convinced him they could try couple therapy (never did go) and she would talk to a counselor (never went either). I accepted his choice and if he chose to accept her back I would as well. I did ask questions, like did she still talk to the guy (yes), was she agreeing to their stipulations (no), did she say the affair was his fault (yes), etc etc. She became more manipulative and controlling and emotionally abusive, actively undermined him in front of the kids, and as a result he became increasing depressed, turning to self medication by drinking and smoking and developed a very short temper. Anytime he started to really get traction concerning her she would smile, put out like crazy and his stupid ass would think things were fine again. At the 8 year mark, 1.5 years ago, she walked out. Left the kids, him, everything. After a week or two she realized "Holy shit life is hard when no one is paying for shit" and came back to him which he agreed to and welcomed her back with open arms (she went from living with her parents at age 18/19 to moving into her husbands house with no need to work ever). Again they set up stipulations she happily ignored. This time though I wouldn't let up. I needled more and more, pointing out the abuse and such but he still ignored me. Several weeks ago a childhood friend visited him and , low and behold, he caught the two of them in bed together, in a location where the children could have seen. He lost it and tossed her ass out and now they are getting a divorce.
And that brings me here. He is constantly underestimating her and overestimating his own abilities. She knows how to play him like a fiddle. Her father and mother ran a law firm. He believes she wouldn't screw him over and at each phase she does. She wanted no lawyers involved, he agreed saying she just wanted an amicable split, and to have her buy him out of the house. We (my GF and myself) told him that was stupid and he should lawyer up, just not tell her. Consult the guy every step of the way without her knowing. He refused at first. She would call almost daily to ask how he was doing, we told him to go almost no contact, just answer her is short simple ways and only about the kids, yet instead he told her all about his continuing medical problems (both physical and mental). She has been spreading the rumour about him being abusive. His response was to point out that she was abusive towards him and her claims wont matter because it was really her being abusive. I LITERALLY showed him how in in Canada that doesn't matter with statistics and the Duluth model still being present, even pointing out Johnny Depp. During a goaded fight with her over her rumors he dropped he had gotten a lawyer. That was friday night. Today (Tuesday after a long weekend) she dropped the kids off at his place, saying she had to work suddenly, then 4 hours later his lawyer calls saying she is going for custody and support.
I love this man. He has been my friend for 2.5 decades. I don't make friends easily, I'm on the spectrum and I consider him as one of the most important people in my life. I was screwed by the system myself ~10 years ago. Full on psychotic break and everything. I know how the system will destroy this man who only wants his kids. He refuses all advice and help because he believes he knows best. In Canada we have Canadian Association for Equality (C.A.F.E.) and Canadian Centre for Men and Families (C.C.M.F.) and I have sent him resources from both, even trying to get him to go to the free legal clinic they host. He isn't receptive. All I feel I can do is TWIST that knife regards to the fact that he will lose his children to motivate him to take this more seriously and use the resources available for him and accept advice from the smarter and more specialized people.
I guess I just need to know. Am I doing the correct thing? He has already mentioned suicide once (after being shown the statistics) and I don't wish to drive my closest and dearest friend to that. Yet I know him losing the kids will drive him down deep and dark roads in his mind. I want him armed and ready with everything he could need to get his kids. Everyone in my life (minus the GF) are telling me to butt out and let him do his own thing, however all I see is him trying to do this himself and giving her more ammo. I feel if I don't do everything I can he will lose the kids because he isn't taking this serious enough, and in doing so I will lose a friend. I don't overly exaggerate when I say those kids are his life blood and I genuinely worry for his mental health in that scenario. So....I dunno....I hate feeling impotent. Obviously I'll be there regardless of the outcome but should I be pushing so hard? What else can I do?
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2020.09.07 18:47 SriFenbyEx Long Campaign - A Story of Fun and Intrigue (Pt-2)

PT-1 - Episode 1 > 5
< Episode 6 > Hammer-Shields
Date [Fire Season / week 3 / day 1] - Weather - Strong Winds
The team sat out first thing in the morning and luckily arrived with no resistance, some sneaking through the woods the Hammer-Shields were spotted inside of the ruined-fortress. Some of Gaviton's scouts were scoping the place out so everyone scooched down and got a quick run-down on the situation. They noticed that there are too many small meaty footprints for just three dwarfs, has to be at least 6 or 7 of them in there. The scouts also noticed that they saw them place what looked to be a trap near the entrance so the surrounding area has to have more. Sure enough after rolling along towards the fortress two traps were spotted, as well as a lookout that popped into view.
A small debate on whenever everyone should just storm the fortress, but the scouts persuaded us not to, or at least until things go south. Bard goes full ninja and not only distracts the lookout, but did a flip over a river landing on his back shimmying up towards the fortress entrance. He observed the hammer-shields long enough to make a perfect disguise on a nat 20, even looks like the lookout despite not even being a dwarf. Sneaking his way in the Bard spots 5 dwarfs in the back and a drow contact. Bard overheard some good information about plans of an ambush on the Empire's main battalion in a canyon, the Bard would gesture hand signals to the group whos heads popped up just enough to see them.
Birdman couldn't understand so he just flapped his wings in a failed attempt to acknowledge the signal. A random dwarf went for a piss break and the Bard still listen in. The dwarf comes back from piss breaks and asks Bard, Leeroy; what you doing not on the wall? Bard says he wanted help with his crossbow - Dwarf takes the crossbow and tunes it up. Towards the end the Drow hands the Dwarf leader some gold and the dwarf gives a parchment, the exchange is over. Bard wants to go the extra mile for gamer points - he distracted the Drow and bumped into her to steal the parchment. She told him to watch it and he only drew the attention of one/two Dwarf. Bad rolls deception and says sorry, I was doing .
Nat 1 - instantly roused suspicion, the five remaining dwarfs closed in and a Dwarf told Bard to apologize. "What do we say when we bump into someone Johnny?", random Player: "I thought his name was Leeroy.". It was at this time the Bard screwed up. "Sorry miss, it won't happen again."
Dwarf: "Your names not Johnny, it's suppose to be Leeroy."
Roll for initiative. Bard got the highest roll thankfully, followed by dwarfs and everyone else. The Bard literally ninja'd in the most gamer escape plan possible. Runs up the wall, dashes, wall runs the tower's exterior and does a flip through the air all while doing cartwheels and taunting. Under normal circumstances you would go out of your way to murder someone who did this - but being mercenaries under the drow's employment and given a two weeks repose. They were aware of the party's presence and what happened back at the town. The dwarf leader ordered a full retreat and Birdman tried to ensnaring strike twice but failed. All but two very unlucky dwarfs got captured.
After a non-waterboarding session, the team managed to get information about the Hammer-Shields, the possible jobs they could pursue being a Kidnapping, taking care of an Orc gang whos putting the squeeze on a Lumber Mill, and a bodyguarding job for an expedition. The dwarfs tried to bargain with the group saying that they could introduce them to some people in The Zhentarim, an underbelly mob family. The group declined the invitation to The Family, however didn't kill the dwarfs right there and brought them back to Gaviton for some extra cash. Bard manages to not only get a cash reward for completing the job and revealing the Drows plans, but nat 20 and got the battalions Quartermaster to give him 600 Gold, plus 50 for each of the two dwarfs.
Today was a good day, the team was even offered a contract to watch the baggage train and be put in command of a small force. Gave it some thought but declined the babysitting job and set out west to the Kingdom of Springhelm/WarriorRanger country, they're hosting the War Games, where large cash payouts and other fun stuff could happen. They need some help with getting materials apparently, and everyone was more than happy to do so provided compensation is proper.

< Episode 7 > - When you don't ask questions
Date [Fire Season / week 3 / day 2] - Weather - Moderate Winds
Just before setting out to Stone-Wall, the city where the War Games will take place we got lunch at a Cafe, it was on the house since we saved the town. Doom Guy ate an entire roasted pig, rolled a CON save against clogged arteries, nat 20 so he gets 1 temp HP, Birdman ate seeds and pecked at it, everyone else had mundane food - sandwiches, drinks, etc. The Barbarian was watching the Cringe-Cleric during the entire lunch making sure he doesn't waste spells, throughout the awkward silence they overhear an Elf and an Orc talk about a bug-bear infestation near the Brint Empire/Springhelm border.
And that they were carrying a treasure chest, no one didn't bother asking them any details about the chest but sat out for it seeing how it's near the border that needed to cross. It was 11 AM and the team set off, stopped at the Empire's capital city Brint as it was getting dark. The team split up and did whatever, Cringe Cleric and Doom Guy went shopping. Cringe-Cleric bought a Sentinel Shield and Doom Guy bought healing potions. Good-Cleric, Birdman, and Barbarian looked for a place to stay Bard spotted a fancy Inn and attempted to get some free rooms. Talked to the owner and demonstrated his skill, with that golden string attached to the Viola that's an advantage to performance. Easy peasy - Nat 1. Not only is the Bard chased out of the Fancy Inn but the golden string snaps. After waking up and getting breakfast before leaving the team almost forgot to pay off our Wagon & Horse debt.
Luckily found out that the location we got the Wagon and Horses was part of the Buggy Co Associates. Could pay off our debt at an office in Brint. Had to pay a little bit extra because it wasn't where we bought the horse. Also opted into buying Wagon and Horse insurance, got some magical stickers to place on the wagon and horse reins. Parked the buggy in the town near the border and took a walk, spotted a grove and a temple-like building from a distance. After some looking the Bug-Bears were spotted in the temple ruins across the river, big ass monitor lizards in the water. Doom Guy Chad Walks through the river, Bard, Barbarian, Cringe Cleric jumps over the river. Good-Cleric nat 20s and does a perfect front flip in heavy armor gets +5 movement. Time to toss hands and roll dice.
Bird Man flys up and starts doing pot-shots. Bug-Bear throws javelins and starts doing some ok damage. Bard uses Vicious Mockery then says "Hey, you got shot by an arrow, that's pretty funny." before rolling a Nat 1. Said Bug-Bear clocked the Bard HARD the very next turn. Combat was pretty much back and forth through the flow of combat remained in control, Barbarian was tanking the entire fight and Doom Guy uses Giant Might and became Large, Bug-Bear Nat-20s and shatters his knees and any Temp hit-points he had. Bard uses Cringe-Cleric as cover to make an attack with his crossbow, Nat 1 - No AC check and shoots Cringe-Cleric right in the ass for 6 HP damage.
Doom Guy impales a Bug-Bear to the point where it counts as +1 bludgeoning while both Clerics and Barbarian were pulling gamer starts, forcing Bug-Bears to provoke opportunity attacks and extra damage effects. Birdman just kept doing pot-shots, nothing exciting. After winning the fight we looked around and found not one but two chests, but everyone was disappointed in what we found. 16 Gold in silverware, some junk item, and a healing potion. Should have asked those two guys at the Cafe a little bit more info about the chests but hey - at least level up.
< Episode 8 > - Local Gangs
Date [Fire Season / week 3 / day 3] - Weather - Moderate Winds
After stopping at Stone-Wall everyone grabbed a place to stay, Bard managed to actually get free rooms for a change, made some money too in the process. Everyone else did jack all, browsed the local streets, and the such. All met up at Shop-Mart, the fantasy Walmart equivalent, and heard the Manager and Blacksmith complaining about the issues at hand. The team got to known them better and found out that they're lacking in timber and metal, timber for putting together concession stands and the such and metal for nails, decorations, and other fixtures. Agreed to help after getting some information, there's the Chain Gang once again extorting the local lumber mill and The Lords Alliance turning anyone and everyone away from the iron mines.
Time head out to the Lumbermill first with this new bit of information, apparently a Dragon Born is leading the small splinter gang. Upon arriving at the lumbermill and having a small talk to the Foreman, he says that a local gang has been forcing them to pay protection money. After going a bit into more detail said aforementioned gang appears in the distance, good-cleric detects magic gives them away so they won't get the drop on the team. Everyone takes up positions and Doom Guy doesn't move, this will be a new learning experience for Doom Guy as he gets surrounded.
Gang Leader says that the Foreman took out a loan, and he wants it back now or else the Foreman has to surrender the mill and pay back double the fee. The conversation was short and the team decided to fight, surprisingly Birdman won MVP. Birdman One-shots the Mage in the back and next turn kills the Gang Leader, Doom Guy gets absolutely wrecked in a single turn losing all temp HP and being brought down to 7 HP; so another good hit and he'd be KO. The lesson here is that discretion is the better part of valor here kids. Doom Guy manages to get out of harm's way and heal up, Cringe-Cleric keeps using Command Spells and Bard made one of the Orcs laugh.
The fight was short and the Barbarian tied up the last remaining Orc, after a useless interrogation and neck-snapping as a show of force the team tried to have the foreman pay them the protection money - failed. Everyone forgot he was broke, but he said he'd have to go into hiding as we made his current situation worst. Either way, still manage to get the lumber back to town on schedule though and after that, the Foreman and his team disappeared into the back alleyways. That being done, the team contemplates their next plan of action.
< Episode 9 > - Un-holies
Date [Fire Season / week 3 / day 4] - Weather - Moderate Winds
The team head back to town and informed the store manager that the lumber has been off-loaded in the back of the shop, also managed to convince her to give an advancement to rent some riding horses, 40 GP each for a day. A bit high for a rental but it's not the team's money that's at risk. Took a shortcut through a dense forest and set up camp just outside of the mines. During the second shift Barbarian nodded off and some Specters and Rutterkins almost got the drop on everyone. Right off the bat the Barbarian and Cringe Cleric got Frightened and didn't have enough time to wear armor so things were off at a bad start. Doom Guy got surrounded again and almost got himself killed, Birdman got hurt bad for once, and Bard was missing rolls. It was a serious back and forth fight but the good-cleric and cringe-cleric held their ground despite not using turn-undead. Overall had a real encounter for once, managed to kill them all, and went soundly back to sleep. The Barbarian gained a character flaw from his screw-up. After getting to the mine, the team saw members of the Lord's Alliance guarding the entrance forbidding any entry due to Unholy monsters inside and must get permission from the High Inquisitor who's on his way.
He's three days out and nobody felt like waiting for three days while being on the clock. The Miners dug too deep it seems unleashing something inside, overall the party was denied access, so after a quick jog and hide - went a way back and the Bard managed to re-create a High Inquisitor outfit and successfully not only convince the guards at the entrance but managed to get 2 NPCs to follow them in. Bob the ranger and Tiddles the slow-ish fighter.
The team had to be quick about getting out of the surrounding area, there'll surely be an investigation as one simply doesn't impersonate the equivalent of a commanding officer without unintended consequences. A small debriefing stated that the only survivor from the last band of adventurers ran out pissing and shitting himself said there are multiple hostiles in the cave, some chanting and unintelligible babbling. Doom Guy inquires and finds out that there's a Gibbering Mouther inside, he's the only person to plug his ears with rags. Everyone heads in, cast some light, and gets in formation; Cringe Cleric, Good-Cleric at the bottom, rest at the top entrance. 3 Rutterkin, a Gibbering Mouther, 3 Ghasts, and an Undead Mage are inside.
After squaring off first turn Cringe Cleric fails his WIS save and becomes paralyzed, sits down, and eats his Caesar salad while spazzing out on the floor. The top team manages to make a solid push but both clerics were being over-powered. Doom Guy moves in to assist, Tiddles and Bob are dealing serious damage while the Bard is missing more spell attacks. Barbarian eventually helps out Doom Guy and both clerics, Cringe-Cleric just gets wailed on for three straight turns but eventually gets back up. Bard cucks the wizard in the back and it was down to Tiddles to get the last kill, he rolls a nat one and bonks himself on the head, he rolls again - spins around with the follow-up and kills the last Rutterkin while letting out a hurr-durr victory yell.
Overall suffered minor injuries. Tiddles got the most kills and wins MVP. After the fight we ran into a minor problem - High Inquisitors don't do ninja flips in full plate mail. Bard somehow convinces Bob and Tiddles that it's advance secret training above their pay grade. They believe them and continue to follow the team further into the cave where whistling sounds can be heard, found a chest stashed in a corner with some coin and healing potion.
< Episode 10 > - Tiddles the unnecessary martyr
Date [Fire Season / week 3 / day 4] - Weather - Moderate Winds
Going deeper inside of the mine a very-very badly mangled corpse was spotted, sharp spines coming out of it's back shriveled up, and half of its body was disintegrated. Whatever killed this guy really didn't like him. A short contemplation on clearing out the rest of the mines and decided to go with it. After scouting out the mines the location was found on where the miners dug too deep, also heard screams from the hole albeit faintly. Spotted more corpses and took up defensive positions - everyone held their ground despite what they were going up against. Horrifying screams come from the darkness below!
Three specters, three spine devils, a Spectator, and an Undead Beholder. First-round was terrible, Spectator lasers Bard and birdman, they're now almost dead - thanks to shenanigans and that the Spectator was wounded in the previous ambush with the corpses we saw and shot himself right back into the hole unable to fly reliably. Undead Beholder used its disintegration, Tiddles sensing this jumped into the way of the beam saving cringe-cleric from instantly dying. Granted Cringe-cleric would have survived he would have gotten killed outright by a Spector the following round due to Life Drain killing things outright if unlucky enough to fail a saving throw. Doom Guy, Barbarian, and Bard slowly made their way towards the Undead Beholder killing things round by round. Cringe cleric is tanking a specter and two spine devils.
Good-cleric turn undead two of the three specters and made his way to gang up on the Undead Beholder, not before getting roughed up for a change. Good-Cleric went multiple sessions not even losing HP through gamer-strats. After cutting down the monsters one by one - finally cornered and surrounded the Undead Beholder and then proceeded to beat the absolute piss out of it. After that, it was a short clean up. The team lost the MVP NPC but did find two chests, walked away with nearly a grand in items and gold plus a level up. Wanting to probe the hole good-cleric cast light on a rock and dropped it down the hole, thankfully it didn't piss anything off but the rock kept falling - and falling until the light shuns no more. Everyone wanted to try and collapse the ceiling to at least plug up the holes but the ceiling was too strong and intact.
Bob suggested collapsing the entrance to the area until the rest of the Lord's Alliance forces get here with a Cartographer from the church to see where this hole exactly goes. Bard "consecrated" the ground where Tiddles fell and we reported back to the Captain in front of the mines. Tiddles was the hero everyone needed but didn't deserve, at least not for cringe-cleric anyways.

10 episodes down, 52 more to go! May very well just complete the campaign then make a big ass .pdf and post it.
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2020.08.26 18:00 daprice82 Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Aug. 12, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002 5-13-2002 5-20-2002
5-27-2002 6-3-2002 6-10-2002 6-17-2002
6-24-2002 7-1-2002 7-8-2002 7-15-2002
7-22-2002 7-29-2002 8-5-2002
  • In one of the sickest and strangest stories in indie wrestling history, former XPW star Messiah was attacked in his home by men who cut off his thumb and also attempted to cut off his penis. Police are now investigating under the belief that the attack was connected to the wrestling business. Messiah described 2 large black men coming into his unlocked apartment while he was playing video games. He initially believed they were there to see his roommate but instead they locked the door behind them and began attacking him. One of them held Messiah down while the other one severed his thumb with garden shears. The thumb was never recovered. They attempted to then cut off his other thumb and his penis while he screamed for help. During the brawl, he was also hit with a chair and a fish bowl because they were trying to knock him unconscious. Neighbors heard the screams and called police and the attackers fled the scene. Police have a description of the vehicle and sketches of the 2 men based on Messiah's description, but that's it. Following the attack, Messiah was treated at the hospital but then checked himself out and is said to be in hiding out in another state, in fear of another attack.
  • Messiah was recently fired from Rob Black's XPW promotion, allegedly because Black found out Messiah was sleeping with his wife, XPW valet and porn star Lizzy Borden. After leaving XPW, Messiah had become a big star for CZW. The Lizzy Borden rumor was pretty much confirmed at another indie show this week that featured a lot of XPW names. During the show, New Jack cut a promo saying it happened and when Messiah came out, the crowd chanted "You fucked Lizzy!" to which Messiah got on the mic and responded with "And she fuckin' loved it!" No one is outright saying so, because it's dangerous to make accusations without enough proof to back them up, but the clear implication is that this attack on Messiah was retaliation from Rob Black. XPW acknowledged the incident on its website, basically saying no matter what happened in the past, this is a tragedy and sending thoughts and prayers to Messiah. Needless to say, not a lot of people buying it (I don't think this case was ever solved but to this day, the overwhelming belief is that Rob Black was definitely behind it. America's Most Wanted even covered it and they heavily implied the same thing, but we'll get there).
  • We have a big obituary for legendary Portland promoter Don Owen, who passed away this week at age 90. He was the longest reigning promoter in history, running his territory for 54 years, promoting his final show in 1992. Owen was the next-to-last surviving promoter from the regional territory days (Jerry Jarrett's Memphis being the last). Owen was beloved by most wrestlers who viewed him as one of the few fair promoters in the business, always paid fairly and treated his wrestlers fairly. Pretty much anybody who was every anyone during the 50s-70s in particular worked the territory. He promoted his biggest show in 1985, drawing a sellout 12,000 fans for Ric Flair vs. Billy Jack Haynes. It's worth noting that this show also featured Roddy Piper. Yes, in 1985, while he was working full-time for WWF, Roddy Piper also worked this NWA-branded show headlined by Ric Flair. In fact, Piper was so loyal to Owen that for years, he refused to wrestle on WWE shows in Portland because he didn't want to compete against Owen. It was the same territory where Art Barr made his name before the rape accusation derailed his career and he had to go to Mexico. Over the years, when Owen found out about former wrestlers of his who were down on their luck, he would often make anonymous donations to help them, which many of those people never found out about until after his death.
  • Dave notes that there won't be an Observer next week, so if you notice a big gap in the Rewinds, I didn't mess up. Dave is just lazy.
  • Update on the lawsuit TNA filed last week against Jay Hassman's marketing and accounting firm they claim defrauded them. Dave compares it to the death of Jarrett's old USWA promotion and he briefly recaps all the legal drama surrounding that (see previous Rewinds, it's a lot to cover here). It's also worth noting that Hassman's company worked with WCW in the past and was dropped before WCW folded because there were a lot of problems with them then as well. But TNA is using a lot of the same people and office staff that WCW used so that's how Hassman's firm got roped into this. A rep for the company dismissed the lawsuit as nonsense and claimed Jerry Jarrett was telling everyone they would get 150,000 buys per week while they were trying to keep him focused on more realistic numbers. He also claimed the lawsuit was a distraction from TNA's "inevitable implosion" and said that Jeff Jarrett recently told him the company is running entirely on credit right now. Dave says of course they're in debt and will probably be deep in the red for months even if this accounting mess hadn't come up. He claimed Jarrett was supposed to have $5 million in credit and $1 million in cash on hand for the deal with InDemand and he claimed to have it, but the accounting rep says they didn't because the sponsor of their first show pulled out because Jarrett didn't have the proper paperwork. I dunno, this is all a boring accounting mess. The rep claims TNA is "now in self-destruct mode" and says they are in breach of their InDemand deal in multiple different ways, and that the lawsuit is an attempt to distract from Jarrett's own failure with this company. So on and so forth.
  • The latest WWE Confidential episode aired and Dave thinks it was the WWE's biggest attempt yet to re-write history. The main focus of the show was about the decline and death of WCW. Now that they have Bischoff, Hogan, Jericho, Booker T, Big Show, etc. they can interview them all for it. The story opened saying, "Those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it," which is a pretty ironic way for WWE to be talking about WCW in 2002. Anyway, instead of focusing on what really killed WCW (running off their audience with a terrible product), the show threw out dozens of reasons, blaming faceless Time Warner execs, guaranteed contracts, and even painting the signing of Bret Hart as if that was what doomed WCW (which Dave finds laughable since 1998 was WCW's most successful financial year ever). They basically blamed the death of WCW on all the things that WWE doesn't do, and ignored all the real causes, which are things also plaguing WWE right now. In particular, Dave argues against the claim that guaranteed contracts were the reason. Reality is, even if every single wrestler on the roster had worked for free, WCW was still tens of millions of dollars in debt. The guaranteed contracts really didn't even represent more than a few drops in the bucket when it came to how much WCW was bleeding money at the end. And when they were successful, they were making tens of millions of dollars, despite those huge contracts. During the episode, not once did they acknowledge that awful writing and poor creative direction drove away fans by the millions. Bischoff once again blamed the death of the company on the corporate merger, but the reality is, if WCW was still drawing 6 million viewers per episode and was still one of the highest rated shows on cable, it would not have been canceled, merger be damned. All in all, it was another example of this Confidential show re-writing history to paint WWE and Vince McMahon as the conquering world beaters who nobly defeated all the evil-doers who dared challenge them. But as they say, the winners write the history books, so there ya go.
WATCH: WWE Confidential: The Downfall of WCW
  • WWE announced plans last week to start WWE Films and expand into non-wrestling programming. Ever since the company went public, there's been talk of opening an office in Hollywood and doing movies and TV shows. But Dave thinks the timing is questionable, since WWE's core business is declining and the economy is suffering. Remember, WWE just made major budget cuts a few weeks ago and laid off a bunch of people, so launching a whole new division now when the wrestling side is collapsing is certainly an interesting choice. WWE hired TV and film producer Joel Simon to run the Los Angeles office of WWE Films. The goal is for WWE to finance some movies as well as get roles for WWE stars. This idea was first broached 2 years ago, back when the company was on fire and they had the finances to eat it if this venture didn't work out. No word how much money is being set aside for WWE Films, but TV and movie production is expensive and risky. Not to mention, WWE's track record outside of wrestling is.....let's just say "not good," to put it mildly.
  • According to a Charlotte newspaper, Ric Flair is once again considering running for governor of North Carolina as a member of the Republican party. Flair first talked of this back in 1998, after Jesse Ventura successfully ran for governor and it got a lot of publicity, but Flair ultimately decided against it. Among the reasons is because he apparently didn't want to have his personal life examined as closely as it would have been by the media (yeah, I suspect digging into Flair's past would be bad news for his political aspirations). Flair thought he'd have a better chance than Ventura because he's a bigger star in NC than Ventura was in Minnesota. But Ventura's election was based far more on how he campaigned as opposed to his wrestling celebrity status. Jerry Lawler is a god in Memphis, but he ran for mayor and didn't even crack the top 3.
  • NJPW's upcoming Budokan Hall show is weird because it doesn't feature most of the company's big stars, including IWGP champ Yuji Nagata. It's a bunch of freak show booking with MMA guys and rematches from PRIDE shows and inter-promotional matches with NOAH guys and shit. "More Inoki craziness" Dave notes. The show is also expected to feature the in-ring debut of 22-year-old rookie Shinsuke Nakamura.
  • Speaking of Inoki, he's putting on another one of his UFO-branded MMA shows. There's rumors that Inoki will referee the main event. Inoki is also claiming boxers Mike Tyson and Thomas Hearns will appear, so we'll see how full of shit Inoki is. Tyson is a huge name in Japan and the NTV network that is airing the show hasn't mentioned him in the promotion, which you'd think they would if they were trying to draw ratings. At press time, Dave says there's literally reporters at Narita airport in Tokyo, camped out waiting to see if Tyson arrives. This isn't the first time Inoki has claimed Tyson was making an appearance for him. Last time, Tyson's people had to put out a statement saying it was bullshit. They also claimed Chyna will be working an exhibition match on this show because why not?
  • Bret Hart was discharged from the hospital, after spending more than 5 weeks there following his stroke. He's doing 5 days-per-week of physical therapy and has made impressive progress. There's hopes that he can make a 100% recovery within a year, but doctors are also being realistic in that he might not ever fully recover.
  • Dave saw the 60-minute iron man main event to crown a new ROH champion and says the effort was impressive, especially considering there was no AC and the building they were wrestling in was a furnace. You could see all 4 men near total dehydrated exhaustion by the end of it and Dave thinks it would have been better as a 30 minute match. Dave says it was a great match but not the 5 star classic it was reported as.
  • Dave gives some clarification on the problems ECW faced with InDemand at the end. During the first several years, InDemand paid ECW on time for all its PPVs. But then in the final year, the payments started coming later and later and then when ECW lost its TV deal with TNN, InDemand held the money back, waiting to see if ECW would survive. Needless to say, that guaranteed that they didn't.
  • Heard enough about Rob Black yet? Well, he's telling people he's attempting to purchase the old ECW Arena in Philadelphia. Needless to say, this doesn't happen.
  • Various TNA news & notes: there will not be a show on 9/11 because of it being the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Don West's time on commentary may be limited, since a lot of people don't like his work, and there's talk of bringing in former WCW announcer Mark Madden. TNA has sent out tapes to multiple TV stations in an attempt to get a TV deal. Jerry Jarrett has reportedly been toning down a lot of Russo's creative ideas, although Dave isn't sure how a the gun angle got through if that's the case (more on that in a minute).
  • Ron Killings did a radio interview where he put over Vince Russo for giving him "The Truth" gimmick. Killings also said he would never go back to WWE ("write that one down, folks," Dave jokes). He says he was mad about the way he was released, claiming Johnny Ace gave him the news in a phone call with no explanation why. He said he later called Vince, Stephanie, Shane, and Jim Ross for an explanation, none of whom would return his calls (that is kinda some coward shit). Dave thinks WWE missed the boat on Killings, because he's got all the tools to be a star.
  • Jerry Lawler was apparently pissed about a line they said on a recent TNA show where they made a joke about Lawler hanging out in high schools offering girls candy. Lawler called up Jerry Jarrett and was mad about it. Speaking of, even though he's cutting all these heel promos in TNA on his father, Brian Christopher and Jerry Lawler are still working together doing local Memphis shows.
  • Notes from TNA Weekly PPV: hit and miss show. They had screens in the arena this time, so fans could see what was going on during the backstage segments. They also did the best job so far of building up to next week, so that's a plus. Downside is the arena they're in (Nashville Fairgrounds) is awful and they only had 550 in the crowd for this show and it looked small on TV. To make it worse, they were dead for the show. Ron Killings continued the racial angle, singling out one of the black TNA girls and calling her a ho and saying she was being exploited. In fact, Dave thinks just about every woman on this show was called a ho or a bitch at some point (another hallmark of Russo booking) and it led to Killings getting a title shot against Ken Shamrock next week (after cutting a promo trashing WWE's titles). And then the really stupid angle of the show: Jeff Jarrett beating up one of the little people until another one came out and pulled a gun on Jarrett for the save. Dave thinks this was utterly ridiculous.
WATCH: Puppet pulls a gun on Jeff Jarrett - TNA 2002
  • Five days before the big Melbourne, Australia stadium show, WWE announced that Hulk Hogan won't be appearing due to "injuries" suffered in the Brock Lesnar angle on Raw. Hogan was by far the most heavily advertised name for the show and needless to say, pulling him off the card 5 days beforehand pissed off a lot of fans who have tickets. In fact, a lot of people have been trying to get refunds because not only is Hogan off the show, so is Triple H because it appears his elbow won't be healed up in time. That's 2 of the 3 big names that were most heavily promoted, and now Rock is the only one still scheduled to appear.
  • Speaking of, that angle on Smackdown (more later) with Hogan and Lesnar was to write Hogan off TV for a little while. Hogan asked for time off due to worsening knee and back problems. Exactly when he comes back is unknown, but when he does, it'll probably be to build for the match with Vince at Wrestlemania now, instead of at Summerslam. They wanted Hogan to still go to Australia and at least make an appearance, but Hogan asked off anyway because he knew 20 hours on an airplane to get there would cause him more back pain and he wanted to spend his birthday with his family.
WATCH: Brock Lesnar squeezes Hulk Hogan right out of an Australian tour
  • Latest on Goldberg is that he's hoping to put together a deal with WWE where he can work some shows for them while also taking big-event bookings in Japan. WWE hasn't let anyone have that type of deal since Hulk Hogan in 1993 when he was working WWE and NJPW at the same time.
  • Regarding Steve Austin, the feeling among the wrestlers is that they expect him back sooner than later. Agent Jack Lanza believes Austin is bored at home and he's reportedly been training hard. Dave says dozens of big stars have made big money in the business and tried to walk away but they all come back sooner or later (only exception Dave can think of off the top is Jack Brisco). With Hogan out for the foreseeable future and Rock leaving after Summerslam to make another movie, and Monday Night Football starting back soon, they need Austin more than ever. But reportedly Vince is still going forward and making plans as if Austin no longer exists.
  • Brock Lesnar is being advertised to appear on the Raw after Summerslam, which pretty well gives away that he's winning the title from Rock at Summerslam, which everyone already knew anyway. Of course, plans can always change, but Lesnar is almost certainly winning his first world title in a couple more weeks.
  • Notes from Raw: whole show was built around finding out who attacked Shawn Michaels, even though it was obvious that it was Triple H. When that was revealed and Shawn announced he was coming back to face him at Summerslam, it got surprisingly little reaction. It got a pop, but not the big overwhelming one you'd expect. Triple H was repeatedly referred to as "the franchise player of Raw." Hardyz were back together again and nobody cared. Big Show is getting fatter by the week. The UnAmericans cut a promo trashing President Bush saying he couldn't defend the country after 9/11. With the first anniversary of the attacks approaching, Dave figured it was only a matter of time before they tried to exploit it, but he didn't think they'd go this far. Trish vs. Victoria was marred by Jerry Lawler on commentary quizzing Molly Holly about whether she was a virgin the whole time.The Island Boyz (still no name) attacked Lillian Garcia and she did a stretcher job. And the Shawn/Triple H promo at the end was excellent, but the crowd didn't seem to care.
  • Notes from Smackdown: Dave apologizes in advance because he knows he's going to sound like a Paul Heyman cheerleader, but this was one of the better shows of the year, hitting on just about every level, from storytelling, to character development, to in-ring action. It was the best effort to date in getting Lesnar over as a top guy. Stephanie is still getting booed despite being the babyface. Kurt Angle continues to be pushed as a serious bad ass after years of burying that under comedy gimmicks. Angle vs. Hogan was even better than their King of the Ring match and, despite the shitty ending, was probably Hogan's best match in years. Nidia and Jamie Noble are a great act. Benoit/Guerrero vs. Rock/Edge was excellent, with Rock tapping out to Benoit which made for a strong finish, elevated Benoit, and furthered the Lesnar storyline with Rock all at once. On and on and on. Just an all-around great show that Heyman is heading up here.
  • Random WWE notes: Chris Jericho signed a new multi-year contract. Jim Ross wrote about the recent developmental cuts and said that eliminating HWA was also a step towards improving the overall developmental system. Basically just streamlining everything down to one location (OVW). The Island Boyz attacking Moolah and Mae Young last week was edited off TV in both Canada and the UK. Josh Lomberger from Tough Enough was hired, but not as a wrestler, and instead will do TV production and announcing (later becomes Josh Matthews, current Impact commentator).
  • Most wrestlers in WWE are told nothing ahead of time about their upcoming feuds and angles. Most of them show up to TV and find out the day of the show what they're doing. For example, Benoit and Guerrero were recently switched back over to Smackdown and they had no idea until they arrived at Raw the day before and had to change their transportation and go to the Smackdown city instead.
  • Despite getting their asses handed to them in the recent lawsuit, the PTC is still around. This week, they listed Raw as one of the 10 worst shows on TV due to language, sexual content, and violence. The settlement that WWE won does not prevent the PTC from negatively criticizing WWE, but it does prevent them from targeting WWE's sponsors, among other things. But they're still free to go online and talk shit about them just like everyone else.
  • Wanna hear a joke? Here's something some guy wrote in 1988 that was published in the Observer Yearbook that year. It was a section featuring fake/spoof wrestling news predicting stories that would happen in 1989. Here's what was written: "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in November 1989 that the World Wrestling Federation can no longer use the initials WWF to promote its business activities. A lower court injunction in favor of the World Wildlife Fund was upheld. A spokesman for the naturalist group expressed joy at the high court ruling. "Originally we didn't care about their having the same initials as us, but their heavy use of animals at their events, plus the naming of over half of their performers with animal nicknames was just causing too much confusion in the mind of the public. Attorneys for Vince McMahon and Titan Sports downplayed the court decision, saying, "We were previously thinking of dropping the wrestling part of our name anyway, since it has a lot of negative connotations and was not altogether appropriate given the nature of our product."
  • Jeff Hardy has taken time off from house shows because he's working on an album for his rock band PeroxWhy?Gen. Jeff is the lead singer, and Shannon Moore does background vocals. Jeff and Shannon were finding it impossible to work on the album while wrestling full time, so they took Jeff off house shows at his request. Jeff's not yet 25 years old and has said his body is already banged up from injuries, with constant lower back pain and bone chips in his elbow.
  • Speaking of elbow injuries, Triple H did an interview talking about his King of the Ring match and said he wasn't happy with his performance because he went into the match injured. Afterwards, he had surgery and they removed 8 bone chips from his elbow, some as large as teeth.
  • Regarding Steve Austin, Triple H had some thoughts on that too. "I have two contrasting reactions. One is for Steve Williams. I feel worried for him as a person and I hope whatever it is that's in his head can be sorted out. The stuff between him and his wife and what went down in San Antonio--who knows what happened? All those things, I feel bad for him and I hope things work out for Steve Williams the person. But as far as Stone Cold Steve Austin goes, it's hard for me not to be angry at what he did. He owes something to everyone here in this company from top to bottom, from the guy who answers the phone to Vince. If I was Vince McMahon, I don't know how I could look people in the eye, anyone who I have a responsibility to, like stockholders or employees and say, 'we're getting behind him and pushing him to the top.'"
  • Anyway, Dave has some thoughts on this. He agrees that Austin was absolutely in the wrong for walking out the way he did, with no notice, hours before a live show that was entirely written around him. He screwed up the show, and in particular, he left Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit hanging out to dry since they were just starting what was expected to be a major program with Austin, and which would have been the biggest program of Eddie's career. The company has a right to be mad. But this all started because they asked Austin to do a job to Lesnar on TV with no build-up, in order to help jump-start Lesnar's main event push. When Austin balked....they didn't ask anyone else. Dave kinda wonders why Undertaker or someone like that wasn't asked to do the same thing after Austin left, if it was really about getting Lesnar over. Dave seems to imply that there was more to the story about why WWE asked Austin to do it. It's sorta implied here that Vince knew Austin wouldn't want to do it but made the match anyway, almost like he was purposely pushing Austin's buttons. As noted, Austin and Vince weren't getting along at all prior to his walking out and the way they buried him afterwards probably wasn't a coincidence. There's still a lot of hard feelings on both sides.
  • The "Pile Driver" roller coaster ride at WWE's Niagra Falls location was shut down by safety officials just hours after its grand opening because they didn't have the proper permits and hadn't undergone safety inspections. They had shown the ride off on TV the day before during a big ceremony with Val Venis, Trish Stratus, and Benoit and apparently the safety inspector saw the segment on TV and realized it hadn't been approved and had it shut down. There's no timetable on when it will re-open (I just listened to a Bruce Prichard podcast episode talking about this and apparently it never re-opened. It just sat there dormant for years I think.)
NEXT WEDNESDAY: Observer Hall of Fame preview, Goldberg returning to wrestling in AJPW, Steve Austin arrested, XPW vs. ROH drama, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


2020.08.25 16:00 EliruleZ [main] Tudor Black Bay 58 blue on leather 100 spots @ $39 ea w no spot limit

Item Name: Tudor Black Bay Blue 58 on leather strap
Price: $3,900
# of Spots: 100
Price Justification: $4375 on nato 7/27/20 https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=753113
Price Justification: $3995 on leather 7/20/20 https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=752695
Price Justification: $3800 on nato 7/16/20 https://www.reddit.com/Watchexchange/comments/hrrqxd/wts_tudor_black_bay_58_blue_lnib_bonus_straps/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
Price Justification: $4290 on nato 7/13/20 https://www.watchuseek.com/threads/fs-bnib-tudor-black-bay-79030b-blue-on-nato.5216106/
Price Justification: $3875 on nato 7/10/20 https://www.reddit.com/Watchexchange/comments/ho9q09/wts_new_tudor_black_bay_blue_bnib_has_stickers/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
Call spots? Y
Spot limit per person? 0
Location/Country: USA
Will ship international? USA/CA only
Timestamp/pics: https://imgur.com/a/7pazyGY
Escrow: u/EliruleZ for mrs_la
Description: up for raffle is a like new in box, Black Bay 58 blue on leather. Wore it about 5 times with a different strap. The leather strap remains unused and the clasp remains stickered. The warranty card is dated 7/13/20 and uses the new Tudor 5 year warranty. It comes complete with: outer sleeve, outer box, inner box, warranty card, manuals.
link: https://mod.reddit.com/mail/all/fvkkn

PayPal Info: https://www.paypal.me/paulmf

Tip BoyAndHisBlob
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2020.08.24 18:47 Hero_in_all_of_us My absolutely insane Season 3 synopsis

With the news about Season 3 being delayed (which sucks big time), this is my not-so-serious synopsis. Do I think this will actually happen? No. Did I have this crazy idea and want to write it all out to entertain myself? Yes.
It all starts at the hospital. Miguel’s condition is bad. They don’t think he’s going to pull through. But then, as Carmen weeps quietly by his bedside, a shadowy figure arrives in the doorway. It’s Terry Silver, finally returning to the story. He tells Carmen that he’s the CEO of Dynatox, which has been working with experimental cybernetics since the early 90s. He can save Miguel, under one condition: the newly rejuvenated Miguel will be used to defeat Daniel LaRusso and his dojo once and for all. Carmen is against Miguel even so much as saying the word “karate” again, but desperate to save her son, she agrees and lets Terry get to work.
Miguel returns from the hospital a week later. He is now a cyborg, more machine than man. His pupils have a slight red light deep within them, and he is controlled by Terry’s sinister programming. Miguel is forbidden from contacting Johnny again by both his mother and Terry, who has now taken over as his sensei. Johnny is heartbroken by the loss of his favorite student and by the loss of his dojo, which is still under the control of Kreese. This causes him to fall into a drunken spiral, and he leaves his apartment only in search of more booze.
Meanwhile, Kreese and Cobra Kai have begun a new reign of terror on the Valley. They are out of control. While the school has cracked down on Karate after the brawl, the kids have become even bigger bullies than before. Tory is in juvie so she’s out, but Hawk has dipped into black magic in an attempt to restore his deflated ego and magically get Moon to fall in love with him again. He fails at both, but through his use of the Dark Arts he has found a way to become a WereHawk, half hawk, half man. Many of his victims are found with talon marks, and some unfortunate souls are dropped from 50 feet when he takes to the sky on his newfound wings. Cobra Kai is back, and the entire school is paying the price. During this time, Terry Silver, desperate for revenge, shows up and uses RoboMiguel to kill Kreese and place himself as the new sensei of Cobra Kai. Terry is even more insane than Kreese, and eventually everyone but RoboMiguel and WereHawk quit. Some even join Miyagi-Do.
Daniel knows he can’t stop Cobra Kai on his own, so he re-opens his dojo. Disgusted, Amanda promptly divorces him and in the settlement takes the dealership and Anthony. Left with nothing but his dojo and Sam, Daniel pours himself into the karate training as a distraction. Then one day during practice, RoboMiguel and WereHawk show up. Demetri, who has gained the tiniest modicum of self esteem, stands up and challenges Miguel. Miguel punches a robotic fist through his chest, killing him instantly. During the battle, all the students of Miyagi-Do are killed and Daniel and Sam escape only by knocking RoboMiguel into the koi pond, Michael Scott style. He temporarily short circuits and WereHawk is forced to save him, leaving them time to run away.
After seeing what Miguel has become, Daniel knows only one person can help him stop Cobra Kai. He is forced to team up with Johnny himself, who remains sober long enough for Daniel to explain the horror that Miguel has evolved into. Johnny is conflicted, but believes he must save Miguel from himself.
Together, Johnny, Daniel, and Sam confront Terry Silver at the Cobra Kai dojo. RoboMiguel is now repaired, and Terry uses him and WereHawk to attack Sam while he deals with Johnny and Daniel. Sam holds her own against them both, and while RoboMiguel is clearly distressed at fighting the woman he loves, his cybernetics take control and leave him no choice. Daniel and Johnny fight Terry together, their fighting styles forming a perfect yin yang: combined, they are truly balanced. They are able to knock Terry unconscious and turn their attention to RoboMiguel and WereHawk. WereHawk has Sam in a chokehold, and RoboMiguel is fighting his programming to stop himself from killing her. Johnny sees this conflict and tries to talk Miguel down, reminding him who he is and what he should really stand for. Johnny’s words are wise and show great character development, but are not enough to override RoboMiguel’s programming. He draws his fist back, about to rip Sam’s heart out, when suddenly Johnny’s black Dodge Challenger smashes through the front door of the Dojo. It hits RoboMiguel head on and knocks him through the other walk. Behind the wheel is Robby himself, back from his hiding in Mexico. He steps out and pulls out a shotgun, blasting WereHawk away. He turns to Johnny and forgives him. Mexico has changed him, and he has learned the value of family.
But behold! Terry Silver awakens, and clubs Johnny over the head from behind. He drops, completely unconscious. Daniel tries to fight, but without Johnny, is promptly bested and thrown into a mirror. Robby points the shotgun at him and pulls the trigger, but he wasted all his ammo on WereHawk so the gun only clicks pathetically. Terry is about to strike Robby when suddenly a badly damaged RoboMiguel tackles him. The blow from Robby’s car has damaged his programming, and he has regained full control of his faculties. Using all his robotic strength, he throws Terry Silver through the ceiling and into the stratosphere. He never comes back down, remaining a frozen corpse orbiting the earth forever.
Robby apologizes to RoboMiguel for breaking his back, and the two are able to move forward as friends. Sam decides to start dating Miguel again, and Robby, now a changed man, is able to let her go. Daniel and Johnny go to the hospital for their injuries and when they’re healed, open a new dojo together called Miyagi Kai.
The season ends with a cliffhanger. Sam is by the pool scrolling through Twitter on her phone and sees a post by the police department that Tory has broken out of juvie. Sam stares at the post with a shocked look on her face, and the camera pans to show Tory standing behind her, spiky bracelet in hand. There is a horror movie type sound effect and it cuts away to the credits.
submitted by Hero_in_all_of_us to cobrakai [link] [comments]


2020.08.22 02:04 premedmeme--wetdream MCAT strategy advice from someone with a lot of peer-to-peer experience

Let’s try this again...I have been a peer instructor at my uni for several years and thought I would help folks beyond my friends.
Sorry about the length....I just kept typing
I have had a few people message me on here after an off-comment buried deep in a thread, so I figured I would take all of the advice I have sent them and see if I could synthesize it into a single coherent….thing? I want to preface this by saying I did not score perfectly, I could have done more studying on P/S, all of the following is just my strategy when I helpvmy peers. I just want to mix it up a little bit from all of the guides you find on here where people say their schedule and the exact resources to use and when etc. Aside from the first two paragraphs of this, I do not do any fixed “Do this and you will succeed” with my students. The biggest part to studying, in my opinion and as I will elaborate on later, is finding what works best for you. I will drop my hints and tricks along with some resources I used, but I am not going to tell you how or when to use them, or even that you need to use them in the first place. This is more just a guide to guide yourself. And with the preface out of the way, I hope this can at least help one of you in some manner. Let me know!
One of the major takeaways you might get from this site or SDN is that the AAMC material is the golden don’t-touch until you have exhausted all other resources. Frankly, I believe this is one of the biggest disservices that you can do to yourself. You should start off with AAMC material and finish with AAMC material, and you should use all of it from the study guide to the FLs and everything in between. I always start my students off by taking an AAMC FL as a diagnostic to see where they truly stand with the MCAT before any content review. My philosophy for integrating AAMC official material throughout your studying, and in particular starting out with an AAMC FL, is so that you can produce a baseline from which to build your study plan with the AAMC framework in mind. By “AAMC Framework” I mean integrating an understanding of the AAMC logic into everything.
What is the point of content review, cramming facts or trying to understand what the MCAT wants/might want from that content? What is the point of practice questions, to understand content or to learn how to pick apart the intent of the questions and answers? By starting off with AAMC material, I believe this sets testers up for success by ensuring all of your studying is focused on the MCAT itself, not necessarily just the content or timing. This first AAMC diagnostic acts as the backbone to the first several weeks of studying in my opinion. During those first several weeks, the emphasis is on reviewing that first exam and, more importantly, me guiding them or helping them guide themselves towards their best learning style.
Looking at that first diagnostic test (or, your previously taken AAMC FLs if you have already started your studying), the biggest thing is guiding through reviews of test material to see what works best in terms of how you frame the material. For instance, do you genuinely work best by memorizing a bunch of equations and raw facts? Do you work best by visualizing structures in your mind’s eye? Do you make a running narrative? The non-answer I give in my tutoring is that the best method for review is the one that works best for you. Most often, I find that my students try what they have always done through all of undergrad – brute force. For most that is how they think they are supposed to study like this as it is all they have ever been exposed to so they do it (ie. Ankee, Kap and UTriStateArea etc), but it really is only the best strategy for some. “Brute Force,” is where you just repeat something from the textbook/guidebook/flashcards/whatever until it is crammed into your skull. While this is a necessity for some things (facts that you just need to know such as Amino acids or the P/S vocab), the cornerstone to good review is to find your strategy.
I spend the first two or three weeks with my students reviewing their practice test in different ways until we find what works for them. I have my students work on visualizing things (chemical reactions as the physical 3D structures they are, the actual thermodynamic mechanics occurring with replication etc.) For P/S and B/B graphs, same thing applies. Really helping them learn to ‘read science.’ What is this graph actually saying? How do you keep track of the acronyms etc. But never in a ‘no that’s wrong’ kind of way, but actually having them try three or four different methods for each type of thinking process until it sticks on one question, then another and another. If something consistently works for one type of concept (ie. “Visualizing cell” or “turning acronyms into words” or whatever) then that is the first half of my tutoring. Guiding towards their learning style, and not just that but their learning style for each different type of thinking. By ‘different types of thinking’ I mean that it is naive to think that one way of studying will work for every subject. For equations based things, maybe you want to memorize, maybe you want to just get really good at unit analysis. Either way, it will be fundamentally more beneficial to explore a different study method for something like cell signaling or Ochem etc.
All of these same principles apply towards CARS – finding what method works best for you is the biggest thing that helps. I start off with my preferred method, and what I find to be the most widespread in helping but least commonly used tactic, is to create an as-it-goes running story. This is most effective for CARS, but works in passage based questions in other sections too. What I mean by as-it-goes is creating a story of the passage helps internalize the passage by translating it into your own words and your own imagery. This doesn’t mean introducing your own outside knowledge; never bring outside knowledge into a CARS question. What this means is as you are reading, note each name or concept and, in passing, quickly note it. ‘Johnny is the architect’....’the yellow paint is more expensive, so Johnny doesn’t like it’...’the author thinks the yellow paint has a better aesthetic.” This way you end up reducing the passage down from 25-30 sentences in someone else’s words to your own internal monologue that is around 5-6 sentences. Additionally, in creating your own internal monologue, the brain automatically generates faces, structures, associated imagery etc. which makes it more memorable and more personal - easier to think about in both concrete and abstract ways. There really is no way you can go wrong when you are the one generating the story. If they don’t have a minds eye and can’t generate an internal monologue, well then this method won’t work, at which point AAMC logic is still king.
The keystone to this strategy is to start off before any studying just taking a practice AAMC FL. Then we spend 2-3 weeks on just that FL discovering their methods. Then the rest is reenforcing those methods, ensuring they don’t slip back into their old ways, really changing the way they study and, honestly, the way they think about academics. In my opinion, this can fundamentally change how you think as a life long learner. By finding the most efficient way for you to study, experimenting across the board with different methods if you are in a rut, can help make learning fun for you. From there, success is all but guaranteed if you are having fun with what you are doing.
So that is all fine and dandy with finding the right method to review questions/conduct content review. That is the number one skill to develop – now what is this AAMC logic I have mentioned a few times, how do you explore the materials during review, and what are you really looking for? Looking first at reviewing questions (as this is the base of your study schedule) again, consistency, redundancy, and reviewing everything are paramount. If you get a question right, should you review the correct answer? Well yes, you need to make sure that your reasoning was correct. If you get a question incorrect, should you review the correct answer? Obviously, you need to know what the correct answer is so that you can adjust course in your thought process. But what about the wrong answers?
Knowing that you were correct on a correct answer, you don’t learn much. In fact, you are basically just giving in to your confirmation bias and moving on. With questions you got wrong, learning the right answer only exposes you to a fourth of the AAMC logic present. In my opinion, the biggest section to review, and what the vast majority of people ignore, are the incorrect answers. If you study incorrect answers, both on questions you got right and wrong, you learn how to rule out other choices in the future on questions you may not know. Eliminating incorrect answers is just as important as knowing the correct answer for the AAMC logic.
When you review your answers, do you review both to ensure understanding of the correct logic as well as understanding of the incorrect answers (ie. reviewing each and every answer for every question?). If the answer to that is no, I would challenge yourself to spend more time on your review. Look at everything, learn to recognize the patterns present in AAMC answers and questions. Eliminating answers on CARS was the cornerstone of my strategy. I knew 50% of the answers, the other half I could almost universally knock it down to 50/50. Then you know the stupid thing? If you are down to 50/50, if you pick the stupider, more generic answer it will be correct 9/10. That is basic AAMC logic that you learn to look for by reviewing everything. AAMC trickery is a cold-hearted bitch, but by reviewing everything you maximize your exposure to their logic and learn how to get around it.
Looking at content review, I will start off with this: if you are currently <500, don’t worry about doing practice questions, do broad content review; if you are >518, do nitty gritty content review to maximize those last few point; if you are between the two, only do content review for confirmation of concepts that you really aren’t getting. Don’t worry about memorizing the steps of the TCA if you are already testing at a 508, that is low yield AF and practice questions are going to be your biggest help. The MCAT is not a test of in-depth content, do. Not. Worry. About the in-depth stuff until you are plateauing on the upper ranges. **Exception to my ranges set forth above, if you are less than three weeks out from your test date, regardless of your current level, practice questions are your go-to. Content in the end-game is useless.*
Alright, rules out of the way – now how do you do content review efficiently? For this, I direct you back towards the AAMC material. What AAMC materials am I talking about? Well, if you didn’t know, they produce a study guide!
**Removed link to post, google AAMC what's on the MCAT and download whole PDF**
Seems like a pretty shitty study guide, right? Doesn’t even give any definitions. That is the beauty of it though; remember that AAMC framework I mentioned a thousand paragraphs ago? Well here it is – an empty template where AAMC is telling you exactly the concepts you need to know. All you have to do is take the ‘how do I study best’ skills you learned before content review and fill out the study guide. What you need/want to do is to go through that entire study guide and write one or two sentences about each bullet point. If you can do that without looking anything up, then you are good on content. Kap/UTerabithia/Ankee etc. are great as a reference material in the initial content review, but should never be a primary tool IMHO. Use whatever resources you can to write down/internalize the definitions/concepts (the concepts aspect is key) for everything you don’t already know in that study guide. Then repeat, you should know more. Then repeat a third time, you should be able identify 80-90% of everything. Make sure you are putting things into your own words, your own imagery, all in a similar manner to that long shpeel about the CARs minds eye above - it doesn’t matter what wiki says or what Kap says. It matters if it makes sense to you.
As an example there is this website:
**MCAT review .org, removed link to post**
It is organized 100% based around the AAMC study guide and provides a few sentences and images for each and every bullet point. I am not saying to use this as a resource, I am just using this as an example of a kind of structure you can do. Make sure you are putting things in your own words!
Another quick example for high yield concepts would be something like this:
**Google MCAT quick sheets, 23 page PDF, removed link to post**
That is to act as a reminder that, again, the MCAT is not super detail oriented for 95% of test takers. Focus on the highest of high yield information – broad “what does AAMC want me to know” type concepts. Use whatever resources you need for all of the bullet points. On that MCAT- review. org there are a lot that didn’t make sense to me and I needed outside resources. That is why putting it in your own words is crucial.
“Are you telling me I wasted $1500 on a Kap self paced course?” No, not necessarily. The goal of this is to use whatever resources work best for you not for me to tell you how to do it. If you are finding it beneficial then definitely use it! Try reading through the materials and then reframing it as your own, still using the AAMC framework in mind. You spent the money so use what you have. But if it isn’t working for you, then look elsewhere. Don’t feel like you have to use something just because you spent money on it – that is a waste of your time. Regardless of how much you spent on a resource, if it isn’t working for you then it isn’t working for you. Shoveling shit with a golden shovel doesn’t make the shit smell any better.
Outside of content review and questions review, there is a third component that I believe is vital to making your testing and learning experience easier and more fluid. You just read 14 paragraphs about how to study for the MCAT, so let me ask you this – when was the last time you read a book? What about a science article or an opinion piece? You can’t get consistency in your CARS, consistency in your science reading, or consistency in your take of other’s opinions if you don’t have a consistent framework for reading. Read an opinion piece, a basic science article, and a social science article every other day. Further, read one full 300+ page novel and find a partner to read and discuss with. It helps frame your mind to think about topics you have never had exposure to, how to read science/graphs/charts etc. (particularly how to recognize the important details and features), increases your reading speed, and helps develop that running narrative/mind’s eye. Also, it just makes reading fun again and gives an excuse to pull away from the flash cards for an hour or two a day to decompress. NEJM, NYT or NPR op-eds work perfectly. Just find topics that interest you, and a good book. Treat yourself while still increasing your learning.
And a final note for test day - you have been taking one practice test a week for 4 weeks. You have been consistent, you have done this every day, this one exam is no different then your practice. This one is just another test, another set of questions. You know how to do this. Good luck, practice a lot, practice consistently. Get to the point where you can just trust yourself and so you can trust your judgement.
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