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Who You Are

UPDATE: I'm trying to get to my first convention appearance at the end of this month, and I am in a real time crunch with trying to get at least one more print ready for it. I need to get it finished this week to have a prayer of getting it finished in time. I don't want to go with little to nothing promotion-wise for the comic to sell/giveout and just be sitting in a chair. I'll show you guys when it's done. I apologize firstly for a delay of the next strip over trying to get a print done since it's extracurricular to the comic (but I have to set aside time for these since each comic takes about 12-16 hours to make.) I also apologize for not having an update sooner. I wrote this whole blurb about it last week but apparently I'm an idiot and didn't actually update the page to show it. #DERP   Regardless, next comic and Patreon will be Wednesday. Thanks for the patience, everyone. :)  *awkward smile* Ellie went through many typical forms of lying. Tried to use her date's logic against him (pessimism.) Tried to insert his own wording ("Full disclosure.") Half-truthed. Tried to play it off. Justified it. I try to make most of the conflicts in the comic situational versus 'contrived.' In this case, Ellie put herself in a bad situation she honestly had no way out of if a date ended up actually working. So she's learning to develop her most important quality yet. It's one word. Starts with an 'I.'

149 thoughts on “Who You Are

        1. are you now on the run? the cops’ got ya gun?

          right about now it’s time ta have some fun?

        2. Teh mR. Blue – that is my name
          And I know Fry’s sprot where they got the champagne.
          We drove for six minutes then we hit teh sprot
          The beat was a silent and the girlies were not

  1. Gotta say, kinda see a bit of myself in this guy. Hope he comes back, preferably in a way that makes a particular social occasion painfully awkward for Ellie

      1. Maybe you should write a book or maybe this is it. I don’t know if I prefer this or a happy ever after fantasy but this is not the shallow end of the pool.

      2. I can definitely relate. An ex-friend/ex-roommate of mine was a pathological liar. He’d been living at home for too long before moving out and never grew out of shifting blame as a habit. He also had an irrational fear I’d tell people things I’d confronted him about behind his back, so in addition to lying to my face incompetently when there was no chance I’d believe him, he’d also immediately talk to mutual friends behind my back and blame me in advance for things he’d done.

        You know, just in case I told them. Oh, and not with embarrassing things, with everything. Literally everything. I once had a mutual friend (who was unaware of the guy’s ceaseless shifting of blame) ask me why this ex-friend was going on and on about how I blamed him for leaving one of the burners on the range on because I didn’t want to admit I did it. That’s how petty and irrational he was.

      3. Both your post and Gravatarless’s below remind me of my ex-GF. She formed a friendship with me at first, and I must admit: she was a good friend to be around. Fun conversations. After a while she started to confide in me. She told me things about her family mistreating her, like her mom sometimes treating her pretty badly, or how her almost-same-age niece who lived in the same house used up all her makeup, took her clothes without asking, etc… she was such a poor unlucky girl being held back by everyone jealous. And stupid me believed at first that some of that was true.

        As time went on I fell in love and we started dating. Except that it didn’t take long for me to put 2 and 2 together. As the relationship drew us closer it was impossible not to notice some holes in her stories or some faults in her personality. What’s more, she started to blame ME at times for things that were her fault. Other times she would make a scandal over pretty small stuff that I actually did wrong. Things went downhill pretty quickly (thank God).

        As an aside, after we broke up I eventually got hold of a psychology book called Peter Pan Syndrome, by Dan Cook. That’s when I fully came to understand her. (Although the author states it is a “Males Only” problem, everything matched her behavior.)

        In essence, what she and Gravatarless’s ex-roommate and maybe your ex also have is a crippling fear of responsibility. They haven’t fully matured to face adulthood, and they’re terrified of actually owning up to their mistakes. So they create this world in their minds where anything wrong that happened is someone else’s fault. For example if her boss reprimanded her for doing something wrong? It was either her coworker who dun goofed, or her cell didn’t wake her up and she arrived late just the day she was swamped in work, or ultimately the she same boss she had lauded the week before suddenly was an arrogant nincompoop who wanted to punish her for no reason. It was simply _never_ her fault.

  2. “…her most important quality yet. It’s one word. Starts with an ‘I.’”

    Let me guess: Independently Wealthy?

    1. (And before anyone tells me “I don’t think it’s that, what he was getting at was…”, IT’S A JOKE. (Mostly.))

        1. My first guess was also right, but I’d also wanted to guess wrong a few times before it was spelled out. I didn’t have anything I liked, though.

        2. Yeah, it just had to be different than ‘INTelligence’ and ‘INTuition’. Some could have argued for a dumb blonde’s ‘INTellect’ because of her assets. Or how she’s able to ‘INTegrate’ them into her outfits everyday.

  3. Integrity is tough to maintain while you are struggling for independence; and particularly when you’re about to get slammed for soliciting….

  4. Ah the pain required as motivation for character growth. All things considered, there are much more painful ways to learn this lesson (assuming that she learns it).

  5. The worst part is, we like them both, and like them both together. We can see both sides. OK, we have been yelling at Ellie about how this is bad since the beginning of the chapter, and she knows it. But she sees her self in a position where she has to do, what she has to do. And this.

    Admittedly, Ellie seems to jell with any guy who can look her in the eye, and have an actual conversation with her. Something that the D-Bag didn’t really do, but the Kanuck did. Something Blind Guy did. What this one has done.

    And, yet, I still feel there is more to this. Is he the BG’s brother? They do look alike. Did we ever hear his last name? Why is BG following her, obsessed with her? And, why does TG want to “trap” him? Revenge for the punch, or is it something else? And, who is David? The hour of our release draws near.

      1. No first name for this guy or Blind Guy so far. I guess she’s batting .333 so far on actually getting names.

      1. Emphatic sentences may include include single letter words with all words but the last followed by a period.


    1. What about his self-esteem? She has a solid reason for being rejected. ‘I used a guy’s heart as a job.’
      He gets to have another cast-iron example of women being manipulative, selfish, and interested in him only becauss spending time with him ganrnered her a paycheck.
      Of the two, who is losing the most?

      1. Honestly, it’s hard to actually answer that. I suspect Ellie is experiencing more emotional pain, but it’s also the type of pain that is frequently needed to grow. I doubt unnamed guy is in a lot of pain, as he was cautious the whole way through and she admitted it before he had time to get all that emotionally invested. Depending on the rest of this conversation it may very well make him somewhat more set in his ways, but that’s still up in the air, I think. He’s quite pissed, but Ellie might manage to throw a save for how it’ll impact him (though I think we’re talking critical success for any chance of things between them going forward, but if she tries for it anything above 40% could leave him in better shape).

  6. Ellie could still talk her way out of this, with apologies and promises to quit her crappy job and being open and honest about who she is and how she feels about Older Guy… That is, if vamps wasn’t moments away from swooping in and totally ruining her chances.

    Oh vamps, such a rapscallion, you are!

    1. Its dead. When he whipped out the Jacksons, he burned the bridge. I think because in his mind Ellie led about every honest thing she said.

      I’ll be suprised if the money is lying on the ground with them both walking away from it in shot one. Shoot two has the three bills blowing away and going in separate directions. One to the urine salesman, one drifting part Daniel and Barrel in different shots to be picked up by tiny Atlas girl, and the third into an ‘alms for the poor’ Salvation Army donation kettle.

      1. Oh come on now Blue, no need to shoot down my hopes and dreams, the whole point of my comment was clearly that vamps would be there to do that anyway.

      2. There’s a way out of this the same way there’s a way out of one of Jigsaw’s contraptions. She’s just going to have to be more honest. I’d like to think she could easily hand the money back (“And that’s the going rate for good advice”), thank him for the good time (“For all it’s worth, I had a great time. I’d understand if you didn’t, but it seemed like you were too”) and acknowledge that he’s right but also point out that he’s not beyond hope (“You’re a great guy and any girl would be lucky to have you. I know I don’t have any right to, considering what I’ve done, but it would be nice to see you again. I won’t waste anymore of your time. Bye”)

        I think it’s worth noting that he seems more disappointed than smugly vindicated. I’d like to think that that’s pretty important here.

        1. I’m not sure about the disappointed. I think that he’s more irritated now than he was that his brother signed him up for a date.

        2. I want to believe that that is because he actually started to have favorable expectations of this date, but that is long shot and definitely not one I’d want Ellie to bank on. Initiate your exit strategy, NOW.

    2. I don’t know about that. This guy’s been burned often enough that getting through this with him still willing to have anything to do with her seems like slim chances. If Ellie chooses to, I could see her getting through this while still managing to avoid making his cynicism worse, but that’d require her to decide that she cares about that more than ever seeing him again.

      It also feels surreal to see your avatar be a photograph for some reason.

      1. All of it meaningless since her chances with Older Guy are sure to be ruined by Vampire Guy appearing and just, you know, vampiring it up.

        And yes – it is ironic how a photo of something real is surreal when cartoons of things that are not real are the standard.

  7. Full Disclosure: When I read Ellie’s speech bubbles, I hear them in Cherami Leigh’s voice.

  8. I just wanna say, both this last panel and the final panel in the latest Paetron strip are the best renderings of Ellie I’ve ever seen you do. It might have something to do with the lack of baby-doll eyes, but either way, your art is improving leaps and bounds, so props for that!

  9. Once again, I find myself suffering from an emotional punch to the gut. I tried to brace for it, but I failed and now my poor feelings are hurting for fictional characters again. But now that the drama is finally front and center I can finally stop waiting for the bomb to drop and start getting jazzed for what comes next.

  10. Aaand now all we can do is watch sadly from the life rafts as the burning ship slowly sinks.

    …I will continue this metaphor until long after it starts breaking down. :|

  11. To quote the movie MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2:

    Ethan Hunt: “No. She’s got no training for this kind of thing.”
    Mission Commander Swanbeck: “What? To go to bed with a man and lie to him? She’s a woman, she’s got all the training she needs.”

    And for those people out there who might be offended by this quote, I’ll stop making references to it when it stops being true.

      1. If more women were honest about men’s performance in bed, maybe the men in question would realize they need to improve what they’re doing instead of continue to think they’re sexual geniuses.

        1. Yeah, but still the implication f the statement is that all women are good in bed and all (or most) men are not. Not just some and some.

        2. Well, we don’t have any control over our partner’s performance, but we do over our own, and we can’t go in our partners to make the first step.

        3. When you think of all the stereotypes of men having problems on Christmas morning with putting “Tab A” into “Slot B”. It just makes you really wonder who does need training.

    1. Honestly I’m just surprised you can remember anything from Mission Impossible 2. All I remember is going into a theater with a date and both of us being determined to pay attention to the movie, but it didn’t take long before we couldn’t stop the uncontrollable laughter at what we were viewing, which did lead to us realizing the previous determination was no longer required and we just kept laughing at it and pointing things out the other missed. My honest to God impression of that movie was Tom Cruise was having a mid-life crisis, jealous of The Matrix, and had WAY too much editorial control. Luckily that resulted in something magically hilarious.

      Kudos to you for remembering anything but laughing.

  12. She forgot to mention the “desperate for a job” part, and the schmoozing to convince her to take the job. Didn’t he ever do anything regrettable when he was 19?

    Though sometimes you don’t realize how much you’re being scammed until you repeat it, see the disbelief on someone’s face, and realize exactly how stupid it sounds.

  13. Ought to keep going with it. Fill this poor schlub in on just what Ellie’s seen three times a day for the last week. The sheer outright crazy. The T-shirt makers. The FURRIES. The fact that she could count the number of reasonable dates she had on one hand. I mean, really, before this the high point was James. And it all went downhill from there. So Ellie didn’t have enough foresight to see that there was a certain chance one of these might actually work out. Yeah, great. If I’d had that kind of foresight I’d have bought Bitcoin in 2008.

  14. Crying out loud, we’ve all known Ellie was a hopeless romantic since Bad Movie Club first gathered and both she and Anise went goofy over Nicholas Sparks movies. Was it so out of line she’d want to try and bring romance to the masses, even those who were so thoroughly damaged that they put on dog suits full-time?

  15. His argument in panel 3 sounds good but doesn’t really make sense. Why do this at the beginning of his membership; it’s not until the end that his lack of activity becomes apparent…

    1. The refund kicks in at the end of his membership if he hasn’t gone on a single date. Her words ring hollow since she’s claiming to build confidence, but not doing it at a point in time where that confidence would allow him to take advantage of the rest of his time on the website.

      1. But they don’t know that he needs a “confidence builder” early on; he could go on a terrific date at any point. It’s not until there are no more points that they see there is a problem…

        1. Whether beginning or end of the six month period, her admission that she’s paid to date the guys on the site shows this is a scam.

        2. Not to mention that almost everything she has told him up until now has been a lie…

        3. Actually almost everything she has told him while on this not-date was true. Of course there is no way for him to know that.

        4. The date starts off with her lying about her name and reason for being there. The rest of the time she’s either chastising him for not being open to their date, or they’re just having fun together. The only honest things I’ve seen her say are 1.) she’s seen Jurassic Universe six times 2.) they look ridiculous 3.) what she says in this comic.
          If I met you and lied about who I am, why I’m there, what I’m doing, then talked for seven hours about how much I like cereal (which is true,) that wouldn’t make me an honest person. It just makes me a fraud that really likes cereal.

        5. It still makes the statement “almost everything she has told him has been a lie” a lie in itself.

          I never claimed what she lied about was trivial. I just commented on the fact that most of what she said was true. Claiming that it wasn’t despite better knowledge is not an honest way to go about things either. It’s a double standard. “Oh, she did tell a lie. So I’m now allowed to lie about her any way I want!”
          That’s not how it goes.

        6. I’m guessing that it’s that the largest lie she was responsible for was showing up for the date in the first place. The lies were told by others and she just didn’t correct them. Since she knows that the lies were told to him, it’s not immensely morally better for her to refrain from correcting him versus lying directly, but it is, technically, not her lying.

          So she’s ignored a lot of lies and tried to just let them fade to the background, but I’m not sure that she’s actually added any that weren’t told on her behalf before she arrived.

        7. It’s the “despite better knowledge” bit I’m wondering about. We know Ellie had no malicious intent, if that’s what you mean, Lukkai. What’s happened is forgivable, I think. However, this she-didn’t-technically-lie-others-did-and-she-simply-didn’t-correct-it route is the kind of lawyer-talk stuff I’m having to teach my kids right now. Telling a lie is bad. Going along with a lie because it benefits you isn’t any better.
          Ellie’s a good person, but she’s in the wrong here. I hope that last panel in this comic is her coming to the same conclusion.

        8. I believe the “despite better knowledge” bit is referring to the reader having access to the archives and thus being able to determine that “almost everything she has told him up until now has been a lie” is inaccurate. To use your post about cereal as an example: yes you’d be being dishonest, but there’s a difference between that and having everything you said be a lie which would be untrue.

          I’m also somewhat of the opinion that this thread is suffering form the issue that the posters are having two different conversations with each other. Namely one group is saying ‘Ellie has lied to This Guy about several key facts about herself’ while the other is saying ‘the statement “almost everything she has told him up until now has been a lie” is false’.

          Ellie’s been in a bad situation since this dating site showed up. She let herself get talked into taking the job, hates the work, and is now being forced to realize that she’s been lying to herself about what she’s been doing. Actually while writing this I realized this reminds me of a MUCH less harsh version of Ginger and Juniper’s conversation at the end of the Black Friday arc.

        9. I agree that from a statistical point of view the idea that almost everything Ellie’s said to This Guy is a lie is inaccurate. I get the impression that you feel that saying that impinges Ellie’s character which I would also agree with.

          However, I believe you’d agree that her interactions with This Guy are based upon a foundation of dishonesty. In particular I like how originally Ellie was so offended that he assumed she was a malicious villainess yet, from his perspective, she just confirmed that she was.

          So I feel that what we’re really discussing is how dark of a shade of grey Ellie is morality-wise.

        10. Oh, absolutely. I never said, nor believe that Ellie has the moral high ground here. Her appearance is based on a lie and she fully knows it. Deep down she knows this is a scam, she just didn’t want to admit it to herself. Also because of the sugartalking that was done to her.

          And you caught the gist of what I wanted to say pretty much perfectly.

        11. I think it’s a bit disingenuous that all this occurred to her only after she met someone she likes…

        12. I wouldn’t call it disingenuous so much as just the normal wrapped up in her own affairs and not really putting herself in others’ shoes. Then it bites her so she stops and realizes. People just generally learn better due to pain.

  16. I’m gonna feel really sad if she gets out of this without telling the truth and saying sorry.

  17. I was really hoping for a mutual friendship to form that might evolve into a romantic relationship, or just stay as friends, so it really pains me to say that it might be for the best if they never meet again.

    …Really pains me though.

    1. Learning a lesson is always valuable. Ellie can definitely learn a lesson from this. I do feel bad for the guy if he walks away just more bitter and angry and unwilling to trust than before, though.

      1. Is there really an option that isn’t what you just spelled out?

        This is, in every way possible, the red pill moment where he signs off and walks into the sunset for good, never to darken his door with emotional whores of any stripe ever again.

        Ellie’s would have to whip something out on par with the Gettysburg Address and her brain hamster has already told her to go to hell.

        Whipping something else out at this point is just going to terrorify the guy into thinking she’s really into him for all the wrong reasons, or so desperate to retain his presence she loses all semblance of decency and class.

        No, he’s gotta turn 360 degrees and walk away.

        1. There are all sorts of options, and even with as much as we know about Ellie, we can’t say all of them regarding her. Moreso for her date. People have different weaknesses, and as much as Ellie was persistent about keeping the date going to start with, if he was going to walk off and not listen to anything with as bitter as he’s seemed to be, he should’ve already done it. He might walk off in the next panel, or he might stand there and let her try to justify herself.

          Your two most common profiles for a guy who keeps getting taken in helping girls and then left in the lurch are fools and people with a higher than average degree of a white knight complex. He hasn’t struck me as a fool, and the longer he stands here and argues with Ellie and tries to get her to see how wrong she is, the more he strikes me as trying to help her learn a lesson she needs to learn. That opens possibilities other than him being more bitter and angry. Seems like a very narrow and winding path for any option of association later, and that association would be jam packed with distrust on his part, but it’s not fully impossible. Larger paths exist for her to walk away penitent and him feel good about seeing things before he got caught, helping her learn, and/or believing others might be able to learn too (regardless of how true any of these turn out to be, versus just getting his hopes up to dash them even farther in the next several years).

        2. 180! If he did a 360, he’d go completely around and end up back where he started!

        1. Guilt?
          Self loathing?
          There’s a word for girls that take money from guys for dates and Quinn hinted at that in October (has this story line been taking that long??? wow…..) and now it’s become the self-fulfilling prophesy:

          Sorry, Elle, but you should have backed out when she told you the truth about this “job”. Run back to that dirty old man, quit this job and get on with your live.

        2. She should’ve realized it was a bad idea and refused, but she didn’t. She was out of work for quite a while before Danny’s scam, and I think she had a week of failing to find a new job before they found out about the site and she ended up with this. She was feeling desperate and unable to find work and this dropped in her lap. It’s always easy to convince someone of something they want to believe, and that’s what happened with her.

          Considering all that, if I were in her shoes, even with the benefit of the experience of being twice her age and opposite gender and then putting myself in her position, I’d take the last date and accept the paycheck before quitting. I’d try to avoid making a mess of that one the way that happened with this one (she could’ve walked away before the zombie movie and still met her job requirements), but I’d still do the last date in order to get paid for the week.

          Not saying that’s a good thing, but if you’re broke & desperate, you’re broke & desperate.

          I like Ellie, and I don’t really want to think it, but I can’t help but wonder how much her willingness to ignore her last date to get her paycheck might be due to him mentioning financially supporting other girlfriends and considering him a better route than her current job. I could certainly believe that she might think it without quite consciously admitting it to herself, but I do wonder.

        3. I just want to address your last point. While it’s possible that Ellie’s considered the possibility of mooching off This Guy I personally think she has too much of a conscience to go through with it. We haven’t seen her consider that a valid option since she first met Blind Guy and since then I think she’s come to find work too emotionally rewarding to sponge off someone else.

          However, in a similar vein, given Ellie’s ongoing issues with rejection, I think it’s worth considering that she might see her lack of a significant other as being indicative of a personal flaw and that she might just want to be with someone/anyone.

        4. I don’t think Ellie would consciously choose to mooch off her boyfriend, but considering laziness is a defining character trait for her, dating a guy who’s used to being mooched off of could leave her in a situation that she’d just slowly ease into it. Though before that I do think she’d ask him if he knew of any job leads.

    1. Such deep analysis; really, all I was pointing out was Chris’s great artwork, but let that stop you… ;)

    1. That works, too.
      To borrow a phrase, I think the Girl in the Mirror is coming to grips with the truth of what she’s been doing with this “company”.

      And the truth isn’t pretty, is it….

      The sooner she quits, the better off she’ll be.

    2. That seems like a good one. Why did I take this job. Why did I move in with the ice queen? Why did I have to fake Pumpkin’s paper? Why am I so addicted to the Interwebs? Why is this so presumptuously inconceivable?

  18. Is there a problem with this site and Firefox? A defendant on judge Judy said that she had a 25 lb. Chihuahua. I thought, “oh shit! Ellie’s on TV.”

      1. I’ve got no problem and am viewing from Firefox. I have had lots of problems with Firefox though with profiles that have been through a lot of upgrades for various sites. Easiest and least harmful fix is to use Firefox Profile Manager to create a new profile and try the site. If it still fails, it’s a problem with the site. If it doesn’t, it’s probably a problem with the profile.

        As a warning, doing a profile refresh loses a lot of data, so better to create a fresh profile and move things from old profile to new rather than do a profile refresh.

      2. Side note, I’ve viewed this specific comic from Firefox in Win7 (32-bit), Linux Mint 17 (64-bit), & Android.

        1. Likewise – am viewing from Firefox on Win8.1 Embedded Industry; if there’s any system that should have problems, it’s this conglomeration, and she’s rolling along just fine.

      3. Sorry Jess. I thought that a quick poll of the users to see if there was any problems outside of the troubled system below bringing it up to your level. That way, I could see if a new router might be necessary instead of falsely reporting server side problems.

  19. Chris, you’re wasting time making a bunch of prints for a convention appearance?! All you need is a single bullet to display and you’re good.

      1. If he’s going that route, he really needs a mat to stand on too, because he obviously has to stand there the whole convention in one position with his arms crossed too.

  20. Well, I’ve always been hoping Blind Guy would wind up with Ellie, so this guy I prefer to see as showcasing Ellie’s growth.

    Personally, this guy strikes me as a bit of a whiney victim. “I’ve had bad relationships; I swear by the blood of Crom I shall never feel again!” Ellie is giving sound advice here: you miss every shot you don’t take. Learn from your mistakes, get up, move on.

    And the messenger doesn’t matter if the message rings true. I’m pretty sure Whiney Guy has had to do some things for his paychecks he’d rather not have done. Wonder if he’s ever fudged his taxes, pretended not to see a homeless person, or any of a thousand other little things we all justify inside our head. So Ellie’s job is to go out with guys to give them a shot of confidence. Not the best job in the world, sure…Whiney Guy has no idea what her work and life history has been like to lead her to taking such a job. He just *assumes* she’s not a worthwhile person because of it.

    With his offering her money like she’s the same as a prostitute…he loses all credibility and sympathy. I, at least, am no longer surprised he is, and always will be, alone. He’s deliberately being offensive, knows it, doesn’t care. Ellie, and likely all his other `horrible’ female experiences, isn’t a person…they’re disposable as soon as they don’t meet his criteria or expectations. He has a lot of surface charm, but no depth.

    I hope the next comic shows him beaten and bloody with his money shoved up his left nostril. He deserves it and it’s been a while since we’ve seen Ellie in a rage.

    1. Rusche doesn’t like perfect characters. Even Tarra’s going to be brought back to Erf before the comic’s over. I don’t see why we should expect this guy to be perfect.

      The guy’s being pretty harsh with her, but we don’t know the fullness of his history either.

      I doubt either of them would look back on the events of this comic and feel like it was truly a shining moment for them, but I can’t find it in myself to say it’s evidence that either is awful. They’re both flawed people, who have different flaws, that impact them in different ways, in the middle of a non-ideal situation which started with each of them going along with someone else’s idea for different reasons (proving brother wrong vs paycheck) playing along and letting the origin slide and now having all that come crashing back at once now that they’re relaxed and not clenched to take the punch.

      A bit of overreaction isn’t that odd.

    2. At what point in time do you stop blaming the stove for being hot and start taking some responsibility for touching it?

  21. I just binge read this comic and I think this is the worst possible strip I could have ended on. I’m going to feel like crap until Monday now. As for the current situation, this guy’s anger is really justified. The first person he starts to trust he finds out was hired to be his date, and didn’t even give her real name? I would hate that. Unfortunately, I think we all knew it would come to this when the date started going well.

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