ZADOC THE PRIEST VI: SIAMESE FIGHTING PRIESTS

Once we had the greatest empire the world has ever seen. Now we have Tim Henman. There is nothing you can teach us Brits about being losers, boyo - we wrote the book. Hence the number of incarnations from this sceptr'd isle who feel an instant affinity with the Oracle's premier prat^H^Hiest.

This chapter of the Chronicles is given over to the non-specific Zadoc outings of serial Britcarnations and part-time Zadoc substitutes Dave Hemming and Ross Clement. Or you could read Dave's at his own Website. I'd provide a link, but it's gone AWOL and I can't be arsed to look for it. Do your own dity work.

Source/Digest:
1. The Oracle in the Basement   Dave Hemming    
2. Performance Evaluation   Dave Hemming (#908-01)    
3. An Irresistible Object   Ross Clement    
4. The Oracle of Delhi   Dave Hemming    
5. A Perfect Martini   Dave Hemming    
6. The Internet Omniscius   Ross Clement (#977-02)    
7. Verbal Diarrhoeia   Dave Hemming (#990-09)    
8. A Good Year   Dave Hemming    
9. The Nicest Thing not Said by Dave Barry   Ross Clement    
10. James Clavell's Newest Trilogy   Ross Clement (#1041-09)    
11. New Year's Bonus   Dave Hemming    

 


1.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh great and wise bla bla bla. Please 'tell me':
> Why doesn't the Oracle have any questions to ask?
> Thank you very kindly.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

I don't? Hmmm, that's odd. Let me check.
[the Oracle picks up the question box, shakes it next to his ear, then turns it upside down. Nothing falls out.]
How curious. There was a load yesterday, and I was sure I was falling behind. Zadoc! ZADOC!!!!
"You bellowed, O He Whose Vast Intellect Is Eclipsed Only By His Modesty?"
Errr... I'm going to have to think about that one. Anyway, have you touched this box?
"I would never dare, your Cybertumescence! To think that one so lowly as I would ever dare to consider the possibility of even glancing in the general direction of the Holy Repository of Inquiry, the very thought makes me want to hurl myself into the Woodchuck Pits! I cannot conceive of a punishment brutal enough to - "
Alright, Alright! I simple "No" would have sufficed. So how come there aren't any questions? Wait a second... what's that weird smell?
"I shall go immediately to the Priestly Showers and remove the top two layers of my skin, your Baculinity!!!"
No, Zadoc, it's not you. I'm used to your potent combination of Hai Karate aftershave and haemorrhoid cream. It's quite familiar... could it be... garlic???
"*gasp*!!! You don't think..."
Yes, Zadoc! Quick, to the basement!
[The Oracle and Zadoc dash to the stairs, where they wedge in the doorframe. A crisis is averted by the application of an oracular elbow to a priestly eye. They arrive at the base of the stairs, and The Oracle flings wide a low door.]
Aha! So it was you, French Oracle! Caught in the act!!!
[the French Oracle, looking remarkably like François Mitterand, looks up guiltily from a huge pile of questions.]
"Merde! You cannot 'ave zem, brozzer! Zey are mine, now, and ah 'ave as moch poweur as you!"
Ah, but you have reckoned without... the Bright Red Siamese Fighting Priests!
[3 priests in bright red ninja outfits leap into the room and bounce around a bit before striking impressive martial arts poses.]
Ooh, I get goosebumps just thinking about the merchandising. Surrender, French Oracle!
"Zut Alors! Ah am undone! All is lost... *sob*"
Why? Why'd you do it?
"Aah, fr.rec.oracle is not exactly ze centair of ze universe, you know. Look, can I drop this stupid accent?"
Sure.
"Great. Like I said, it's a bit empty at the moment. I don't have any priests, and I have hardly any questions. I just got bored, is all. I didn't mean any harm."
Awww... I tell you what, you can move out of the basement, if you like.
"Really? Wow! Can I bring Rat-a-tooey, my pet giant albino rat, too?"
Errr... Okay. If you must. Zadoc, show him to the West Wing, would you?
"Excellent! Oh, I should probably get back in character. Merveilleux! Rat-a-tooey, Allez!!"
. . .
Humble supplicant,
Thankyou for bringing the problem to Our attention. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
You owe the Oracle a stripey jumper and a beret.

 


2.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> To: Zadoc
> Re: Yearly evaluations and asset evaluations.
> CC: Lisa, The Usenet Oracle
>
> Dear Zadoc,
>         As you should already know, We make it a yearly task to
> evaluate all employees. According to our records it has been
> approximately 12 years since your last evaluation. Please
> answer the following questions as clearly and objectionable as
> possible.
>
> 1.  What are your major accomplishments over this most recent
>     evaluation period?
>
> 2.  How have you improved upon yourself since your last evaluation?
>
> 3.  What goals do you with to complete within the next year? Five
>     years?
>
> 4.  How do you feel that you can become a more productive employee
>     of the company?
>
> 5.  What adjustment do you consider to be appropriate to your current
>     salary?
>
>         Please answer these questions quickly, and return your reply
> no later then May 20th of 1997AD.
>
> Thank you,
> Zeus of Olympia
> Chief Executive Officer

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Ho Hum. Another letter from Inhuman Resources. *sigh* Still, if I want to stay employed, I guess I'd better fill the damn thing in.
> 1.  What are your major accomplishments over this most recent
>     evaluation period?
I set new standards of excellence in the fields of brown-nosing, grovelling and flattery.
I have prevented my master from obliterating the world on several occasions by serving as a convenient outlet for his wrath.
I have eloped with Her Double-Jointedness, Lisa, in order to allow His Omniscience a much-needed break.
> 2.  How have you improved upon yourself since your last evaluation?
I am no longer a 14 foot boa constrictor, as His Gigasapience was kind enough to turn me back. Although I still occasionally hanker after gerbils.
I have purchased a new thesaurus to improve my grovelling, fawning, flattering, sycophancy, deference... Ahem. Sorry.
I have answered several questions in His Toticognizance's absence.
> 3.  What goals do you with to complete within the next year? Five
>     years?
To perfect the art of crawling backwards out of the throne room on hands and knees, while bobbing my head and singing praises.
To get the other priests to do some work occasionally, instead of playing racquetball and using The Oracle's private swimming pool.
Oracle Training, to broaden my skillbase.
> 4.  How do you feel that you can become a more productive employee
>     of the company?
A bigger office. Well, an office. Well, anything would be better than the broom closet.
A lunch break. 5 minutes would be fine.
> 5.  What adjustment do you consider to be appropriate to your current
>     salary?
I don't currently receive a salary. Am I supposed to? I suppose an increase would be nice - I could buy a new sack. They wear at the knees, you see. All the genuflecting.

 


3.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh Oracle, who hasn't been as funny recently (but still oh
> so knowledgeable), who knows more about physics than Newton
> and Einstein, and who can escape the gravitational pull of
> a black hole, please enlighten your Supplicant:
>
> What happens if an irresistible force hits an immovable
> object?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

This can be answered with a simple demonstration which conveniently includes several of the well-established Oracular running jokes for your amusement. HOI! ZADOC!
[Zadoc the priest enters the room shuffling backwards on his knees as is his usual style]
Zadoc: Yes master?
Oracle: I'm doing a demonstration. Stand over there. Now, you're an immovable object, so whatever happens don't move. Ok, now when I push the button on my staff of Zot, it's going to release an irresistible force in your direction.
Zadoc: (nervously) Y-Y-Y-Y-es M-Ma-Mas-Master.
Oracle: OK supplicant, watch this. I press the button and--

/\/\/\/\/\ ZOT /\/\/\/\/\/

Zadoc: ARRRHHGGGGGHHHGGGGHHHHGGG!!!!!
Oracle: Zadoc! You moved! I TOLD you not to do that! Climb back up the wall and back through the window at once!
Zadoc: Sorry master, I tried my unworthy best.
Oracle: OK, we're going to have to tie him down. Lisa, can I borrow all your chains and ropes? OK, being myself I can tie him with knots that will resist a freight train, be they tied in cheap polyester thread. Ok, that will do it. Stand back at least 20 metres supplicant.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ ZOT!!!! /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Zadoc: ARRRGGGHHHOOOOWWWWAAARRRGGGOOOOHWWWWEEEWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oracle: There's your answer supplicant. If an irresistible force hits an immovable object, the immovable object screams a lot, turns purple, smoke comes out of its ears, and it faints.
You can repay The Oracle by asking this question again so that I can make a joke about the irresistible force of Bill Clinton on the pull meeting the immovable object that was the young, single, Hilary. Or perhaps immovable objects created by Java programs cluttering up the memory of computers worldwide and being the true reason why we need 32 megs to run anything these days. Or even better, the irresistible force of Og's big spiky club meeting the immovable object of a 'big lizard'. Or maybe the irresistible force of Paul Kelly's daughter's Siamese fighting fish meeting the immovable object of the front pane of glass of its aquarium. Or [continue for another 32 pages monotonically dropping in quality]

 


4.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Tell me,
>
> Who's the original? The one in Delhi or the one in Indiana?
> Who's the cheap copy then?
>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Delhi? Delhi?? I think you might want to check your sources. You've missed a letter out there.
*chuckle*
ZADOC!! Zadoc, come in here and look at this message!
"You have being yelling, O He Who Makes Great Rajahs Appear As Untouchables?"
Errr... Zadoc, you appear rather... browner than normal.
"I have not been noticing any changes in my pigmentation, O He Whose Cows Are More Sacred Than Any Other. I am taking your word for it, as always."
And what's that on your head?
"It is being my turban, O Magnificent Avatar of Vishnu. But it is being nowhere near as wonderful as your own, naturally."
I have a bad feeling about this. Time for a few tests. What animal do I hate most in the world?
"That would be being the Punjabi Micro-Tiger, O He Whose Bejewelled Robes Fool the Unwary into Thinking Dawn Has Arrived Early."
That settles it. It's another of those damn alternate universes. In this one it appears as if I started out in the business in Delhi, rather than Delphi. The final check: Who's my girlfriend?
"You do not be having a girlfriend, O Great Master - "
That settles it. I'm out of here...
" - You are instead having the harem of 27 of the most beautiful women in the world, as befits your most noble station."
...On second thoughts, this bears further investigation. I'll get back to you later, supplicant.
You owe the Oracle a 1000 elephants. And an Interdimensional Portal.

 


5.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> O Great One, who's finger buffets are most varied and magnificent.
> Can you give me the recipe for the perfect vodka martini?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Zadoc? Get in here.
Yes, O He Whose Bellows Are More Melodious Than Easy Listening?
Read this question.
At once, Your Magnificence! ...Oh.
Exactly. Can I give him the recipe for the perfect vodka martini, you snivelling worm?
No, Your Superlativity.
...And WHY can't I, wretched one?
Because there isn't one any more, your Supremacy.
...And WHY isn't there one any more, oafish knave?
Because of that business with the World of Ideal Forms, O Mighty One.
That's right. Oh, get out of my sight.
At once, O He Whose Nostril Hairs I Am Unfit To Floss With!
You see, supplicant, Zadoc did a very bad thing. While in my lab (where he shouldn't have been) he was fiddling (which he shouldn't have been) with what he thought was a replicator (which it wasn't). It was actually a device I'd knocked together in my spare time to explore Plato's World of Ideal Forms - the perfect representations of every object, which the things we see in this world are but imperfect copies of. Well, I paged Zadoc for a vodka martini, and he thought (which he shouldn't, as he doesn't do it very well) he'd save time by using my replicator. That's why there is no longer any such thing as a perfect vodka martini, and also why you won't find a perfect hamburger, a perfect donut or a perfect piece of code.
They were very nice, though.
You owe the Oracle a perfect day.

 


6.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> To: Mr. Zadoc D. Worm
> From: The Internet Omniscius
> Subject: Openings for Qualified Individuals
>
> Dear Mr. Worm,
>
> Please allow this letter to serve as introduction to The
> Internet Omniscius, the newest Internet wisdom provider! The
> field of Internet wisdom dispensation has long been dominated by
> the monopolistic and domineering business practices of "The Internet
> Oracle*," easily the most successful--indeed the only--competitor in
> the industry.
>
> But no longer! Thanks to a decision by the Universal Supreme Court,
> many of the restrictions on wisdom dispensation have been lifted,
> allowing a new competitor to arise--The Internet Omniscius!
>
> According to our records, you are currently employed by The
> Internet Oracle, at a salary of $0. We have an opening for an Chief
> Worm with YOUR qualifications, and you would start at at least
> $40,000 a year, perhaps more! Perhaps a LOT more!
>
> Before you make up your mind, please take a moment to review the
> advantages the Internet Omniscius offers over outdated services like
> The Oracle:
>
> ---Time required to answer questions
> *The Oracle: Service is unpredictable and business-oriented.
> Sometimes an answer may be received within an hour, but usually it
> requires at least a day, sometimes more. Sometimes a LOT more.
> *The Omniscius: You will receive an answer within 4 hours, GARUNTEED!
> No waiting, no wondering, no problem!
>
> ---Quality of answers
> *The Oracle: Again, choppy and unpredictable. Sometimes the answers
> don't seem to relate to the question--how useful is that?
> Sure, you can re-submit your question, if you don't mind waiting
> at the back of the queue.
> *The Omniscius: All answers are carefully reviewed by a multi-national
> team of experts for quality, clarity, and brevity. No
> page-long stream-of-consciousness answers here!
>
> ---Permitted questions
> *The Oracle: Try asking a question about a woodchuck, or include
> some of your own prose, or omit the ever-necessary "grovel." At best,
> you'll get a petulant reply... or you might get the ZOT(tm)!
> *The Omniscius: All questions are fair game, and you never need to
> grovel. You'll always get a carefully considered answer, balanced
> and fair. And you'll never, never get ZOTted.
>
> ---Payment
> *The Oracle: Do you have Gondwanaland stuffed in your junk drawer?
> Have a doctoral thesis on the impermeability of matter laying around?
> These are typical requirements for the substandard, subjective
> answers the Oracle gives.
> *The Omniscius: Payment is simple. The first five questions are
> FREE! After that, a 50 cent charge is applied to all questions for
> administration fees. The Omniscius accepts all major credit cards.
>
> So as you can see, you're working for an employer who will shortly be
> out of a job himself. The Omniscius is an equal-opportunity
> employer, and treats its Worms well. Please consider our offer and
> reply via certified ethermail.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> (signed)
>
> Ralph P. Lederhosen, President, The Internet Omniscius
> -------------------
> *"The Internet Oracle" and "The Oracle" are trademarks of
> Oracular Enterprises, Inc.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

21st Jan. 1998
Mr Ralph P. Lederhosen, President, The Internet Omniscius, Stanford, United States of America.
Dear Mr Lederhosen,
Thank you for your recent offer which I am pleased to accept. I'm looking forward to working for your company, more for the excellent working environment that you describe than for the remuneration. I know that I shouldn't grumble about my present employer in my acceptance letter, but you wouldn't believe the last task I was given. That so-called 'Usenet Oracle' beamed me back in time, way down in size, and deposited me inside what I can only describe as the deep internals of a woman. I then had to find the one sperm among millions that was wearing a suit and carrying a tiny briefcase, distract it for a minute by asking it to answer a few questions for a marketing survey and, Mr Lederhosen? MR LEDERHOSEN?!?!?!?
(sigh)
I remain,
Yours in perpetual slavery,
Zadoc P Worm.

 


7.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> how many kinds of diarrhea are there?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Three - Electronic, Verbal and Physical.
Electronic looks like:
"Earn $50,000 working at home!!!"
"Live 1-on-1 Nude Girls!!!!"
"Revolutionary New Product!!!"
As for verbal, well... Zadoc!
"You called, O He Whose Breath is Sweeter Than The Fabled Unicorn, Whose Every Word Contains More Wisdom Than All The Religious Texts Ever Written, Whose Radiance Outshines The Dawn, Whose Toes Are Deliciously Adorable, Whose - "
That'll do, Zadoc.
"But what did you... Ummm... Yes, O Majestic One, To Whom All Must Bow, Before Whom Even The Mystic LLamas Of- "
ENOUGH! OUT, OUT!!
Ahem. What was the third one again? Oh yes, Physical. Go to Joe's Truck Stop just off the Interstate and ask for an Extra-Spicy Mystery Meat Burrito Surprise. You'll find out everything you need to know about the Physical sort.
You owe the Oracle a cure for the first two.

 


8.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> T. I. Oracle
> Indiana University, Indiana
>
> We understand that a being in your position has many things
> to do. However, we must bring to your attention that April
> 15 has passed and we have yet to receive your 1997 return.
>
> Please take a few moments and fill out the enclosed form.
>
> Ando Notzot Meples
> Assistant Forms Processor
> Mt. Olympus Statistic Gathering Beancounters

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

A. N. Meples
Mt. Olympus Statistic Gathering Beancounters
We here at the Oracular Temple apologise for the oversight. The Oracle was unaware that he still had 1997 checked out.
A short search uncovered the missing year, it having slipped down behind the Oracle's own collection of Good Times. One corner is slightly creased where it was caught between a Tender Moment and the Summer of '69. We will be happy to make any reasonable restitution.
The overdue year will be returned by recorded delivery.
Zadoc
High Priest
Oracular Temple, Indiana

 


9.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> What's the nicest thing one human can say to another human?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Hmmmm.... HOI, ZADOC!
[Zadoc the priest shuffles in backwards on his knees as is his wont. He removes a large pair of garden shears from his smock and cuts off his little finger]
O great master, before whom it would be an insult to be physically complete, as we are psychologically and emotionally incomplete compared to you, what task can this lowly worm perform for you?
Zadoc, run "I love you" through the computers and see if Dave Barry has ever used it in his column. After recent errors, we'd better make sure that this answer is original.
Sorry master, here it is in a discussion of the least expected Microsoft Word Startup Hints. I shall gouge my left eye out in apology...
Not right now. "You are a warm, giving, human being". Run that one through.
I must again apologise to you master. Here it is in "What do you say if Santa really DOES turn up on Christmas Eve, and he's wearing electrical underwear". Shall I cut off my ears to show respect master?
No Zadoc, try "You are a wonderful person without whom the world would be incomplete".
Sorry master, Dave used that in his discussion of the ways that scam artists thank their marks. Shall I...
Zadoc, write a program that takes the words "love", "I", "you", "a", "wonderful", "giving", "loving", "beautiful", "intelligent", "warm", and "merciful" and produces all permutations. Run all the results through the database of Dave's columns and run a reverse database search on it. How many passed?
Only one master, here's the printout. Now shall I...
OK supplicant, here's your answer "You a giving the intelligent love charming love a a person".
Now, master, now may I show my devotion to you with my shears?
Oh, all right then, but don't stain the carpet.
[Zadoc starts happily cutting bits off himself as The Oracle writes his sign-off line]
You owe The Oracle the 1000 nicest things that a human can say to an omniscient, immortal being, and a surgical sewing needle and thread.

 


10.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh Oracle most error free, user friendly and foolproof!
>
> Can you please give me a review of James Cameron's newest trilogy:
> "Zadoc I, Zotting day!", "Zadoc II, Revenge of the wurm!" and "Zadoc
> III, Fall of the Oracle!"?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

No you idiot, it's not James Cameron who is writing the trilogy, it's James Clavell.
The plot goes basically like this:
Zadoc disembarks from a boat in a foreign port. Very foreign. Read the newspapers and find the current troublespot, and that's it.
Within five minutes he has a greater understanding of the local culture and a greater rapport with the locals than embassy staff who have lived there for twenty years.
Within ten minutes he can pass as one of the natives undetected.
Within fifteen minutes, a ravishing local girl with an unpronounceable name has fallen deeply in love with him, even though to do so risks death.
Within sixteen minutes he has had sex with her.
Within seventeen minutes, she is dead.
Within nineteen minutes he has had sex with her again.
Within twenty-one minutes he has realised that she is dead.
Within twenty-three minutes he has formed a firm friendship with another foreigner from some perfectly normal other country (say, Switzerland) who displays all sorts of cultural quirks, traditions and hidden weapons that no-one from that country has ever heard of.
Within twenty-five minutes, his friend is dead.
Within twenty-eight minutes, there has been a revolution, and he is now the only foreigner in the land.
Within thirty-one minutes, the new government asks him for extensive help in running everything from the justice system to the sewage works, even though their xenophobia means that they have thrown every other foreigner out of the country.
Within thirty-five minutes, the country is a first-world country.
Within thirty-eight minutes, another ravishing young girl with an even more unpronounceable name has fallen deeply in love with him even though (yadda yadda) to do so means that she risks death.
Within thirty-nine minutes she is dead.
Within forty-one minutes he has realised that if things are going to happen like this, he'd better make his moves faster in future.
Within forty-five minutes a religious official has taken a liking to him and breaks him out of prison, even though he is in there for swearing to kill the country's religious leader.
Within forty-eight minutes, he has stolen a tank and run it over the tent where the religious leader is resting.
Within fifty-one minutes, the entire population of the country is en mass attacking his tank which is in the main square of the capital city.
Within fifty-three minutes he has shaken off his attackers and is making for the border.
Within fifty-five minutes he has reached the border.
Within fifty-six minutes he is having tea with the border guard and discussing philosophy and art, even though the entire population of the previous country is about three yards behind him.
Exactly fifty-nine minutes and fifty-nine point nine nine seconds after arriving in the country, he passes across the border an into safety.
Within sixty-five minutes he has a greater cultural understanding of the new country's culture and a greater rapport with the locals than embassy staff who have lived there for twenty years, and book II begins.
You owe The Oracle a Linguaphone 'Learning the Pronunciation of Ravishing Foreign Women's Names Before They Die' cassette tape and computer software kit.

 


11.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Dear Oracle, what is quite a brainy chap and knows a thing or two, I should
> cocoa.
>
> How can I get my servants to be more appreciative of their tuppence new
> years bonus?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Simplicity itself. Allow me to demonstrate.
"Zadoc! HOI, ZADOC! Get in here, you miserable worm! ZAD-"
"Yes, Your Incomparableness?"
"-OC... How long have you been down there?"
"All day, O Radiant Beacon of Wisdom. In Your infinite compassion you graciously allowed me to serve in the role of footstool to prevent Your Most Perfect Feet becoming fatigued."
"I believe that what I actually said was, 'stay out of sight and do something useful'. I suppose that's fair enough. Now, I have some important news for you."
"I am all ears, My Lord, except for those parts that exist solely to perpetually sing your praises."
"Right. Disgusting image. Anyway, I'm afraid that due to budgetary constraints there will be no New Year's Bonus this year."
"There's a New Year's Bonus?"
"No. Weren't you listening?"
"But such a fabulous beast exists as a theoretical concept, O Source of All Wisdom? The possibility of receiving a bonus, or even for that matter a regular wage, is -"
"Look, just SHUT UP, alright? Honestly. Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Ahem. Your somber mien has touched my heart. I shall reach into my own pocket and provide what I can for you, my faithful retainers."
"Sir? There's only me here, Your Multiplicativeness. Of course, I have the devotion of ten men, but - "
"Don't make me come down there and hurt you very badly, Zadoc."
"Being quiet now, Your Baculinity."
"Spread between all of you, it won't go very far, and my own poor children will go hungry, but it's all that can be done."
"Children? But Sir has no... Shutting up again, Your Irritableness."
"...Zadoc, in the name of mercy, PLEASE go and help somebody else now."
"Errr... At once, O Short-Tempered Diamond of Wisdom."
And there, sort of, you have it. Just polish it up a little and off you go. When they think they're getting nothing, anything looks good.
You owe the Oracle a footrest.

 


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