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INs AND OUTs
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 Two Scoops: February 21, 2005 columns
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Kristoff St. John
Families in crisis
by Nita
For the Week of February 21, 2005
Crisis: A time of intense difficulty or danger. For certain Genoa City families, that definitely described their current situations this past week.
CRISIS: A time of intense difficulty or danger. For certain Genoa City families, that definitely described their current situations this week. Come to think of it, these families are perpetually in crisis, so I guess that pretty much sums up their entire existence.

Let's begin with the Winters clan.

When it came to receiving a slice of the blame pie for Neil's unplanned plop into a pile of snow, every Winters' family member, save Liv, found a portion on his or her plate. Dru for her inattention to the family birthday calendar, Devon for stomping off in a huff to the zoo over it and Lily for driving at highway speed for a curbside pickup. A slice also went to the parent who let Lily get behind the wheel and another for the one who didn't disagree. The remaining slab landed on Malcolm's plate for his playful antics which carried both brothers into the street in the first place. Through the long week that followed, along with slinging buckets of blame at each other, each member of the clan also freely faulted themselves. Oh what wringing of the hands and gnashing of the teeth ensued as all the Winters whimpered and wailed over their fallen father, husband, brother, clutching him and one another. Prayers were whispered, regrets were agonizingly aired and tears flowed like a bubbling brook. Poor Devon, a Winters by association only, was so filled with guilt he summarily summoned Mrs. Davis, begging to be sentenced to the punishing rigors and iron-fisted rule of the dreaded group home just so the Winters would never have to glimpse his guilty face again. Nick Newman even appeared, assuring Lily God had a plan for the amazing man who worked with him, not for him, and it didn't include taking him away to sing tenor in His celestial choir. I guess God was listening because, miracle of miracles, when the bleeding was banished, the sutures sown, it was announced the Winters patriarch would live to fight with his family for many more days to come.

But if you thought Neil's coming recovery meant the end of the crisis, you might as well slap your thinking cap right back on your head. Because another crushing calamity was already crouching in the corner. And the horrifying monster looks just like Phyllis.

Okay, pardon me fans, while I rant and rage with impotent ire about this meddling manipulator.

I remember a long ago time when I actually felt a measure of mild fondness for Miss Phyllis. On those rare occasions when a sliver of softness and vulnerability made it through her shellacked shell. Not when she was using every man, woman and child she could get her mitts on for use in her Danny mantrap. Not when she was altering records, blackmailing psychiatrists, kidnapping counselors, mowing down enemies, setting rooms (with a former best friend inside) aflame, helping Brittany pretend she'd bedded Billy and during all the many other monstrous moments recorded in her massive memory book. But as she struggled mightily to produce a little bunny for her Jackrabbit, I was the fan on the sidelines cheering madly for a medical miracle that might make her a Mom. When Gina nastily denied her even a look at a likeness of young Daniel, I found myself dabbing at the corners of my misty eyes for her obvious pain. And finally, if I could have reached through the screen and snatched Diane out of the picture when she was determinedly trying to destroy Phyllis and her marriage, I would have done so. I remember day after day, arguing Phyllis' case to my Mom. "Look at poor Phyllis," I would say. "See how she cries. Oh how my heart aches for poor, maligned Phyllis." My Mom would let out a quite ladylike snort. "I don't feel sorry for her at all," she would cackle. "She's no good and deserves every thing she gets." Well, as is often the case, Mother was right. She knew of what she spoke.

Is Phyliss' life so empty of excitement she must create some by constantly injecting her unwanted self in someone else's situation? Especially since she's got so many skeletons rattling around in her closet, it's a wonder there's any room at all for those revealing scraps of skimpy cloth she calls clothing. She has the colossal gall to talk to Dru about not living a lie. This from a woman whose entire life has been a series of lies. Guess that's a sure sign Phyllis is doing her job because I hate her and wish she would die. I know, that's a bit extreme, but darn it, I just can't help it. I'd like to beat her into the ground with her own stiletto heel. And boy, does she ever have a big set of brass cahones. I couldn't believe she actually dug in Dru's purse to check her incoming phone calls! Dru will lie, she tells Malcolm. Dru needs to control. Well, what about her manipulative, lying behind?

So what does she plan to do with the intercepted DNA results? Does she just want to be the bearer of good or bad news or is she planning to do what she does best? Something deceptive. Will she give Malcolm a daughter or take one away? And how stupid she sounded, comparing her situation with Malcolm's. Sure she played a part in Daniel's creation. But why? So when he grew up she could ignore him? As for feeling empty all the years they were apart, the only empty places in this cow is the space that should contain a caring heart and the hole that should have a brain in it that minds its own business. Which brings me to her latest deception. Pretending to be Dr. Winters. Not cool and not cute. Malcolm ought to cut her branch off his friendship tree for this one. And before I forget, a good hard whack with the stupid stick to the delivery company for handing over sensitive material to some strange woman with no ID proving she was who she said she was. As for Phyllis, curses to the bothersome, manipulative, middle aged meddler. May the demons of Hades pursue her relentlessly through all eternity.

Okay, I'm finished now. Whew! I feel so much better.

Just my opinion, but Malcolm's argument that he needs to know if he's leaving something behind in the world is weak. Why does he need to know? If he's no longer in the world, what difference does it make who he left behind? He should be content to know he would be leaving behind a brother who never knew of his back-stabbing, sofa bed betrayal. And buying into his new found need to play at Daddy-hood is proving impossible for this fan as well. Because Mr. Footloose and Fancy Free wasn't concerned about said possible daughter all these years. So I say, since he let sleeping dogs lie this long, there's no point in waking them up now just because he has a sudden hankering to play fetch the stick.

Being in crisis is certainly nothing new to the Hatfields and McCoys, more commonly known as the Abbotts and Newmans. But unlike the aforementioned feuding families, their Genoa City counterparts don't only limit their feud to family members of their enemy. Their battles within the ranks of their own clans are equally as bitter.

First, the Abbotts. Jack just never learns, does he? Despite knowing his Dad was adamantly against becoming a subsidiary of anyone, even CI, Jack plowed ahead anyway. I guess he's forgotten what happened when he went against John's advice not to take the company public, leaving the door open for Victor to buy up the stock. Wasn't that the start of Jabot's current quandary? And Jack, despite his good intention to "save" Jabot from Victor, is basically stealing from Chancellor for his own ends. Just because he thinks it's for the good of his family doesn't make him any better than the Elliott embezzler he replaced. Because he's going behind Kay's back to spend her money in a way he's almost sure she wouldn't approve of. As is his promise to place Jill in a position to lead Jabot into the next century even though never doing so was one of the strings Kay attached securely to his CI CEO seat. Another example of Jack's promises turning out to be nothing but hot and smelly air. And what of his father, his sister? When asking for a show of Board of Director's hands, I didn't see Jack dropping that little Jill to be in charge chunk of dog doo in the middle of the living room. That's because he knew John, Ashley, Brad and Nikki would never have cast their assenting votes if it meant eventually having to take orders from a woman who stole her way into the family company. I hope Kay finds out what Jack and Jill have been up to before it's too late and snatches that plump Jabot plum right out of Jill's greedy paws.

Next, the Newmans. The tug of war over Jabot took another ludicrous lurch this week. Putting his Daddy's hard-earned Newman company money where his mealy mouth was, Nick met with the three stooges, I mean the three bankers, and arranged to repay the moneylenders 100% of Jabot's gigantic debt. Flushed scarlet with victory, Nick triumphantly advised his father his days marching majestically through the halls of Jabot were numbered. Because Mommy needed her man trotting obediently behind her at home, he claimed. Of course, all he managed to accomplish by putting his inept paw prints on the Jabot foreclosure plan was to entrench his Daddy deeper in Jabot territory. But, refusing to be outdone by his dolt of a son, in return Victor flexed his own muscles, which turned out to be considerably bigger than Nick's, pledging a small portion of his own personal pocket change to pay off the loans. And after hemming and hawing a bit, inwardly weighing Victor's future clout against his son's, the bankers figuratively told the little Newman lad to go play in a sandbox somewhere while the grownups took care of grownup matters. "Foul, foul," young Master Newman almost cried, practically stomping his well-shod little foot in fury. "Well, I quit," he childishly continued, tossing the Newman CEO toy on the ground and kicking it across the room. "I don't want it no more," he wailed like a big, bearded baby. Yeah, like he's going to stick to that whining statement. Because if he did, Sharon would have to chew and swallow all those bitter barbs she recently flung at Victor. Speak up Sharon. I can't hear all your boastful words from here. What was that again about Victor standing in your way? I wish Victor would have accepted his resignation, but he didn't bother, probably knowing tomorrow would likely find him changing his petulant tune. But I admit, I take my pleasures where I can get them and it did my foolish heart good to see Nick get just a little of what I think he has coming to him. Victoria can't come home quick enough for me!

So, what happens next? Contrary to his own promised words, thanks to his birdbrain boy, Victor has now effectively taken over Jabot, making Jack's prediction a self-fulfilling prophecy. My stomach curdles just picturing Jack stomping pompously around, that supercilious smirk on his puss, crying "I told you so, I told you so." As always, for Jack, it's all Victor's doing. Oh, that recent conversation he had with Nick, the one where Nick made it clear he was up to no good? Yeah, I know, two treacherous minds toiling in tandem. "Oh that was nothing," I'm sure Jack would claim, in his haste to lay the cause for every calamity at Victor's feet. And what of Jack's plan to buy up 51% to give Jabot the funds to pay Victor off and send him packing? For my part, I pray his plan works so Victor would be forced to return to where I happen to think he belongs, at Newman.

I've come to believe that Nick, along with his good pal, Jack, reside in some alternate reality. Where the sky is green, the grass is blue, the stars glitter by day and the sun shines at night. How else to explain how everything is, without fail, always Victor's fault. Even when a plan they themselves put into motion goes awry, through their cloudy eyes, it still manages to somehow wind up Victor's fault. Do these pretend men ever take responsibility for their own bad ideas?

One thing can certainly be said about Nick Newman. It seems that in at least one area, he's been completely consistent. I haven't forgotten his many comments claiming Jack was much more father than the one God gave him. Well, he's proven to be an equal opportunity son because he's now bayoneted both fathers in the back. By the way where does Nick get off, accusing Ashley of crossing the line by hiring Victor? Since when did he become Jabot company policy police? Did God turn over running of the world to Nick when I wasn't paying attention? Or was He too busy to take care of GC, so delegated his duties to Nick?

And lastly, Nikki. For my part, I quite enjoyed GC's Romeo and Juliet's Valentine's Day date at the Newman Ranch on the Range. It was wonderful to see the magic of Nikki and Victor is still alive and flourishing. Dancing to an instrumental version of their song, those of us who still love this couple took a mental trip back, looking misty-eyed through the eyes of their long lasting love. For the others, it was likely fast-forward material or a moment to make a munchie march to the kitchen. But that was one magical night. The sun has now come up and Nikki's back to looking through the eyes of reality at her life. And she's made it clear she's quite unhappy with the picture she sees. I have to say it, if she's so darn unhappy, maybe it's time she just moved on. She's acting as if she just recently realized she's married to a workaholic. Enough of all that simpering at Bobby Marsino. "Victor doesn't pay me enough attention." Sniff, sniff, boo hoo. If she wants a kept man she can keep on a leash, I'm sure there are plenty for sale on the GC market. And for a man so allegedly in love with his child bride, Bobby sure looks at Nikki with admiring orbs of infatuation. Perhaps Mr. Marsino should take his wife's advice and leave the Newman premises before he participates in some love play he knows he shouldn't. He might find himself bricked up in the basement.

And for our final family in crisis, when it comes to dysfunction, no family does it better than the Fisher/Baldwin brothers and their money-grubbing Mama.

After being rejected by Mac and running to Gloria for comfort, I enjoyed seeing Kevin hold her accountable for once for her part in his flawed makeup. I know, I know, Kevin has done some horrendous things, but when he ran to Mommy, as if still hoping she could somehow make his owwee all better, I could almost see the lost little boy he must have been crying in that closet while his Mom was in some saloon slugging back shots and shooting pool with Terrible Tom.

Good for Kevin for his nonviolent reaction to Mac and J.T.'s date. With his track record, perhaps he ought to consider putting a big red X across Valentine's Day from now on. As for his therapy scenes, I loved them. I know from lurking on various message boards, that the consensus seems to be split about his session. Some hated the way it was filmed, while others loved it. The opinions seem to be those that hate Kevin, hated the sessions, those that love, like, or at least tolerate Kevin found them more interesting. I liked the way the constantly re-focusing camera seem to be attempting to show Kevin's pent-up rage, frustration, helplessness, nervousness and vulnerability. The shots of his hair sticking up, nervous hand motions, rapidly blinking eyes, pacing, the way he went step by step from practically being hysterical to an almost eerie calmness. I thought his acting was superb. Kudos to all who had a hand in this one. It definitely got my thumbs up.

I realize Kevin's past traumas do not excuse his present misbehavior, and I understand J.T.'s hatred of Kevin given what he tried to do to Colleen, but still J.T. has begun to try my nerves even though I still like him, though nowhere near as much as I did at one time. So you can probably guess I was thrusting my pom poms in the air for Michael's on target rebuttals to J.T.'s sarcastic statements. More and more the song lyrics "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with," fit the spoiled charmer like a latex glove. Being female seems to be his only requirement. Colleen, Anita, Brittany, Miss One Night I don't remember her name Stand and now Mac. J.T.'s feelings of love seem to change as often as the direction of the capricious Genoa City wind. Soon he will have sampled all the girls. Until recently, Mac hadn't even been a blip on his romance radar even after she laid that dry lip press on him at Colleen's birthday bash. Now he's all, you're so beautiful, here's a gift, now let me gaze with love and wonder into your eyes. So is this sudden attraction real, or just a little row boat to ride in until a bigger, better love boat sails into his harbor? Except for Brittany, J.T.'s broken all the other girls hearts. I hope Mac doesn't give away the key to hers too quickly.

Finally, since the week did contain Valentine's Day, I'm sending a bouquet of sympathetic flowers to Cupid. Because what with Lauren and Michael's interrupted date, Kevin and Mac's date that never was, J.T. and Mac's unimaginative match up, along with all the family feuding going on, poor Cupid had a hard time locating many cooing couples to pierce with his arrows. I'm sure he would have sent an arrow winging its way toward the young Newmans, but after hovering above their table, he obviously realized Nick was pouring on the blarney so thick any arrow he would have shot would only have gotten bogged down in the gooey mush without ever reaching its destination.

Wow! The fans had plenty to say about this week and as usual, they didn't bite their tongues one bit. So I'm opening up the floodgates and letting all they had to say pour out.

* * * * * * *


MACARENA - Y&R is so awful, I can only keep up with it through your column. I used to hate Victor, but he was my mother's favorite. She values honesty above all else, so I can only guess that she likes his soft spoken control. Victor wouldn't rescue Jabot. You don't undo what you've worked for all your life. It makes as much sense to have him work to destroy Newman. He should take back the Newman CEO position and give Jabot to Nick. Since when does Victor just hand over a prize? The real Victor would make Nick prove himself, and rebuilding Jabot is a way to do that.

PATSY from Baltimore - Once again many thanks for your defending Victor, I'm getting fairly old and have been watching this since it came on. I believe I have had a secret crush on him for many years. Yeah, I know he can be a snake, but ALWAYS a very sexy snake. What can I say, money and dark handsome men are a turn on. His son on the other hand, is a TRUE poster child for birth control. I really detest this character lately, and he used to be such a NICE boy. I'm with you on Phyllis, she has turned into a real monster also, that nosy tendency has to go, What is it to her what Dru gets in the mail or anything else? My God, can you imagine someone in your office doing this? Disbelief can only be suspended SO far. I have to tell you Dru is not my favorite character, BUT THE ACTING with Devon the past week has sent me into tears. Those two have some serious mom and son chemistry; Devon makes a more believable son than Lily ever will make a daughter. And the scene where she says "don't you know how to pray son"? That was powerful, it reminded me of some of the fine scenes between Michael and Kevin. Another two very fine actors. I will admit Malcolm isn't very believable, and I'm not in the least sorry to see less of Damon, but I like the kid that plays Phyllis's son, he is so cute, and reminds me of a grandson of mine. Oh, one last thing, THANK God Colleen is gone again, I never cared for the character (not the actress) and she added absolutely nothing to the story. I have always said J.T. needs a real woman, and it ain't MAC!!! PLEASE let's give poor Kevin a break, I know he is mean little SOB, but I see hope for him, if he could just get a break and a real friend. (I guess I just love the actor that portrays Kevin, he is very, very good).

LINDA C - Let me be one of the first readers to get behind you and always love Victor no matter what he does. Fans can't get more loyal than you and I. I have to admit you are right about Brittany but I loved it when she started yelling and throwing insults. (Princess Diana should have taken lessons from her). Was that lion for real or do the writers think we are stupid? Scar in the Lion king was more scary. Neil getting run over came as a blow; the writers did surprise me, for once. Finally, whatever Did Sharon do to make her so valuable that the only two big companies in Genoa city so desperately need her?


ANNIE C - Ahhh....hope springs eternal Larry Warton is returning to Y & R. Maybe if Jack ever goes to work and they stop Phyllis' stupid behavior some viewers will return. Otherwise, same old same old.

TONYA - I am a devoted fan of Malcolm (Shemar Moore) but I feel that some of the sex appeal that as a female viewer has diminished when my beloved actor decided to grow his hair. I personally think the powers that be look into the situation on how many fans find it a turn off by watching his scenes with his new look.

MAUD from Austin - Has Nicholas become mentally ill? Who does he think he is to try to destroy a whole company, in an effort to force his father to spend more time with his mother? Nobody forces Victor to do anything! Nick seems sicker and more dangerous every day. And then to say Victor manipulated the situation to make Nicholas look stupid?! Does he really not see that he did that all by his own silly self? He is out of control - how can he NOT expect Victor to take back NE? Right now, it has a demented air-head in charge. As to Victor spending most of his waking hours involved in one business or another - that is who he is, as he has reminded Nikki, and she has always known that. It's certainly none of Sick Nick's responsibility to get in the middle of his parents relationship. Oh , I can hardly wait for Victoria to come back and kick Nick to the curb! I was really getting to like Phyllis, but this mean streak that is coming out over the paternity of Lily is making me reconsider. And to have gone so far as to represent herself as Olivia and intercept the results package - well, that's just going way too far. Is Jack inadvertently setting himself up for a huge fall? Here he is making a case that Victor is pulling the rug out from under Jabot, when in fact Victor is going out on a limb for Jabot. I predict lots of mud on Jack's pretty face! He and Nick are a scary couple of loose cannons.

JUNE - Okay, I have a few points or comments to make: Phyllis needs to get a life or at least concentrate on the life she has with Daniel. Why is she so consumed with getting into Dru and Malcolm's business? Now that Nick is in charge can he please separate those two and give them an office. I mean come on, he promoted Dru I would think the office would be automatic. I think Mac should have told Kevin that she had other plans instead of just telling him that they aren't ready to date. And I must have missed that the show where she kissed Kevin. For a minute there I thought Neil wanted to leave the show the way they built up this internal injuries, blood transfusion, he might not make it boo hoo fest! One word for Brittany: immature, whiny, self-centered, jealous, oh that's right I said one word. Why is that in that big commune called the Newman Ranch every function has to be in the Newman living room, with so many people traipsing through like, Sharon, Brittany, Bobby, Noah, Cassie, why would you have a private, intimate Valentine dinner in the LIVING ROOM! Please add another room on the set for the Newmans. That scene with Kevin and his faceless therapist was really creepy. I thought he was going to bash something with that paperweight. I think she should've given him some meds. Lastly please tell me why Frederick can show up for the business deal of the century but hasn't checked in with his little princess to see that she has no place to live, no job, 2 pennies from living in a pay by the day motel and has a miniature Brittany on the way...hmm!

DIANE - I am so tired of some of the men in GC. J.T. needs to get a life and stop bashing Kevin and trying to control Mac's list of friends. Mac doesn't care for Brittany, but she doesn't constantly fret about her the way J.T. does about Kevin. I like Kevin and Mac together and she is really making Kevin into fun and loving character to watch. I loved it when Michael went off on J.T. about the worst thing in J.T.'s life happening was his 10 speed broke. The only reason Mac looks good right now is because J.T. is jealous that Mac isn't shying away from Kevin and sees good in him and that she has other things going on in her life besides falling all over J.T.. He and Brittany need to hook up so the writers can put us out of our misery and frustration. Victor is another one. Many of us are tired of seeing him being underused in strength and he is being written as this wimpy man. I am sure many have lost a lot of respect for his character because he lets his dimwit, hypercritical son go off on him and you just want to reach through the TV and slap the snot out of Nicholas while Victor just sits there with this stupid look on his face. KICK HIM TO THE CURB AS CEO! MY GOODNESS! Nicholas is a spoiled brat and this game he is playing to see how far he can go before daddy pulls the rug out from beneath him so he can whine about how his dad doesn't respect him, treat him like an equal and was a terrible dad is really getting annoying. I used to like Nick and the writers have made him unbearable to watch. What would he do if all his daily funds for living were taken away from him and he had to live like most of us in the real world? BRING BACK VICTORIA to get someone with common sense running NE! Nick doesn't have the skills to do it because he is caught up with his own game of trying to push the envelope with daddy. At least Sharon is seeing the writing on the wall with Nick acting like his father when Nick does nothing but lambaste his dad as an SOB when he is doing the same thing. I wished Sharon would have stayed at Jabot just to ignore Nick's demands, but she can't do that since she is the "good wife." Writers, please give Phyllis a life besides being a buttinski. Why isn't she worried about her own family and out looking for a permanent home instead of living at the Newman Boarding House?

TARA - thoroughly enjoyed the Valentine's dance at the GCAC. I thought Lauren looked amazing! I usually think most of her outfits make her look like she's trying too hard, but she was absolutely gorgeous in that fuchsia dress....and Michael....well he's just hot all the time! But poor Sharon on the other hand......whew! She looked like she was attending a prom circa 1986 in that frilly disaster of a frock! Just when we thought little Kevey was on the road to redemption ... Looks like the old Kevin's back. Greg Rikaart has become a fantastic actor and really plays the part well. But I kinda wish the writers would give him something NEW to p!ss him off. I mean, first he becomes enamored with Lily...then goes crazy. Then he becomes enamored with Lauren...then goes crazy. Now he's become enamored with Mac...again going crazy. Does he have any other interests besides women? Why doesn't he get upset that his favorite college basketball team loses so he goes after the coach?? Something different! This "You don't love me like I love you so I'm going to hurt you really, really bad" stuff is becoming a bit stale. But I love GR -- he's great! They way they directed those scenes of him in the therapist's office was fantastic. I thought the creepy secrecy behind the shrink added a lot to those scenes. It was different and I really liked it. Made it more believable. TPTB got two thumbs up from me! I cannot even comment on the Winters family. I'm not one to FF through any of the scenes before my eyes, but for the love of everything holy, I could NOT bear to watch the Neil-on-his-deathbed-but-he's-carrying-on-full-conversations-with-everyone-around-him-and-it's-just-totally-unbelievable scenes. It was painful. Truly painful. What's the deal with the dubbing with Nick & Victor in Friday's episode? I'm going to end my rant with the Quote of the Week: Sharon Newman at the Valentine's Day dance - "So, a night for just the two of us...No work, no kids...you know, I didn't think that was possible." Ummm, I'm sorry. I thought that was EVERY DAY for the Newmans! Who is she kidding?!

JESSICA - ITA with what you said about Nikki. I love this character but I'm not feeling sympathy for her right now. All of a sudden Nikki wants to spend quality time with Victor, she needs him. Keep in mind Nikki works full time and she is Bobby's new best friend. Does she want to spend time with Victor or does she want him out of Jabot (her job). As for Victor I don't want him at Jabot either. I think he feels guilt over everything that happen with the company and Ashley's baby. For that reason I will cut him some slack. I think Victor sincerely wants to save Jabot. It's funny Victor is mellowing to be more concerned about hurting others. He's changing for the better (at least for now), and Nick is continuing to turn into the old Victor. Yes I too think Victor meant to tell Sharon about Nick paying the salary. Nick shouldn't have gotten mad, because would have done the same thing. Another person I don't feel sorry for is Mack. I can see how Kevin mistook her deeds of kindness for "she really likes me." I hope he doesn't hurt her but she brought it on herself. I love this soap, but these are the most dysfunctional characters!!!!

Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
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