Badger’s End of Time Quiz

This one’s clever, see if you can work it out. Not bothering giving entry details, if you think you know the answers and want to play then post a comment.

  1. Who starred in the films Ransom, Braveheart and What Women Want?
  2. What do you call a rock flying through space?
  3. The collective name for male humans is…
  4. A country in South America known for it’s waves…
  5. What is the Latin name for the European Badger?

Bonus if you know what the link between all the answers are.

 

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Pilot: Episode 2

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Episode 2: The Problem With Dust

As my mother welcomed our passengers (three pilot cover imagevery dubious looking “students”) aboard Hank dug me sharply in the ribs.

“Come on then, let’s find out what all the fuss was about!”

“Not yet.” I drew the bag closer to me. “I want to open it on my own.”  Something about it made me feel very possessive over its contents.

“You are such a FREAK!” Hank ruffled my hair and walked away.  His comment did not escape the bat like ears of my mother, however, who caught him a short sharp blow to the back of the head.

“Don’t call your brother a freak, I’ve told you before!”

“Aw,” Hank rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.  ”I meant his personality, not… the other thing.”  He trailed off knowing this wasn’t the best response.

“Show our guests to their quarters, please.”

Reluctantly Hank obeyed, leading the grubby looking trio away.

“He only said it cos I don’t want to open the bag in front of people.” I explained.

“No, especially not in front of those three,” Mother agreed.  ”Whatever is in there is worth something.  I doubt very much that they have student travel visas, and they’re paying cash.  The sooner they’re off my ship the happier I’ll be.”

“Shall we open it in the galley?” I asked her.

“Yes, come on, if it’s food Kia will work wonders with it.”

Kia is our on board chef, and my best friend.  I have no problem with either her or my mother seeing what’s in the bag.  Normally I wouldn’t mind Hank seeing either, but in this case, for some reason I didn’t want him to.

We headed down the rusty circular corridor to the drop down hatch that led to the galley.  There is a drop down ladder to get in and out, but no-one ever uses it.  I wrenched the hatch open with an almighty creaking sound  to reveal Kia busying herself below.

“Hey, Megan. We are very low on food, I am flavouring the ration packs again!” She called up to my mother.

“No-one can flavour a ration pack like you!” I grinned at her.

“What do you want, Trouble?” she called back at me.

“Heads up!” I responded, chucking the bag down to her.  Her cat reflexes responded and she deftly caught it and placed it on the table.

“That’s another of my lives you nearly took!” She grinned as I dropped myself through the hatch, followed by Mother.

“Well you’re lucky to have nine!” I retorted.

During the war humans attempted to respond to the alien threat by bonding their DNA with that of animals.  The result was a number of hybrids, like Kia. Also a number of very dangerous subspecies, which had to be exterminated. People are stupid.

“What’s in the bag then?” she asked, giving me her full attention.  She always gives me her full attention, and I never feel I’m a bother to her.

“We’re about to find out!” I kinda wanted a drum roll, but that could be seen as overkill.  I flipped the clasp of the bag and opened it.  Inside was a brown paper package.  I lifted it out and placed it carefully on the counter.  Kia grabbed a knife from the rack and deftly cut the string holding it closed.  The paper fell away to reveal a glass jar containing a tiny woman, no more than six inches high, with iridescent purple wings that moved so quickly they were a blur.  The bottom of the jar was an inch deep in glittering dust.

“Oh shit!” My mother exclaimed.  ”They were dust dealers!  This is the last thing we need!”

“I thought fairies only stayed in this form for an hour a month to shed their dust,” I mused, examining the little creature curiously.

“They obviously caught this one.  Who knows how long she’s been trapped in there with her own dust.” Mother pulled me away from the jar.  ”She could be crazy!”

“We have to let her out!” I objected.

“The last thing I need on my ship is a crazy fairy.”

“I’ll take responsibility for her,” I insisted.

“And who will take responsibility for you?” Mother demanded.

“Me as usual,” Kia interjected.  As she spoke she twisted the jar open and the fairy flew out with a cloud of dust.

I should take a moment to explain that fairy dust is an extremely potent, highly sought after aphrodisiac.  It makes people lose control.

Suddenly the fairy was full size and standing next to us, coughing.

“Oh shit!” Kia screwed the jar tightly again and put it back on the counter.  ”I think I breathed some in!  What do I do?”

“Go to your quarters, lock yourself in and stay there for twenty-four hours.” My Mother said firmly.  ”Do not stop to speak to anyone.  Go now.”  As she spoke she grabbed an emergency space mask from the wall and put it on before turning to the fairy. “How long will you be this potent for?” she demanded.

“I don’t know, I’ve never been locked in a jar before.”  The woman replied frankly.

“OK, take her to your quarters and keep her there until the dust has settled.” Mother commanded. “Do not let anyone see her, or we’ll have a riot.”

“OK,” I leapt back up through the hatch and hauled myself up.  Then I leaned back through offering my hand to the fairy.

“Come on, this way.”

“As I led her down the corridor I could hear my mother muttering through her mask;

“This is the last bloody time you play poker…”

If you are enjoying this story you might enjoy Badger’s other writings.  Search C H Clepitt on Amazon for more from the author.

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Pilot

Badger has started a new story.  Excitings.  Intended to be a SciFi serial, this is the first time she has written a SciFi, and in the first person.  Therefore the first episode, entitled “Pilot” of The Crew Chronicles will be available to read in instalments here, in Story Corner and on an App called Wattpad, for those of you who do apps.  When Pilot is complete it will also be released for free on other ebook readers.  If it turns out to be popular then the series will continue.  As always feedback is welcome.  feel free to post a comment below.  And, Enjoy!

 

Pilot

 

Humans are not nice.  as a race they are pilot cover imageaggressive, judgemental and fearful of what they don’t understand.

When Earth was low low on resources the “Aliens”, as they referred to them, (those beings who had been observing the Earth) made themselves known.  Why they thought a race of beings who systematically destroyed their own planet, ripping apart its natural resources and raping its land would be receptive to help from a more advanced race is beyond me really.  They blame the aliens for the subsequent destruction of their planet, but in fact it was them.  The nuclear bombs they used made the entire planet uninhabitable for hundreds of years, so they aliens took them with them, on ships.  Even then they did not see it as a rescue, they saw it as enslavement and attempted to rebel.  The ridiculous thing is, in space there is absolutely no-where to go.

Now there is a tenuous peace.  Mostly they avoid one another.  Apart from us.  We have found a sort of strange unity, working together, travelling from port to port, like a cruise ship, only without the hygiene, or the postal service, and without the crazies (mostly).

So, you may have noticed that I have given you a brief history (I skipped the boring bits) about they humans and the aliens, and I bet you’re wondering which am I.  Well, that is you all over.  Desperate to put labels on everything, never happy unless something fits into a nice little box.  Well, I am just not a box kinda guy, I guess. My mother was human, my father, well, wasn’t. Not that I ever met him.  I go simply on the very distinctive DNA he left me with, along with a lack of gender.  I am the modern day version of a mule.  It doesn’t bother me you understand.  But it seems to bother everyone else.  So, if I make you uncomfortable I guess that’s your problem, you don’t have to read this, do you?

Anyway, today started much like any other.  We pulled into Aquarious station plenty early enough to restock and check out some action.  I’m a bit of a gambler.  Poker is one of the main things that the humans insisted on taking with them when they left Earth.  Probably because they are greedy.  There is usually a high stakes table lurking somewhere around these places so whilst the rest of the crew head out to restock or find work I hunt for somewhere to refill my purse.  Did I mention I always win?  It’s something I inherited from my father, part from the strange purple tinge.  Jeeze, there’s no need to stare.  So, I am eyeing down this grizzly looking bastard, serious stubble, no front teeth, not sure even a mother could love that face.  He has intimidated his way into the final round.  Most guys on the table folder cos he frowned at them.  I don’t scare so easy.  You don’t go through life looking like me without learning how to take care of yourself.  Anyway, I can see from his smug expression that he thinks he’s got me beat.  I can also see from the reflection in his eyes that he don’t.  My vision is, er, acute, and it ain’t cheating.  Just makes me luckier than others is all.

So, I can tell that whilst this jerk off is at the table the stakes ain’t gunna get any higher, as everyone’s scared of him, so I take a chance and go all in with my already considerable winnings.

“Look’s like you’re out of luck, Pal,” I taunted him, knowing that he would rise to the bait.  “What you got in front of you there ain’t gunna see me.”

“This will!” Angrily he slammed a black leather bag down on the table.  “That’ll match you!”

“Fine,” I said.  “Let’s get this over with.  What have you got?”

Sufficient to say he was not impressed to see my hand.  The table was flung over scattering the chips and the cards over the floor as the ugly beast thundered towards me.

“You cheated!” he fumed.

“Come on, Pal. Don’t be a sore loser,” I offered, drawing my retractable staff from my sleeve and assuming a defensive stance.  Like I said, you don’t grow up looking like me without learning a thing or two.  I am quite slight, and lithe, both traits which serve me well when fending off attacks from lumbering oafs such as thins one.  That combined with my skill with a staff meant that this idiot was soon on his back and unconscious.

“Well, it’s been a blast, fellas,” I said to the rest of the game as I gathered up my winnings and the mysterious black bag.  “But I really gotta rejoin my crew now.”

 * * *

 

“Got some work?” I asked Hank as I found him on the promenade.

“Couple of students looking to go on a field trip to the third moon of Gallery, reckon the fauna there is second to none.”

“So are the whore houses,” I observed.

“Well as long as they pay travel.  Reckon we can pick up some quality gear there too, so will be worth the trip.”

“Well, everyday is an adventure anyhow,” I philosophised slinging my loot proudly over my shoulder.

“What you got there?”

“Played me some poker.”

“Nice.  What’s in the bag?”

“Dunno.  Look when I get back to the ship.  Won it off Big Ugly so better be good.”

“You know, you would get us all in considerably less trouble if you looked into the bag before bringing it on board, at least once in a while.”  Hank smiled dryly.

“Hey you!” a voice bellowed from across the promenade.  “Where did you get that bag?”

“You see?” Hank said exasperatedly, pulling his gun and turning in the direction of the voice.  “Who’s asking?”

“This is not your fight, Human.  This is between us and the inbred!”

Inbred is one of the nicer things I have been called, but I knew it would rile Hank.  Ever since we were kids it’s annoyed him when people have called me names.

Whilst in their ignorance and “us and them” mentality humans tend to refer to all aliens as “aliens”, there are many different species.  These two were of the nastier looking variety, with hard scaly skin like a rhino and hook claws that look like they could do some serious damage.  I don’t fancy Hank’s chances.

“Don’t call him that!” Hank had drawn his baton now too.

“Hey…” I tried to calm the situation.  “We don’t want any trouble.  I won this bag in a poker game.  I’m sure we can come to an arrangement if you want it so badly.”

“How about, you give us the bag, and we don’t kill you?  How’s that for an arrangement?”  They advanced menacingly.

“I don’t really like that arrangement,” Hank was grinning broadly now.  A thousand watts of electricity surged through the body of one of our assailants leaving him twitching on the ground.  The other turned sharply to see the tall, well muscled marine standing over the body of his colleague.

“Cross!” he gasped.

“I see my reputation precedes me.  So, you have a choice.  you can either run away, or end up twitting in a pool of your own piss like your friend there.”

He chose the former.

“Honestly, I can’t take you two anywhere.  What did you do this time?”

“Nothing,” Hank looked at his feet sheepishly.

 

“I won this bag in a poker game, they want it.  I don’t know why.” I explained.

“Don’t you know what’s in it?”

“Haven’t looked yet.”

“Of course you haven’t.  We’ll look when we get back to the ship.  Come on.”

“Yes Mum,” we said simultaneously.

This was the first chapter in a new SciFi Serial by C H Clepitt.  Find out more about Badger’s other writings by checking out Badger’s Books. And to keep up to date with the next instalment follow is on Facebook and Twitter by following the link in the top right of the screen.

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Weather With The Wall Street Bull

The weather in NYC is craptastic–thanks for photo (7)asking. If one more of our California friends mentions “sunny and high 70s,” we’re gonna book a flight to LA just to punch them out personally.

It’s literally freezing, and I mean “literally” literally. After a warm, Spring-like Sunday, it got progressively colder and now I’m a bronze popsicle in an intermittent wind tunnel. This is the kind of temperature fluctuation that your mother tells you will make you catch a cold. No, Ma–it’s all the phlegmy schmendricks sneezing in my immediate vicinity that are going to make me catch a cold, after which I will hunt them down and gore them. But I digress.

So when it was rainy all weekend, at least the humidity in the air made the weather borderline bearable. But this week we’ll be back and forth between snow and bone dry. My tail tuft will be all staticky and I’ll be short-tempered. How will that be different from and other day? you ask. Don’t make me gore you.

Of course the worst part of the sucky weather isn’t complaining statues: it’s seeing homeless folks at real risk for hypothermia. Every time somebody walks by me on their way to work, bitching on their phone to someone about the cold, I want to shout, “What the hell are you complaining about? You just came from indoors and you’re headed indoors.” But it’s in my contract that I can’t shout at passers-by. (My agent is a dog. No, literally.)

Anyway, I guess my points are as follows, in no particular order:
1. Winter sucks.
2. Static electricity suck.
3. Being homeless always sucks, but in the winter it’s life-threatening, so buy some hot food for a street person.

FORECAST: Cold and sucky for the foreseeable future. Some snow today: not enough for anybody to get the day off, but enough to irritate the shit out of us and make life miserable. Warming trend anticipated possibly in April. I can’t type anymore– my hooves are freezing. Who will bring me another coffee? Somebody check Travelocity for flights to LA. I hear it’s sunny and 70s there, and there are some people I need to see.

For more insights follow @TheWallStBull on Twitter.

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Ashamed of Pride?

Award winning independent film Pride is due for release on DVD March 2nd 2015 in the UK.  You may recall from Badger’s 2014 Movie Picks  she felt it was rather good.  The movie has already been released on DVD in America, and the cover has already inspired some controversy, but not the type you might think.  This week the BBC Reported that

Gay banner removed from Pride DVD cover in US

According to the report Pink News also discovered that “ the DVD cover wording had changed, removing a reference to “gay and lesbian activists”.”

This is not the first time a gay movie appears to have been side-barred, to protect the US audience.  Behind the Candelabra , which told the story of Liberace, which was in Cinemas across Britain was made as a Straight to TV movie in the US despite starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.  It seems that in a country that’s renowned for its freedom of speech (that and the right to bare arms, which could be a bit chilly this time of year) audiences are being constantly shielded from things that could be seen as controversial, or at least things that the extreme right wing Christians deem controversial.

Here at Newsnibbles however, we have no such qualms, so here is a picture for you.

With thanks to Team MonkeyBrigade for giving us permission to use this picture from their 2013 GISHWHES entry.

 

There are a number of issues we can see with removing the gay references from the DVD cover.  First of all, a nice old lady might see the film in a store (that’s what they call them in America), buy it, take it home and put it into her DVD player.  Get herself some cocoa and a cookie (in this country substitute for a cup of tea and a hobnob) and press play, only to discover that the film is all about the gays!! In shock and horror her cocoa falls from her hand, burns her leg, splashes all over the plug and sets her house on fire.  All because the gay content of the film was removed from the cover.  This then results in having to print a lot of stickers with

Warning, Film Contains GAYNESS

on it, to avoid any further law suits (we are imaging this scenario to be taking place in America, so the old lady sued).

This means that shop assistants would be up until the early hours earning lots of overtime and destroying the economy stickering countless DVDs.

How could all this tragedy be avoided? Why by saying what the film was about on the cover. Just our opinion of course.

 

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Badger’s New Year Quiz

Well, only Chimp entered last week’s quiz, and with only three correct answers we can’t really call him a winner, but he gets a well done mention for taking part.  We can only conclude that the quiz was just too hard for the rest of you, so we have dumbed it down a bit this week with a slightly less challenging New Year quiz.  As always, answers along with the picture you wish us to publish should you be lucky enough to win can be sent to quiz@newsnibbles.co.uk.  Please note you must own the copyright to the picture you submit.

Good Luck Nibblers!!

1. Spell “New Year”

2. What year is it this year?

3. What year was it last year?

4. What song is traditionally sung to celebrate New Years?

5. Who played the concert on the BBC to see the new year in? (Clue, it wasn’t King).

And finally, our bonus picture question is:

Which Newsnibbles Celebrity is pictured below seeing the New Year in in style, (as always)?

 

annie+bee ny

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Thanks a Ton!

To celebrate 2015 the Royal Mint has introduced £100 coin.  It will be sold at “face value”, which means that you pay £100 for it, then in theory you could trade it for £100 worth of merchandise, just like real money, or add it to your collection, which is what we assume most buyers will be doing.  Disturbingly enough the Royal Mint Website where you can purchase your very own £100 coin for the bargain price of £100 is experiencing unprecedented demand, so you might be better off phoning them, apparently.  With a picture of Big Ben on one side, and the Queens head (obv) on the other,

The UK’s first £100 coin available at face value, struck in a full two ounces of 999 fine silver

Royal Mint Website

Currently, silver is retailing at £10.09 per ounce (figure accurate as of 01/01/15) meaning that you get the pretty pictures on the coin for the bargain price of £79.82.  Excitings.

Always wanting to play devil’s advocate, however, we in the Newsnibbles office can foresee a number of issues with having £100 coin.  You know when a pound falls out your pocket and you find it 6 months later down the back of the sofa, or when you put it through the wash and it breaks the washing machine and you have to call the engineer out?  Also, think of the problems you would have in shops.  One source who works with a till told us another potential problem for retailers:#

I only have a £30 float.  It’s bad enough when people try to pay for a chocolate bar with a £20 note, it uses up all my change and leaves me with one note that is no use to anyone.  Now if I have to change up a £100 coin I’ll need to raise my float to £1o0, and then I’ll be stuck with one coin.  I will be constantly going to the bank, which isn’t close by.

At that point she started to cry, said something about resigning and ran out the room, so we felt it would be sensitive to end the interview there.

So, there you have it.  If you have a ton going spare, why not treat yourself to the UK’s first £100 coin.  And if you do we would love to see a photo of you modelling it.

Happy New Year Nibblers.

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Badger’s Big 2014 Movie Quiz

Greetings Nibblers, and welcome to the return of the Monday Quiz.  Please do your best to answer all the questions below, and send them, along with the picture you would like us to publish should you be lucky enough to win to quiz@newsnibbles.co.uk

Note: You must own the copyright to any pictures you submit for publication.  Due to predicted low participation in this particular quiz we will accept entries from those directly affiliated with Newsnibbles. Chimp, this does mean you.

So, without further a do, let the 2014 Movie Quiz commence.

  1. Who showed that he is also an incredibly talented voice artist and not just an action hero when he provided the voice to Groot in the film Guardians of the Galaxy?
  2. The film Pride was set under the government of which milk snatching recently deceased Prime Minister? (Bonus point if you can tell us where the nickname “Milk Snatcher” came from)
  3.  Belle is a film about which important moment in history?
  4.  Dracula Untold gave a new twist on an old classic, but who wrote the original book?
  5. Where was the 100 Foot Journey from and too?

And finally, number 6 is a bonus picture question for which you could receive and extra 3 points and clinch the entire quiz.  Our Canine correspondent Annie Butler is here creating her interpretation of a 2014 film.  What film is it?

photo (9)

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Stories We Should Have Covered (But Didn’t)

Badger has had a busy few months, moving setts and working an actual job (would you believe that Newsnibbles does not pay the bills?) and still doesn’t have a proper internet connection in her sett, but hopefully soon normal service will resume.  In the meanwhile, what is Christmas for if not bumming someone else’s internet? Exactly.

The Outfit Shocker

Whilst we can hardly bring ourselves to care one way or the other about another royal pregnancy, let alone what out outfit the Duchess of Cambridge decides to wear apparently we should.  The tabloids were all over the fact that Kate wore the same frock three times apparently.  Whilst it is unlikely that she picked up her maternity frock in M&S (other shops are available, do we care, no) apparently her maternity outfits are around £980 (see the article in the express if you can bring yourself to care…).

We think that it’s commendable that after spending all that money on an outfit she decided to wear it more than once, and to show that she is in very good company below we have photos of our fashion correspondent doing the exact same thing.  Also, on a side note, does the Oxfam shop do well out of those royals who wear an outfit only once? And if not what happens to the outfit?  Answers on a postcard, please, or just post a comment below.

 

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Badger’s 2014 Movie Picks

Pride

This is number one on the list for a reason, what a fantastic film.  I saw it three times, and each time the cinema was full.   It is fantastic to finally see a film that centralises what is usually considered fringe communities.  Despite being very interested in both politics and history I had no idea that the minors received support from the gay and lesbian community, much like the feminist uncovering of “herstory” in recent years it seems that mainstream reports have marginalised not only the strike but the support it received.  This was an incredibly poignant film with a feel good ending and an important message about solidarity and teamwork.  In a time when unions are constantly being undermined in favour of the big selfish business this film comes out and reminds us that we are not powerless against the bullying mentality.  One of the most powerful endings I have seen in a while.  You are made of stone if you don’t watch this and laugh, and cry.  I give it FIVE badger stars.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

I do loves me a good comic book film and this X-Men did not disappoint.  If you aren’t quite as massive a geek as me, then you will want to refresh yourself on the previous films before you see it or you won’t remember who’s who.  Also, what happened at the end of X-Men 3? Didn’t everyone die?  Totally confused there.  Please do post a comment and fill in the blanks for me if you can.  As a stand alone film this is fab.  I do enjoy a bit of time travel and alternate realities.  I do feel that we could have had a better introduction to the new characters, as a lot of assumptions were made about the viewer’s knowledge of Bishop, for example.  Since I have seen the cartoon and played the Facebook game (don’t judge me) I knew who he was, but if you were coming into it having just seen the films I fear you could have been at a bit of a loss.  Having said that there was more than enough Wolverine content to please the casual bystander, so no complaints there.  I give it a badger FOUR stars.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Did I mention I enjoy a good comic book film?  Well, I also enjoyed this one, they had a Raccoon, what’s not to like?  I had never heard of the characters before, so I came in fresh.  It had an awesome soundtrack which is bound to help.  Unfortunately for me there was an annoying teenage girl in the cinema, who had clearly seen the film before, and pre-empted every vaguely comic line with an incredibly loud fake laugh, which meant I was not even vaguely amused by it.  I liked the guy who was a tree.  He was voiced by Vin Deasel, and had  one line (frequently repeated, it was like a proper part), possibly the best performance ever, I hope to see him nominated for some sort of award very soon.

I think perhaps my rating is tainted by the annoying teenage girl, but tough, this one gets a badger THREE stars.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Part One

This was absolutely brilliant.  Often when films are split into two parts, the first part is all build up and can be a bit dull, but not in this case.  There was more action than you can shake a stick at, and once again it was very close to the books, which I really enjoyed reading.  The one comment I would make with regard to the film, and I don’t know if this is deliberate, or just the way I viewed it, was that I quite liked the character of President Coin.  When reading the book you get a real feeling of distrust for this character, but watching the film I didn’t get that at all, I saw what she was doing and why she was doing it, and I empathised.

Well worth a watch, whether you have read the books or just seen the film, and as such I give it a badger FIVE stars, cos I can.

Paddington

Of course I did, wouldn’t you?  I loved the fact that this film provided more of a back story to Aunt Lucy, whilst still being true to the book, it was beautifully modernised without losing any of the charm of the original stories.  Of course because it was a film they had to have a proper villain, which Nicole Kidman did incredibly well, and Hugh Bonnerville made a fantastic Mr Brown.  It would have been very easy to play the parts tongue in cheek and lose a lot of authenticity, but the film was understated and fabulous, so I give it a badger FIVE stars, hurrah.

And since it’s Christmas, here is a repeat of the film wot I wrote.  Also, what better Christmas present than one of my books? Get in touch, I’d even sign it for you!!!

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