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ESCAPE TO DULL

Simon- Heroic Wizard Boy, 13 yrs

Boreon- Hump-backed Wise Wizard Mentor, 351 yrs

Barb Olson- Housewife, 41yrs

Doug Olson- Computer Programmer, 43yrs

Janice Olson- Bratty, Buck-toothed Girl, 11yrs

(Boreon is reading Wizard books. Simon enters covered in dirt and blood and exhausted.)

BOREON

Did you take care of those Demons that escaped from Hell and sought to unravel the fabric of time and destroy all of creation? 

SIMON

(Annoyed.)

Yessssssss, Grand Wizard Boreon. But my lovable sidekick best friend died, again, and I think I jammed my thumb.

BOREON

Simon, why don’t you have a seat?

SIMON

Let me guess. This chair is going to imprison me in some magical way and I’ll have to think outside the box in order to find the obvious solution to the problem. 

BOREON

No, it’s a folding chair I found in the basement.

(SIMON sits cautiously. Nothing happens.)

Simon, you’re a powerful wizard boy of unimaginable potential. You’ve saved the world 4 times this month. You’ve won the heart of a beautiful fairy princess and bring hope to all those you touch. But did you ever think you were meant for something more—-mediocre?

(Cliché organ music begins to play.)

Simon, what if I told you there was another world out there. One without magic, or centaurs, or little birds that dress you in the morning. One where high unemployment numbers are only eclipsed by rising obesity in children. Where billions of people wake up to cheap coffee, plod like a zombie throughout their dreary day, come home to a loveless marriage, and only have a few years left to enjoy a peaceful orange sunset before pollution turns it the color of chimney soot.

 SIMON

(In excited awe.)

Such a place exists?

 BOREON

Indeed. And you are destined for it. Simon I’d like you to meet your new family.

(BARB, DOUG, and JANICE enter.)

 DOUG

Congratulations Simon, you’ve inherited three generations of high cholesterol.

 BARB

And you’ll be bald by 25, honey.

 JANICE

I’ll be sure to lick all the bowls in the morning before you have your cereal.

 SIMON

Oh Boreon, they’re delightfully run-of-the-mill! Hello new family!

(Runs over to embrace them. DOUG puts his hand out to stop SIMON.)

 DOUG

We don’t hug.     

                              (DOUG shakes SIMON’s hand.)

 BARB

Simon, I so look forward to being disappointed when your grades start to slip in high school.

 JANICE

The dog pooped on the carpet, it’s your turn to clean it.

SIMON

Hurrah!

                                             BLACK OUT

HI JINX

LARS- Office Gossip

BRUCE- Office Clown

(LARS is leaned on his desk drinking coffee. BRUCE is on the floor, his legs have been replaced with the ridged body of a horse.)

LARS- No, I get it man, this is hilarious, but the problem is folks aren’t really bowled over by Centaur jokes anymore. You know how these things go, I would have texted you about it on your medical leave if I could have guessed you’d be so dedicated to the cause.

BRUCE- I brought coconuts for the clopping sound.

LARS- Again, another hilarious reference, but I don’t think it’s gonna pay off like you hoped buddy. There was a video online about these drunk fairies everyone was fowarding last week, and then Janet wore some wings on Friday and that just about sealed it. Fairy fever man.

BRUCE- Real wings?

LARS- Naw, she got em at Party City.

BRUCE- Damnit Janet.

LARS- Nice.

(They high five.)

LARS- It’s not fair. But look, everything is cyclical. Lay low for a while, don’t let anyone see you from the waist down, and before you know it, Centaur jokes will be hot like Topanga again.

(Long pause.)

LARS- It’s rotting isn’t it.

BRUCE- Yea, I think it was pregnant.

                                                          BLACK OUT

Applican’t

ARTHUR- GENTLEMEN HUSBAND

VANESSA- ESTEEMED WIFE

BOY- HOPEFUL SERVANT

(A very well decorated living room. ARTHUR is strangling the BOY on the floor. VANESSA enters.)

VANESSA- Oh Arthur, what are you doing dear?

ARTHUR- I’m strangling the boy.

VANESSA- You didn’t wait for me?

ARTHUR- You were gone awhile. He got quite dull very quickly. It was clear he wasn’t going to get the job.

VANESSA- (Taking a seat.) Oh I’m sorry darling. I was just preparing dinner for our evening.

ARTHUR- Yes? What did you make?

VANESSA- Drinks. But I left them in the kitchen.

ARTHUR- Why?

VANESSA- I couldn’t find a tray. Or even a large enough plate.

(ARHTUR grunts as he tries to tighten his grip on the BOY’s neck.)           

ARTHUR- You’ve never carried three glasses before without a tray?

VANESSA- (Laughing daintly.) Three? Oh silly, I only made two. Why waste our liquor on him?

(Pointing to boy.)

VANESSA- He would have messed our carpet with it eventually anyway.

ARTHUR- You have a point. The maid is gone until Monday. That would smell-(Grunt.) -awful. 

VANESSA- Nevertheless, finish it dear. I’m getting bored.

ARTHUR- I’m trying Vanessa. He’s a young man. His neck muscles are probably in their biological prime.

VANESSA- Perhaps he took a large breath right before you grabbed him?

ARTHUR- Even so, this is a quite a feat, his surviving.

VANESSA- Aw, I’d almost like to let him go.

ARTHUR- Are you sure you aren’t drinking my dear?

VANESSA- (Laughs again.) Oh you’re bad. Speaking of though, I think I’ll attempt to bring them out without a tray.

ARTHUR- (With no sarcasm.) Two glasses. I have faith in you.

(VANESSA exits.)

ARTHUR- I would almost show you respect for this fight you’ve put up boy.

(Grunt, struggle more.)

ARTHUR- But to show you respect, I’d probably have to stop.

(Struggles fiercely for a moment.)

ARTHUR- That would be silly of me. Of course, I don’t know you well enough to trust your keeping this a secret.

(Slight struggle.)

ARTHUR- Oh you say that now.

(VANESSA enters. She has one class in each hand. Being very careful not to spill, she gently places them down on the table.)

VANESSA- (Observing her work.) Hmpf. Perfect.

ARTHUR- Dutifully handled dear.

VANESSA- (Notices BOY again.) Oh Arthur! Quit playing. This has gone on quite long enough.

ARTHUR- Believe me. I’m not enjoying this any longer either.

VANESSA- Should I get a gun?

ARTHUR- Don’t be silly. We could use the variety.

VANESSA- I rather like the guns.

ARTHUR- Of course you do, they keep your hands clean.

VANESSA- (Exaggerated smile.) One must remain ladylike.

ARTHUR- That’s the way I like you dear.

VANESSA- (Looks over ARTHUR’s shoulder while he strangles BOY.) I would have named him Benjamin.

ARTHUR- Why Benjamin?

VANESSA- He looks like a Benjamin.

ARTHUR- Might that be his real name?

VANESSA- Oh I’m not sure. Who could tell?

ARTHUR- (Seems to be at last overwhelming the BOY.) Ah! I think I’ve got him.

VANESSA- Wonderful! Careful not to snap his neck now.

ARTHUR- I won’t Vanessa.

(BOY goes limp.)

VANESSA- He’s done!

ARTHUR- (Without releasing his hands from the BOY’s throat.) Wait for the spasm dear, always wait for the spasm.

(BOY spasms once more, then goes limp. ARTHUR removes hands. Wipes them as he stands up.)

ARTHUR- There it is. All in all, that was rather successful.

VANESSA- You still could have waited for me.

ARTHUR- You didn’t miss much dear, his yelp of surprise was minimal. It was as if he never saw death descend on him before.

VANESSA- (Evaluates the BOY.) I don’t like his coat. I think I’ll change it.

ARTHUR- (Going to sit down.) Now now, that would be very rude. Let the Boy wear what he’s got on. Be a gentle host.

VANESSA- (Pouts slightly.) Oh fine. But it looks awful on him. He had no taste at all.

                                                     BLACK OUT

The Library of Dr. Moreau

GRETA- Polar Bear Lady, Librarian, Virgin.

MICHAEL- Ferret Man.

(GRETA is stamping books at her desk. MICHAEL approaches confidently and gently lays a large hardcover on her desk.)

MICHAEL- Just this today.

GRETA- Michael…

MICHAEL- Yes Greta?

GRETA- Do I even have to look to see if you’ve returned “The Blood Meridian” yet?

MICHAEL- I forgot it. I’ll drop it off tomorrow, I promise.

GRETA- I’m sure you will, but you know you can’t check out anything else until you that and the several others you’ve seem to have forgotten during all of these visits. Some are almost three months late now, that’s alot of dimes Michael.

MICHAEL- No more then, say, dinner would cost.

GRETA- (Blushing.) Well, I wish you’d return at least some of those you’ve taken out. My staff picks section is starting to look quite empty.

MICHAEL- Gosh, it must be just that I can’t stand to part with all of these wonderful books you’ve read. But don’t worry, I’m taking great care of them. You could come by and visit them if you like sometime.

GRETA- Michael, I’ve read those books, but not those copies specifically you know, I have my own at home.

MICHAEL- (Thinking.) They do still have your stamp on them.

GRETA- Okay, well I’m sure the library would like to have them back.

MICHAEL- They also have your name, so delicately pressed in maroon ink by soft paws.

GRETA- Really now…

(WILDEBEAST MAN approaches the desk and lines up behind MICHAEL. He’s concentrating on holding a book between his front hooves, slipping occasionally but catching it.)

GRETA- (Lowers her voice.) I would appreciate it if you could dial back the flattery just the slightest bit.

MICHAEL- (To WILDEBEAST MAN) I’m jealous of all of these books. All of them. For they get shelved by this Quartz beauty, while I must merely stand by and…

GRETA- (Not loud, but stern.) Mr. Carter.

(MICHAEL shuts up and turns back to GRETA, shocked.)

GRETA- (Professional.) Your late fees as they stand now are $73.40. I have to ask that you pay those and return any late books before I can allow you to check out another.

MICHAEL- I-

GRETA- Have a nice day sir.

(MICHAEL reaches for the book on the counter.)

GRETA- Leave it.

(MICHAEL bows his head and slumps out. WILDEBEAST MAN approaches the desk and dumps his book with relief.)

WILDEBEAST MAN- Do you have this on microfilm?

                                            BLACK OUT

 

Thaakar, Jungle Attorney

THAAKAR- Dashing young upstart lawyer, raised by apes

BENJAMIN WINFIELD- Explorer

(BENJAMIN is perched awkwardly on a limb of a large jungle tree, he has a shrunken head. After a few moments, THAAKAR swings in on a vine.)

THAAKAR- Sorry to keep you waiting Mr. Winfield. Did my secretary offer you some jungle water or coffee?

BENJAMIN- No.

THAAKAR- Lisa, Mr. Winfield is thirsty!

(Big Cat roar comes from offstage.)

BENJAMIN- It’s quite alright, really.

THAAKAR- Okay. Well let me thank you again with entrusting me with your case. I think it’s obvious here that you’ve been wronged, and the damage is unfortunately irreparable.

BENJAMIN- I used to love my safari fedoras.

THAAKAR- They’re a delight! Now, if I could, I’d return your head to normal size. But since I can’t, I’m going to fight tooth and claw to get you the kind of recovery that you deserve.

BENJAMIN- You think I have a case?

THAAKAR- Voodoo malpractice cases are tough, I’m not going to lie to you about that, but we have a bloat of consulting experts very familar with curses that we can call on to state that clearly, this witch doctor acted below the standard of care. You wanted to drop a few head sizes to make yourself more appealing, I get that. But you wanted fetal alcohol syndrome small, not Schlitzie small. 

BENJAMIN-It’s so light, sometimes I can hardly tell if anything is there.

THAAKAR- Let’s talk lost time, have you been unable to work?

BENJAMIN- Yes! As an explorer I spend most of my time in the field observing from afar, and keeping my presence unknown.

THAAKAR- And how has that changed since the incident?

BENJAMIN- I can’t see over bushes.

THAAKAR- Observation Spectum Diminished. Great. Are you married, or do you have a spouse?

BENJAMIN- No. Well…no.

THAAKAR- Mr. Winfield, if you do have a partner of any kind they could be entitled to a recovery as well through what is called Loss of Consortium claims. Perhaps you cannot provide the love and affection you used to now that you have a tiny head.

BENJAMIN- I see. I’m just not sure it applies.

THAAKAR- Sir, if I may. Would this have anything to do with Animal Husbandry?

BENJAMIN- (Looks shocked. Then embarassed.)….yes.

THAAKAR- Hey, no need to be ashamed. I may work in this high rise Kapok Tree but in the morning I bury my scat like everybody else. We can add a claim for your…

BENJAMIN- Toucan.

THAAKAR- Toucan. Toucan play at this game!

(They share a laugh.)

BENJAMIN- Thank you Mr. Thaakar. Really.

THAAKAR- Hey, it’s not an entirely altruistic pursuit Mr. Winfield. When we win your case, I’ll be collecting 1/3 as a fee of course.

BENJAMIN- Of course. Is there anything else you need from me now?

THAAKAR- Nothing legal wise, we should be all set to go on this. Do you have any interest in sorting through my groin for ticks?

BENJAMIN- Thanks, but I just ate.

THAAKAR- No worries. Have a great day!

(THAAKAR grabs a vine and swings off.)

                                                BLACK OUT

Bullshit In The Woods

SAM- Hiker/Husband

CARLY- Hiker/Wife

Bear- Brown most likely

(SAM and CARLY are hiking happily. BEAR lumbers out of the trees and blocks their way.)

CARLY- (Hushed whisper.) Oh geeze Sam, it’s one of those bears!

SAM- Just don’t make eye contact.

BEAR- Here’s some folks that look like they care about the forest.

SAM- No thanks.

BEAR- No thanks? No thanks to the forest? You guys don’t care then?

CARLY- We do care. We love nature.

SAM- Carly…

BEAR- Great! Did you know that most ground squirrels don’t get enough fiber to sustain their high metabolisms?

CARLY- What do you mean?

BEAR- These poor guys can’t find enough food to keep their digestive systems going that most of the time they’re skittering around the forest floor all constipated.

CARLY- That’s terrible.

SAM- Yeah. Sorry we can’t help.

BEAR- Well you can actually. It doesn’t take much. Just whatever granola you have in your backpacks now could keep a family of five ground squirrels regular for a month.

SAM- We kind of need the granola we have, sorry again.

BEAR- That’s funny. You smell like you just had a big healthy shit this morning.

CARLY- Sam, we can spare the granola I think.

SAM- Sure we can now, but after a month goes by this one will be knocking on our door looking for more handouts.

BEAR- I don’t think that will happen sir. I have no knuckles.

SAM- Look, it’s nice and all that you’re out here strong arming people for charity, but see it my way for a second. If we give you to now, then we’re going to have to give our hotdogs to the caveless Puma hanging around the picnic area, and then we’re going to have to give our cigarettes to the latch key kids that are always singing Rodney Dangerfield covers outside the Ranger’s station. Where does it end?

BEAR- I’m sorry to hear that sir. Tell you what…

SAM- Are you even listening to me?

CARLY- Sam, let’s just go.

BEAR- We actually have a special promotion going right now where if you can offer two cups of water from your nalgene bottles for this growing Maple, we’ll give you this free air freshener.

SAM- That’s a flower.

BEAR- You can write off any food donation against your Jenny Craig points.

SAM- (Through clenched teeth.) 50 years ago we would have had your head mounted on the wall with little beady glass eyes.

BEAR- (Arms raised in disbelief.) Whoa!

CARLY- He didn’t mean it. Sam, let’s go!

BEAR- That’s not appropriate. That’s not appropriate man!

SAM- And you think it’s appropriate that you’re stopping us on the trial and panhandling for every slightly disadvantage flora and fauna in the whole freaking ecosystem??

BEAR- I’m just doing my job here.

SAM- Now you’re just doing your job, why just a moment ago you cared about chipmunk bowel movements.

BEAR- Ground squirrel, chimpunk is ignorant.

SAM- Let me ask you something, what kind of kickback do you get if we fork over our granola?

BEAR- (Defeated.) Two baby rabbits.

CARLY- You whore!

BEAR- I got cubs to feed!

CARLY- Can we leave now Sam? The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming.

SAM- Yes, let’s depart before his blind obediance to a corrupt system infects us too.

(They storm off with pride.)

BEAR- (To no one in particular.) I miss Darwinism.

                                          BLACK OUT

Service Industry

WHITE MALE- Stranger

DENISE- Single Mother

OTHER MALE- Stranger

(WHITE MALE is unplugging electronics in the family room. DENISE enters, looks surprised for a moment and then smiles politely.)

DENISE- Oh hello!

WHITE MALE- (Polite) Ma’am. (Goes back to unplugging.)

DENISE- I see you broke my window.

WHITE MALE- Yea, forced entry.

DENISE- Oh, where are my manners? I’m Denise. (Extends hand.)

WHITE MALE- (Shakes it.) White Male, about 6’1”, between 180-200 lbs, short brown hair and scar below the left eye, nice to meet you.

DENISE- So is this just a breaking and entering or a full burglary?

WHITE MALE- Burglary ma’am. I’ll be taking all of your electronics today. Tv, dvd player, the works.

DENISE- I see…Oh wait! I have a coopin! (Takes coupon out of purse and gives to WHITE MALE.)

WHITE MALE- (Reads coupon.) Okay, great, you can keep the Xbox.

DENISE- Thanks. Is there anything you need help finding?

WHITE MALE- Naw, I think I rounded most of it up already and tied it all in one of your bedsheets. After I’m done here I’ll probably take it out to my car and speed away into the night.

DENISE- Okay, let me know if you need anything.

WHITE MALE- Thank you ma’am. (Goes back to unplugging. Starts to murmur the lyrics to “One Week” by The Barenaked Ladies. After a few beats Denise joins him. Neither knows all the words but they laugh as they stumble through it. WHITE MALE finishes his job and stands up.)

WHITE MALE- That’ll do it. Now, before I go I need to ask if you plan on calling the police?

DENISE- Oh, I haven’t thought of that. Yes, I suppose I will, I would like to recover my things if possible.

WHITE MALE- Okay, just to let you know. If you do choose to call the police, I’m going to have to hit you with the butt of my gun in order to stun you long enough to buy myself some more time. Now this is called a “Pistol Whip” and the blow will most likely cause one or more fractures to your orbital socket. Disfiguring, yes, but on the plus side it’ll undoubtedly make you a more sympathetic victim.

DENISE- Hmm wow, I didn’t know this was all so involved. What do you think?

WHITE MALE- Most of my clients have been very happy with the results.

DENISE- Okay, yes, I’ll go with that.

WHITE MALE- Good, now before I go I am obligated to issue the following threats, (Pulls a piece of paper from his pocket and reads in monotone.) “If you tell anyone about this you bitch I’ll fucking kill you, you hear me? I’ll come back here and cut your fucking throat. Don’t look at me, don’t you fucking look at me you stupid cow. Get on the floor, get on the floor now.” Okay, and this is where I…(Hits DENISE in the face with his gun. Picks up his stolen goods and moves to exit. Looks back at paper one last time.) “Thanks bitch.” (Exits.)

(Several moments pass, DENISE moans but otherwise doesn’t move. OTHER MALE enters.)

OTHER MALE- Hi, I’m short, thin Male, possibly French, with a greasey beard. I just murdered your children. (Scribbles something on a note pad and hands to unmoving DENISE.) Here’s your receipt.

                                               BLACK OUT

Thugs

Boss- Hotshot Amusment Park Manager, 30s

Daffy- Costumed Entertainer, 20s

Maggie- Mother of 3, 30s

(BOSS approaches DAFFY, who is full Daffy Duck costume, with an envelope.)

BOSS- Annnnd Daffs, here’s your check mah man.

(DAFFY wordlessly opens the envelope. Looks stunned at check inside. Waves angrily at BOSS.)

BOSS- Hey, taxes ain’t my doin. Take it up with your Unk Sam, bro.

(BOSS gives the wink and gun and walks away. DAFFY mopes. MAGGIE enters with her arms loaded down with small plush animals and ambiguous flashing toys. MAGGIE stops when she sees DAFFY. After a moment he notices her and quickly gets into his waving and dancing routine, half-heartedly. MAGGIE watches for a moment, then drops everything she’s holding. MAGGIE crosses to DAFFY slow but deliberatley and hugs him. DAFFY hugs back. They remain like that for a long beat. MAGGIE pulls back and looks up into DAFFY’s beak.)

MAGGIE- That’s the first time I’ve been hugged in three years.

(MAGGIE exits, leaving her items on the ground.)

                                                    BLACK OUT

Slave Baby

Donny- 30s, Husband

Sheila- 30s, Wife

Baby- 0s

(DONNY comes home. SHEILA is reading a magazine in a recliner. BABY is lying on the floor crying softly.)

DONNY- Hey Sheel, you’ll never guess what Lars said today—

(Stops and stares at BABY.)

SHEILA- Yes dear?

DONNY- Who’s baby is that?

SHEILA- Oh! Ours.

DONNY- Ours. You adopted a child while I was at work?

SHEILA- No Donald, I didn’t. Don’t get all worked up. I enslaved it.

(DONNY starts to say something, then he looks defeated and flops into the other recliner, eyeing BABY.)

DONNY- Please explain this from the begining.

SHEILA- (Exaggerated sigh. Puts down magazine.) Okay. I was walking down Sheffield to go get your special plums you have to have and I passed a garbage can that was mewing.

DONNY- Like a cat.

SHEILA- Like a baby Donald. So I opened the can and there it is. First I identified it is a boy, which is better for labor, then I took it home, hosed it off and brought it inside to start paying off its debt.

DONNY- You loaned the baby money?

SHEILA- It’s societal debt. Geeze. When I found it, it was living in poverty, uneducated, and foraging for food in it’s environment. Now I’ve brought it into our civilized home, cleansed its own filth off it, mind you, and will teach it valuable skills. The least it can do is perform the tasks asked of it to repay these gifts.

DONNY- Sheila, you can’t be serious. This boy—

SHEILA- It. Acknowledging humanity gives it strength. We need it broken.

DONNY- Dear. This is a dark day for you. I’m going to take it to the proper authorities.

(Bends to pick up BABY. SHEILA shoots his kneecap from behind her magazine. DONNY collapses screaming.)

SHEILA- Don’t you dare touch my property.

DONNY- Honey!! Crimmeny!

SHEILA- I cook, I clean, I darn your socks! You tell me funny little stories about Lars when you come home from work and thats supposed to make us even? No more Donald. Now is the time of Sheila!

DONNY- You don’t understand!

SHEILA- Understand that you’re encroaching on my rights as an American?? This country was founded on the backs of others. History is cyclical Donald, just like trends in entertainment. If you can’t accept that…

(Aims gun impassively at DONNY’s forehead.)

DONNY- He’s bowlegged!

SHEILA- Exsqueeze me?

DONNY- Look at his femurs, he’s bowlegged. He’ll never be able carry more than 30 pounds with that gait. I’m sorry dear, but you’re looking at a house slave at best. We’d never get that deck.

(SHEILA examines BABY.)

SHEILA- Could we break the legs? Reset them?

DONNY- Maybe. We’d need a strong splint.

SHEILA- I’ll chop up the coffee table. Until then we can keep him on light detail.

DONNY- Can I get a rag? I’m starting to bleed out.

SHEILA- The baby will get it.

DONNY- He better.

(They glare at BABY. BABY mews.)

                                                BLACK OUT

Title Involving Trees. Possibly Including A Pun.

Oak- Tree

Maple- Tree

(OAK and MAPLE reside next to each other. They are both scowling.)

OAK- F you man.

MAPLE- No, F you.

OAK- (Doing stupid voice.) Oooh. I’m Maple. I don’t have any comebacks.

MAPLE- Do too!…jerk.

OAK- I’m Maple. I take alllll the sunlight. I got sooo much carbon dioxide. Because I’m fat.

MAPLE- Is that it Oak? Man, I told you, I can’t help it that I’m taller. Blame my species.

OAK- I got squirrels living in me. And they’re fat.

MAPLE- Cut it out. You’re just, like, taking your insecurities out on me. Because you’re a little B word.

OAK- What’d you call me??

MAPLE- You heard me.

OAK- That’s it. Your A word is grass.

MAPLE- Bring it on!

OAK- Get some! Get some!!

MAPLE- What? I can’t hear you down there. How’s the vegatation on the forest floor??

(MAPLE and OAK growl and make other incoherant rage noises. After a while they both decrease into panting breaths.)

MAPLE- Truce?

OAK- Yea, yea. Truce.

(Pause.)

OAK- Dude, are you trying to play rootsies with me?

MAPLE- Nuh Uh!

OAK- Yea, you are. You’re such a flamer. Total firewood over here guys!

MAPLE- F you.

                                              BLACK OUT

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