Take two guys. One that can drive like no one else, and the other someone who can find anything no matter how hard it may be to find and build it. Will it be paradise, or will it be trouble?
Let's get started.
David McCallister seemed like he wanted to drive right from the womb. His parents helped him with various go-carts and small dragsters as his talent, his body and his mind grew. Evolution was a constant and kept upgrading his current mode of racing as the years piled on each other. He did dirt tracks for a few years in the beginning with various cars, but the allure of going fast in a straight line drew him in hard.
Blake Spear grew up poor but knew how to use his hands and his brain to put things together from the scrap bin that would boggle the mind. People would see his latest creation, scratch their heads and then have to pick their chins off of the floor later when they finally saw it run. A pile of crap he'd built was beating the big money racers. He could drive but it really wasn't his love. He wanted to build them and watch them work.
"Mom!" David moaned. It sounded like he was at his wits end.
"What is it, now?" She asked with her hands on her hips and a frustrated look on her face.
"This guy with a piece of crap car keeps beating me and I can't figure out how to win without cheating," David said, running his hands through his hair yet again. Frustrated.
"Watch your language. You weren't raised in a trailer park." She put one hand on the doorjamb to his room and sighed.
"Mom, this guy lives in the slums and manages to build stuff you can't imagine and beats everyone with it. I should have gone into Aunt Flo's florist business if I can't win." He walked around his room waving his arms as he ranted.
"Honey, you need to be smart with this. It's obvious you can drive but the equipment you have don't seem to be good enough. Find the problem and fix it." She pushed off the doorjamb and turned toward the kitchen.
'Great. How am I going to do this? I get better parts and install them and it works, but I don't know how to really get it to work better,' David thought to himself, sitting down and mulling it over.
'Richie Rich wants to throw parts at his car and think they'll stick? He has another thing coming,' Blake thought to himself. He was in the process of tinkering with the carburetor on his car when the thought crossed his mind.
Blake was in the garage looking at a couple of new swap meet parts he picked up a few days ago, hopefully they will get him quicker and faster and keep him there once he sorted them out. 'I can do that with my eyes shut. It doesn't take any money, just know how.' Blake thought to himself, and went back to his car to continue tinkering.
David had his car in the pits getting it ready to run. It was a shiny 2010 Mustang with all the toys. He dusted it off and removed any ugly fingerprints that detracted from its beauty.
Blake was also there. He was on the opposite end of the pits with his 1964 Studebaker Challenger that looked like a scrap heap refugee. It was fast, however. He knew how to get everything out of what he had. Between the engine tricks and suspension tuning, it ran straight as a string and went like it shouldn't.
Blake went for a stroll through the pits during the down time. He spotted a flashy Mustang with the hood up and muttered to himself, "Thanks Dad," in a whiny rich-kid's voice and kept on walking, shaking his head. His own car was ready to play. It always was.
David sat in his lawn chair by the car with his sunglasses on, leaning back relaxing after checking the engine over for anything that might've worked loose or unplugged itself and checking the fluid levels. He left the hood open to let the engine cool off. Blake's continuing domination of the class was also on his mind.
Blake himself was wandering, looking at the defeated competition and enjoying himself when he saw someone in his peripheral vision. David had left his chair and now walked up to the wandering Blake.
"Spear, right?" David asked, much like an interviewer would.
"Yep. That's me. You must be Dave," Blake replied. He put his hand out to shake.
"It's David. Not Dave. David McCallister." He looked at the offered hand and decided that there was no harm in being friendly, so he put his own out and they finally shook hands.
"David then. I'm Blake Spear. At your service." Blake gestured with his arm, bowed and grinned.
David wasn't one to beat around the bush. He came out with what he was thinking. "I was wondering how you got that supposed pile to run like that? By all rights, it shouldn't. Maybe street, but not the faster classes. I don't mean to sound crass, but it shouldn't be possible," David said, a little stressed about it and also preparing himself for whatever flip remark he'd get.
Blake was not put off at all. He was used to the wonder and mystery around his car.
"You need fuel, air, spark and timing in the proper amounts and at the right time to make the engine work at its best. I have done a lot of work along with a mountain of research and development that you can't imagine to make mine run like it does," Blake said, now with his arms crossed on his chest and a determined look on his face.
"Mine is all electronic and should take the upgrades I put on it but it don't run as well as it should. It's driving me nuts." David whined his response, his head downcast.
"Just because you have a computer doing the thinking for you, that doesn't mean it's right. Electronics can be your friend or your foe. It sounds like they're your foe in this case. You need to see what it's actually doing and adjust it until it works to its full potential. By all rights, your car should be running circles around mine." Blake kept his arms crossed on his chest and had no pride in his voice — he was merely stating facts.
"But I don't know how. I get proven parts and expect them to live up to their name but they don't."
"We're back to tuning. One of the things they don't tell you about. In your case, you should be able to plug a laptop into the computer and with the right program, watch what's going on and adjust it until it does work right." Blake, when learning all he needed to know about speed, had had to get current on automotive technology and as a result did have a good grasp of computers and working with them.
Things got off to a rocky start between the two, but they were turning around. Trust from both people had to be earned. They had grown up on opposite sides of the tracks and had to adjust their preconceived opinions accordingly as they got to know each other. They started hanging out at each other's home and got the feeling that not all things were as they were told growing up. David came from a rich family and had always disliked many of the social responsibilities that that entailed but found out his troubles paled in comparison to Blake's. Blake grew up poor but didn't live in a hovel like David thought.
They both needed the fuel to accomplish what they wanted in life. Air to work with the fuel to put life in motion. Spark to light off imagination and to feed the soul. Without timing, none of this would work.
"Blake, what does this doohickey do?" David asked, pointing to an object on the top of the engine.
"That is called a carburetor. It's how things were done in the old days. Tuning those can be fun. No laptop needed. It still does the same job as the injectors on your car, but no electronics are involved." Blake was teaching David the finer points of old cars and their idiosyncrasies. He was also pointing out the similarities of their cars even with the over forty-year age difference.
"My dad brought his car in once to get the watchamacallit tightened and his thingamajig fell off." Blake said, remembering a bit his dad told him about once. It was a funny bit that made you think about how stupid it sounded.
And so the process went.
David had first seen the light of day eighteen years earlier. He'd been born into a good household to parents who owned a large manufacturing company that did business worldwide. Oddly enough, one of the product lines was rubber toys.
David grew to a slim five foot eleven. He had short brown hair with highlights. He liked going fast and doing his own wrenching on his various rides over the years, learning as he went. It took time, but he finally saved enough money for the car he had always wanted. Part of the deal was that his parents split the cost of the car.
David poured money into it and was happy with what he had. Like everything else he had though, it could always be better.
Blake, on the other hand, was born almost nineteen years ago. He had good parents. His father worked in a factory and his mother cleaned houses. They liked their jobs and worked hard at them and passed that ethic to Blake. Do a good job and take pride in it.
Blake was a stout five foot seven and had blond hair so light it was almost white. He kept it long but tied back when he was working because he knew getting your hair caught in something moving was what nightmares were made of.
He found his car in a scrap yard four years ago. He and his dad dragged it home and began tearing into it. He learned a lot from the internet and figured out what information he needed that would apply to what he was currently doing. His car had been a learning experience for him, and given him more time with his dad.
"Let's go to the mall. You never know what you'll see there," David said, a hopeful look on his face. He was bored, and wanted to do something other than sitting around the house.
"Saddle up then. Let's roll. Time to see the freak show. It's still more classy than Wally World. Cheap entertainment," Blake said while reaching for his keys.
They took Blake's crusty but trusty Chevy Cavalier. It was a nice driver and parts chaser, and owned so he don't have to drive his racer everywhere. The Stude was getting too unruly to drive every day. Those cars were getting rare, too.
They eventually found a parking spot on the outside row of the second level.
"This would be the perfect make-out spot if it weren't for the cars, the lot and the mall." Blake closed his door and went around the car and put his arm over David's shoulders and led him to the railing. "Imagine that there are rolling hills, trees and a creek. This would be the place." Blake dreamed on with a wistful look on his face.
"You're optimistic, aren't you? Looking to the positive. I like that. It's a whole lot better than being pessimistic," David said gazing through the buildings there, trying to share the vision.
"Need to be. Looking for the bad means you don't sleep well. Look to the positive and keep dreaming. Let's go check out the kids trying to look cool." Blake guided them to the stairs and into the mall.
"But, aren't we those kids?" David asked with his eyebrows raised.
"Nah. We are cool," Blake responded while quickly raising and lowering his eyebrows.
"I always wanted to be cool. Let's go in and show off our coolness then." David wrapped his arm over Blake's shoulders and they skipped in.
If anyone was watching, they wouldn't believe the two didn't know each other until only a few weeks ago. Now look at them.
"Man, this place is like school in the summertime. No class. I don't want to look like one of the undead," Blake opined as they wandered through the odd store.
"Let's go get some grub. I'm starving," David said after looking at the store merchandise again.
"Yeah, same here and the music sucks in this place, too. Lead on, McDuff. Find food." Blake waved his arm and ushered David past.
"You want to root around and dig something up?" David started making pig snorting noises, moving his nose around, setting Blake off. They continued on to the food court.
"Hmmm.... Cheesy curly fries, Chinese, hot dogs. Oh look. Pizza in a cup. Let's try that. Steve Martin said it was the best." Blake looked to David for confirmation and found him with his head cocked. After Blake explained that it came from his movie 'The Jerk', they got in line for pizza in a cup.
Stifling a burp, David smiled. "Going to need to remember that place. Not too bad and no clean up," he said after their unhealthy dinner. He got up and gathered their trash and dumped it in the trash can.
"Let's go on the merry-go-round. Haven't been on one of those in ages." Blake gave David a hopeful look.
"Horse or bench?" David asked, looking to Blake.
"Bench. I don't have to worry about getting impaled by the horn that way." Blake put his knees together tightly, saying that while doing the Benny Hill dance. David laughed at the impersonation.
They got in the line to get on the merry-go-round, and waited. And waited some more.
They finally got their turn, got on and looked for a bench. Blake took his seat while David dodged a couple kids going towards the horses, then finally took his seat on the bench. The only problem was, he didn't look where he was going and sat on Blake's lap.
"My bad. Is this seat taken?" David blushed and got up.
"Nope. Have a seat." Blake didn't move and winked at David.
David moved over and took his seat, grinning like a loon.
They had a good time at the mall, between looking at the want-to-be-cool kids, the grazing and the near miss on the merry-go-round. They finally worked their way back to the car and drove back to David's house.
Sitting on the couch, David had a evil thought. "Was that a roll of quarters in your pocket earlier, or were you glad to see me?" David asked Blake with a grin and a laugh, wagging his eyebrows.
"If I had a roll of quarters, it would be news to me. Let's just say I was happy we did something new and didn't talk shop for a change," Blake answered with a wistful smile, glad David didn't say, 'A roll of dimes'.
David was starting to have feelings for Blake but couldn't understand them. He would need to think about it before he could draw any conclusions.
Blake was at his house working on his car after a long day of oil changes when a thought came to him. Was David his soul mate? They got along great together but did it go deeper, or was it something else he didn't understand?
A couple of hours later David pulled in with an old Toyota Corolla that he'd found cheap from the service writer at the shop where he was doing smaller mechanical jobs.
"Yay, the shitbox has arrived. Let's get this show on the road," Blake yelled at David as he was getting out of his car.
David grinned at Blake as he tried to get out of his car but had a false start as he'd forgotten to unbuckle the seatbelt. "Crap, that's going to leave a mark. I need to use the bathroom before I need diapers," David said while rubbing his lap where the seatbelt had got him, remembering where he heard that line. Spaceballs.
"You shake it more than twice means you're playing with it," Blake laughed.
"What if I want to?"
David disappeared into the house for a few minutes and returned to the garage looking refreshed.
"I feel five pounds lighter now," David grinned at Blake.
"Hope you used deodorizer. That place is like a tomb after you've been in there otherwise." Blake waved his hands to move some air.
"Then it smells like I crapped on a flower. You don't like my man smell?" David cocked his head and put his hands on his hips and waited for his response.
"We going to work or talk crap?" Blake stood with his hands on the fender of his car and raised a eyebrow looking at David.
"Talk crap of course." David gave him a toothy smile.
"No wonder your eyes are brown. You're full." Blake pushed off of the car and wandered over to his toolbox looking for something.
"They are not brown. They're blue." David looked in the car mirror just to be sure.
"Then you're a quart low." Blake flipped the mirror away and looked at David's eyes. "Yup. A quart low. " Blake gave him a shove and went back to his toolbox.
"You're developing a little gut there." David pointed to his belly.
"I'm working on a shed for my tool," Blake said confidently, rubbing his stomach.
"Too bad nothing grows in the shade." David tisk-tisked a couple times and started laughing.
"Bastard," Blake muttered. He also forgot what he was looking for in his toolbox.
Scenes like this were becoming common with these two. Their respective parents just raised an eyebrow at their antics, chuckled and moved on. Both sets felt happy that their son had a friend now that he could get along with. The parents on both sides were not made of stone, especially Blake's. David's parents had loosened up a lot since Blake had started coming around. They'd been getting afraid that David would shut off into himself which is why they'd agreed on the car. It had given him focus.
Blake had always had a sense of humor and a more worldly outlook than most people. He didn't let the situation he was in affect him. It was his life and he dealt with it. His family wasn't as poor as people thought, just frugal. He got what he needed. He earned money in his younger years by moving lawns in the summer and shoveling driveways in winter. He got his money's worth when he bought something. He didn't let his lack of having a lot of money slow him down. If he wanted something bad enough, he earned the money for it. It took longer but he eventually got it. He was a free spirit and he acted that way. His parents had seen his independent streak early on in his life and encouraged it.
"Blake, you want to look at this? I'm trying to sort out the fuel map on this thing and it's driving me crazy," David asked, clearly frustrated.
Blake looked over David's shoulder at what he had up on the laptop and studied it for a couple minutes, then spotted the problem.
"See the oxygen sensor readings? It's showing that it's running lean on wide open throttle. If it stayed like that, it could melt the engine down. Let's richen it up at this point in the map and go for another drive. You drive and I'll see if it works." Blake handed the laptop back to David and got in on the passenger side where he buckled up and got the computer back.
David got it on the road and drove taking some instructions from Blake while he watched and fiddled with the fuel map.
"So, how does it look now? It's feeling better." David asked as he was driving.
"Getting better. Got the lean part out. Do a hard start and go through a couple gears so I can see more," Blake asked. He was pleased that it was working.
David did as was asked while Blake did more fiddling with the fuel and timing maps. He liked what he was getting.
"So, how is it feeling now?" Blake asked with his hands on the keyboard.
"Like a new car. We should have done this a long time ago," David said, happy and smiling.
"Good. Some more fine tuning and I think we'll have it nailed. Now, how about you switch from daily driving to race driving when it allows, see if I can get a good mix without throwing the car into a tizzy." Blake asked while watching the screen.
David drove while letting Blake know what was going on. Blake let David know things were looking even better yet while he optimized everything. Things were looking good and David was happier than a pig in a mud pit.
They got back to the garage where they put everything away and looked the engine over again. Seeing nothing out of place, they closed the hood and found room on the spare couch in the garage and had a seat.
"I'm so glad you found the problem and had it fixed in no time. I'm also glad you had everything and could figure it out." David leaned over and kissed Blake's cheek. He quickly sank back into the couch getting ready to get yelled at or something.
Blake had to let that sink in a minute. Men did kiss each other on the cheek, but that was in other countries. This was different. It didn't turn him off; truthfully, it might have been just the opposite. He wasn't quite sure.
In a timid voice David asked, "You OK? Are you mad at me?"
"No, I'm not mad. I didn't see it coming is all. You're my best friend and it's going to stay that way. I'm glad the car is happy now. As happy as you seem to be." Blake scooted over on the couch and put his arm around David's shoulders.
Blake stood up from the couch after a few minutes and asked David to stand up which he did.
"I'm not totally sure but I think it's fine. Now come here and we can do this properly." Blake said with a smile and his arms wide open.
David went to Blake and Blake wrapped David in a tight hug.
"There is no weirdness here. Just us and the cars. Let it go and we can move on," Blake said quietly while hugging David who sank into him deeper.
"I don't want to ruin this, but I feel a fart coming on. Don't want to knock you out with a gas bomb, at least not yet." Blake could feel David laughing on his shoulder. Blake was laughing too.
They parted and looked into each others eyes to see they both had tears. Not a bad thing. After another quick hug, they separated with Blake going outside.
After Blake came back in from losing his toxic gas, he leaned on his car with his eyes closed, collecting his thoughts.
With his eyes still shut, he began to speak. "I'm not sure where you are in all this. Hell, I'm not sure of myself. All I know right now is that you're my best friend, probably the best I've had. If it's car buddies, that is great. If it comes to more, then it does." Blake opened his eyes and saw David smiling widely with new tears on his cheeks and delight in his eyes.
It was David's turn "It's not something that crossed my mind until I met you. Things have been warring in my head for a while now and they didn't make sense until tonight. I thought I screwed up, but it's just the opposite now. My head feels like it's screwed on right now. I've liked you from day one, now it feels like more than that. I've never felt that before about anyone. Now my car is working right, and my head is working right." David thus got things off of his chest while walking around waving his arms about to emphasize the points he was making. Blake knew by now to stand clear when he did this.
Blake's mother poked her head into the garage an hour later to check on the boys. "I have pizza coming if you're still hungry," she announced.
"Starving!" they said together. She looked at them standing close together and thought a second then smiled and went back in the house.
"Nobody orders a pie like you, Mrs. Spear," David said awhile later when he wiped his mouth again because there was extra sauce on the pizza and he was an enthusiastic eater.
"David, I picked up the phone and put my order in. Not exactly rocket science." She eyed the boys again putting things together in her head. Something big was going on. She figured she'd know what it was at some point.
The boys retired to the couch in the living room after having too much pizza. Putting a movie in the player, they got comfortable and settled in. Not quite together, but not far apart, either.
David ended up sprawled out on the couch after falling asleep watching the movie. Half on Blake and half on the couch, Blake wasn't watching the TV anymore either. He was watching David sleep and had a small, satisfied smile on his face.
Blake's mom walked into the room to shut the TV off and saw that Blake was still awake.
"How long has he been sleeping?" she asked quietly, taking a seat in the recliner next to the couch.
"A couple hours now. Everything today must have worn him out," Blake whispered, not taking his eyes off of David.
She nodded and smiled. "So, this is the one then? I think he is. We can talk tomorrow. It's all good so don't fret," she whispered again before getting up from the recliner to get a blanket for them. After spreading it out over them, she hesitated a moment, then kissed her son, shut off all but one light and went to her room.
Blake reached for a pillow at the couch arm and laid his head into it for the rest of the night, until David woke up in the morning.
When he was alone with his parents the next day, Blake spoke to them about David, about his feelings for him, and what they meant about who he was. It was an easy and supportive conversation. Blake would have no problems with his parents.
David's parents were a bit of a harder sell. They were caught totally by surprise by David's admission and went to another room to talk things out by themselves. There was nothing they could do and cutting him off would be too extreme.
He sat and waited for them and thought back to when he was alone and had nobody but himself to rely on. He had his parents' money to do the things he liked but that didn't cover everything. Now, he was truly happy for the first time he could remember.
His parents did come back and if they weren't smiling, at least they weren't angry. They sat on the couch and his dad spoke. "David, you caught us by surprise but we have also met Blake, and there is nobody else that put that smile on your face since you were young. He is always welcome here. You're old enough now to do whatever you want with your life. We want both of you around for a long time." With that, they got up off of the couch and went to David who also got up from the footstool he was sitting on and hugged them both. His parents had tears, but David felt more relieved than anything.
This stage in his life was over and it was time to start the next one.
"So, how is it on your side of the world? My side is looking pretty darn good," Blake asked David who was daydreaming on the garage couch.
David woke from his stupor. "Very nice. I wouldn't change anything. I do think I found the new make-out spot too." He said, bouncing his brow.
Blake scratched his head while he regarded David. "And where would that be, Grasshopper?"
"Anywhere we end up."
"Both of us under my car covered in muck?" Blake asked, knowing the answer.
"Even better. At least yours has muck. Mine is too new for the muck option," David said with a sigh while looking at Blake's car.
Blake wiped his hands on a clean rag and tickle-attacked David to get him back in this world.
"What in the hell was that for? I'm a bystander minding my own business and you attack. Really, kids," David said, fixing his shirt.
"At least you didn't say you were innocent. That should be obvious." Blake went behind David and twisted his shirt up and gave him a hug.
David turned around in his arms and hugged him back. "I'll give you a month to cut that out."
"Just a month? What are we going to do after that? More hugging and a romantic dinner at the cup of pizza place?" Blake asked, trying to pick up David but losing his grip.
David fixed his shirt again and gave Blake the evil eye. "Yup. Give them something to gawk at. It will be clothed, of course."
"That just ruined it for me. It needs to be naked. And just us. I'm not putting on a show for people," Blake told him while he wiped his toolbox down.
"Ok." And David started taking his shirt off.
David had his shirt over his head when Blake saw it and came at him again saying, "What are you doing? My parents are in the house. I just told you I wasn't putting on a show for people, didn't I? When they go someplace for the day, try and stop me. Not that I don't want to see you now, but I don't want to be interrupted." By then, Blake had David on the floor and he was sitting on David's stomach.
"You have a point there." David pushed Blake off of him, got up and yet again fixed his shirt. When he was finished, he gave Blake a kiss on the tip of his nose and smirked.
"I say we get the cars ready for the track. I'll need something to keep up with you now. You have an unfair advantage now," Blake said while looking at his car.
David cocked his head. "What would that be, Mr. Wizard? Last time, you could have beat me in the pits. What's your secret?"
"You're firing on all cylinders and the timing is perfect now. It's time to see how it works." Blake had a serious look on his face and walked to David. "I race me. You need to race you. We'll both be winners. You don't need to chase my ass, as much as I like the idea. Run your own race. In the end, all it is is numbers," Blake stated as if it were a fact.
"All right then. Let's see what my car can do. We know what yours will do already," David said, pumped up and ready for action.
It was Friday night and time for a test-and-tune session at the track. Blake and David drove in, went through tech inspection, got their car numbers written on the windows, then drove to the pits to unload the things from their cars.
They got their cars in the staging lanes preparing to race after doing the prep work, working their way up one run at a time until it was Blake's turn. David's would come in a few more races.
Blake put his helmet on and got his car on the track and put his car in the water box to heat the tires up so they would stick to the track. After warming the tires and proceeding to the starting line to light the staging lights, he was ready. The car next to him did the same thing. The Christmas tree came down and the cars left with tire smoke and engine noise. There were no problems and Blake's car ended with the same time within a few hundredths of a second he normally got. David was happy. His run was coming up quickly.
David's turn came up and he got his helmet on and put is car on the track. After warming the tires and staging the car, the tree came down and he left on the green. He left quickly and raced his car to the finish line. There were no bells or whistles saying anything was amiss. He got his time slip and without reading it returned to the pits and parked next to Blake's car.
David pulled his helmet off, picked up his slip still without looking at it, got out of the car and stepped to where Blake was waiting, holding his own slip, waiting to compare times. Blake wore a victorious look.
David looked at both slips, swayed a bit, and then jumped for joy. His time was faster than Blake's by about two tenths of a second. His time was almost a full second quicker than it'd ever been before. He jumped into Blake's arms and Blake held him up in the air for a second before putting him down. He kissed the tip of David's nose and smiled.
A couple more runs that night to get an average speed and time put them in good spirits. None of the times and speeds were very far off from each other.
After going to the concession stand for a couple hot dogs, they returned to their cars and settled into the lawn chairs near the cars to talk about the night.
Blake raised his water bottle to toast David's accomplishment. "All the hard work, the cussing and toil have finally paid off. To the new king." He took a swig from his water and smiled at David.
"If I'm king, you must be the queen." David snickered. "But, you know that without you, none of this could have happened. We can have two kings of the garage instead." David raised his water bottle in a toast and walked to Blake and hugged him.
They packed their cars up and headed to Blake's house to unload and wind down from the evening. The couch in the garage looked inviting.
They had settled in when Blake's dad came in the garage.
"So, how did it go?" he asked.
"David beat me. I'm sad now," Blake said while smiling.
"All I see are two winners. Congratulations to both of you. How much did he beat you by?" he asked.
"A whole two tenths. I don't know how I can live with that." Blake put his arm over David and pulled him closer.
"Two tenths? No wonder you look down. There is one cure for that. Let's get pizza coming. I know you're both hungry and you can't live on race track hot dogs." David had wondered where Blake got his sense of humor. Before him was the source. David looked to Blake and the two both grinned.
This is just the beginning. You never know where these two may turn up next.
My thanks to Cole Parker for his eagle eyes and nimble fingers correcting any goofs before you see them and helping make this a good readable story.
To Beagle for planting the idea in my head even though I only used the basic idea and not the whole idea. You never know when the real idea hits the pages.
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