Audacity and Stupidity

Indian song write Joseph Mendoza claimed that he composed We Can Achieve in 1983, three years before the creation of Count on Me, Singapore.

The lyrics of both songs are identical except for the substitution of the word “Singapore” with “India” and “Mother India” in We Can Achieve.

In its initial statement on the matter posted on Facebook in mid-March, MCCY (the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth) said it was aware of “unauthorized versions” of the song and that it was “investigating the matter for potential copyright infringements.”

But the statement was later edited to remove the mention of the investigation, and We Can Achieve was described as a “remixed version” of Count on Me, Singapore.

I find this totally preposterous!

MCCY also said “sometimes, imitation is the best form of flattery!”

MCCY seemed quite happy for two songs with identical lyrics – safe for a couple of words – to co-exist side by side. MCCY seemed to overlook the fact that the Singapore Government holds the copyright to the music and lyrics of Count on Me, Singapore, which was composed by Canadian Hugh Harrison and arranged by Singapore jazz musician Jeremy Monteiro for National Day celebrations in 1986.

Then, in another statement in March, MCCY came out to acknowledge the “striking similarity in tune and lyrics” between the two songs, and said that “whilst Count on Me, Singapore is one of our most beloved national songs, we are also happy that it seems to have been well appreciated in India.”

I find this position totally bewildering. Are we afraid of Modi (picture above) or what?

Yet a couple of days later, MCCY announced that Mendoza has now changed his stance and has “unconditionally and irrevocably” withdrawn any claims to the song. MCCY also revealed that Mendoza has “apologized for the confusion” and that MCCY accepts Mendoza’s apology “and will treat the matter as closed.”

I’m all for being magnanimous and forgiving but this is not a case of someone coming in through our backdoor to steal one of our chickens; this is a serious legal violation but MCCY, throughout this episode seems to be badly disorganized and has given the impression that Singapore is just a pushover. If there’s any confusion throughout this entire episode, it’s caused by MCCY’s words and actions!

For a simple matter of copyright infringement, MCCY has bungled so badly. I seriously doubt if MCCY is capable of accomplishing anything great for our country.

This especially, when the highly-paid minister in charge of MCCY is the same joker who was Kong Hee’s lawyer at one time. Don’t know who is Kong Hee? Well, you must have been hibernating under a rock.

In early April, he (the minister, not Kong Hee) told Parliament that not suing the Indian copycat was a more efficient move, compared to going to court and getting “caught up in protracted legal action, which could potentially take a fairly long period of time.”

Yes, minister.

Whatever you say, sir, you know best!

I don’t make your kind of money to understand your logic.

Posted in Unforgiven | Comments Off on Audacity and Stupidity

WTF!

In 2016, Barack Obama marked the “birthday of one of America’s revered wordsmiths who used his incredible talent to instill in his most impressionable readers universal values we all hold dear.”

Obama said “He made children see that reading is fun, and in the process, he emphasized respect for all; pushed us to accept ourselves for who we are; challenged preconceived notions and encouraged trying new things; and by example, taught us that we are limited by nothing but the range of our aspirations and the vibrancy of our imaginations.”

He was referring to Theodor Seuss Geisel who wrote prolifically for children using the pseudonym “Dr Seuss.”

But this year, on the author’s birthday last month, Dr Seuss Enterprises said it decided to stop publishing six of his books “due to their racist and insensitive portrayal of people of color.” Basically the organization was referring to racial and ethnic stereotypes in some of the author’s books.

The six books are: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer.

Never mind the fact that Forbes has listed Dr Seuss as the second highest-paid dead celebrity of 2020, in part thanks to multimillion-dollar film and TV deals but mostly because of sales of his books. He wrote more than 60 books, selling 7 million copies. His honors include two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, the Inkpot Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street has been criticized for including “a Chinese man with sticks” who has two lines for eyes and can be seen holding chopsticks and a bowl. (The book was published in 1937, so context is important here.)

If I Ran the Zoo depicts two men, described as being from Africa, wearing grass skirts and carrying exotic-looking animals.

According to a study published in the journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, the book If I Ran the Zoo also points to “another example of Orientalism and White supremacy.”

The study said: “The three Asian characters who are not wearing conical hats are carrying a white male on their heads in If I Ran the Zoo. The white male is not only on top of, and being carried by, these Asian characters, but he is also holding a gun, illustrating dominance.”

The study was also critical of the text beneath the Asian characters that describes them as “helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant” from “countries no one can spell.”

Dr Seuss Enterprises (Seuss died of cancer in 1991) said the books “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” The company believes in “research” that has shown that children as young as three can form racial biases, and those biases become fixed by age seven.

To me it’s a case of political correctness gone out of control. Cancel culture gone nuts.

Books from the past shouldn’t be banned just because today’s standards deem them inappropriate. Allowing them to continue to be available endows the world with yet another teaching tool, that people were perhaps not so enlightened in the past and that modern thinking is probably more proper, that social attitudes evolve.

Simply banning them deprives future generations of that lesson. It’s sweeping shit under the carpet. It’s a retarded move.

And if indeed kids start to form racial biases from age three, then it is our job to educate them. Such “objectional” books can even be published accompanied with a disclaimer or a warning.

I hold the same view regarding statues. I’ve said enough about statues here. Read this too.

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Dr Seuss

Labeled a racist.

Posted in The Reader | Comments Off on WTF!

Bao Toh King in Action?

“Bao toh” is Hokkien for “to wrap a knife.” The term has come to meant “to sabo” (as in “sabotage”) or “to betray.” In other words, “to snitch.” One theory put forth is that when gangsters prepare for a fight, they would wrap a knife in paper to avoid attention.

As Russell Peters’ dad used to say “Somebody’s gonna get hurt!”

People have been asking if ours is fast becoming a nation of bao toh kings because every time a group meets, contravening the government’s “no more than eight in one gathering” rule, the authorities would know and those caught will be taken to task. Foreigners, expats have been asked to leave the country and never allowed back. It’s good that the government takes such a firm stand. The virus is not a joke and people’s lives are at stake. (Our death toll so far from COVID-19 is about 30 and is a very low number.) There are cameras everywhere but were those who were caught victims of snitches who kept knives under wraps and brandished them to sabotage people when the opportunities arose?

The following letter written by a Suresh Menon and published in The Straits Times last month, made me wonder if the writer, who appears to relish being a full-time complainer, is a bao toh king. I am thankful he is not my neighbor, otherwise, if he smells a whiff of my fart, he’ll probably report me to the Gestapo. Please knock yourself out enjoying this missive by a chronic complainer complaining about how difficult it is to complain:

Submitting feedback: Sorry, no selfie of me being chased by dogs

The public portals through which members of the public can report offences leave a lot to be desired.

The National Environment Agency’s (NEA) website, which I have used several times to report littering and smoky vehicles, is poorly suited for this purpose.

My latest report involved a smoker who threw her cigarette butt out of a car window. NEA’s website requires a video or image no larger than 3MB to be submitted. In many instances, an image is insufficient as it does not tell the full story, but how is one to get a video under 3MB in size?

As for the Traffic Police, raising an issue will lead to further correspondence by e-mail, and video evidence to be submitted in some instances via Google Drive.

Users submitting feedback on the Traffic Police website can check a box indicating that they are willing to testify in court. For submissions to NEA, however, I have been asked to submit a separate witness statement. When I asked an NEA investigating officer if NEA could follow the Traffic Police’s example, he said it was a good idea, but nothing has changed since then.

In one instance that was not at all amusing, I was chased by a pack of five dogs while cycling near Lorong Halus. But to complete my report to the NEA, I had to submit photo evidence. Was I supposed to take a selfie while I was being chased and was cycling frantically for my life? I had to cancel my submission as I had no image to load.

Both the Traffic Police and NEA need to relook their portal submission requirements as well as do away with the need for numerous e-mails and phone calls just to close an issue. The current process of submitting reports is a totally frustrating and time-consuming experience that requires determination to see through.

Posted in The Good, the Bad & the Ugly | Comments Off on Bao Toh King in Action?

You Die, I Die, We All Die

Not too long ago, some clown named Arpan Roy wrote a letter to The Straits Times saying:

Keep smokers farther away from others during Covid-19 pandemic

Smokers are allowed to lower their masks for extended periods while smoking.

I would like to understand the official logic and science behind allowing this to happen while the rest of the population needs to mask up and maintain social distancing during this Covid-19 pandemic.

As a researcher in the semiconductor industry, I have a background in particle sizes and detection, as contamination is a big issue in the sector.

While observing maskless smokers during an evening run, I noticed I could smell their cigarette smoke from quite a distance away. I was intrigued about how it could be safe in terms of viral transmission, when I could smell the smoke from at least 4m away.

Cigarette smoke particle sizes range from 0.1 micron to one micron. Coughs can generate droplets from 0.1 micron to 900 microns in size, with the majority of viral transmission occurring with particles less than one micron in size.

Note the significant overlap between cigarette smoke particle size and the size of droplets that cause viral transmission. Particles of the same size travel similar distances in airstreams.

Therefore, if I can smell the cigarette smoke, I should also be at risk of being infected by a viral droplet.

So, shouldn’t smokers be made to isolate themselves more as they can potentially infect a lot of people when they smoke?

The act of pulling down the mask and blowing smoke does not prevent the spread of the virus in any way.

Now he has me worried.

Every year, the Indonesians burn their forests, causing smog to shroud neighboring countries. (To know more, do a search on this blog by typing the word “haze” into the search box at the upper right of this page.)

I suspect it’s happening again, because just a couple of days ago, I could actually smell it.

So I’m going to die soon?

Because following Arpan Roy’s logic, if you can smell it, it means the virus is here too.

Thank goodness, stupidity doesn’t kill; at least not immediately.

Last I checked, Indonesia had something like 43,000 deaths from COVID-19.

But seriously, unless Arpan Roy’s degree is from Manav Bharti University of Himachal Pradesh, he should invent a mask that allows smokers to smoke while wearing their masks.

For your information, Manav Bharti is said to have sold 36,000 degrees and some of those degree holders – fake fakirs – are working in Singapore, enjoying expat status, living the high life, and often, stirring shit, unlike this other dude, whose degrees are believed to be real:

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Vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine!

First shot on March 11th; second shot on April 1st.

Posted in Places in the Heart | Comments Off on Vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine!

Being Grateful

In February, both my wife and I celebrated our birthdays. (We were born in the same month.)

We were blessed with many gifts from friends and relatives.

Our daughter is married and lives not far away with her hubby and two kids.

Our two sons, 27 and 25, still live with us.

My wife, while keeping a full-time job as a dental surgeon, still ensures, on a daily basis, that our two adult sons have their lunches and dinners provided for them. This she does every single day, in addition to her job and her responsibility in making sure that the house is kept clean, laundry washed and ironed, etc.

Of course, being the filial sons that they are, each Christmas and every year on her birthday, my sons – like their sister – would lavish their mother with gifts. They are not necessarily expensive gifts, but I know my children spend time picking gifts to lift the spirits of their mother, whom they adore. (I too, get my share of gifts.)

My children are mature enough to know that physical gifts are not the only way to express their sentiments, indeed physical gifts are often inadequate, nevertheless they realize their symbolic value and significance. They are also cognizant of the fact that most people – their mum and dad included – are delighted to receive gifts that are tangible. Everyone can say “I love you” but to say those three words accompanied with a little gift that articulates that thought, that is truly priceless. Words without action is just mental masturbation.

Some people say giving is for the giver, that by bestowing gifts on others, you are boosting your own ego, or trying to send a message. (Think donors to political parties or gift hampers to your customers.) But I believe my kids give to their parents to show them their love and appreciation. I also believe that some people are naturally generous, have a giving heart and just love to share.

I have an ex-colleague who is also in her 60’s and is still working. Her husband is a semi-retired artist specializing in Chinese calligraphy, such as the specimen in the picture above. They too have two unmarried adult sons living with them – not an uncommon phenomenon here as you would have guess by now (they usually leave to set up their own nests once they get married) – and although the two boys never lack everything (they too stay rent-free, eat almost 100% of their meals at home and even have their Wi-Fi and mobile phone subscriptions paid for by their parents), both boys have never lifted a finger to help with the family in any way. (My friend even washes her sons’ toilet!) And even when the boys’ girlfriends join the family for meals, the girls will not even pretend to want to help wash the dishes after meals. Both boys have never given a Christmas or birthday gift to their parents though my friend and her hubby never failed to spoil them silly with expensive gifts on those occasions, year in and year out, in fact, since they were born. (These boys are thick-skinned freeloading ingrates, in my opinion!) And to rub salt to the wound, both sons are rather rude to their parents and would snap at them. (I’ve witnessed that myself during my visits. “Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength.” — Eric Hoffer.) Both boys chainsmoke smelly Indonesian clove cigarettes and drink beer from morning till night; the pandemic means they now work from home and they’ve turned the home into a pigsty which they leave to my friend and her hubby to clean.

I am sure, being human, my friend is hurt, though she tries to be stoic about it.

I told her I wouldn’t give my sons any birthday or Christmas gifts if they haven’t given me anything on my birthday or on Christmas and she said: “I won’t let their behavior determine my own behavior. I will continue to be a mother, a giver, a provider as long as I am alive and able. My love is unconditional.” My friend also told me that she and her husband believe in the saying: “You are only ever as happy as your unhappiest child.”

I think she should slap the fuck out of those ungrateful brats; yes, slap them back into oblivion. But in keeping with a recent vow I have made to myself, I try my utmost nowadays not to give unsolicited advice, so I held my tongue and kept my mouth shut. (Yes, in case you haven’t heard, my new mantra is, if you don’t ask for help, I’ll let you rot in your own pus.)

Thankless kids probably have no conscience. As parents, if we kill our expectations, we will suffer no disappointment. Then, there is no need to murder the kids or to wish that had we known, we would have throttled them to death at birth.

The Chinese have a saying “yin shui si yuan” – think of the source of water when drinking water. That’s what the calligraphy shown above says. (It’s in traditional Chinese, so please read from right to left.)

This saying should hang on the wall of every child’s bedroom.

If not, the Bible verse Ephesians 6:2 will do as well.

Also, it behooves us all to remember that parents still supporting children who are above 21 years of age is performing a sacrificial act of supererogation – providing commendably above and beyond what moral duty requires.

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Asians Attacked

Not every Asian can fight like Bruce Lee.

Since the advent of COVID-19, Asians have been attacked in Australia, Europe and the USA.

Cases in the US are especially appalling.

In January, an 84-year-old Asian man was walking in the Anza Vista neighborhood of San Francisco when a 19-year-old asswipe slammed into him, knocking him down and killing him.

In the same month, a 91-year-old man was shoved from behind by a scumbag while he was walking down a street in Okland’s Chinatown. He fell on his face, but survived. And in New York City, a 61-year-old Asian man’s face was slashed from ear to ear. An Asian woman was set on fire…

Earlier this month, an Asian American woman was spat on three times and called “Chinese virus” while out with her baby in Queens, New York.

Also this month a 75-year-old Asian man in California died from a traumatic brain injury and brain damage after being knocked to the sidewalk from a single punch by a robber who has a history of targeting older Asians. Plus, six Asian women were gunned down in Atlanta just last week, only to have a retarded sheriff’s captain downplaying the murder and explaining away the killer’s action by saying “he was really having a bad day.” When I have a bad day, I binge on chocolates but when this shitbag had a bad day, he went around shooting Asian women. (Well, he actually killed eight women in total, six of whom were Asian.)

Since March last year, nearly 4,000 hate crimes targetting Asian-Americans have occurred in all 50 states.

Based on 2018 data, the Census Bureau estimates that there are 22.6 million people of Asian descent living in the United States, representing 7% of the country’s total population, with the largest communities coming from China, India and the Philippines.

Trump’s calling COVID-19 the “China virus” and “kung flu” in addition to racism and the resentment and incomprehension of a small yet aggressive segment of the population refusing to accept that the US is changing have perhaps contributed to this. The fact that only 40% of Americans have passports and one in ten have never traveled out of their home states only make them more bigoted.

I’ve just been told that my hip pain is the result of degenerative wear and tear. The official diagnosis is “loss of joint space in both hip joints, with subchondral sclerotic changes, more apparent on the left than right, compatible with osteoarthritic changes.”

The excruciating pain causes me to hobble and I have to use a walking stick now.

Basically, my situation can be summed up in three words: “I am fucked.”

My American buddy Phil is planning a road trip across the United States this summer and he has invited me to join him, if not for the entire journey, at least for part of it. I’ve said “yes” to him because indeed, if international travel ever drops her pretty panties, I’ll hightail out of Singapore, though no amount of international living and traveling experience in the past can protect me from the anxiety of having a Chinese face in a country that has seen a surge in hate crimes against Asians.

There have been reports that the Singapore government plans to discuss the creation of a “digital vaccine passport” system that would enable a “travel bubble” between Singapore and other countries with low COVID-19 cases. But so far, it has been just talk. If those overpaid bum fodders in the government would just pull their collective pinheads out of their hemorrhoidally swollen rectums, we might actually see that happening before the Elon Musk Mars landing.

Anyway, if infection numbers go down significantly in the US, and enough people there are vaccinated, there’s a good chance that a “travel bubble” between the US and Singapore will become a reality. When that happens, I will definitely join Phil this summer. And I hope he carries a gun with him at all times, at least a S&W 500. And I also hope that stashed away in his car is something that packs even greater firepower.

If not, if one of those anti-Asian douche bags decide to attack me, I will be more than just fucked. I’ll be dead.

I just turned 64, I don’t want to die so young.

No sir, I don’t want to come back home in a box.

Meanwhile, I’m applauding this: Last week, a 75-year-old Asian grandma in San Francisco was punched in the eye by a white asshole, age 39. The plucky old lady picked up a stick and beat the shit out of the white guy, who ended up bleeding in the mouth and had to be wheeled away in a stretcher. Nearly US$900,000/- have been donated to this grandma for her medical treatment, but she has donated the entire amount back to support the minority community. Isn’t that amazing! Anyway, and unfortunately, even if I had the balls of that old lady, I would lose my balance if I try to fight back in a similar situation; so it’s absolutely essential that Phil must carry a gun.

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Two Cheers for Jael

In chapters four and five of the book of Judges, we read of the defeat of the Canaanites by Deborah and Barak.

Deborah’s courage and faith in persuading Barak, discerning the activity of God, and stirring others to accept their responsibilities were instrumental in the victory.

The book of Judges also introduces us to another great woman, by the name of Jael.

A bit of background: Jabin, King of Hazor, oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. His general was Sisera. He was eventually beaten by Barak.

Sisera, realizing he has lost, fled to the tent of Heber the Kenite (related to Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law) for sanctuary. (At that time, there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.)

Heber’s wife Jael brought Sisera into her tent with apparent hospitality and gave him milk. At Sisera’s request, Jael promised to hide Sisera and covered him with a rug; but after he fell asleep, she drove a tent peg through his temple with a mallet, her blow being so forceful that the peg pinned his head to the ground. The painting above shows Renaissance artist Lambert Lombard’s depiction of the account, though the book of Judges said that the killing actually took place in a tent.

I believe I am married to a great woman, a protective and caring wife, who will not hesitate to drive a tent peg – such as the one in the picture above – into the temple of my enemy. I am blessed. Praise the Lord!

However, some men are not so lucky.

Some men’s wives – the moment they open their mouths – destroy every shred of good deeds their husbands have spent years doing.

Some wives are more concerned about their egos: they retaliate at the remotest hint of being criticized; for example, they may give their husbands the silent treatment and they may sulk for days. Never mind if their husbands are not well and need care.

Some wives can never be wrong, believing that they come from families of know-it-alls, that everyone else is an idiot, that only they and their families are the smartest people on planet earth, that their families have the monopoly on wisdom.

Some wives are just alpha bitches and control freaks and their husbands can’t even fart without their permission.

Some wives are just plain toxic – Jezebels who are pathological liars, are cunning, manipulative and conniving and cannot be trusted at all. After a fiery altercation, because of their way with words, twisting and turning them, they can still come out smelling like roses, leaving their victims looking like bullies.

All these diabolical wives can never succeed in marriages; they drive their husbands to suicide, if not to an early grave via myocardial infarction or brain aneurism.

Proverbs 31 should be mandatory reading for all women.

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Please! Control Yourself!

There seems to be lots of sex crimes lately. Women being molested in the MRT, a father raping his teenage daughter, teachers groping students, masseuses asked to perform sex acts on their clients, perverts stealing women’s underwear and taking upskirt videos, a father sexually assaulting his four-year-old daughter, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam.

It’s sickening! One doctor was even jailed for taking 3,260 upskirt videos! A British teacher based here – a real sicko – was convicted of molesting a three-year-old girl! One retard, when arrested, was found with 2,500 pieces of women’s underwear he has stolen!

The sex drive is a powerful force and if you are of a certain age, raging hormones add to the equation.

Blame it on testosterone?

In some men, testosterone levels remain high throughout life, but in most they begin to decline at about age 40. Unlike the precipitous drop in hormones that women experience at menopause, however, the decline in men is gradual, averaging just over 1% a year. This drop is imperceptible at first, but by age 70, the average man’s testosterone production is 30% below its peak. Still, testosterone levels remain within the normal range in at least 75% of older men, which is why many men can father children in their 80s and beyond.

And older men who worry about declining testosterone may be reassured by a study that found no link between low testosterone levels and the risk of erectile dysfunction, as well as by another that found no relationship between an older man’s testosterone level and his mortality rate.

Whatever the case may be, you shouldn’t wait till you are in your 70’s to deal with your horniness, because, right from day one, you as a man, are the owner of your own body and you can control and conquer your urges and master your impulses. You are not a feral animal or a wild beast.

The brain is the most powerful sex organ. Use it!

And it’s not all about hormones; it’s about having a moral compass, it’s about honoring and being protective of women (and girls), it’s about knowing what is right and what is immoral and wrong!

I am gratified to learn that the government has increased the punishment for sex crimes.

Franky, it’s about time!

Yesterday was International Women’s Day but everyday should be International Women’s Day! Men, it’s time you man up and really respect women.

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Fucktards!

Under the Parks and Trees Act, felling of a tree larger than one meter in girth carries a penalty of up to S$50,000/- and any breaches under the Wildlife Act has the same hefty penalty plus a jail term of six months.

The public became aware recently that 4.5 hectares of forest were cleared by mistake. The fact was kept under wraps by officials initially. If someone didn’t raise the alarm, the public would never have known.

My amateurish research shows that as many as 2,500 trees can be planted in a hectare. So how many trees in that 4.5 hectares? You do your math and please don’t forget that logging also means the destruction of wildlife habitats.

Satellite images of the area have revealed that forest-clearing activity started as early as March last year.

JTC has the overall responsibility for the site; its spokesman said the mistake was discovered only last month.

Fantastic, right?

Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said while investigations are being carried out, everyone should refrain from speculating about what happened “until the facts are clearer.”

The most prominent local newspaper, long known as the government’s mouthpiece, did an article on the subject. While the tone was disguised as educational, many readers felt that it was designed to downplay the catastrophe.

In the meantime, Lee declared: “We will not hesitate to take the necessary actions should any party be responsible.”

Good, does that mean you will assume accountability, get fired and go to jail?

If you do, I’ll salute you, because you will be breaking new ground as the first minister of the PAP government to personally assume accountability for the fuckups of his ministry. (Not like that other minister, that much-loathed shortass, who seemed to have seized this fiasco as an opportunity to practice his oratory and to milk it for political capital, resulting in some people asking “Cui bono?”)

NOTE: JTC stands for Jolly Tree Cutters, er I mean, Jurong Town Corporation.

Fucktards falling asleep at the wheel.

Long story short, that was basically what happened.

Nuff said.

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