Death Wish VS Death Wish VS Death Wish

Since I just recently read Death Wish after having watched the reboot with Bruce Willis and then the original movie with Charles Bronson, I figured I’d do a VERSUS post much like I did for the Bourne Identity.   I’ll be doing them in the order I imbibed them. I don’t think I need to say this, BUT, spoilers? I mean, you won’t “need’ to watch or read after this. You know my style 😀

And this is going to be like 3 reviews all packed into one post, plus commentary, so I expect this will be lengthier than normal.

 

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First up is the 2018 reboot starring Bruce Willis. I’d avoided the original movie because Charles Bronson’s level of violence disturbed even me, from the bits and pieces I’d seen over the years. However, I really like Bruce Willis as an actor, all the way from Die Hard to RED. It was on Prime for free so I figured I’d watch it.

Paul Kersey is a doctor in Chicago. He gets into an altercation with another parent at a soccer game but refuses to get physical with the other guy. This shows how “pacifistic and liberal” he is.  Then one day when he gets his car valeted at an expensive restaurant the valet steals his address and later that week breaks into the house with 2 other men. Only the wife and teen daughter are home. I didn’t know what level of violence or what type of violence was going to be here so I was a bit cringey. Thankfully, while there is some innuendo from one of the creeps, the whole focus was the burglary. The daughter, who has been taking krav maga (the Israeli Defense Force’s official martial art) fights back and it ends with the daughter and mother getting shot. The wife dies and the daughter is in a coma in the hospital. The rest of the movie is about Willis finding a gun and suddenly being willing to use it. He tracks down the 3 killers, executes them and then goes after some drug dealers. He is also going after the boss of the 3 killers. The boss man ends up sending a hit squad to Willis’ house and everything goes down. The police were on the track of the “vigilante” and with this attack Willis pins that on the mob boss guy.  He then gives up on his vigilante attack since the boss man is dead and his daughter is awake and ok.

I enjoyed this a lot more than I was expecting. Willis as the Everyman turned Vigilante was decent but I had to roll my eyes in several places. First was the “I won’t fight you so I’m a liberal” scene. That wasn’t being a pussy liberal, just showing self control. I actually found Willis’s willingness to call the other guy out but not to make it physical to be very manly.  The housebreaking scene was cringey, like I said, because I didn’t know where it was going to go. This is a rated R movie and I knew that was for violence. It was almost a relief to me when burglary goes awry and the guns came out. They also did a pull away and only showed bullet flashes through curtains through a window, so nothing graphic. Then the movie went full on action film. John Wick, errr, I mean Paul Kirsey finds a gun from a drug patient who dies and magically finds out one of the guys who killed his wife. He shoots at a signpost at night and over the course of a week or a month magically becomes Mr Marksman. Then he tracks down and kills scumbags. He gets hurt, the police are after him, his brother-in-law thinks he might be the vigilante. There is a lot of tv talk show chatter and the movie gives full reign to the brain dead fluff heads who talk without thinking. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the tip of the hat to the psychological aspect so prevalent in the book. Everything is wrapped up pretty good as Paul gives up being the vigilante and takes his daughter to college. The movie ends with some jerk doing a purse snatch right in front of Willis and Willis making eye  contact with the guy and pointing his hand and finger at him like a gun.

A decent action flick if you like amateurs doing violent things. Willis has presence and is competent without being a Gary Stu. His brother-in-law, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, does a great job of showing just how messed up Paul Kersey becomes during the movie. Glad I watched it for free on Prime but probably won’t ever re-watch it.

 

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Next we have the 1974 movie starring Charles Bronson. Bronson was a 70’s and early 80’s staple actor in a lot of violent movies. He was a tough guy and his craggy, creased face showed a tired, careworn visage that went well with most of his characters.

In this movie Paul Kersey is an architect in New York City. He works for a big firm that specializes in high price, low rent tenement buildings. Paul has vocally stated he’s against such projects and wants to build affordable, decent buildings, thus establishing his liberal credentials. His wife and married daughter are out grocery shopping and have the groceries delivered. Some drug addicts pretend to be the delivery guy and break in, looking for money for drugs. When they don’t find anything, the prepare to take payment in other ways. The mother fights back and one of the thugs shoves her away. She hits her head on a table and dies. The thugs get scared and run away. Paul is called by his son-in-law and meets him at the hospital. His wife is pronounced dead on arrival and his daughter, while alive and unhurt is experiencing shock. She eventually goes to therapy, where she doesn’t respond and ends up in a sanatorium for the insane. Paul is distraught but eventually goes back to work to get back “to normal”. One of the clients is from Arizona and Paul has to talk a trip out west to go over their books. He becomes friendly with the client and the client gives him a pistol which he takes back to New York City. He ends up killing a druggy who tries to rob him and two young men on a subway. He gets wounded and the cops are on his trail.  Eventually the cops make him a deal, to leave New York City and they’ll make sure his run as a vigilante never becomes public. He goes to work in Chicago and the movie ends with him helping a young woman who was being harassed by some thugs. Paul points his fingers at the thugs like a gun and the movie ends.

After the 2018 movie, I was expecting a Charles Bronson version. The home breaking scene was a bit more violent than the 2018 version and the sexual assault, while not concluded or graphic, was definitely there. I was a bit more prepared for it so I wasn’t feeling cringey like I was with the first movie. Definitely something to be aware of though if you do watch it.

This was not an action/adventure movie. It was a lot more psychological than the reboot and Charles Bronson was great as the tortured husband and father realizing how blindly he’d been going through life. Of course, being Charles Bronson, he really brings the anger and the rage to the screen. He’s really good at showing an amateur doing his best to go against his very own nature.  The ending with him relocating to Chicago and finger gunning the punks was great. I can see why the reboot copied that to a tee.

Where Bruce Willis was a man on a mission of revenge, in this Charles Bronson is just lashing out against the helplessness that a man in a city like New York is destined to feel. Several of the side characters do a lot of talking and it’s all about the rights and responsibility that a man must take hold of in a free country. I felt like I was watching a movie on The Rights of Man. And not some social justice warrior crap but just what those rights actually require of someone to take a hold of them.  Now I was ready to read the book.

 

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Then we had this little masterpiece. My review, with all of it’s attendant thoughts can be found HERE.

Basically, this was a psychological book. It was at one end of the spectrum, the 2018 movie was on the action/adventure side and the 1974 bridged the gap. I’m glad to have seen and read all 3 different versions. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses but I found the book to be the most solid and the only one I’d re-visit in several years. The movies I don’t ever plan on re-watching, that is for sure.

 

 

 

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Bank Robbing VERSUS Llamas

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Back in my single days I spent my nights, not being a masked vigilante of justice, fighting crime and freeing the oppressed but as the Super Villain known and feared the world over as Mister Money Bags.  No bank was safe, no company president truly slept the night through, for all worried that Mister Money Bags might strike again. Walls were no impediment to me, safes I laughed at, security systems I danced the tango with. I was nigh unstoppable!

Once I got married though, Mrs B thoroughly disapproved of such things and outright refused to even consider becoming a Crime Spree duo. She said she’d rather own a llama. I, being the super genius that I am, immediately went out and bought the most bank robbering llama that money could buy.  The former owner ASSURED me that this llama was like the Van Gogh of bank robbing llamas. I would not be disappointed.

Sadly, for me, once Mrs B convinced Edward the Llama that bank robbing was bad,  he pretty much did this to me:

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I was crushed.  My dreams of a team of bank robbers were gone.  Imagine, if you will, the following headline:

Bookstooge, Librario and Edward the Llama commit yet another impossible heist. Pope is stunned when he can’t find his hat.  World mourns. Authorities claim they “are closing in on the Terrible Trio”. Reward Offered.

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That could have been me. Rocking my own personal Pope Hat.  However, being the bigger man, I am not bitter. I didn’t throw Mrs B out of the house. I didn’t even send Edward to the glue factory. In fact, with my help, he became something even bigger. You might recognize him. Just remember, he got there on the back of MY broken dreams.

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Not that I’m bitter

 

So there you have it folks. How a hardened criminal was reformed by Love and made the World a better place in the process. And didn’t become bitter about it.

 

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Shooter VERSUS Point of Impact

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Shooter is a 2007 movie starring Mark Wahlberg about a sniper hired by the United States Government to prevent any chance of an attack by another sniper on a meeting between some politician and a religious figure.  He is actually used to plan the attack and double crossed and blamed. He goes on the run, hooks up with a dead marine’s wife who helps him out and turns the tables on the slimeball politician who set the whole thing up.

 

 

 

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Point of Impact is the first book in the Bob Lee Swagger book series by Stephen Hunter. Bob Lee is a sniper, hired to prevent the assassination of the president or vice president, double crossed, runs all over the country and eventually proves his innocence.

 

 

 

 

 

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I actually saw the movie before I was even aware of the book series. I saw it on an airplane either on my to California or on my way back from California. I don’t think I watched the whole thing, but I watched enough to know that I enjoyed it. I got it from the library and watched the whole thing and really did enjoy it. It wasn’t until ’13 that I actually got around to reading the book and comparing the two.

If it is JUST the book versus the movie, I like the book more but the movie had more action. However, the series of books devolved and I ended up stopping several books in and wished I’d just stuck with the first. The later books kind of ruined the first book for me, to the point where I’d rather own the movie instead of the book.

I found the book deeper, better plotted and much more interesting in terms of character in Bob Lee Swagger. He’s a Vietnam sniper who is just about the only guy in the world who can shoot “X” number of yards with some sort of rifle. He’s a gimp, in his mid 50’s or so and lives alone in the Appalachian Mountains.  He’s very smart and is smart enough to know when to get the help of people who know more about something than him. Such as a lawyer. Some big wig lawyer who knew his daddy also plays a big part and watching everything come together to prove Bob Lee’s innocence is a great thing.  The book is almost as much a legal thriller as anything else.

That being said, he’s not running around shooting off machine guns or hiding in the Antarctic or blowing up scumbag politicians’ houses. That is where the movie kicks butt. It is an action movie and makes no bones about being one. Mark Wahlberg does a great job of portraying a modern Vet with modern tools at his command.  The romance in the movie is upped quite a bit from the book and the character in the movie is almost portrayed as white trailer trash, where as in the book she’s a pretty upper crust woman. I think that was my only real bone of contention for story/plot change.

Honestly, it’s a tossup which is better in my opinion. I think it comes down to what you are looking for.

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Motorcycles VERSUS Scooters

Folks, this shouldn’t even be a post that I have to write about. However, it has come to my attention that there are genuine adult males, not men, but adult males,  who think that scooters are cool, more cool than motorcycles.  Before I give my very pointed and genuine opinion on THAT, let’s look at some pictorial evidence.

 

 

 

The above is a Suzuki Boulevard S40. That is the motorcycle I owned from ’05 til ’08 when I had to sell it to buy a car for Mrs B when we got married and she moved cross country to the Free’est State in the Union. It is a little bike. I’m only 5’3″ (160cm for you Illuminati types) and I could flat foot it with both feet. However, it was a 650cc engine, so when I was on the highway, I could give that baby the throttle and BAM, I was going 80mph (about 130kph) in seconds.  Motorcycles only get bigger and more powerful from there. This cost me about 5 G’s back in the day.

 

 

 

This is a Vespa GTS 300, a brand name scooter. You can’t ride this on the highway legally here. You do need a MOTORCYCLE license though. It is about a 280cc.  It costs about 7 G’s.

 

 

 

Dwayne Johnson, better known as the Rock, on his motorcycle. Definitely not wearing Bookstooge approved footwear for riding, but we’re working on that.

 

 

 

 

An attractive young lady on a scooter. Well, except for those shoes.  I never have, and never will, understand the fascination with high heels.

 

Scooters have their place and virile, strong and manly men CAN ride them. Gregory Peck showed us all the truth of that in Roman Holiday.  So, if you are ever in Rome and secretly dating a princess, you ride that scooter!

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But other than that, if you have any of the sense that God gave you and you just have to get on 2 wheels, get a phracking motorcycle! A motorcycle will show just what kind of man you actually are.  A motorcycle is dangerous and thrilling and you HAVE to be in control of that bike at all times, aware of everything around you, or you’ll end up dead, a hood ornament on some oversized SUV and be a byline on the 6 o’clock news. You will never be more alive though than when you are driving around on it.

So who wins in this VERSUS post? Need you even ask?

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Motorcycles for the Win!

 

 

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VPX Bang VERSUS VPX Bang Caffeine Free

So far, my VERSUS posts have all been media related. All two of them, lol. This time around I wanted to do something in the Food category just to make things a little different. Since I KNOW every single one of you is secretly an energy drink addict but can’t admit it, I figured a post like this would help you feel better and potentially gain me a few votes in my plans to become World Book Czar. That has been my master plan ever since moving here to WordPress but it wasn’t time to announce it. Now though, I think the world is ready for me.

And before I turn this into nothing but a schpiel promising free leatherbound books and free energy drinks for your vote, let’s move along.

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Packed to the freaking gills with the Power of Caffeine!!!

 

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Much like many Social Justice Warriors, this has good intentions but nothing of substance.

 

Technically speaking, Bang is for those who work out and need that kick in the pants to get going and really power through their workout. The COQ10 and “Super” Creatine and BCAA (branched chain amino acids) are all buzzwords that are pretty much empty promises of making you superman. I’ve been drinking this stuff for almost a year now and so far, I have not outrun any bullets (or had to, thank goodness!!!), won any wrestling contests with local locomotives or leapt over any tall buildings.  However, it sure does make me awake in the mornings and gets me going. And it is clear.

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Due to my japanese heritage and my rampant alcoholism, a saki bowl is a staple in this household!

 

One of the smaller reasons I switched over from other energy drinks like Monster or Rockstar is that drinking those on a regular basis left my sweat smelling stale and chemical’ly. I do very physical work while at work and sweat like a pig, so I’m already stinky enough at the end of the day. Adding even more nastiness was rather unpleasant. If you’ve ever read any stories with fat old kings eating pork and drinking wine and how they’re described, sour, stale, etc, that is what I felt like. Since I’ve switched, I’ve not had that particular issue. I don’t smell like a rose mind you, but who would after drinking 3 liters of water and sweating it all out in 7hrs?

But on to comparing these 2 against each other, not other energy drinks.

 

The Taste:

Bang BCV (black cherry vanilla) is sweet, has a smooth taste, is lightly carbonated and tastes like the black cherry yoghurt I like. Nothing about it is offensive or off or unpleasant. The only real downside is that if I drink one at the end of the work day, I’m up until midnight and I just can’t do that anymore. I like the taste though and would love to drink it just for the taste.

So when I saw that Bang BCV came out in a caffeine free version, I was pretty stoked. So I bought 2 cases of the stuff. THEN I drank some.

Bang BCVCF (you’re smart, you can figure it out!) was not nearly so sweet, had no hint of the vanilla smoothness and had a very slight undertaste of that cherry cough medicine you buy at drugstores. In other words, it was not pleasant. It wasn’t horrible, but it is not something I would ever ask someone else to drink, unsuspectingly. And I had 24 cans of it to get through. My life sucks.

 

The Ingredients:

They both list the ingredients but have them in slightly different order. Just glancing through, it seems like they have the same ingredients.  I did try to count the ingredients and it “seems” like the original has 2 more of something, but the print was so small that I wasn’t going to try to figure out which had what. There IS a difference (I had excluded the caffeine from that number, so it is something else) and whatever that difference is, it really affects the taste.

The biggest thing Mrs Bookstooge spied was that “natural flavorings” was much higher on the list in the original than in the caff-free version. Who knew horse piss could taste so good!?!?

 

The Winner:

Everybody is a winner on this blog!

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Me and Kool-Aid Man, chillaxin’ like the winners we are!

Original triumphs over the caff-free version every single time. Caff-free has a place, but I have to be pretty tired, thirsty and worn out from work to want to drink it. Other than in that type of situation, I’ll make up some crystal light mix to drink in the evening.

Boondock Saints VERSUS John Wick

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Amateur Thugs getting Lucky

Past Due reviewed Boondock Saints recently and in the comments I was wondering why I had such issues with it when I watched it and yet didn’t have those same problems with John Wick.

Both are movies based on vigilante style violence. Death and Carnage and Violence  and Gore and Profanity. Both movies have them in spades. I found it offensive in Boondock but not in Wick and I wanted to know why.

Prime had Boondoggle Saints available so I watched it again. Yeah, I was not impressed. A couple of Irish brothers run up against some Russian mob guys, beat them up and then when the mobsters retaliate with guns, kill them. With a toilet. They then proceed to try to kill some other Russian mobsters and end up falling through the ceiling and shooting all the mobsters while hanging upside down from a rope from the ceiling in a hotel room. They then bring on board a friend who is as stupid as dirt and a drug addict but knows a lot of information. They get captured and with the help of a FBI agent who is trying to bring down the Russians, get free. And don’t forget their dear father and that rather silly scene in the courtroom.

So, what turned me off? The pure, unadulterated amateurness of these bozos. I don’t applaud someone who does something half-assed or counts on “luck” instead of good planning.  And the humor. That came across as annoying. A movie about Irishmen killing Russian mobsters shouldn’t be funny. You want funny, go watch that other bozo, Jackie Chan.  The only time that humor and violence should mix is in the Three Stooges. Seriously. Killing is serious business. Treat it as such.  I also didn’t like Willem Dafoe’s character. He’s the FBI agent but he’s also an abusive asshole who I ended up despising for his actions. His sympathy for the brothers and his actions in helping them simply made a mockery of the oath he took to uphold the law in the United States. The inclusion of homosexuality into the mix didn’t help at all either.

 

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A Professional doing his job

Now, on to John Wick. John Wick’s wife is dead. She is the reason he left the Assassin business and when she dies, she leaves him a puppy so he has a reason to go on living. Some spoiled Russian mobster breaks into Wick’s house to steal his car. In the process, the brat kills the puppy and beats up Wick but they don’t kill him. See, that was a mistake. John Wick begins a campaign of violence and death against the mobster family responsible and carnage ensues. He systematically takes out their resources, their people and their bases of operations. Even when captured, and gets lucky, it is because he has cultivated a friendship with a sniper, not because of mere happenstance. Basically, whereas the Boondoggle Brothers just winged it, Wick knows how to attain and accomplish his goal.

Another reason I liked this better was because of Willem Dafoe. Interesting that he was in both movies and played a supporting character each time and each time I had a very different reaction to him. In John Wick he was a good friend who had Wick’s back even though it ended up costing him his life. He had his code of Ethics and stuck to it. Whereas in Boondoggle Saints, he let the situation determine his ethics. Now, I’m not saying that a killer sniper is a good man and a pillar of my community. But, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Sticking to your core beliefs says a lot about a man. Even if only in a movie 🙂

The profanity. Both movies had it and in both it burned my ears. Didn’t care for it or accept it from either.

I think that is as deep as I want to go into either movie.  They’re good for a fun post but I have no desire to delve into the depths. It all comes down to what I put in my captions for the movie covers. Boondock Saints struck me as a couple of amateurs getting lucky and John Wick showed a professional doing his job.  I admire a professional.

Anyone who has watched both movies, have any thoughts about them? The nice thing about movie things is that I while I may have strong likes or dislikes, I acknowledge it is just my opinion and let things go.  Simply put, I don’t care enough to care 😀 So if you loved Boondoogle Saints and thought it was the best movie ever, please say so and tell me what you liked about it. You won’t change my mind, but I’m not trying to change your mind either with this piece.

 

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The Bourne Identity: Movie vs Book vs TV Miniseries

I recently watched the Bourne Identity tv miniseries.  I then proceeded to watch the Matt Damon movie immediately after it and decided to write up my thoughts. When I remembered that I had read the book everything was based on, I figured why not do a 3way brawl and see which comes out on top?

 

The Movie:

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Bad Will Hunting. Haha

This was my first introduction to Jason Bourne and when I originally watched this, I had NO idea it was based on a book or had been made before, or anything. An amnesiac with super special forces training on the run across Europe, outwitting other assassins, governments and falling in love with a euro-chick. The deal clincher that pushed this into awesome territory for me was the closing credit song, Extreme Ways by Moby.  It was a techno-beat song that fit the movie, with its fast, furious and brutal fight scenes.

Speaking of fight scenes. The pen fight versus the first assassin in the apartment building in Paris, awesome. It was understated, limited and yet showed the utter ferociousness of trained killers.

Still like this movie and still love the ending song.

 

The Book:

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Should have been a hollowpoint!

Here’s my review from ’09:

The Bourne Identity

The long and short is that it was quite different from the movie in that it was set back in 70’s or 80’s, dealt with an international assassin (Carlos the Jackal) and Bourne was an undercover agent deliberately run amuck to attract his attention to bring Carlos to ground. Much more political, global and thriller than just an action fight book.

I was glad to have read it, but never had any desire to read it again. I read the next 2 books and the movies shared nothing with them besides the title and both books rather bored me.

This trilogy was the first, and last, Ludlum that I ever read.

 

The TV Miniseries:

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Jaclyn Smith. I miss the Big Hair days 😦

Here’s the wiki link:

1988 Bourne Miniseries

Richard Chamberlin stars as Jason Bourne and it’s easy to spot that this was made in a different era than the movie. It’s not just the clothes, but even the fighting style. Most of the fight scenes were more like bar brawls with lots of gut punches and gripping of throats and slamming of hands against door frames. It is painfully obvious that “fighting” wasn’t an art like it is today.  Their idea of “martial arts” was throwing an arm up to block a punch. Sigh. Also, he’s a rather thin, gentlemanly looking fellow, not what I picture as a special special special forces kind of guy. Of course, to be honest, Matt Damon didn’t look like it either in the movie, so call it a draw for that.

This was a 3hr special divided into 2 parts and that allows for a much more nuanced story. It follows the book a LOT more closely than the movie. But maybe because of that, it’s definitely a Cold War style movie and if that’s not your thing, this will definitely be a watch once and move on kind thing.

That’s what it is for me. Glad to have seen it, but not impressed nor does it tempt me to watch it again.

 

The Winner:

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Well, just in case you couldn’t tell from the descriptions, the Matt Damon movie wins hands down.  The ending song simply made any other choice impossible.

(Of course, you have to pretend that the latest Bourne franchise movie, Jason Bourne, doesn’t exist. Really, that’s one of those “they never made that movie” kind of movie, just like the supposed sequels to the Matrix.  They don’t EXIST!)

 

And just so I can stick this in the Food category as well, I was eating Gimbal’s Scottie Dogs Licorice. Getting to bite off little dogs’ heads, that’s just bonus, because nothing beats Black Licorice!

 

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Yes, I proudly bit off Toto’s head

 

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