how do i even respond to this? (TW?? references to hateful language from bigoted MIL)
New user here. Posting from a phone, if this looks wonky. And apparently this has to be said sooo I do NOT consent to this being shared or reposted anywhere. Not sure where to begin with this one... It's a LOT of backstory to get to this week but I don't know how to respond to this woman after all this. Dated DH for two years + married for three. Became very close with MIL while we were dating. She could be a little much at times, but for the most part we got along really well. FIL was nice but is introverted and works 70+/hr weeks so I barely knew him while dating DH. A few months after marrying DH, I get a job at FIL's company. This is when I get to know him, and I consider us very close. About a year ago, DH and I are visiting with MIL while FIL is at work, and she tries to talk about something in the news but starts saying really horrible things. Like, hateful, racist, xenophobic, violent, classist, white supremacist, shocking things--like, let's talk about the kinds of people you should shoot from your window if you ever see them standing near your house. We both start arguing with her and don't understand where this even came from. FIL gets home just as DH has convinced MIL to drop it, and he just catches enough to find himself reminding her that his grandfather was an illegal immigrant. Talking about it later, DH is in shock, says this is not how he was raised, etc. It's certainly nothing I ever saw coming in the slightest. He knows she's been depressed and spends a lot of time in bed watching YouTube and wonders if she was radicalized by the internet. I'm skeptical at the time, because I thought she was smart enough to not get recruited by white nationalists on the internet, but I guess all bets are off at this point. We see her again a few days later and she once again starts a huge hateful rant. I bitch her tf out this time and she starts crying and that ends the visit. That night, DH yells at me for "making her cry." We get in a huge fight because 1) I would not have married someone who gives one shit about a white supremacist's feelings, so he better get his head out his ass, and 2) as you can guess, she is white, cis, straight, born/raised in America, Protestant, upper middle class, and all those things a "good"/"real" American is "supposed" to be, and I do not check all those boxes, so he doesn't need to be told that by saying all those things, she was attacking me/my family (not that it should have to be personal to be offensive and unacceptable...). DH did go yell at her about it the next day, and she got so upset (depressed/hurt) she didn't speak to us for three months. FIL generally avoids conflict and MIL may or may not have enough self-awareness to act ashamed so either he knew why we stopped coming over and stayed out of it or she never told him what happened and he assumed we had shit going on and stayed out of it. Finally we get invited to something at their house and when it's just me and MIL in the backyard (FIL and DH went inside for more beer or something) she starts ANOTHER rant and I stop her with "You know I'M (target inferior group)..." and she says, "No you're not. You don't count." Wtf? Am I one of the "good ones"? Like, tell everyone who's ever treated me like shit or discriminated against me that I "don't count"... /s That's when DH and FIL come back out, so she shuts up. At home I tell DH what she said and finally he's as fed up as I am. I go NC and he goes LC. A while later we go help FIL with yardwork. I agree to come because DH says she never leaves bed anymore. At one point FIL makes a joke to me (DH went inside) about some crazy shit she said and then says something like, "But seriously, idk what's gotten into (MIL). I think it's because she got a Twitter." Of course my curious ass gets home and searches Twitter for her username from games she plays with DH and his younger siblings. Of course it's the same. And omg. It's just blatant racism, xenophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, nationalism, and classism as far as the eye can see. The list of people she's following is the Who's Who of neo-N***s. I show DH. He goes NC/VLC--responds to texts if it's relevant like mail for him at their house etc but that's pretty much it. I do not attend Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner that year because I don't break bread with N***s. We have a lot of fights because he does go, claims it's because he doesn't want to hurt his grandma's feelings, but I think he's just a coward who could've visited grandma literally any other weekend if that's his only excuse for entertaining MIL's disgusting new identity for even a second. FIL eventually asks me at work when we're gonna stop by again. I have to assume at that point he has no idea, because he's not the type to play games. If he knew why we stopped visiting, he'd tell MIL to get her shit together and come to Jesus, and he wouldn't expect us to come be subjected to her bullshit in the meantime. I always give a wishy-washy answer when he asks because I don't want to talk shit about his wife to him but I also don't want him to think he did anything wrong. So we invited FIL over a few times when we bought a new house because his line of work gave us an excuse (need advice on remodelling). DH is very sensitive about all of this. He still has no idea how tf his mother became this person seemingly overnight. He is embarrassed of her but also gets defensive when she comes up because he feels like she causes me to think less of his whole family (not true). So we never talk about her. I have some theories about where all this came from (her complicated childhood, mostly), but this is already too long, and it's not an excuse for her behavior anyway. I do wonder if maybe she was always secretly like this but kept it to herself because they live in a very tight-knit, VERY liberal neighborhood where the neighbors (including her "best friend" at the time) would've made her life hell if they found out who she was... which would also explain not raising DH with these views, because he was friends with all the neighbor kids, and kids repeat everything they hear... if 6-year-old DH had parroted words like her current ones in a neighbor's house, omg. But then why is FIL surprised about stuff she's said too? Well, whatever. Then, yesterday, I get a text from MIL. It's been almost a year since we spoke whatsoever? Last time was "you don't count." She says she loves and misses me and that me being out of their lives is tearing the family apart. She says she doesn't know what she did but if I tell her, she will find a way to apologize. Um, what? 1) Not sure who's being torn apart. DH and I are fine, SIL and I are fine, FIL and I seem fine, DH and SIL and FIL are fine... 2) How tf do you not know after I yelled at you twice to never say evil shit like that, DH yelled at you and reminded you that you're attacking his wife, I reminded you that you're attacking me/my family... But again, even if I was just like her in terms of cultural background, I still wouldn't associate with her ass for advocating straight-up violence against any human being she finds distasteful. 3) There's really nothing to apologize for. You can't just go "sorry I said all that racist (etc) shit" and have it be fine because it's not like I believe you magically stopped THINKING those things. So I feel trapped here. I tried telling DH she texted but he got uncomfortable and immediately changed the subject. I'm afraid there's nothing I could honesty reply to her where he wouldn't get salty and think I was too harsh. I'm nervous that if after all this time she finally took it upon herself to text me, and if she honestly lacks the self-awareness to understand why I went NC, then she possibly already cried to FIL and mentioned texting me. I don't want FIL to think I'm too cruel / too much of a bitch to even text her back, and I also don't want to have to explain myself by trying to badmouth her to him... So wtf do I do to just go back to being NC with my closet bigot MIL without giving her fuel to "prove" to anyone else in the family that I'm mean, dramatic, a bitch, or anything else? How do I keep the peace with DH and maintain a friendly relationship with FIL and still set a boundary with MIL? I can't ask DH to do it because he's too much of a people pleaser and has no spine when it comes to his family so his words would be way too watered down for what she deserves to hear. UUGGGGHHHH UPDATE: Thank you so much for the kindness and encouragement. Your advice helped me find the words I needed. I decided to text her back. Ohhh boy. Me: "There is nothing to apologize for. I find it hard to believe that you do not remember the things you said to me the last few times we spoke. You expressed a desire to see X and Y get shot. I know that DH specifically asked you to stop telling me about how much you hate X. You continued to bring it up. The last time you tried to talk to me about X, I reminded you that I am X. Your exact words to me were "you don't count." Unfortunately, that's not for you to decide, so yes, I do. You don't get to take away a huge part of who I am so that you can ignore the fact that you disagree with my right to even exist. I am not ashamed of being X because I don't think white Americans are the master race. I am and will always be X, and you don't get to erase that to make yourself feel better about hating us. My family (faced these X-hardships for me). Yet you look at other X and say that someone literally needs to hurry up and come shoot them for you. Since there's no other difference between my family and those families, it tells me that the only reason I "don't count" is because I'm (her slightly preferred, "less inferior" subset of X), and that if I wasn't, you wouldn't care if I lived or died. You have said a lot of racist things in front of me and DH and we have tried to talk to you about them and I have tried to appeal to you as a Christian and you ignored me. My copy of the Bible tells about Joseph and Mary, the refugees fleeing violence. It talks about justice for the oppressed and about being judged on how we treat the least of these. The way you have spoken about X, Y, Z, and many others to me and DH on multiple occasions tells me you must have a different copy. I do not want an apology because it is pointless to say you are sorry about something if your heart has not changed. I have not heard anything to indicate that an apology from you would be sincere. If you still hate X, whether or not you want to admit it, I do not want to argue with you about whether my life, or anyone else's, is less valuable because of being X. Do not try to tell me that you do not think these things or that you did not say these things. You repeated them many times. DH asked you to stop and you dug in your heels. Even FIL walked in in the middle of one of your angry talks about X, Y, and Z and reminded you that his grandfather was an illegal immigrant who didn't even want to learn English. None of this seems to matter to you. If my black friends or my Jewish friends found out that I chose to associate with someone who says the things you have said, I would be ashamed of myself. Instead of offering to apologize, if you really mean what you are saying, you can ask yourself why the beliefs you chose to express are so important to you that you would rather lose part of your family than repent of the prejudice in your heart. If you are unwilling to do that, it is completely pointless to try to apologize to X, and we will have to agree to disagree about whether I am a human being." Two hours later, she replies: "First of all, I was talking about (super dehumanizing slur for "extra-inferior" subset of X). You are not (slur X-), so you don't count." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA THAT'S your defense? I don't want ALL of you people murdered, just the ones I REALLY hate? Me: "I am blocking your number now." And I did, and it feels so good. Went downstairs and told DH to keep his N*** mother tf away from me.
Beyond Meat - Worth Buying Or Still Too Expensive?
Now that the first wave of hype has died down around Beyond Meat, we can take a step back and look at the fundamentals in a bit more detail. What makes Beyond tick, and are they set up for the future? https://preview.redd.it/nq7h4dbqnp251.jpg?width=1000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b6cf4543e6def779b257853e145edd40465f3b92 What Does Beyond Meat Do? They are one of the fastest-growing food companies in the US, offering a portfolio of plant-based meats. There are a few players in this space, but Beyond has taken the approach of building meat directly from plants. In the fake-meat market, there are several blockers to converting traditional meat-eating customers, taste, texture and other sensory attributes. While at the same time aiming for the nutritional and environmental benefits of plant-based meat products. While Beyond has their production facilities, they also co-manufacturer with other firms, this is how they have expanded into Canada and the Netherlands. I'm going to list all the planet-based alternatives as we are here as investors, the important bit to understand is how they separate their business lines and revenue streams. https://preview.redd.it/fdw5pydrnp251.jpg?width=1219&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=16e0ac3fe47397d485ab9e0bb38fca2075334655 Source: Beyond Meat Q1 2020 Announcement The business is split into four areas, first by Geography. With a strong home base, almost three-quarters of revenue comes from the US. The rest is simply classified as international. If you have ever looked at Beyond's financials and these numbers seem wrong, they have recently reclassified international to include Canada, before this was considered part of the US (not sure how the Canadians felt about that.) The big figure to keep a close eye on is the international one. The CFO is extremely bullish about the Asian market, while there was a meat shortage scare in Asia that caused a brief rally for Beyond, this was speculation. However, the partner tests in the Asian markets have shown high demand either because of novelty or genuine customer desire to have an impact, whatever the reason, they will be entering Asia with a strong brand. The other dimension of the business is how they distribute the products. Retail simply covers direct to end consumer sales, as well as supermarkets. The key difference is you are buying the branded product packaged up to prepare at home. Foodservice means whenever you sell the product to a business who will prepare the product or alter it in some way before selling that onto the end customer. e.g. going to a bar and ordering a Beyond Burger with chips. The business who brought the burger from Beyond Meat would show up under the foodservice distribution channel. With these two pieces of information, we can already tell Beyond's distribution and geographic positioning. At home, there is a big focus on selling to customers to enjoy at home, with some partnership tests e.g. KFC. Outside of the US, the biggest push is through foodservice companies. Now that Canada is included as international, that would skew the retail figures. Being the second market they started pushing their retail offering, it has had far more time to develop and benefit from the American marketing. How Has COVID-19 Impacted Beyond Meat? COVID-19 has impacted us all different, and seeing how companies have reacted is telling of managements style and positioning. Beyond has kept its manufacturing fully operational and sent head office staff to work from home. Innovation and R&D have both slowed down. As this is a company seeking to break new ground it's innovation efforts are key to its future growth. In-person and feet on the ground marketing efforts have been frozen, however, marketing and promotion is by no means taking a break. The real risk here is the protein and ingredients they source are globally distributed, meaning they are feeling the squeeze from any overseas sources. However, one risk has already been felt. The foodservice business. Restaurants and the whole food preparation as an industry has taken a nosedive. While Beyond opened the year with very strong momentum and a string of exciting new partnerships, stay at home orders flattened these plans. However, this has led to an increase in people shopping and buying food themselves. Causing a bump in retail orders. This has offset some of the negative impacts but make no mistake, Q2 2020 is going to make for some bleak reading. Beyond has already signalled that Q2 will be worse than Q1 as their revenue is crushed but R&D and most activities have carried on, in short, they are in a cash burn situation expected to impact the whole of 2020. If you are a big Beyond fan and wanted to know why there are no new partnerships or marketing, don't be surprised if they are delaying these until closer to the end of 2020 to create a more impactful 2021. What About The Fundamentals? I held Beyond Meat a while ago, and brought in around the hype as a momentum-based investment, I ended up locking in a nasty loss, meaning I am even more interested in how this looks compared to the rest of the market. https://preview.redd.it/uhz96wcsnp251.png?width=713&format=png&auto=webp&s=b86260be2481c0fd3321b389fc7a2fae50f83075 Source: Genuine Impact Underperforming the rest of the market, and grossly overvalued is about what I expected. However, if we want to understand what is going on with Beyond we need to dig into this some more. It's no secret that Beyond Meat isn't a profitable company. But I want to see for myself what this means for their accounts and where the money is going. Last quarter Beyond brought in $354.76m and posted a loss of -$3.97M. I am extremely off-put by the 33.49% gross margin. The cost of simply producing the goods is extremely high, leaving almost no room for any other activities or investment into scaling the business. All it takes is for a key supplier to increase their prices to force this gross margin as tight as possible. In terms of risks to the business, the scalability is at risk which such high production costs. Keep in mind the gross margin doesn't include R&D, marketing, one-off costs, or even admin activity. This should be the costs directly related to creating revenue. If you are a dab hand at statistics you would have worked out the profit margin is -4.18%, meaning we are loss-making. https://preview.redd.it/xqs084atnp251.jpg?width=1011&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ebfe4ba804aed692f5a7172c2b6daf5c015ba695 Source: Beyond Meat Q1 2020 Announcement Now the quarterly report does show a small profit being made (there were some interest payments about half the value of the profit and a very very tiny amount of tax.) Which is great to see, but we already know they had a better than expected start to the year, with next quarter being a very serious drag. If it was not for COVID-19 Beyond was on the edge of posting it's first annual profit. https://preview.redd.it/bbchmx6unp251.jpg?width=1386&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=912a6746b498ff82a014c3fd3612b2d99bd44cf1 Source: Wallmine Historically Beyond has struggled as it chased market share and brand promotion. With no dividend and a high growth strategy, and another year of losses ahead of us, there is little value as a shareholder. While Beyond is in this growth stage investors are taking a very long term view or holding for shorter-term share price improvement based on optimism. One thing that did stand out to me was the debt control. In the cash screenshot, we can see the assets to debt being relatively well managed with a sudden boost in financing. I wanted to look at the recent quarters to understand what is happening in the short term. $246.4m in cash, and $120.7m in inventory against $71.9m in current liabilities, with most of this, focused on accounts payable. Looking at the longer-term debt I only see $43.4m on the balance sheet. All in all, they aren't as leverage as I would expect from a high growth company. https://preview.redd.it/7vv1f27vnp251.jpg?width=1386&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=450a9299c46d353d119f4e6c3e3f0cd0a4017776 Source: Wallmine I mentioned Beyond is very overvalued right now. After covering their finances this shouldn't be a big surprise. https://preview.redd.it/8u6ukazvnp251.jpg?width=1484&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=36d8c15757190c6218b47c05dffd91d527a8b153 Source: Yahoo Finance We have a price to sales ratio of 24.33x, price to book of 22.47x, even the price to earnings to growth is a nasty 8.30x. In terms of buying Beyond based on their inventory or assets, it just doesn't justify the entry price. Low-value high growth companies are very common, which represents the high level of risk involved with this strategy. Either we'll see the explosive increase in debt (thankfully they are low on debt so this is an option in a pinch) or a ramp-up in R&D spending resulting in more years of cash burn and loss-making. I've been told I can't look at high growth, speculative, young companies like Beyond Meat in the same way as an established player. However, without the fundamentals and judging what risks we are comfortable taking, what will be basing our investment decisions on? As someone burnt once by Beyond Meat these valuations and deep speculative bets are a warning. However, I am not an expert, that much should be clear. With that in mind, what do the sell-side experts have to say about Beyond Meat? https://preview.redd.it/lf7ptzrwnp251.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=67376536fc171538a1830fa65e3450c0a4b23986 Source: Genuine Impact I am slightly surprised at the even split of analyst ratings. I wanted to dig into this some more, as analysts don't all rate at the same time, and given the market, a lot of them have been extremely busy. We only have 9 analysts who have posted new guidance within the past month. Given how explosive the share price has been this does leave us behind a bit. https://preview.redd.it/f4m5jhkxnp251.jpg?width=926&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8236139567499ea80870e3d28936a739591033bb Source: MarketBeat Ignoring the differences in analyst numbers, the striking aspect to me is the overwhelming sell shift and the lower target price. With the average coming in at a 30% discount on the price right now. We have Bank of America setting a target price of $68 a share but on the other hand, BTIG believes it'll be $173 (both lower than what I paid but I'm not upset at all.) The range is huge. With spotty fundamentals, an extremely painful incoming 2020, and no clear dominant player in the market, this is a hard stock to judge. https://preview.redd.it/wk5uvsaynp251.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=6579e3d22571052745cc37708526715c0ec61837 Source: Genuine Impact The future share price returns are a complete unknown, with poor confidence where it will be. Putting a value on the company results in an overvalued mess, but buying into the hype sets us up for 50% return expectations, with very little in between. What we do agree on is the high growth of revenue and potential EPS in the future. We know 2020 is going to be another year of struggle, but looking past that we have seen great historic growth and we know they are on the edge of posting their first profitable year. A Sell or A Hold? As a recommendation, I would go with a hold stance. I sold out and locked in a loss because I wanted to deploy my money elsewhere. Unless you have that level of confidence then I wouldn't see a strong reason to redeploy your capital. If you are comfortable with a five-year horizon then Beyond is well placed to expand and become a profitable player who can optimise their operations. There is scope for improvement. I would strongly advise against a buy. 2020 is going to be disappointing, the next three quarters will be lower than expected. Beyond have even said they will push a lot of their strategy into 2021 and accept this will be a weaker year. If you are keen to buy into Beyond Meat, there will be better opportunities. As long as you are a long term believer then there is nothing for you to do, but if you brought into the hype, you will find a faster recovery elsewhere in the market. This has been a very tricky stock to judge, and I always love to hear your feedback! Let me know if Beyond on your watch list? Or maybe you already brought in? Stay safe and thanks for reading!
What is the general thoughts about the term Egg and some questions about it.
Ive heard of the term Egg before and only skimmed over its general meaning, im not really interested in these kind of topics and im also a cis straight male so I apologize if anything I say sounds offensive please know it comes from a lack of experience with these kind of things. One thing ive been kinda into just recently is guys who just casually crossdress on the internet, like just playing games or chatting in livestreams and stuff. As far as im aware with the little amount of searching I do I never see any evidence for any of them being trans or any hints on their sexuality. I get joking about gender when the context isn't serious, like some dude just put on makeup as a dare and everyone says congrats on finally coming out, but everywhere I go I keep seeing people saying stuff like 'the egg is cracking' 'I can't wait until she comes out' and I just can't help but feel creeped out. Anytime someone mentions the term Egg it always feels like they're placing bets on when someone finally admits the 'truth' or like stops being 'in denial'. I had a well informed conversation with lgbt redditors a while ago about questions I had about gender identity and left with the general idea that its up to the individual to know if they are trans/gay/etc. and also how you can do/look/act however you want and it won't mean anything unless you want it to, as in like its okay for boys to be 'feminine' and girls to be 'masculine'. But it seem like anyone mentioning Eggs just ignore this last part, like they're obsessed with gender roles yet also trans people at the same time? It just seems so contradictory and again kinda creepy like some kind of culty/fetishistic thing, not in a serious sense though but more like people obsessed with sports or politics level of cult/fetish. Also the concept of someone being 'in denial' of their gender just sounds wrong like some kind of gas-lighting or peer-pressure situation. Bottom line though, I guess what I want to know the most is what is the general consensus about the term Egg and those who use it? Am I 100% wrong or right in anything ive thought about it? Am I just looking into things too deep and its just bunch of people having fun with jokes/genuine questions? Thank you for your time and apologies again, I mean no offensive and just wish to be informed.
So I’m taking a leap of faith here based on what I’ve seen and read so far about SQUADRONS, but this game could be a big part of the Star Wars/EA gaming puzzle moving forward. If it’s successful it could pave the way for a more specialized spectrum of Star Wars Games. I’m putting the cart in front of the horse here, but let’s assume that SQUADRONS does very well and is every bit the flight sim that it’s being touted as. I’m expecting it to be a runaway hit. With the announcement that EA will be doubling down on its Star Wars games and license, and heaping praise on how well Battlefront 1 & 2 have performed, it’s a fair bet that there will be many more Star Wars games to come, including a Battlefront 3 and maybe even a Squadrons 2 as well. A SQUADRONS sequel would be a much larger game and serve a dual purpose could follow the same model, but expand upon the ideas presented in this game. Again, we don’t know everything about the customization but it seems fairly robust. Now imagine that same level of customization that were getting for the Rebel Alliance/New Republic and Empire, and apply it to the Republic and CIS, and the Resistance and First Order...in ADDITION TO the Rebels/Empire. SQUADRONS “should” be the definitive STARFIGHTER experience, across all eras. There’s a story mode in Squadrons that lets you create two characters then grow with that character through a story that prepares you for the multiplayer (and of course it’s mirrored offline mode, which I’m ecstatic about). Let’s say a sequel to SQUADRONS expands to the other two eras. This same approach is applied to all three eras. When you start up the game, you can choose which era to begin with. Create your pilots, play through that era’s storyline, and then engage in the FLEET BATTLES. The SQUADRONS sequel would also be inspired by and reenact battles FROM the SAGA FILMS. AGE OF REPUBLIC AGE OF REBELLION AGE OF RESISTANCE In FLEET BATTLES: Fight the Battle of Naboo. The Battle of Coruscant. Geonosis. Kamino. The Battle of Scarif. The Battle of Yavin:Drath Star Trench Run. Hoth. Endor. Battle of Jakku. Could City. Starkiller Base. Exogol. Etc.... Think of all of the iconic ships to fly from those eras. All of the pilot customization. Ship customization. A good solid 4-5 missions for each era would really round it out nicely and make for a very solid STARFIGHTER game. And like it’s predecessor, SQUADRONS 2 should allow for a mirror experience OFFLINE with AI. Which brings me to the second point... With this as a model for the SAGA STARFIGHTER EXPERIENCE, it opens the door for BATTLEFRONT 3 to focus primarily on ground combat. BATTLEFRONT 3 Using Battlefront 2 as a solid base we can now see a streamlined, more focused BATTLEFRONT game that gives us more of what we want and less bloat.
NO STORY MODE
Having a Story was a big deal following Battlefront 2015, but in hindsight, had resources been used differently, BF2 would’ve been light years ahead of where it is is now (and it is an incredible game).
NO DEDICATED STARFIGHTER MODES
Your dedicated STARFIGHTER modes will be in the form of SQUADRONS 1 & 2. There is no need for BATTLEFRONT to cover the same ground. (This is also why I feel a SQUADRONS sequel should be SAGA-based). Battlefront 3 SHOULD have starfighters as support vehicles, however. Similar to the structure of BF2 on the large-scale game modes. Limit the number of ships in the air at a time, but allow the player to choose from 4-5 fighters as opposed to 1-2. Whether a BATTLEFRONT 3 would still be a 20 v 20 affair, or if next gen would accommodate even larger scale battles is yet to be seen. But bigger, more epic, is always better.
FOLLOW SQUADRONS MODEL FOR OFFLINE CONTENT
I’ll say this now, without having played SQUADRONS yet at all: Ian Frazier and his team at Motive is doing OFFLINE CONTENT RIGHT. THANK YOU. For BATTLEFRONT 3, any game modes offered online should be mirrored exactly in Instant Action.
NARROWED FOCUS, BROADENED SCOPE.
As we trim the fat in other sections of gameplay we can refine the more popular game modes and expand upon them. BATTLEFRONT 3 becomes a streamlined affair with tons of customization options. Let’s use the six core game modes as an example.
Heroes vs Villains
(Small Mode featuring different scenarios on different maps) Extraction/Strike/Drop Zone/Cargo
Hunt (Ewok, Wampa, Geonosian, Jawa, Gungan, etc.)
By “limiting” the game to these six modes (or refined versions of) you begin to pour resources into all the things that we wanted but was never time for, before:
More Maps There’s nothing wrong with the maps in Battlefront 2 (okay, except for Jakku). There gorgeous works of art that are fun and immersive to play in. So let’s add all the great maps from BF 2015 back in the mix. Give them a facelift for next gen. All of the Walker Assault maps. All of the EXTRACTION maps. All the DLC maps. All ground based multiplayer maps. All of them.
Now what about those maps we never did get in BF2 that we haven’t seen yet? Coruscant? Mygeeto? Mustafar? Chistophsis? Exogol? Canto Bight? Jedha? Utupau? Those too.
EXPANDED HERO ROSTER We’ve talked Battlefront heroes to death, but a true full, epic Battlefront experience across the Saga would have a more complete roster of heroes...
Let’s bring back Greedo, Dengar, and Nien Numb, Jyn Erso, and Director Krennic from BF 2015. Let’s add more playable droids like R2-D2 and C2-B5 as support. Let’s finally flesh out the Prequel and Sequel Hero rosters. Let’s see Ahsoka and Ventress. Padme, Mace Windu, Qui-Gon Jinn, Cad Bane, Aurra Sing, and Plo Koon. Let’s add the Sequel heroes we never saw... Poe Dameron, Rose Tico, Maz Kanata, Snoke, General Hux, Etc. How about some Rebels love? Kanan, Sabine, Zeb, Hera, Ezra, Chopper (as support), Thrawn, Kallus, Grand Inquisitor... MANDALORIAN Characters? SOLO characters? ROGUE ONE characters? Or the Legendary skins we all wanted? Old Ben Kenobi, Old Luke, Han, Leia, and Lando? The skins we never got for BF2 heroes, like Bespin Luke, Endor Luke, Senate Palpatine, Clone Wars Maul, Battle Damaged Vader... All of the appearances that go along with these heroes.
TROOPER CUSTOMIZATION After seeing what SQUADRONS has in store for customization, I can’t help but think that this is what Battlefront was supposed to look like. Extremely robust customization options for every class of trooper, including heroes and reinforcements. The possibilities are too numerous to list here.
EXPANDED REINFORCEMENT ROSTER Battlefront 2 still had so much to give in so many areas and Reinforcements were no exception. Pilots for all factions as ground troops, other indigenous creatures, Royal Guards, Bespin Guards, MagnaGuards, Canto Bight guards, etc... And of course, customization for all.
FREE MAPS, CUSTOMIZATION and ADDITIONAL HEROES. The key to making this all work is to have a solid plan to implement MICROTRANSACTIONS along with FREE periodic DLC like a proper live-service game. purchasable by in-game currency and/or MTX.
Obviously, even for a more focused game, the list of features above is substantial. Not everything would be launch material. But it doesn’t have to be. Some of this should be rolled out as part of a true “live service.” The Battlefront community (and Star Wars gaming community as a whole) would be completely happy with MTX if the structure was as follows: First, BF2 got it half right with the live service and the free content added. There needs to be an already substantial launch roster of maps, heroes, and customization across all eras. NEW MAPS: are added regularly (maybe monthly, maybe quarterly, whatever) for FREE as part of the “live service” for the life of the game. The Battlefront constantly expands for all players. NEW HEROES: SOME new heroes are added for free, periodically so ALL players get regular content free. MOST new heroes are available to buy with in game credits or (for the sake of argument) Crystals. NEW REINFORCEMENTS: are added regularly, for FREE. NEW VOICE LINES/VICTORY POSES/EMOTES: SOME offered FREE in live service, MOST should be obtained by MTX/HUTT Contracts. NEW CUSTOMIZATION: Some basic additional customization should be offered for FREE for ALL PLAYERS. BUT MOST additional customization should be purchase able by MTX. Crystals will be bought with real world currency. But the cost has to be reasonable. No $20 Crystal buy for one hero. No, a $20 Crystal buy should net you a few new heroes, new customization set, and some other content as well. All customization should ALSO be available for purchase with IN-GAME CURRENCY, but with a hefty price associated with it. You’ll have to grind if you want it for FREE. This should be tied to Milestones or (preferably) HUTT CONTRACTS. You purchase the contract with in game credits, and if you complete the challenge (think 5,000 kills for a Maul skin) you are awarded Crystals to spend however you wish. Alternatively, you can just skip that altogether, buy Crystals with real $ and get what you want. The point here is that SQUADRONS’ EXISTENCE allows for this type of narrower focus on BATTLEFRONT. The two games can exist side by side as complimentary pieces.
She swept in, broke up relationships right and left, and blazed out. I suspected even my girlfriend Cherry had a hack at her, though that seemed less important after she got Mike killed. We found her in line at Taco Mucho, where six of us had gone to load up on greasy food before a party at Arcy's place. I don't remember who first spoke to her, or who invited her along, but I'm pretty sure she went home with Samuel and Madlyn that first night. Cherry, my girlfriend, kept half-jokingly grabbing my chin and saying, "I'm over here." But Cherry kept turning toward the new girl herself. "Call me Greg," the strange girl said. Tray, who dumped Arcy when he found out she was bi, got that look on his face. But Elaine, ever fearless, asked, "Are you trans?" "Nah," Greg said easily. "Hundred percent cis-fem. It's short for an online name, Gregaria. It means—" "We can guess," Elaine cut her off. But even Elaine warmed to her before Arcy's party broke up. Greg was funny and sharp, but not mean and cutting. She treated everybody like a new best friend. She was a hugger and a cuddler, but she seemed to have a radar about how much touch was enough. Loelia hates being hugged, but Greg—without being warned—took her hand and kissed it instead. I thought Loelia would melt on the spot. But a week later Madlyn ditched Samuel in a huge screaming fight in my kitchen, both of them yelling about Greg. Never mind that Greg had spent that evening cuddling with don't-crowd-me Loelia. In another week Loelia and Samuel were an item, and Madlyn was moving to Springdale, while Greg and David and Tonya (our one married couple) suddenly appeared inseparable. Then Greg somehow made up with Madlyn, who came back to our gang with a new guy on her arm. Whoever broke up with whoever else, nobody stayed mad at Greg for long. I never tried Greg myself; Cherry and I had been doing the monogamy thing for several months. Cherry's idea, though I took it more seriously than she did. Only Elaine and I seemed to notice: Greg soaked into our group like butter into a hot waffle, but brought no friends of her own. Elaine asked her about it; Greg said she'd only been in town about a year, and hadn't happened onto a gang like ours. What made Greg the woman that all eyes—and most arms—turned to? Her figure was okay, her face forgettable, her skin sallow, her hair a short lifeless brown mop; my Cherry was far prettier, much better built. But Greg had a spark that drew people: the campfire at the circle's center, the lead singer of the band, the sunflower bobbing above the dandelions. One thing she flaunted: She was unusually limber. She only stood an inch or two over five feet, but she often greeted tall guys by kicking up one leg to hook her heel over their shoulder, then hugging them close. Her hugs always felt overheated, as though a fire burned under her skin. She tried that leg-split on me, hugging me into her crotch; Cherry about had an aneurysm. But I just thought, She touched first, and, There's plenty of headroom—we were in Wendy's—so I cupped her ass and tossed her over my head. She was light as an empty paper bag; her hips were broad but actually bony under her jeans. She landed balanced on my shoulders, her hands brushing the ceiling; from there she did an astonishing shake-and-shimmy routine that had even Cherry cheering her on. The assistant manager came out to fuss at us, but Greg hopped down lightly, gave him a peck on the cheek, and ran to the counter to order her usual dozen Baconator doubles with fries. That was another thing: She drank less than most of us, but she ate like an army of orphans. Her dozen Baconators were a standard order; "I'd get Triples if I could fit 'em in my mouth." Any party she came to, she brought a bag of food: chips, snack cakes, nuts, cheese. She brought pounds of hamburger and bacon and bags of buns to every cookout. And then she always ate at least half of it herself. Aside from broad hips she was skinny, her arms and legs nearly stick-like, but I never saw her go more than half an hour without eating. "I just burn it all off," she said. She drove Arcy, who needed to shed about fifty pounds, absolutely nuts with envy. "That bony bitch must eat fifty thousand calories a day," Arcy stormed. I'm not sure how much she was exaggerating—if at all. Tonya said Greg even ate in bed after sex. "Even during sex," Loelia's kid brother Mike added. "Oh, that's gross," Lo said. "I don't need to know that." "No, really," Mike said, blushing. "She keeps Golden Oreos on the bed!" Greg shrugged her bony white shoulders, grinning, and leaned on him. He was built low, dark, and stocky, and I had a sudden unwantedly clear image of the two of them in bed; they must have looked like a meatball screwing spaghetti. Greg often picked up the food tab for everybody in our gang, never worrying about the cost. She had plenty of money, though she didn't work. "I'm under an NDA," she said. "As long as I keep my mouth shut, the checks come in." "You only shut your mouth to chew," Elaine shot back. But Greg never talked about her past. It was clever Elaine who first remarked that Greg's fast lifestyle seemed a little desperate. "She's really living the every day is your last thing, y'know?" I thought back over the last month. Was Greg cheery and full of life, or was she running from something, feverish and frantic? "What, you think there's something wrong with her?" "I bet it's something about that NDA," she said. "She's got some godawful secret and she can't stand it." If Tim hadn't turned up, I might never have found out. He was a grad student, a tall lanky guy with close-cropped blond hair; some months back his workload had picked up and he'd dropped out of our fluid group. Now he reappeared at one of Arcy's steak-and-beer parties. When Greg arrived, carrying about twenty pounds of ribeye and a bag of potatoes, she grabbed me and spun me around—hiding behind me, I realized later. "That guy talking to Lo," she said. "Is his name Timothy?" Flustered, I answered, "Huh? No, that's Tim. I mean, I guess his name's Timothy, but nobody calls him anything but Tim." "Where'd he come from? Did Lo bring him?" "He used to be around. He's in school." "Still?" I was going to ask what she meant, but suddenly her eyes filled with tears. She shoved the two bags at me and said, "Take this shit. I've got to go." A minute or two later, she texted me: Please don't say anything to anyone. So she had a history with Tim. I gave Arcy the steaks and made some excuse for Greg. Nobody paid attention except Mike, who'd been with Greg fairly steadily for weeks. He followed her out, not buying my lame excuse. Nobody else noticed but sharp-eyed Elaine. She quietly asked me, "Greg got a problem with Tim?" "Seems to. She asked me not to let the world know." "Tim only came to the University about two years ago. That means about a year before Greg came to town. Do you remember where he was before that?" "UA Fayetteville, I think." "Fayetteville. Do you know Greg's last name?" "I don't even know her real first name." "You don't? It's Hannah." She edged away, tapping at her phone, before I could reply. For some reason Cherry blamed me for Greg leaving early, and got furious when I said I couldn't talk about it. I lashed back at how she seemed way more concerned about Greg than someone in a monogamous relationship should, and she slapped me. I went home alone that night, hurt and pissed off, and didn't see any of our group for nearly two weeks. Then Tonya and David, our married couple, showed up at my door to say that Keith, Madlyn's new guy, was having his twenty-fifth birthday party at the House of Hog, and I was by God going to be there. I was bored with sulking, so after only token resistance I let them drag me out. Everybody was there. Cherry ran up and hugged me, apologizing for not calling and for slapping me. Elaine hooked my arm and said, "We need to talk later." And Greg, to my astonishment, was absolutely glued to Tim. Mike was being a sullen third wheel with Loelia and Samuel, his eyes often on Greg. I did a head-bob toward Greg and Tim, and Cherry told me, "They've been together for a week. She's crazy about him." Cherry seemed a bit pissed; monogamy was more of a style choice for her than anything. I couldn't talk to Elaine until after the party broke up and a bunch of us went to David and Tonya's house. "Greg's up to something," she said without preamble. "She's screwing him, but she hates his guts." "That's stupid." "Look at this." She showed me an article on her phone: UA Student Cleared of Rape Charge, the headline read; the date was nearly three years ago. "She accused him of raping her. Cops said she fabricated the whole thing, just harassing him. She left U of A. Three years later, she's banging his ass." "Okay, she's nuts. What'm I supposed to do about it?" Elaine just threw up her hands and walked away. I wasn't convinced enough by Cherry's apology to take her home. I watched Greg at the next few gatherings. She'd practically given up physical contact with anyone besides Tim; Lo dubbed the pair "Gregothy". Her face was pale, and her cheeks flushed; she looked genuinely feverish. But her energy and appetite were unflagging. "She seems fine to me," I told Elaine one Saturday in Tray's back yard. "She's up to something, I'm telling you." "Well, if she is, it's not anything to do with us." But it was. That afternoon Mike, who still hung with us but always stayed across the room from "Gregothy," suddenly blew up. "Why do you let him touch you?" he screamed at Greg. "I know what he did to you!" Greg went whiter than ever. The fevered red of her cheeks looked painted on, like a wooden doll. "You don't know shit," she snapped at him. "Yeah, I do! My sister's a prof at Fayetteville!" "I didn't know that," Cherry said to me. "Jesus, Arkansas's a small state." I shushed her, apprehensive but not sure why. "You said he raped you! He got you expelled when the cops didn't believe you!" "That's not why I was expelled." Her voice was low and icy and bitter. "And I didn't rape her," Tim put in. "I oughta kick your ass just for saying that." But I saw Greg shoot him a look of pure white hatred while he was focused on Mike, and pure startled fear shot through me. What the fuck? Was Elaine right? But when Tim turned back to her, Greg did her leg-high hug and gave him a huge kiss, grinding her crotch against his thigh. Mike really lost it then. He charged at them, knocking Tim aside, knocking Greg right down in the grass. "Don't touch her!" He swung wildly at Tim, landing one punch in the ribs that left the taller man gasping. By now Tray, Keith, and I were moving in to separate them. Greg was yanking at Mike's arm—he never even noticed her—so I grabbed her around the waist and lifted her aside. Her skin was burning hot. She was even thinner than I remembered—she felt nearly weightless, but I put that down to my adrenalized state. When I dropped her and turned back to the fight, Tray was lying on the ground; Mike had accidentally backswung an elbow into him. I threw my arms around Tim, about to punch at Mike. Instead he kicked Mike hard in the belly, then kicked my feet out from under me. Tim broke my hold and delivered another vicious kick to Mike's gut. Mike fell, curled into a ball and groaning. Loelia shrieked; Elaine held her back. Tim's ear was bleeding, and he hugged his ribs. He pushed through us toward the gate to the front yard, limping and muttering, Lo's profanity pursuing him. Greg followed quickly, throwing a look of inexplicable triumph over her shoulder. Somehow, in the last moments of the fight, she'd grabbed a plate of Polish sausages from the table; she'd already gulped down most of one. Moments later, we heard Tim's car roar away. Keith helped Tray to his feet, then they both pulled Mike into a chair. Madlyn came out of the house with a wet towel, but he pushed her hand aside, lurched to his feet, and staggered toward the gate. Madlyn tried to follow, and he waved her back angrily. We let him walk away. In the amazed babble that followed, none of us noticed we didn't hear Mike's car. Not until ten minutes later, when Madlyn and Keith were leaving, did her screams alert us Mike had collapsed by his car at Tray's curb. He was barely breathing, his pulse weak and fluttering. Keith had already called 911; an ambulance hauled Mike away within minutes. Elaine followed, carrying the distraught Loelia after her brother. About an hour later, Elaine called me. Mike had died of massive abdominal hemorrhage from one or both of Tim's kicks. "She set this up," she said. "I don't get why, but Greg wanted a fight." I made some confused noise, and she went on, "Maybe she wanted Mike to kick Tim's ass. Mike's a lot stronger. Was." She hung up abruptly, crying. We caught a shit storm from the police. Even Loelia agreed that Mike had swung the first punches; Tim had defended himself. But Mike's blood-alcohol level was .06, not DWI level—but completely unjustifiable for someone still three months shy of twenty-one. The cops ripped us several new assholes over letting someone underage drink with us, and for letting him out of our sight after such a severe beating. If Mike and Lo's parents hadn't intervened, Tray might have been charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor, even though Mike had already been drinking before he arrived. Tim and Greg got their share of official grief. All Sunday and Monday they holed up in Tim's apartment, refusing to take any calls from us or answer the door. But Tuesday afternoon, while Tim was at work, I stood at his door, texting Greg, Not leaving till we talk over and over. She texted back: Take me to wendys. Moments later, she opened the door and stepped out. In only three days, she'd grown positively skeletal. Her hair hung lank and dead. I could see the bones in her forearms and around her sunken eyes. Her febrile cheeks flamed more brightly than ever, but her forehead and throat were white and dry. At Wendy's, mostly empty in mid-afternoon, the counter guy didn't even wait for her to order. A bag of Baconators with fries was on the counter in minutes. She took the bag and me to a table by the front window. Handing me one burger out of the dozen, she started taking huge bites, talking as she chewed. "Doesn't matter any more," she began. "Fucker deserved it." More huge bites. "Not Mike. Timothy." "Did he really rape you?" "Ruined my life. Fucking murdered me. All I have left is their goddamn checks, and those stop if I say anything. I could go to federal prison for talking to you." "Then—" "Doesn't matter any more," she repeated. "It's done. I finally gave it to Timothy." She'd been a low-level flunky in a research program, she told me, something the Department of Defense funded. She'd been doing basic lab work on human subjects: blood tests, metabolism and weight measurements, and so on, without any real knowledge of the project's goals. She'd met Tim there. They'd dated twice, then she'd turned down any repeats. He'd taken it badly. She didn't understand details, but her computer records developed problems: data corrupted, strange files appearing. She'd run antivirus sweeps and found nothing. But the program director threatened to "drop me if I kept screwing up." Tim had offered to fix her computer, but once in her dorm room he'd assaulted and raped her. When she called the police that night, Tim claimed she'd been harassing him, and revealed a series of emails sent from her university account. She'd never sent the emails. She handed her laptop to DoD experts to prove the emails were sent from somewhere else. Instead they found hacking tools and evidence she'd violated the project's security protocols. In her room they found stolen project materials, including top-secret drug compounds. Threatened with expulsion and prosecution, she'd blamed Tim for hacking her computer and planting evidence in her room. "He must have been screwing with my laptop the whole time," she told me. Then she'd collapsed during an interrogation—and the DoD slapped her in quarantine. Tests showed she'd been contaminated with something. The DoD refused to say what; they didn't prosecute, but warned her she'd go to prison if she told anybody. They gave her a lifetime "disability pension." "Fucker poisoned me, somehow. He must have put the shit in my room even before he raped me." "So why are you telling me now?" "Because it's gonna kill me. Whatever Timothy exposed me to, it's burning me up inside. I think it was some sort of metabolic enhancer, maybe supposed to make soldiers faster and stronger, Captain America shit; all it really does is make me eat forty times a day. If I don't eat, it burns me up." She was already on her eighth Baconator. "I wake up every couple of hours, all night long, every night, starving to death, burning up. I've got about fifty pounds of Oreos in my room right now." "Jesus." It sounded absolutely crazy, but I'd never seen anybody eat the way she did. Yet she looked absolutely ravaged, like the last stages of unsuccessful chemotherapy. "And it's contagious," she said. "After I got expelled, I went to North Little Rock, and a guy I dated there got the same thing. But he couldn't eat as much as I did, and he was a really heavy sleeper. One night he caught fire in bed. Burned right up; nearly burned me up too." At that point I was ready to call bullshit on her. "You said Tim poisoned you before he raped you. Why didn't he catch it from you then?" "Fucker used a condom. Rapists all use condoms these days. No DNA evidence." She shook her head. "Been trying to get him in bed for weeks, now. He loved having me kissing up to him, doesn't know I'm sick—I even told him I've got an IUD now. But he wouldn't fuck me. Three years ago he raped me; last week I couldn't give it to him." She smiled slowly, a dark, frightening smile. "But kicking Mike to death got him all hot. We spent all weekend in bed—unwrapped." I'd taken two bites of my burger before her story stole my appetite. Now she picked it up and finished it off. "I made sure Samuel and David and Mike always used a condom," she said. Her eyes suddenly filled. "Not that it saved Mike." "What about Tim?" "He ate two pounds of spaghetti and two boxes of my Ding-Dongs last night, and woke up starving at four. He took three more boxes of Ding-Dongs to work. He's fucking got it." "So what now?" "Now I wait for him to burn." She stood up. "Keep away from us. He's just getting what he deserves." Before she left, she stopped at the counter for another bag of Baconators. I didn't know what to make of Greg's story. But that night I dreamed I found a metal handle on my chest. It opened into a furnace glowing orange, its hot blast roaring up my throat like a chimney. I poured in water; it glowed hotter. To appease it, to cool it, I fed fuel into my chest: shoes, books, my phone, dirty laundry. If I could feed it quickly enough, I knew, the furnace blaze would die. I threw in giant hamburgers I found in my sock drawer, then the drawer itself, then my other drawers. Crying, I threw in Bart, the cat we'd had when I was twelve. I pulled up thousands of flowers from the yard; the furnace cooled but wouldn't die. Heat poured up my throat, burning my mouth and my brain, tasting of crocuses and chili powder. Cherry sat on the couch, watching Frozen for the hundredth time. Desperate, sobbing with fear, I pulled her feet-first toward my chest. In the way of dreams, she shrank to fit the small hatch. I watched her burn, feet to shoulders like a softly-screaming cigarette. At last I shoved in her head and neck, still screaming quietly, and slammed the hatch. I gulped down a glass of cold water, but it felt like flames in my throat, and tasted of Cherry. I woke with my throat still afire, tasting of the chili Cherry had cooked for last night's supper—my worst attack of acid reflux in years. Shuddering, my face wet, I stroked Cherry's hair softly, hardly believing she was here. It was the first time she'd stayed the night since she slapped me; we'd done nothing but cuddle together. Somewhere between Wendy's and now, I'd come to believe at least part of Greg's story: She was burning up from some Department of Defense magic formula. But I couldn't tell Cherry about it; she'd never believe a word. I needed to talk to Elaine. Elaine's the only one I trust with my phone's location; even Cherry and I aren't linked (and she doesn't know Elaine and I are). Now I saw Elaine was apparently having breakfast at the Waffle House by the university, an unusual choice. I dressed quietly. Cherry grumbled when I kissed her goodbye; she had an afternoon shift and wouldn't get up until eleven. Crossing town, I texted Elaine I'd meet her for breakfast. My phone chimed an answer; I didn't look, busy navigating the scramble by the lake. (Some day the city council will admit these "historic" old houses aren't as important as a decent cross-town thoroughfare.) Only after I pulled into Waffle House did I see that Elaine had sent back, FFS NO STAY AWAY. People huddled behind cars, phones aimed at the big windows. "Oh, shit," I said, and drove up on the sidewalk. As I trotted toward the door, a guy in an apron grabbed my coat sleeve. "Don't go in, man." I heard sirens; a flashing Argenta PD car turned off Holly toward us. I shook off the cook and jerked open the door. "See you got my message," Elaine called dryly, sitting cross-legged atop the counter. "Nice of you to drop by." "Elaine, what the fuck?" She jerked her head toward the grill. "Ask her." Nervously I peeked over the counter. Several slices of bacon curled on the grill, black and smoking. Greg sat on the floor, holding a small, hefty-looking revolver. It was aimed at Tim, who leaned against the shelves beneath the register, surrounded by reeking puddles of vomit. "Hey, dude," Greg said. "Come to see the fun?" Her face was hollow, her voice weak. Her skin flushed red, then paled, then flushed again. Clumps of her hair had fallen out around her. I looked from her to Elaine. "Somebody's having fun?" Tim coughed. "Screw the jokes—get that gun away from her!" She casually raised it to point at Elaine, who hardly flinched. "Nobody's taking my gun." I spoke slowly. "You won't shoot her." The twisting of my gut said I wasn't so sure. "Yeah, she will," Elaine said. "But nobody's gonna take a chance on me getting hurt, so she won't have to." She spoke steadily, but her hand shook where it fiddled with a salt shaker. "And I'm not gonna leave till she's safe." "Dead's pretty safe," Tim pointed out. He coughed again, retching up brown bile. I realized he was as pale as Greg, with the same feverish color in his cheeks. And though long sleeves covered his arms, his neck and hands looked thin. "Jesus, it's true," I said. "Yeah, Greg told me she'd told you," Elaine said. "I asked her to meet me for breakfast; I didn't know she'd bring a gun. And him." "Why aren't you eating?" I asked Tim. "You're in a fucking restaurant!" "Can't keep anything down," he groaned. He glared at Greg. "I don't get how she can eat the way she does. I ate two waffles, and threw 'em back up. I ate a steak, and it came up, too." Greg nodded. "That's what happened to my boyfriend in North Little Rock." "What's happening to you?" I asked. "Exothermic reaction," Tim said. "Metabolism's screwed up, an artificial chemical reaction. But it makes too much heat, you gotta dilute it with ordinary blood sugars and shit. And I can't eat enough." "From what I saw happen to Eric," Greg remarked, "I figure Timothy's got maybe ten minutes, maybe half an hour before he catches fire." She shrugged. "I can keep the cops talking that long." Her free hand snaked behind her, returned holding a metal pitcher, the kind the cooks kept waffle batter in. She raised it to her lips and drank deeply, gulping down maybe a pint of raw batter. "After that I don't care." Drips of dried batter spotted her T-shirt and crusted the ends of her lank hair. In the two or three minutes since I came in, two cop cars had pulled up; officers were talking to people outside. Now one of them cautiously approached the door. "Remember," Elaine said to me. "I'm too scared to try to escape." She slid to the lower inside counter where the waitresses poured drinks and assembled orders. At that height, the morning sunlight made her squint and struck red lights from her dark hair. She still acted calm, but I caught the glint of tears. I told the cop a girl had a gun on two of my friends. He ordered me outside. "Shit, no!" I told him. "I'm staying with Elaine; anyway"—I pointed to Greg out of his sight—"she trusts me to talk to." I climbed up to sit where Elaine had. The sun slanted in the windows, glared blindingly off the polished tables. Starting to sweat, I pulled off my coat and tossed it over the jukebox. "I wanna talk to my mama!" Greg suddenly shouted, her voice rasping. "Get me a phone! Get Mama on the phone!" She shouted a name. "She's in Little Rock! I wanna talk to her!" The cop backed out, assuring me that negotiators were on the way. "Get Mama!" Greg shouted again. He vanished, obviously rattled. Greg laughed hoarsely. "Oughta take half an hour or so before they figure out she's dead." Tim screamed, "You crazy bitch! Why don't you just shoot me?" She gave him the deadest look I'd ever seen. "Cause I want you to burn. I like watching you sit there so scared you're pissing your pants." He had; I smelled more than vomit and waffle batter and burnt bacon. "You won't even come at me. If you grabbed at the gun I'd have to shoot you, but you're too scared even for that, even to get it over with." She looked up at me. "I don't need the gun, not really. He's gonna burn anyway; he can't eat enough. But I want to watch; I don't want him stuck in quarantine where I can't see it." The cop had come back to the door, to ask for my phone number, clearly ashamed he hadn't thought of it before. I felt bad for him; I doubt there've been three hostage crises in this town in his lifetime. For a little while nothing happened except for Greg eating a stack of untoasted bread and Tim moaning about how hungry he was. She shoved the batter pitcher toward him; he took a few gulps, then twisted sideways to retch it up on the floor. Greg grinned, her cheeks hollow. He looked at me. "I'm burning up, man," he groaned. "Gimme something to drink, for Chrissake." A pitcher of ice water sat behind Elaine on the waitress counter. I reached for it, and Greg pointed her gun at me. "Don't you." I learned there was a whole new level of fear between seeing the revolver pointed at Elaine and seeing it aimed at me. I could die here, in this smelly kitchen, hot sun on my dangling legs. I leaned back, my hands raised. Greg, satisfied, buttskooched sideways to a glass-fronted refrigerator, where she took out a jug of milk and a tub of blueberries. She chugged half a gallon of milk, then started eating blueberries by the fistful. When my phone rang, I nearly fell off the counter in panic. It was the cop outside, telling me a negotiator was on the way. I barked at him not to bug me till he had real news. "Hey!" Greg glared at Tim, whose eyes had half-closed. "Don't you pass out on me!" She threw blueberries at him; they left purple stains on his cheek, in his blond crewcut. He looked at the scattered berries, then picked one up and flipped it toward Elaine. "Night Howlers!" he screeched, then started dizzily singing. Elaine stared. "What the—" I realized he was butchering Shakira's song, "Try Everything", from Zootopia. I'd never seen someone delirious from fever, but there was no mistake: Tim was raving. Greg threw another handful of berries, but he didn't notice, his eyes rolling up toward the sun dazzles on the ceiling tiles. "No! Timothy!" Greg shouted. She kicked him, threw the whole tub of blueberries. "You sonofabitch! You fucker! Wake up! I'm killing you, you sonofabitch; don't you ignore me! Don't you fucking pass out! Timothy!" He slid onto his side, then his back, lying in his own vomit, unfocused eyes darting back and forth across the ceiling. His skin was turning red, like a fresh sunburn. His lanky frame seemed swollen, as if his muscles were inflating. "No, fuck no!" Greg grabbed the water pitcher she'd threatened to shoot me over, and poured it directly on his face—not all at once, but slowly enough I could see his skin pale as the ice water bathed it. "Timothy! Wake up!" For a moment, she must have cooled his brain. His eyes focused. "Greg?" he said, in a tone of complete mystification. "Zat you?" Then his eyes rolled back and he began to moan and cry out wordlessly. Vomit gurgled from his mouth. His blood-flushed hands bulged like he wore padded gloves. His sleeves and jeans legs stretched taut as sausages. His abdomen began to balloon, and suddenly I saw steam jetting from his mouth and nose. A moment later, the crotch of his jeans began to steam as well. His bladder must be boiling; I had a sudden, awful image of his dick screaming like a steamboat whistle. Greg was slapping his face, still yelling for him to wake up. I grabbed Elaine's wrist and launched myself backward off the counter, toward the entrance. Elaine and I tumbled to the floor; I heard her shriek of pain as her arm broke against the jukebox. But I've got no reason for regret: An instant later, with the bang of an overinflated basketball and the low whapping sound of a heavy bedspread being shaken, fire erupted over the counter. Greg's yells broke off; she stood up, her head covered in liquid fire, her hands swiping madly at her face. Flames gushed higher, surrounding her; she toppled backward, out of sight. Droplets of fiery liquid fell around me and Elaine, spattering the floor between us and the exit. Contagious! I thought, panicky. I scrambled up, dragging Elaine by the hand; she continued to shriek as I pulled her down the row of booths toward the end windows. Greasy black smoke billowed after us. The air was already becoming unbreathable, superheated and foul. I saw bundles of paper napkins burning on the shelves. Greg stood again, staggering blindly; over the counter I could see her flaming from head to waist. Her feet slipped and she went down, blazing arms flailing. I never saw any part of Tim, thank God, except flying gobbets of fire. Another napalm-like burst threw flaming droplets into Elaine's hair; I dropped her to grab glasses of orange juice and cups of cool coffee off nearby tables, drenching anywhere fire touched her. I bent and grabbed her under the armpits; window glass shattered around me as I pulled her up, still screaming in pain. (I learned the next day that one of the cops outside took a panicked shot at me, thinking I was attacking her.) With the inflow of fresh air, the fire roared higher. At the end of the row of tables, I grabbed a syrup pitcher and hurled it at a window; plastic, it bounced back. I tried again with a coffee cup and a couple of plates, then finally shattered the glass with someone's abandoned iPhone thrown edgeways like a ninja star. Two cops, catching on, met me outside the window; we were able to get Elaine out over the broken jags of glass. I clambered out myself, coughing and seeing black spots, to collapse into the gentle arms of paramedics. Elaine and I both said as little as possible to the cops, either about Greg's "infection" or her botched vengeance on Tim. I've got no idea what sort of "incubation" period there might be, but I don't think either of us was exposed enough to catch it. But men in black suits will hear about Greg's fiery death, and come to question us. I want to get this out there before we disappear into quarantine, something even our friends wouldn't find remarkable in the current COVID panic. I don't know how long I have. In a TV show, the black SUVs would've shown up ahead of the fire trucks; in real life, the government can't track persons of interest that closely. I figure they probably monitored Greg's email and Facebook by computer, a live human checking on her every few months. But death by fire will get their attention. Elaine should be writing this; even stoned on painkillers she's smarter. But not only did I break her arm, I sprained her other wrist yanking her around. She can't type for a week at least, and I don't think we've got that long. Maybe it's the whole brush-with-death thing, maybe it's our shared secrets; shit, maybe it's just being the two smartest people in the gang, but Elaine and I are closer than ever. I want to see if we can make a go as a couple. But I can't break up with Cherry right now, despite my suspicions about her lack of fidelity. She's been staying with me as I recover from the fire, sleeping on the couch because I cough so much. It wouldn't be fair to break up, not until I know for sure about her. See, last night I woke up around one o'clock, to hear Cherry banging around the kitchen. I staggered out there to find her scrambling a ton of eggs. She gave me an apologetic hug; her skin was burning hot, feverish. Her cheekbones stood out like knives. "I didn't mean to bother you," she said, "but I woke up starving." DTS
With the ring of the bell, both men begin to move cautionately out of the corner, hands raised in hopes of feeling something they can grab on to. They both start to slowly approach the center of the ring, hands nearly touching, when Dalidus suddenly drops to the mat, laying down flat as a board. Woodbridge: The hell’s he doing? Buster, unaware of Dalidus’ plan, continues to walk forwards, eventually tripping right over Nova’s body and falling to the canvas! Paisner: I bet Buster didn’t see that one coming! Woodbridge: No shit, Pais. And that’s the only time I’ll let that line slide. As Buster tries to scramble back to his feet, Nova reaches to grab anything, managing to get a grip on Busters leg. Feeling his opponent latch on, Buster flips onto his back and drives his free leg forward, connecting square in the chest of Nova with enough force to make him back off. Crowd: Oooo…. They both feel for the ropes and use them to get back to a standing base, now without any idea as to where the other is. As Buster continues trying to feel for his opponent, Dalidus again goes down to the mat, hoping to catch his opponent once again. Woodbridge: This might be a long one… Buster walks into Nova once more, but manages to stay on his feet. Realizing Nova’s position, Buster raises a boot and wildly stomps in the area he felt Dalidus, landing boots all over his back before Nova is able to roll out of the ring, taking a knee outside as Miles comes to his side. Paisner: Maybe not, Mark! Looks like Buster’s quickly catching on to Nova’s… ‘strategy’. Now alone in the ring, Buster takes a step backward, unknowingly winding up in the center of the ring. Reaching out and finding no ropes to ground himself, Buster begins to madly turn around and around, fists raised and closely listening for any sounds that may lead him to his opponent. Outside the ring, however, Miles leads Nova up onto the ring apron, walking him along it until Nova reaches the middle of the apron. Woodbridge: Is Miles leading Nova directly to Buster?! Paisner: I think he is! Like some sort of shitty Canadian seeing-eye dog, Alpha is acting as Nova’s vision! Dalidus slips between the ropes, before charging straight forward and colliding with the back of Buster with a shoulder tackle! The sudden strike sends Buster falling face-first into the mat, where Dalidus quickly follows him down with a flurry of fists! Crowd: Booooooooo! Nova makes a grab at Buster, snatching his head in a front facelock and pulling him to his feet. However, Buster makes a desperate escape attempt, running blindly forward only to send Nova crashing into the turnbuckle! Crowd: Oooooooohh! Paisner: Buster, with a bit of luck, able to break Dalidus’ grip by pushing him into the corner! Buster creates just enough space to launch a quick jab towards Nova, but Nova immediately twists out of the corner, and Buster’s fist collides with the top of the ring post! Buster: Achk! hWhat the fuck?! Clutching at his bruised fist, Buster turns his own back into the corner. Meanwhile, Miles gets behind Buster outside the ring, and begins to yell at Dalidus! Miles: Dali! Follow my voice, spear his ass! Dalidus, listening to his partner's advice, begins to run towards the sound of Alpha’s voice, lunging out in an attempt at a corner spear, only to miss by a mile and send himself flying outside of the ring! Crowd: AHAHAHAHAH! Paisner: Nova looked for that corner spear, but ended up launching himself out of the ring to nobody! Woodbridge: Now THATS what I call a suicide dive. Miles looks down from the apron and facepalms in shame, but now Buster hears the slap of his hand and turns around to deck Miles off the apron!!! Crowd: OOOHHHH! WOOOOOOO!!!! The crowd cheers at the decking of Miles, and Buster celebrates with a raised fist to the air, followed by “BLACK POWER” at full volume, which gives Nova the queue he needs to sloppily roll back into the ring and then blindly launch a lariat towards the source of the yell, and he just connects with Buster’s head! Crowd: OHHH! Buster goes down and clutches at his head and Nova follows up and kicks to the torso of Buster as he has him on the ropes, and Buster attempts to pull himself up with the ropes while pushing Nova away, but Nova comes right back with a clothesline, and it ends up causing both men to spill over the top rope onto the floor outside! Paisner: NASTY spill from both men, who aren’t able to see their landing and they land nastily on the floor outside! Miles Alpha makes a dash for the two downed bodies as the referee begins the 20 count! 1! 2! Alpha begins to rustle Nova up, but Nova remains motionless on the outside. Alpha brings Nova to his knees and Mia yells at him from the ring to quit interfering in the match, but now Nova has began to come to as he slowly begins to reach out and grip onto the apron, pulling himself up the rest of the way while Buster does the same with the ring post. 3! 4! Miles: Punch straight ahead! Dalidus quickly does so, shooting a powerful right hook that just misses Buster, catching nothing but empty air. Not letting up, he takes a step forward before throwing a left as Buster ducks down, immediately followed by a loud thud and a scream of pain from Nova, his fist connecting square with the post! Nova: AHHHH! AHHH! FUCK, MILES! 5! 6! Buster lunges forwards at Nova, tackling him in the gut and taking whatever air was left left in his lungs! Both men hit the floor as Alpha backs away from the action, not wanting to watch Nova as he attempts to defend himself from a barrage of strikes. 7! 8! 9! But Buster refuses to let up, continuing to throw hands until the official’s count reaches 14, only to finally clue in and feel his way back inside the ring, staying close to the ropes as Nova groans in pain outside. 15! Paisner: He’s not gonna make it! Woodbridge: There’s no time! 16! Suddenly, Alpha leaps onto the apron beside Nova, ensuring to stomp as loudly as possible while doing so. The noise causes Buster to respond with a quick shot to the gut that swiftly sends Miles back outside... 17!* ...But the distraction allows Nova to lurch inside the ring, rolling past Buster before he even realizes! Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOO! Buster: Count, ref! Count this cracka-ass-bitch out! Mia So-hung: I can’t! He is inside! Buster: He’s hWhat? The conversation gives Dalidus all the information he needs to shoot a kneeling superkick at Braggadocio! Woodbridge: CHEKHOV’S GUN! BUSTER’S DOWN ON HIS KNEES! Nova now feels around in the air with his foot until he feels Busters head, then cocks back his leg and launches his knee full force towards Buster’s head, but whiffs as Buster ducked his head after feeling Novas foot against it! Nova doesn’t let up though and quickly bends down to grab the arms of Buster, before blindly irish whipping Buster, where Buster lands against the turnbuckle! Nova charges in the direction he threw Buster but Buster hears the steps and sidesteps, letting Nova hit the turnbuckles! Nova grasps the ropes and gets his bearings, and now Buster starts running the way Nova came from, eventually slamming against the opposite turnbuckle as he bounces off and now charges Nova from across the ring! But Nova hears Busters footsteps, and Nova charges too, both blindly throw clotheslines before slamming into each other at full speed! Crowd: OOOOHHHH!!!! Paisner: BOTH MEN ON THE GROUND! A double-blind takedown!!! Woodbridge: Have you ever seen two men blindside EACH OTHER? Miles Alpha slams his hands on the apron to try and wake up Nova, but the crowd starts clapping along in a rally for someone amongst the two men to rise first, as they both slowly begin to stir in the middle of the ring! Mia So Hung is checking on both competitors to make sure they are able to compete, and Nova seems to be getting to his feet quicker as he begins getting on his hands on knees off the ground, while Buster is still slowly stirring to consciousness. Miles is restless on the outside as he looks to now hop on the apron while the ref tends to Buster, as he retrieves a sleeping mask from his back pocket! Alpha reaches over the top rope and puts a mask on Mia So Hung! Crowd: BOOOOO!!! Alpha now quickly slides something under Mia’s feet that slides and hits Nova’s hands, and Nova smiles as he pockets the object just in time for Mia to remove the mask, turn around, and begin scolding Alpha, the only non-blindfolded person in sight. Alpha shrugs his shoulders and remarks, “It wasn’t me!” But Hung is having none of it as she motions for Alpha to be ejected from ringside! Crowd: YEEAAA!!!!! HEY, HEY, HEY, GOOD-BYE! Alpha is throwing a fit on the outside, but unbeknownst to the referee, Nova has pulled his blindfold down and locates Buster, then pulls out a marker! Crowd: NOO!!!!!! Nova charges, removes the blindfold from Buster, and swings, but Buster ducks in the nick of time and drops to the floor to the outside of the ring as Nova quickly puts back on his mask while muttering curses under his breath. He turns around to see Mia, who is politely handing the blindfold Alpha had to ringside. Alpha begins leaving through the crowd while being sung to by the crowd, who taunts Alpha with “hey hey hey”s and “goodbye”s. Nova in the ring tries to roll out of the ring, knowing where Buster went, but when he rolls out, the not-blindfolded Buster has just got something out from under the ring! AND IT’S HUGE! Paisner: THAT WAS UNDER THE RING?!?! Woodbridge: OH SHIT!!! Buster launches the comically massive marker into the gut of Nova! Crowd: OOOHHHHHHH!!!!! Buster slides the marker under the ring and has put back on his blindfold as Mia has turned around after scolding Alpha and removing his sleeping mask prank, and Buster grabs Nova and throws him into the ring as Nova now writhes on the mat in pain! Buster slides into the ring as well and goes for the cover! Mia drops down for the count! 1! 2! 3- NO! KICKOUT! Crowd: OHHHHHH!!!!!! Woodbridge: Nova just survived the fuckin’ Hiroshima of Marker Jabs! Paisner: That was a disgustingly big marker to the gut of Dalidus Nova, but it should be noted that was the first pinfall attempt in the entirety of this highly unusual Blindfold Match! Hard to pin your opponent and keep applying that pressure when you can barely find them! Buster has his hands on his head in disbelief as he realizes the match isn’t over, and so he quickly grabs the downed Nova and begins to lift him to his knees, and Nova launches a two finger eye poke at Buster’s blindfold! Crowd: O-OOHH?!? Buster falls back and the impact of the eye poke doesn’t seem to have bothered him as much as Mia not calling for the bell! Buster: HE POKED MY EYES, REF! Mia: You already blind, stupid! Nova doesn’t let up on the attack and now pushes Buster back, holding onto him and pushing until Buster gets shoulder blocked into the corner! Buster lets out a pained groan and Nova now brings on the heat with repeated chops, rights, lefts, uppercuts, and knee strikes as Buster is on the wrong end of an all-out onslaught of strikes! Crowd: BBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Nova now takes Buster’s battered body and begins maneuvering it up the ropes, carefully making sure to balance Buster and maintain his own balance as he sits Braggadocio upright on the top rope! Nova now climbs and mounts the ropes and then wraps an arm around the arm and shoulder of his opponent! Woodbridge: Christ, is this the first Blindfolded Superplex!??! Buster seems at the end of the line as Nova sizes Buster up one more time, reaching out and grabbing him by the afro as he launches a right into Buster’s forehead. But now Buster seems less limp as he now yells at the top of his lungs! Buster: CRACKA I KNOW YOU DID NOT JUST TOUCH MY HAIR! Crowd: OHHH!!!! Nova ignores him and launches another right, and another, but Buster just shakes them off as the crowd begins to get louder and louder after each punch that Buster shakes off before a black finger is pointed right to Nova’s face! Crowd: YYOUUUUUUU!!!!!! Buster: I’M TAKING YOU TO PATMOS, NIGGA!!! Buster launches a vicious knee into Nova’s gut! Crowd: YYEEEEAAAAAAA!!! Nova is now doubled over, and Buster reaches down and grabs a hold of both arms before getting them in an underhook and jumping off the top rope, plunging Nova’s head down into the mat!!! Crowd: OOOHHHHHHHHH!! Paisner: PATMOS PLUNGE! MIA ON THE MAT FOR THE COUNT! 1! 2! 3! DING DING DING Javier: AND YOUR WINNER, at a time of 14:08, Busstterrr Braggaadocioo!!!!! Crowd:* WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Woodbridge: HE HULKED UP, SAID THE N-WORD LIKE THE HULKSTER, AND BOOM! A Patmos Plunge pedigree from the top rope to punctuate this pandemonium! Paisner: I’ll let the alliteration slide, because damn, what an effort from these two men, putting on a match while blindfolded for nearly the whole damn match! You have to give it to them, they know their way around a ring, but Buster was just barely able to use his other senses and gain an advantage over the very dangerous Dalidus Nova. Buster finally takes his blindfold off and kisses the mat after being able to see it again, and he then limps over to the ropes to raise an ear to the crowd, who oblige with a roar of approval! Buster locates the nearest camera and lets the cameraman have an earful! Buster: AND IF ANY OF YOU COLE-SLAW EATING CRACKERS IN THE BACK WANTS TO LAY A GRUBBY WHITE HAND ON THIS 4C GREATNESS, YOU BETTER FORE-SEE A BEATDOWN! THATS ON YAKUB, BLOOD!!! Nova has finally began to stir in the middle of the ring and Buster looks over at his fallen opponent, with a look of disappointment on his face as he runs his hands through his hair and seems to have the gears churning in his head before finally reaching down to offer a hand to Nova. Paisner: Is this a peace offering from Buster? He.. he isn’t being honest right now is he? Woodbridge: I don’t blame him, Pais! These two just fought over 14 minutes without looking at eachother, I would have some newfound respect too! Nova looks up at the outreached hand of Buster, and there is a brief moment of no movement between the two as the crowd is loud with mixed reactions of booing, cheering, and anticipation, and it all comes to a halt as Nova grabs the hand of Buster only to push his arm to the side as he walks past Buster and exits the ring through the ropes. Crowd: Boooooooo!!! Buster stands alone in the ring, shrugging his arms in the air, before making his own way out to let the ring crew do their thing. Javier: The following match is a tag team match set for one fall, with a 60 minute time limit, and it is for the WiR World Tag Team Championships! Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Piano of an obscure song comes through the speakers, playing for a while until the guitar kicks in further, signaling the arrival of Marshall Wheeler and Mercenaire out onto the entranceway. A cold, stern sort of confidence on both of their faces, as they pay no mind to the crowd as they walk their way down to the ring. Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Paisner: And now, two bad, and dangerous ass men down to the ring. Marshall Wheeler and Mercenaire of Coup d’Etat, two masters of generally beating the piss out of people, and two men who’ve proven several times their prowess in the ring as tag team partners. Recently falling SPECALIST in an excellent tag team match..;...then committing some less than excellent actions against them post-match to convince both me and The Stargazers into giving them this match tonight. Woodbridge: And it wouldn’t be shocking to me if The Stargazers live to regret that Allen. There’s just a significant size difference in this match, June builds herself and her moveset to be able to deal with that and go toe to toe with other bruisers. But if Kat gets caught even once, both Mercenaire and Wheeler have the tools to punish her heavily, her much lighter weight means she just doesn’t have as much protection and ability to take shots and keep dishing ‘em as June does. So if these men’s strategy revolves around isolated Kat, that’s both the un-suprising option, and almost certainly the right one. Mercenaire and Wheeler both make their way down with long, confident strides, quickly making their way to the ring apron, disregarding all the jeers tossed their direction on the way, as they step through the ropes and into the ring. Awaiting their opponents. The mixed guitar and synth of Summer Nights by SIAMES pours throughout the whole venue, as we see our tag team champions, Kat-Anavae Emery and June Emery-Anavae of The Stargazers come out from behind the curtain, titles belts around their waists, and special for this show, both having the lesbian flag painted onto both of their cheeks. As they raise their hands into the air, before bringing them down, making a heart shape with them, and then locking hands as they rush down to the ring! Crowd: YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! Paisner: And now our tag team champions! Looking to make another defense, and being a lesbian couple, i’m sure they’d especially love to walk out of our pride themed show with those belts still around their waists! Woodbridge: And I think there are two major points, overcoming the size disparity, especially Kat, with their speed and agility. And apply their experience in tag team wrestling well, they simply have quite a bit more of it than Merc and Wheeler, if they can keep their fundamentals on point, they have a very good chance of retaining tonight. The Stargazers rush the ring, quickly making it to the apron and sliding in! Taking their belts, and raising them into the air to the cheers of the crowd, before Undersach takes them in order to present them in a moment. The two teams discuss amongst one another who’ll start out, deciding on June and Wheeler respectively, as Javier prepares his announcements. Javier: Introducing first, the challengers, from A dark, dark place, and Houston, Texas respectively, weighing in at a combined 480 pounds, COUP ‘D’ETAT! Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wheeler cockily smirks at the jeers tossed their way, as Mercenaire tunes them out completely. Javier: And introducing next, from New Hamburg and Harmony, Ontario, Canada respectively, weighting in at a combined 302 pounds, THEY ARE THE WIR WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, THE STAAARRRRGAAAAZZZZEEEEEERRRRSSS! Crowd: YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! June and Kat both wave to the audience in appreciation of their support, and Undersach raises both title belts in the air to signify what this all is about. aAs we then see Undersach signal to both teams to see if they’re ready, and getting nothing but nods, calls for the bell! DING DING DING As the bell sounds, June and Wheeler stare down one another, putting their arms up in anticipation to scrap, as they slowly approach each other. And as they get close, Wheeler attempts to strike in quick with a forearm! But June gets out the way, and goes to land a kick to Wheeler’s mid-section in retaliation! But Wheeler catches the leg, and goes to spin June around by it, quickly attempting an enzu lariat on her as she’s turned around, but June once again dodges! June then quickly grabs Wheeler from behind in a waist-lock, and attempts to lift him, but Wheeler slips out, and gets a go-behind into his own waist-lock and german attempt! But June back elbows Wheeler in the side of the head, and forces him to let go! June then quickly grabs Wheeler’s arm from behind, and wrings him down to a seated position in the mat! Quickly delivering a sharp kick to the back, before running the ropes, and coming back with a seated dropkick to the back of Wheeler’s head! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Paisner: The back and forth exchange, but June finding her way through, and a devastating dropkick to the back of Wheeler’s head! It always hurts more when you don’t see it coming! Wheeler holds at the back of his head, writhing around on the mat, as June grabs him, picks him up, and whips him into a corner! Directly following as she whips him, meeting him in the corner with a lariat! Clubbing Wheeler in the upper chest! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHH! Then taking Wheeler, and whipping him again into the opposite corner, this time bashing him on the chin with a running european uppercut! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Wheeler looks knocked loopy, as June grabs him again, whips him back into the original corner, and strikes him once again, this time with a running forearm! The sound of the impact sounding throughout the arena! Crowd OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Wheeler’s eyes stare out blankly into the distance, as June then whips him yet another time, and as she rushes back at him, nails him in the head with a vicious elbow strike! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Wheeler sinks down after the elbow strike, slumped over in the corner! June then grabs him once more, whips him into the opposite corner yet again, rushing him, before jumping up and nailing him in the head with a spinning heel kick in the corner! Wheeler completely falling out the corner and onto the mat in a complete daze! Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Paisner: June striking Wheeler down again and again and again and again! June starting off blazing! June then dives right into a cover on Wheeler! 1! 2! No! Wheeler lifts his shoulder up! June brings Wheeler back up, and striking with several forearms into his face! Stunning Wheeler, as she whips him into her tag corner! June rushes into her tag corner to nail Wheeler with a high knee! Before she tags Kat into the ring! June grabs the stunned Wheeler, and snapmares him flat on his back to the mat! As Kat steps into the ring, and she/June both run the ropes together! Meeting back up as they come back to Wheeler’s body, as they both link hands with one another, before both falling down into a tandem elbow drop on Wheeler! Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Woodbridge: The Gazers showcasing the power of love, and how said love can be used to cave someone’s chest in! Wheeler struggles to breathe after the double elbow drop to his chest, holding at it, rolling around, and desperately trying to get air back into his lungs. As Kat then stands up, and backs up from Wheeler, before running, flipping into a handstand, then falling that into a leg drop to the neck of Wheeler! Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOO! Paisner: What remarkable athleticism from Kat! The cover! 1! 2! No! Another kickout from Wheeler! Kat stands up, an inspired look in her eye from the gazer’s control of the match so far, as she grabs Wheeler, and begins to try and bring him up, but struggles getting up someone twice her weight, and so settles for getting him up to a knee. Wheeler begins to gradually make his own way up a bit more, as Kat then rushes towards the ropes, jumps off them, then goes to come back with a springboard uppercut to Wheeler! But Wheeler manages to just barely get out the way at the last moment! Dodging, then stumbling back, as Kat rolls through, gets up, and rushes back at Wheeler again with a leaping forearm! But Wheeler dodges that as well! Moving behind Kat, but this leaves him open to a back elbow from Kat, stunning him! Kat then spins around, looking for a front facing elbow strike, but is cut off by Wheeler!........with a poke to the eye, followed by grabbing Kat by her hair, and tossing her down face first to the mat by it Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Paisner: Wheeler with the attack to the eye followed by a hair pull! Undersach reprimanding him for both these illegal actions, but Wheeler doesn’t seem concerned at all! Kat writhes around on the mat, holding at her face, as Wheeler rests against the ropes to catch his breath, before walking back over to Kat, and picking her up by the hair! Whipping her into his tag corner, where he follows, and nails her in the head with a running forearm shot! Completely stunning Kat in the corner! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Kat slumps over a bit, as Wheeler then tags in Mercenaire. Wheeler rocks Kat with a few more forearms to keep her stunned, before grabbing the back of her head and bringing her over to the center of the ring as Mercenaire enters. Wheeler then whips Kat into the ropes, Kat hitting the ropes by her front, bouncing off of them, and as she backs into Wheeler, he grabs her legs, and lifts her down and up into a wheelbarrow, as Mercenaire then comes in just in time of Wheeler to drop Kat forward, and Mercenaire to add onto the damage by bringing her down with a facebuster as the same time! Kat slamming hard into the mat! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Paisner: Merc and Wheeler with a double team wheelbarrow facebuster! Kat face first planted into the mat! Wheeler heads to the apron as Merc goes into the cover! 1! 2! No! Kickout by Kat! Kat looks dazed on the mat from her face being driven straight into it, as Mercenaire grabs her by her hair, drags her over to his tag corner, and tosses the still downed Kat into the middle turnbuckle! The back of her head impacting it, as she clutches at where her head bounces off! As Mercenaire does not give her any grace period to recover, immediately going to stomp her right in the face! Booting her in the head repeatedly as she sinks down further in the corner to a complete seated position! Where upon then Mercenaire changes to pressing his boot against Kat’s neck, choking her out! Undersach quickly comes over to count Mercenaire off for the choke, getting nearly to the 5 count before Mercenaire finally breaks! Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Undersach reprimands Mercenaire for almost getting himself DQ’d, as Mercenaire turns around to argue with Undersach, standing right in his face as he does so……..which seems to all be a cover for him repeatedly mule kicking Kat with both his legs as he argues! Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Paisner: Mercenaire bending the rules all he can, pushing the limits of all he can get away with! Eventually, he ends the argument with Undersach, as he turns back around, and lifts Kat up, before taking her to the middle of the ring, and whipping her into the ropes! Intercepting her with a big boot as she rebounds off the ropes, flooring her to the mat! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Kat writhes around on the mat, holding at her face after being floored by the boot, as Mercenaire smirks at the damage he’s done, before grabbing Kat by her hair, and looking out to June on the apron. Silently telling her to watch, as he lays in a vicious european uppercut! Flooring Kat to the ground once more! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Kat falls like a rock to the mat, as Mercenaire eyes out to the apron once more, June looking into the ring with a now angered expression on her face, as Mercenaire grabs Kat up by her hair yet again, and staring at June the whole time, strikes Kat down with another european uppercut! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHH! June glares at Mercenaire with anger, as Mercenaire remains silent, but keeps his eyes locked with June the whole time, as he grabs a handful of Kat’s hair, bringing her up by it once more. Mercenaire then forms a twisted smirk on his face, as he floors Kat with another european uppercut right in front of June! Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! June is fuming on the apron by now, yelling at Mercenaire to fight her rather than beat up on her wife, as Mercenaire laughs at her anger, as he goes to pick Kat up by her hair yet another time…..and this sets June off! As she rushes into the ring, and nails Mercenaire with a running forearm to get him off of Kat, as she goes wild laying in more and more strikes! Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Paisner: Mercenaire taunting June by striking down her wife while looking her in the eye, and she’s had enough! Coming into the ring to defend her partner! June lays into Mercenaire, but things get broken up as Undersach comes in to get the non-legal wrestler off of Merc, pushing her away….and in this commotion, gives an opening for Wheeler to come into the ring, and lay down vicious stomps to Kat’s chest while Undersach isn’t looking! Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! June yells at Undersach to turn around and see what’s going on, as he continues to just try and get an angered June back onto the apron, while meanwhile Wheeler’s stomping has gone past what would’ve been a 5 count, as Mercenaire uses the whole distraction to join Wheeler in mercilessly stomping on Kat! Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Undersach eventually gets June onto the apron, Wheeler upon seeing this, rushes back to the apron as if nothing happened, as Mercenaire grabs Kat, and picks her up. June still very heated in her tag corner. Merc then whips Kat into a corner, then rushes right at her, and jumps up to clock her in the head with a high knee! Then grabs her arm, and pulls her into a short-arm clothesline! Taking her back down to the mat! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Woodbridge: Incredible viciousness and efficiency from Coup d’Etat, they’re looking well on their way to a championship tonight. Kat is laid out on the ground, a blank expression on her face as she lays mostly limp. Mercenaire then goes over to the ropes, grabbing onto them as he seems to await Kat to come to. Kat eventually begins to show signs of life, crawling just a bit to be able to grab the ropes, and gradually pull herself up. She slowly makes her way up with what energy she still has, as she eventually gets all the way up to her feet, and stumbles her way out the corner! Where upon when, Merc rushes at her, twirls around, and connects with a spinning backfist to her face! Crowd: OHHHHHHHH! Mercenaire then kicks the stunned Kat in the gut with his left leg, doubling her over, before raising his knee with the right leg to connect with her face!......but Kat catches the knee right before it connects with her face! Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOO! Paisner: Mercenaire going for Remise, but Kat manages to stop the knee finisher! Kat pushes Mercenaire off of her by his knee, as Mercenaire tries to quickly respond after stopping his momentum with a jumping enziguri! But Kat ducks her head under, and as Merc tries to quickly kneel up, Kat nails him in the side of the head with a kneeling roundhouse, before collapsing to the mat! Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Paisner: KAT GETTING ONE BACK ON MERCENAIRE! SHE COULD’VE JUST GOTTEN THE OPENING SHE DESPERATELY NEEDED! Both wrestlers are out on the mat, Kat exhausted, and Mercenaire stunned from the roundhouse. We see June on the apron, jumping and stomping on the apron! Trying to inspire Kat over! Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOO! KAT! KAT! KAT! KAT! KAT! KAT! KAT! KAT! We then see Kat begin to move, as Mercenaire is still laid out motionless on the mat, Kat digs her hands into the mat and begins to slowly crawl her way over to her tag corner. June continues to jump and stomp, hyping Kat up to get her to the corner! Kat continues to slowly make her way over, inching closer and closer, before eventually, leaping over to tag in June!.....but suddenly, Wheeler appeals from behind, and cuts June’s legs out from under her! Causing June to faceplant on the apron, as Kat’s hand makes contact with nothing! Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wheeler then slides into the ring, as he begins to stomp on the back of Kat! Stomping her into the ground! Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Undersach goes to force Wheeler as the non-legal man off of Kat, and does so, as Wheeler shifts focus. Going over to Mercenaire, who’s just beginning to come to, and instructing him to roll out the ring, which Merc does, resetting the legal man to Wheeler, as Merc then comes right back in. Wheeler picking Kat back up, as he whips her hard into a corner! Kat making a forceful impact with the turnbuckles, tensing up in pain after hitting them! As Mercenaire charges first, clobbering Kat with a lariat in the corner! Wheeler then rushes himself, Merc getting out the way to give him the space to clobber Kat with his own lariat! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Kat slumps down in the corner, but Merc lifts her back up, then whips her into the opposite corner! Mercenaire rushing towards the corner, and nailing Kat in the head with a running knee strike! Knocking her loopy. As Merc then gets out the way for Wheeler to come rushing in himself, jumping up to knee Kat in her head!.....but Kat manages to get out the way at the last moment! Wheeler jamming him knee into the turnbuckle! Wheeler hobbles on his one leg, as Mercenaire is took aback by this, trying to quickly turn around and get after Kat, but gets clocked with Kat jumping up with a bicycle knee! Intercepting Mercenaire and clocking him in the head! Knocking him near off balance, as Kat finishes him with a superkick to the face! Knocking Mercenaire over, and Merc falls into the ropes, and falls through the middle rope to the outside! Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Paisner: Coup attempting a doubled up version of Quatre! But Kat cutting them off! Taking Mercenaire out! As Kat takes out Mercenaire, Wheeler recovers enough to come at Kat, jumping up with a superman punch! But Kat dodges! Wheeler turns around, but Kat grabs him, and whips him into the opposite corner! Kat following him, going to meet him in the corner, but Wheeler intercepts by getting a leg up! Kat running right into it! Kat stumbles back from running into the boot, as he then grabs Kat, and whips her back into the original corner! Where he now rushes Kat, and goes to nail her with a vicious running forearm!.....but suddenly, Kat ducks under, and June hops up onto the apron, meeting Wheeler with her own forearm shot, before tagging herself in! Crowd: YEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Paisner: JUNE! CATCHING WHEELER BY SURPRISE! SHE STEPS INTO THE RING! As soon as June enters the ring, she rushes the stumbling back Wheeler, and absolutely destroys him with a clothesline from hell! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Paisner: LOVER’S LARIAT! TURNING WHEELER INSIDE OUT! June goes immediately into the cover, as we notice Kat rolling onto the apron and lying down. Undersach goes to count! 1! 2! No! Kickout from Wheeler! June stands up, looking out to the crowd with intensity in her eyes, letting out a passionate yell, before heading over to the ropes! Beginning to scale up them, making it to the top rope, balancing herself up on it! She looks down at the grounded Wheeler, takes a deep breath, before jumping off, and coming down back first with all her weight on Wheeler as she destroys Wheeler with a top rope senton! Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Paisner: BIG GIRL SENTON! JUNE DESTROYING WHEELER, ALL THE AIR OUT OF HIS BODY, JUNE INTO THE COVER! 1! 2! No! Wheeler lifts his shoulder up! Crowd: AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! June doesn’t relent, as she quickly gets back on Wheeler, grabbing him, and lifting him up. She puts her arm around Wheeler looking to lift him up in a uranage, but Wheeler manages to block! June tries to lift again, but we see Wheeler drop to a knee to block! June sends a knee into Wheeler’s chest in response! Then another! Then another! The force of the knee causing June to lose her own grip for a moment, before quickly going to re-grab Wheeler, and lift him up with the uranage! But as she has Wheeler lifted up, Wheeler desperately reaches out with one of his hands, and rakes the eyes of June! Forcing June to drop him! Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Undersach goes over to warn Wheeler for this action, as Wheeler “accidentally” latches onto him as he stumbles back from being released, pushing Undersach away! And as he’s briefly facing away Wheeler uses the opportunity to low blow June! June dropping onto her hands and knees in pain, as Wheeler mounts, then rolls forward into a gedo clutch! Undersach turning around, seeing this, and going over to count the pin! 1! 2! 3! NO! Kickout from June! Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Paisner: June kicks out of the low blow into roll-up! I’ve talked before with cis gal wrestlers about this, don’t underestimate how much that shit still hurts even if it’s not a dick kick! Wheeler nearly stole it after pushing Undersach away! Wheeler pushes himself up to his feet, stumbling and nearly losing balance as he does so, but managing to re-adjust, as we see June push herself to her feet as well, and as she does so, Wheeler charges, spins around, and goes to blast June in the face with a spinning back elbow! But June ducks her head under! Wheeler whiffing the elbow! Before Wheeler can turn around, June does so herself, tripping Wheeler’s legs from out under him, faceplanting him on the mat, before hooking her legs on Wheeler’s arms, using them to twist Wheeler onto his shoulders, before bridging back for the prawn hold! 1! 2!
UFC 249 Corona Super Card preview and picks (Ferguson, Cejudo, Ngannou, Kattar Pettis, Jacare, Esparza, Werdum Mitchell, Luque, Spann)
This isn't meant to be some deep thought out technical analysis. I'm bored, and beyond hyped for the card. Most fight cards, there are a lot of fights I'm not sure who to pick. This card is an exception, so I thought I'd write this, kill some time and maybe someone will find it a good read. I got inspired by The Fite Sight! I try my best to talk a about both sides, but sometimes I just really see it for the other fighter and lazy to type more. If you want me to elaborate on a fight and talk more about a certain fighter, I'd be happy to.
Ferguson: I've picked Tony in every UFC fight including his TUF finale fight, so yes I got the MJ/Ferg fight wrong. I will keep picking Ferg. Everyone already knows the two ways this fight most likely plays out, Gaethje KOs him early in the fight or Ferguson gets the finish in the later rounds or wins a decision like against RDA where he never got rocked. I think there's a chance we see Tony fight a lot smarter than usual because he respects the power of Gaethje, as compared to Lando or Pettis (fights where he was in serious dangerous of getting finished). Only time I won't pick Ferguson is when he fights Khabib. Khabib has been an easy pick in all his fights so far too, besides the Conor fight, which I thought was 50/50 sadly. It's similar to the Gaethje/Ferguson fight in that most people can only see two ways of how it ends. Cejudo: Easy pick. Cejudo already knew he had a fight upcoming with Aldo, so his preparation is likely more optimal than Dom's. Cruz long layoff, and the striking in the division has moved past him. 2016 and before bantamweights are worse than the current Moraes, Cejudo, Yan, Sandhagen group. Cruz can grapple for extended periods if he chooses to like he did against Mighty Mouse. If he does, the size advantage could be significant, but with such a long lay off again (even longer than the previous 2 layoffs vs. Mizugaki and Dillashaw, and not coming off a loss). Cruz's legendary career is made off of beating overmatched wrestle-boxers (Faber) and flyweights (DJ, Jorgenson, Benavidez all future flyweights that were Dom's bantamweight title defences) Ngannou: Only one person picking Ngannou on the Fight Site lol "I am going to take a flier here that Rozenstruik can emulate the Derrick Lewis gameplan to hilariously boring effect." Hop on that Rozenstruik underdog line if you believe them. +250 biggest underdog against Ngannou since Arlovski. "I have no faith in Ngannou to beat a fighter who’s durable enough (as he showed against Overeem) to maybe not just get killed early, and who can sit on the outside and peck like Lewis did." Trying to predict this fight based on Ngannou vs Lewis is retarded imo. I could be wrong, but that's my opposing opinion. Uhm Rozenstruik was getting taken down and laid on, not like he was getting outstrike bad and proved his durability like that. Plus that was a 5 round fight. Rozenstruik doesn't even get the chance to land that KO punch on Reem in a 3 rounder. Some echo chamber going on on that site (mostly Sriam and Danny, your friendly neighborhood no training armchair analysts). I do not think this fight will be as bad as most on the fight site are expecting it to be. Must be that Black Beast PTSD. I take FranCis Kattar: Easy pick. Matching up known/proven names against other known/proven/unproven names makes for much easier predictions, which doesn't mean I'll be right, just that I'm not on the fence about who to pick for most of the card. Kattar should be able to avoid Stephens' homerun KO attempts and pick him apart from the outside. Quick technical detail: the finish on Burgos, he used the bouncing TKD style foot work to close distance quickly and surprisingly. In that fight he hadn't done that til the round 3 TKO, so Kattar has a few different looks he can give. Burgos gets to be a warrior 10 years ago. I haven't seen Kattar vs Moicano. I also liked that Kattar shoots for takedowns even if he doesn't get them.
Pettis: Super easy pick. I wanna believe in Cerrone making a comeback fighting like 6 times this year on Fight Island, but that's a pipe dream of sorts. Both guys have only been losing to top competition. Carlos Diego Ferreira wasn't ranked, but he is a motherfucker. Cerrone's beat Matt Brown at welterweight without needing to use the Body Shot Cheatcode, beating Hernandez and Iaquinta at LW. Pettis has the Wonderboy win at welterweight, he beat Chiesa at LW, almost finished Ferguson. Cerrone letting Pettis stay at range and get picked apart if not TKO'd again seems likely. That would be 4 straight TKO losses for Cowboy very sad or 3 straight for Pettis. Pettis showed me enough against CDF, that I think he still has Cowboy's number on the feet. I doubt Cerrone will wrestle much, or make that a focal part of his game plan we all know he like to bang. Even if he does, he's gonna let Pettis back up. Jacare: First risky pick of the night in my opinion. The momentum is on Uriah Hall's side coming off a win over excellent grappler Shoeface, where Hall had to battle out of bad position a few times to get the 2 rounds to 1 win. Jacare is on a 2-3 run, but against Jan Blachowicz at LHW, super close toss up round fight with Gastelum, KO Weidman (in a fight Jacare was losing to be fair), killed Brunson again and losing as the favorite to Hermansson in a fairly grueling 5 round war. I like Jacare to avoid the KO shot, get the takedown and return to the MW top 10. Uriah has looked improved, but Shoeface still got his back multiple times and all of round 3. I think Jacare can get it done. He's old, but his performances aren't really showing it even in defeats. The level of competition is much higher for Jacare. Esparza: Pretty easy pick. I expect Carla to take Michelle down throughout the fight and get a 29-28 type decision win. Michelle probably stands back up and gets taken down again or isn't able to do enough the rest of the round to win it. Werdum: Easy pick. Can't pick Oleinik in this whatsoever. All the things he does well, Werdum does better. Long lay off for Werdum, but he was scheduled for a grappling match with champion of champions (for grappling) Gordon Ryan, so I don't think he will experience significant ring rust. But with also the 'Rona goin roun, who the fuck knows. HW MMA. Can't not take Werdum in a pick em though.
Mitchell: I like Bryce Thug Nasty here. He impressed me a lot in his last fight, and not just with the twister. His transitions and fluidity on the ground before the Twister was beautiful. His opponent, Matt Sayles is no joke either, training under Dominick Cruz. Charles Rosa has an awkward, unconventional stand up game, but his grappling is his stronger suit. I honestly don't know for sure how they're jiu jitsu matches up. However, I like that Bryce is more of a top player than Rosa and can wrestle. Rosa has fallen short to some higher ranked future proven guys like Yair Rodriguez and Shane Burgos. We shall see if Bryce is on that level. Burgos and Yair both beat Rosa in their 2nd UFC fight. I think it is worth noting Rosa took 30 months off due to a serious neck injury (cries in Tatiana Suarez) before coming back and subbing Manny Bermudez in round 1. Bermudez who missed weight at featherweight, coming up from bantamweight. Bermudez got cut and moved up to lightweight. He missed weight for that lightweight fight too. If Rosa wants to play on the bottom, I think Bryce will avoid the subs and win by decision. Rosa has had a Fight of the Night bonus in his 3 UFC defeats. He won a Performance bonus last time. Low key exciting fighter. BOSTON STRONG word life this is thuganomics. I also like that Bryce has been putting on more weight and working with collegiate wrestlers. Luque: Yet another easy pick. Rematch stats also favor the previous winner. Niko Price fought patiently in the first fight before getting hurt with punches, then subbed. I think Price can do better than he did in the first fight, and the chaos/randomness he has brought against Neal, Means, Brown, Vick makes me a bit worried. Luque is coming off two very tough fights. But he doesn't strike me as someone that will be have a hard time coming off a loss. Luque is the pick, but prop bet of "fight ends inside the distance" in a parlay I would feel a lot more comfortable with. Spann: I don't love Spann here not at those odds. Pick em obvious choice. After what looked like a future journeyman career, Spann has rattled off 7 consecutive wins including two finishes in the UFC over Lil Nog and Devin Clark. Sam Alvey will most likely never be a top or even semi-top LHW but there was a time he had 3 consecutive TKOs in the UFC and another time he had 4 consecutive wins also in the UFC. He's on a 3 fight losing streak, lost to Lil Nog, who Spann beat, but I wouldn't be surprised if Spann looks terrible against Alvey. Though, Spann's defeats have aged well. Alvey was the underdog in UFC wins over Marcin Prachnio (-280), Cezar Ferreira (-385) and Dylan Andrews (-192). This is the biggest favorite Alvey has fought in his UFC career so far. And finally the one fight I didn't pick Hardy/de Castro: This is the only fight I feel tossing a coin would be about the same as my own pick. Both guys are above average strikers by HW MMA standards. Hardy shot in a couple of times against Volkov, and has gotten top position against others. Hardy was able to land a jab on Volkov of all people multiple times. I think De Castro is the more technical striker overall, likely been training way longer than Hardy. The sloppy slow strikes Hardy attempted vs. Crowder were non-existent vs. Volkov. He looks much improved and comfortable in there. If I knew Hardy would shoot for a takedown, I would pick him easily. Not enough info for me to make a pick here/I don't wanna watch De Castro's regional fights. Obligatory Anything can happen disclaimer, I'm ready to be surprised
A Guide to Women’s lululemon Leggings for Men (Version 1.0)
Greetings, lululemon fanatics of Reddit! I’m writing this guide because it hasn’t existed until now. Even though this guide is an overview written specifically for men who might be interested in trying (more) women’s leggings, I hope it helps women, too, as well as lululemon educators (who both may need to help guys buy leggings). I know I’m not the only guy who wears these (here’s proof of my qualifications to write this guide: https://imgur.com/4oTUAvV - that's over 40 leggings accumulated over 3 years), and I’ve browsed this subreddit enough to know that this topic comes up fairly often. Hope you find this helpful (there’s a ton more I could say even though I've said a lot, feel free to ask questions privately or publicly) and I hope this guide doesn’t get lost in the abyss of the internet! Without further ado, here we go: What this Guide Is and Isn’t This is an objective overview of women’s lululemon leggings and fabrics and answers to common questions. This is not meant to be a style guide or an in-depth review of particular products. Basic Info. 1 – Why wear lululemon? Their leggings are soft, comfortable, and stylish. There are lots of options and chances are they have what you’re looking for whether it’s for lounging, yoga, cardio, etc. lululemon leggings are durable so long as you take care of them – overall you get what you pay for. You put these on and you can tell that these are much better than $20 or $30 leggings. 2 – Why wear leggings? For many reasons! Compression is good for training and recovery. A more relaxed-fit is comfortable for lounging or sleeping. More on these points, leggings can help promote sleep and relaxation for those with restless legs syndrome or those who like weighted blankets. 3 – Why wear lululemon’s women’s leggings as a guy? Because they’re way better than the men’s leggings! But seriously, it's a matter of preference. The men's leggings have various features that aren't present in women's leggings, and unsurprisingly some guys don't find women's leggings comfortable. April 2020 Edit -As I've said in the comments, the men's Vital Drive tight is a game-changer. It's made of a highly technical, multi-purpose fabric that does what it's supposed to do. At only $138, it's actually well-priced and well worth it. 4 - How are you supposed to wear them? lululemon's women’s leggings are designed to be worn without anything underneath – you can do the same as a guy or wear a thin compression short. Many guys (myself included) wear shorts over leggings. 5 – Do you have to shave your legs? All lululemon’s leggings are woven tight enough so that leg hair will not go through the fabric. Just be mindful that sometimes light-colored or “white-backed” (where there is a pattern on the outside but it’s white on the inside) leggings are not entirely opaque. Women’s Leggings Info. 1 – What’s a good length? Unless you have extremely long or short legs do the following: if you’re under 6 feet tall, 28” inseam will hit your ankles; if you’re over 6 feet tall, go 31” if you want them to hit your ankles. Depending on where you want them to fall, you can go for 27”, 25”, etc. Be conscious of “crops” depending on how big your calfs/knees are and also how tall you are (they’re going to fall at a different part of the leg if you’re a taller guy as compared to a shorter lady). 2 – What about the rise – super high rise, high rise, medium rise, low rise? High rise and medium rise are both fine for men. Low rise may not provide enough room, anatomically speaking, to be comfortable. Super high rise may provide too much stomach coverage to be comfortable. 3 – How does women’s sizing work for men? Guys will comfortably fit at least 2 sizes, depending on the fabric of the legging. Basic anatomy requires sizing up for more compressive leggings. The sizes that work for me based on women's measurements correspond exactly with my normal pant waist (i.e. my suit pants are a 30 inch waist, so sizes 8 and 10 both fit me: I'll wear size 10 for luxtreme, size 8 for nulu, and either size 8 or 10 for nulux and everlux, but usually size 8 for everything not-luxtreme). NOTE - Just like women's leggings for women, not all fabrics/leggings fit on all body shapes/types. Sometimes there may be no good size that works for you for a particular legging in a particular fabric, and you may need to find something that fits better. 4 – What are all the lululemon fabrics? lululemon has 5 main leggings fabrics: luon, luxtreme, nulu, nulux, everlux. luon – heavier, warm, cottony-feeling. Since guys sweat more than girls, I would recommend avoiding luon as a guy. It can be good insulation, but be conscious of the fact it can also make you sweat.luxtreme – compressive, most durable. Size up when wearing these.nulu – the softest, stretchiest, least compressive, most delicate fabric. Size down when wearing these.nulux – sleek and soft, not as compressive as luxtreme, but more compressive than nulu. Size down if there’s no pull-cord waistband to avoid having the waistband slip down, and if there is a pull-cord you can size up or down depending on preference.everlux – the newest fabric introduced and when you’re wearing it, it feels closest to luxtreme (semi-heavy, semi-compression, and durable). The inside and outside is soft like nulu. You can size down while wearing these. Look out for a new models of everlux leggings in the future! 5 – What about the terms “full-on” and “brushed” ? “Full-on” means double-layer instead of single-layer, so you get a thickeheavier material in “full-on” versions as compared to plain fabrics. “Brushed” means the inside feels fleece-like to provide more insulation and heat-retention. 6 – Are the Sale items (“We Made Too Much” or “WMTM”) Bad? Truthfully, sometimes. There are instances where certain leggings are “cut” bizarrely (they fit awkward) and they’ll be on sale really quick. But, more often than not, WMTM is great! lululemon releases products weekly (usually Tuesdays at 5PM EST, but it can be earlier in the day), and to clear out left-over colors and left-over sizes, lululemon drops prices after a certain period of time (WMTM releases usually Thursdays at 5PM EST, and the time of this has also been getting earlier and earlier). WMTM is great for most guys because it’s usually the lower sizes that sell out the quickest and there’s the most inventory leftover inventory between sizes 8 and 12. You’ll find this to be true in outlets as well. 7 – So what fabrics should I get? Depends why you want them! For cold-weather, I would recommend brushed nulux or brushed luxtreme instead of luon. For running, weight-lifting, classes, etc. if you want (lots of) compression go luxtreme or everlux, but if you don’t want as much compression go nulux. For yoga, nulu and everlux are great. Nulu is the softest and stretchiest of all the fabrics. Nulux is good, too, but it’s a less classic yoga fabric because it’s the most frictionless and that can sometimes interfere with being able to hold a pose. For lounging and sleeping, it’s 100% personal preference. Overall, everlux and nulux are the most comfortable and versatile fabrics. The compression of luxtreme may be uncomfortable for guys, luon may not breathe enough, and nulu is so delicate that it is not meant to be worn for extended periods of time (be careful of all surfaces you contact while wearing nulu). Leggings made of luxtreme, nulu, and luon aren't necessarily bad in any way, but they are more niche especially for guys (i.e. more so than women, guys may be more likely to prefer everlux over luxtreme and luon, and prefer nulux over nulu). 8 – So what leggings should I get, what are the different types? Besides plain “wunder unders” which are basic leggings with minimal fanciful features (available in luon, luxtreme, and nulux, and new “wunder trains” in everlux), some notable mentions are: Nulux – fast and frees have side pockets, the speed wunder tights have a back zippered pocket. When wearing these 2 leggings, you feel the side pockets from the fast and frees (because there are more seams) more than you do the back pocket of the speed wunder tights.Nulu – aligns. Again, you have to be very careful with these since they are very fragile and can “pill” easily.Luxtreme – speed tights have side pockets like the fast and frees, but they are more compressive. Looks like "All the Right Places Pant II" is being phased out, and it's TBD whether they will be replaced with ATRP III or fully decommissioned.Everlux – not too many options in this fabric as it’s one of lululemon’s newest fabrics. Right now there are invigorates, and wunder trains, and unfortunately rumor has it they are phasing out the "in movements". A great first multi-purpose pair to try are the full-length nulux fast and frees. Trying these, you can get a sense for how you like the feel of nulux as well as the side pockets, and you’ll be in the best position to start making future purchasing decisions. 9 – How about other leggings that aren’t one of those fabrics? lululemon is constantly offering new products, and your best bet is to read the reviews or one of the many lululemon blogs. Ordering 1 – So how do I get these magical leggings? You have a few options. If you want to be anonymous, lululemon has free shipping via FedEx. You can pay online and reroute the delivery address to a FedEx pickup location. You can also go to a store. They can order something for you to either pick up in store if it’s not in stock or mail to you. You cannot order online and have it sent directly to a store if the item is not in stock in that store, unless you call the store and pay over the phone to order for you. You can check store supply online, and the stores match WMTM prices if they’re discounted online. One thing to remember: lululemon does have cashback online only through Rakuten (formerly Ebates). The typical cashback is 2%, but during certain seasons (i.e. Black Friday / Christmas), you can find 8-15% cashback which is obviously huge when buying leggings that cost ~$100 or more each. 2 – Is it awkward shopping for women’s leggings as a guy? No, unless you make it awkward. If you go to the store knowing what you want but don’t know where to find it, the “educators” (store employees on the sales floor) will help you get it. If you go to the store to browse and the educators are bothering you, you can very politely tell them that you're just looking, you don't need help, but that if you do you will certainly let them know and then they'll usually leave you alone after that. Depending how big the store is or how long you're there, you may have to tell this to a couple different people. Also, if you want to try something on in store, you certainly can. Upon making a purchase, you may be asked to set up an account. You do not have to set up an account or provide any personal info. if you do not want to. The benefits of having an account are so that you’ll get digital receipts or records in the unfortunate event you need to return an item so you don’t have to keep the physical receipt. Fortunately, they will not harass you with calls like some other retailers, but unfortunately they have no form of a rewards program. 3 – What if the leggings are no good? lululemon has a great return policy for unused / unworn items with the tags still on unless you bought the item on WMTM. Hopefully reading this guide can help you make assessments so that you don’t buy something, rip the tags off, wear it, and then regret it. Unless there’s a product defect, once the tags are off, lululemon won’t really let you return or exchange it. Miscellaneous 1 – What else is there to know? As much as lululemon is an athletic brand, it is a style and lifestyle brand. To that end, you may not find everything you are looking for at lululemon. Personally, for example, for intense cardio or obstacle courses (Spartan races) I will wear another brand’s leggings because lululemon does not offer the type of compressive, extremely durable legging (from the men’s line or women’s line) that I prefer. For comparison’s sake, the leggings I wear for intense cardio or Spartan races cost $170-200. 2 – What’s the best way to care for lululemon leggings? Hand-wash like colors inside out in a sink and hang to dry. Stains will come out. You can gently ring out. Elsewhere you will read that it’s best to hang horizontally. What I find to be the best is hang vertically and periodically (and gently) squeeze the water out of the bottom.You can use a lint brush or fabric shaver as needed (another reason I like nulux – no lint and minimal pilling!). 3 – Overall, what’s the best women’s lululemon legging for men? In my opinion, nulux is the best fabric, but I will admit it does not work for everyone (the biggest complaint is that it slides down). The tropics speed wunder tight is probably my favorite individual item, I have 4 of them. The back zipper doesn’t bother me even if I’m lying down or sleeping. 4 – So you’ve said your favorite item, what’s your least favorite purchase and is there anything you wish you had? If I could go back in time, I would not have bought the run crew tights; the lululemon trademarked design is too thick and heavy and is super annoying. Also if I could go back in time, I would have purchased the 28” gator green camo fast and frees. lululemon has since released camo as a mainstream line, but they have yet to re-release gator green camo fast and frees (or any 28” green camo nulux). 5 – What do you do with all the bags you get? I use some to store my receipts and tags and some to store all the other leggings I used to wear. 6 – Parting thoughts? For those curious, I am a cis straight male. I’d worn (women’s) leggings for years before finding lululemon. I don’t work from home, nor do I have a job that lets me wear lululemon all day, nor am I a lululemon educator. But, I do believe I know as much about their women’s leggings as anyone reasonably could. Having tried many other brands I do believe lululemon is the overall best and most versatile brand. I’m not going to name other brands, but no, I do not believe $20-50 leggings are even close to being as good as those from lululemon. Hope you found this helpful, feel free to reach out to me with any questions!
🦩🌪 | Reddit Dragula - S6E2 "Trailer Trash” Part One
NO PREDATORS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS EPISODE ... WHORESHANK STATE PRISON - NOON Vultures circled high above as the blazing sun beat down on the cracked earth and asphalt. A lone vehicle sat parked in the visitors lot, an obnoxiously bright yellow Chevrolet Silverado. A hot pink decal on the back of the truck read ‘Thrussy Wagon’ in a retro, psychedelic font. A morbidly obese woman sat on the drivers side, her pale arm fat hanging through the window like raw dough. Sweat ran down Tish’s potato-like face, pooling behind the frames of her aviator sunglasses. She shifted about uncomfortably, her damp flesh peeling away from the red leather upholstery. Reaching into the damp folds of her gas station sub, Tish pulled out a limp lettuce leaf and attempted to fan herself with it, flicking globules of mayonnaise and ranch dressing about in the process. Grunting with annoyance, she tossed the salad out the window where it hit the asphalt with a wet slap, landing in an ever-growing puddle of brake fluid. The harsh sound of a klaxon blared out, signalling that the gates were opening. The familiar sound of high heels click-clacking against the ground echoed across the parking lot. “You’ll be back honey-” a guard called out mockingly as Anita passed by, “-you’ll be back real soon.” Anita ignored them, passing through the gate in her mustard yellow cheongsam and high ponytail, a sign behind her revealed that this was the release zone for rehabilitated sexual predators. She strutted towards the Thrussy Wagon, pulling the door open with her chipped prison manicure. “You’ve been a bad girl-” Tish said, wagging her sandwich disapprovingly, “-a very, very, bad bad girl Anita!” Tish finished scolding her mail-order-bride by taking an aggressive bite out of her sandwich. Anita leaned closer to hergreen cardwife, her eyes smoldering over the edge of her sunglasses as she took a small bite. “Mhm Tishybee,” she said through a mouthful of calories. Tish narrowed her eyes, her sausage fingers gripping so tightly onto the sandwich that the fillings spilled over the edge, dripping onto the leather seats. She dropped it to the floor angrily, where it joined the nineteen other half-eaten subs that she’d been comfort eating whilst waiting for Anita’s release. Anita reached up to the sun visor as Tish reversed through the pool of brake fluid, performing an unnecessarily long nine-point-turn to exit onto the highway. Anita pulled the visor down to reveal a polaroid of skinny icon Flashback Mary, her eyes aggressively scratched out. “You sure you wanna do this Tishybee?” Anita asked, pulling a toothbrush shank out of her garter belt. “What do you mean am I sure?” Tish replied, unaware of the crusted over tuna flakes stuck to her second and third chins. “You know what they say-” Anita explained, “-once you groom a minor, you gotta make a burger.” Tish kept her eyes on the road, unaware of the flashing icon on the dash indicating that the brake fluid was completely empty. She began to pick up speed. “You know Anita-” Tish said, “- trust is like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s broke…” “- but some kids will do anything if you tell them you have puppies in the back.” Anita said, incorrectly finishing Tish’s sentence. Sometimes Tish debated whether or not offering US citizenship in exchange for Anita (finally) taking her virginity had been a fair deal. Tish also wasn’t entirely sure if Anita’s sexual predator rehabilitation had been successful, and if her early release was really due to good behavior instead of overcrowding. “Do you wanna stop for lunch Tishybee?” Anita asked. “I could eat.” Tish replied. “I could murder for some Chuck-E-Cheese-” Anita confessed, “- you know, our usual place.” Tish was a devoted fan of the sketchy pizza, but she could never trust Anita’s wandering eye near the ball pit or arcade machines. “I think there was one at that last exit-” Tish said, her beady eyes scanning the deserted highway “-let me turn around. What the-” Anita glanced over at the drivers side, not entirely sure what the problem was. “I can’t slow down!” Tish cried, “I think someone cut the brakes!” “Just take your fucking cankles off the gas pedal you fat cunt!” Anita hissed, trying to wrestle the steering wheel out of Tish’s grasp, causing the Thrussy Wagon to swerve dangerously back and forth between the empty lanes. Both Tish’s and Anita’s eyes widened as they noticed a row of shapes emerging from the rippling haze on the horizon. A number of concrete road blocks, smothered in layers of spray paint. “Rest...” Tish and Anita murmured, struggling to read the block that narrowly missed them on the left. “In…” They continued to read aloud, swerving violently to avoid a block on the right. “Pieces?” Tish read, before her jaw dropped, realizing that they were heading directly into a row of concrete blocks. She reached out to link hands with Anita, wanting to spend her last moments intertwined with the one she loved the most. Anita immediately slithered her hand out of Tish’s clumsy grip. “Don’t touch me you fat fuck!” The deafening crunch of metal and against concrete rang out, shards of glass, severed limbs and half-eaten sandwiches flying through the air in slow motion as the front half of the Thrussy Wagon disappeared into a huge ball of flames. The fiery wreckage flipped through the air before hitting the highway at an awkward angle, barrel rolling three times before striking the guard rail, sending up a shower of sparks. A charred hubcap rolled across the asphalt in a wobbly line, finally toppling over with a metallic clang. THE BOUDOIR - LAST NIGHT Three figures emerged from the darkness beneath the archway, passing through the dense curtain of PVC refrigerator strips. Eris is the first to be revealed beneath the hot red glow of the neon ‘FRESH MEAT’ sign. The blue-skinned queen leads Urbosa and Mary Wanda to the middle of the room, where a selection of slime-colored cocktails await them on the mortuary slab. [ERIS]: I’m just relieved to be safe, honestly. “Hooray for being mediocre!” Eris cries, clinking her glass with Urbosa’s. Mary Wanda glares at the two, taking her seat on the couch which creaks beneath her immense weight. “That was a fun first challenge-” Urbosa said, taking a seat, “- I had no idea going into this who was going to shine the brightest.” “I agree one thousand percent-” Eris replied, “-the results could have gone in literally ANY direction.” “Except they went in the wrong direction-” Mary Wanda hissed, “- cuz I was robbed.” Eris and Urbosa exchange an awkward look. [MARY WANDA]: That was my challenge to win and if you disagree you’re dead fucking wrong cuz facts are facts for a reason. Periodt. “I mean, you’re safe…” Eris says, “... so you weren’t that robbed.” “Who was robbed!?!” A new voice calls out. Sharon, Tucker, Grean and Confessa enter the Boudoir. “So you’re the tops, right?” Urbosa asks. Mary Wanda mutters something unintelligible beneath her breath. “We were all in the top-” Tucker says, “- Grean won, which I totally predicted by the way.” Everyone in the group, barring Mary Wanda, raises their glasses in Grean’s honour. The moment is quickly deflated by Confessa. “But let it be known that I ALMOST won!” She bleated. “Almost-” Sharon adds, “-which still means you didn’t.” [CONFESSA]: I don’t know why Sharon feels the need to be an input hoe. That was completely unnecessary. [PRODUCER:] Unnecessary like pointing out how you almost won? [CONFESSA:] That’s completely different. “I’m just so honored to win this first challenge-” Grean says, reclaiming his moment, “-and I’m just so happy to be part of the season six fami-” The cameras ignore Grean, focusing instead on Mary Wanda who has taken Tucker to one side. “That judging was bullshit-” Mary Wanda whispers, “- I shoulda won, we all shoulda been in the top.” “I was in the top though-” Tucker clarifies, “- the judges gave me good feedba-” “This isn’t about you!” Mary Wanda hisses, “- this is about Team Talent!” Tucker nods halfheartedly. “Adam’s in the bottom-” Mary Wanda whispers, “-what the fuck is with that?” The camera pulls away just in time to catch the tail-end of Grean’s little cut-and-paste speech. “- season six forever!” Grean cries. "Wait, I just remembered-" Sharon says, "- didn't you win somethi-" The loud, metallic bang of a mortuary cabinet bursting open interrupts the discussion. The slab squeals as it rolls out of the drawer, reaching its full extension. "Please-" Eris begs, "- please don't be another dead body." Tucker gestures the sign of the cross, remembering the recent, grisly passing of famous copycat Beatrix Le Veau. Grean retrieves an envelope from the slab and holds it in his hands, glancing at the rest of the group excitedly. "Open it you fag!" Mary Wanda shouts. "Grean Tea Fairfax-" Grean reads aloud, "-that's me!" There's a collective groan from the rest of the group. "As a reward for winning the first challenge of the season-" Grean reads, "- you've been given the gift of IMMUNITY." [TUCKER]: Immunity? Really? That's a useless fucking prize. "If the judges place you in the bottom two-" Grean reads, "-your immunity will take effect, trading your place with someone who is safe." Eris gulps. "Your immunity is valid for the first half of the season-" Grean reads, "-use it wisely." Given the cold response to Grean's newfound immunity, the reward seemed to be a double-edged sword. Grean shifts awkwardly from foot to foot, waiting for somebody to break the silence now that the congratulatory period had been and gone. "Immunity?" Confessa asks, "You're going to need it." WHORESHANK STATE HIGHWAY - THE NEXT AFTERNOON Vultures circled above, their cawing echoing through the bleak landscape. Scorched earth spread out in each direction as far as the eye could see, bisected by a long, lonely stretch of highway. A constellation of broken glass glimmered under the harsh sunlight. A charred, dented hubcap lay off to one side near a shattered wing mirror. A lone armadillo bumbled along by the gutter, it’s innocent, beady little eyes looking about for its next meal. It excitedly approaches a discarded tuna sandwich, swarming with ants. The armadillo picks up a severed finger with a chipped manicure in its mouth and quickly wanders off into the shade as the sound of a motor draws near. The busted grill of a farmer's truck emerges from the rippling haze, it’s faded, scuffed paint job a shade of autumn red. Behind it is a livestock trailer, the blinding sunlight bouncing off the shiny aluminium coating. The truck veered left, off the road, kicking up a huge cloud of dust. The trailer jerked about violently, prompting a chorus of shrieks from within. These weren’t cows in the strictest sense, but the season six ghouls. [SHARON]: I don’t know where this brother-fucker is taking us, but this whole desert reeks of meth and pig shit. The truck continued over the cracked earth, disappearing off the grid. ASPYN ACRES - LATER THAT EVENING The hot, orange sun dripped through the pink sky like molasses. Tufts of dried, overgrown grass burst out of the scorched earth at odd intervals. Huge patches of cracked dirt end abruptly in tangles of briar and brush. The skeletal frame of an abandoned power line lurked in the distance, looming menacingly over the weeds and cacti. Abandoned lawn furniture was messily strewn about, the cheap white plastic stained with dirt. Weeds choked an abandoned barbecue set, reclaiming it for nature. The truck rolled into the abandoned camp, surrounded on both sides by dozens of motorhomes in various states of disrepair. Some were sagging and partially collapsed, whereas others looked relatively untouched, barring a layer of dirt and grime. One or two of them - the former meth labs - had been reduced to their blackened frames and foundations, completely lost to a fire. A faded sign next to an outhouse read ‘WELCOME TO ASPYN ACRES’ in a friendly cursive. Someone had tagged over it with red spray paint, leaving the message ‘HAUNTED’. The truck came to a stop at the center of the trailer park, crushing a lawn gnome and causing its cone-shaped head to explode violently. “GIT GONE-” The obese driver yelled in their toothless, Oklahoma drawl, “-GO ON GIT!” The dreary quiet was shattered by the blast of a Walmart shotgun. The ghouls all let out screams as they scrambled clumsily to vacate the trailer. Mary Wanda accidentally swung her bingo wing into the back of Tucker’s head, causing her friend and ally to faceplant, sending up a cloud of dust in the process. “LATER FUCKERS!” Their driver yelled, before spitting some dark, slimy tobacco at the feet, “PORTIABELLA OUT!” The unimpressed ghouls took several steps back as the truck did a turn, abandoning them in the middle of the forgotten trailer park. “Can you guys taste that in the air?” Sharon asks, “-it’s tooth decay.” Everyone in the group laughs halfheartedly. Except for Confessa. “I don’t know about y’all-” Mary Wanda says, marching to the center of the clearing, “- but I feel right at home.” Urbosa glances sideways at a pink lawn flamingo, not particularly impressed with her surroundings. [URBOSA]: It doesn’t take a genius to realise we’re doing a redneck-inspired challenge, and that’s not exactly something that’s in my wheelhouse. But I’m an actress by trade, so you can give me any role - redneck or otherwise - and I’ll find a way to slay. “Who do you think got sent home?” Grean asks the group. “Not Adam-” Mary Wanda blurts, “-Team Talent’s gonna win this shit.” “I think Val’s in deep trouble-” Eris says, “- I think it might be her time.” “What about uh… um…” Tucker struggles to remember Port’s name, “- the other bitch?” “Port Bitch-” Urbosa corrects her. “Yeah that one-” Tucker says, “- she’s gone, I’m betting on it.” “Send them all home-” Confessa says. [CONFESSA]: Is it too early for a double elimination? I don’t know, but the less bitches in this competition the better. “Send who home?” A voice calls out. There’s a collective gasp as everyone in the group turns around, looking towardsa tacky pink and gray trailer.A hot pink neon glow radiates from within as Adam and Port step down from the doorway. [TUCKER]: Adam's back! Yay! Tucker's excitement quickly fades. [TUCKER]: And that other bitch. Mary Wanda bounds forwards like a gorilla, pulling Adam into a sweaty, non-consenting embrace. "Port's back too!" Urbosa says politely. Port stands off to one side awkwardly, she waves at the rest of the group, smiling blankly as Adam, Tucker and Mary Wanda begin chanting 'Team Talent' at the top of their lungs. [PORT]: I am back. [PRODUCER]: Do you have anything to say after almost getting exterminated last week? Port thinks about it for a good while. [PORT]: No. The rest of the cast swoop in to congratulate Adam and Val for surviving the first week. There's a false sense of camaraderie wafting through the hot, desert air. "Aw, we'll miss you Val!" Grean announces to nobody in particular. Sharon rolls her eyes. The ghouls break away from their huddle, moving on to form a semi-circle for the obligatory "challenge briefing" shot. Eris glances up and down the line at her competition, a little uneasy. [ERIS]: I have no idea what they're gonna make us do this week, but I don't wanna be safe again, I wanna win. Several of the cast members are caught off guard when some hidden speakers start blasting Brooke Candy announcing the imminent arrival of their queen. All eyes focus across the yard upon the arrival of a regal, blood red palanquin. Four shirtless men carry the palanquin, their sweaty, pot-bellied bodies covered in trashy, faded tattoos. Heavy piercings hang from erect nipples. Dirt stains the denim of their ten dollar bootcut jeans. Each inelegant footstep sends up a cloud of dust. The four hick bear cubs flash toothless, meth-riddled grins at the cast, before placing the red palanquin down adjacent to a matching throne. The curtains part, allowing a tall, womanly figure to descend. Sequins sparkle on the 4-way stretch aqua velvet fabric that clings to her body. Her frizzy dishwater blonde hair is tied back with a scrunchie. The sheen of her high-shine pantyhose follows the contour of her legs as she lowers a foot to the ground, planting the blade of an ice skate in the dirt. Smacahoe steps forward, channeling her best Tonya Harding. "Hey assholes-" she says, addressing the cast, "- here's your next CHALLENGE." ... SPREADSHEET
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Sports Betting In 2016 - 95% Sports Betting Online Success
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