She doesn’t look like a finger at ALL
…I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying
I’m not pre-crying, we’re pre-crying
Willis, this isn’t fair, it hurts right in the feelings
I think this little home visit is going to go all the way into the feelings woods before we exit.
Yes she does look like a Fingermom.
Becky’s Dad is a toe and her Mom is a finger
*plays the theame to The Simpsons on the hacked Muzak*
And then I have to listen to Dan Fogelberg’s “Heart Hotels”…
“And the walls have grown sturdy, and the halls have worn well
But there is nobody living inside…nobody living inside…”
And the voices you hear at the top of the stairs
Are only echoes of unanswered prayers…
Empty Chairs at Empty Tables would be a little too much, I suppose.
Aaaah the avatar there, de Combys……
Poignant is a Family Circus kind of way. Joyce would approve!
Family Circus would not be capable of the depth of feeling shown here. It would be much more maudlin.
Little Joyce with a little airplane only adds to the sadness here.
I know, right. “Awwww, it’s adorable… and now I’m sad.”
Thanks for pointing it out!
Without that i would have totally missed the reference!
and just when i thought this post couldn’t hit me any harder
I’m a big fan of Jesus Math, personally.
Boy, I’m sure the secret room wont contain anything profoundly disturbing.
Well, if it was a weight room, the keep out rule would make sense, at least for pre-teen Becky.
I get the feeling that ‘weight room’ is code for ‘end of world prep, including guns and stuff’. But that’s just me.
Or maybe some things that undermine his entire character, like homo-erotica in the closet or something.
I feel like that would be such a cheap thing to pull storyline-wise. As much as we might like to pretend that all bigoted morons are secretly harbouring homoerotic urges the unfortunate truth is that most of them are just awful and ignorant people who genuinely believe the hatred they spew.
It contains giant toenail clippers.
It contains Ross’s most excellent paintings of Jesus. Unfortunately for everyone he was embarrassed by them, for if he hadn’t he could have made lots of money selling them
Jesus x Jesus slash portraits?
Bishie Jesus x Moe Satan.
Tsundere Jesus x Yandere Satan.
It’s either filled with hypocrisy, or a shrine to Becky’s dead mom. Maybe a bit of both.
Becky’s mom in a vat.
Toedad isn’t nearly as sympathetic as Mr Freeze. (even with the new retcon that it isn’t actually his wife.)
Mr. Freeze from the animated series is about as sympathetic as a supervillian can get, at times downright tragic. But I’m one of those who thinks the animated series is the best interpretation of Bats, and that Mark Hamill’s Joker leaves the live actors at the bottom of the Batcave.
You are not the only one.
It was a darn near perfect batman cartoon, and the ones since all pale in comparison.
It’s pretty much the perfect Batman portrayal period, no matter the media. It got so many things so perfectly right that nothing else has really matched it for me.
I’m kind of hoping he’s a prepper and Glenn Beck fan and the room contains his secret untraceable gold stash.
ooooOOOOOoooooh this is the one I want! come on, a little joy?? just a little?? becky gets to live for free for the rest of her life with some apple stocks from 1992 or some such???
1997 was the time to get in on Apple stock. The company was months from bankruptcy after years of mismanagement and too-little-too-late decisionmaking. In ’98 they got an infusion from Microsoft and started getting their shit back together.
“Dan bought me stock in… some kinda… fruit company. It did real good.”
Shortly thereafter, the police show up to investigate a reported break-in.
How would you shift the damn stuff, then?
Have you ever heard the story of bluebeard?
Well, I didn’t want to remember, but goddamn, that’s never going away.
I’m betting on dead mom or child p**n… or sex dungeon? Something just fucking awful because damn you Willis.
So you DO still read the strip cx
yea. I had the ‘dead mom’ thought too earlier in the day, just forgot to comment before now.
If so, I’m betting she tried to leave Ross and take Becky with her. Ross found out and they fought and he (accidently or not) killed her, but since she was trying to ‘go against God’ or some other similar stuff he wasn’t too broken up and made up some story to tell Becky.
The body is probably wrapped in a sheet and stuck in a closet since Ross wouldn’t think she’d deserve a Christian Burial since she was ‘defying him and thus God’ .
There’s going to be guns in there, I think.
I doubt it. If he had more than one gun he likely would have used something a bit more effective in a kidnapping situation than a single shot rifle.
Well for that one, he was hunting a rat of a daughter. He’d have saved the heavier artillery for at home when he needed to fight off Satan’s secular minions while he was correcting his daughter’s wanton ways.
Also, rifles are a classic ‘Merican weapon. If he brought an SMG or an assault rifle, someone might think he’s a terrorist.
Only if it was an AK, otherwise he would be a “Heroic Patriot”, like the Bundy clan…
Bought myself a ticket on that train of thought and waiting patiently at the station. Considering the character, he’s probably got a few gay kids “therapeutically” chained to the wall.
Yeah, that’s some blatant foreshadowing there, Willis.
Having seen tomorrow’s strip on patreon, it might not be blatant enough.
Seriously, this storyline looks to be going to a very dark place.
For there upon the floor was blood, and on the walls were wives;
For Bluebeard first had married them, then cut their throats with knives.
Excellent change of pace.
Jesus, between this and Game of Thrones, I’m going to be emotionally vacant by Wednesday.
You consume both at the same time?
Are you some kind of sadness junkie? Like a person who’s completely addicted to that headache you get after you cry for too long?
whips and chains and scary bdsm devices that are illegal in 40 states dont do it for me anymore, the only pain that does it for me is the pain right in the feels
BRING IT ON FEELS, IM HYDRATED AND READY TO CRY
Oh poor Becky, going down the memory lane will be a sad time for her.
Alt title: “Ghosts”
In which Becky discovers that her old house is haunted.
That’s fine, I didn’t need my heart anyway.
My initial take on panel two was, “Wait, Joyce has an invisibility power in addition to the rage power?”
(Though on a closer look, I guess that’s actually Becky with her old haircut. Freckles.)
Same-titled song is relevant
This was properly under StClair’s comment when I posted it. Must have been poltergeists.
Becky is following a trail of hologram ghost children to Sad Town.
Isn’t there an easier way to find your social insurance number?
If you have money and a birth certificate or driver’s license, yes. Since Becky has no money and no driver’s license, and her birth certificate is somewhere in the house, this is the easiest option left.
Step One: Move to Canada.
Step Two: ???
Step Three: Get a SIN.
Huh. I wonder if that’s where Shadowrun got the acronym.
Good luck trying to cross an international border with no identification.
Talk to the cops?
or her grandparents, assuming they have not disowned her due to liking girls, and alive?
I suspect her grandparents are deceased. Of course it would be ironic if at least one of them is alive, ultraliberal, and not straight, and Becky hasn’t seen them since she was little so they wouldn’t “contaminate” her.
You’d think that Becky would have brought them by now.
If she has estranged grandparents, she may not know they are alive, or have any way to contact them if she does. They may not know anything is amiss with her*.
* More amiss than usual, anyway.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Ross told her they were dead if he thought they’d be an “ungodly influence” on her.
Nah, that would be lying (and not to himself like hs is so good at). More likely he would just not have let Becky ever meet them, and made sure she either knew nothing or did not want to.
Exaggerating the reason is something he might do, as he might accuse them of being evil satanists of something else, and believe what he is saying, but be completely wrong and blowing things out of proportions. He is a holier then thou idiot who sees everything not exactly the way he believes it is supposed to be as the work of the devil.
She could always piss off somebody on the internet, wait to get doxed, and then copy down the relevant info.
This is pretty much the easiest method. Every other method involves a lot of bureaucratic shuffling to try and prove she is who she says she is and acquire her needed documents. Assuming Toedad has any form of coherent filing system, this is the best bet to acquire the documents needed directly and avoid potentially a year+ of dealing with various agencies and contacting various non-profits to help.
Memories sting as hard as any embedded chunk of foreign material in the body that stay their welcome indeed.
I’ll miss you most of all…laundry basket.
Such fond hide-and-seek memories there.
Will I never again smell the smell of your detergeeeeent *musical*
Dumbing of Age: The Musical
The Ballad of Dorothy and Danny
Dorothy: Danny, I’m going down a path you cannot follow. You have other worlds, other places to explore! But do not fear for me, for as you can plainly see, I’ll be okay. We have a separate path, and I’ll try not to be crass, when I tell you I must leave.
Danny: But why must you go.
Dorothy: I’ll try to be fair, so do not despair, but we really must go our separate ways!
Danny: I’ll see you someday, when it’s hopefully more gay! On this cold night, while the stars are out and bright, I can only see my world crashing down!
Dorothy: You’ll be okay…hopefully anyway! Now come sing with me one last time!
Both: While the worlds cold and bright on this September night, we must go our separate ways! But do not despair for there is someone out there, who can make the world warm again for you! Do not despair for someone will be there, ready to see the world as you do!
Some day, love will find you…
Dorothy: I tried to be tough but faiiiir
Danny: I wallow in despaiiiiir
Joe: I would totally do heeeeer
My dumb ass thought it was a trashcan at first
I choose to believe it’s a trash can and Ghost Bonnie has a giant cheeseburger in her lap.
so THAT’S how she died.
is it just me or is the alt. text a book of mormon reference
On the way to the promised land, Mormons made people mad…
After travelling for so long, the Mormons ran out of fresh water…
and became sick, with dysentery!
oh no! Joseph Smeet!
cup go in the mouth, water go in the stomach, shit come out the butt, shit go in the water, shit go in the cup, shit go in the stomach, blood come out the butt, blood go in the water, blood go in the stomach, shit come out the butt!
(warning: not exact lyrics, just memory-based approximation)
Must have taken the Oregon Trail, then, did they?
joseph was shot by an angry mob, and knew hed soon be done!
You must lead the people now, my good friend Brigham Young
oh god, why are you letting me die?
Without having me show people the PLATES
They’ll have no proof I was telling the truth or not
They’ll have to believe it just ’cause
oh… I guess that’s kind of what you were going for
Why do I get the feeling that he wasn’t lifting weights in that room?
Probably for the same reason that I do.
just a general feeling of apprehension? or a distrust of Willis? or a distrust of Toe Dad?
Because “or something”!
Because that’s a stupid thing to keep kids away from?
But okay, let’s speculate. What WOULD you keep kids away from that sounds like weight-lifting?
His iron full-plate armor?
“Hrng!” *Kachink* *Haa-ah!’ *Clang* “Errg!” *Kathunk*
Not very likely.
No, it isn’t stupid at all.
Weights are heavy, and children are curious. No parent wants their kid’s foot to be crushed by a weight.
As little kids, sure. Still keeping that prohibition up at 17, before she leaves for college? That’s a little stranger.
I assumed Toedad’s professed logic for keeping them away from weightlifting is that it’s the kind of thing where you have to wear exercise clothes and young fundamentalist homeschooled ladies should not see any dude get sweaty in exercise clothes.
But I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that weightlifting is actually what went on in that room.
Not really. Depending on the kind of weight equipment you have, you really DON’T want kids going in there and horsing around. They can get hurt, even if they’re NOT messing around and sticking their fingers into parts of the equipment that can pinch/crush them or trying to climb a metal frame that’s holding a bunch of weights and has some sharp corners. Even if they just tried to use stuff the way they think it’s supposed to be used, it can be dangerous. Manage to pick up a heavy weight, drop it when they can’t hold it up anymore, and oops, hospital visit for a broken foot.
Sure, there COULD be another reason why he didn’t want them going in there, but it being a weight room is actually a valid one (and aside from the child injury aspect, given Ross’ world view, he probably saw weight lifting as a man’s thing and thought his daughter and her friends had no business going in there anyway, even when they got old enough that they probably wouldn’t get hurt on anything in there)
I mean, I’d still at least throw a five down on it being a secret sex dungeon, shrine to the mother, or a porn stash just for the hypocrisy angle, but it’d make perfect sense to bar out kids from a weight lifting room and it’d make sexist sense that he would see no reason to ever let Becky use it even when she was a teenager.
That’s how kids get “confused about their gender identity” after all…
Shrine to the mother doesn’t really make sense since the prohibition seems to go back before she died.
Checkov’s weight room. I trust Willis has something more than documents waiting for us in there.
I’d just pile on the hypocrisy and go lesbian porn.
That or it’s gay porn and the sounds are self-flagellation.
The lesbian porn one is very possible. People who fetishize a minority group sometimes have really regressive ideas about that group.
I’m thinking specifically of folks who are into t****y porn, who then murder trans women for “tricking” them.
the y there made me read that as ‘titty’ rather than the t-slur, and I read that sentence a couple different ways before it clicked.
Yeah, that was my first thought too. Sekrit Sexytimes Dungeon. Maybe even that sinful licky-style type of sexytimes.
It could have been as simple as it was Ross’s special man-cave room, and it was important that he have it all to himself, for weight-lifting purposes or otherwise.
Any number of ‘dun-Dun-DUUUUN!!’-grade secrets are also a possibility. It all boils down to whether the high concept at this point is Joyce’s disillusion with the world she grew up in, or Becky coping with losing her original family.
Not that stupid. I got rid of my weights and replaced them with a Bowflex when the kids were little, I didn’t want them hurting themselves.
It’s probably Toedad’s dungeon, where he and Becky’s Mom got it on with lots of latex and paddles and ball gags and stuff. I got him figured as one of those hypocrites that badmouths other people, but keeps his own fetishes and sins hidden in a spare bedroom the kids aren’t allowed to go in. Because reasons.
Because if that’s all he was doing there wouldn’t be much of a point in introducing a secret room into the comic?
Bagge: “La-li-la-li-la. New comic!!!”
Brain: “Quick, before you read, click this link.”
Bagge: “Heh, I DO like to see Ross getting decked.”
Brain: “And this one. Quick.”
Bagge: “YOU GO BECKY!!!”
Brain: “Good. One more.”
Bagge: “Awwww, that is adorable.”
Brain: “OK, now I think we have done what we can. You can read today’s strip.”
Bagge: “I’M SAD!!!”
That first one is also notable for being a previous display of Joyce’s super-rage strength. Look at Ross fly!
“Wow, Joyce, when’d you get so strong!”
“What? Um, I don’t actually remember.”
“Yeah, it was kind of strange. A little before the she went off to colllege Joyce disappeared for a few hours one evening, and came back talking about the Sound of Music for some reason. After that she was a lot stronger than I remember her being. Plus she has this jetpack that can sprout out of her back now.”
“Oh yeah, I haven’t shown you yet, have I?” (Rockets start up.) “Wheeee!”
Holy right in the gut
How much crazy sex stuff are we going to find in Toedad’s room? Just a guess, but I’m gonna go with gay porn.
Obviously he didn’t lift weights, since she said he lifted weights.
Wait, where is Bonnie again?
In the ground.
Becky is truly having the best year!
Oh, right! now I feel bad….
Was that ever stated, in-universe or word-of-god? Ross said that she was gone, but theory is/was that he only acted like she was dead, not actually dead.
Willis has stated it in a comment. Specifically that she’s worm food.
Bonnie is fertilizer.
Word-Of-God then. Alright.
Almost forgot, at least she has her priorities in order.
And it was only last year too. So, in the last year, she’s lost her mom, possibly to cancer, possibly to something else (I think some people have suggested suicide), figured out she was gay, got thrown out of college, had her dad try to correct her, became homeless, got rejected by her first crush, had her dad hunt her like an animal, got kidnapped, and lost literally everything and is now just picking up the pieces of her broken life and trying to reforge something strong and new.
And now she’s being haunted by her memories of the past.
Becky’s having a great year.
((actually her mom passed the entrance exams to go study evolutionary biology))
Well, I guess she’s hit bedrock then? Time to start setting the well.
Pining for the fjords.
She’s joined the Choir Invisible. Literally, it seems.
Or my favorite one from that bit….She’s doing the worm wave in the subterranean stadium.
She is an ex-mother.
becky was an adorable young lady
She truly was! Still is.
oh she certainly is. then again i have a thing for red heads.
Are you afraid of ghosts?
A childs question. Might be a prelude to bravado (“I’M not”), to a put down (“I bet you do, you are such a baby”)” or a good scare (“I once heard of a kid, just like you and me, who got eaten by the ghosts.”). And as adults we smile at their innocence.
But the questions remains. So do the ghosts. Some people don’t believe in them. Those are people I envy. Some fight them. Those are people I pity. Some acknowledge them but refuse to let them control their lives. Those people I admire.
My client was one of those people, but ignoring the ghost becomes awfully hard when they are sleeping in your bad, eating your food and laughing with your family. I could see her trying to make light of it, but she was visibly moved as we moved through what had once been her home.
This place belonged to the ghost now, not the living, and ghosts, much like Ornithischia, don’t like to share.
The goon started to look through the place, all business now. She had her own ghosts to deal with, but even more importantly she had that one person that WASN’T a ghost. The one she had risked loosing but hadn’t. The one she could still fight for.
If you have someone like that it make all the difference. I recently got reasons to believe that I might have someone like that as well. IF I managed to keep her, that is. If I dared to fight for her when it was really needed.
Part of the reason why I took this case, really.
“What about this door,” asked the goon and woke me up from my monologing. “It’s not on the blueprint” I didn’t like the sound of that. A mystery door was the last thing we needed.
“Never mind that. Just grab what we came for and let’s go. Whatever’s behind there won’t bother us.”
Hope springs eternal. Much like ghosts.
at first i thought this was an exceprt from ‘john dies at the end’ * before realizing it was OC. Also reminds me of ‘the big o’** which lands on this exact vibe like 4 eps in.
*if you havent read this already, what are you waiting for
**not the pr0n, the spiritual successor to cowboy bebop according to
Someone comes back from the dead in episode 5, so maybe there is hope?
(Now I want to go make a Gravatar from that show. But who?)
Big O was a spiritual successor to Cowboy Bebop?! This is news to me.
Heh, I haven’t read/seen any of them. All I know of noir comes from parodies. But I really got interested in “John dies at the end”.
Now there’s a vague, yet menacing phrase: Ghosts Spring Eternal. Can that be the title of the #JocylneNoir novel?
At this point I don’t think it can ever be called anything else than “Jocelyne Noir”
True, but “Ghosts Spring Eternal” just begs to be a tagline or something.
Your Jocelyne noir story is definitely the highlight of this arc!
Those last two paragraphs are just perfect.
Awww, thanks. Although I think this arc is an highlight all in itself – so much feel, so much Becky. Also Joyce and Jocelyne.
Goodness, who let it get so dusty in here? *surreptitiously wipes eye*
becky I’m coming into the comic and giving you tons of hugs.
also you jocelyne. and joyce. but becky right now.
“I see dead history”.
Wellllllp, time to mosey on away from this sad situation. Currently taking bets on what shoe is going to drop inside the weight room. My guess is some sort of Becky’s mother shrine.
I’m just really hoping it won’t be her dead body..
twist. it’s joyces dead body shrine
No wonder she’s so strong. She’s a ghooooooooooost
But she’s corporeal. Some form of revenant or ghoul?
Haven’t you seen the documentary “Ghost”? Given a little time and practice ghosts can interact with the physical world just fine.
No one really can go home again.
For those who’ve gone through things like Becky, home is just a prison filled with memories that cut and stab.
My heart goes out to any and all of you who, like Becky, have no family left at a young age, especially due to circumstances like hers. You are all so worthy of love and deserving of a family, and it’s just not fair that people get put in that position. Sending hugs to everyone. 🙁
Did the doors get you too?
I’m just glad that when things went down for me I already had all my documents, so the only things I let go were the stuff of mine they had been borrowing and any pictures of my past, which were just going to hurt anyways. And it means I never ever have to go back to that place.
*big giant squeezy hugs*
No. Listen. NO. This is not ok. I’ve been crying all day because of a sad thing in a different fandom from last night and now this?? I’m just. I’m gonna sue every creator of entertainment and media over emotional damage….
I mean, not really, obviously. But boy, I’m NOT having a very uplifting week in my fandoms xD
I hope this helps.
I’ve seen that outfit before, but I can’t remember the character who was wearing it.
Probably Ciaphas Cain. He’s among the more iconic Imperial Commissars, whose uniform that is.
When you think about it, a Corgi would make a surprisingly good political officer. Therapy dog, mascot, and frontline commander all in one! They’d probably be better for morale than Warhammer 40K’s usual Commissars, considering that the latter routinely execute their troops as a reminder to the rest of what will happen if they waste ammunition or refuse to charge the enemy.
Fuck, eleven minutes into today and I’ve already cried.
I’ll get the alcohol if someone else gets the tissues
I’d like to know what her Mom was like sometime…
Dead Parents are the Best.
Patreon bonus strip request?
The book on the bed says ‘Jesus Math’, right? I think I had that one.
Jesus can make 2+2=Fish!
“five fishes and two loaves equals…”
“1 Jesus + 1 Jesus = BLASPHEMY THERE IS ONLY ONE JESUS”
Not if it’s Boolean Algebra! Then it reads like “Jesus or Jesus”.
Only one Jesus? Stop this war on christmachrist immediately!!!
Banach–Tarski paradox is Jesus math … five loaves of bread and two fish could feed 5000 men (besides women and children)
Ah, memories of the 200% of math magicians guy and the carrying the one is an act of god guy.
Note: I have never experienced fundies first hand. I heard about those bozos using the Internet.
It reminds me of when my friends in high school showed me some of their “Christian” textbooks. Math problems based on the arc, featureless white void pictures of babies for the Reproductive System, unbelievably antisemitic questions trying to make a case for not lying to nazis if hiding Jews. Good times.
When I was bullied in junior high (middle school), my parents spent some time shopping around for alternatives. I spent one (1) day at a Christian school. According to my mother (or at this point, my memory of what she told me), I came out to meet her at the end of the day with a ‘science’ textbook which stated that Darwin was wrong to question the Lord’s creation.
“Do I have to do this?”
And that was that.
Ow my feelings
Man… just… Fuck Ross McIntyre. Just fuck him right to Hell. He could have a family right now if he weren’t so selfish. Instead he ruined two lives.
Two? Becky’s and who else? I thought his wife died of cancer?
Yeah, but just imagine the state of her life before that as Toedad’s personal property:
yay, sadness all around ;-;
Thank god for the warning, alt-text. The rest of this story has been such a barrel of sunshine and rainbows that the mood shift might have given me whiplash!
Yeah, Willis going out of his way to warn us things are going to get sad is one of those utterly terrifying thoughts. Like… um, if DoA is already at a baseline of feels, what does “exceptionally sad” look like?
Fourth Panel: Becky is watching some show, with both of her parents watching her be happy, being happy themselves, if only for a moment. An assumingly rare time for the three of them, being happy as a family.
Excuse me, I must have something in my eyes.
Those are the memories that sting most when you’ve been disowned and abandoned like Becky. Remembering those happy moments and realizing how false and conditional they were. Knowing fully you can never again go back to that and accepting that some things you love will always be tainted by how much they’re associated with these memories of the past (this last one I’ve been working through of late being able to win back things that had strong family memories like the smell of incense or being able to watch anime).
Best of luck with the winning back. Not sure if I’ll ever be able to do that with my lost.
Easily the saddest page I’ve seen in a while.
Things I learnt from Toedad: decorating all in green is cacky and depressing.
Now hypothesizing that Ross McIntyre was once possessed by Infernal Eyebrows.
Heh, that little smile on Becky’s face in the first panel. I bet she’s thinking, “Damn, Joyce is hot when she kicks in windows.”
She’s beautiful when she’s angry?
Yeah, it’s definitely a “every day, you remind me why I still carry a torch for you” moment.
And just that oh so important reinforcement that Joyce is on her side and willing to stick out her neck for her. Becky knows that already, but it is always nice to see in action.
Nice Book of Mormon reference, title text :3
This…this strikes a little close to home for me. I’ve lost a few close family members over the past three years and this is…bringing some memories. I…I might not be in the comments for the next couple of days…
*sympathy by light touch*
*hugs* Take care of yourself. This comic and this comment thread do not matter more than your mental health.
So, what is in Toedad’s closet? Dead bodies? Porn? Male model calenders? Guns? Drugs? Explosives?
Male model porn calendars printed on explosive drugs.
that blows, in several ways. and, uh, dates
A single chair.
A single old TV.
A single VHS player.
A single, worn copy of Jurassic Park.
Nah, his Seinfeld DVD collection, including complete annotations on each episode.
So, what heartbreaking thing is probably hiding in Toedad’s bedroom? Guess now!
Two words: Sex dungeon.
Becky and Joyce used to have exactly the same hairstyle.
Maybe that’s how they first became friends: Bonding through their hairstyles.
Honestly, I’ve seen kids become friends for weirder reasons.
“We weren’t allowed in the other bedroom. I think because Mr. McIntyre lifted weights in there or something-”
That’s preposterous. Why would Ross be lifting weights in his bedroom? But what else could be causing those grunting sounds and-
lifting his “neck”
actually my parents had weights in their bedroom–I don’t recall either of them lifting much, but then I had a relatively healthy childhood and wasn’t barred from any room of the house
Is it awful that I truly wouldn’t be even a little surprised?
I sincerely hope they find something unbelievably scandalous.
The walls are papered–literally papered–with Hang-In-There-Cat posters. A pair of sawhorses supports a half-finished wooden carving of the cat hanging from his branch, almost disturbing in its detail. Its left front paw, so finished and perfect that it seems almost alive, is the only part truly complete. Wood shaving litter the floor to a depth of several inches throughout the room, and a single bare bulb casts eerie shadows over the scene.
A half-dozen similar carvings are scattered around the floor, broken and discarded, each apparently perfect, save that someone has chiseled “StOP hoPINg so GOSh daRn MUCh” in fine letters across their foreheads.
A tape player whispers “Hang in there, baby” over and over in sensuous tones, but the recording, which loops over and over, is distorted and warped, the tape stretched by time and age.
Jocelyn quietly concludes that there’s nothing useful in this room and backs away.
Becky yells “HE KEPT ALL MY SCULPTURES!”
Damn. right in the feels.
They say the old MacIntyre house is still haunted by the ghost of that laundry basket to this very day.
Once upon a time, they say, ToeDad wasn’t a toe at all…
Is that a Hamburger pillow
On her ghost-mom’s lap? I think it’s the laundry she’s folding?
Becky can see flashback ghosts! First she’s a lesbian, and now she’s on the plasmids! Next thing you know, she’ll be leading an army of homicidal splicers to steal nuclear weapons and conquer the world!
not gonna lie, that got me right in the feels.
Me too. My mom passed away last fall and it fell onto my sister and I to empty her house, which our family had lived in since 1958, and sell it. Once it was emptied and down to nothing but bare walls I took one last walk-through, and it took everything I had to keep from just sitting in the middle of the floor and quietly crying as I remembered everything that had transpired over the past.
I thought I was getting over it, and then Willis shows me this.
DON’T PAUSE THE WISECRACKS YOU’LL JUST LET THE FEELS IN
(Really though, all the hugs for Becky)
ALL the hugs.
And yeah, this is the mask starting to slip right off her face. This place was always going to be hard for her, but I think we’re seeing now it’s downright crippling.
The locked bedroom… Oh god… Those never have weights or puppies in them.
Tragically, they may have both.
I can think of a few that do. Even a couple with both.
Dead puppies aren’t much fun, though.
…I hope Ross didn’t have a dog. He’s been away a while, and finding a dessicated pup corpse is only slightly less awful than a maggot-ridden puddle of flesh slime.
Presumably Becky would have thought of that by now. Also, most likely they would have smelled it by now, even dead small stuff like mice start smelling up a space awfully within a few hours, and death-smell is pretty damn strong.
I like the new penciled on top ghosts style Willis!
“Ghosting of Age is a webcomic about students at Indiana U, and the voyeuristic ghosts who watch everyone thing they do.”
Blearg, that should read “everything they do.” This thing needs an edit function!
(a) I think you meant “everyone they do”, and (b) I’m thinking crossover potential with Wilde Life.
Nah, we already have Funky Winkerbean for that.
… Incest cancer…
The past is prologue, becky. Your new future awaits.
I’m still hoping this ends with them discoving a “Dear Toehead, I’m leaving you for another woman.” letter and the whole “You’re mom died” was something he made up to bandage his ego
My brain instantly jumped to Slender when a note behind a locked door was mentioned. Great.
My fear? “Dear Diary, the traitorous whore is dead. I buried her by the old lightning-struck oak tree on the northern end of the hunting trail.”
I dunno. I doubt Becky would have missed the funeral, and I find it unlikely that even a pastor who knew and liked Ross would just put one on with no body without question.
Word-Of-God said otherwise. I was right there with you.
Oh, man. The melancholy of remembering the way things used to be…
It’s even harder when the memories are so strong that they even feel alive in a way. Hang in there Becky.
I feel like it can’t be too much while keeping the comic realistic but I am also worried about what is going to be in that room
All i could think of was it would be like a shrine to her mother…
Wouldn’t that count as idolatry?
My guess is that it’s Ross’s den. They’re going to find a lot of things in there, possibly including a journal containing a Confession that he intended only for God’s eyes about the real events in his marriage. Likely not horrific – that wouldn’t fit in too well with Willis’s general style for DoA but very likely sad and disheartening.
They won’t be nice things for any of the three ladies to learn. Especially Becky who will be losing even her illusions of a happy childhood home as a result.
I don’t think they are going to find anything horrifying. I think Becky is going to find something genuinely heartwarming and lovely. That is going to be way, way more painful. Sso far, she has succeeded pretty well in writing off her past and moving forward. Ssomething bad will make her confident in her choices. Evidence that her dad was loving abut in pain underneath his flaws….way worse.
tbh I feel like they won’t find anything- it’s just a power thing, to keep Becky in her place by respecting the adults’/her parents’ space, and Joyce (being allowed in her parents’ room if needed) assumed it was because Ross lifted weights (or something) and wanted privacy or space.
But on like, tone and assumptions because he’s horrible and stuff, it also feels like they’re going to find something either shocking (eg porn/gay porn, a dungeon, evidence of his lover, etc) or scary (weapons, /the bodies/, journal about murdering Becky, I guess also a dungeon because I doubt Becky and Joyce would even know it’s a sex thing)
Actually, add ‘evidence of his other family’ as a possible extension of lover.
You forgot “recepts from the degaying camp she was slated for.”
I agree but I don’t think that would be a surprise, although I suppose Becky might be double horrified if there are some flyers she can read about them (or if she googles the name on said receipt and reads some stories about it)
aw fuk is i really crying man
A typical day in the life of Some1
Oooh it’s 9 02 time to check dumbing of age
-No new comic
Okay…let’s try reloading the page!
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Well I guess the only thing to do is reload the page again…
dammit, wait maybe if I retype the web address?
-No new comic
Curses…reloads comic 30 times
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WILLIS WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN US!!!!!WHAT CRUEL MAN WOULD!!!!?
Ooooh comics up!
So… when is the sad coming? Next strip?
Those blue lines weren’t supposed to appear on the scanner and break my heart, right?
So how you can reconnect with a father who wants to cure or force you from being who you are?
By setting him on fire?
with jumper cables!
This is a very poignant strip. Becky’s childhood was much happier than her present would suggest in many ways. It may have been based on an illusion of a happy family but it was a powerful illusion and a reassuring one. Now she doesn’t even have that left really. She has to question every good moment she had in that house and wonder what, if any of it, was true.
I’ve got a horrible feeling that the contents of the Forbidden Room will be the final straw for her memories of her past. I’m guessing that it’s Ross’s den – his hobby room where he keeps his guns, his hunting trophies and other things of personal significance to him (possibly including scrap books and journals). I’ve got a feeling that there is also going to be proof of hypocrisy, possibly even confessions of infidelity or worse against Becky’s mother.
I’m wondering if the door God is going to close in this chapter is the door between Becky and the illusory memories she has of a happy childhood.
Yeah… that hits home. Cause I’ve had a lot of that reassessment for similar reasons. Looking back at memories of what felt happy at the time and realizing how thin the veneer was and how conditional it all was and how none of the expressions of love were really true or meant a damn thing.
And it’s made me re-evaluate the things I glossed over at the time that I really shouldn’t have, like the time my dad hit me and my mom did nothing and we went on pretending like it never happened.
Bob damn, memories of home are the worst!
I’ll take heart-breaking memories of home over PTSD from moving 2 or 3 times a year as a kid.
“like the time my dad hit me and my mom did nothing and we went on pretending like it never happened”
You too? *hug*
Oh man now I’m worried she’s going to rewalk the rooms after that (that being “I’m wondering if the door God is going to close in this chapter is the door between Becky and the illusory memories she has of a happy childhood”) happens and the ghost memories will return but be like, her sobbing in the bed (I’m not going to speculate on the scary stuff in other rooms).
Gng. My feels.
Fine, just take my heart. I didn’t need it today anyway.
I know, right? “Oh, OK, it’s not like I needed my FEELS for anything else today or anything.”
Also, you can really feel how overwhelmed Becky is by the way her snark is slipping to bitter rather than upbeat. That’s a nice writing touch, Willis.
True. Her mask has slipped very few times, but her general demeanor now is very similar to here
Yeah, this place is putting her in some INTENSE emotional distress right now.
I’m imagining something like Pierce’s “swing” room from Community.
That could be shocking without being awful
Don’t worry Becky. When you come back with your PhD in science, you can come back here and spruce up the place for you and Dina. And maybe a baby dinosaur if you guys figured out how to clone them without causing another Jurassic Park incident.
Yeah, frog DNA substitution ruins everything. Full DNA records or bust!
Becky has a mental breakdown when she discovers her dad’s room is not full of fanciful harlequins.
I think we’re getting comics mixed up here.
The real spooky bit comes when you have to strip the house and the carpet is brightest where the beds and chairs once stood.
Good luck Becky! Disturbing the ghosts is never happy but it will pass.
And now we find out that the secret room is something of a shrine to his dead wife, Becky, or both. Because good luck having easily processed emotions.
Nah, the robot workshop where he built Bonnie. And all of the younger models of Becky.
Willis, you have outdone yourself.
Don’t check the browser history.
do NOT check the browser history.
They may want to grab the hard drive and poke through it; may have useful data.
Ross seems like the type who bottled up his grief when Becky’s mom died and that is what made him the fundie psycho he showed himself out as. They say you can’t go home again, and this somber trip down memory lane is a sobering reminder of that. Willis, you tell an excellent story and I look forward to seeing where this all goes.
Given Becky’s behaviour he’s likely always been a psycho, just taken to a surprising new level.
From what we heard from Hank, he’s always been a psycho. Everything else probably just added on and on until what little mental stability he had shattered.
Mother related feels on the horizon. First picture of her, mysterious room, only parent not established to be a douchecanoe…
This is a truly masterful page, maybe I’m still feeling sad from game of thrones but this connects, despite having no real idea of what becky has gone through.
This is all I can imagine Jesus Math to be:
“1+1=2. Jesus died for you.”
1+2=3, Died to set you free.
1,2,3 Jesus loves me!
1,2 Jesus loves you.
2,3,4 He loves you more
Than you’ve ever been loved before.
5, 6, 7, I’m on my way to heaven!
8, 9, It’s gonna be fine!
8, 9, 10. It’s time to end.
But there’s time to sing it again!
(But I won’t. I just thought a silly childhood memory from my sorta fundie past would be nice.)
1+3=4, Opened Heaven’s Door.
BROKE INTO THE OLD APARTMENT
THIS IS WHERE WE USED TO LIVE
You’ve been reading old Family Circus panels again, haven’t you Mr. Willis?
Panel 1: Aw, Becky grinning her head off at Joyce’s strength. She’s still got it bad for her and Joyce keeps on being awesome in really helpful ways that really reinforce that. Though with time and dinosaur smooches, that pride won’t have to be tinged with the sting of rejection anymore.
Also, I love the continuation of Jocelyne and Becky’s teamwork here. And love Jocelyne keeping everyone on task, which will be so important. Joyce triggering rage mode will make her a lot less prone to panic, but if she hears a siren noise, she’s going to flip out again and Becky… well Becky’s being haunted as we see in the later panels.
Panel 2: I love this style for her being haunted by the memories of the past. Retains that blue from the flashback scenes, but retains a sketchiness feeling and a lack of filling to make them really evocative as smoke images from the past. Just a lingering on that haunts the home Becky sees.
And it hammers home how much this house is ripping her apart. Like, I was really really lucky that I never had reason to ever have to step inside the house of my raising after I was disowned, so I can’t even imagine how awful it must be for those who do. Who have to revisit all those awful memories and stinging reminders of a life that will never be again to get one’s documents or treasured possessions or so on.
And you can see it in how quickly it rips the smile right off Becky’s face. This is her nightmare, her personal hell, and her personality type is such that she is prone to suffer that hell in silence, showing nothing about how it’s eating her up inside.
Damn computer screen making it impossible to give fictional character a hug.
Panel 3: Awww, even at a young age, Joyce loved planes and imagining herself whooshing through the air. And with Becky she could get away with it up until a parental figure chastised them for being “unladylike”.
It makes me really hope that Joyce is able to figure out her dream, go into the ROTC, become a fighter pilot, maybe even rise up in the ranks enough to pilot Air Force One for President Keener. It’d make a nice rejoinder to “Those who’d ground her”.
Huh, part of me wonders if this is a red herring. Like, we’re primed to expect some layer of hypocrisy or a stash of gay porn or something, so it’ll actually be exactly what she says, her dad’s bedroom and where he stores his weights.
And I think that might work better. Let Toedad’s awfulness stem entirely from him being exactly what he seems. Because what he seems to be is monstrous in its own right. And let the ban on that room be because that’s where he keeps all the metaphorical leashes around Becky’s freedom. Her documents and so on… Bob damn am I really hoping he’s not so anti-government to not get a birth certificate or a social security card for Becky or to shred the documents because “that’s the mark of the Beast”.
Panel 4: I love the visual arrangement of this panel so much. Becky so small and off-center in what is actually a big, dark empty room, standing still and staring at ghosts of a happier time. A time when she believed that the promise of family meant something. Before that got poisoned by Toedad’s hate.
And her stance, shoulders slightly shrugged, body slumped slightly down, she’s breaking under the weight of these memories, curling it up inside her alone. And she’s struggling to remain functional, stay in the conversation, provide advice, but she’s fading fast. You can tell that while everyone is hustling, she’s dragging her feet more and more just getting lost in the rabbit hole of these feelings and the ghosts this place holds for her.
It all makes her look so tired and defeated. Already her mask has mostly crashed off, so I think it’s only a matter of time before we see crying Becky again, because one can only imagine what other nightmares of her past this place can contain for her, even if it’s just in happy memories of what will never be again.
And you see that in that little line. “Everyone’s gone”. Not just her dad, not just her mom, but the happy little long-hair girl who believed she was straight and was happy to follow her dad’s and her church’s awful directions. A person who received familial love without having to beg for it, because that love was always dependent and conditional on her sexuality.
A house she is seeing for the last time forever. No matter what. Everyone’s gone and soon, so too will this merry band of technically thieves. And the only things carried out will hopefully be Becky’s documents (big crossed fingers) and the ghosts of this place. They will live on in her head for far too long.
You missed the jesus math book!
I don’t think she did.
Poor, poor, Becky. It’s so… unfair. All those happy memories should have been allowed to remain happy. She so rarely lose her mask so this really hits hard.
Everyone is gone, indeed… (NO, not everyone. She still has Joyce.)
Panel 3: Awwww, little Joyce and little Becky are ADORABLE, and I really hope she will fly a plane one day.
Trailer voice: “The Air Force One has been captured by NINJAS. Will president Keener…”
Joyce, offscreen: “FUDGE YOU, MOTHEREFFER!!!!” *punching sounds*
Trailer voice: “…never mind. We’re good.”
Another poignant and well thought out analysis Cerberus. My sister and I have been recently piecing together all the crap we went through as kids. Lots of recent visits home have dredged up all sorts of good and bad memories for my sister and she’s been talking to me to get my point of view. God, I was so oblivious, or so I thought. All the time I spent AWAY from home as a kid was, in hindsight, done so I wouldn’t have to deal with my mom’s crap. It’s amazing how taking a look back or having memories dredged up by being in the home you grew up in gives you a lot of food for thought when you didn’t even realize you were repressing so much. And that’s just from my mom’s passive aggressive abuse (and at times not so passive) and religious crap. I can’t even imagine what it would be like for someone in Becky’s shoes (or Cerberus’, or anyone else on here who’s been there and done that).
Once again, Willis has brought out the feels quite effectively.
I kind of hope Becky manages to hold it together through the weekend and then breaks down in tears when she gets back to Dina.
Kind of a rough reunion for Dina, but a good way to show how much Becky trusts and relies on her.
It’s amazing how much detail he can get with minimalist designs (compared to hyped detailed things you see on tumblr/deviantart/etc).
I think I messed up the compliment.
Jesus Math, huh.
Someone’s been reading their christian oatmeal ripoff guy:
On one hand I’m morbidly curious about what could possibly be in that link.
On the other hand I’ve made a resolution to not give that guy more page views.
Then permit me to provide a transcript:
Title: Jesus and math
Scene: Teacher standing in front of a chalkboard with “2+2=4” written on it, along with some dots illustrating the concept.
Teacher: YES, BILLY.
Billy (sitting at his desk): SIR, YOU ARE BEING AWFULLY DOGMATIC…
Help! I got dragged through the rabbit hole of looking for examples of the kind of stuff Becky likely read in Jesus Math and now I’m trapped in a sample of “Math Concepts from a Biblical Worldview” homeschool textbook:
And since I want you all to share my pain, here’s some lovely quotes:
“Men, using the ability God gave them, have developed methods to solve
Don’t want any of you youngsters accidentally thinking women know fuck all about maths. I mean, how could they with their tiny lady brains? Ada Lovelace, Emmy Noether… I do not understand these sounds you are making with your face hole.
“The many different multiplication methods out there remind us that, far from being man-made systems, multiplication methods describe a real-life consistency. Why else would so many different people find methods to arrive at the same answers? Each and every one of these methods ultimately rests on God’s faithfulness in holding all things together!”
Ah, shit, had to talk about actual math things for a page or two, let’s quickly shoehorn in Jesus by erasing any mathematical method for solving problems that’s been abandoned for being wrong-headed.
” is 30,000 light-years from earth does not mean the light took 30,000
years to get here! It only means the star is an incredible distance away! As we just saw, a light-year is just a useful measurement unit based on the distance we observe light travel in a second here on earth. Light may very well travel differently in the deep recesses of space, or God may have used some other way to get the light here much faster than normal.”
And my favorite one for last, because this section starts with a “God gives us multiplication to help us figure out the world, so useful because God” bit, but the problem was probably cribbed from a real math textbook somewhere and you can just see the gears grinding to a halt as he presents the answer. Yay this star must be 30,000 light years away, which is a measurement of how long it takes light to reach usssssss….. uhhhh, whoops, we’re supposed to be pretending the entire universe is only a little over 6000 years old. Abort, abort! God cheats at light. Ignore your maths, they’re just lies built on deceit and Satan.
Heh! I like that….fudging stuff to fit the Creationist worldview. Now you’ve got me reading that drivel…to my great amusement and consternation that people actually believe and are taught this crap. But I was allowed to read (thankfully, I was allowed a public library card) and quickly discovered what the Bible says and what science says are two different things and so questioned the whole Creationist view of things from the get-go. But I’m a guy so was allowed to do things my sister was not…up to a point.
In the Parting Note, the line “Always remember, textbooks do not have to be followed as rigid rules!”…if you treat the Bible as a textbook for life, can you extrapolate this line to it as well? 😉
NO! NEVER EXTRAPOLATE! That way lie questions you can’t un-ask and OH GOD WHY
Relevant happy comic I just saw in my reread:
As a recovering homeschooler I can vouch for the utter accuracy of this.
The art here is really good.
Watch, it’s going to be completely normal in that room, with maybe a few pictures of his family to make it sadder.
Why does Mrs. McIntyre have such a big cheeseburger on her lap… wait… oh it’s laundry. lol
Most likely the other room they couldn’t go in was his wife’s room. I get the feeling that, after a certain point, they weren’t even sleeping in the same room, let alone the same bed. Everything that was Becky’s mom’s is probably in that room. Jewelry, clothes, makeup….probably paperwork, too. It’d be the best place to keep it if he wanted to keep it safe, since he wouldn’t let people go in there anyways.
The dark side of letting toxic people, especially toxic relatives, out of your life. You still have the good memories and now they’re tainted by the bad ones in a way that’s… really hard to explain to those who don’t have to go through with that.
Plus brains are butts about those good memories and use them to doubt the excellent idea that was cutting the toxic fucker out. Like it’s all, maybe You were unfair, remember that great time. Sure, it’s painful now, but remember how it used to feel. Look at all these other “happy” moments, ignore the ones with why you stay away. Wouldn’t be better than getting triggered by something you used to love? Maybe you overinterpreted what they were about and if you reach out they won’t be the same toxic assholes…
And then you remember just how much of a shit they were and it’s back to crying at happy memories and sneering a little bit at “family will always get your back” lines in movies.
Oh what? That box says “Jesus Math”?
I thought it said “Jesus Mon”.
Ah, yes, the real secret. Ross was a Rastafarian.
Alternative secret: Ross knew Pokemon was of the devil, but he couldn’t resist Digimon.
We all know that Pokemon is of the Devil though. That’s common knowledge.
SIGH… that was supposed to be devil horns… Fail.
“Jesus Mon” would be the family emblem he used in Japan when he moved there after his brother Isukiri died on the cross in his place.
link fail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shing%C5%8D,_Aomori#Tomb_of_Jesus_Christ
Dont know why, but this song came up and it resonates with this strip for me.
im guessing he killed his wife when she tried to leave him
We’re going to find a human skin lampshade in there, aren’t we? Or an Edgar Suit… (MIB)
I find this appropriate…
This is what I think of as the appropriate sound track for this moment…
Other people probably noted it by now, but I missed a bit yesterday- Joyce is talking coherently and actually to people now. Maybe she needed a rage-kick (or just to be somewhere familiar/safe/out of sight).
Either that or it’s an alternate backstory for AmaziGirl.
The feels! … also why do I get the feeling that we’re about to encounter something other than weights in that “weight room”. O.o
Guess a) not a weight room at all, but actually a man cave – for sexytimes
guess b) it turns out that Becky’s mom’s body is in there, and she was murdered by Becky’s dad – with possible anti-lesbian shrine. o.O
I am incredibly NOT a big fan of a room closed off to members of the house and only one person knowing what it is. I fear the worst.
Willis actually offered a warning about tonight’s strip on his tumblr.
That can’t be good.
Considering what I’ve seen so far,
I find wacky Becky highly annoying and would rather see more focus on other characters that I can relate to better but I also don’t want to see her get hurt because that seems to be the only way to stop her being “wacky”
I’m guessing the next strip isn’t going to help matters either…
quickly someone invent technology that makes it so I can hug Bucky, it’s an emergency! ~<3
Hopefully Becky will find a huge wad of cash in a box or something.
Deep down we all knew the sads were coming sooner or later.
So, the theory’s about the closed room range from “normal room, with old pictures” (best case scenario?) to “mom in a jar” or “‘troubled’ youths chained to the wall” (how long since toedad left these hypothetical youths chained up?)
Tonight is going to be quite the reveal either way (if we even get to see that room tonight, maybe next strip just builds up to it a bit more…maybe we won’t even see the room in this trip to the house!)
Man the more this store evolves the more I identify with Dorthy. Went to college learned the real world real quick, where nothing taught at church matched with real life. Even that anger, man… What a good story line.
I love you, Willis.
I wanna say something about the next page (nope I’m not a non-empathetic assfuck don’t worry) but comments are closed there so I guess I’ll say it the next day to avoid spoiling the crowd here
I wanted to comment on the next one as well, but seems Willis locked the comments for some odd reason.
As for the comment itself: I feel like he handled the situation pretty well. Took the impact out of it for me, so I’m quite ‘meh’ about it, but then again I’m far more desensitized then most other humans to such things (especially since I’ve both considered and talked others out of such things, so it’s a familiar topic that doesn’t shock me) and as such I can commend the use of the warning prior to the actual comic.
That sed, for me, the real power of this (next) strip comes from the comments and the personal experiences others have shared and the passion they’ve expressed. That’s the sort of thing you don’t ever see in other forms of media – actual humans that can relate to something and their willingness to open up about it. That’s both the interesting and impressive part about the comic – it’s comment section and the tales it tells. It’s a pity it was locked so early, I’m sure much more could have poured fourth from the souls of those who read it, and that’s always worthwhile reading as far as I’m concerned.
Hmm, apparently some comments where too… asshole-ish to the more sensitive parts of the audience, so Willis decided to err on the side of caution and closed them. Can’t say I agree with the stance, but I don’t have to – it’s his comic after all.
It’s bemusing that information slipped by me the first time since I rarely read the author-text-blurb, but after posting above I decided to check more thoroughly for some possible explanation (because his twitter didn’t go into details).
After checking through all the comments for the next strip, the last one is at 3:02am – first one being on 12:02am; meaning it took exactly 3h for them to close. Fascinating.
Also now that I’ve red more of them I’m somewhat more in a solemn mood. Still, damn fine comments, I urge everyone to read at least some of them.
I’ve waited for a full day to be able to read two in a row, going there shortly. When I saw your comment that comments are closed, I said ‘whoa’. Good or bad, it’s going to be good.
no san diego comic-con, the sorries
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