Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis for February 08, 2012


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  1. Profile photo
    StrummerFan  about 9 years ago

    You and me both, Rat.

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    TMO1 Premium Member about 9 years ago

    This pretty much hits the nail on the head for the majority of bicyclists out there.

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    Alohacat  about 9 years ago

    Mmmm,…How many points were cyclist in the movie Death Race 2000?

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    rf_eq  about 9 years ago

    the truth is, bikers in bike lanes are one misplaced french fry away from death.

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    rayannina  about 9 years ago

    Alberto Contador’s ’roid rage takes an ominous turn …

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    margueritem  about 9 years ago

    I bike a lot, but stay in my neighborhood, and obey the traffic rules.

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    phoenixsk  about 9 years ago

    Something deep down below has frozen over… there’s actual FOOD on the plates in PBS.

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    Proginoskes  about 9 years ago

    Is there some unwritten bicycling law that says that bicyclists have to try to run over pedestrians?

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    cdward  about 9 years ago

    WHAT bike lanes? And when did bicycling become a crime? Any time I get on my bike, it’s taking my life into my hands because there is no bike lane and almost no shoulder. Won’t even let my kids go out on their bikes around here – how pathetic is that?

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    naturally_easy  about 9 years ago

    On a different note….is that bacon on Pig’s plate? That’s just not right.

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    orinoco womble  about 9 years ago

    Where I live, the city in its infinite wisdumb put the bike lanes in place of the sidewalks, so pedestrians have no where else to walk. Cyclists wearing headphones, with no bell or horn, enjoy counting points on pedestrians. The other day I was returning home on foot only to be pushed aside by a cyclist with no bell. He literally reached out a hand and shoved me. I guess he was too dumb to speak.In some areas, there is a bike lane on one side of the street, and a pedestrian sidewalk on the other. Of course the cyclists ride on the sidewalk, leaving the bike lane empty.

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    SusanSunshine Premium Member about 9 years ago

    “Jeff”, huh?

    Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    I’m willing to bet that Pastis is ragging on Jef Mallett here….

    I like Frazz, but the strip often has an attitude about non-bikers.

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    doublepaw  about 9 years ago

    Has to be turkey bacon I would think.

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    SusanSunshine Premium Member about 9 years ago

    duke — no, Pig eats bacon…. cos it tastes so darn good.

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    Sisyphos  about 9 years ago

    Ol’ Lightning Jeff is pretty amped up! I wouldn’t want to be driving anywhere near him. Neither would I want him anywhere near my breakfast!

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    Brian Fink  about 9 years ago

    Its been rare that I’ve wanted to pull a rat and remove cyclists from the road, but joggers on the road are a different story.

    For the couple of cyclists who have chimed in on here. When there isnt a bike lane on a heavily traveled road but there is a sidewalk with few or no pedestrians, why cant you use the sidewalk? I would think that would at least be safer for you

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    Varnes  about 9 years ago

    Susan, Christopher Moore, in his wonderful book Lamb: The gospel according to Biff, Christ’s childhood pal, explains that the reason Christians can eat pork is because Jesus really liked bacon……

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    PuckerbrushCity  about 9 years ago

    I’m with cedward on this one! I belong to a couple of cycling organizations and the emphasis from them is: ALWAYS OBEY THE TRAFFIC LAWS. I cycle well over 2,000 miles in a season and on many of the roads heareabouts there is no “bike lane”…heck, there almost isn’t any white line…I stay as far to the right as I safely can…but if it’s my safety at stake I will take the lane if necessary. And in Maine, one of the more bike-friendly states, motorists must give three feet of clearance to a cyclist when they pass. Yes, there are arrogant spandex jerks out there…but there are many many more arrogant motorists, filled with rage and ownership issues. BTW…I also own a car, have a job, pay gas and excise taxes—so I guess I own a piece of the road, too.

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    DaSta  about 9 years ago

    Not funny to joke about running over cyclists on purpose! Radio guys like Tony Kornheiser have gotten bad press over the same, and apologized. Have a contest to find a better caption.

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    finkd  about 9 years ago

    Maybe to Gordon Ramsey.

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    finkd  about 9 years ago

    Or have your passenger bump them with the door as you go by.

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    rolinger Premium Member about 9 years ago

    Couldn’t help but notice that Pig was eating bacon for breakfast. That’s seriously wrong!

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    IQTech61  about 9 years ago

    Bike lane schmikelane! There are bike lanes where I live and most of the time, the lane is full of parked cars.

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    petersg_99  about 9 years ago

    hmmm, I sense a recent incident…

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    SwimsWithSharks  about 9 years ago

    Bike lanes? Can someone tell me what those are?

    Here in Georgia we don’t have money for bike lanes. All our traffic money goes for traffic cops to get us as fast as possible in and out of the McFatty’s drive through.

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    CopperPin  about 9 years ago

    I absolutely will not “share the road”. I hate those Lance wannabe’s and make a point of forcing them to the shoulder whenever I can. They do not pay road taxes and have zero right to be there. You’re no pro, what’s so important that you’re training for that makes it okay to get in everyone else’s way?

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    finale  about 9 years ago

    Is this the guy that Burl Penny hit?

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    nancyroy2  about 9 years ago

    ….the war of the pedestrians versus the cyclists rages on!

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    nancyroy2  about 9 years ago

    … I meant motorists versus cyclists…. the pedestrians are caught in between!

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    Kaputnik  about 9 years ago

    As a bicyclist myself, I’d have to say there’s a lot more to be said for the bicyclist’s point of view. A lot of the perception motorists have of “crazy” bicyclists comes from motorists not knowing the rules of the road as they apply to bicycles. Then again, there are bicyclists who don’t know them either, but then again…

    The comments section of a comic strip is really not the place for any kind of rational debate. Pretty funny strip, actually. Jeff’s attitude reminds of a Douglas Adams, in one of his books, writing about the “heights of moral superiority that all bicyclists seem to inhabit.”

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    dutchs  about 9 years ago

    Here in the U.S., gas taxes and vehicle fees pay for the roads, so motor vehicles own the roads here. If it weren’t for cars, cyclists would be riding on dirt roads. Motor vehicles should have the right of way over bicycles and pedestrians except at legal crossings.

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    keithmc  about 9 years ago

    SHARE THE ROAD FOLKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yea a few cyclist are jerks but some time we need to take over the road for our own safety! You may not see the debri in the bike lane or no room on the shoulder. it’s on for a few minutes

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    Hoodude  about 9 years ago

    I’m a biker..seen more buicks w/young female drivers not inclined to swing a bit wide on the pass..whyzat,did mawmaw give up her ride so granddaughter could be bitter about driving an old coot car..and they are usually gold or silver

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    jcm52  about 9 years ago

    So that time I was cycling in Boston on a road without a bike lane in stop and go traffic, and an SUV pulled up beside me and the driver said “I don’t see a license plate on that bike so you better get off the road before I run you over”… Conversation went downhill from there. After calling the cops I learned that he was an uninsured driver with a 5 page driving record. The cop’s computer display had bright red “sex offender” at the top for this guy and a google search showed that he had been arrested for knocking his wife/girlfriend against a door, breaking a window with her head.

    Let’s make a deal: I won’t generalize to all car drivers if you agree not to generalize cyclists.

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    littleannoyingdog  about 9 years ago

    Pigs a cannibal? Who knew!!

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    pearlssuperfan  about 9 years ago

    Actually bikers are part of traffic so in some instances they are supposed to be in the road like at an intersection but if there is a bike lane ride in the bike lane

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    JustinOtherGuy  about 9 years ago

    Is that a “Pearl” Izumi jersey he’s wearing?

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    cormo  about 9 years ago

    I bike in bike lanes. Cars park in bike lanes, so sometimes I have to swerve into traffic to get around them. I’m still recovering from being hit 2 years ago by a car that made a left turn into my bike lane and hit me. You want something for your comics? The police took my bike which they thought was still working to the police station for safe keeping while I was in the hospital. My bike got stolen from the police station and I had to pay $25 for a copy of the theft report to show my insurance company.

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    tigre1  about 9 years ago

    I used to bike a lot, when I was a broke younger artist-sort…and then it seems I was supposed to wear spandex uniforms and fruity helmets…like a LOT of plebian harmless habits, it got taken over by the high-end (in air) crowd.

    Anybody remember when tickets to a pro ball game were for working people? ie, affordable on a low salary?

    Thoreau said something about occupations that require new clothes. For a BIKE? Snobs will do ANYTHING…expensive.

    Jerks. Susceptible to marketing…

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    Zuria Premium Member about 9 years ago

    I respect bicyclists’ right AND obligation to use the roads responsibly. I give them every courtesy and I watch out for them. However…I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen a bicyclist blithely blow thru a STOP sign with nary a hesitation. Can so many of them really not know that the laws of the road apply to them as well as autos?

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    chemgal  about 9 years ago

    naturally_easy: I was thinking the same thing!

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    yaxu  about 9 years ago

    Since when were cyclists against fattening food? It’s the sedentary motorists who have to care about avoiding eating the tasty stuff. Fried breakfasts are an integral part of any cycle tour for me.

    Sometimes bike lanes are usable in the UK, other times they’re full of glass, in the door zone, full of “cyclists dismount” signs, require dangerous negotiation of side streets, or are too just to narrow.

    Suggesting that cyclists ride in front of cars to spite them is pretty tired and pathetic, and advocating violence against them is no joke when cyclists are already on the receiving end of enough violence.

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    Soundboard  about 9 years ago

    Great…my life just got more endangered by a stupid cartoon. Just read the comments here. People think it’s funny to hit or just graze a person on a bicycle. “Just grazing” is the equivalent to driving a little bit drunk. People get killed by this. F*k.

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    Comicsexpert  about 9 years ago

    Bob Harvey did an excellent piece on Pearls. It’s such a meanspirited comic. I wonder what that says about us as a people.

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    nuitsblanches  about 9 years ago

    wow – sad day, first time i find a pearls comic quite clueless. Go ride a bike for a while before criticizing. If there’s a choice between - running into a car door that opens in front of me, or - riding through a gauntlet of potholes, broken glass, tree debris and hungry zeebra-eating alligators, or - risking being squeezed into the curb by absent-minded or roid-fueled car drivers who can’t be bothered to give me enough space for survival, or - blending in the background outside of the main field of view of blind drivers, - et.then yeap, i’ll ride where I and you can be safer. And before you tell me that i’m holding up traffic – how ‘bout the 1000 cars in front of you? Them’s not holding you up? I’m one car fewer to clog “your” street and hog your parking spot when you get to your destination. And how can i be holding you up when i catch up with you at the next light and then _you_’re holding me up.And I DO pay for the road, w/ my home taxes which is what fund the streets where I ride, and the repairs for the damage inflicted by your car. (and like the huge majority of cyclists, I DO own one or several vehicules on which i pay tabs, but which stay idle when i’m riding my bike. Do I get a refund for that?)No arrogance, just the facts. And you’re welcome.

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    mattspade Premium Member about 9 years ago

    @naturally_easy – Like the book says: BLTs Are Just So Darn Tasty.

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    nuitsblanches  about 9 years ago

    Education, it’s a Wonderful Thing:“Motorists do not pay directly for the roads. Roads are paid for via general and local taxation. In 1926, Winston Churchill started the process to abolish road tax. It was finally culled in 1937.”Plus there’s that nasty wee fact that the huge majority of cyclists DO own a vehicle for which they DO pay the car tax, while their car stays idle.

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    Richard Caley Premium Member about 9 years ago

    Aside from fueling ignorant driver attitudes this strip points out the use of stereo types or using the actions of a few to judge the whole does not lead to a solution. Bicycles are here to stay and using your car like a weapon will end up with a dead cyclist and a driver’s life ruined. Think about it.

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    angelfiredragon  about 9 years ago

    This is one of those situations where if your ready to have the government pay all your expenses you can get them and go to jail for your government retirement. Where I live a few years back someone got so angry at bikers who were hogging a mountain road and wouldn’t let anyone pass that the older guy who was on the verge of losing his house and about to become homeless decided a good retirement plan would be to run over one of the cyclists and severely injure them. In court he said he wanted to kill him, since this guy was above 70 and had acclerating medical bills, this was his retirement home, plan where the tax payer funds all his healthcare now. Obama care that works.

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    ermaltwo  about 9 years ago

    A little Wednesday morning self-loathing and projection, eh, Pastis.

    Share the road folks.

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    defunctdoormat Premium Member about 9 years ago

    Wow, I’ve know quite a few bicyclists, and none of them were like this. However, I’ve seem some REALLY bad drivers intentionally inflict pain and horror on them. I’ve heard first hand stories of people having stuff thrown at them. One guy I knew was knocked unconscious from a driver. Road rage from people driving cars is FAR more dangerous than what this comic attempts to depict. Road rage kills people with a lethal weapon. Know what happens if a bicyclist gets angry at you? He wrecks his bike and does no damage to the car. Even joggers are at risk. Did you hear about Stephen King running on the side of the road getting hit? And we allow these people to drive cars? I still hope for a screening test that tests for road rage. If you fail, you can never be licensed. You’re a menace to society.

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    BenSavoca  about 9 years ago

    //I find that largely they do not reciprocate//For the past six years, I have volunteered with a bicycle advocacy organization. We really push bicycling education, both for cyclists and motorists, to reinforce the notion of mutual respect. We train cyclists to obey the law and ride safely. It’s an uphill battle, because there are as many jerk bicyclists out there as jerk motorists, but we’re trying.

    //I find those comments supporting or claiming disregard to cyclists’ safety completely disgusting, as well as Rat’s comment//I can forgive Rat, as he is a fictional representation of an antisocial psychopath. It does upset me that here he seems to be more of a mouthpiece for Pastis than a satirical extreme. Of course, I can make no excuse for the living, breathing, driving commenters on this thread.

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    BigHornDave Premium Member about 9 years ago

    Just to be clear – I meant to add what I was commenting to!

    naturally_easy said, about 10 hours ago

    On a different note….is that bacon on Pig’s plate? That’s just not right.

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    melindasr5  about 9 years ago

    I was riding in a bike lane when I got hit by a car

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    Bucinka  about 9 years ago

    Without reading the 100 comments so far, I must chime and and remind people that bicycles are vehicles and as such are entitled to use the road. That said, they are also obliged to obey traffic signals, road signs, and officers dfirecting traffic, just like other vehicles. If a motorcycle is going slower than you want, you’d go around or put on the brake, right? …Then you should do the same with bicyclists.

    I’ve been assaulted more than once by motorists while riding. How many motorists can say they were assaulted by bicyclists?
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    shanerh  about 9 years ago

    Being run over while I bike my children to school would be very nice thank you. Thinking about the day they can bike on their own and having more Rats, like the commenters here, who would be willing to run them down for “slowing them down” as they enjoy the freedom and healthy choice of getting around on their own will be very comforting to me. Thanks for adding to the anger and rage WE feel out on OUR roads.

    Freedom of choice involves how we get around our communities. My family chooses active transportation. You can choose whatever you want. Just don’t threaten me while I practice mine.

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    papagary  about 9 years ago

    Same Rules, Same Rights, same roads.

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    spooon  about 9 years ago

    It could be turkey bacon.

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    petevannuys  about 9 years ago

    Like most American motorists, Pastis reflects his own poor body image by attributing motive to his cyclist. Guess what Rat: You’re gonn’a haft’a suck it up ‘cause there’s more of us on the road every day.

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    Spyderred  about 9 years ago

    The problem is not sharing the road with cyclists; it’s that even at their best sprint speed, they cannot keep up with internal combustion engines. Cyclists who use the bike lanes are great. Cyclists who want to use the roadways for cars, not so great as they’re really just a moving road hazard to themselves and others.

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    dpay  about 9 years ago

    I stuck on the fact that Pig is having Bacon for breakfast.

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    Vincent Wright  about 9 years ago

    Why is it when I read the bicyclist lines, I do it with a French accent. Weird.

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    porkerroy  about 9 years ago

    Every time I see one of those stupid "Share the Road signs with the bike on it, i want to write on it SHARE THE COST!’

    Bikes pay nothing but they want us to share? Gasoline tax, registration and license fees, etc. are paying for those roadsYou aren’t sharing them, pal…you’re getting them for FREE.

    Bikers are way too arrogant. They have this “holier than thou” attitude

    Bikes should be registered like cars and bikers should have to be insured, like drivers and carry liability insurance and bikes should have license plates, so you can ID them when they hit you and then ride away..

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    agnetaedren  about 9 years ago

    exactly why do they wear helmets? the don’t seem to have one fuctioning brain between them anyways

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    Godknight  about 9 years ago

    I think everyone is… not missing the point, but messing it up. The point is laughing at the self-righteous bikers, not ranting about them.

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    barnett300  about 9 years ago


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    jcm52  about 9 years ago

    “The “Sex Offender/Domestic Abuser” could just as easily been a cyclist. So the generalization implication simply is not applicable, unless of course you have no real basis on which to argue your point.”

    I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to say here – as in really I don’t know what you mean. I said “Let’s make a deal: I won’t generalize to all car drivers if you agree not to generalize cyclists.” The driver in my case was not just a sex offender, not just a domestic abuser, not just a driver with a lengthy record of traffic incidents, but also an uninsured driver.

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    Popeyesforearm  about 9 years ago

    Hey, Goat! Crank up the Chevy! Think this nut job’s been dopin’ just a wee bit.Here in Oregon they are given the right of way even when they’re going wrong way.

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    Larry Bush  about 9 years ago

    Apparently, Pastis intentionally misspelled Jef Mallett’s first name. This looks like he is taking a shot at the cartoon strip “Frazz” by Mallett. Frazz gets a little preachy about fitness and healthful eating (in the cartoon, Frazz is a cyclist and triathlete), so this cartoon, even though it will not ingratiate Pastis to Frazz fans, is fair enough as satire.

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    gregccox  about 9 years ago

    Best. Strip. Ever.

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    le-roy  about 9 years ago

    Pretty unrealistic. In real life, the cyclist’s costume would be all neon, and much tighter. Other than that, I could buy it.

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    tallwoman16dc  about 9 years ago

    I’m a very avid cyclist, ride almost every day. And I am NOT this guy. I respect the rules of the road and, also being a driver, I respect drivers, too. We need to share the road, not try to beat each other off of it. I get just as upset at the arrogant cyclists, those guys make me look bad. And arrogant drivers are just as bad. Hell, I know I won’t win a fight with a huge truck!!! Let’s do unto others, okay?

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    Drewdove  about 9 years ago

    Jeff is the perfect definition of douchebag.

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    Cyclist4life  about 9 years ago

    Not all cyclists are as rude as you. Bite me jackass!

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    schwelvis  about 9 years ago

    it’s actually 5 feet by law (at least here in Oregon)

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    Nicole™  Premium Member about 9 years ago

    Maybe it’s turkey bacon.

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    David Bethke Premium Member about 9 years ago

    So, is that meant to be Jef Mallett, from Frazz?

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    18wheeler  about 9 years ago

    denis. I’m a biker and I’m willing to bet I pay a lot more road taxes on my fleet of trucks than you make in annual income. All bikers own cars, probably more than one. Where did you get the idea that a biker doesn’t own a car? Try to slow down and think a little.

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    Jazz Cat  about 9 years ago

    Oh Pig- Shame on you! Bacon!!! Eggs and bacon – A day’s work for the chicken, a lifetime commitment for the pig.

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    Chris516  about 9 years ago

    Neither motorists’, nor cyclists’, own the road. Cyclists’ have been fighting for their right to ride on the road. While cyclists’ have the legal right to ride on the road, emotionally motorists’ vehemently disagree. In some cases, kill a cyclist. Because the motorist knows they can get away with it. Law enforcement won’t hold motorists’ accountable for their behavior, they always blame the cyclist.

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    Alohacat  about 9 years ago

    I like Caradine Movies, I even like that one that he played a she in the movie “Sonny Boy”.

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    Alohacat  about 9 years ago

    Obstiuckle ’

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    Yammo Premium Member about 9 years ago

    Now watch the “Bikes own the road” crowd come out…

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    billdsd  about 9 years ago

    @CopperPin: You are completely wrong. Bicyclists pay a lot for the roads. You make the very wrong assumption that your fuel taxes and registration fees cover the costs of the roads. In reality, they don’t even come close. You need to do your homework instead of making up pseudo facts and pretending that they are the truth.

    The fact is that general fund taxes that everyone pays cover a very large percentage of the costs of the roads. It varies somewhat by country and by state/province but the fact is that the roads are expensive and registration fees and fuel taxes don’t even come close to covering it.

    Even if you you were correct, the law says that bicyclists have as much right to use the road as motorists do. It does not recognize your silly delusion that your reg fees and fuel taxes give you more right to the road.

    Furthermore, threatening someone with your car is assault with a deadly weapon. It is a violent crime and you can do jail time for it. Meanwhile, moving over to pass a bicyclist safely is one of the easiest things to do in driving. It’s so trivial that it almost doesn’t even qualify as an inconvenience. Why are you whining and throwing violent tantrums over it you giant crybaby?

    I have been driving for 32 years and have driven a wide variety of vehicles all over the country in all sorts of conditions and it has been rare that I have had to slow down for a bicyclist at all. I have had to change lanes quite a few times. So what? I have had to do the same for other motorists dramatically more times.

    Grow up you pathetic whining crybaby.

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    billdsd  about 9 years ago

    @Andrea@home: First off, the U.K. doesn’t have a road tax, so you are lying there. The U.K. has Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) which is a tax on emissions. Electric car owners don’t have to pay VED because they have zero emissions. Bicycles wouldn’t have to be VED even if they were eligible because they have zero emissions. Check out ipayroatax dot com for the full story.

    Secondly, I don’t believe your story about the truck driver. Have you ever tried to ride a bicycle at 4mph? It’s very unstable at speeds that slow. That’s walking speed for me. Most healthy adults walk at around 3mph. Even out of shape people on cheap slow bikes typically ride at around 10mph. Those types of people don’t ride in the middle of the lane though because they usually have not received the safety training that teaches them that keeping to the edge of the road is dangerous. The types of riders who ride in the middle of the lane are those who have safety training and understand the dangers of edge riding and they are also typically people who ride a lot, and the slowest of them tend to ride at least 15mph most of the time. The younger fitter ones are typically riding at over 20mph and some over 25mph. The pros cruise at over 30mph. That’s over 5 times the speed of your story.

    I also don’t believe your story because of the 2-3 miles part. Safe places to pass always open up more frequently than that.

    You either made up the story from thin air or grossly exaggerated the details to make the bicyclist look worse. You’re a liar.

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    billdsd  about 9 years ago

    As for the comic strip: I have been driving for over 32 years and I very rarely see bicyclists outside of bike lanes. However, I frequently find people complaining on the internet about bicyclists being outside of bike lanes. Why am I not seeing it if it’s happening so much?

    I ask people where they are seeing this and when I got to Google maps street view to see the spot the describe, 99 times out of 100 there is no bike lane. Usually there is a shoulder. Sometimes there is not even that. A shoulder is not a bike lane. Bike lanes have bike lane symbols in them. Shoulders that do not have bike lane symbols in them usually do not have them for some very good reason. Often they are too narrow or they end abruptly or have other dangerous circumstances for bicyclists.

    On the rare occasions when I do see bicyclists disregarding an actual bike lane, there’s usually a problem in the bike lane like broken glass or other hazardous debris or bad surface damage. Bicyclists are legally permitted to leave the bike lane to avoid hazardous conditions.

    The real problem here is that people who hate bicyclists in the road believe that they themselves own the road and that bicyclists are invading their space. The law says the opposite of that. Bicyclists have as much right to use the road as motorists do. You should have learned this in driver’s education. I know that I did when I took the course in 1979. The laws since then have only become more favorable to bicyclists, not less.

    I have yet to encounter one single bike hater who actually knew the rules of the road as they apply to bicyclists. Bicyclists have a legal right to use the road even those the haters insist that we don’t. The haters have even less understanding road and bicycle safety and seem to cling to the delusion that bicyclists have zero width and that 0.1mm is a safe passing distance. They also never know how the roads are funded.

    All of this ignorance would not be so bad if not for the fact that they have the incredible arrogance to think that they are experts in all of these subjects even though they know that they haven’t really done their homework on any of them.

    I do my homework. I have studied the laws in detail. I have studied road and bicycle safety far beyond what people who just barely work hard enough in driver’s ed to pass have done. I have even done a fair amount of research into road funding.

    Look up “Bicycling Street Smarts” in your favorite search engine. It’s a quick easy introduction to real bicycle safety. UK/AU and other people from left hand drive countries should look at the “other versions” link at the top of the page for the left hand drive version.

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    stouset  about 9 years ago

    @BrianFink It is, in fact, statistically around seven times more dangerous to ride on the sidewalks than on the road. Sidewalks cross both roads and intersections, and rarely are drivers looking for objects traveling 15mph+.

    On top of that, in most jurisdictions, it is illegal for cyclists to use the sidewalk.

    Not only is it our undeniable legal right to use the road, but it is also the safest place to ride and virtually always the only place we are legally permitted to ride.

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    stouset  about 9 years ago

    @denis1112 @TheTrustedMechanic The vast majority of road expenses are paid through property taxes, not fuel taxes. Combine that with the fact that bicycles inflict several orders of magnitude fewer maintenance costs on roads (essentially zero), and one could easily make the argument that cyclists are more rightful users than drivers (by paying slightly less, but imposing dramatically fewer costs).

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    billdsd  about 9 years ago

    @Steve D088: You are completely wrong. Your fuel taxes and registration fees contribute to the roads but they don’t come close to covering the costs. Everyone who pays general fund taxes pays for the roads in the U.S. That is true in every single state — even California which has some of the highest fuel taxes in the U.S. In California, billions in sales tax go to the roads.

    By law, bicyclists have a right to use the road in all 50 states. What is so difficult about moving over to pass a bicyclist safely? It’s easy. Why are you being so childish and making up excuses based upon mere guesses?

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    stouset  about 9 years ago

    For the numbers, check

    Automobile users pay roughly 1 cent per mile for local roads in fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, yet impose around 6.5 cents per mile in maintenance costs. The shortfall is picked up by general taxes and property taxes. Cyclists, in comparison, impose roughly 0.2 cents per mile in costs.

    Apologies for letting the facts rain on your parade.

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    billdsd  about 9 years ago

    @TheTrustedMechanic: You claim that a motorist going that slow would be cited for impeding. In fact, they would not be cited if they were moving at a reasonable speed for their vehicle. There is legal precedent for tractors and heavily loaded cargo vehicles going up steep hills being exempt from maintaining a speed greater than they can reasonable attain/sustain or faster than they can operate safely. Do you notice a lot of bus or garbage truck drivers getting pulled over and cited for impeding? It doesn’t happen. Nobody is required to go faster than is reasonable and safe for their vehicle.

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    JetJaguar  about 9 years ago

    So many misconceptions here. First., for those that think cyclists don’t belong on the road, in the US not only are bicycles considered vehicles and entitled to use the road, it’s in fact usually illegal to ride on the sidewalk (state and local laws vary). More often than not, adult cyclists are actually required by law to ride on the road!

    Second, local roads are primarily paid for by income and property taxes, and not fuel taxes. Cyclists don’t materialize out of thin air, they are people with jobs and homes and pay their share of taxes too.

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    naturally_easy  about 9 years ago

    Yes, but seldom do you see cyclists signaling turns and obeying the laws of the road, which they are required to do.And how often do you see some dumby on a bike after dusk with no lights and in many cases, no reflectors. Some people die because they’re too stupid to stay alive. But it’s always the motor vehiclist who’s criticized.

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    billdsd  about 9 years ago

    @naturally_easy: Bicyclists don’t break the law any more often than motorists do. Every time I’m out on the road I see hundreds of motorists speeding as well as dozens rolling stop signs and right on red. The majority don’t signal lane changes. I regularly see them not yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks and uncontrolled intersections. I could go on and on. The big difference is that motorists kill a lot of people; an average of almost 90 per day in the U.S. Bicyclists almost never kill anyone other than themselves and even that’s pretty rare. 630 bicyclists died on the roads of the U.S. in 2009. Well over 28,000 motorists died in that same year as well as about 4400 pedestrians IIRC.

    You’re just reaching for excuses to hate someone who is different from yourself.

    For the record, I do obey the rules, both on my bike and in my car. Yes, I even signal. I am a trained vehicular cyclist. Look up Bicycling Street Smarts on the web. Safe cyclists know how to be highly visible and predictable and stay out of dangerous situations. Safe riding techniques are not obvious. You have to study them to know them.

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    zero  about 9 years ago

    Hey - cyclists 1912 called. . ..

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    nloewen  about 9 years ago

    This comic and the majority of comments I read perpetuate some errors. I ride rather often to work in DC. I don’t ride in the middle of the lane and almost never see this, when riding or driving. (And yes, I do drive—I bet most “bicyclists” are also “motorists.”) So, that’s the first. The second is that I bike to feel superior. I don’t. I bike mostly because it’s fun. It’s also cheap. It’s also fast. It’s also healthy. Third, I don’t think one can accurately judge my motivations in the few seconds you’re behind me in your car. And the few seconds you’re delayed by a bicyclist, are they really worth fantasizing about murder? Not if you are humane. Finally, this crap about spandex. I trust you get as mad about joggers and their stupid belts with water and their stupid shoes; basketball players and their stupid jerseys and high tops; soccer players and their dumb shin pads and cleats; tennis players and their ridiculous tennis whites. My point is that most sports have equipment. Spandex is actually more comfortable for riding. It has nothing to do with aerodynamics. This strip and its arguments are tired and played out and not funny.

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    dasgeh  about 9 years ago

    Really? It’s ok to kill someone, or joke about killing them, because you disagree with how they get around? I agree there are some jerks on bikes. There are many jerks in cars. But there are also legitimate reasons why a perfectly non-jerky person riding a bike would not ride in a bike lane (car doors, driveways, gravel). Please, before you jump to hatred, imagine the world from the cyclist’s perspective. Or better yet, go out for a ride. It’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

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    jredtripp  about 9 years ago

    As an avid cyclists I have to say the Cyclist Jeff cartoons freaking kill me. I literally laughed out loud at this and my husband has been exclaiming “Eat my Spandex Greatness fatty McFat, Fat” all day.I suppose I should be offended, but then it’s just so funny!

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    stouset  about 9 years ago

    So, to recap: motorists incur more costs to the system than they repay. They require local governments to subsidize them through property taxes. They are responsible for a greater number of deaths and injuries to others per passenger-mile, per passenger-hour, and per passenger-trip. They frequently exhibit behaviors that directly result in greater numbers of dead and injured.

    Cyclists pay more into the system than they cost. They reduce traffic congestion, reduce our demand for a massively important yet dwindling energy resource, and reduce air pollution in large cities. They are responsible for virtually zero deaths to third parties each year, and inflict proportionally far fewer injuries to others than drivers do.

    One of these two groups is the recipient of both outright hostile aggression on the road and endless uninformed griping off of it. Care to guess which?

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    tigre1  about 9 years ago

    Hey Pastis…had to go back today…it’s thursday! and read the comments/. Nice response, eh?

    Made me want to get back on my bike, and I might. Have been off it mostly because of the resulting pain…all those cows and horses fallen out of, and air vehicles fallen out of, and all those martial arts students I let(!) throw me around for money…but I’ve NEVER worn spandex. Jeans and a t shirt mostly. I think it’s the superhero costume prancing and the expensive bikes that arouse ire…

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    Grieving Mom  about 9 years ago

    I just want to say that I found this comic strip extremely offensive; but even more horrifying was the number of comments in support of Pastis’ position. What is wrong with you people? How could any of you find this funny? Before you think: “lighten up, lady,” let me share my story (and probably that of many others). My son cycled for 20 years, was knowledgeable about the rules of the road for cyclists, and obeyed them. In spite of that, on a Sunday afternoon, on a low traffic 4 lane divided highway, he was hit and killed while out on his 50 mile ride. There was no bike lane, but he was riding as far to the right as possible. I know enough about the young man who hit him to figure that he could easily fit the profile described by Puckerbrush City: an “arrogant motorist, filled with rage and ownership issues.” He actually asked the state trooper handling the case if cyclists even belonged out there. So it’s really easy to imagine that, even though he had an entire lane he could move to in order to safely clear my son, he probably decided to buzz him to let him know who owned the road, but seriously misjudged. So to those of you who hate cyclists, I ask you to try thinking another way. No matter how arrogant or ignorant of the rules a cyclist may be, please don’t lose sight of the fact that that cyclist belongs to someone ─ it may be their child, parent, sibling or best friend. Pretend that that cyclist belongs to you.

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    hoopsyoyopid  about 9 years ago


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    billdsd  about 9 years ago

    @aterpster: I stop for stop signs. I saw over dozen motorists roll stop signs today. You’re just making excuses.

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    Kamino Neko  about 9 years ago

    Sometime in the next week of Frazz, there will be a chain smoking lawyer named Steven, I’m guessing….

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    cisengineer  about 9 years ago

    @naturally_easy @wortherthorth I’m sure it is turkey bacon…yes…definitely turkey bacon.

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    Lgbpop  about 9 years ago

    Wow. Just like the Beatles’ song Piggies. Back to cyclists…I put old-fashioned two-tone LOUD horns on my car. If they wear helmets, I honk. Fun for all ages.

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    BikeToWork  about 9 years ago

    The times I ride in the middleof the road are because there is debris in the bike lane. Legally I can take a full lane. Slow down and give me a second to get around it and I’ll be back in the bike lane. Share the road! It’s good karma.

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    billdsd  about 9 years ago

    @Frank Alexander: In most jurisdictions, it is illegal to use your horn to harass someone. In all jurisdictions, it is legal for bicyclists to ride in the road. Maybe you should have bothered to pay attention in driver’s education. That way, you might actually know the rules of the road.

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    bagbalm  almost 9 years ago

    You know how cartoonists draw people hit as flying with their legs out straight in front of them? When I hit a cyclist I was surprised to see that was accurate. Guy swerved in front of me and I never even got my foot on the brake pedal before I hit him in the butt. Caved the leading edge of my hood in and didn’t even break a bone in his body.

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    jvonplutzner  almost 9 years ago

    Firstly, Thanks Stephan for the great cartoon! P_L_E_A_S_E keep using the “Jeff, the Cyclist” character in your strip despite people’s negative reactions. I and about 30 other cyclists to whom I forward “Jeff” enjoy your humor immensely. Many of us embody Jeff to some degree, (just ask my wife…or better yet, take my wife…please!) and are able to laugh at ourselves because of the extreme mindset Jeff represents which includes some pearls of truth of a COMPETITIVE cyclist’s outlook.

    Secondly, I’d ask folks to realize that this is a cartoon…a drawing on paper or pixels in our case! Rat is not real and he does not drive a car…he is not a motorist and Jeff is not a real cyclist. Let’s leave Stephan to the creative work without unloading whatever fears you may have upon him.

    Thirdly, the debate over cyclist vs. motorist has been around a long time. And whether you put a fallible human driving a car or riding a bike, you’re going to have issues. How many times have people under the influence of drugs/alcohol gotten behind the wheel of a car…or keep driving half asleep, merge into someone in the “blind spot”…feeding/drinking…cell phones/texting…music loud enough to go blind…had a bad day (wife/husband/partner/job/bad news) “so I’m going for a ride in my car” (think about this one)…sight-seeing/not watching the road…and of course, my favorite leaving for a destination far later than intended and trying to make up time with speed. All motorist are guilty of bad/mis judgement just by the nature of the motorist…we are all human.

    Cyclists are no different, just more visible. Guilty of riding side-by-side rather than single file in order to chat with a friend…hanging out a bit more into the road were the pavement is more smooth….gliding though a stop signs of clear intersections not to loose momentum/save energy…taking the whole lane to fly down-hill safely…fail to use turn signals.

    Common sense/statistics dictate that most cyclists are motorists, but most motorist are not cyclists and even fewer are competitive cyclists, therefore, cannot truly empathize with a cyclist’s experience on the road. And if one cannot walk a mile in another’s shoes, your point of view is short-sighted and largely discountable. But if one gets out of car/truck and on the bike and trains for hours, days, years, decades both solo and with groups to achieve/maintain a high level of fitness and bike handling skills, I know perspectives would be more balanced. When you ride the amount of hours to grow from a newbie cyclist to an accomplished commuter/competitive cyclist, you’ve spent more time on the road that the day-to-day motorist…and put in far more hard work.

    With cycling experience I find many more good folks passing and honking w/ shouts of “U go guys! Good Work!” than negative BS… especially when the echelon consists of 20 -30 guys pushing heart-rates of 180 and above….maximum pain if you’ve ever been there. I find more motorist giving more room to cyclists because they understand road conditions dictate cyclist’s movement. (did you know spring is “glass season,”.kids out drinking and tossing bottles out of car windows…many posters here have done it…how may have ridden a bike through the results?). A little empathy goes a long way.

    One final comment from someone who has spent a lot of years in the military. If you posted that you would even consider harming a person by running him/her off the road, you better get your head out of your 4th point of contact (take a guess if you’re not a paratrooper). You are a coward and need to step out of your fantasy world into the real world. It takes heart and soul to bear down on another human in a hostile situation for a sometimes higher good, but it takes nothing but ignorance to say “I’m going to use my car to potentially harm for life/kill a defenseless person because I’m perceiving an inconvenienced for a minute or two of time.” Think about what your saying about the value of others! Then think about what you are saying about the value of your own life.

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    LJP7  over 8 years ago

    im with rat here

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    2jdogs  over 8 years ago

    Wow, I just can’t wrap my brain around some of the ignorant and arrogant comments here. Cars yield to bikers, bikers yield to pedestrians. That’s how it works! We cyclists individually represent the whole cycling world so I admit that we should never hog the road or be selfish or arrogant toward vehicles and should obey all traffic signs & laws. That said, every time we go out to do something we love which is healthy and gives us a vibrant life we put our lives at risk. It’s not a game and we don’t get multiple lives so don’t drive like it. As well, many motorists don’t know that most cyclists are following road etiquette (ride on the right side of the road, hand signal your turns, to turn left you get in the left turn lane with the vehicles, etc). Share the road, stop being such an angry selfish driver, and just be a good person dammit. Why don’t we as a people get as angry with pregnant women for taking up too much space in the hallway, airplane or isles at the store?! Take that anger, get on a bike and get fit.

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  113. Nebo
    Nebo Premium Member over 7 years ago

    Yeah, I work with a guy like that….

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    pugsandpickles  over 6 years ago

    someone has personal problems…

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    Tardis1120  about 6 years ago

    Isn’t it Jef?

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    sterrat  about 2 months ago

    so many comments….. fruh

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