Sunday, December 20, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection. - Winston Churchill

Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly on-line gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, a Domestic Discipline relationship.  I hope you all had a great week.

 

 

Well, wasn’t that an interesting non-hiatus hiatus.  For once, I don’t think I can be blamed for injecting politics into everything.  Here I was, minding my own business all week, just laying around on my couch and posting Christmas-themed smut.  Then, Alan brought up some of Julie’s latest conspiracy theory nonsense.

 

 

She followed him over here, I resisted the temptation to respond for about fifteen minutes, then 150 comments later. . . .  I’m just at the end of my rope with the conspiracy theories and the questioning of anyone with credentials or expertise about the thing in question  just because . . . well, precisely because they know things and, hence, are either elites or representatives of the ever-growing Deep State (I'm sure Barr and Pompeo are its latest members according to the folks who make up Julie's new fan club).


   

And, whichever side you were on in the election, when did it become OK to pout and insist the only way you could lose is if the other guy cheated?  Would you let your kids behave that way if they pouted like a little baby after a lost baseball game or placing second in the science fair? Regardless of who you voted for, have you ever seen such a bunch of sore losers?

 

    

I know that some were annoyed that I let the kettle of fish boil even after Alan gave me the OK to delete his comment that kicked the whole thing off, but I sincerely believe that when we have innocent poll workers and honorable government officials getting death threats for just doing their jobs, it is important that each and every one of us call out these fuckers when we see it happening.  This year, if during the Christmas dinner Zoom call your Drunk Uncle starts with the borderline racist comments, or starts ranting that Obama is a Kenyan or Hillary was running a pedophile ring, kick his ass off the call.  He'll whine to all his other old geezer friends about you being a part of that “cancel culture” thing he's heard about on Fox but wouldn't be able to explain if you gave him an Urban Dictionary.  Then, raise your glass and enjoy the company of the rational and the principled of whatever party. 

 

 

Now that I have that out of my system (for a few minutes until some other bit of stupidity lights me up again), I know this will come as a great disappointment to the true spanking fetishists who so desperately want to get back to scintillating and controversial topics like “what’s your favorite implement,” but I’m not there yet when it comes to getting back to real DD posts.  This recuperation is kind of knocking me on my ass, and I think I’m going to need another week or two before any real DD spark arises.  I’ve had brief periods like this before, and some of those pauses in my DD interest level also coincided with medical procedures.  After disappearing into surgical anesthetic ether for a few weeks, the interest always returned.  I don’t doubt the same will happen this time, too.

 

Of course, looking back at past posts, I’ve almost never done a real DD topic just before Christmas.  I guess I get contemplative and introspective this time of year.  Some people measure their progress (or lack thereof) from calendar year to calendar year or from birthday.  I, on the other hand, tend to measure things from Christmas to Christmas.  This year, I guess what surprises me is that 2020 seems to be ending up a lot like 2019 for me, even though the two respective years progressed almost entirely differently.  Here is what I said in my Christmas post last year: 


It’s been a chaotic two- or three-year run, and for the most part I can’t say I’m going to be sorry to see 2019 in the rearview mirror.  It was a year that could perhaps be summed up with that phrase about “the best laid plans of mice and men.”  I ended 2018 with a fairly detailed vision of what I wanted from 2019 from a career perspective, and by mid-January virtually the whole of that plan had fallen apart and things actually went in the opposite direction. 

 

It was a year that proved to me that while many hard things are growth experiences precisely because they were so hard, some are just mistakes. There were some career decisions I made very early in 2019 that made my whole year a roller-coaster with too much travel, too little sleep, and too much bad hotel and airport food and drink.  I have to call out my wife for not only putting up with it but supporting it by, if nothing else, just going along and keeping everything semi-normal.  Though, it has become a running joke with us that perhaps I should be concerned that she has taken it so well, maybe I need to come home early from a business trip to make sure there isn’t a new boyfriend I need to kick out of my bed.  But, in all seriousness, she has put up with a lot this year.

 

Deepening relationships also applied to my anonymous blogging life.  I’ve had more regular, though mostly still anonymous, contacts with people I’ve met through blogging world.  I’ve exchanged thoughts with Tomy about how amazing it must have been that during the days when he and his wife were actively running the Disciplinary Wives Club website it seemed to almost operate as a real club in which people actually got together and got to know each other on a personal level.  I really have only one relationship from the blog that is kind of like that, but that’s a start.

 

So, that was where I was at the end of 2019 – a year for which I felt no affection. Then along came 2020 to put everything in perspective. I had planned for it to be a continuation of 2020 but also a “light at the end of the tunnel” kind of glide-path into a more relaxing, even boring, mid-life transition.  I anticipated a lot of continuing cross-country travel, with a hard push through to the end of my current work career, then a hand-off of my primary role to a protégé I’ve been grooming for years. I was really looking forward to a tough but worthwhile year, culminating in a graceful departure accompanied by the kind of socializing and commiserating with long-term colleagues and clients that one expects when it comes to “gold watch” ceremony time.. Then along came 2020.  Everything was going according to plan until March, then all of a sudden no travel, a big slowdown in my real job, turmoil around succession and transitions, and no prospect for in-person good-byes and orderly transitions anytime in the near future. Champagne good-bye toasts turned into Zoom calls from my home office.  Without warning, I went from a roller-coaster of activity to enforced stillness and social isolation. 

 

I have always bemoaned the fact that from year to year not much seems to change, all my resolutions to live a different life notwithstanding. Then, along came 2020.  But, it wasn’t just Covid and the social turmoil that came with too many black victims of police killings.  Objectively, even apart from the pandemic, social turmoil, and the profound challenges to our democratic processes concocted by our Crybaby-in-Chief, 2020 was objectively worse for us than 2019. 

 

  

At the end of last year, I tried to put 2019 in a more optimistic context than I had experienced as it was grinding along:

 

Still, as I said at the end of last year, I can give thanks for a few simple things.  All my immediate family made it through the year in one piece, as did most of our extended family.  Most of our family and the important people in our lives made it through the year in relatively good health.  None of our close friends or family suffered health or financial calamities, and one of my family members who was having a rough time on the financial and career front seemed to stabilize and improve her situation by the end of the year. And, while all the business travel truly sucked, it did lead to making some new friendships and deepening others.

 

2020 was a different story.  We did lose one very important family member.  Others bore the brunt of the pandemic even without getting Covid. One of our kids was just starting a promising career, then along came Covid furloughs that have now gone on for almost nine months. Graduation ceremonies and other important milestones went uncelebrated. Then, very recently, out of the blue someone who served as an important mentor, almost a big brother figure to me just up and died with no warning. And, of course, he was an all-around great person.  A vigorous and healthy “man’s man,” a natural leader, good friend, great father and family man, merry prankster, etc. Of course, it’s always the guys like that who leave you way too early, while the narcissistic conmen and sowers of division eat their McDonalds’ cheeseburgers by the bag-full and go on and on and on.  The suddenness of my friend’s death really put me back on my heels for a few days, and it brought home that even though he was a mentor to me, I was pretty selective in applying his lessons.  I did a good job of incorporating his lessons in leadership and integrity, but I didn’t spend nearly enough time trying to take apply his example of light-hearted exploration and just having more fun.  I naturally tend toward earnestness and intensity, and there is a downside to that.  Hopefully, I’ll do a better job of modeling him in 2021, now that he is gone, than I did in the years after I saw his example but didn’t do enough to follow it.

 

 

Still, as bad as 2020 was, I am trying to keep it in perspective as it gets closer finally to  receding into the rearview mirror.  We did lose people close to us, but we weren’t among the 300,000 families in the U.S. who lost someone to Covid, and while we know people who got the virus, none of them ended up on a ventilator.  In other health developments, a good friend of ours got a scary health diagnosis near year-end, but early detection and treatment led to a good outcome. On the economic front and extended family front, the wonders of technology meant many could continue to work without missing a beat, which wouldn’t have been the case had this pandemic come around even a few years earlier. That same technology allowed us to keep in touch with friends and family even when we couldn’t be with them in person.  And, that Covid shutdown may be the only reason I’m still here bitching about politics and the deplorables among us.  I was really wearing myself into the ground in 2019, and when my body finally had enough, it pushed back hard.  My behavior was also going in a very bad direction, culminating in some real tension with Anne in October.  Now, here we are at year-end, and prior to this little medical diversion, I had lost 15 pounds, was hitting the gym daily with strength coming back fast, I was going weeks without drinking at all, and my energy levels were slowly coming up.  I don’t think any of that would have happened if it were not for the forced, involuntary slowdown of 2020.  So, 2020 proved to be a lot like my view of Domestic Discipline – the closer it is to non-consensual imposed boundaries, the better it seems to work!

 

While 2020 wasn’t a bad year for the blog, I did seem to lose a little bit of momentum when it came to adding Disciplinary Wives to the conversation.  Carol, Cecilia and Jennifer did start dropping in (did I miss anyone else?), but our wave of new female commenters seemed to peak last year with the addition of Danielle, Cecilia, Belle, and Liz and others.  I hope we can ramp it back up in 2021.

 

So, all in all, 2020 is in a class by itself in terms of overall shittiness, even if things could always be worse.  But, before we get to the very end, let’s all take a pause to appreciate this time of year and remember what Christmas can be, even if we don’t always appreciate it as much as we should. 

In the words of Scrooge’s nephew Fred in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol:

 

"I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round--apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that--as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”

 

 So, let’s appreciate the beauty of the season.

  

Keeping in mind that a smaller, simpler Christmas has its virtues. 


      

Let’s display appropriate enthusiasm Christmas morning, while appreciating those who keep us in line when our enthusiasms exceed appropriate boundaries.  


   

Hopefully Santa was in one of the priority groups for Covid vaccine, but I’ll make an exception for him and his helpers even if they violate our quarantine, don’t wear their masks, and don’t maintain appropriate social distancing.



Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each and every one of you who makes this blog worth coming back to week after week, year after year.


41 comments:

  1. One of my most favorite posts of yours! >tipping my imaginary hat<

    You: >>>>>>" A vigorous and healthy “man’s man,” a natural leader, good friend, great father and family man, merry prankster, etc. Of course, it’s always the guys like that who leave you way too early, while the narcissistic conmen and sowers of division eat their McDonalds’ cheeseburgers by the bag-full and go on and on and on"<<<<<<<

    Me via the bard: "Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life,
    And thou no breath at all?"------Lear. Timeless questions. Your inclusion of "merry prankster" made me smile. Kesey, Cassady, Kerouac. >sigh< What a world to have gotten here from there. What would Jack have said? Neal was counting railroad ties. Ken has had his savant say. The rest is up to us......and your friend sounds like someone I would have liked to have met. Lucky for you that you actually did.

    DD. Oh you shapeless, shiftless, fleeting aspiration. Easy pickings for those in throes and elusive quest for those with woes.

    Conspiratorial Canadians need not ruin Christmases. Instead make them fodder for the gods of comedy. They will inspire and reduce dangerous talk to laughter....if we let them.

    2020 is what it is and soon will be what it was. You take care of yourself old friend. Heal. Strengthen and revel in comradery. Enjoy what's right in front of you, and let the rest fall where it may......."and let the devil take the hindermost".

    Merry Christmas, to you and Anne.





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    1. This may be the nicest comment anyone has ever posted here. Thank you, my friend! And, I love that you pulled the Lear quote out of thin air. It fits perfectly with my thoughts on this. You also just helped me with some ideas for my holiday reading list. Despite thinking of myself as a well-read guy with eclectic interests, I have never read Kerouac.

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    2. No problem. That comment just kind of flowed. LOL

      On the Road is obviously a must read, but if you want to really flesh out that crowd also read Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-aid Acid Test & The Pump House Gang. Then to see the "gang" from an insider perspective, read Kesey's Demon Box.

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  2. That was quite a read and well worth it.

    I'm volunteering to chip in as far as influencing you toward light-hardheartedness and some occasional silliness

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    1. I would take all the influence you have time to give! Have a great holiday, Tomy. I hope you are able to connect with friends and family despite the lockdown.

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  3. Merry-Happy-Joyful, and enduring peace to you and yours

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  4. Love this blog and look forward to every post. Wishing you and all readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Not a little boy, but I expect, like one of the photos above to be spanked on Christmas Day.

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    1. Thanks, SC. Thanks for showing up each week. Have a Merry Christmas!

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  5. Sorry for your loss, Dan. On one hand, 2020 seems like a year totally lost, spent in hiding. On the other, even at my age, it’s been a revelation that’s changed me.

    I haven’t had a chance to catch up on the big political thread here. Considering where we’re at as a country, I think it makes sense that talking about DD stuff is less satisfying than allowing ourselves to vent so much justifiable frustration.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and thank you for your blog.

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    1. Thanks, Brett. I do hope that it changed me in some significant ways, though I look back and am exasperated at all the extra time I had with no travel, no commute, less work, etc., and how little of it I spent doing anything new or fun or interesting.

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  6. Hanukkah is over, so wishing you a Merry Christmas, and a much happier and better New Year!

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  7. I appreciate and share your frustration, Dan. I am bewildered that otherwise-intelligent people like Julie are taken in by such frighteningly obvious ploys to bring down rational thought. What disturbs me most is that so many people fall for the talk radio oversimplifications and distortions. I've resisted ranting full time. It's been very difficult.

    I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that the toddler-in-chief can't accept anything resembling reality. You have to know it's bad when even Fox News believes he lost the election. I'm deeply troubled by how many extra lives have been lost to COVID-19 because stupid people not only refuse to protect themselves but also actively promote dangerous behavior in others. It isn't a political statement to refuse to wear a mask.

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    1. Hi CL. I obviously agree with all this. While you are troubled by the extra lives lost due to science doubters and conspiracy theorists, I guarantee those promoting the dangerous behavior will *never* accept responsibility if someone dies as a result of their bullshit.

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  8. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone!
    Hoping next year we can put the pandemic and politics behind, and go back to Strict Wives and Compliant Husbands working out their issues the way God and Science intended!
    Crimson King

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    1. Merry Christmas to you, too. No guarantees on leaving politics behind. My guess is things will stay interesting at least until, oh, I don't know . . . January 20th.

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    2. You may be too optimistic. I fear January 30 may just signal the start of a new chapter in the long running nightmare paralyzing the nation. Trump is not going away soon. Indeed he has employed most of his time since losing the election by more than seven million votes piloting his return, fraudulently raising money to sustain his cause and feverishly trying to create a "lost cause" myth among his supporters that will keep him in control of the GOP. Trump is a classic cult figure and the cult will survive as long as the cult leader does. And in Trump's case that looks like it will be a while yet
      Alan

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    3. "Trump is a classic cult figure and the cult will survive as long as the cult leader does. And in Trump's case that looks like it will be a while yet." A very disturbing thought, though I can't argue with your "cult figure" analysis. As for survival, don't underestimate the cumulative effect of those bagfuls of Filet-o-Fish sandwiches and Big Macs.

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  9. "the way God and Science intended". Science is God's plan, his REAL plan

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  10. Hi Dan. I haven’t had much to offer lately. Devs health had been poor lately but thanks to Cleveland Clinic things are slowly improving. Due to this we haven’t been able to address any issues or have any “ discussions”. She does say she’s keeping notes and little will be forgotten. Until then I wish you and everyone here a Merry Christmas and if of course the best of seasons beatings. JR

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    1. Hi JR. I'm sorry to hear about Dev's health. I hope she gets better soon.

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  11. Despite the insults, and I obviously disagree with you lot, but Merry Christmas and Happy New Years and all good cheer anyways!

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    1. Hi Julie,

      That is very gracious of you as well as appreciated. Other than the efficacy of a good spanking, we probably don’t agree on much. But I do respect your commitment to civility – a quality all but missing today and much missed. We really can disagree without being disagreeable. Merry Christmas to you and best in the new year
      Alan

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    2. Commitment to civility? Hmm. Probably not how I'd characterize the last couple of weeks, but in the spirit of the season, Happy Holidays! I'd say Merry Christmas, but I know how much Happy Holidays triggers those on Julie's side of the aisle. ;-)

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  12. I hope you and your family had a great Christmas, Dan.
    Wishing everyone all the best for the new year. (It has to be better than the current one).
    Danielle

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    1. Same to you, Danielle! And, from your lips to God's ears on that last sentence!

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  13. Hoping everybody had a Merry Christmas and wishing all of you a happy New Year!

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  14. Dan,
    I hope you and others on the blog are having a very Happy Holiday Season and have a Happy New Year. My husband and I hope 2021 is a vast improvement over this year for everyone.

    I haven't really dropped out of commenting. Between preparations for the holidays and a significant house painting project it was busy. We literally painted our primary home from top to bottom. Several rooms, especially rooms in a finished basement apartment we also have (my naughty husband likes to call it our play area) were badly in need of being freshened. He wrapped up an awesome painting job just in time for Christmas and a visit from one of our children. We will have our privacy back New Year's Eve. The poor boy agreed to wear the big white diaper and, with that bald head of his, be the New Year's baby. I told him it is our new tradition, unless we aren't alone.

    Hope you are well and we look forward to your blog in 2021.

    Happy Holidays,
    Carol H.

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    1. Thanks, Carol. I find that comments always drop precipitously this time of year. And, that's a good thing. People *should* be paying attention to family and friends this time of year! And, my own blogging interest definitely is at a very low ebb.

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  15. Merry Christmas to you as well. My frustration with the that political discussion led me to turn off your blog for awhile. I hope you get back to our little pat of the world. I came here as an escape from the turmoil. I am not, when in vanilla mode, detached at all. But this was an escape.

    Our Christmas was not merry in the traditional sense. It was just my wife and I. On Christmas Eve, I gave her a nice inch and a half wide leather belt. She gave me pretty baby doll jammies.

    Then she took away my baby dolls and she gave me the belt right in front of the tree. Then we went off to bed. A very private and memorable Christmas.

    I hope you all had a chance to find a little peace.

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    1. Sorry, but no commitment on my part to limiting political discussions. It's a big part of who I am, and I'm not going to agree in advance to censoring that part of me. If anything, I think there is a little too much escapism going on right now and not enough people saying "Enough!" the conspiracy theory crowd and to the far right whose actions are basically domestic terrorism. While I have no plans to make politics any regular part of the blog, a lot of that depends on what happens around me. It isn't my fault that the little orange cry baby won't accept that he lost and get off the stage. I'm actually kind of surprised he's having this hard a time accepting failure. You'd think he'd be pretty comfortable with being a loser by now, given the sheer number of bankrupted and failed businesses he's left in his wake, not to mention 60-plus failed lawsuits in just the last few weeks.

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    2. I showed this to husband (he knows I post here and sometimes reads it, but he doesn't post here).

      Husband's said this alot. He says Trump isn't failing by all of these bankrupt businesses. He says Trump does it on purpose. According to husband, the Mafia does business like this. He says they get a business, run up the credit, pocket the money and leave everyone holding an empty bag. Trump gets all the money and the investers, creditors and employees are left out in the cold.

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    3. I hadn't thought of it from that perspective, but it certainly fits the pattern. And, I think I would like your husband!

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    4. Miss Cecilia,
      Personally I don’t think Trump is bright enough to operate a complicated scam like that for an entire career-too many moving parts for him. But if your husband is actually correct –think about what that means – we have a president who has made a career out of emulating the criminals who invented “organized crime”. Calling him a crock is like saying Julia Child cooked occasionally.
      Alan

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  16. Bravo!
    For those who already get it -and those who will come to get it.
    Alan

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  17. Dan - Merry Christmas (I know I am several days late)

    I would encourage you by saying you have one of the better and more mature blogs out there related to the subject of dicipline.

    On the whole politics discussion, I am a little more pragmatic. Rarely is either extreme the "truth". When disection happends we find truth on both sides and situations are more complex than social media discussion can comprehend. I find myself finding good and bad on both sides...and finding no friends in the process. I have found the past 2 months since the election discusting as a long time pollworker and follower of poltics (on both sides). Hence me being quite most of this year.

    Some unsolicited advice for 2021. Stick with what you are good with. Your personal experiences with DD and related subjects are a winner. All other subjects are tangential and occasionally merit discussion but should not disctrict from why many of us diciplined hubbies show up....we like mature discussions on who we are and finding a place to be that.

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    1. SR, Merry Christmas to you, too. As I said in response to another commenter below, while I doubt I'm going to address politics very often, that doesn't mean I'm not going to at all or that I'm going to censor myself when I feel like saying something political. If anything, I had a hell of a lot more fun over the last couple of weeks arguing about politics than I've had writing about DD in quite some time. I don't have any doubt that some will stop showing up if I don't stick narrowly to spanking fare, but that's not the limits of who I am or what I may want to talk about and, unlike some other bloggers, I honestly couldn't care less about how many visitors I get. I'd rather have 10 interesting commenters who actively engage and are fun to talk with electronically, than 1000 mostly silent visitors who only seem to engage on things like "What's your favorite spanking instrument?"

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