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The Dawn of the Dude

by Rev. Oliver Benjamin

Certainly if there’s one thing that sets civilised man apart from his primitive ancestors, it’s furniture. Forget about the wheel and fire and birth control and all that – modern man’s room is always well-tied together with various home furnishings. Even the sloppiest crackhead has a chair, and most likely some sort of shelving. Otherwise the crack gets lost in the carpet!

But why is furniture so important? Furniture exists so that our lives will be more comfortable. Or, at least, that’s why it should exist. Too many people buy hard, fashionable furniture that feels awful because they think it will impress their dinner guests. Really want to impress them? Set up a circle of La-Z-Boy recliners and serve dinner on bed table trays. Guess who’s coming to dinner? Total relaxation, that’s who.

As evinced in The Big Lebowski, there’s no chair more comfortable or conducive to peace of mind (especially when the police are over) than a nice, big recliner. The La-Z-Boy, the Barcalounger, or just a regular stuffed chair that’s been expertly broken – these are the celestial thrones of Dudeist kings and saints. Nevertheless, the problem with recliners is that (unless you’ve got a special friend who’s not too chubby) only one person can sit in it at a time. And a good Dudeist is not antisocial. Far from it.

That’s why, in addition to a recliner, the ideal Dude has a nice, soft sofa from which to conduct business, woo special friends, or lie on their belly (not so easy in a recliner). The ideal sofa is a sectional one, which is in many ways the most perfect form of furniture ever invented: part couch, part chair, part bed and all awesome. In fact, I’m typing this sermon from a special variety of sectional sofa: the L – Shaped sectional. It’s not quite as calm-inducing as a full sectional (there’s room for a coffee table, from which coffee is often enjoyed, along with other beverages), but pretty cool nonetheless. In the words of Ferris Bueller: I highly recommend it. It is so choice.

So then, one of the fundamentals of Dudeism is to have a good sofa upon which to install your fundament, and those of your friends. Funkmaster George Clinton once said this: “Free your mind, and your ass will follow.” To this we add the corollary: “Calm your ass, and your mind will follow.” After all, ‘taking it easy’ is much easier when you’ve got somewhere easy to take it.

Dudeism is a real religion with over 90,000 ordained Dudeist Priests worldwide. Get ordained and learn more at www.dudeism.com.

Sours: https://www.chiangmaicitylife.com/citylife-articles/the-dawn-of-the-dude/

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We're disciples of The Church of the Latter-Day Dude (Dudeism), a religion inspired by The Big Lebowski, Taoism, humanism and more. Despite the name, our efforts are not confined to those living only in urban environments.

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    Vergilyn received a loan from Ronald to purchase materials for fishing.

  • Maricel


    Maricel received a loan from Thorsten & Sabine to purchase additional bamboo, nails, wire, etc. for her bamboo sala (furniture) set making.

    Thorsten & Sabine
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    Rebecca received a loan from Tricia to buy more garie, iron soap, and charcoal to sell.

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    Ma. Gemma received a loan from Angie to purchase items to sell like canned goods, personal care products, sugar, soap, soft drinks and other snack foods.

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    Yolanda received a loan from Angie to purchase additional box of fish to sell.

  • Noelia Omaira


    Noelia Omaira received a loan from Angie to purchase disposable items, food, and packaged snacks.

  • Ade Suherti


    Ade Suherti received a loan from Angie to buy a smartphone for her child's online education needs during Covid-19.

  • Salomat


    Salomat received a loan from Angie to buy school supplies for her children.

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    Ruken received a loan from Angie to buy haircare products.

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    Joshua received a loan from Angie to access high quality farm inputs for 1 acre of maize.

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    Bai received a loan from Greg to invest in raw materials so she can secure consistent weaving work and increase her income potential.

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    Twubakane Tcb Group received a loan from Gary to buy more cooking oil, sugar, soap and flour to sell.



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Sours: https://www.kiva.org/team/dudeism
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Philosophy and lifestyle

Dudeism is a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle inspired by "The Dude", the protagonist of the Coen Brothers' 1998 film The Big Lebowski. Dudeism's stated primary objective is to promote a modern form of Chinese Taoism, outlined in Tao Te Ching by Laozi (6th century BCE), blended with concepts from the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341–270 BCE), and presented in a style as personified by the character of Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, a fictional character portrayed by Jeff Bridges in the film.[1] Dudeism has sometimes been regarded as a mock religion due to its use of comedic film references and occasional criticism of religion in its traditional sense[2][3] but its founder and many adherents take the underlying philosophy seriously.[4][5][6][7]March 6 is the annual sacred high holy day of Dudeism: The Day of the Dude.[8]


Founded in 2005 by Oliver Benjamin, a journalist based in Chiang Mai, Thailand,[1][9] Dudeism's official organizational name is The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. An estimated 450,000 Dudeist Priests have been ordained worldwide as of May 2017[10] and marriages have been officiated legally by Dudeist clergy in some US states.[11]

Although Dudeism primarily makes use of iconography and narrative from The Big Lebowski, adherents believe that the Dudeist worldview has existed since the beginnings of civilization, primarily to correct societal tendencies towards aggression and excess. They list individuals such as Laozi, Epicurus, Heraclitus, Buddha, and the pre-ecclesiasticalJesus Christ as examples of "Great Dudes in History".[12] More recent antecedents include pillars of American Transcendentalism such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman and humanists such as Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Twain.[13][14]


The Dudeist belief system is essentially a modernized form of Taoism stripped of all of its metaphysical and medical doctrines. Dudeism advocates and encourages the practice of "going with the flow", "being cool headed", and "taking it easy" in the face of life's difficulties, believing that this is the only way to live in harmony with our inner nature and the challenges of interacting with other people. It also aims to assuage feelings of inadequacy that arise in societies which place a heavy emphasis on achievement and personal fortune. Consequently, simple everyday pleasures like bathing, bowling, and hanging out with friends are seen as far preferable to the accumulation of wealth and the spending of money as a means to achieve happiness and spiritual fulfillment. As the Dude himself says in the movie: "the dude abides", which essentially just means to keep existing. [15]


The Church of the Latter-Day Dude launched its official publication, The Dudespaper, in the fall of 2008. A Dudeist holy book, The Tao Dude Ching, went online in July 2009. It was renamed The Dude De Ching in December 2009 to avoid being confused with an upcoming book by Oliver Benjamin called The Tao of the Dude. The Dude De Ching is a reinterpretation of Peter Merel's translation of the Tao Te Ching using dialogue and story elements from The Big Lebowski.[16] In 2016, The Dude De Ching was completely re-written by Benjamin, featuring a new Tao Te Ching translation and essays interpreting each verse.[17]

In August 2011, The Abide Guide—a "Dudeist self-help book" employing life lessons from The Big Lebowski and other sources, was published by Ulysses Press.[18] Written by Benjamin and the Arch Dudeship Dwayne Eutsey, it also contains material by other members of The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. An Italian translation was released in November 2013 under the title Il vangelo secondo Lebowski.[19]

In November 2013, Lebowski 101 — a compilation of mostly scholarly essays edited by Benjamin which dissected and celebrated The Big Lebowski — was published by the Church. Over 80 writers and illustrators contributed to the book.[20]

In April 2015 The Tao of the Dude was published, featuring essays and illustrations by Benjamin as well as quotes from various philosophers and writers throughout history. The objective of the book is to show that Dudeism is a philosophy that has existed since the dawn of civilization.[21]

The Dude and the Zen Master, a 2013 book by Jeff Bridges and Buddhist teacherBernie Glassman, uses the character as a starting point for philosophical discussion. Asked at a promotional event what The Dude would think of Dudeism, Bridges replied, "He'd be flabbergasted. And he would dig it."[22]


  1. ^ abEhrlich, Richard. "The man who founded a religion based on 'The Big Lebowski'". CNN. Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  2. ^Mathijs, Ernest; Sexton, Jamie (30 March 2012). Cult Cinema by Ernest Mathlijs, Jamie Sexton p. 78. ISBN .
  3. ^"Adweek". Mediabistro.com. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  4. ^"Big Lebowski Spawns Religion". Dontpaniconline.com. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  5. ^INTERVIEW: Oliver Benjamin, Founder of Dudeism & Author of "The Abide Guide: Living Like Lebowski" - Otis Ryan Productions Blog, By Ryan Mifflin - 16 February 2012
  6. ^The Dudely Lama Discusses DudeismArchived 2013-11-10 at the Wayback Machine - We Love Cult, retrieved 19 September 2012
  7. ^"Cathleen Falsani Interview". Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. PBS. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  8. ^"The Day of the Dude". Dudespaper.com. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  9. ^Green, Bill; Peskoe, Ben; Russell, Will, Shuffit, Scott: I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski, page 17. Bloomsbury, 2007.
  10. ^"The Way of the Dude".
  11. ^"David Kantor, Michael Hampton". Nytimes.com. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  12. ^"Great Dudes in History". Dudeism.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
  13. ^Eutsey, Dwayne. "Great Dudes in History: Mark Twain". The Dudespaper. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
  14. ^Killoran, Ellen. "'The Big Lebowski' Religion Founder Talks 'The High Holiday' Of Dudeism". International Business Times. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  15. ^Walters, Ben (20 January 2010). "Dudeism, the faith that abides in The Big Lebowski". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  16. ^Benjamin, Oliver; Merel, Peter. "The Tao Dude Ching!". The Dudespaper. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
  17. ^Benjamin, Oliver (26 October 2016). "The Dude De Ching: New Annotated Edition". ISBN .
  18. ^Benjamin, Oliver; Eutsey, Dwayne (16 August 2011). "The Abide Guide: Living Like Lebowski". ISBN .
  19. ^"Il vangelo secondo Lebowski". Fazi Editoriale. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  20. ^Benjamin, Oliver (8 November 2013). "Lebowski 101". ISBN .
  21. ^Benjamin, Oliver (15 April 2016). "The Tao of the Dude". ISBN .
  22. ^Tobar, Hector (11 January 2013). "Lebowski lovers: The Dude and the Zen Master riff in L.A."Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 14, 2013.

External links[edit]

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Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dudeism
Dudeism: The Path to Lebowski Enlightenment

The Coen Brothers: Zen and the Art of Dudeism

One of my favourite subgenres of film is “normal people doing crime badly”. Regular people wanting to be criminals, but not having the skill set to pull it off is a comedy goldmine for me. Many films do this well, but the real masters of the genre are the Coen Brothers. They’ve tackled this theme often in films such as Raising Arizona, Burn After Reading, and No Country For Old Men

Their films show the different directions a filmmaker can steer this genre. Raising Arizona follows a couple stealing a baby after struggling with infertility, while Burn After Reading finds Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand haplessly attempting to negotiate with the CIA. The mishaps and misfortunes of them and other characters are the comedic core of these films. In contrast, No Country For Old Men is much darker, with the opposing desires of Llewelyn Moss and Anton Chigurh leading to violence and death. 

Two Coen Brothers films that best show this divide, and exemplify the genre, are Fargo, released in 1996, and their 1998 followup, The Big Lebowski. Fargo is a dramatic story about a man destroying his life because of his failings as a criminal, while The Big Lebowski is a lighthearted farce and decidedly more comedic. 

A still from The Big Lebowski. A long haired man wearing sunglasses and a robe stands in an aisle of a grocery store.

Compared to other films by the Coens, The Big Lebowski feels like a breath of fresh air. On a basic level, the film is about the Dude (Jeff Bridges) finding himself in ridiculous situations, but when things go wrong, the problems that arise affect him only marginally. The film’s ending is bittersweet, but importantly, the Dude emerges unscathed. 

Conversely, in Fargo, the inability of nervous and beleaguered car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) to successfully hire two men to kidnap his wife, in order to get a ransom from her wealthy father, is the action of a sad and desperate man. William H. Macy’s tightly wound performance makes this abundantly clear. He stammers, he smiles only for it to immediately disappear off his face, he sets off the violent chain of events that make up the plot of the film, and his need for things to go right only makes them go wrong. Although he’s an unsympathetic character, you still want things to go better for him. If he was more like the Dude, his mistakes would be welcome and hilarious, not unfortunate. 

It can be funny, but it’s also horrific, seeing someone’s life slowly — or in the case of Fargo, quickly — slip out of control. On the journey with Jerry, you’re privy to all the mistakes he makes, and want to scream at him to smarten up. I might enjoy this genre, but I don’t enjoy watching these uncomfortable meditations on fate and free will. It just stresses me out. But in The Big Lebowski, the stress is gone. The twists and turns of the plot, and what the Dude gets himself involved in, is a fun ride. You know he’ll be fine, because come on! It’s the Dude!

A still from Fargo. Two men in winter apparel stand amidst snow-covered trees. The man on the right is laughing.

Ultimately, The Big Lebowski is a more satisfying film than Fargo because the Dude’s lack of a personal investment means he can’t really be hurt when things go wrong, while Jerry can. Both the Dude and Jerry deal with situations spiralling out of control, but I enjoy The Big Lebowski more because the Dude recovers from it, while Jerry is left to the consequences of his actions.

What’s key about The Big Lebowski is that the Dude gets embroiled in the mystery by accident. He’s an outsider looking in on the drama. He doesn’t know what’s going on, he just wants a new rug after two guys break into his house and pee on it. He’s concerned over the events that unfold around him, but also isn’t all that bothered. He doesn’t have skin in the game, and that means he can avoid the usual consequences of participation in crime in Coen Brothers films. 

This lack of involvement is an exemplification of the Dude’s relaxed and pacifist attitude towards life. We live in anxious times — with numerous stresses, problems, and insecurities colouring our existence. In The Big Lebowski, the Dude represents a lighter and more human way of moving through life. I wish I was as zen as the Dude, don’t you? Especially if being more like the Dude means you won’t try and fail to be a criminal and end up dead or in jail like the characters of Fargo

A still from The Big Lebowski. A man with long hair is in the middle of bowling.

When rival bowler Jesus Quintana tells the Dude he’s going to fuck him up, the Dude leans back and says “yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man”. By being terminally relaxed, he is unflappable in the face of anything from trash talk to murder. It guarantees his survival. 

In contrast, Jerry is in this situation because of personal involvement. He needs the money, and he feels like he needs to take charge of his own existence for once — partly because he feels emasculated by his wealthier wife and father-in-law. A massive statue of Paul Bunyan, a highly masculine figure, hangs over his head throughout the film. His life is on the line, literally and figuratively. He can’t take a step back and look at what’s going on because of his desperation. Truly, he was destined to fail from the beginning. 

Director of photography Roger Deakins expertly uses the camera to signify this desperation. Landscapes are shot incredibly wide, cars only a tiny speck in an empty and soulless grey sky, while Jerry is shot in tight closeups, the camera lingering on his discomfort as he lies and cheats. The cinematography fills the screen with the unease of living, and that makes for a much different film than The Big Lebowski

A still from The Big Lebowski. Three men sit at a table at a bowling alley.

Another reason that ensures the Dude will end up fine and that Jerry will end up in jail is the question of money. The Dude has nothing to gain from the situation, except maybe a new rug. It is his bowling partner Walter’s (John Goodman) idea to get involved to make money for themselves. The Dude may not try very hard to stop him, but he doesn’t seem too invested in the plan’s success. This is a major part of what keeps the Dude alive and well. He will not be harmed by the events of the film, because he doesn’t need anything from them. Juxtaposed against the consumerism and glitz of the film’s setting of Los Angeles at the beginning of the Gulf War, the Dude is a beacon of light against the capitalist tendencies of the city and other characters such as Walter and the nihilists.

One scene that explicitly shows this disparity is when the Dude goes to the house of wealthy pornographer Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazzara). With long hair, a scruffy beard, wearing a cardigan, and what could easily be pajamas, the Dude sticks out like a sore thumb in Treehorn’s expensive-looking home, designed by architect John Lautner. Outside, a topless woman bounces on a trampoline in slow motion. These moments act as a microcosm of American wealth, capitalism, and greed, and are a backdrop for the Dude’s anti-consumerist lifestyle. 

Walter — a Vietnam veteran quick to anger — is the one who takes a more active role in causing events to unfold. But his actions only create more problems for himself and the Dude, as he sinks the two of them further into the mysteries of the film. And in examination of the Rube Goldberg-style machinations of the plot, Walter’s insistence on getting involved leads to the final confrontation with the nihilists that causes Donny, their other bowling partner, to die. It is his greed that causes the death of this innocent bystander. 

A still from The Big Lebowski. A man in a bowling alley points a gun just out of frame.

Walter’s style of involvement is geared more towards immediate action. He rushes headlong into situations when he thinks he can gain something from them, without properly considering the consequences. It is his poor impulse control in the face of greed that sets off several plotlines of the film. Walter is similar to Jerry in how his aspirations lead to violence. In these films, it is desire that leads to failure, and by not desiring too much of anything the Dude can remain as he always has: following along just to see what happens. 

Jerry is the opposite. His money struggles convince him that extortion is his only option, setting him on a path to destruction. He is motivated by financial need, but also by greed, which manifests as lying about the sum of the ransom, in order to pull one over on Carl (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear (Peter Stormare), the men he hires for the operation, and keep the surplus for himself. 

At the end of the film, Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), the cop investigating him, says “there’s more to life than a little money”, but this is a lesson Jerry doesn’t grasp, leading to his downfall. When characters want too much, that is the moment things fall apart for them, and they get hurt. 

A still from Fargo. A man covered in blood carries a suitcase across a snowy tundra.

All the main characters in Fargo epitomize this theme. Carl and Gaear also cause violence through their mistakes and greed. They respond to situations without thinking things through, they cheat, backstab, and argue, and Gaear eventually kills Carl. Their lack of satisfaction with what they have, and what they feel they’re entitled to, brings about more and more bloodshed. And in the end, no one gets the money. 

Marge is a foil to Jerry, Carl, and Gaear. She’s happily married, expecting her first child, and content with her place in life. She doesn’t understand the greed of other characters and doesn’t need a lot of money to be happy. She’s who you root for, and she’s who you want to be. When her husband’s painting of a mallard is chosen for a three-cent stamp, he’s upset because of the low price of the stamp. But Marge is the one who sees the necessity of a smaller stamp when prices increase. This stamp is a symbol for finding happiness in the little things in life, something Marge can do that others in the film cannot. 

Much like the Dude, Marge is living an anti-capitalist life. She focuses on what she wants and what makes her happy instead of following the rat race and always wanting more. Marge knows the danger of greed, but the other characters cannot understand it. 

A still from Fargo. A woman in police uniform stands amongst snow-covered trees with a surprised look on her face.

And that is why I prefer The Big Lebowski to Fargo. Fargo is a funny film, but the central plot of Jerry getting in over his head, struggling to make things right but never succeeding is less enjoyable and interesting to me. 

There are so many dark and depressing films. They represent the immorality of the real world, but I’m not a person who goes for a ‘life is meaningless and everyone is terrible’ philosophy. From the first shot of Fargo, this philosophy is considered, as the Coens proclaim that “this is a true story”. They frame this story as working within the depravity of real life, but I don’t watch films for a reflection of the worst parts of humanity. Why can’t we just be happy that we’re alive? 

What I want out of cinema is a few goofy people getting up to shenanigans, and in that respect, The Big Lebowski delivers. In Fargo, Jerry, Carl, and Gaear slog away at what’s expected of them. Much like the snowy, empty landscapes of the film, their lives are bleak and unvaried. In The Big Lebowski, there’s a sense of the joy of being alive watching the Dude go bowling and live an uninhibited life. He doesn’t care about money, he cares about having a good time. That’s honourable. 

A still from Fargo. A large statue of Paul Bunyan looms overhead, as a car starts to drive past it.

Roger Deakins was also the director of photography for this film, and the magical way he shoots the bowling scenes highlights this joy. The bowlers feel carefully choreographed, creating a slow motion dance out of their movements. Close attention is paid to the small details, from bowling balls rolling on the pinsetter to the spraying of bowling shoes. These scenes, especially the opening credits, are treated with a reverence and care that elevates bowling from a mere sport to a thing of beauty. Like the Dude, the camera finds happiness in the little things in life. 

A similarly minor detail that stood out to me watching the film is the Dude’s fondness for Creedence Clearwater Revival. Their song “Bad Moon Rising” serves as an analogy showing the differences between the Dude and Jerry. Jerry is the lyrics of the song, warning of impending doom and natural disasters. The Dude is the energy of the song, with its upbeat vocals and jangly guitars. He knows that while things may be objectively bad, it doesn’t mean you have to feel bad. And you know what? My favourite part of “Bad Moon Rising” is its optimistic sound. 

It’s more fulfilling to watch The Big Lebowski, because I know the Dude will make it out in one piece. Like a Shakespearean tragedy, Fargo just feels like a lost cause from the beginning. They’re both great films, but given the choice I would pick The Big Lebowski, where everything going wrong is funny instead of uncomfortable and stressful. 

A still from The Big Lebowski. A man with long hair looks into a mirror decorated like the cover of Time Magazine.

The film has a lot to teach the viewer about how to be a person. The Dude, in the words of the film’s narrator the Stranger, is “taking it easy for all us sinners”, and his relaxed attitude helps deal with feelings of inadequacy in a capitalist society. He knows that you don’t have to be what the world wants you to be. This perspective is useful in finding fulfillment and happiness, so much in fact that the film has inspired the religion of Dudeism, based somewhat on the philosophy of the Dude. 

The Dude is an inspirational character. I think we can all learn something from him, especially when dealing with the everyday problems life brings. That’s another reason why The Big Lebowski is such a great movie, because it offers a guide for dealing with things going wrong. In Fargo, however, I don’t feel any catharsis or enjoyment watching everything fall apart. It just doesn’t feel like there’s any opportunity for Jerry to fix his mistakes. The Big Lebowski is joyful cinema, while Fargo isn’t, because at least there’s hope that everything will be okay. 

Sours: https://film-cred.com/coen-brothers-big-lebowski-fargo/

Logo dudeism

Soon, perhaps, not a single department store remained in the city where I did not try on a few dresses or skirts. I began to frequently visit the city polyclinic, where, having handed over my coat to the wardrobe, I remained in my dress and slowly walked. Along the corridors and floors, sat near the offices and looked at the visitors, mainly women, trying to adopt their movements, manners, gestures and wondering why many of them go in trousers, what they find in it, because it is much more comfortable in stockings, more beautiful and more feminine.

How The Big Lebowski Became a Lifestyle

The clearing became large, immense and it was easy to walk along it, it was sunny, and the forest was only in. The distance on the sides. Little Red Riding Hood walked, admired the sun and picked flowers. The oncoming wave mushrooms reached out to her every time she bent down to pick a flower.

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Look, I told her, look how your chest fits perfectly into my palm. See how we fit together. - I see.

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