A Brum Deal

Amazing, the last strawberry in the universe.

Dimension Jump is two weeks away, motherfuckers. And on this very special occasion, we’re handing over to TORDFC‘s Jo Sharples to give you all the latest news. Read on…

Ohai G&T people! This week TORDFC sent out an email update for all those attending DJ who are already registered, but for those of you who aren’t yet registered or are planning on paying on the door (Danny Stephenson, I’m looking at you.) here is all the info you’ll need:

Tickets this year are limited, however we will have a handful available for purchase on the door, so don’t panic if you’ve not got round to registering yet. We’re now also offering Saturday passes, these will only be available to purchase on the door at a cost of £30 each (Under 5s go free). Saturday passes allow you entry to DJXVI from the start of the day (about 10:00) until the end of the Saturday night disco.

At this year’s Dimension Jump, we’re trying out a couple of new events for a small charge, which we wanted to let attendees know about in advance:

COFFEE LOUNGE – £20 per person
Ever wished you could have a more intimate chat with your Red Dwarf heroes? Well now is your chance! The Red Dwarf posse have agreed to allow a limited number of you into the Green Room for a coffee (or tea if you prefer!) and a chat. There will be two 30 minute Coffee Lounge sessions, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. All of the guests who are there on the day of the session will be involved. 20 places will be available for each session.

If you’re interested in taking part, your name will be taken at the registration desk. For those late arrivals, don’t worry – you needn’t miss out. We’ll be taking the names of all those interested until 10am on Saturday and if there are more than 20 per session we’ll draw names. You’ll only pay if your name is drawn, but we want to make sure that all attendees have an equal chance of participating.

PHOTOSHOOT – £10 per person/group
The price includes 1x A4 glossy photo print, extra copies are available at a cost of £5 per copy.

There will be a total of two photoshoot sessions with the available guests; one on Saturday and one on Sunday at 2pm, right before the Autograph sessions. Each session will have 60 slots available – we would love to be able to accommodate everyone attending, but unfortunately we just don’t have the time! If you’re with a group of friends, why not consider having a group photo? With reprints at only £5 each you could end up saving! We’ll be taking bookings for the photoshoots on Saturday from 9:00-10:30. So be there early and don’t miss out!

If you’re on Twitter and attending DJXVI, you’ll be interested to know that we’ve now got a dedicated Twitter account for Dimension Jump: @TORDFC_DJ. Rather than flood @TORDFC followers with live updates, schedule changes and such we decided it’d be much better to let people opt in and then we can tweet freely! Oh, and if you’re discussing Dimension Jump XVI then don’t forget to use the #DJXVI hashtag.

If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to ask below, or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

On a personal note, we’ve been working really hard in the run up to DJXVI to try and make sure that silly mistakes and oversights which have happened in the past don’t happen this year. I really hope that everyone who attends has a fabulous weekend and enjoys themselves, that’s all we can ask really! See you at the bar, mine’s a rum and coke. ;o)

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45 Responses to A Brum Deal

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  1. A pathetic legacy now evident. Dimension Jump was meant to be the keeper of a set price for everything through this once fine weekend of Red Dwarf celebration, now you’re trying out new (rehashed, tired old) ideas and pocketing a pretty penny that seperates everyone. The financial have’s from the financial have-not’s will have their day. Shame on you all, shame on this convention and you can consider me absent.

  2. G&T Admin

    The key here is that these things are new to DJ. You might have a point if they started charging for things that were previously free like autographs or even Q&As. There’s also the option for free, quick photos with the cast during the autographs which has always gone on at Dj and isn’t about to be stopped now.

    Take a look at the pricing structure for any commercial convention and then look at ours. You’ll soon see which one if profiteering and which one isn’t.

  3. G&T Admin

    Also, I’d be very fucking interested to hear who you think is pocketing anything, because it’s certainly not anyone in the fan club.

  4. I give it two years before you become just like ‘any commercial convention’. You are fools and Dimension Jump has now been spoilt forever.

  5. G&T Admin

    Well, this is sure to be an argument worth having.

  6. Fucking Fan Club. How dare you try to cover your costs! Well I for one will not be contributing to them by attending your convention!

    Because I live in Los Angeles!

    I wish I could go!

    Someone send me lots of photos!

  7. As Cappsy stated above, the extra events are just that – they’re optional extras. If you decide not to take part in them it is in no way gong to hamper your DJ experience, half an hour on 2 of the 3 days is hardly “separating everyone”. The photoshoot is something we’ve decided to feature due to repeated requests by past attendees and indeed guests, we’re not going to stop people taking their own photos during the autograph session, they just now have the option of having this too.

    As for your laughable claim that the fan club will be “pocketing a pretty penny”, I can assure everyone that this really isn’t the case, we’re merely attempting to cover the event costs, I don’t think that’s unreasonable of us.

    I give it two years before you become just like ‘any commercial convention’.

    Not under my watch it won’t.

    You are fools and Dimension Jump has now been spoilt forever.

    This would be the Dimension Jump that hasn’t happened yet and that you weren’t attending anyway… So sorry we’ve ruined it for you.

  8. Tyrell – how about stepping off your high horse and actually saying something – I don’t know – constructive? How about suggesting alternatives rather than simply damning it all?

    Or perhaps letting us all in on your big secret as to where this money tree is that you seem to think is so damn evident? The convention is unlikely to even cover costs at this rate, let alone turn a profit for future events.

    I’m all for criticism and there was clearly PLENTY to learn from the previous DJ re. queues and timings. But it’s got to be constructive, otherwise it’s totally fucking pointless.

  9. G&T Admin

    I hear the chairman is planning to fuck off to the Bahamas with all our money.

  10. I heard it was Butlins, Skegness.

  11. Tyrell’s just on the blob. I know the feeling and it’s lonnng past… The pricing is blatantly reasonable and, indeed, optional, i.e. nothing to get wound up about. It all sounds like a great weekend. I feel the main thing to consider is this – at least there IS a Red Dwarf convention this year, no matter who’s running it or how it’s being run.

    Good luck with everything!

  12. I’m all for criticism and there was clearly PLENTY to learn from the previous DJ re. queues and timings.

    Indeed, we’re more than happy to hear any valid complaints or feedback. One of my main jobs this year has been proper scheduling to ensure that the queuing is better organised and the timings are more accurate (wherever possible) because I appreciate that these were the main problems for attendees of DJXV.

    I feel the main thing to consider is this – at least there IS a Red Dwarf convention this year…

    Well, quite!

    Good luck with everything!

    Thanks PM! :o)

  13. G&T Admin

    those of you who aren’t yet registered or are planning on paying on the door (Danny Stephenson, I’m looking at you.)

    Why do I feel like the boy who hasn’t done his homework :(

    And wow, Tyrell, over-reacting much? I think these are good ideas. £20 for a chat with the cast? Fuck yeah!

    You could also say that the auctions do the same thing, and they’ve only been at every DJ since they started!

    The Fan Club had to cancel last year’s DJ because of low figures, so at least they’re keeping the fan in mind with these things, they’re not favouring anybody.

    I’m actually hoping that a few of the newer people get picked for this opportunity. I would have loved to be been able to have done this at MY first DJ :)

  14. G&T Admin

    Fucking Fan Club. How dare you try to cover your costs! Well I for one will not be contributing to them by attending your convention!

    Well, That’s a shame!!

    Because I live in Los Angeles!

    This is a damn good excuse!

    I wish I could go!

    It would have been nice to have met you!!!

    Someone send me lots of photos!

    This will in all likelyhood happen!!

  15. There are two extremes of conventions,. Possibly more. At one end of the scale you have Eastercon, the UK national SF convention, and at the other you have Collectormania.

    Collectormania and its ilk try hard to get big name stars and present a glossy image to the punters. Autographs and photos are a major part of it. Talks may be charged for separately and the attendee pays an entrance fee and continues to pay for more stuff once they are through the door. They are a commercial enterprise. The cut of what goes to the star and what goes to the company running the event varies, but there are definite profits and that is the reason d’etre – to turn a profit using things people will pay for. Stars are flown in at considerable expense, assigned helpers, have expenses paid, and possibly have an attendance fee as well. A few set people are in charge of the company and run all the events and it’s a full time job. There is a very us/them kind of culture. Stars and the general public are in different categories. The public pay for access to the stars.

    Eastercon and similar don’t go for big name stars, they mostly concentrate on authors and they’re not the kind of person who would turn heads in the street, although they may be fairly big names such as Neil Gaiman or Iain (M) Banks. Autograph sessions, if they happen, will be free. The stars are paid a very basic expenses fee, although they may be indulged and given business class tickets for their flight. Nobody makes a profit. Extra money coming in is given to charity, or held over for the next Eastercon. The Eastercon committee is voted in by the attendees and changes every year. They do the work voluntarily and for no reward, usually on top of doing their day job. The attendees, including the guests, are largely in the same category. Nobody is expected to pay extra to have a chat. The guests of honour are encouraged to mingle with the other attendees, and will often sit around chatting in the bar and go out for dinner with the people they meet at the convention, even if they’ve never met them before. Nothing except food and drink within the convention costs extra to attend, although there are usually auctions where people can buy signed books, SF merchandise and so on – the money is given to charity. There are also dealers rooms where people can buy the kind of stuff you’d get at Forbidden Planet – the people running the stalls do profit from this, but they are generally offering hefty discounts and they have the Guest of Honour’s books in stock so you can buy them and go and get them signed for free. There are things called Kaffeeklatsches where a few people are able to go and have a coffee with the stars, but they are free. Entry is based on how quickly you sign up. This is to guarantee a level of access to the guests in case you can’t get chance to talk to them in the bar or they’re vaguely reclusive and spend a lot of time in their hotel room.

    The first Dimension Jump was run on the Eastercon model. Nobody made a profit, only expenses were paid to the stars. As time has gone on, the stars have started to get attendance fees because it was the only way to get their time – to buy it. While the fan club committee may not be profiting overall from these new offerings, they do look, to the attendee, a lot closer to the Collectormania model than to the Eastercon one. Things have definitely drifted considerably towards that end of the scale in terms of how the guests are treated – in the early days they would sit in the bar and talk to fans, and they weren’t paid to be there. You could argue that it’s become commercial, despite not drawing a profit because the costs that need covering by this additional “have a chat for twenty quid” thing are costs incurred because the guests take fees. The good thing about fees is that they secure your guest, while volunteer guests are always listed as “work permitting” and sometimes cancel. But these days, would Craig Charles turn up without a hefty fee to engage him? I doubt it.

    The other big difference between Eastercon and Collectormania is that Eastercon would happen even if all the guests dropped out. People don’t necessarily engage with the guests at all at an Eastercon, they are there to see each other, to go to panels about science fiction as a whole, to chat in the bar and to generally relax. Would anyone go to a Red Dwarf convention without guests? It seems that they are the big draw these days and the fan club has most likely been forced to employ the more commercial techniques to make it viable at all.

  16. Things have definitely drifted considerably towards that end of the scale in terms of how the guests are treated – in the early days they would sit in the bar and talk to fans, and they weren’t paid to be there. You could argue that it’s become commercial, despite not drawing a profit because the costs that need covering by this additional “have a chat for twenty quid” thing are costs incurred because the guests take fees. The good thing about fees is that they secure your guest, while volunteer guests are always listed as “work permitting” and sometimes cancel. But these days, would Craig Charles turn up without a hefty fee to engage him? I doubt it.

    This is largely driven, though, by the way the guests now are. Craig, Chris, Danny and Robert are all (a) much busier and (b) much more famous than they were twenty years ago. Craig is a major role in the most popular TV programme in the country. Chris has been in Hollywood films. They’re simply not “hang around the bar and chat to fans” kind of people. But there are still guests who are – most notably the FX boys, and also, to an extent, Hattie. And I imagine if Doug were ever to show up at DJ again, he’d be much more approachable as well.

    Personally, I’d go to a DJ that didn’t have the cast there – I’m not bothered about autographs or even really about meeting them, although it’s undeniable that the major highlight of 2009 turned out to be Craig’s Q&A. I’d be happy with seeing a load of my mates, doing daft things that related to Dwarf, having a disco and a quiz, and drunkenly chatting to Mike Tucker at the bar (although I desperately, sorely wish one or both of the writers would be there). But a lot of attendees want to see and meet the cast – and it’s just not possible to do it the same way as it was done two decades ago. Which is a shame, but TORDFC can’t really be blamed for shifting the way it works to account for that, at the same time as trying to maintain the same spirit as it’s always been.

    The big thing to note, as has been pointed out, is that none of these “extras” involve charging for stuff you could previously get for free. The autograph session is still free – and, crucially, there is NO restriction on getting a quick photo at said session (except for time concerns, but ’twas ever thus anyway). Some fans, however, have actually enquired about getting more “professional”-style photos (I’m not involved with TORDFC and even I’ve heard people say it), and this is a chance for that. And the “coffee meeting” thing is… well, if the cast are going to be around anyway, this is a chance to get something a little extra with them. But it just wouldn’t be feasible to have them wandering about the hotel to be approached willy nilly – it’d be chaos.

  17. “But it just wouldn’t be feasible to have them wandering about the hotel to be approached willy nilly – it’d be chaos.”

    Well, quite. Eastercon kind of “stars” aren’t really of the same celebrity status, and so you’ve kind of got to live with it if you want to run that kind of convention. Okay, so paying to meet people for coffee might be new, but you can’t deny that it is a change from the days when you COULD have a chat with them in the bar for free. I don’t think anybody going to the coffee meeting sees the payment as an investment in the beverage, so I think it is a change from the old days. That said, it’s probably also a change from the last few years where there was nothing filling the same space.

    It’s a shame that having the guests wander would lead to chaos. That’s entirely down to the fan base putting them on a pedestal, and creating that Collectormania them/us divide. Craig Charles is just a person. Chris Barrie is another one. They eat, sleep and defecate just like everyone else, why is it impossible for them to walk around a hotel without being mobbed? But then, it’s a convention for the fans, the hardcore fans, and for the cast it’s just another job to be there in person. Don’t pay them and they won’t come along, so maybe the dynamic is inextricably separatist from the outset.

    One of the interesting things about Eastercon is that many guests actually come back in following years as paying attendees, and nobody gives them a second glance.

  18. G&T Admin

    There’s an article in this.

    I’ve always found the idea of celebrity quite odd, it sounds actually crazy to think that just because more people know about that person than they know themselves, they are classed as ‘better people’ by some.

    My first DJ experience was mainly freaking out at the thought of every single person in the venue having the same or more knowledge or passion about a TV show i had grown to love. Not only that, but the thought that the people who were IN said TV show were also in attendance, this made for quite an overwhelming experience.

    Some of the cast seem to be more approachable, and I reckon that’s down to their amount of exposure on the show i’ve found. Chris Barrie, Craig Charles and Danny-John Jules, although I imagine they’re very nice people have always been, in my book, on the ‘dont’ approach unless approached’ field. Robert Llewellyn on the other hand, is (at least nowadays) a lot more in the public eye outside of Red Dwarf, and seems much more approachable.

    I know for a fact that the majority of fans get an anxiety ‘thing’ when they see someone, IRL, who they’ve idolised and deified in their head 15 years previously, and are simply too shy and introvert to approach them. However, this is more down to the individual fan than the fan base IMHO.

    Lee Cornes, who has actually been in a great many other things besides Red Dwarf, seemed easy to approach by comparison, and was a great guy to chat to. Mac McDonald the same.

    Hattie was probably the one and only person (but i’m not the only one to say this) who although she had quite a lot of screen time on the show seemed to be the most approachable, this is probably down to her mingling with the crowd of her own accord anyways.

    IN a perfect world, yes it would be lovely if more of the cast and crew wanted to mingle, by at the end of the day, most of them do, and if they don’t they’re not at an obligation to do so.

    Strange things, conventions, but at the same time, DJ is kinda my holiday once a year and I genuinely can’t think of a better way to spend a long weekend doing.

  19. This is getting a little out of hand…

    It’s hardly heading toward the Collectormania ‘model’, the levels of us/them etc. And even if it was there’s nothing ‘sad’ about the fact that they are the stars, we are the fans, it’s about respect, the line must be drawn here! this far! no further! and I will make them PAY for…er…for glossy photos and…and stuff… (apologies for the Picard, I’m going bald, shit happens…)

    Danny and Seb have made all the valid points, and even that is saying more than ever needed to be said about this non-issue.

  20. While I appreciate that no-one (other than Tyrell) is attacking DJ here, I do think we’re a long way from being anything like Collectormania, Memorabilia or Massive Events conventions. I’d say of the two extremes mentioned we’re probably somewhere in the middle.

    The registration fee, which at it’s highest is £60, covers entry to the whole weekend which includes:

    Registration pack with competitions, wristband and booklet (including signing pages)
    All Q&A sessions
    Autographs from all guests (photos permitted)
    Friday night quiz and entertainment
    Costume Competition
    Saturday night cabaret/disco
    Red Dwarf Olympics
    Sunday daytime entertainment

    Things you might pay extra for:
    Auction (if you win – otherwise free)
    Raffle
    Merchandise
    Coffee Lounge
    Photoshoot

    Based on my experience, I don’t think there is a ‘them and us’ atmosphere; I’ve been to DJ 3 times as a paying attendee and once as a TORDFC team member, DJXVI will be my second. I’ve been to Collectormania and Memorabilia and the atmosphere is very different to DJ, they keep the guests at a distance from attendees at all times, as CMA mentioned autographs, photos and sometimes talks/Q&As are all charged for. We actually had someone decide not to attend DJ this year as we wouldn’t allow them to charge for autographs.

    I was SO excited to see that William Shatner was going to be at LFCC last year, until I saw that his autograph alone was £35, no photos as they were doing a separate photoshoot (£25) and I may be misremembering but I *think* the Q&A costed extra too. Now it was only £5 entry (for Sat only) but there really wasn’t much else to do if you weren’t spending money other than browse the many merchandise stalls and hope for a brief glimpse of a star guest passing by or signing other people’s autographs. (No chance with Shatner there though, they had him in a walled off area, so no one could get pics). Now obviously I realise that William Shatner is a much bigger star than the RD cast, but it’d have cost me more than a whole weekend at DJ to get a few seconds with him. I think there’s a very distinct difference between DJ and the big commercial events.

    With regards to the separation of guests and attendees: Yes, we do have a green room so that the guests are able to sit and have a coffee or eat lunch without people snapping pics, but other than that they’re free to roam as they wish and they often do. Hattie stays the whole weekend and is happy to chat with everyone, she’s often found in the bar or dancing at the disco as are the FX boys. Robert and Chris generally drive up and home the same day, so they don’t really have much time to mingle but I’ve seen them happily pose for a pic or two enroute to Q&As before now. Danny usually brings his family with him now so he doesn’t really socialise as much in the evenings while he’s there, but he had a wander when he arrived last year, went into the bar and said hello to people in there, went down to where Chris and Bobby were doing autographs and entertained the queuing attendees for a bit :o) Last year Craig was in the hotel bar until hours after DJ finished up, playing piano and chatting to fans while he had a smoke.

  21. @Tyrell Corporation…….Are you Norman Lovett?

  22. I’ve never been to a convention as it’s never really appealed to me but I’m not really sure what the issue is here. If you want the best stuff and the best treatment in life, you invariably have to pay more money. That’s life.

    If Tyrell lives somewhere where different rules apply, I’d love to get directions.

    If this coffee lounge gubbins was held in a different month, separated from the convention, but priced exactly the same, would people be complaining?

  23. DJXVI UPDATE: Sadly, due to other commitments Robert Llewellyn will be unable to join us at Dimension Jump this year. We are in the process of organising a Skype Q&A session with him though, so it won’t be a totally Bobby Llew-less DJ :o)

  24. I see no harm in charging for extras, providing the events that were previously included in the price, like autographs and casual photos, are still included. At the end of the day, nobody’s making a fortune out of it and it’s still a hell of a bargain compared to Showmasters’ events or similar.

    @Tyrell … I seem to remember that there was someone grouching after the last DJ, and it was suggested, politely, that if they could do better – in their spare time – and unpaid – then maybe they should offer their services. Might I suggest that if you feel so strongly about it then you should do the same …?

  25. G&T Admin

    > Might I suggest that if you feel so strongly about it then you should do the same …?

    Or, alternatively, he can get fully fucked off.

  26. My favourite part is the way that somebody who had given no indication of intending to go, who hadn’t booked nor said anywhere that they were planning (or even contemplating) to book or turn up and pay on the day, has now declared that we can “consider [them] absent”. SHOCK NEWS.

    In other news, I’m sorry to inform the fan club that we can consider Iain Lee absent as well. And Andrew Collins. And Benjamin Netanyahu. And that bloke who played Benny on Crossroads. And Eartha Kitt. And Barry Chuckle.

    (Paul Chuckle is a “maybe”, though.)

  27. You’re always going on about Benjamin Netanyahu. Let it go, Seb, you’re never going to meet him.

  28. I recently read this article by Devin Faraci about his experiences going to a Supernatural convention. His descriptions reminded me of some of this site’s past criticisms of Massive Events’ unofficial Better Than Life convention – only much more expensive. $550 for a Gold Pass for the Q&A sessions + $100 for autograph sessions + $60 for photos with actors + “ten fans who paid 200 extra bucks got a meet and greet with the actors who played the younger versions of the leads’ parents in two or three episodes”. He also points out that the convention’s only guests were actors – no-one from behind the scenes, like writers, directors or special effects people. As he puts it:

    The stars were gracious beyond belief, and they treated the fans with kindness and appreciation. But everything else was tragic, and it soon became clear that this convention was about one thing and one thing only – taking money from fans.

    Which isn’t to say that other conventions are non-profit enterprises. But the Supernatural convention – as are many other fandom-specific Creation conventions, I’ve learned – was organized in a way where the only real activity to be had was to give money to Creation in order to gain some small measure of access to the stars.

    There’s literally nothing else to do.

    This wasn’t a “Salute to Supernatural,” as the con’s official title had it. It was a salute to Creation getting your credit card info.

    Now I’ve never been to a convention, but it sounds like Dimension Jump hasn’t (yet!) reached anywhere near that level of cynical money-grabbing!

  29. >> (Paul Chuckle is a “maybe”, though.)

    They didn’t manage to book Ann Widdecombe this year, then? Damn.

  30. cynical money-grabbing

    I’m getting a picture in my mind now of TORDFC team as Giant Reed and Hud Hastings.

  31. G&T Admin

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    ooooooooooooohhhhh!

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    ooooooOOOOoooohhh!

  32. I’ll have what he’s having.

  33. G&T Admin

    …uckin’ hell.

  34. Doug Naylor had tweeted this regarding the convention,
    “Doug Naylor attending Red Dwarf fan Convention, April 10th, Queensway Holiday Inn, Birmingham. Announcement on RD future will be made.”

  35. G&T Admin

    There may be a post VERY FUCKING SOON regarding this…

  36. One thing I’ve found about photo’s is, despite many opportunities to get free photo’s with a hero, you’ve got to a) have the courage to ask and the ability to catch a moment politely with them which is often a little akward in a minor way, and b) have a mate who’ll take a good photo quickly with out messing it up, who’s usually not used your camera before, and then the background is whatever place you caught the moment in. For £10 you can bypass that, and get what seems to be listed here as a more professional Print, that if they are clever will be shot in front of a great chosen backdrop and have great composure, and you can just swan up at your scheduled moment and greet your hero politely feeling like a customer with out all the hassle. That part just seems all the more civilised, and you’ll
    probably get a memento your could well consider framing much more than a grabbed moment.

    The coffee thing is complete bollocks though. Why isnt it beer milkshakes?

  37. “We actually had someone decide not to attend DJ this year as we wouldn’t allow them to charge for autographs.”

    I dont want “Tyrell Corporation”‘s crayony mark anyway.

  38. >Why isnt it beer milkshakes?

    No bugger’ll drink ’em!

  39. I’ve read it all, and all I can think of to say is shut the fuck up Tyrell i need to pay for a holiday somehow!
    But really, the event is non profit, if we do profit it’s donated. We are trying new things, new ideas cost a little to set them up, basically we’re trying to give a full package, but it’s down to the fans, you have a choice. I spent 3 hours in a queue to see Carrie Fisher but god was it worth every second! And the signature cost £30 with a signature, worth every penny! I didn’t instantly jump on the organisation for profit mungering.

  40. I’d have been incredibly pissed off if I’d paid £30 for a signature without a signature.

  41. One of these years I will actually go to this. Mark my words.

  42. G&T Admin

    Shame on you all, shame on this convention and you can consider me absent.

    Ah ha ha, you massive twat.

  43. I considered him absent all weekend long. It was great.

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