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Slashdogs

Anal is the new Hand Job

by Roger Young, images by Jacqui van Staden / 01.12.2010

The CCHQ is far. Tucked away in the eastern suburb of Primrose it seems to be somewhat of an anomaly in this neither prim nor rosy low rent neighbourhood; a music venue fashioned out of an ostentatious antique shop stuffed full of chandeliers, red walls, cabinets of alcoholic and inbred clowns, old movie posters, and some genuine actual antique shit; like tonight’s indie horror film and rock n roll event, CULT, which feels exactly like a late goth party in Yeoville circa 1997.

As we pull up a short woman in grubby attire shouts at a car guard: “People are trying to sleep here, you know!” while indicating back into the cavernous mechanics workshop behind her. Her pockmarked face seems rubberized; she has obviously had a life filled with cheap starch. Steve tells me about the time her crackhead son tried to fuck him up for parking near their door. When you take into account that CCHQ is not just an antique shop turned into a music venue but an antique shop used as an S&M meeting place for East Rand swingers and sex freaks that is sometimes used as a music venue, it’s easy to see that it actually fits right in next door to an empty mechanic’s workshop that doubles as a dwelling for midget mothers of crackheads.

Nothing is happening when we enter. A Sansui logo is projected behind the drum kit, Robert Johnson era blues wafts softly out of a PA somewhere. People in all range of actual Goth mill around on the kind of rugs my gran used to call Persian. From the poster for the event I was expecting darkness and excitement but everything just feels a little limp. Rocker Goths and chubby ska dudes mingle with victims of Sailor Jerry chic while semi-Suicide girls wander around with the vacant expressions unique to folks who trade in their own flesh. Because on some level I expected chainsaws and rabid sluts I am, once again, victim to my own high expectations. I find Charles, my large gay tattoo artist friend, and we realise the need to drink, heavily.

CULT CCHQ

The first band up after we arrive takes forever to set up. A guy wanders through the lounge area carrying an amp and chatting to everyone as he walks through. They finally begin, shouting and grinding away like a bunch of mechanics and IT geeks who secretly want to be tattoo appies. And in less than two songs it’s over. Then there is another indeterminably long wait. A woman wearing black, black eyeliner and black rouge comes up to me and asks: “Do you read?” and semi auditions my suitability before handing me a flyer advertising her black magic fiction, “god”, she mutters as she walks away, “I feel so cheap”. I look at the flyer and think, this is not my kind of book; I’d probably hate it. Then I look around realise that this is not my kind of gig and I’m hating it. The night lags and the only reason we’re not leaving is that it’s the last Slashdogs gig ever.

Submachine eventually come on and proceed to disappoint, hard. I love the hard fast rock of Submachine but where the fuck is the black paint? They’ve recently lost Kevin Flee, their vocalist and are most likely still readjusting. Or it could just be that the atmosphere in CCHQ is a little vlammed out from all the waiting. Even the in crowd drum attack from Storm Thomas feels like it’s executed out of obligation. Submachine need to get their voodoo back.

Submachine

The venue is as full as it’s going to get. The milling about continues. A film is screened above the stage. It’s about a skinny girl with too much black eye make up who meets a catalogue model from the eighties with fake surfer hair. There is a forest. Then her walls are attacked by AFDA CGI. It’s a turgid affair and the only horror it imparts is the ennui of standing around waiting for the Slashdogs to start, for something to happen. We take to insulting the Sailor Jerry rep’s white leather with embroidered swallow shoes. We are that bored. He is offended, which is kinda softcock; being offended by the normal behaviour of your target market means you haven’t done your research. It becomes more appealing to make up stories about the opiate addicted clown dolls in the silent room while trading tequila for disdain with my favorite Russian vegan animal rights activist anarchist. By the time it gets to the Slashdogs, CCHQ is starting to empty out.

The Slashdogs

Ryan Tarbarton is one of the best front men in South African hard rock and he doesn’t disappoint. He’s full of angry energy and eye-popping screams; giving his last gig everything. But the Slashdogs themselves are past their sell by date; maybe it’s why they’re shutting up shop. For all its energy their raw and extreme throat shouty rock ‘n roll feels forced and played out. But only to me, their twenty or so hardcore fans rock the fuck out while the new-ish guitarist spends more time doing rock god poses than actual guitar work. The whole set is marred by too bright and repetitive video projections that render them silhouettes to all but those standing up close. The sound mix is flat, the band was hardly there, far from their usual tightness, Tarbarton seemed alone on stage riding the emotional energy of a final gig for all it was worth. I could have just been affected by the strange atmosphere of the event, venue or maybe my inability to give a fuck about a scene made up of a loose collection of outsiders desperately clinging to some derivative late fifties rockabilly ideal. It all feels like a very large wank, I tell Charlie. “Or Anal” he says “I mean, you know anal is the new handjob”. The Slashdogs set ends and a girl comes off the dance floor straight to us, the first randoms, and exclaims “That was the most emotional thing that’s happened to me ever”.
“You”, I say, “must lead a very empty life”.

We end up in the silent room where a laptop DJ now plays The Cramps to fake chandeliers and a shitty laser. Charlie has run out of people to be a bitch about; all we have left of the evening is to wake up the Russian with difficulty and tequila and head out into the night, tiptoeing past the crackhead mechanics, trying to make a clean and silent escape.

CULT, Slashdogs, Submachine

*All images © Jacqui van Staden

16   5
RESPONSES (57)
  1. elton yawn says:

    Does the oke in the last picture have huge ears or is it just the kak chandeliers?

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  2. Anonymous says:

    were you even there buddy

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  3. tripper gore says:

    vulgar is the new mind-map.

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  4. TeganDavies says:

    Kevin S. Flee was not Submachine’s vocalist, he was a guitarist and did some back up vocals. I do not think there were any Suicide Girls at this event either 🙂

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  5. creepy steve says:

    BACK ON FORM FAT BOY 😀

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  6. Roger Young says:

    I said semi-suicide girls.

    As to Kevin’s role in Submachine. He was technically a backing vocalist but part of Submachine’s appeal has always been the multi-voiced choruses, where every vocalist contributed equally and strongly. In this instance I think that the fact that Kevin’s voice is not there anymore leaves a bigger gap than just that of a backing vocalist.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    god psychobilly is so stupid.

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  8. Huey Voodoo says:

    I had a rockin’ time…

    On stage and off.

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  9. TeganDavies says:

    Ah well, guess everyone has their opinion 🙂 But remember, negative vibes often start from within. Smile dude.

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  10. Muerte says:

    ‘negative vibes often start from within’ oh my God tegandavies you’re right you’re absolutely right and that must be why you know bad things happen and bad vibes go down and wars start and dogs bark and monkeys are tested and cart horses aren’t rested and people’s savings are invested in crackpot venture schemes and babies die and people cry and i can’t tell a lie i too have had negative vibes and if only i’d read what you wrote i could’ve like avoided them and just be a better person and i’ve learned my lesson and if i smile maybe i can fuck gina gershon and get my first million and ride a white stallion…or you could just stop being such a gormless fuck and take your dumb hegemonic chill vibes elsewhere

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Obviously Muerte is an ass fucker just like Roger Young. This whole post is pointless and you guys can go fuck yourself with your own lives

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  12. TeganDavies says:

    Oooh, was that supposed to hurt. What ever dude. Each to their own. You join the hater generation if you like, I prefer not to and to enjoy myself thank you very much.

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  13. Roger Young says:

    What’s negative about ass fucking?

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  14. Sara says:

    Roger, go and start a blog where you can vomit up your opinion, and leave Mahala to some more balanced journalism

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  15. Anonymous says:

    how balanced would a journalist who was into psychobilly be? it’s a pretty niche market.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    first off, i want to say i dont think any of the bands who played can be considered pshychobilly.

    Secondly: I hate the whole psychobilly scene because it’s fashion and image first, and music second. it’s so ridiculously plastic.

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  17. Ronnie Belcher says:

    A very subjective review and by no means accurate… this reflects very negatively on you Mr Young. But then again, you seem like a very negative person that has nothing good to say about anything.
    Ronnie Belcher

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Take your head out of your own ass and things might smell a bit better.

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  19. Hylton k says:

    I attended the CULT event @ cchq and enjoyed it, the antique sutup is really cool and every time you look at one of the sill life displays you see something new, the dumbass who wrote the review obviously was only there to watch Slashdog and couldn’t be bothered to wait for anything else to happen, the only negative comments I have is the first band need to get rid of the woman that thinks she can sing. Sorry, Roger if your woman broke up with u that night, maybe you should have stayed at home and listened to Cranberries that night, by the way the chick handing out her pamphlets for her book is also from C.T.. sooooo you can enjoy her handing out pamphlets at your local clubs and also rant about how terrible they are.

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  20. Roger Young says:

    @Sara

    I should go and start my own blog?

    Leave mahala to more balanced journalism?

    New in these parts?

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  21. Sara says:

    Er, you see, you’re not as famous as you like to think you are

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  22. Ricky Jay says:

    Wow.

    Roger, you are are some kind of special sad douche. I had an awesome time there.

    Also judging from peoples reaction and even the photos you put up, they all seem pretty damn jolly.

    You seem to have some grudges.

    keep burning bridges.

    a bit sad.

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  23. Jess says:

    @ Muerte… or should I say ‘Morty’
    It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you make of it.

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  24. Mr Brian Green says:

    I love the platform shoes that the whole psychobilly crowd love to wear. When I say ‘love’ though, I mean in terms of being able to differentiate thoughtless morons, who’ll wear anyt fad-ish crap, from the less thoughtless morons of this world. Fucking.Platform.Shoes.

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  25. Roger Young says:

    Hey kids, it’s great that you had a good time but…

    Bottom line is the event was sub par and both Submachine and Slashdogs didn’t give it their best. I think the sad thing would be to not raise this point so that hopefully next time the standard is raised.

    The fact that you commentors all think this is a negative thing is exactly why that scene is floundering.

    If I had “grudges” or negative feelings toward the scene I wouldn’t have bothered to write about it.

    and no, Sara, I don’t think I’m famous but I am kinda well known here on mahala, which is why I said “these parts”, which is a colloquial term used in the Old West to designate a small out of way town or area with it’s own peculiarities. It’s also a term used a fair amount in the slang of the rockabilly scene.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    And likewise, Roger, the reason Mahala has the facility for readers to add their comments is so they can comment on the reviews. Maybe all some of these “commentors” are saying is they disagree with your write up. They believe it is an inaccurate account of the event, genre, people, etc. Nothing wrong with that, maybe next time look around and see if you and your little clique are the only ones not having a good time.

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  27. Roger Young says:

    They are free to disagree, it doesn’t change my perception of the event. The fact that twenty people in the scene feel insulted by that does not make it a less valid opinion, likewise my review should not diminish the good time they had. But based on my experience of these kinds of events and these bands this was a sub par event IN MY OPINION.

    This is like trying to explain a hot plate to a child with short term memory impairment.

    And I find it quite heart warming that you feel the need to explain to my why Mahala, the site I’ve been deputy editor of for 18 months, has a comment section. To me that says the site has grown beyond the personalities of those who originally started it. Thank you for that and I mean this in all seriousness, that has really made my day.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Can’t help it, it’s so funny watching you get upset Rog

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  29. Roger Young says:

    I’m hardly upset. I’m actually quite relieved that this is my last mahala comment thread fight. I forgot how fucking tiring they are.

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  30. strongbow says:

    no more free SAILOR JERRY Rum for yoooo then

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  31. HollowAxis says:

    Nice honest review. Even though i wasn’t there i get the vibe and if that’s how the bands were then that’s what it was. It’s subjective people… it’s supposed ot be…

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Question: if this is all just people sharing their opinions and you aren’t getting upset then what are you fighting for?

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  33. Roger Young says:

    I just get a bit “concerned” when people equate opinion with negativity. That’s what I’m “fighting” for/about.

    And yes, no more free rum, boo hoo

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  34. Anonymous says:

    So an opinion cannot be seen negative when someone really doesn’t have anything positive or accurate to say? You compare an entrepreneur and professional dancer hired for the night (assuming you are referring to the chicks in the picture on this blog) to a bunch of wannabes trying to get famous by plastering half naked photos of themselves on the internet for money, yet cannot take a bit of criticism without declaring the rest of the world as a bunch of idiots. Interesting.

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  35. Roger Young says:

    There is that word. “assuming”.

    I was referring to the way a lot of the girls were dressed. Either semi suicide girl or sailor jerry chic. Not the dancers. I didn’t write about the dancers at all.

    The negative I was accused of being was in reference to my criticism of the Submachine set, I was being honest about the sub par performance of a band I love on one particular night. The point of criticism on this level is to try raise standards. What is negative about that?

    In this comment thread I have been told my opinion is vomit, that I am an “assfucker”, a douche, a sad man and so on. I never once called anyone an idiot or anything of that nature.

    I will ask you, however, what you think was inaccurate about this piece, factually though, opinion is never inaccurate.

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  36. Anonymous says:

    So in your opinion Kevin used to be vocalist of submachine – not the guitarist? But anyways dude I am not here to fight with you at all, fuck it. I would hate you to think of me as a “child with short term memory impairment”. You have a great writing style, love it, however if you are going to dish or insult someone on a blog like this there will always be people who don’t like your opinion and want to tell you what they think. Suck it up if you wanna keep at it, your alternative is sticking to the old rule of keeping quiet if you do not have anything nice to say. Or working for a cheesy tabloid. Which ever you prefer.

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  37. Roger Young says:

    A: The rationale behind me not saying Flee is merely a backing vocalist is made in my first comment.

    B:
    “This is like trying to explain a hot plate to a child with short term memory impairment.”

    not

    “You are all children with short term memory impairments who keep actually burning their hands on hot plates”

    C:
    The insulting isn’t taken personally, seriously, all I was trying to do was explain that….. aaahhhh forget it….. honestly, this is like trying to explain a hot plate to a child with short term memory impairment.

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  38. Anonymous says:

    What a Sad Fag, that party was AWESOME!!!

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  39. Suede says:

    Well if I had to look in the mirror every morning and see you Roger, I would commit suicide. You unattractive, out of shape and oh yes thick as pick shit.

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  40. Suede says:

    As in God (picked) you as a piece of shit.

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  41. Suede says:

    Oh and Roger, don’t pick on the whole world cause you GAY.

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  42. Chucky says:

    Hilarious comments. This discussion is like that locker in ‘Men In Black 2’ – full of tiny blue people worshiping a wrist-watch. The cliche tells us that the fights in academia are so vicious because the stakes are so low. I guess niche rock and its microscopic fanbase have taken those fights to new heights, and the stakes to new lows. Rage on, troglodytes. It’s great fun.

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  43. Anonymous says:

    The insults are really not worth the commentary on this thread. The review is what it is. The damage is done and irreparable to most involve even if most names were not mentioned. Some honest and worthy opinionated comments within the article can be taken up with the various parties implicated and some positive criticism can lend to this if seen that way. Other than that most of it appears to be an onslaught on individuality that does not lend to the author itself. Sometimes a person will only see what they want too and this may apply to all,

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  44. jason says:

    Fat, oily fuck!

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  45. Zam says:

    Hey all.

    I really don’t want to get involved in all this, but this thread is becoming ridiculous.

    I’m the “Newish guitarist who focuses more on guitar rock poses than guitar playing” or whateva the quote was.

    The truth is Roger is entitled to his opinion, plus it’s his blog, so really he may do what he wishes.

    Roger didn’t like the preformance, people attending, film, location and anything else. But apparently the rest of you did! And that’s what counts. If the crowd had a good time and a great night, the critique shouldn’t bother you. I believe our fanbase has the intelligence and self assurance to know the difference between what they READ and what they SEE, HEAR and EXPERIENCE. Thank you for defending SlashDogs, Submachine, Shots Fired and the rest of the bands and preformers who played. We appreciate it.

    The fact is we play for YOU. The people who want to be there and enjoy our preformances. Critics will be critics, it’s their job.

    Just to quickly clear 2 things up: SlashDogs is NOT a Rockabilly/Psychobilly band. We play A mixture of metal/blues/rockabilly/punk and really anything else we feel we want to make. However, if you MUST label us (which we don’t do) we play ROCK’N’ROLL. Simple. We don’t wear creepers, have quiff style hair cuts or any other dress resembling the psycho scene, it’s a bad conclusion to summate.

    Secondly, i preform on stage. I try be as entertaining as possible. If that means i mess up (which, believe me, is seldom) then so be it. If you want to hear a band note for note perfect, buy the cd. Contact me and i will organise one for you. However, if you want to be ENTERTAINED via a LIVE preformance, come to a show and have a great time. (least that’s what i want.). If anyone felt as if i was showing off or being vain, that’s not my intention and really i don’t care. I had fun, the crowd had fun and ultimately (as formentioned) that’s the whole point.

    As for some people’s comments on this page as to our genre or preformance, you weren’t there so really you can’t comment. Roger can. But that’s one opinion. And apparently a whole host of people who were there enjoyed it thoroughly.

    These are my opinions obviously, i don’t represent SlashDogs and each individuals thoughts on the matter.

    Thank you for the support (through all the years), on and off stage. We hope you enjoyed our last show and SlashDogs from the very beginning.

    Zam

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  46. roxie says:

    Roger I really think that you can stop defending yourself now.

    This thread has been going on for way too long and it’s kind of childish.

    Zam has a clear and good point, and we can possibly leave it there! 🙂

    I love Slashdogs and Shots Fired. I even Love Suicide girls and Brett Rogers. I love the New Guitarist for Slashdogs and know personally that he’s worked his ass off to be in that band and entertains the crowd for a fact. I love CCHQ and the dodgey/ artistic atmosphere it posesses. Just saying…

    Gianluca (from The Slashdogs) is not only an extremely talented musician, he is also an entertainer. He gave a vibrant last show and proved that he deserves to be in the band.
    The slashdogs have slowly been dying and their last show was one to remember. Gianluca and Ryan both gave it their ultimate all for the last show that they will play as The Slashdogs.
    Give them their due, and Gianluca his. Negativity is lame and makes you fat.

    So there is my two cents.

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  47. Chucky says:

    Zam, not being a fan of the genre (and a little too old for your core fanbase) I can’t say what kind of muso you are, but I can proclaim with confidence that you are an absolutely first-rate human being. This planet could do with more like you. Well played, sir: in the great concert of life you are a rare and faith-restoring rock star.

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  48. Roger Young says:

    I agree. Zam ends the thread.

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  49. Anonymous says:

    wouldnt it be nice if the punk scene in joburg developed a bit and didnt have the same line ups at shows its had since i was sixteen years old. oh, and the photographer remembered to focus.

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  50. Jezabel says:

    Ok. So Roger didn’t enjoy the show. Fair enough. Is it really necessary to be so damn insulting about everyone and everything else. Roger, it doesn’t make you look cool or special. You sound negative, bored, cynical and nasty. Change profession, move house, move countries, change your hairstyle or have a truly meaningful life experience! Something! You must be a terrible party companion.

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  51. Suede says:

    He was abused I think.

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  52. Brett says:

    I’m not a rep

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  53. Jezabel says:

    I think that his head is so far up his own ass that he’s at risk of dying from oxygen deprivation. Seriously. Imagine being such a miserable sod?! To get so personal with people that he doesn’t know and tear apart a venue that he clearly knows NOTHING about, just shows his ignorance, arrogance and mean spirited nature. What a twat!

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  54. Evl_D says:

    Zams The MAN!!!!

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  55. Devon says:

    GREAT review! But some people are super lame for all the personal attacks on Mr Young.

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  56. Stew says:

    I feel satisfied after reiandg that one.

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  57. Anonymous says:

    Then her walls are attacked by AFDA CGI – best line ever!!

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