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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Would An RV By Any Other Name...?

Oh, Dearest Readers, I Am Back. Back from gorgeous and wineful Niagara-on-the-Lake, and back from the Grey Sad Doldrums of Vitamin D Deficiency. I feel so much more Myself; there is so much more Nance-ness bubbling inside me. The Blah in my bones is almost gone and my energy is returning. My ankle sprain didn't slow me down much at all, and Life Is Feeling More Like Living.

I'm so very grateful.

But enough about all of That. I want--almost Need--to talk about something else right now. And that something is RVs. Campers. Trailers. Recreational Vehicles. Because let me tell you--while we were driving from Ohio to Ontario, Canada, and back again, they seemed to be everywhere.

Now, I'm not a camping kind of person. Or even glamping (i.e., glamour camping--a term coined out of necessity because so many RVs and campers are so deluxe now).  I can't stand to think of dragging such a bigass vehicle all over the country, looking for campgrounds with hookups and then worrying about who I pull up next to and all of that. The cost of gasoline alone would send me into a panic. That, however, is me. Judging by the volume of campers Rick and I saw on the road, glamping is Hot Right Now. And a Big Deal.

I'm sure lots of people (who are Not Me) love the idea. It sounds very adventurous and pioneering. And, in a way, exciting and liberating. You can grab some basics, throw them in the car/motorhome, and start driving and explore the country. Or whatever.

What does NOT sound very wonderful are the names of some of these vehicles. I started noticing the names on the sides and back ends of campers and RVs and, let me tell you, whoever is naming these things should be out of a job.

The first one to puzzle me was Avenger. For a little old plain white trailer. It looked like the one my grandparents, Ethel and Joe, used to haul behind their Chrysler to Florida every winter. In what way is a trailer an "avenger"? What is it avenging? When I think of an avenger, I think of something dark and quick, something slightly sinister and sharp. For those of you who are more into comic books or films, you're probably thinking of The Avengers. Trust me, in no way did that little metal sugar cube look anything like any one of these:

http://img09.deviantart.net

Then we passed a Cyclone. This might be the worst name ever for a trailer. I think we all know of the unfortunate association between tornadoes and trailer/mobile home parks. Is this really the sort of image one wants to conjure up to boost camper sales? What are the other campers in this line--Toto, Dorothy, Tin Man, Kansas, and the deluxe model, Oz?

Other RV names were just clunky and ugly, like the one called Work and Play Ultra. Do that many people really buy an RV for work (or want to), let alone ultra work? This thing was as big as Rhode Island, so I'm sure just parking it was ultra work. Another one was called Dutch Star. I'm struggling to think what the Dutch have to do with RVs, driving, or stars. I know the Flying Dutchman was the legendary ghost ship that was doomed to never make port, but even that makes more sense for an RV name than Dutch Star, which, by the way, had absolutely no stars in its paint job, nor anything Dutch.

I started wondering why the RV and camper names were so goshdarned terrible. Was it because all the good names were taken by cars, like Roadster, Scout, Traveler, Pathfinder, Voyager, and the like? Why can't they start using literary names that are in the public domain then, like Ivanhoe, Lancelot, Caesar, Othello, or Beowulf? Even some animal names would be better, or some astronomy terms, or natural entities: Timberwolf, Solstice, Tumbleweed. I mean, come on. I would rather they gave these vehicles actual name names, even, like Stephen, Mirabel, Chris, Jose, Vilnius, Gretchen, or Anne. 

Even bottles of Coke have better names.

image via pinterest via google

Tell me you wouldn't rather have a little camper named Wolfgang than Work And Play Ultra. Or Cyclone.  I know, right?

Think up some good camper/RV names and put them in Comments. And tell me how you feel about camping.


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37 comments:

  1. I'm not a fan of camping, glamping, or any other word meant to describe an uncomfortable outdoor sleeping experience. I consider a motel without room service to be primitive.

    I didn't know that campers and RVs had names. Like boats, I guess? If it's a girl, names I'd like are: Clara, Vesta, or Jules. If it's a boy, I'd go with: Steve, Ernesto, or Martin.

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    1. Ally Bean--My favourite camper name ever is "Scamper". It was a cute little pull-along pop-up. It may have even been red. Whoever named that one did a Good Job.

      I don't get the magic of camping, either. We have Evolved and Live In Comfort as a result. Why go backward?

      I love all male names ending in O. I once drafted a basketball fantasy team made up of only players whose names ended in O and called it "Give Me The Big O." Hey, I was in my youth...probably about 50. LOL.

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  2. Camping is just The Worst Thing, as I laid out for everyone in our post last summer about Summer Stuff.

    If I were to go insane and begin to camp (please stop me if it looks like this may happen) and I pulled up next to "Avenger", I'm 100% The Eff out of there. What are you avenging? Why is camping the place you think is best suited to do it? Just...don't answer those questions.

    I think the best name for a square and terrible pop-up-camper would be "Box of Awful". Because that is 100% what it is.

    After looking at those Coca-Cola names, I can't stop thinking about some sort of family doing a very corny and traditional camping routine and refusing to call their camper anything other than the name they've given it. Like, "OK, kids! Let's help Dad wash down Tracy for the long weekend!" Or something like that. "Daniel, do me a favor. Go get the grilling tools out of Mia". On second thought, maybe that's like, also not good.

    Camping sucks.

    --
    JPD

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    1. So, it was two summers ago, but like, whatever. Here's the link if you're interested. Also, I've sort of come around a bit on baseball. I've been to several games and enjoyed the hell out of all of them.

      http://deptofnance.blogspot.com/2015/08/todays-top-ten-list-summer-is-overrated.html

      --
      JPD

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    2. Jared--A camper named Box Of Awful would be a tough sell, but I have to say that any salesman pushing the Work And Play Ultra has his work cut out for him (ULTRA).

      You may be interested to know that your cousins call their artificial Xmas tree 'Jeff'. Always have. So, when it gets to be time, your Uncle Pat says, "Time to get Jeff out of his box in the crawlspace!" Yikes.

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  3. I've never heard the term 'glaming' but it fits the RV's you're describing. I've known a few people pull them. A couple of people I have permanent lots they rent by the year and drive their RVs to it in the spring and bring it home in the fall. Some campgrounds now take reservations so a lot of people know the parks and the best spots.

    We had a motor home. If I remember it right it was 20 or 22 feet long, just a baby in the world of RVing. We named it our Rolling Dog House. I did like camping better than motels and hotels.

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    1. Jean R--Oh, it's a very popular lifestyle for lots of people, I know. I just can't relate to it myself.

      And you're right--at 20 feet, your RV was a mere nothing compared to the massive rolling city-states I saw on the road. Those things were scary.

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  4. I am a camping-free type of person. I have never in my life been camping, and it is going to stay that way. My husband and son enjoy it, and they are always welcome to traipse off to the woods whenever they fancy.

    As for RV names, how about authors? Maybe even ones with subject appropriate books? McCarthy can have a bleak, bare-bones style. Thompson can be psychedelic. Twain could have a big paddle wheel on the back.

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    1. Gina--I have been camping in a camper a few times, camping in a cabin many times, and both are safely in my faraway past. I will say that the pluses of both were the locations; both were in beautiful natural areas surrounded by glorious forest and fauna. What I hated was the constant WORK. And INCONVENIENCE. I got over camping VERY QUICKLY. N E V E R A G A I N.

      I like very much your idea of authors, but wonder how many people would appreciate it. And the Twain model would have a terrible drag if the paddle wheel were not just painted on. LOL.

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  5. I liked camping when I was a kid. Took a wonderful trip up to the Great Lakes with a childhood friend of mine when I was about 12. We had a blast. Nowadays... not up to slumming it. Also: snakes, ticks, mosquitos and critters in general.

    As for RVs... we are on the same page, my dear: They *are* such big ass vehicles and... gasp... the GAS! If I had to name an RV, it would be something like Moby Dick (which at least is literary). And here are a few anecdotes about RV names...

    1.) Years ago, I worked with this guy whose parents bought an RV when they retired and sent him a photo of it. They named it Happy Trails. Underneath the name was a sign that read: “Sorry, kids. We just spent your inheritance money.”

    2.) Back to the future: my brother recently took my sister-in-law to look at RVs. He was all enthused. She was not. And frankly, I had to agree with my SIL:
    *Vacation = No cooking or cleaning.
    *RV = Cooking and cleaning.
    So... another possible RV name: Cook and Clean Ultra. I don’t see the glamping part unless there is a maid and a cook who come with the RV.

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    1. Ortizzle--There you are!

      And yes, RVing means Taking One's Show On The Road. It's not vacationing, really, is it, as your SIL so astutely observed. You are still dragging your house around, and it has to be cleaned and maintained, albeit more minutely.

      That was my objection, ultimately, to cabin camping with my kids and Rick. Gorgeous setting, but no running water, no indoor plumbing, and a Franklin stove. All it did was take my life...AND MAKE IT TEN TIMES HARDER. And, as you say, add snakes, bugs, and other stuff and pretty soon I woke up and said, "Let's NOT."

      Love both your RV names. You're hired.

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  6. Hi Nance! First, I'm absolutely thrilled that you had a splendid time in NotL and are feeling so much better! I'm so relieved and so happy for you. Truly.

    I'm a camping fan, but not in the types of scenarios that you describe. We like tent camping on our own mountain/river property. Had a camper briefly and hated it. It was a Shasta and Mr. GFE and Son always called it "The Wings of Shasta" drawn out using a magical announcer's voice. LOL The names are silly for RVs, but no sillier than the names give to cars really.

    Shirley

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    1. Shirley--Oh, thank you. I am, too.

      There are a lot of silly car names, to be sure. But there are still a lot of great ones, too, and I think they'd be good for RVs as well.

      My parents used to tent camp up in Canada--the eastern provinces--quite a lot. I never, ever understood that. My father loved comfort and luxury, but he was a willing participant. That string of camping came to an abrupt end when they had to run from a bear in Nova Scotia in the middle of the night. After that, it was motels.

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    2. I know our camping would also end if we had to run from a bear. Please, please don't let that ever happen!

      True story ... We used to camp via canoe. We'd put in at the city dock in Fredericksburg and paddle down to the King George County line, spend the night, and then paddle back the next day. One morning we woke up to a copperhead snake in our camping stove box. It fell at hubby's feet as he was getting ready to start breakfast. Thankfully, the snake was a bit cold from overnight rain and it didn't move quickly. Hubby grabbed the machete and took care of that snake. If that snake had bitten him, we would have been in dire straits because I would not have been able to get him help (this took place long before cell phones) or paddle us both back to civilization. Needless to say, we never did that camping trip again.

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    3. Shirley--Oh, lordy, a SNAKE! And a copperhead at that. As a Long-time Dearest Reader at the Dept., you well know my snake phobia and history with snakes. Thank goodness your husband had a handy machete and dispatched that visitor. I've given up my snake hatchet (a promise to Jared) at the lake, but we certainly have nothing as scary as copperheads.

      Goodness. What an experience.

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  7. I have never been camping. My mother considered it to be "camping" when we stayed in a hotel with black-and-white TV ... my in-laws were really into camping, though, and they had one of those huge campers. I don't remember what it was called because it was years ago.

    I think the names should be truth in advertising: Gas Guzzler, Road Hog, Expensive Toy, etc.

    SO glad you are doing better - YAY!!!!

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    1. Bridget--Thanks. I am, too. Now I can start my Summer!

      To your Truth In Advert names, we should add Ortizzle's, above: Their Inheritance. LOL!

      As far as not being a camper, do me a favour and DO NOT START NOW. You are not missing anything. ;-)

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  8. Well Hello, Nance!!! You sound rejuvenated, and back to your old self, ( not saying your old, lol).
    As for camping, back in the day when my boys were young and I was adventurous. We did the whole out-in-the-woods, back-to-nature, weekend away- or days away, trips. It was alot of fun. We never took an RV, and as close as we ever came to a camper was a pop-up trailer that slept 6 and felt like it didn't have the room for two. Somehow, I survived that and we still laugh and joke about our many adventures in camping. When I was young, I loved it. However, at this stage of the game, the thought of sleeping on the ground, or in a sleeping bag, makes my bones ache. These days, camping means, clean sheets, A/C, extra towels, and a continental breakfast buffet. The continental breakfast buffet isn't a must, but coffee and toast to hold me over until I can find a Denny's, or a Waffle House are.
    As for RV/Camper names, they should be fun and descriptive - Gas Guzzlin', Retirement Respite, The Kids Inheritance, and Vacation Vice.
    Hoping each day finds you better than the one before...

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    1. Denise--Well, hello to you, too! I feel way less Old these days, let me tell you. Back in March, I felt about 90.

      I'm with you re: sleeping in anything other than a nice bed with climate control and the benefit of a clean bathroom at the ready. Our lovely inn in NotL has a terrific breakfast with house-made yogurt, mini-quiches, wholegrain bread, a sweet loaf, and the local bakery's croissants and muffins. Add fresh fruits, sliced meats and cheeses, and great coffee, and it has become my Standard For Lodgings.

      I like descriptive names as well, and that's my Issue with the names I mentioned as being poor ones. They weren't good Camper/RV names in my book. And certainly, I can get behind people naming their own campers, like boat owners do with their vessels. I like your suggestion of Vacation Vice the best.

      Thanks for your best wishes. This little jaunt I took really helped me turn the corner, I think. I'm now a firm believer in a Change Of Scenery for therapy.

      Delete
  9. So glad you have your Nanceness back! The world is a better place with more Nance in it.

    Mike & I tent camped early in our marriage and it was great because he did EVERYTHING. I was allowed to watch. Which I did like the expert watcher I am. I wouldn't mind trying it again (if he continued to do EVERYTHING), but I'd need a big-ass air mattress these days. Also, we would have to camp right next to the bathrooms. On second thought, I'll stick with the Comfort Inn.

    Oh - and we used to dream of riding around in an RV, but fortunately never had the money & now I just couldn't justify the gas expenditure. I wonder if they'll ever have hybrid RVs? If they did, I would name mine "Gas Free Zone." Which would probably be a lie, and this point in our lives. (TMI?)

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    1. Bug--Oh my dear, what a wonderful and kind and downright stupendous thing to say: "The world is a better place with more Nance in it." I want it to be a new tagline for my blog. The Dept. of Nance: Because The World Is A Better Place With More Nance In It.

      One slight problem may be that it raises expectation/implies that I must post more often. That seems...bossy? worky? unlikely? Still, I love that you said it. I love it a LOT.

      I suspect my aforementioned sister loves camping a great deal for the same reason you did. Her husband is an astonishing force of labor, problem-solving, and innovating. The man is an incredible Doer. Of absolutely everything. Had he not been part of the equation, her camping career would be Nonexistent. I'm sure of it.

      I have never lived in a (TMI)gas-free zone since becoming a wife and mother. Growing up, we were very modest and retiring about such things, the household being primarily female and my father being a real stickler about not sinking to the level of being crude and inappropriate. Once I got married and had two sons in the 80s-90s, let's just say Times Had Changed and I Was Outnumbered.

      There are, however, two hybrids in the Dept. garage. So there's that.

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    2. Bug definitely wins for best comment on this post! She is so right! We need more Nance in general, and we need the world to be a better place right now!

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    3. Shirley--XXOO. And I agree that things are dark in the world at present with the USA's usual beacon sadly dimmed.

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  10. Ha! Fun post and fun responses. So happy you are feeling like Nance again. YAY

    Confession: I camp and really, really like it! I grew up backpacking in New England and then some tenting. I'm old enough now that I don't want to sleep on the ground - even with an air mattress. And, of course, snakes and other miserable creatures freak me out.

    We do have a camper now. It is small (16'). I refer to it as the submarine...or a place for two people who really like each other a whole lot. In that small space we have a bed, a two burner stove, a frig, table and a bathroom (toilet, shower, sink). It's extremely light weight and, best of all, custom built and did not cost a ton of money.

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    1. Vera Who Camps And Really, Really Likes It--I'm happy that you're happy about my Return To Nance. Believe me, it is a victory I am celebrating in little bursts of Gladness every day.

      I can tell by reading your blog that you are outdoorsier than me in many respects. You sit out and have a fire in your backyard, for instance. Not my thing. You eat outdoors. Definitely Not My Thing. So, for some people (my sister, actually, being one) who enjoy those sorts of things, camper/RV camping gets them out and exploring and doing things they really, really like.

      I notice, however, that you did NOT share the name of your camper here. Perhaps, because it was custom-built, it does not have a model name like Winnebago or Biscayne or the dreaded Avenger. Did you give it a name? Should we have a contest!?!?!?

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    2. Ahhh, an over-sight on my part. Our camper is a Scamp. They are made in Minnesota and not sold at any dealers. You either go out to Minnesota to pick it up (which we did and then tooled our way home), or you can (pay extra to) have it shipped to you.

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  11. So happy you are feeling better! I, like Vera, loved camping but only in cooler weather, preferably fall, and in cabins with electricity and fireplaces. As to naming campers, I have never understood the naming of inanimate objects. My oldest stepdaughter named her car and laptop, as well as many other things, but I never understood the concept! Glad you enjoyed your getaway; I know I'm looking forward to mine!

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    1. Rose--It's not the owners of the campers who were naming them; it was the manufacturers themselves who named the models of these campers/RVs. Like you, I am not into naming my car or (heavens!) my laptop or can opener or anything. We haven't even officially named our beat-up little boat (even though we affectionately call it Straight Outta Cleveland because it looks so gangsta and, as my former students would say, "ghetto").

      I'm glad you're going on a Getaway Jaunt of your own. And, with all my heart, I hope it does you the world of good that mine did me.

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  12. I am not a camping type of gal, I camped when I was young and let me tell you having to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night with all sorts of creatures walking around is not my idea of fun. I like a nice hotel, and I mean nice with clean sheets, a hot shower and fluffy pillows. Yes I can see the convenience of a trailer but being cooped up with my entire family on a rainy day while camping sounds like a bit of hell to me. So glad you are feeling better Nance.

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    1. Mereknits--Ugh, outhouses. That is always the Worst Part of any camping. Can anyone, anywhere think of a single positive or pleasant thing to say about them or that experience? I think NOT.

      Thank you; I am, too. Grateful and excited every day.

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  13. We. had a Trotwood trailer when I was young many moons ago -- it was manufactured in Ohio -- pulled it west, lived in it for six months -- 2 adults, me, 2 dogs. Was an adventure for me then, not so now. When I had my own family my husband and I wanted to get away from work -- no cooking, cleaning, etc. -- so camping or a big van wasn't appealing, also not real maneuverable if we wanted to take side roads along the way.

    As for names, I guess stretching things a bit with Trotwood - hot to trot??? How about dog/pet names for trailers -- Rover, Scamp, Skip....clearly companies have some naming deficits. Need space age or digital age terms -- Rocket ..... Megabytes.....uh--h-h, maybe not.

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    1. joared--I think the key that we all are identifying--or most of us--is that in our youth, we were more amenable to putting in the extra effort of Taking Our Show On The Road. Now, in our later years, there's less willingness to Work On Vacation. Our sense of adventure is still there, but we don't want to have to muck it all up with housework and cooking. We want to explore and experience without the shackles of drudgery. We want to Travel Lightly in every sense of the word.

      Trotwood may simply have been the name of the company itself, or to stretch it less tightly, perhaps, the idea of moving easily through the forests of campgrounds? Who knows? But I agree that my original premise holds; RVs and campers, if named at all, are named poorly.

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    2. Actually, Trotwood is the name of the town near Dayton, O. where the two teachers who first created then manufacturered the trailers lived.

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  14. Your Nanciness is back! Must have been the Canadian wine. Some friends and I did. Tour from the Twenty Valley a few years back and had a ball although we did have to tolerate the one wineophile in the group who kept talking about nose and other obscurities Good wine!
    We camped when our kids were young, first with a tent and then with a tent trailer. I am so glad I will never have to do that again. Praise be for enough money for hotels and restaurants. And a husband who came to his senses after the three year old disappeared and was returned by a kind fellow camper before we were much past the yelling stage.

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    1. Mary G--I think it was Canada in general, honestly. The weather was perfect, we were in great company, and of course, the wine was gorgeous. We did spend a half-day up in the Twenty Valley/Bench region, hitting up our Old Reliables to plug some holes in the cellar: Malivoire for roses, Domaine Queylas for pinot noir (and we were surprised there by a beautiful cab merlot), and then Mike Weir for a steel chardonnay (and the view--they have a nice, airy winery with a lovely view and it's so relaxing). And, while I like to think I wouldn't be overbearing about it, I would have been your Oenophile in the group.

      I wonder what gets into us In Our Youth that makes us think Camping With Children especially will be in any way fun. Perhaps we are thinking Of The Children solely. That it will be A Good Experience for them. I look at it now and see it for what it was--Awful And Terrible For Me/Us, the Moms, from a Work standpoint.

      My sons still say that the biggest thrill for them at the time was the fact that they could simply pick a tree and go pee on it. A habit I had a hell of a time breaking the youngest one of when we came back to civilization and the huge tree in our front yard on a well-populated public street. Sigh.

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  15. I think the trailer thing was called a Woodsman. !

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    1. Mary G--That is, in my opinion, an Acceptable Camper Name. And slightly humorous, since it has a bit of naughty glimmer to it.

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Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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