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I’m A Teenager Get Me Out of This Family (1st ed. - 09.02.10) - imateenagerCjp
Copyright © 2010 Jim Garvey
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To Jonathan Rand
For challenging me to do this
Cast of Characters
Author Notes
There are a lot of parts in this play, which gives you a lot of freedom
to be creative. It could be fun if you had 2 actors play Johnnie, Julie
and all the potential kids and another 2 actors play Mom and Dad
and all the potential parents. It would certainly work if you cast
every single role. Or another option would be to cast Julie, John-
nie, Mom and Dad and then have a couple of versatile actors play
all the potentials. It’s entirely up to you. you were smart enough
to purchase the rights to put on this play I have no doubt you are
smart enough to fgure out the best way to put it on. I have absolute
faith in your abilities you talented person you. go wild. If you want
to change genders and turn Militant Dad into Militant Mom, be my
guest, or Crying Mom into Crying Dad, by all means. you want to
blackout between scenes? Do it. you want to not blackout between
scenes? That’s cool too. have fun, be creative, but most of all be en-
tertaining! Cheers to you!
—Jim garvey
I’m a Teenager
geT me OuT Of ThIs famIly
by Jim Garvey
Scene 1
(MOM paces across the stage as DaD relaxes and JOhNNIe
sleeps. After a few moments JUlIe tiptoes in.)
MOM. Don’t you move a muscle!
JULIE. Don’t who move a muscle?
MOM. Do you know what time it is?
JULIE. Time to go to sleep. goodnight.
MOM. Kevin, don’t you have something to say to your daughter?
DAD. Sleep tight?
MOM. about her curfew!
DAD. Oh right, (Not getting it:) how’s it working out for you? Feel
MOM. (Menacing stare at DaD:) Julie Foley it is three and a half
minutes past your curfew!
JOHNNIE. (Waking up with a yawn:) w—what’s all the yelling about?
MOM. Don’t you butt into this Johnnie Foley or I’ll give you some-
thing to yell about.
JOHNNIE. what?
MOM. you’re grounded.
MOM. yes you. (Turning to JUlIe:) and for you…
JULIE. I was only three and a half minutes late.
MOM. Do you know how long it takes for something bad to happen?
JULIE. I’m guessing you’re about to say three and a half minutes?
MOM. One second. One second after curfew and you’re asking
for trouble from the loonies with the hair and the clothes and the
JULIE. The hair, the clothes, and the fngernails?
MOM. That’s right.
10 Jim garvey
JULIE. Do they also have heads, shoulders, knees and toes?
MOM. you’re grounded Julie. grounded for a month!
JULIE. (Irritated groan.) This family is so ordinary! you’re all so
ordinary. you and Dad are so ordinary!
MOM. how dare you!
JULIE. I wish—I wish I had interesting parents, who do interesting
things! I wish I could have new parents!
MOM. Then maybe you should place an ad in the newspaper.
JULIE. Maybe I will.
MOM. Fine.
JULIE. Fine.
MOM. Fine.
JULIE. Fine.
MOM and JULIE. FINe!!!
JULIE. Johnnie, let’s go.
MOM. Kevin, let’s go.
JOHNNIE and DAD. what? Me? No. why?
Scene 2
(JOhNNIe and JUlIe sit at a table a la judges on a competition
JOHNNIE. This is stupid.
JULIE. Do you want to be grounded or don’t you?
JOHNNIE. No, but…
JULIE. Solidarity Johnnie. Solidarity. here comes the frst prospective.
MILITANT DAD. a-ten-hut. Second Class Corporal John gulligan
reporting for duty.
JULIE. Come again?
MILITANT DAD. Second Class Corporal John gulligan reporting
for duty.
JULIE. Duty? This is just an interview.
I’m a Teenager Get Me Out of This Family 11
(MIlITaNT DaD says nothing, just stares ahead in silence.)
JOHNNIE. are you going to sit down?
MILITANT DAD. waiting for permission, sir!
JULIE. By all means, please sit down.
MILITANT DAD. That is not the proper phrasing.
JULIE. Permission granted, sir?
(Nothing. He keeps standing.)
JOHNNIE. at your leisure solider?
JULIE. Sit boy, sit.
JOHNNIE. he’s not a dog.
JULIE. Sientente.
JOHNNIE. Spanish really?… how about… at ease?
MILITANT DAD. (Salutes and sits.)
JOHNNIE. go me!
JULIE. Ok—that was a little odd, but nevertheless away we go—so
we’re going to ask you a couple of questions.
MILITANT DAD. Fire at will.
JOHNNIE. which one’s will? heh, heh, aww.
(MIlITaNT DaD doesn’t finch.)
JOHNNIE. (Writing in notepad:) Note to self, does not appreciate
typical “dad” humor. Strike one.
JULIE. Question One. I’m going to the mall, do you a—give me
your keys and give me your credit card. Or B—give me the keys to
the new car you just bought me and give me my own limitless credit
MILITANT DAD. C—we do not drive anywhere. we will march in
single fle. left, right, left, right. would you like to practice?
JOHNNIE. I’m good thanks.
JULIE. Ok, so you’re into ftness—I appreciate that. That’s important.
Since you didn’t respond to the credit card part (Jotting in notepad:)
I will just assume that was my own limitless credit card. Next
question— It’s a school night what time should I be home?
MILITANT DAD. —16 hundred hours.
JULIE. No I’m sorry. I said what “time.”
12 Jim garvey
MILITANT DAD. 16 hundred hours.
JOHNNIE. That’s four pm.
MILITANT DAD. That’s right. Just in time for calisthenics before
dinner at 18 hundred hours and lights out at 19 hundred hours.
JULIE. (Counting on her fngers, then in shock:) 7 PM!
MILITANT DAD. you’ll need your 10 hours of sleep.
JULIE. (Counting on her fngers, then in shock:) 5 aM!? NeXT!
Scene 3
(MOM and DaD sit on the couch in the living room.)
DAD. This seems all kinds of wrong.
MOM. we’re teaching them a lesson.
DAD. and what lesson is that exactly?
MOM. I don’t know. But we are parents. The point is to teach them
a lesson, not necessarily a specifc lesson per se.
(A knock.)
MOM. Oh, here’s the frst candidate. Be nice Kevin. Come in!
(CheF KID enters in full chef garb.)
DAD. Oh no. he thinks he’s the Pillsbury doughboy!
CHEF KID. Madame, Mounsier. Vat a pleasure it is for me to be
meeting you.
MOM. Is that a French accent I detect?
CHEF KID. Oui Madame. I come from the country of love to study
the american art of cooking.
MOM. a child with a talent Kevin! what a nice change of pace.
CHEF KID. I baked these cookies for you this morning. Try zem.
DAD. wow these are really good.
MOM. It’s like a food party in my mouth.
CHEF KID. Oh zou are too kind.
MOM. I do a bit of baking as well. have a cupcake.
I’m a Teenager Get Me Out of This Family 13
(The CheF KID takes a bite and then spits the cupcake out
CHEF KID. (No longer having a French accent:) what is that? are you
trying to torture me?
MOM. That’s not nice!
DAD. hey. where’d your accent go?
CHEF KID. (Throwing French accent back on:) whoops, I means—they
are not horrible Madame.
MOM. Not horrible? Is that supposed to be a compliment?
DAD. and why does that French accent keep coming and going?
CHEF KID. Mediocre? Is that better?
MOM. No.
DAD. what about the French accent?
CHEF KID. (Dropping the accent:) you caught me. It’s all a lie. I don’t
have a French accent. I’m not really from France. I’m from [Real town
nearby, preferably your school’s biggest rival].
MOM. why would you lie?
DAD. Because he’s from [Real town nearby]. have you ever met any-
one from [Real town nearby]. Odd group of people. Can you blame
CHEF KID. I was born in [Real town nearby]. grew up a poor farm
child, raising polar bears and catfsh. I used to have to milk the fsh
every morning in the cold unforgiving pre-dawn darkness. It was
the only way Pa could pay for Ma’s surgery.
DAD. That’s not true is it?
CHEF KID. No, no it’s not. I never milked the fsh. I won’t lie to you.
I didn’t even grow up on a farm. In reality I lived in a small house
with 12 brothers and eleven sisters. My parents didn’t even give me
a real name. To this day they only refer to me as number 18. That’s
why I’m here today.
MOM. That’s horrible!
DAD. That’s not true either, is it?
CHEF KID. you’re right. That’s not true. I cannot tell a lie. In reality,
I’m just a poor chef trying to sell his cookies to nice folks and fnd a
family that loves him. growing up in the circus it’s only natural to
want a small nuclear family to call your own. If I ever have to walk
14 Jim garvey
on another horse, or swallow another batch of fre, climb out of an-
other clown car—it will be too soon.
DAD. you’re lying again.
CHEF KID. alas, so is my curse. ever since that witch in the
Philippines cursed me for sleeping in her willow bed—
DAD. Stop.
MOM. you didn’t even make those cookies! Did you?
CHEF KID. I think I’m just going to go now.
DAD. That’s probably a good idea.
Scene 4
JULIE. Thank you for coming.
BETH. Thank you for having me.
JULIE. Our pleasure. you’re very well dressed. Is that gucci?
BETH. My appearance is very important to me.
JULIE. glad to hear that. To me as well—
BETH. (Cutting her off:) you’ve got a little, a little something right
here, yeah on your cheek.
JULIE. (Rubbing at her cheek:) Is it like food or…?
BETH. Oh. (Realizing:) Don’t bother. It won’t come off. It’s just your
face. “My bad” as you kids say.
JULIE. let’s just get into the questions, shall we? First question.
when it comes to punishment you—
BETH. (Cutting her off:) your hair.
JULIE. Oh thanks! you like it?
BETH. has it always been that length?
JULIE. well, I mean…
BETH. I’m being rude.
JULIE. a little.
BETH. I’ll get more to the point. would you be open to maybe, just a
little, slight, inconsequential—doing it completely differently?
I’m a Teenager Get Me Out of This Family 15
JULIE. I don’t know. I kind of…
BETH. well I guess it is pointless unless we get you a facelift isn’t it?
JULIE. a facelift? I’m only [Real age].
BETH. and how do you look in a bathing suit? would you mind
putting one on and coming back out?
JULIE. yes I would mind. I’ve had just about enough…
BETH. how about talents? you don’t look talented, but I’m hoping
there is something hidden? Sing? Dance? Baton? I hear baton is the
“it” talent this season.
JULIE. what are you getting at?
BETH. If we are going to sweep the pageant circuit we are going to
have to get cracking. I mean let’s be honest, you’re not getting any
JULIE. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.
BETH. Saying such things will not win you any points with the
(JOhNNIe has been laughing the entire time.)
JOHNNIE. This is the most amazing thing ever. I’ve been saying for
years she’s not pretty. My old Mom used to get mad at me. you’re
gonna be great!
BETH. you, on the other hand, will make a beautiful girl. you have
the perfect bone structure to win pageants.
Scene 5
MOM. So allen, what brings you out looking for new parents?
ALIEN. I am from the planet wahollala. I need human family to
live with so I can study your people, learn your education, siphon
all your natural resources back to wahollala, then eject your planet
from this universe.
(MOM and DaD sit in silence. Then fnally…)
DAD. at least you’re honest.
16 Jim garvey
MOM. honesty’s the best policy I always say.
DAD. It’s the truth. The last kid we had in here was a total liar.
Scene 6
JULIE. and why do you want to be our mother?
JULIE. you don’t?
POLITICIAN. Not at all.
JOHNNIE. Then why are you here?
POLITICIAN. I’m up for re-election.
ADVISOR. Family equals a twelve-point bump in the poll.
JOHNNIE. and you’re currently…
ADVISOR. 8 points back.
POLITICIAN. yes or no—you would or would not be open to
pretending you actually came from my body.
JOHNNIE. wouldn’t people catch on?
POLITICIAN. we tell everyone that you vanished from the hospital
as babies, were raised by gorillas without knowing I existed until I
found you and saved you.
ADVISOR. love it.
JOHNNIE. I think that’s the movie Tarzan.
POLITICIAN. OK. how about this—you were in deep dark sleeps
in a castle and I rescued you with my motherly kiss.
ADVISOR. Believable.
JOHNNIE. Kind of Sleeping Beauty meets the graduate—but not in
a good way.
POLITICIAN. Or— as babies you crawled into Santa’s sack and
were raised at the North Pole believing you were elves.
ADVISOR. I buy it.
JOHNNIE. elf. The will Ferrell movie.
POLITICIAN. This is proving tougher than I thought.
I’m a Teenager Get Me Out of This Family 17
(POlITICIaN thinks for a beat or two before jumping with
POLITICIAN. I’ve got it! My competitor convinced you that you
were responsible for my death, so you ran away, were raised by a
warthog and a meerkat and now I’ve found you.
ADVISOR. That can’t be a movie.
POLITICIAN. I think we’ve fgured it out!
ADVISOR. high-fves.
JOHNNIE. lion King.
(The next two lines should be read at the same time:)
POLITICIAN. awww. Shucks. Thought we had that one.
ADVISOR. Dang it. Shoot.
JULIE. It’s been awhile since that movie came out. Maybe no one
will remember?
Scene 7
(MOM and DaD sit jaws dropped listening to SPOrTS KID talk
a mile a minute.)
SPORTS KID. I wake up at 4 and then you (Referencing DaD:) and I
go for an 8-mile jog, then I have hockey practice at 5 am, rowing at
6:30, breakfast at 8—lots of protein, no carbs, egg whites are good,
and greens—if it worked for Popeye it works for me.—9 is decathlon
practice, 10 o’clock private lessons with my personal quarterback
coach, 11 am practice with my personal basketball coach, 12—quick
lunch—preferably liquid, 12:30 boxing, 1:30 we hit the batting cages—
lots of energy drinks and energy bars, 3 o’clock b-ball practice, 5
o’clock fgure skating, 6 o’clock speed skating, 7 o’clock high carb
low protein dinner, 7:30 luge practice, 8:30 bobsled practice, 9:30
bocce, 10 o’clock lights out.
(MOM and DaD stare at SPOrTS KID in silence for a long beat
before MOM fnally speaks:)
MOM. what about school?
SPORTS KID. home school. you read the books to me while I
MOM. Oh.
18 Jim garvey
SPORTS KID. alright, now Tuesday. wake up at 4 am, then you
(Referencing DaD:) and I go for a 12-mile jog…
Scene 8
(The woman sitting across from JOhNNIe and JUlIe is bawling
her eyes out and she does so throughout the entire scene.)
JULIE. why are you crying?
CRYING MOM. B-b-because I just love you two so much.
JOHNNIE. So you cry because you’re happy?
CRYING MOM. But to think, you’re growing up. you’re going t-t-t-
to leave me soon.
JULIE. and when you’re sad?
CRYING MOM. and if I catch either of you stealing alcohol from
the cupboard, I’m gonna—I’m gonna—
JOHNNIE. and when you’re mad?
CRYING MOM. But that isn’t important. what is important is that
we’re going to be a family soon. a real honest to goodness family.
JULIE. and when you’re unrealistically optimistic. Next!
Scene 9
RICH KID. Mom, Dad, pleasure to meet you. I’m rich.
MOM. Nice to meet you rich.
RICH KID. No, my name’s Brian. I was only noting that I am rich,
as in independently wealthy.
DAD. I like what I’m hearing.
RICH KID. and I like what I’m seeing Kevin. Is it OK that I call you
DAD. If this all works out I think we’d probably go with “Dad.”
RICH KID. Now Kevin, tell me how are things at work? economy’s
been tough. you been feeling it? having trouble keeping your head
above water? Does it feel some days like you might be sinking
beneath it all?
I’m a Teenager Get Me Out of This Family 19
MOM. Now Brian, we appreciate that you might have some money
and be well off and all, but as parents we take great joy in providing
for our children. we would never ask you to contribute.
RICH KID. wouldn’t dream of it Shirley. Is it OK if I call you Shirley?
MOM. well if this all works out I think we’d probably go with “Mom.”
RICH KID. Sure thing Shirley, I would never want to step in as the
major breadwinner in your family. you have such little self-respect
and self-importance left, I wouldn’t dream of taking that away from
MOM. Thank you.
DAD. wait what?
RICH KID. But I do have an investment opportunity for you both,
so that you can provide and live the life you gave up on so many
years ago.
DAD. we’re not interested in any get rich quick schemes, Brian.
RICH KID. really? (Looks around.) Is that a plastic cover on your
couch? was that Volvo I saw in the driveway from the 90s? how’s
the get rich long-term scheme working out for you, Kevin?
MOM. Now you wait just one second.
DAD. (A 180-degree turn:) where do I sign?
MOM. Kevin! you haven’t even heard the investment yet.
DAD. OK, right, let’s hear it.
RICH KID. I’ve got this friend, he got me and two of his friends to
invest in this project, now we’re each getting three of our friends,
then you’ll each get three of your friends…
DAD. Brian, that’s a pyramid scheme.
RICH KID. I don’t think so.
DAD. (Pulls out a poster board and draws on it.) One guy got you and
two of your friends, and then you each are getting three friends, and
they’re each getting three friends. what’s that look like to you?
RICH KID. Clouds?
DAD. It’s a pyramid!
RICH KID. OK, OK, you don’t like that one. I dig it baby. I dig it.
how about this? you and I open a quote unquote investment frm.
we get people to invest, send them fake monthly balance reports.
If anyone wants out we just pay them out with the new people’s
investments? huh? huh? Can ya dig it? how’s that taste on your lips?
20 Jim garvey
MOM. That’s a Ponzi scheme Brian.
RICH KID. alright, fne Securities and exchange Commission.
I didn’t know you were going to be such sticklers. I have one last
opportunity. I recently got an email from this guy in Nigeria. he’s
offering to send us 10 million cash. he just needs a few thousand
and an american’s credit card and social security number to access
the money. I know what you’re thinking—but it’s totally legit. he’s
a prince!
DAD. goodbye Brian.
RICH KID. It’s all good. I get it. No hard feelings. Oh, but could I
by chance borrow one of your credit cards? I gotta pay for parking.
I left my wallet in my other pants.
(Momentary silence like MOM and DaD are about to tell him off,
then at the same time…)
DAD. Sure. here ya go. Is Visa OK? Or do they only take aMeX?
MOM. Take mine. Just mail it back when you’re done, OK? and
keep the receipt!
Scene 10
BRUCE. ladies and gentleman, children of all ages, put your hands
together for your newwwww parrrrrrrrrreeeeeents. Standing 5-11,
looking fantastic in his tracksuit—Brrrrrruce.
Barely an inch over 5 feet, you know her as the woman looking so
good in her tracksuit it ’ought to be a crime…
BETTY. Betty.
BRUCE. B-to-the-etttttttttay.
JULIE. I like the enthusiasm. Bravo. have a seat.
BRUCE. Not on this tracksuit, not on my watch.
JULIE. (Slightly confused:) Ok then, couple questions. First—what
makes you think you’d be good parents for us?
BRUCE. Two words, two syllables… Track. Suits.
JULIE. huh?
JOHNNIE. That’s one word.
BRUCE. really?
I’m a Teenager Get Me Out of This Family 21
JOHNNIE. Defnitely.
BRUCE. you sure? Sounds like two though, right? Track. Suits.
Track. Suits.
JOHNNIE. Defnitely one.
BETTY. OK, whatever, here, so listen right, ok so like this is the
thing right, you could choose other parents, sure, whatever, ok, but
here’s the thing—we got tracksuits.
(JOhNNIe and JUlIe look at each other simultaneously con-
fused for a moment and then turn in unison with their confused
looks focused on BrUCe and BeTTy.)
BRUCE. you wanna go for a walk in the park?
BETTY. Tracksuits.
BRUCE. Swim at the pool?
BETTY. Tracksuits.
BRUCE. Praise the lord?
BETTY. Tracksuits.
BRUCE. holiday. Family. Photo. Me. her. you. you.
BETTY. Santa Tracksuits.
JOHNNIE. what’s the fascination with tracksuits?
BRUCE. (Duh:) They’re tracksuits.
JULIE. let me put it another way. Is there anything you like other
than tracksuits?
(Long silence as BrUCe and BeTTy look at each other deep in
BRUCE. Velour tracksuits.
Scene 11
DANCER. Thank you for having me, Mr. and Mrs. Foley.
MOM. Our pleasure. you’re such a delightful young lady.
DANCER. That’s kind of you to say. like I said, I wake up on my
own, do my homework right after school, I do my chores without
being asked, I don’t think a gal should date until she’s in college, I’m
22 Jim garvey
a very healthy eater, very polite, but—well, there is one thing you
should probably know.
MOM. and what’s that dear?
DANCER. well, what I really want to do—is dance.
(DaNCer’s feet start tapping incessantly.)
MOM. what are you doing?
(She jumps up on table and throws her body into dancing convul-
sions. She is a terrible dancer. She continues to dance for the rest
of the scene.)
DANCER. I can’t control it. My legs just take over and I just need to
dance. let the music take control. let the music take control. let the
music take control.
DAD. what music?
DANCER. The music in my mind.
(Music starts playing.)
DANCER. Can you hear it?
DAD. Oddly, yes. how did you do that?
DANCER. with my mind!
MOM. and what do you call that move?
DANCER. The decapitated caterpillar. I know I’m not very good.
MOM. (Being kind:) Oh, I wouldn’t say that.
DAD. I would.
DANCER. But I love it. I just love it. It’s like breathing. and I know
all the classics.
MOM. like the fox trot, and the salsa?
DANCER. No. like the Chicken Dance, The electric Slide, the
limbo. (She proceeds to do a terrible version of each. On the Limbo she
bends so far back she can’t get up, but still her body continues to vibe to the
DANCER. a little help?
(MOM and DaD just look at each other confused.)
DANCER. No? OK. It’s all good. I’m cool. I’m still going.
I’m a Teenager Get Me Out of This Family 23
Scene 12
(JUlIe and JOhNNIe are looking up at the ceiling, listening
to all the banging from the dancer. Finally JUlIe acknowledges
DIANE. look at me when I’m talking to you!
JOHNNIE. It’s just the noise. It sounds like someone’s dancing…
JULIE. Or dying.
DIANE. Do not make me repeat myself young lady!
JULIE. Sorry? So tell us—why should we choose you to be our mother?
DIANE. Because I said so!
JULIE. you don’t need to yell.
DIANE. you want to hear yelling? I’ll show you yelling.
JOHNNIE. everyone relax. we’re gonna get through this. Do you
work? Do you have a job?
DIANE. Money doesn’t grow on trees!
JOHNNIE. are you only speaking in mom clichés? Is that what’s
happening right now?
DIANE. I brought you into this world I can take you out of it!
JULIE. No you didn’t.
DIANE. you’re grounded!
JULIE. No I’m not.
DIANE. go to your room!
DIANE. Don’t make me spank you!
JOHNNIE. Please leave.
DIANE. Finish your vegetables or no dessert mister!
JOHNNIE. I’m not eating any vegetables.
JULIE. leave. Now.
DIANE. (Teary-eyed:) Oh, they grow up so fast!
24 Jim garvey
Scene 13
CHEERLEADER. Be aggressive, B-e aggressive, B-e-a-g-g-r-e-S-
S-I-V-e, aggressive, B-e aggressive! go team! go Team! woo hooo!
MOM. well wasn’t that interesting.
CHEERLEADER. Did you like it? Did you really like it? you’re not
just saying you did when you didn’t right? right?
DAD. you’d make a terrifc spelling bee contestant.
CHEERLEADER. Do you want to hear another one? “rebound That—”
MOM and DAD. (Cutting her off:) No!
MOM. (Gathering herself:) That won’t be necessary, dear, thank you.
why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself? what do you like to
do in your free time?
CHEERLEADER. what do you want me to like to do in my free time?
MOM. Come again dear?
CHEERLEADER. Oh my gosh! you hate cheerleaders!
(She rips her cheerleading costume off to reveal a glee club cos-
tume. She blows a pitch pipe.)
MOM and DAD. (Cutting her off:) No!
CHEERLEADER. what’s wrong? you don’t like acapella? (She pulls
a guitar out of nowhere.)
DAD. we’re just trying to fnd out more about you as a person.
CHEERLEADER. well I’m a cheerleader, and I’m in drama club, and
chess club, and model united nations, and debate club, yearbook,
glee club—
DAD. why? what are you trying to prove?
CHEERLEADER. Nothing. It’s just haaaaavaaaaaad requires extra-
DAD. and going to harvard is important to you?
CHEERLEADER. Of course, Mom and Dad told me I was going
there when they entered me into the Future leaders Of The world
Pre-School For especially gifted Children with really really really
rich Parents.
MOM. Speaking of your parents, what’s the deal? why are you
looking for new parents? how do they feel about this?

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