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#212482 - 12/07/05 01:47 PM An Interesting Story
WADO Offline
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Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
A young black belt was awarded his Shodan, and his teacher told him to show up the next day for a special training. When he showed up there was a large tub in the middle of the dojo. His instructor then told the student to fill the tub with large rocks about 12 inches in diameter weighing about 20 lbs each it took the student about one hour to fill the tub as it was very large. The student told the teacher that he was finished the teacher asked if the tub was full the student replied yes it is full. The teacher came out of his ofice and inspected the tub and agreed that the tub was full and that his student was a true shodan full of skills and knowledge like the tub.
I'll let you comment on this post then I'll post the rest of the story.

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#212483 - 12/07/05 02:00 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
cxt Offline
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Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5820
Loc: USA
My guess is that then he started pouring in sand or gravel--anything that was smaller than the first set of rocks to show that was lots more to learn.

ie that there was much more to "fit" into the tub.

Unless of course I took this inncorrectly---which would not be a new thing.


Edited by cxt (12/07/05 02:00 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#212484 - 12/07/05 02:01 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
gojuwarrior Offline
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Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 82
Loc: New Jeresy,U.S.A
One ?, if he had a shodan test the day before,how in the world did he make it to the dojo the next day and lift rocks?
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Truth is relationship with the opponent,living,moving,never static.

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#212485 - 12/07/05 02:17 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: cxt]
WADO Offline
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Registered: 04/23/04
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Loc: denver co usa
You're right next came pebbles, then sand then water. He picked up pebbles about 1cm in diameter then was sent to the beach for sand finally he was told to pour water over the pile untill the tub was filled to the top. But the moral was not that he had much more to learn.

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#212486 - 12/07/05 02:27 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: gojuwarrior]
WADO Offline
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Registered: 04/23/04
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In response you gojuwarrior, it is very possible for an individual to push himself beyond breaking then be active the next day. At the battle of marathon, the Athenians were forced to sprint 600meters in full 90lb armor, then fight an actual real battle against the Persians. Immediately after the battle they marched 110 miles to beat the Persian navy around grece and meet them in battle the next day 110 miles away. If your Black Belt test is more difficult than waging war in 90 lb armor that your teacher is recklessly risking students lives. There are countless tales of individuals doing extraordinary things and finding the will to endure, either you overestimate the black belt test or underestimate human beings.

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#212487 - 12/08/05 02:34 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
Sounds like the usual parable nonsense so painfully associated with the martial arts.

G
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#212488 - 12/08/05 03:01 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: Galen]
phoenixsflame Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 402
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
Parable nonsense?

Its more of an Allegory, but now we're arguing semantics. Its a vital part of martial arts, not just to teach the forms but the concepts of responsibility and/or maturity.

But again, it is a form of traditional martial introspection, the ability to see something as more than what it appears to be. That particular story has been passed on in many ways, I'm not sure of the origin however.
_________________________
While everything changes, nothing is truly lost.

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#212489 - 12/09/05 10:26 AM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: phoenixsflame]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
Quote:

Parable nonsense?




Yes. Parable Nonsense.

Quote:

Its a vital part of martial arts, not just to teach the forms but the concepts of responsibility and/or maturity.




No arguement.

Quote:

But again, it is a form of traditional martial introspection, the ability to see something as more than what it appears to be.




No more so than any other artistic pursuit.

Before this goes any further, let me emplain why I said what I said. If we are going to have words, lets at least have them in the right context.

My issue is not in the meaning of the story, nor in the fact that that it is intended to put across a certain moral or point.

My issue lies in the fact that the martial arts, more than any other pursuit, tends to 'mystify' its teachings, most notably by couching these teachings in parables or tales or allegories or whatever other term you want to use.

For some reason, many martial artists feel the need to impart their wisdom through the use of such tools, however in the end, all this does is distance the layman from the artform; confuse the lesson and add to the 'mystique' of the martial arts.

Speaking for myself, if you want to tell me something, just tell me. I donít want to wade through allegorical rhetoric when the point can be made as easily and far more clearly by simply saying what you have to say.

Hope that clarifies.

And by the way, simply because something is traditional, long lived and the norm does not make it right.

G
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#212490 - 12/09/05 06:16 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: Galen]
WADO Offline
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Loc: denver co usa
The reason for allegorical stories is that matial arts is an experiential practice. What I mean is that a person must discover for themselves a teacher can only provide the tools for learning, but experience itself is the onle real way to learn. For example an excellent karate instructor can teach you techniques but you need to make sense of those techniques for them to have any real use for you. This story may have many morals as any good story does, the first one is that the first 90% of progress takes 10% of effort, the next 9% takes 20% of effort, the next .9% of effort takes 40% of effort and so on. So where progress is easy to see in the beginning with little effort the more you progress the more effort is required for progress. As comparing puttin lage rocks in a tub vs putting handfulls of sand hen handfulls of water in the tub. Another lesson is that it is easy to learn a technique but the mastery lies in exploring the technique, in the old times some students trained 10 years to explore the variations and uses of horse stance, with this lesso comes the lesson that there are no advanced techniques in karate. Some people just do the few basic techniques of karate better than others and understand variations and uses. The rocks in the tub represent one level of understanding of technique while there are many other levels. One person spotted a possible lesson that at shodan there is still much to learn, which is the simplest most basic level of understanding of this story. One lesson is that as rocks and pebbles and sand and water are poured into the tub they form a unique pattern and no two peope have the same karate depending on the unique variety of circumstances that accompanied them in their lives and training. Another lesson is that when the student finished he meditated and saw an island in the ocean, his teacher told him when you see rocks, pebbles, sand and water then you are ready for the next level of training. For the beginner karate is karate a kick is a kick and a punch is a punch, for an intermediate karate becomes something more it take son some kind of spiritual significance and a kick is more than a kick and a punch is more than a punch, but for the expert, karate is just karate and a kick is just a kick and a punch is just a punch. Here is another analogy a white belt trains to learn how to fight, soon he learns that karate can promote strong spirit and he trains to attain spiritual realization, the master trains to live a long life and keep his health, that's enough.

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#212491 - 12/09/05 06:23 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
WADO Offline
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Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Here is the traditional moral of this particular story for those who want a straight answer but without thinking about and reaching this conclusion for yourself you may not understand it. "The most important goal of karate is for a person to know himself, not just with his mind but with his total being"

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#212492 - 12/10/05 11:04 AM Post deleted by oldman [Re: Galen]
Anonymous
Unregistered




Edited by Happeh (12/10/05 11:05 AM)

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#212493 - 12/13/05 12:33 PM Re: An Interesting Story
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
Quote:

You are missing the point.




Having read the rest of your post, I am quite certain that I am not missing the point. I just donít agree with it.

Quote:

Yes someone can tell you things straight out. You get nothing but words that way.




No, maybe all YOU get is words that way. This comment is a gross generalization with no foundation.

Quote:

Many people have been trained by the modern world to believe that the world works like a bubble gum machine. You put in a nickel, you get your gum. They want martial arts answers, they think the answer rolls out of the gumball machine.




This paragraph is confusing to say the least. Are you trying to say that simply because I expect a straight answer to a question, I have an unrealistic perspective of the world? That I donít deserve to be told the truth; that I have to jump through some interpretational hoops to figure out the answer to my question?

Please.

Remind me never to ask you to teach me anything.

Quote:

Knowledge ... is a product of knowing that there are no coincidences, and looking for the relationships between everything.




That is completely personal opinion and completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I myself do NOT believe that everything is connected. I believe that a great deal of the happenstances of life are just that; coincidence. You are trying to justify a common teaching methodology based on a premise that is NOT common. Doesnít wash.

Quote:

By making you listen to something long winded, they are forcing you to pay attention. They are forcing you to focus for however long they talk for you to get what you want. You are complaining they talk to much, but they are doing you a favor by training you to listen, focus, and have patience.




Are even listening to yourself? You say I should be grateful for long winded and boring parables? Thanks no. Ill take the straight answer, thanks.

Quote:

Besides. People do not like to be treated as gumball machines. If you ask a person for an answer, they give it to you, and your run off, they feel used. The attitude these days seems to be politeness and courtesy are for girly men.




I am begging you, please stop with the generalizations. You seem to base your entire argument on suppositions that cannot be proven. Besides that, you are straying off the argument. To say that straight answers are invalid because the listener is rude when he gets his answer is again, irrelevant.


Quote:

Think about yourself for a moment. Someone comes to you and makes a demand. How do you react? Most people instinctively retreat in the face of a demand. If the person keeps demanding, "Give me my answer NOW! Stop talking bullshit!". How would you feel? You would think the person was rude, selfish and uncaring of the feelings of others. Would you help a person like that?




Who said ANYTHING about making demands?? Where is this coming from?? My ONLY point is that parable style teaching is ineffective and counter productive. You are arguing points I havenít even made!

Quote:

I do agree that martial arts does hide things more than necessary. I agree with your sentiment that some things can be directly talked about instead of beating around the bush. I wanted to be certain that other people realize there is a legitimate reason for long winded or mysterious explanations.




In your opinion. Personally, I donít mind the occasional anecdote to make a point, but I donít agree with any of the points you have made here.

At the end of the day, my opinion stands. To be honest, I have known people who teach through parables more than any other format, and they are generally (and yes I am generalizing here, but it is a generalization based on my own experience; therefore, take it for what its worth) either arrogant in the extreme or they donít know the answer and rely on parables to make them sound more wise and well versed than they actually are.

G
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#212494 - 12/13/05 01:26 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: Galen]
WADO Offline
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Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Galen your critic was overly harsh, but I think I can explain his attitude, but it will take an example. If you ever watch TVs ultimate fighter, there are many many examples where the best athelete and technician loses to someone who has less athletic ability or technical expertise. The problem is that people are not robots, you can tecah someone to punch and kick you can train them for spped strength or endurance, you can even teach someone to fight effectively against most opponents, but to become a fighter you need to figure it out for yourself. The only real difference for example between the #1 boxer in the world and the #25 boxer in the world is in their wiring. Sometimes you need to make things dificult for students, and make them figure things out. Finally when you use stories you reflect the moral back on the student, different people see different things in the same story. Analogy has been a way of teaching in every art since the beginning. Teaching is the art of saying the same thing many different ways so different people can figure it our, because no two people learn the same way.

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#212495 - 12/13/05 04:10 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
The old blind monk on the TV show "kung Fu" would have loved you I enjoyed your answer.
_________________________
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

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#212496 - 12/13/05 09:45 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: schanne]
WADO Offline
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Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Remember my experience comes from 7 years of being a professor of two very different things, Asian Philosophy and Business Law. Sometimes I teach Logic as a philosophy course, when I teach business law I focus on facts when I teach Philosophy I teach people how to think. I also have the unique experience of also teaching martial arts, people that learn well when you tell them something become excellent brown belts, people who can think and apply in creative ways become excellent. In my law practice people that listen and learn sit in a back room and do research and make livings, people who can be flexible and creative and think creatively run everything. Creative thinking is more important than anything, I could teach every physical movement of Karate in 6 months, but if I had to teach someone to fight quickly I would only teach them 5 techniques, but focus on what's inside.

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#212497 - 12/14/05 10:36 AM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
Quote:

Remember my experience comes from 7 years of being a professor of two very different things, Asian Philosophy and Business Law.




I had started to respond to this with a list of my own teaching experience, but I thought better of it. Our varying experience in teaching is quite irrelevant. Simply because someone has been doing something for a long time doesnít make them right. Not only that, nothing said here can be proven, so where is the point?

Quote:

... people that learn well when you tell them something become excellent brown belts, people who can think and apply in creative ways become excellent.




I assume you meant to tag the words "black belts" on the end of that sentence, and I agree. Nice little definer there.

Quote:

In my law practice people that listen and learn sit in a back room and do research and make livings, people who can be flexible and creative and think creatively run everything.




Still agree. Not sure where this is going...

Quote:

Creative thinking is more important than anything, I could teach every physical movement of Karate in 6 months, but if I had to teach someone to fight quickly I would only teach them 5 techniques, but focus on what's inside.




After having read your post, I am hard pressed to find anything relevant to the discussion.

If you are saying that teaching through analogy and parable will foster creative thinkers as opposed to straight factual instruction, again I have to disagree, ONLY in that the effect of the instruction is completely based on the mind set of the student.

To say that teaching through allegory or analogy is a required part of developing creative thinkers is simply a generalization that cannot be proven. I know some very creative thinkers who were not taught that way, and I know some very un-creative thinkers who were.

All I am asking here is to understand that there are no absolutes in teaching. What works well for some may not work well for others.

At the end of the day, the best instructors are those able to understand what methodology works best for the individual student, and tailor their teaching to that methodology.

Now along the way someone made the point that there are somethings that students have to learn for themselves. Couldnt agree more, but that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

For myself, my original perspective stands. I personally do not like nor condone allegorical teaching. I find it does little more than cloud the lesson. Now if I find a student that responds to it, and reponds best to that kind of teaching, I would likely recommend they find another instructor. They wont learn effectively from me, because I dont practice that style of teaching.

G
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#212498 - 12/14/05 01:43 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: Galen]
comminus Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/10/05
Posts: 14
I am a scientist and in my training in Physics, Math, Chemistry, Biology, and so on we were never told a single parable, allegory, etc. Still, creativity is more than encouraged. All the technology you use every day was developed by someone who was creative and was likely educated by cold, hard, facts and not silly stories.

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#212499 - 12/14/05 03:07 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: comminus]
BuDoc Offline
The doctor will see you now

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1067
Loc: USA and Abroad
I absolutely love it when scientists are able to keep an open mind.

Let me guess...PhD,right?

Page
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#212500 - 12/14/05 03:30 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: BuDoc]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Quote:

Him who knows it, knows it. Him who feels it, knows it better.




Bob Marley PhD

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#212501 - 12/14/05 03:45 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: Galen]
WADO Offline
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Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
My point is that teaching someone facts teaches them only one thing how to think and be creative teaches them to learn anything they could possibly want to learn. The point in explaining that I teach both Law and Philosophy at both the gradate and undergraduate level was intended to illustrate that thinking is more important than knowledge in almost any profession, I would say that many business majors for example who take my Asian Philosophy course believe it is the best business course they had ever taken.

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#212502 - 12/14/05 03:52 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: comminus]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
learning cold, hard, facts is not education...thats memorization.

silly stories, lessons, humor, the Arts and humanities combined with the facts is education. Dr. smarty-pants

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#212503 - 12/14/05 04:32 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: comminus]
WADO Offline
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Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
I'ts interesting but I thought Einstein explained his theories with silly stories, wasn't there a man in one of his stories that rode a train that aproached the speed of light, that couldn't be factual.
waht about the fictional story "The garden of Forking Paths" nd it's effect on Quantum mechanics.
What about the Fictional story "Uncle Toms Cabin" and it's effects on the abolishinist moement in North America.
Silly stories don't contain facts but explain in an experiential context the truth of things.

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#212504 - 12/14/05 05:09 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
WADO Offline
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Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Why do physics professors have to be so mystical in their teaching, I found this story from a lecture delivered by Albert Einstein. A man was shoveling coal into a train and the train began to accelerate, as more and more energy was added the train accelerated more and more. When the train approached the velocity of light its acceleration slowed and slowed even more, but the man kept shoveling more coal into the engine the energy added into the equation continued to increase so what can happen, the mass of the train began to increase, what do you think about that, it is the only way to keep the equation balanced. The energy needs to go somewhere and it can't go into velocity so it must go into mass.
Those physics teachers so full of silly stories and allegories, why don't they just come out and say stuff. Why didn't he just give his students the equation and tell them to memorize it an they would understand physics?

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#212505 - 12/14/05 05:45 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Those mad mad mystical physicists always using their mystical stories The famous Physicist Schrodinger painted the following scenario:
Suppose there is a box. Within this box is food and water, and there are a few holes drilled in its top to let air in. You place a cat in the box and then seal it up firmly. The holes you have drilled are big enough for air to go in, but too small for you to peek in and spy on the fate of the cat. The only way you can figure out if it is dead or alive is by opening the box. Until you open the box, all you know is that the cat can be dead or alive. Both outcomes are equally probable.
Quantum Mechanics requires you to say that the cat is 'half dead, half alive' - that both possibilities exist at the same time. It is only when you perform the measurement, i.e open the box, that you know for sure which probability is realized. In that sense, if you open the box to find the cat dead, it is by opening the box that you (or your curiosity) have killed the cat. Quantum Mechanics say things happen when you find out. Or to carry it further, you alter what you see, simply by the act of watching it.
What do cats have to do with probability why don't they just teach facts not fancifull stories about cats and boxes?

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#212506 - 12/14/05 06:26 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Or The Cat in the hat. A series by Dr.Theodore Giessel

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#212507 - 12/15/05 12:14 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: Ed_Morris]
funstick5000 Offline
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Registered: 07/16/05
Posts: 759
Loc: West Yorkshire, England
i also want to add that a parable or story may have more than one meaning, like techniques in a kata.
_________________________
Go seek the advise of a qualified instructor.

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#212508 - 12/20/05 03:47 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Quote:

Why didn't he just give his students the equation and tell them to memorize it an they would understand physics?




Because people remember stories better than equations, and are more likely to forget an equation after they have to stop using it, but a story like that could help the student figure out how to remember the equation.

Think about any movie you've ever seen, you probably don't remember the names of the characters, unless you've seen it a hundred times, but you will more likely remember what happend during that movie and be able to give a rough outline of what happened.

Laura

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#212509 - 12/20/05 03:58 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: tkd_high_green]
WADO Offline
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Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
You need to check which side I am on that was a rhetorical question designed to show that in every single discipline, despite what sience man above claims, poeple use stories to illustrate and give a frame of reference for difficult concepts.

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#212510 - 12/28/05 10:27 PM Re: An Interesting Story [Re: WADO]
Intrepidinv1 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 308
Loc: NC, USA
He should have poured hot water into the tub and took a hot bath!

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