That is a classy umbrella
July 3, 2012 8:41 PM   Subscribe

"Had I ever given a compliment that made someone feel worse? Or that had no effect at all? I decided to learn how to deliver good ones. I devised a plan in which I would give a lot of them in a short time and work to figure out exactly how the best compliments worked, and why."
posted by vidur (52 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I like how it seemed that he really got it when he put real feeling and real context into a compliment.
posted by kalessin at 8:51 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ugh, he really came off as a creep in that article.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:53 PM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]

Ugh, he really came off as a creep in that article.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:53 PM on July 3 [1 favorite +] [!]

I like your confidence in your own opinions. It's bold and refreshing.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:58 PM on July 3, 2012 [79 favorites]

Later he'd quietly tell his wife what the guy in the coffee shop said, bemused but proud. He felt good. I knew all this at that moment in the coffee shop, as the compliment completed itself in the space between us.

See, I never have that much confidence after the fact regarding a potentially awkward encounter with someone I don't know very well. It's always "OH FUCK, that was weird. Wasn't it? Yeah, it was. Goddamnit. Or maybe it wasn't. She's probably not even thinking about it at all. But what if she is? Damn damn damn."
posted by jcreigh at 9:16 PM on July 3, 2012 [10 favorites]

oddly, I'm reminded of the storage unit billionaire from a few posts ago.

"If you talk about things you've done that you think are worthwhile, you subtract from yourself. And so therefore I will only say my principal charity is children's cancer, and I've been doing it for twenty-two years."

"You don't want to say how much you've given away?" I asked.

"I don't want to subtract from my pleasure," he said. "I especially don't want it written up. It would be a disaster for me. It would hurt me."

"Why?" I asked.

"It would subtract from me," he repeated.

I think the reason some of these seem creepy is the sharing of what he's given to someone. You don't need to tell people about a private positive feeling you've received from someone that you share back with them.
posted by onehalfjunco at 9:23 PM on July 3, 2012 [7 favorites]

Yeah, this article was a bit too creepy and self-satisfied, with not enough payoff.

I got more out of a bit of dialogue from The Office, where Michael Scott is talking to a potential recruit at a job fair. After Pam leaves the area, Michael says: "I would never say this to her face, but she is a wonderful person and a gifted artist." Oscar says: "What? Why wouldn't you say that to her face?"
posted by John Cohen at 9:24 PM on July 3, 2012 [13 favorites]

He could have taken some notes from Washington, DC's own Compliment Man. But I think he retired to Florida.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:27 PM on July 3, 2012

That guy has a real knack for saying things that make people feel awkward!
posted by awfurby at 9:39 PM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

I liked it, kind of a different idea for an article even if things weren't that well executed.

Bugged me that he called that one woman "Chinese" though, how the hell would he know?
posted by sweetkid at 9:54 PM on July 3, 2012

This would be a good start to a novel. Maybe something Roald Dahl-esque and Patricia Highsmith-ish
posted by Bwithh at 9:56 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

People get maaaaaaad when women talk about how men complimenting them on the street makes them uncomfortable.

Yeah, he seems, like, especially bad at giving compliments. I'm glad he improved or whatever.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:59 PM on July 3, 2012

yeah the early compliments all seemed like they could be construed as coming on to the people, both men and women.
posted by sweetkid at 10:15 PM on July 3, 2012

This was all laid out by Dale Carnegie years ago. Honest and sincere appreciation always works best.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 10:16 PM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

Reading that started giving me a panic attack. Which, until I read the comments here, made me feel like a dick. Who gets anxious over compliments? Still, it's smarmy enough to make my throat close up slightly and my shoulder blades itch.

I think it's the expectation. Like you made my day, complimenting me on my belt or my shoes or my sandwich. Like I should be grateful for this little interaction that is essentially meaningless. You weren't startled out of your ennui by my fierce jacket, you were hollering your thoughts at the world.

Compliments only really work on things you've done something for, or are uncertain about. Things that you've worked at or taken a chance with. Complimenting me on getting dressed, or living another year, or making a sandwich, is akin to the wall of praise lobbied at toddlers "good job anachronism! You made a sandwich and it's tasty! Good on you!!!". The verbal equivalent of three exclamation marks. Complimenting me on the outfit I made, or the food I made an effort to cook, THAT is somewhat meaningful. Less so if it's just a conversation filler. Even less so if you don't know me at all and are just throwing out random collections of positive adjectives and nouns and hoping to make a hit.

A compliment is utterly meaningless if it could be equally applied to almost anyone. And if you get specific, it's creepy as fuck if I don't know you.

Short version: fuck you and your devaluing of compliments by saturating the market with cheap facsimiles.
posted by geek anachronism at 10:17 PM on July 3, 2012 [16 favorites]

More or less, never compliment strangers unless it's about the work they are doing.
posted by Goofyy at 10:27 PM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

Someone said "nice pants!" to me on the street the other day, I thought he was being sarcastic, but I couldn't be sure.

Two events he lists:
1) The guys that he says they have nice ties, they tell him to get a job. They must have expected him to ask for money; there are a lot of pan-handlers that develop their little routines, complimenting is one of them.
2) The guy selling books says he's smart, must like spy novels, and when he looks at one, compliments his choice. Using compliments as a sales tactic.

So I think people can have an understandable distrust of compliments from strangers, like if a stranger compliments you, the first thing you think is they want something from you. The same applies to men complimenting women on the street.
posted by RobotHero at 10:32 PM on July 3, 2012 [13 favorites]

That said, I am also not so good at giving compliments, so I can see the appeal of using strangers as practice so I can be better at it for people who matter to me.
posted by RobotHero at 10:34 PM on July 3, 2012

Wish I'd had these insights so many years ago when I said "bitchin' pants" to Iggy Pop. (They were red velvet. He glared.)
posted by univac at 10:39 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

This sounded like an Aspie writing about social skills. (Or, in a way, about a bit in the depression self-treatment book Feeling Good.) I mean, I'm not sure why he felt compelled to compliment total strangers in the first place, least of all on Manhattan street corners; studied indifference is an urban survival skill, for pity's sake.

This also reminded me of a girlfriend from college who enjoyed social "experiments" such as staring at people in elevators, just to see the differing reactions.

When I think about compliments I've received or given or what I could call Platonic examples of compliments in conversation, they're often conversation starters or catalysts for a substantive discussion, rather than the quotidian traditional exchanges such as "How ya doin'?" -- to which my shadow-Aspie-esque response is always forced and awkward honesty, when what is expected is something like "Great! You?".
posted by dhartung at 10:58 PM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

Can we all at least agree that RobotHero and Iggy Pop have bitchin' nice pants?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:04 PM on July 3, 2012

I had a revelation like this where I decided to be a nice person. It did not involve smarmy compliments.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:18 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

If someone came along and planted this sort of compliment on me, I honestly think that, of the first three things that would occur to me to impute, "he's making a thing of complimenting people, and it's really about him, not about them" would certainly be one.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:38 PM on July 3, 2012 [7 favorites]

I have long felt there is an unexplored cultural component to compliments. And I think I feel this way because 90 percent of the time I get a compliment out of the blue, in the street, from a total stranger, that compliment has come from a black person.

It really is one of the reasons I find racism so perplexing. How can you dislike a group of people who, on the whole, have such nice things to say about the way I dress?

I feel sure I am not the only person to experience this. And, like all things related to race and culture, I know it is not universal, but, at best, a slight cultural propensity. Still, whatever percentage point encourages people just to say something nice to strangers is a percentage point worth looking at. Because it always makes me feel like a million dollars, and I try to live up to this example of unrequested but very welcome kindness. A lot of people out there are making awesome decisions, and deserve to have strangers, without any sort of creepy overtones, just say so when they meet. What a simple act of generosity.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:58 PM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

Hm. I am not sure complimenting strangers on their appearances, or on the basis of snap judgments of their interactions with their companions, achieves what he set out to do.
posted by gingerest at 11:58 PM on July 3, 2012

Wowbagger is not impressed.
posted by kmz at 12:07 AM on July 4, 2012

I like eye contact and a wink or thumbs up. It communicates camaraderie and appreciation. A nod works as well as a wink if you are looking for something less personal. Then there is the stage whisper or the sotto voce aside to the universe, where you deliver the compliment out loud but not to the person hoping they over hear it. There are many things I see in others that I appreciate and give voice to. However I do not accept compliments gracefully. Easier to give than recieve.
posted by pdxpogo at 12:54 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I dunno, I sort of appreciate what he's going for. He definitely missed the mark a few times but he also seemed to realise when he was doing so - and changed the way he was doing it to suit.

I have a particular pair of earrings that seem to attract a billion compliments whenever I wear them - it feels nice when you have or are doing something cool, and someone else notices. As long as it's not skeezy (and yeah, that's a blurred line) to me it's certainly preferable to everyone living in their own little bubble world.
posted by belissaith at 2:53 AM on July 4, 2012

Man, you guys are really hating on this guy. He's just trying to say things that make people feel good, and he acknowledges that he had many, many failures. By the end of the article, I think he's learned that there are appropriate and inappropriate things to say to certain people at certain times (like the girl out for a run = not appropriate). He's trying to learn how to best make others feel good about themselves. That doesn't seem so bad to me.

I liked the article.
posted by meows at 3:01 AM on July 4, 2012 [5 favorites]

The other night my boyfriend and I were biking home. We were going past the Minster, which is like this HUGE pink elephant of distracting elegance plopped in the center of town, right next to Starbucks and all the modern markers of commerce. So we're going along and it's cold and we're in t-shirts...he in his new "science is a verb now"...totally obscure*. I'm staring up the Minster front entrance walls as we're heading towards this group of ~20 y/o British girls...all in the stereotypical Northern Yorkshire hairstyles and fashion and so I don't really notice them. Until one just stops dead in her tracks and starts pointing. She can't really speak or move and the non-pointing hand goes up to her mouth. She stammers, "Ooooh! Oooh, the shirt. Science...I love your shirt" to him. And we're so fast past them that all we can do is laugh.

THAT was a high compliment. It wasn't even meant to be given, and therefore the giver's ego was completely removed. It was like a happy accident, made of pure reaction and joy. And it spread. That's what compliments do.

*Maybe this whole thing was heightened by the fact that he's been trying to explain this shirt to enquiring people for weeks, to no avail. It's been our little joke. I'm not even sure I get it.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:07 AM on July 4, 2012 [16 favorites]

He seemed to totally miss the reason why jogging lady with the handbag dog wasn't really interested in his compliment -- yeah, she probably gets some comments about her dog, but as a woman ("with so much of her begging for comment" [gross]), she probably gets her fair share of catcallers, pervs, and leering men. He just... yeah, he really didn't seem to get it.

All in all, yeah, the smarm just oozed out of this exercise, and I'm not surprised he seemed to have better luck approaching men than women with his shtick. Maybe I'm a misanthrope, but I'd rather not have anyone's snappy judgments, however "nice," lobbed at me in public like that.
posted by catch as catch can at 3:37 AM on July 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

"I like your belt," has never really worked for me, either. Maybe shoes next time.
posted by mrhappy at 3:43 AM on July 4, 2012

"Had I ever given a compliment that made someone feel worse? Or that had no effect at all?

Surely not, because I am the centre of the universe and all that matters is what I say or how I say it, not the state of mind the person I'm complimenting is in.

posted by MartinWisse at 3:48 AM on July 4, 2012

When I was a 17 year old kid, new to living out of home, enrolled in a uni degree I despised, and absolutely unsure of practically anything about my self or my life, I was catching the bus home one day and as I was walking to the stop - just drenched in my own misery, a random woman in her late forties walking past said, "Hey, cheer up, handsome, it's not so bad."

It was so unexpected; it was like walking into a metaphysical glass door where you expected none. She was gone before it had even registered, and I was left looking up into space like a pilgrim who's heard God's voice.

It was a small shard of sunlight hitting my beleaguered and blackened soul - for one brief moment - that afternoon. It immediately derailed my mania for existential angst and, hey, she called me handsome, and I think every 17 year old boy needs to be called handsome once or twice.

That was the best - the only? - good compliment I've gotten from a stranger. It was a small act of kindness that cheered me for hours after.
posted by smoke at 3:50 AM on July 4, 2012 [18 favorites]

I'm glad the random "cheer up" worked for you and helped you feel better. I've had the same comment aimed at me by other people many times. Without fail it serves to make me feel worse. Because the stranger is claiming to know that whatever I'm miserable about can't possibly be anything worth crying over, so I ought to fake a smile for the benefit of complete strangers so they don't have to look at someone in pain and just maybe share a tiny bit of empathy. Someone said it to me the day I was on the bus on my way to the hospital to be with my mum who'd been rushed there in an ambulance with a blood clot in her lungs that meant she couldn't breathe. Even though she eventually pulled through and made a full recovery, at that particular moment in time, my mother was potentially about to die. I think that kind of worry and fear entitles me to be excused from the obligation of pretending to be happy for the benefit of complete strangers who don't want their illusion spoiled by the sight of someone in crisis.
posted by talitha_kumi at 4:06 AM on July 4, 2012 [13 favorites]

Yeah, although his technique improved, complimenting a bunch of people in order to exult in your kindness and insight and the way you are GOING TO TRANSFORM SOMEONE'S LIFE EVEN FOR A LITTLE WHILE seems really self-indulgent and not generous at all.

Does anyone feel that a compliment chained to a question is easier to take, or an imposition, or either, depending on circumstances? The last time I complimented a stranger was this past weekend. I was halfway through a fairly sweaty ride and had stopped my bike at a street corner waiting for the light to change. A woman in a really pretty summer dress, with casually styled hair and the perfect purse, was walking across the street. I told her that her dress was gorgeous and then, partially because I wanted a dress like that and partially because I felt a little awkward about stopping a stranger with no immediate getaway possible, I also asked her where she got it. She stopped, told me where, I thanked her, she walked on, and the light changed. So she got momentarily interrupted, but she also got to do a stranger a small favour.

(When I circled back to the same block later on that ride, I saw her again just a few doors away from the original street corner. I resisted the urge to call out to her that there must have been a glitch in the Matrix. It was a black dress, after all.)
posted by maudlin at 4:13 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Wow. Well, I guess I'm more of a glass half-full kinda guy.

I wasn't expecting to be happy for a stranger that had already passed me by. I dunno; world doesn't care if your happy or sad, keeps on happening all the same, so might as well be happier when, if, you can.

I didn't think the woman said what she said because she was threatened or upset, or expected me to be happy for her benefit. That would be pretty self-defeating, really. I think she saw a fellow human being in some kind of pain and felt a stab of compassion, and made an intuitive, snap, small gesture to say she sympathised with it and that it things would work out one way or another.

But then, I guess I think people make more actions out of love and kindness than hate or fear. Seems like a kinda misanthropic way of going through life; if I can't know a stranger's thoughts, might as well ascribe the best I can to them hey? Makes me feel better about them, and myself, when I'm a stranger.
posted by smoke at 4:16 AM on July 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

I'm glad the random "cheer up" worked for you and helped you feel better.

This is, perhaps, a bit of a derail, but...

I think it's really healthy to put yourself in a continuum of trouble when you're feeling low. I have some minor neurological problems, and, when they are getting to me, I remind myself that I could have MS, that would suck. I have a couple of friends who have MS; one of them, when his disease is getting to him, reminds himself that he could have ALS, that would suck. And there is probably a guy out there with ALS who is all "I could be on fire right now; that would suck." And so on. It reminds you that it could be worse.

However, I have never felt better when someone tells me this, even though it's my own idea. If I come around to "well, there's lots worse things," I feel better. When I fractured my shoulder and my dad called and told me that breaking my hip would have been more painful, my only response was to tell him that his breaking his hip was much less personally painful to me than my fracturing my shoulder, thanks.

So cheering up might be good, and the advice might be kindly meant, but being told to cheer up almost always is perceived as a sort of aggression, I think.

On the other hand, it worked for smoke, so at least that's a happy story, right?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:23 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Chicks get the smile thing more, particularly if your face at rest doesn't naturally smile. Not to pile on smoke --- I'm glad for him.

And I quite liked this article. But then my philosophy on compliments has always been, if you think a genuinely nice thing about someone, you might as well tell them. It's rare enough that people get to hear that, I feel --- a voluntary admission that something they're doing is having a positive effect on others. I think that's the key --- by the end, the compliments he was giving were so specific it seemed to me they must have come from his actual reactions. I mean, an elegant suitcase?
posted by Diablevert at 4:36 AM on July 4, 2012 [5 favorites]

Yes, I'm certainly not saying such a response is de facto a good one. I felt like she was responding from a place of kindness, and it was the kindness that I, in turn, responded to. If I had felt it came from a place of selfishness, it would not have cheered me - and I fully acknowledge that women are more likely to get the latter than the former, compared to me. It was a nice moment. People can be kind and mean it, even strangers.
posted by smoke at 4:45 AM on July 4, 2012 [6 favorites]

I'm introverted, and typically dislike talking with strangers, but for some reason I feel compelled to compliment people if I like what they're wearing. Usually I'll say something like, "I love that jacket, it's so unusual," and they'll say, "Thanks, it's [brand]" or "My sister gave it to me," or whatever. Then we smile and go on with our lives.

People compliment me, too. Usually my jewellery, though just this afternoon, somebody told me they loved my skirt. ("It's so girly!") I wear a hat in summer, and it's not a particularly outstanding hat, but for some reason, that hat gets a lot of compliments.

Maybe it's that I'm a thirtysomething woman who's mostly complimenting other women? It's never been a big deal.
posted by Georgina at 5:06 AM on July 4, 2012

Sheesh, can't a guy share a human moment with someone?

And... of course some of his compliments were awkward or self-serving. Dude's writing an article here, he needs to have some sort of "arc" for his journey towards delivering better compliments.

I don't really walk up to strangers just to give them compliments, because of what someone said earlier; it makes you seem like you want something from them. But in conversation, I love giving sincere compliments. There is a shortage of good feeling in this world. Complimenting someone, or receiving a compliment, can really change someone's day. It's just one more tool in the toolbox of relating to people, dissipating alienation, and bringing people together. There's not enough of that.
posted by malapropist at 6:16 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

The compliment he gave to the guy with the kid made me tear up a little. It was really nice.
posted by feathermeat at 6:41 AM on July 4, 2012

One comment from a stranger I carry always.

I had taken my elderly aunt on a trip. At that point she was living in a nursing home and was mostly wheelchair-bound, but i enjoyed her company immensely and didn't mind the extra planning and work involved in having her with me. It was totally worth it and then some.

At one point we were in a restaurant with a buffet. I first took her through the line in her chair so she could see what she liked and tell me, then I went through the line again to get her food, finishing with a final trip to get mine.

When we were both seated and having a laugh about something, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up to see a man about my own age. He was smiling.

"God bless you," was all he said.

Over his shoulder, I noticed a table with two elderly people, one in a wheelchair, and an empty chair, clearly his. The couple were smiling at us.

"Oh no, God bless you," I grinned back at him.

He took my hand, squeezed it, and went back to his table.

I had already felt plenty blessed just by being able to travel with my lovely aunt (now departed). But in that moment, that stranger and I shared an understanding. I'm not a religious person but the memory of that exchange warms me still.
posted by kinnakeet at 7:24 AM on July 4, 2012 [6 favorites]

Wait. Esquire printed a reasonably coherent article?

I'm shocked. Someone send an Esquire hack around to write about how adult white males of a certain age are more often to be shocked by Esquire, and how it must be feminism's fault.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:47 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think that the important part of the article is that compliments coming from the right place that are sincere often can make people feel good.

He claims that he wanted out to figure out how to compliment people so that they felt good and not bad. That is noble, imo.

It does seem plausible that he was more interested in coming up with a piece of writing than developing as a human being. Not necessarily bad intention, but superficial which taints the article with callow.

But, all in all, whether we think that the guy is a creep, or sincere; giving us good advice or bad: this is a worthy subject to think about. How we are with people is important stuff. If we are able to spread a little unexpected kindness by noticing something that moves us about them, letting them know can make the world a lighter and deeper place.

I think it is good give compliments and not so easy for many of us to do well, if at all. So getting better at giving sincere compliments is a good thing, imo. Acts of kindness and generosity are well worth working on.
posted by snaparapans at 9:08 AM on July 4, 2012

I tend to distrust most compliments but I'm a pretty awful guy
posted by tehloki at 9:20 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is it so wrong that I assumed that around 80% of the interactions written about were 100% fabricated?
posted by 200burritos at 9:30 AM on July 4, 2012

Unless it's clearly a pick-up, compliments seem to me to be mostly a verbal smile.

I, too, am a serial complimenter. I developed a "drive-by" complimenting technique in bars to overcome my shyness and feel surrounded by allies. People in certain types of bars are fairly used to following the usual scripts. So as a person slid past me or as I scooched by them, I would, just as we passed, compliment them on something....and keep moving. A compliment sincerely given triggers a desire in the complimentee to reflexively reciprocate. But by the time, they've processed the unusual script and their natural sense of reciprocity is triggered, I am no longer within earshot. For me, that worked best....complimenting not only without expecting a response but also with no real opportunity to respond. At least then. I'd flash a small smile the next time I saw a complimentee, and maybe a quick nod, and they'd return a smile and nod.

I'm doing nothing more than indicating, in a place filled with competition and challenges, that I am a friendly. Of course, it never occurred to me that I was being creepy. I am gifted with a particular warmth that engenders trust. As a result, I often get complimented. And then I want to stammer out a reciprocal statement that makes my complimenter feel as good as she/he just made me feel, but a return compliment, unless sincere, falls flat. A thank you is best. Better still? No chance to say least not immediately.

I do this in public...lob a compliment and a quick smile just as I am passing someone. If that someone is with others, lob it just loud enough for all to hear.

Anyway, I still go to those types of bars, but I go because my husband is a percussionist in a band that plays every weekend. I dance, mostly, and in between, I circulate and carry on like I'm hosting the damn event: "Are you having a good time?" "Are you enjoying the music?". But I prefer to compliment. It lowers the defense mechanisms all around. The habit has made me aware of how infinite the appreciable attributes are.
posted by Jezebella at 10:34 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Compliments are cheap. I got "Hey, nice penis!" so much I started wearing pants.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:01 AM on July 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Here's possibly the best compliment I've ever gotten from a stranger: I was in grad school and was wearing one of my self-made Calvin and Hobbes t-shirts — a mash-up of cells 3 & 4 from this transmogrification strip. (This was a few years ago so there really weren't any Calvin and Hobbes knock-offs around yet.) I'm walking to school and this 9-10 year old kid just stops dead in front of me, stares at the shirt, and says "That's the coolest shirt ever." I stop, say "Thanks. I know, right?", and walk on with a huge smile.

It was such a pure compliment. No 9 year old is going to bother shading the truth on what he thinks about the shirt some twenty-something is wearing. Like iamkimiam said, the ego-lessness raises both giver and receiver above the normal human plane.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:23 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

No 9 year old is going to bother shading the truth on what he thinks about the shirt some twenty-something is wearing.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:23 AM on July 4 [+] [!]

Our friend is a scowly, huge pirate/biker-looking fellow, a heavier and larger version of Captain Morgan. So last week when he was grabbing a burger at the service station near his office while wearing these shorts, a 9-12 year old kid stopped in front of him and stated, "Those shorts are so hard." None of us can figure out if that was a compliment -- as our kids appear incapable of giving one without a healthy dose of sarcasm -- or if that kid had a deathwish and decided to mess with a stranger.
posted by Max McCarty at 3:26 PM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I am absolutely positive that I have read this article before, at least a year or two back.
posted by headnsouth at 9:42 AM on July 5, 2012

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