Imagine a world without any rules. It’s pretty hard to do, right? It’s possible that human beings as a species simply can’t exist without hierarchies and structure and deciding how long one’s lunch break should be. Civilization as a whole wouldn’t exist without ideas and behaviors we can all agree on.
However, some rules seem unjust, unfair, and all-around oppressive. That’s why folks try to bend them without breaking them, and Bored Panda has collected the most clever and creative ways how people beat the system by following the rules to the letter. It’s some truly amazing inspiration for all of you Pandas who might feel too restricted, whether it’s at work or elsewhere. And it’s rock-solid proof that you don’t necessarily need to resort to anarchy to beat the system at its own game.
Remember to upvote your fave pics as you scroll down, and be sure to drop by the comment section to share your own stories about how you worked around unfair rules. Oh, and in case you need some more examples of how the rules are powerless against the human imagination, check out Bored Panda’s earlier two articles about it right here and over here.
Suzanne Degges-White, Licensed Counselor, Professor, and Chair at the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University, shared her insights about the importance of rules and structure in life with Bored Panda.
“While novelty is always enticing, for the most part, humans need structure and routine— especially as young kids and then mature adults. Structure gives us security and even though we may fight against it, we feel safe knowing that rules exist that keep us (and others) in bounds,” she explained to us.
#1 Celebrating Pride Despite Our HOA Not Allowing Pride Flags. They Don’t Regulate Yard Lights Though, So... There’s Always A Loophole
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According to Professor Degges-White, we might feel the urge to rebel when we become teenagers. However, this doesn’t change the fact that rules, as a whole, are vital to have.
“During adolescence, the urge to challenge parents takes hold, but without rules/expectations, we would feel adrift. While some of us will always try to bend the rules, break the rules, or challenge the rules, there is comfort in knowing that large-scale chaos isn't going to happen due to the rules that we may be fighting against,” she told Bored Panda.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that everyone has a different level of tolerance for following the rules. Some might embrace them to the fullest and have a difficult time living outside their routines. Meanwhile, others rebel against any and all rules (sometimes to the point of absurdity).
#2 I Wasn't Allowed To Use A Notebook At My Cashier Job, So I Started Writing My Book About Bullying On Printed Out Receipts. This Year I Finally Published My Novel
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#3 My Mum Allowed Me To Put Any Flag On My Wardrobe Doors Except For The Pride Flag. So, 241 Flags Later
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“There are some people who feel that any attempts to get them to ‘fall in line’ are unacceptable. I once worked with someone who would always turn in their reports late—whether it was late by a day or just a couple of minutes past the stated deadline, they were consistently going to buck the deadline,” Professor Degges-White revealed to Bored Panda.
“When asked why they behaved in this way, their response was that they were able to maintain control when they didn't follow the rules. For them, rules at work were something to be broken in order to satisfy their ‘control freak’ tendency,” she said.
“Others, though, use rules as ‘base level expectations’ and want to exceed those expectations and follow rules to a ‘t.’ They maintain their own sense of control by staying way inside of the rules—they take pride in this behavior.”.
#4 Old Lady At The Bank
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#5 Belarus People React To Lukashenko's Prohibition Of Pro-Democratic Flags
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#6 Unauthorized Protests Are Forbidden In Russia, So Artists In St. Petersburg Decided To Do Some Open-Air Practice
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Whatever each individual’s tolerance for rules might be, society as a whole would fall apart without them.
“Everyone has a different view on rules/boundaries and it might be nature for some and nurture for others. However, on a larger scale, societies cannot function without clear rules and boundaries. Chaos and anarchy result—at any level—when rules fall by the wayside,” the professor told Bored Panda.
Having structure in your life can help you deal with stress. Strict schedules and routines can be very useful when the world seems unpredictable and your future looks uncertain. It’s something to fall back on. Something to rely on. It’s something to give you a sense of control when there’s chaos left, right, and center.
#7 Shorts Are Now Deemed "Inappropriate" For Retail Counter Workers At USPS. Skorts Are Still Ok
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#8 So The NYC Subway Has Banned Dogs Unless They 'Fit In A Bag'. New Yorkers Got Creative
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#9 When The Sign Says No Photography
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In fact, a lack of structure can actually lead to more stress down the line. “If people don't have structure and are sitting around with less to focus on, then they also probably will find themselves thinking about the stressful situation more, which can also lead to additional stress and anxiety,” Rachel Goldman, Ph.D., told Very Well Mind
Besides lowering your stress levels, having a regular routine can help you form healthy habits, and make you feel more focused and productive. This can work both with self-imposed and outwardly-imposed routines. However, in some cases, we might not agree with all the rules in place. We might question the need for them or we might feel that the alternatives that we propose are far better.
This can lead to tension between those imposing and enforcing the rules, as well as those who are expected to abide by them. Let’s be frank, some workplace rules are truly bonkers, have no bearing to reality, or might be in place to stroke some managers’ egos. Meanwhile, others might be there for good reason (even if it’s not immediately apparent). It all comes down to good, effective leadership and whether or not bosses actually care about their employees. A good leader can create rules that make sense and benefit (nearly) everyone, not just the few.
#10 Five Words
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#11 The HOA In My Friend’s Neighborhood Recently Threatened Her Neighbors With A Fine If They Didn’t Hide Their Trash Cans. This Is Their Solution
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#12 My Kindergartener Was Feeling Proud Of This Solution To Her Homework
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Eddy Ng, the Smith Professor of Equity & Inclusion in Business at Queen’s University, told Bored Panda earlier that strong leaders in the workplace are those who are moral, principled, and choose to do the right thing. They stand in stark contrast to weak leaders who only do the things that make them popular and have a hard time making firm decisions: they flip-flop, they dither, they can’t make up their minds.
“The notion of servant leadership is gaining attention in the workplace. Although it is associated with many of the strong leadership traits such as empathy, selflessness, and humility, the focus is on the leader’s propensity to serve (or support) their followers. Servant leaders empower and lift up followers (employees) to motivate and fuel their passion,” the professor explained to Bored Panda.
#13 Thought This Belongs Here
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#14 Told This Guy I Only Date People 6 Feet Or Up And He Sent Me This
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#15 He Saw Us Feeding The Ducks And Pretended To Be One
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“Employees can manage that relationship to have work satisfaction. In this instance, employees need to communicate what they need (tools) or work conditions (autonomy) in order for them to perform optimally when working with a controlling boss. Employees need to convey what they can and are able to perform,” he said that the principle of exchange is an important one in workplaces.
#16 Satellite Dishes Are Strictly Forbidden
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#17 This Restaurant Is Only Allowed To Sell Beer If Someone Buys Food
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#18 Czech Fans Were Forced To Take Down The Ukrainian Flag At The Championship. So They Found A Loophole
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However, it’s not just at work where we find rules to abide by. Whether we like it or not, we also adhere to certain limits at home, too. In healthy relationships, both partners make the rules together, communicate efficiently, and respect each other’s boundaries. However, in some relationships, one partner might hold too much power or someone might not be able to enforce the rules and boundaries that matter to them.
#19 I'm Not Sure That's What They Meant
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#20 Iranian Girl Cheers For Her Favourite Football Team From Behind The Fence As Iranian Women Aren't Allowed Into Stadiums
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#21 Playing Outside
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“In relationships and life in general, too much power can corrupt a person’s behavior. A man or a woman who is normally a very nice, caring, loving and understanding person, can sometimes become quite selfish, mean and unloving if given too much power in a romantic relationship,” Dan Bacon, a dating and relationship expert, told Bored Panda recently.
“Sometimes, a woman will be in a relationship with a man who says that he has boundaries, but then lets her defy those boundaries on a daily basis because he doesn’t know how to stand up to her in an assertive, loving, and effective way,” he explained that boundaries need to be enforced for them to matter.
#22 Paris Marathon Was Cancelled So This Dude Ran Back And Forth On His 7 Meter Balcony For A Marathon Length
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#23 I Was Doing Homework When I Did This
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#24 Sandwich Only Sits With My Wife, But I Think I Found A Way To Beat The System
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“All he does is get upset, sulk and seek pity from her when she defies his boundaries, which she sees as weak, wimpy, and possibly even pathetic. This can then result in her losing respect for him, which can then make her feel as though his so-called ‘boundaries’ aren’t something that she needs to adhere to,” the expert pointed out that boundaries mean nothing if they’re only theoretical. Pleading, demanding, or trying to reason with someone will not get them to respect your boundaries.
“That kind of problematic outcome often happens when one person has way too much power in a relationship.”
#25 Well Played, Sir
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#26 My Professor Asked For The Essay To Be In Times New Roman And A4 Size, He Didn't Say It Needed To Be On Paper Though
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#27 My Wife Is A Teacher And Found This While Marking An Assessment
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A healthy relationship means that the power dynamic isn’t skewed too far one way or the other.
“Having boundaries respected is not about a man being overly domineering or bossy and making his girlfriend or wife feel like she has no power or say. That is not loving or effective and it will create many relationship problems and most likely cause the relationship to end in a breakup,” he told us.
#28 My Fourth Grader’s Math Homework. She Said “This Way I Didn’t Even Need To Think About It”
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#29 If You Have A Stain On Your Shirt, Outline The Stain With A Pen And Give It A Name. This Will Make It Seem Like You Visited A Random Island
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#30 My Girlfriend Bet Me She Could Write Any Swear Word On My Calculator, I Bet Her $50 She Couldn’t
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“A man needs to approach the relationship in a way where his girlfriend or wife feels respected, but also feels the need to respect him in return. If respect is only one way in the relationship, problematic behavior will naturally emerge and boundaries may be defied or disrespected by an otherwise nice, loving, and caring person.”
#31 It's Not Medicine, It's Pepsi
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#32 Very Fussy Chihuahua Will Only Eat If Another Dog Is Watching. Here’s Our Workaround While Our Other Dog Is Away
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#33 My Grandma Didn’t Want Anyone Blowing Out Candles On The Cake Because Of Covid So She Made A Birthday Banana
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#34 Teacher Said Only One Side Of A Notecard Is Allowed But I'm Bringing A Magnifying Glass
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#35 My Daughter's Job Only Allows Black Pants And No Rips. Her Normal Pair Was Still In The Washer So She Hacked It. Will It Work?
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#36 It’s 70’s Day And This Kid Is Dressing For The 1770’s
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#37 Good Boi Knows He's Not Allowed To Have Sticks Inside
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#38 I Told My Daughter She Couldn't Take Clothes Off The Hangers And Try Them On So I Got This
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#39 There's Always A Loophole
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#40 Ordering In McDrive
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#41 This Kid Is Going Places. Maybe To The Principal's Office, But She's Going Places
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#42 Teacher Said We Are Allowed To Bring Single Side Paper For Notes During Final
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#43 He Is Not Allowed To Put His Paws On The Screen Door So This Is What He Does
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#44 Clever Workaround
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#45 I Mean The Kid Isn't Wrong
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#46 She's Not Allowed On The Couch
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#47 Cat Isn't Allowed On The Table, Found A Loophole To Still Be The Center Of Attention While We Eat
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#48 Roxy Knows She's Allowed On The Barstool, And Not On The Counter. Roxy Also Likes To Test Her Limits
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#49 I See No Issues Here
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#50 That Wasn't An Option But Well Done Anyway
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#51 In The 1990s, A California Man, Steve Comisar, Began Putting Ads In National Magazines Selling "Solar Powered Dryers" For $49.95
Customers would then receive a simple clothesline in the mail.
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#52 Snuck Into A Festival Using Bottles Of Water And A Hi-Vis Vests
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#53 My 9-Year-Old Cousin's Invention. I Think He Did Good
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#54 I Wasn’t Allowed To Play Much, So Usually I Woke Up Earlier Than Everyone And Played On The PS1 With The Sound On Mute For A Couple Of Hours. Until I Got Caught
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#55 Coffee Shop Compliance
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#56 My Cat Sits In A Pot Of Dirt When She Isn't Allowed To Go Outside
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#57 He Knows He's Not Allowed On The Counter, But I Never Said Anything About The Lunchbox
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#58 Students Are Taking Their Physics Midterm Exam Today. I Said No Cell Phones, Not Even For Music Since They Could Be Used To Cheat. This Student Brought In A Record Player
He is bumping Kanye in his headphones right now.
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#59 Crazy Sore Muscles But No Bath Tub? Improvise. Adapt. Overcome
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#60 My Mom Uses Ski Goggles When She Cuts Onions
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#61 My Dad Said People At Work Wouldn’t Stop Using His Personal Cup, So This Was His Solution
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#62 A Little Reverse Psychology. Not Sure That It Will Work Every Time, But You Got To Take A Risk Sometimes
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#63 Not Allowed On The Bed, So Naturally, My Shiba Has Found A Workaround
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#64 Clever Workaround To The Buzzer
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#65 A Kid In My Latin Class Didn't Have A Piece Of Paper, So He Wrote His Quiz On An Orange. The Teacher Accepted It
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#66 My Daughter Turned 19 The Other Day. We Had To Use The Candles We Had On Hand
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#67 In Indiana, Bars Have To Serve Food
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#68 Town Home Complex Sent An Email: "New BBQ Grill Policy: All Grills Must Be Removed Immediately, Grills Left Out As Of Monday Will Be Removed From Your Patio Or Balcony"
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#69 Taking Advantage Of A Poorly Worded Question On A Music History Test
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#70 My Younger Son Tried To Sneak Sugar Packets Out Of The Restaurant And Eat Them In The Car
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#71 She's Not Allowed On The Counter
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#72 Gift For My Girlfriend
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#73 Found This Guy On The Mall Today
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#74 C'mon Google Assistant
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#75 Dad Said I Could Have Friends Over, But Only If We Played Outside Because Of Covid. We Beat The System
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#76 My Wife Is An English Teacher. She Gave This Student An A For This Assignment
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#77 My Friend Works As An English Teacher In Sweden
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#78 Vodka Burrito Was A Success
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#79 Told The Older Ones To Watch The Baby And Don't Let Her Get In Trouble
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#80 Boss Said I Wasn’t Using Enough Wet Floor Signs While Mopping
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#82 The Construction Workers Building My Brother's House Are Sneaky
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#83 He Did Say He Didn’t Have A Girlfriend
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#84 Boss Wanted To See All The User Permissions
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#85 My Wife Said I’m Not Allowed To Tell Anyone We Know. So I’m Telling The Internet
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#86 My GF Told Me I'm Not Allowed To Have Any Geeky Stuff Upstairs, It All Goes In The Basement. Never Underestimate A Manchild
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#87 He Knows He's Not Allowed In The Kitchen While I Cook, But Sometimes He Pushes It
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#88 He Didn't Say It
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#89 Local Pool Doesn’t Allow Alcohol, So I Bring Water
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#90 My Office Doesn’t Allow Pets. I Think I Found A Workaround. His Name Is Steve
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#91 He Knows He's Not Allowed On The Furniture. But He Figured Out A Loophole
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#92 There's Always A Loophole
"Horse and buggy parking only"
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#93 Keurig Sensor Blocks Your Brew Unless It's "K-Cup Compatible", Aka Has Scannable Foil. Slap On An Old Foil To A 3rd Party Cup And Suddenly No Issue
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#94 My Friend Is Taking Notes In Minecraft
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#95 My Dog Isn't Allowed On The Couch. This Is His Solution
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#96 Four-Year-Old's Malicious Compliance
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#97 I Work At A High School Where Student Cell Phone Use Is Prohibited. So Is Defacing Library Books
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#98 Told Him Not To Sit On The Couch. Technically He's Not
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#99 Mom Said I Should Go Play Outside
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#100 Baked Some iPhone Cookies To Trick Cops Into Pulling Me Over, Then I Just Take A Bite And Ask If Cookies Are Against The Law
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