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The Coupon Whisperer: Restaurant.Com Review
The Coupon Whisperer ^ | February 17, 2011 | PJ-Comix

Posted on 02/17/2011 5:22:16 AM PST by PJ-Comix

Most of you have probably heard of Restaurant.Com and are probably wondering if the hype lives up to the reality. In a simple word: Yes! However, there are certain things you must be aware of to properly use your Restaurant.Com gift certificates...

(Excerpt) Read more at couponwhisperer.blogspot.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Food; Humor
KEYWORDS: restaurantcom
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Of course, most of our Valentine's Day dinner bill was covered by a Restaurant.Com gift certificate. NEVER pay full price for a restaurant meal.
1 posted on 02/17/2011 5:22:18 AM PST by PJ-Comix
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To: netmilsmom; mykdsmom; mplsconservative; melissa_in_ga; MissDairyGoodnessVT; SoftballMominVA; ...

PING!


2 posted on 02/17/2011 5:24:08 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: IncPen
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #192.

PINGEEs are now being accepted into The Coupon Whisperer PING List so let me know if you want to join up.

3 posted on 02/17/2011 5:28:07 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: gnickgnack2

Welcome aboard, PINGEE #193.


4 posted on 02/17/2011 5:33:58 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

I absolutely LOVE restaurant.com. We’re able to dine out more often using their certificates. We’ve been using their service for at least two years.


5 posted on 02/17/2011 5:34:36 AM PST by mplsconservative (I stand with Israel.)
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To: PJ-Comix

I got a free gift cert from them through a happenings book I bought. Just so happens the place with my favorite stuffed pizza (a 14” pizza weighs in at 5lbs) is on the list! 25 dollar cert for 10 bucks. You have to spend 35 but thats not hard to do when the pizza is that good :)


6 posted on 02/17/2011 5:59:11 AM PST by cableguymn
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To: PJ-Comix

Thanks for the ping! We haven’t had our V-Day dinner yet (DH is out of town on business) so this information will come in handy! :-)


7 posted on 02/17/2011 6:00:59 AM PST by pillut48 (Israel doesn't have a friend in President Obama...and neither does the USA! (h/t pgkdan))
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To: PJ-Comix

I have used it multiple times. Each restaurant has their own specific conditions to use their discount.

Typically www.couponmom.com will publish the special CODE word to get the 80% off deals.

The only issue I have with them is you need to spend $10 at their website to get the discount. That means you may need to buy multiple $25.00 gift certificates at 80% off to get to $10. Also, the better restaurants in my area seem to “sell out” immediately.

On another subject: Colgate Sensative toothpaste @ CVS is a money maker this week with Extra Bucks and $1 q.


8 posted on 02/17/2011 6:01:57 AM PST by woodbutcher1963
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To: cableguymn
25 dollar cert for 10 bucks.

NEVER pay 10 bucks for those $25 certificates when they are FREQUENTLY available for only a couple of bucks.

9 posted on 02/17/2011 6:03:23 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix
PJ, thanks for the tip. Only 11 restaurants in my area. Three I would not eat at on a bet. One we go to a lot so big savings there!!!
10 posted on 02/17/2011 6:05:06 AM PST by mad_as_he$$ ( "Hokahey, today is a good day to die!" Crazy Horse, Lakota Sioux)
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To: woodbutcher1963
The only issue I have with them is you need to spend $10 at their website to get the discount.

Nope. Didn't happen with me. I only spent a couple of bucks to get my first Restaurant.Com certificate and everything worked out fine for me. Maybe they changed the rules since you got it.

11 posted on 02/17/2011 6:06:00 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

The problems are minor but noticeable:

Most certificates provide for a 18% gratuity. If you are like me and generally tip 10% that is 8% lost in vaue.

Many carry holiday and other days of the week restrictions.

Most don’t cover alcoholic beverages.

Sometimes you end up spending more than you normally would because you need to spend the minimum before the certificate has any value. This can be $35 or more you need to spend (excluding the tip) to get $25 off. So you would need to spend $41.30 to get $25 off. Sometimes the minimum is larger with $50 being pretty regular.

Restaurants come and go on the web site, but the preponderance of the certificates appear to be for average to less than average restaurants.

I have used these certificates for years. If you don’t get them for free or almost free as a result of some promotion, they aren’t worth it when you get right down to all the little twists of being able to use them and use them economically, not just wastefully on your own budget.

My opinions anyway.


12 posted on 02/17/2011 6:08:53 AM PST by macquire
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To: woodbutcher1963

I am waiting for $200 in restaurant.com coupons now that cost me $2.99 through American Express. This is the 2nd promotion they have done with these. You need to subscribe to a service (this was a golf magazine). The $2.99 is for the first 60 days then it is $30 per year. You can cancel anytime after you subscribe so I wait for the coupons in the mail and then cancel the day after I get them so I never pay more than the $2.99.

You need to watch the calender though and if they don’t show up CALL the promotion company and demand them!


13 posted on 02/17/2011 6:12:56 AM PST by macquire
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To: PJ-Comix
Love, love, love restaurant.com. We have been using it for years. Always do a Google search for a discount code first. They are out there usually for another 70%, 80%, 90% off which will allow you to purchase a $25 certificate for $1, $2 or $3 bucks and are good for up to 1 year after purchase date. Great when traveling. Just type in the area code of where you will be and the participating restaurants will come up.
14 posted on 02/17/2011 6:15:32 AM PST by bella1 (Four years of Carter gave us eight years of Reagan.)
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To: macquire
Most certificates provide for a 18% gratuity. If you are like me and generally tip 10% that is 8% lost in vaue.

Then you are tipping too little. A normal tip is considered to be 15% so you need to shell out a measly 3% more.

Most don’t cover alcoholic beverages.

So whether or not you are going to use the certificates, you are going to drink anyways.

Sometimes you end up spending more than you normally would because you need to spend the minimum before the certificate has any value.

Unless you are dining at Micky Ds, it isn't hard for a dinner for two to hit $35.

Bottom line is that you save a LOT when using the certificates compared to not using them plus I NEVER pay full price for them when they are easily available for 80% discount.

15 posted on 02/17/2011 6:17:43 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

Please add me to your ping list.


16 posted on 02/17/2011 6:24:28 AM PST by CarolinaGOP ("Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan)
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To: CarolinaGOP

Welcome aboard, PINGEE #194.


17 posted on 02/17/2011 6:34:24 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: maggief

Welcome aboard, PINGEE #195.


18 posted on 02/17/2011 6:35:50 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

Mrs. L found this service a while back. She’s gotten us several outstanding meals in the $100 price range for 10 or 15 bucks.

Just remember to tip on the full value of the meal.

Best,

L


19 posted on 02/17/2011 6:37:38 AM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: woodbutcher1963

I’m on restaurant.com’s email list and it doesn’t cost a dime. I get daily email from them and when I see the discount is 80% I open them to get the discount code. Otherwise it’s a simple click of the delete button.


20 posted on 02/17/2011 6:42:33 AM PST by mplsconservative (I stand with Israel.)
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To: PJ-Comix

please add me to your pinglist, thanks


21 posted on 02/17/2011 6:44:18 AM PST by VirginiaMom
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To: VirginiaMom

Welcome aboard, PINGEE #196.


22 posted on 02/17/2011 6:47:23 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: macquire

A 10% tip is very low. And no, I never worked in the restaurant industry, but that is verging on stingy.


23 posted on 02/17/2011 6:53:27 AM PST by mplsconservative (I stand with Israel.)
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To: PJ-Comix

btt


24 posted on 02/17/2011 6:55:47 AM PST by GailA (2012 rally cry DEMOCRATS and RINOS are BAD for the USA!)
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To: mplsconservative

10% is MORE than adequate.

Of course there is an army of waiters and waitresses and of course RESTAURANT OWNERS trying to make customers feel “stingy” by calling it stingy all over the place, here included.....

Gee, I wonder why restaurant owners would want their customers to tip their (low paid) employees more....!


25 posted on 02/17/2011 7:04:10 AM PST by macquire
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To: PJ-Comix

Join me up please...


26 posted on 02/17/2011 7:21:59 AM PST by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: Iscool

Welcome aboard, PINGEE #197.


27 posted on 02/17/2011 7:26:27 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix
Thanks for a great link. I have a question - If a $50 coupon is bought - do you have to spend it all at one time or do they deduct the cost of the actual meal - then give a chit for another day? There's a restaurant on the list that to spend $50 you'd have to bring an extra five people...
28 posted on 02/17/2011 7:28:15 AM PST by GOPJ (http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php - World Disaster Map)
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To: GOPJ

You gotta use it all at once.


29 posted on 02/17/2011 7:29:42 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

When one of restaurant.com’s 80% off coupon codes comes out, we think ahead and buy a certificate to a nice place and just hold onto it for a special occasion. When you’re only spending $4 or $6 for a $50 or $75 certificate, it’s worth buying ahead of time.

Most of the restaurants on their list don’t interest me, but there are a few select ones that do and we’ve had some really nice meals at higher-end establishments and restaurant.com brought the price down to a really manageable level.

I’ve never had a certificate that placed limits on when the it could be used. I’ve never had one that wouldn’t allow it to be used on alcohol, although I have seen some that do. I’ve seen that restriction on certificates at the $25 level, but when you buy in the $50 or $75 range, that restriction usually isn’t there.

Also, when I buy from restaurant.com, I go through ebates.com, which gives me another 15% discount on the cost of the certificate. So a $50 certificate that normally goes for $20, but drops to $4 after an 80% off promo code, ends up at $3.40 after the ebates rebate. Hey, every little bit helps!


30 posted on 02/17/2011 7:44:00 AM PST by RedWhiteBlue
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To: PJ-Comix

I seem to remember a minimum charge amount.
Or it could just be CRS kicking in.


31 posted on 02/17/2011 7:45:28 AM PST by woodbutcher1963
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To: mplsconservative

“A 10% tip is very low. And no, I never worked in the restaurant industry, but that is verging on stingy.”

I was a waitress in college for 2 summers. It is the crappiest job ever devised by man. I always said I would go on welfare before I ever did that again and I have had some crummy jobs. 10% is not enough of a tip unless you get poor service. I tip between 15%-20% depending on service.


32 posted on 02/17/2011 7:54:16 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: PJ-Comix
The first time I used R.com about 5 years ago I got burned and I've never gone back. PJ's advice to call the restaurant first is very good advice only in my case it wasn't because the place was out of business.

There was a new, trendy, rather expensive sushi place in town that had just opened a few weeks prior and I bought a gift certificate from R.com for this place because the food critic from the newspaper rated it highly and we were eager to try it out.

We got there, presented our gift certificate and the manager stated that they don't participate with R.com. He said the salesperson had come in when they first opened to try to get them to sign up with them and he told them no. Apparently this guy signed them up anyway w/o the owners permission.

He ended up giving us a measly 15% discount just because he felt sorry for us but I was mad, not at him, it wasn't his fault. I called R.com and gave them a piece of my mind and they refunded my $ but I've never gone back. Just do your homework first.

BTW, the restaurant was outstanding, they have a killer bento box. We've been back several times and they are always busy but it needs to be a special occasion to visit this place cause it's pricey.

33 posted on 02/17/2011 8:01:14 AM PST by mykdsmom
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To: PJ-Comix

In my area, no restaurant worth eating at is on the list. In my town, 3 of the 5 listed restaurants are out of business, yet restaurants.com continues to sell their coupons.

The only one in Manchester I might consider is out of coupons and has been for as long as I’ve been checking.

It appears that restaurants.com is the place for desperate restaurateurs who have no customers and are about to go out of business or new ones who are looking to build a customer base.


34 posted on 02/17/2011 8:07:23 AM PST by Poser (Cogito ergo Spam - I think, therefore I ham)
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To: PJ-Comix

I would advise before buying a coupon from restaurant.com look up the restaurant in question on the web first. Sometimes the places are so cheap to start with it’s difficult for 2 and nearly impossible for 1 to get the sized bill necessary. So know your math first, if you’re in Tucson and it’s a minimum $35 check at Marisco’s Chihuahua it’s good to know that you can feed 2 to the point of obesity for $20 at Marisco’s so either plan on bringing friends or skip the coupon.


35 posted on 02/17/2011 8:16:32 AM PST by discostu (this is definitely not my confused face)
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To: PJ-Comix
Looks like the $25 is a better bet all around - I checked out your site after asking the question - should have checked it out first... Thanks for sharing.
36 posted on 02/17/2011 8:18:16 AM PST by GOPJ (http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php - World Disaster Map)
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To: PJ-Comix

I was reading your blog and you mentioned 20 percent tip because it’s easier to calculate....in these parts, the tax is 9% so I just double up on that amount for the suggested 18 percent.


37 posted on 02/17/2011 8:25:52 AM PST by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: PJ-Comix

How do I find out which restaurants here in Honolulu this applies to? Thank you.


38 posted on 02/17/2011 9:14:21 AM PST by Jean2
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To: macquire

No, 10% is being a cheapskate. Remember that tip gets split up, cuts go to the kitchen staff and even busboys. All of whom work long days all on their feet, and the get stuck dealing with some of the worst behavior people have to offer (add booze to a person that’s already a jerk and nothing good happens). Food service is one of the hardest lines of work there is that doesn’t involve getting shot at, and it’s not made any easier by people that think 10% is anything other than cheap. Hope you don’t frequent anyplace, they’ll remember you. I frequent places, I tip well, having them remember me is a good thing.


39 posted on 02/17/2011 9:59:17 AM PST by discostu (this is definitely not my confused face)
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To: bella1

purchase a $25 certificate for $1, $2 or $3 bucks and are good for up to 1 year after purchase date.
************************************************
That 1 year limit is not a “hard and fast” rule ... in any state where there is a law against gift certificates or gift cards expiring the certificates are good forever. I have used restaurant.com for years ,, it is most useful when traveling.


40 posted on 02/17/2011 12:48:02 PM PST by Neidermeyer
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To: woodbutcher1963

I seem to remember a minimum charge amount.
***********************************************
Every restaurant sets their own rules on usage of the coupons,most have a minimum purchase excluding tip and alcohol that is about 2x the face value and they usually include the tip (on the pre discounted bill).


41 posted on 02/17/2011 12:51:46 PM PST by Neidermeyer
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To: PJ-Comix

I won a couple of $10 GC to restaurant.com and have to remember to check it out to see if I can use them.

Found a coupon today for Free Pepsi Max 2 Liter with a Doritos purchase if anyone’s interested. I don’t like either LOL

http://coupons2.smartsource.com/smartsource/index.jsp?Link=YRMK5ZAV4DIXE


42 posted on 02/17/2011 3:27:56 PM PST by Trillian
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To: discostu

“I tip well, having them remember me is a good thing”.

Ya, they won’t spit in your food when they know they shook you down and turned you into a lavish tipper...

Seriously, do you know how ridiculous your justification for a large tip sounds?

Want a tip? GO TO COLLEGE AND GET A GOOD JOB and leave the waitressing to kids & students. Sheese.....

I mean COME ONE! It’s WAITING ON TABLES! There is NOTHING wrong with 10% PERIOD!


43 posted on 02/17/2011 3:49:43 PM PST by macquire
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To: macquire

I went to college and I have a good job, which is why I can afford to eat out and not be a cheapskate on the tip. I also did my time in food service along the way, I know how hard the work is, how thankless he work is, and how many cheapskate jerks there are in the world who seem to only go to restaurants to try to ruin the day of the staff.

There’s nothing wrong with paying for good service. If you think that’s a ridiculous justification then you should probably go find someplace with even less capitalism than the US.

There’s lots wrong with a 10% tip, it shows you’re cheap and a curmudgeon. And the fact that you feel the need to shout shows you know there’s clearly something wrong with the behavior.


44 posted on 02/18/2011 7:22:50 AM PST by discostu (this is definitely not my confused face)
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To: discostu

Not that long ago 10% was considered adequate. Then 15% was considered adequate. Now some are even talking of 20% being needed.....

Nothing really has changed in all that time has it, other than meal prices have gone up WHICH HAS AUTOMATICALLY MEAN A RAISE FOR THE WAITERS GETTING 10% OF THE MEAL VALUE!

Face it. When a good meal was $10 not that long ago they got a dollar. Now a good meal is $15 and they get a dollar and a half and YOU think they need three or so... unbelievable...

PS: I waited on tables for a summer also so I know what it is like not to get a tip...but you see the difference between you and me is ..... I NEVER EXPECTED ONE. When I was hired they flat out told me not to count on the tips. If I wasn’t happy with the hourly wage don’t take the job.


45 posted on 02/18/2011 1:28:41 PM PST by macquire
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To: macquire

Actually the last time 10% was acceptable was a VERY long time ago.

the real question is why would you eat food from somebody you have so little respect for you won’t give them another buck or two?


46 posted on 02/18/2011 1:57:15 PM PST by discostu (this is definitely not my confused face)
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To: discostu

Because it is MY money that is why.

You are a perfect example of the people that bought into the idea “we need to tip more” when in fact it was precisely so restaurant owners could keep wages down.


47 posted on 02/18/2011 3:55:07 PM PST by macquire
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To: PJ-Comix
About those restaurants that went out of business. Check and see if they will allow you to exchange them for certificates for active restaurants.

They did for me. I had two for a local Bar-B-Q joint that burned down. They gave me a code so I could exchange them.

48 posted on 02/18/2011 6:40:01 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (When all you have is bolt cutters & vodka everything looks like the lock on Wolf Blitzer's boathouse)
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To: PJ-Comix

There are places like http://www.mypoints.com where you can earn gift cards/certificates for free. I usually go for the bookstore gift cards, but restaurant.com is an option, too.


49 posted on 02/18/2011 9:32:27 PM PST by Ellendra (Profanity is the mark of a conversational cripple.)
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To: macquire

But again, if you have that little respect for them why eat the food they make. The food you ingest is a hell of a lot more important than a couple bucks in your pocket.

You’re the perfect example of the kind of person that makes food service such horrible work. You act like they’re out to get you, that it’s all some great conspiracy trying to steal from you. If your money is that precious to you don’t eat out. Because you’re probably there complaining the entire time anyway, you’re not having fun because you think you’re being robbed, the people you’re with aren’t having fun because you’re grumpy, and your server knows the whole time you’re going to leave a nothing tip so they’re trying to avoid even going near your table.

You forget that if restaurant owners paid more they’d have to charge more. So that precious 8% you don’t want to give would just be in the bill. I’d rather pay it to the server, they’re the people doing all the hard work, and when I give it to them directly they get the option of not giving some to our overreaching government. I consider it that they partially work for me, I can tell because I’m paying them. And I believe strongly that you get what you paid for in this world. You pay very little for crappy service, I pay a bit more and tend to get great service.


50 posted on 02/19/2011 7:25:58 AM PST by discostu (this is definitely not my confused face)
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