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Gen X Plus 15 Is Like, Rich, But Reality Still Bites, Bro
New York Observer ^ | 21 November 2006 | Christine Smallwood

Posted on 11/21/2006 9:37:10 AM PST by shrinkermd

In 1991, Douglas Coupland wrote the best-selling novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, popularizing the term, well, Generation X. Gen Xers are roughly defined as those born between 1965 and 1980. At the time of Mr. Coupland’s breakthrough, they were in their early 20’s, fresh out of college, hanging onto the bottom rung of the company ladder. Now, 15 years later, they are in their late 30’s or early 40’s, more likely to be buying up market share than using dad’s gas card at the mini-mart....

...Generation X” has come to mean more than just a specific group of post-boomers, more even than a marketing demographic—people who will go see Last Days one evening and drop $5 on a pumpkin-spice latte the next morning. It has also come to serve as a marketing model, in this post–Reality Bites world, for how all young Americans should live out their 20’s. Now we are all Generation X.

According to OnPoint Marketing and Promotions (whose clients include Ford, Microsoft and Pepsi), Gen Xers are 50 million strong, make up 17 percent of the population and spend $125 billion on consumer goods each year. Whereas Mr. Coupland’s characters removed themselves from families, schools and potential career paths to tend bar and dwell in bungalows in Palm Springs, grown-up Gen Xers retreat into gated communities, planned developments and luxury loft condominiums. They used to be obsessed with other people’s money; now, they obsess over their own.

(Excerpt) Read more at observer.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: artificialdivisions; babybustgeneration; consumer; genx; minoritystatus; society; z
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...Without a doubt, Gen X moved from the margins to the mainstream. Headbangers Ball and 120 Minutes gave way to emo tyranny and slouching shaggy-haired dudes (I’m looking at you, Justin Long) shilling Macs and Coca-Cola’s downloadable podcasts of the “freshest talent” in “North American grooves,” while the Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the ’80s Underground boxed CD sets push nostalgia on those too young for Time-Life collections. Cool hunters (thank you, William Gibson) and youth marketers (soon to be joined by Atoosa Rubenstein?) skulk about, while high-school students eagerly enlist in “buzz marketing” campaigns—because the separation of youth and corporation, once the prized plank in the X platform, is no longer an issue.
1 posted on 11/21/2006 9:37:13 AM PST by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd

Their tattoos are getting a little dated


2 posted on 11/21/2006 9:47:52 AM PST by Youngman442002
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To: shrinkermd
At the time of Mr. Coupland’s breakthrough, they were in their early 20’s, fresh out of college, hanging onto the bottom rung of the company ladder.

And this was perceived as grossly unfair and unprecendented.

3 posted on 11/21/2006 9:51:42 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: shrinkermd

Your quote from the article gave me a headache. ;)


4 posted on 11/21/2006 9:52:40 AM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: sageb1

They are a bunch of babies...with credit cards....


5 posted on 11/21/2006 9:55:11 AM PST by Youngman442002
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To: Youngman442002
Their tattoos are getting a little dated

ROFLMAO !!!

seems like a tattoo was/is part of the uniform.

6 posted on 11/21/2006 9:55:11 AM PST by Ouderkirk (America won't win another war until the 1960s flower children are pushing up petunias.)
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To: sageb1
When Tom Wolfe dreamed up that style of reporting (circa 1965) it was fresh, fast, and in-the-know.

Forty years later, yeah, it just gives one headaches.

7 posted on 11/21/2006 9:56:20 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: shrinkermd

He says GenX embraced the world of its parents (Boomers). How can that be, when the Boomers STILL haven't become adults?


8 posted on 11/21/2006 10:07:18 AM PST by Patriotic1
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To: Youngman442002
They are a bunch of babies...with credit cards....

Okayyyy. This is based on what? GEN-X is one of the most educated generations turned out by this country and one of the most productive. In the 80s, Americans were called lazy by the japanese. Now they say we're obsessed with work, and we have almost the lowest vacation rate of the industrialized world.

It used to be board executives were in their 50s and 60s. Now we're seeing more and more in their 40s and even late 30s.

Hard working? Absolutely. Cynical? Perhaps. But "babies with credit cards"? Hey, at least we weren't a bunch of lazy hippies who never grew up.

9 posted on 11/21/2006 10:09:43 AM PST by Lunatic Fringe (Say "NO" to the Trans-Texas Corridor)
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To: sageb1

Yes, it didn't give me a headache but I really did not understand it. Seemed like something Maureen Dowd would write trying to impress us with the consumer preferences of the overclass.


10 posted on 11/21/2006 10:12:17 AM PST by shrinkermd
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To: Lunatic Fringe

right on... to quote a boomer phrase

boomers are the biggest sell outs in modern history with their hippie anti establishment ideas continuing into modern day self indulgence.

X'ers meanwhile had no choice but to be educated as they are the first generation that had to buy into astronomical real estate growth as well as financing their own retirements. To top it all off they will also be responsible for cleaning up social security and reigning in the latest boomer giveaway, perscription drug benefits.

Its as if the rest of the generations have eaten and the Xer's will be stuck with the check.


11 posted on 11/21/2006 10:24:57 AM PST by ONTHEFIFTY
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To: shrinkermd

Exactly. Not being one to give up easily, I read it 3 times. Then gave up. lol!


12 posted on 11/21/2006 10:25:42 AM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: ONTHEFIFTY

perscription = prescription... ahem.


13 posted on 11/21/2006 10:27:25 AM PST by ONTHEFIFTY
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To: Lunatic Fringe

Wonder if this will turn into another bash GenX thread. Oh wait, of course it will.


14 posted on 11/21/2006 10:33:18 AM PST by mysterio
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To: mysterio
GenXers are the worst... except for me!
15 posted on 11/21/2006 10:38:05 AM PST by operation clinton cleanup
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To: mysterio
The only thing worth bashing is the idea of attaching importance to "generations". People are people, whether they are born in 1918 or 1988.
16 posted on 11/21/2006 10:38:24 AM PST by Route797
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To: mysterio
"Wonder if this will turn into another bash GenX thread."

It appears to have morphed into another "bash the baby boomers" thread, instead.
17 posted on 11/21/2006 10:42:54 AM PST by riverdawg
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To: mysterio

Whatever would we do if we couldn't find someone to blame? Next thing you know, GenXers will be asking for reparations. ;)


18 posted on 11/21/2006 10:43:03 AM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: qam1

Ping


19 posted on 11/21/2006 10:44:19 AM PST by ncdrumr
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To: riverdawg

Boomers and GenXers just need to meet in the parking lot after school and fight. Just to get it out of their systems and all. At least the ones here do.


20 posted on 11/21/2006 10:44:51 AM PST by mysterio
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To: ONTHEFIFTY
Its as if the rest of the generations have eaten and the Xer's will be stuck with the check.

When Gen Xers start winning elections, maybe we'll be able to ween the country off the government teat. Eliminate Social Security and pay for it by auctioning off massive tracts of government land.

21 posted on 11/21/2006 10:48:08 AM PST by Lunatic Fringe (Say "NO" to the Trans-Texas Corridor)
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To: Route797
correct my friend...

same type of talk when "old Marines" from WWII, talk about Korean Marines that talk about Vietnam Marines, that talk about Grenada Marines...that talk about Gulf War 1 and present Marines...

Everybody thought they were bad a##es... and the younger ones were softer...

Well after seeing the video of Falluja and hearing from friends and classmates, an old WWII Sgt. Maj. got a tear in his eye and said ,"this new crop of Marines make me so damn proud I can't stand it.".... he was commenting on the bravery and just sheer integrity that they showed....

same with Gen X'ers and Baby Boomers.... it's all media hype to make you "work at jobs you hate to buy crap you don't need."....

people are people.... amen.

22 posted on 11/21/2006 10:55:24 AM PST by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
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To: shrinkermd; qam1

There is still a definite grey cieling. Most mid and higher level jobs are held by Boomers. Of course there are exceptions, but this is the broad brush truth.


23 posted on 11/21/2006 10:58:21 AM PST by GOP_1900AD (Stomping on "PC," destroying the Left, and smoking out faux "conservatives" - Take Back The GOP!)
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To: riverdawg
It appears to have morphed into another "bash the baby boomers" thread, instead.

Oh, goodie! Those are my favorite kind!

Xers devour magalogs and gossip rags to fill the hole left by their secular, soulless, single-parent teenage lives

Yep. That pretty much sums up my teenage life. I'm pure Gen-X. Except that I don't read gossip rags - I loathe things like MTV and People magazine.

24 posted on 11/21/2006 10:58:56 AM PST by Sicon
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To: Lunatic Fringe; ONTHEFIFTY
When Gen Xers start winning elections, maybe we'll be able to ween the country off the government teat.

Why would the Xers attracted to political office be any better than previous generations? Boomers have been defined by the image of a loser hippie who moved from vacuous politics in the 60's to equally vacuous narcissism in the 70's, were heartless yuppies in the 80's (while decrying the decade of greed), to ponytailed A-hole bosses in the 90's.

I guess I missed all of that having been busy trying to establish a business and career during the Carter years. I was well into my 30's before I got back up on my feet after that lovely time. I sure as hell didn't occupy my time gnashing my teeth about FDR and the New Deal or Johnson and the Great Society. So not all of us got a freeride, but had to suck it up and get on with it.

Yeah, lot's of boomers suck. I've been around them longer than any Xer. But they're not going away yet. Life's tough, and if you didn't have the mental makeup to cope with it you'd probably not be on FR.

25 posted on 11/21/2006 11:05:22 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: ncdrumr; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

26 posted on 11/21/2006 11:11:42 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Lunatic Fringe
But "babies with credit cards"? Hey, at least we weren't a bunch of lazy hippies who never grew up.

Yep...in fact, we're going to get the distinct of pleasure paying the Boomers' credit card bill (and Medicare and Social Security...)

27 posted on 11/21/2006 11:19:10 AM PST by Chief Inspector Clouseau
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To: shrinkermd
Gen Xers are 50 million strong, make up 17 percent of the population and spend $125 billion on consumer goods each year.

So we Xers buy an average of $2,500 on consumer goods a year? Seems awfully low. What do they call a "consumer good?" I suppose if you defined it as anything durable other than a car, maybe. Even then, the number seems very low. We are one frugal generation!

28 posted on 11/21/2006 11:31:00 AM PST by Our man in washington
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To: ONTHEFIFTY
To top it all off they will also be responsible for cleaning up social security and reigning in the latest boomer giveaway, perscription drug benefits.

Which we can thank Baby-Boomer Pres. Bush for. LOL!

29 posted on 11/21/2006 11:37:50 AM PST by Tamar1973 (I find your lack of faith disturbing--Darth Vader, Ep. IV)
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To: shrinkermd

At least Gen-X didn't spit on or throw dog-crap at US soldiers when they came home from Vietnam or call them baby-killers and marginalize them from soceity.

No generation of American citizens ever treated their soldiers so cruelly. Only the Boomers (hippy-cowards).

THis is the one thing that irks me about hte Boomers, their hatred of the Military.


30 posted on 11/21/2006 11:39:23 AM PST by Vinny (Tolerance is a device used as a prelude to a new Intolerance)
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To: Vinny
The number of hippies that mistreated the troops was so ridiculously low, you can't hang that on the whole generation. Now they do still hold the blame for many things, say John Lennon for example. Man I hate that guy! Whoever failed to get Hendrix into treatment? I hate that guy too. The worst thing about those crazy boomers though is when they decided that they could all get divorced and their kids would all turn out fine! ha ha. Funny one guys, that worked just GREAT!
31 posted on 11/21/2006 12:19:30 PM PST by The Toll
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Why would the Xers attracted to political office be any better than previous generations?

Because they will be the first generation to run for office after the collapse of Social Security.

32 posted on 11/21/2006 12:23:12 PM PST by Lunatic Fringe (Say "NO" to the Trans-Texas Corridor)
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To: Lunatic Fringe

Likely, but that just may produce an entirely breed of demagogue. FWIW, I just figure all the FICA I have and will pay is going to my Mom. I'm not counting on a bit of it.


33 posted on 11/21/2006 12:26:35 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Correction: entirely new breed of demagogue
34 posted on 11/21/2006 12:27:35 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: The Toll

i'm thinkin' of Hanoi Fonda, the idiots at Berkeley, John Kerry and his Veterans against the War, that stupid Oliver Stone film, etc.

Your right about hanging it on the whole generation though, they are too big to indict the whole generation.

That's all I remember about Vietnam as a Gen-X.
I'm glad I was a teenager under Reagan, I didn't learn to hate my country.


35 posted on 11/21/2006 12:28:18 PM PST by Vinny (Tolerance is a device used as a prelude to a new Intolerance)
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To: Vinny
Those people were made icons by a commie media/Hollywood. The fact that they are what comes to mind when you think of Vietnam is no accident. Still to this day the MSM refers to the JFK years as Camelot and the family itself as American royalty. Says who?
I'm still tripping out about whats his face from Nirvana being called the voice of my generation! Thats just peachy. I think the "HA HA" kid from The Simpsons is a much more accurate reflection of Gen -X.
36 posted on 11/21/2006 12:39:53 PM PST by The Toll
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To: Dick Vomer

Thanks for the new tag line!!

8^)


37 posted on 11/21/2006 12:46:31 PM PST by The SISU kid (it's all media hype to make you "work at jobs you hate to buy crap you don't need.")
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To: shrinkermd

I'm just glad to see somebody bitching about someone besides us boomers.


38 posted on 11/21/2006 12:50:03 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: Lunatic Fringe; qam1

Gen Xers have plenty of hard working overachievers-- like Theo Epstein (Red Sox GM who broke The Curse by trading "face of the Red Sox" Nomar and acquiring Schilling) and Bobby Jindal (congressman and future governor and likely future VP nominee) and Lisa Madigan (current IL AG and first woman to be IL AG) and two guys that invented something called "Google" (you may have heard of it-- it's a verb now!) and now can wipe their asses with $100 bills for the rest of their lives: Larry Page and Sergey Brin. We're representing just fine.


39 posted on 11/21/2006 1:21:45 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: Youngman442002
I meant to reply to you.
Gen Xers have plenty of hard working overachievers-- like Theo Epstein (Red Sox GM who broke The Curse by trading "face of the Red Sox" Nomar and acquiring Schilling) and Bobby Jindal (congressman and future governor and likely future VP nominee) and Lisa Madigan (current IL AG and first woman to be IL AG) and two guys that invented something called "Google" (you may have heard of it-- it's a verb now!) and now can wipe their asses with $100 bills for the rest of their lives: Larry Page and Sergey Brin. We're representing just fine.

40 posted on 11/21/2006 1:24:50 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: shrinkermd

Headbanger's Ball...those were the days...


41 posted on 11/21/2006 1:25:23 PM PST by RockinRight (There's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.)
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To: shrinkermd
Gen Xers are 50 million strong, make up 17 percent of the population and spend $125 billion on consumer goods each year.

$2,500 per person annually? That's really not that much. A couple hundred dollars a month. Depends what you consider "consumer goods" I guess.

42 posted on 11/21/2006 1:28:06 PM PST by Sloth (The GOP is to DemonRats in politics as Michael Jackson is to Jeffrey Dahmer in babysitting.)
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To: Youngman442002
Their tattoos are getting a little dated

I resemble that remark!

About a dozen years ago, I came to the realization that the "edgy" tattoos I got almost two dozen years ago are really pretty silly. Now, looking back at the end of my thirties, a tattoo parental permission slip for a sixteen year old kid probably isn't too much to require!

Thankfully, they only appear when I have my shirt off so it won't be too long until my kids are old enough to be embarassed by their dad at the beach!
43 posted on 11/21/2006 1:29:39 PM PST by philled ("Enshrine mediocrity and the shrines are razed."-- Ellsworth Toohey)
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To: ClearCase_guy
And this was perceived as grossly unfair and unprecendented.

There was a perception that it would remain that way ad nauseum thanks to boomer slackers clogging up the promotion paths with sheer numbers and seniority. Not saying it was an accurate perception--just saying that it was there.

Nowadays, the best and brightest GenX folks--and a lot of the not-so-best-and-brightest--have leapfrogged their way past their former bosses. Why do you think that "age discrimination" has become the new buzzword over the last decade?

44 posted on 11/21/2006 1:34:02 PM PST by BeHoldAPaleHorse (I dare call it treason.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
I can't stand the idea of a tax increase, (and yes IMO Social Security and Medicare payments ARE taxes) but I don't see anyway of these programs surviving. I believe that an increase from 15.3% combined SS and Medicare, employer and employee contribution to 20%. I also believe that to start with 1% of each should go to a personal account, and as older generations die off ( a bit morbid I know) that the percentage going to personal accounts should increase unit a very small amount goes to a general administrative fee and maybe some kind of disability assistance, (NOT A DISABILITY SUBSIDIZED RETIREMENT for younger folks), and last transferable to your descendants. It may be pie in the sky, but the current system is pouring good money after bad and I don't think there will be any money when I get to 67
45 posted on 11/21/2006 1:40:28 PM PST by thinkthenpost
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To: thinkthenpost

I'd think the earning cap will be raised or eliminated before the rate is raised. That will be spun as the rich "doing their share."


46 posted on 11/21/2006 1:45:42 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim

I think you are right, I believe that has already been announced as on the agenda for the next Congress and since our President is adverse to the veto it will probably get through. I also think it is a band aid, might push insolvency back a few years, but doesn't fix anything (not sure my thought fix anything either).

I know one thing though, lot's of folks who make ~$100,000.00 and higher are going to be mighty angry.


47 posted on 11/21/2006 1:51:18 PM PST by thinkthenpost
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To: thinkthenpost
I know one thing though, lot's of folks who make ~$100,000.00 and higher are going to be mighty angry.

I don't make near that much, but I sure chaps my butt.

48 posted on 11/21/2006 1:52:27 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: The SISU kid
I'd like to take credit my friend but a guy .....Tyler Durden actually came up with it and as you know....he came up with a couple of good tag lines....

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero

Listen up maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else.

...

The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. -
The second rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.
-Third rule of Fight Club, someone yells 'stop', goes limp, taps out, the fight is over.
- Fourth rule, only two guys to a fight.
Fifth rule, one fight at a time, fellas.
Sixth rule, no shirt, no shoes.
Seventh rule, fights will go on as long as they have to.

And the eighth and final rule, if this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight.


49 posted on 11/21/2006 3:47:07 PM PST by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
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To: mysterio

Soc'es versus the Greasers?


50 posted on 11/21/2006 4:11:56 PM PST by CompSciGuy (Holy Father isn't time to reconstitute the Templars?)
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