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Forums > Social Discussion > Anyone have the police called because you were spinning?

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Posted:Well 2 days before I was moving into my new apartment for school I was spinning fire outside. Well someone decided it was a good idea to call the cops even though just about everyone knows I do this stuff. Well the police and fire department show up at my house and im trying to figure out whats going on. Well they come up to me and im trying to explain to them what the hell fire spinning and poi is. I didn't even get into explaining my fire breathing. They ended up just leaving once i explained everything but they still wanted to search my yard and everything to see if everything was ok.

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel


Total posts: 15414
Posted:I've had the police called out when I was Firebreathing once.
It was a rather irresponsible location I was doing it in however, so I fully deserved it.

ooooops

EDITED_BY: UnscrupulousChavOffersFoot (1220171838)


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MikefromGlos
SILVER Member since Jul 2006

MikefromGlos

Hitman
Location: Gloucester England

Total posts: 985
Posted:i think as long as you can prove your studying or practising or performing your are okay oh and that ur over 16 in the uk to carry paraffin

he he i am mike the amazing gloscircus person who is mike.

Officaly an exception to the Poi Boys are Girls Thing

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Posted:Well im 18 so its not an age problem. I also had problems on a different occasion with fire breathing. I was as respectful as possible but this cop was a complete ass. As soon as he realized I knew quite a bit of law stuff he instantly try to become my "friend." He tried saying what I was doing was illegal trespassing and I was an arsonist even though I was in a safe open public area with nothing flammable around me. I started quoting my citys fire codes and quickly let us off. I really have no luck with law enforcement. I have never been pulled over while driving if that counts for anything but they sure as hell have no problem stopping me anywhere else.

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Yes, several times.

It all depends on the type of complaint the authorities are responding to and most times it's been a noise complaint brought on by the drumming.

If they're responding to a complaint about "people playing with fire" it's usually the fire department that shows up and they're usually pretty cool about what's going on. I say usually, because the FD most often uses common sense when addressing these arts as a public safety issue and accept our explanations that there's nothing in the immediate vicinity that can be set on fire, the fuel is in a proper fuel dump, we have a few fire extinguishers and wet towels, there's no booze on site, and HEY...we're professionals, here's a business card, maybe you guys would like to hire us.

One time, we lit up in a parking lot that was surrounded on three sides my apartments, and yep, someone called the FD, they showed up with three trucks and the fire commander in his SUV, approached us ( we were then, unlit, as we heard the approaching sirens ) asked us what we were up to, we told him, and he said OK, see ya.

Now if we're spinning in a new area, we do one burn and wait for the sound of sirens.

However, three weeks ago, we got the police responding to a "people in the park" complaint. I don't know about where you live, but around here we have these condo dwelling freaks who treat the parks like some sort of sacred space and spend an awful lot of time and effort trying to ensure that the parks aren't used by anybody for anything other than just sitting there.

So the cops show up, and tell us the park's "closed" ( some bylaw ) and we have to leave. We start gathering our stuff, and the cops know that we think they're just being dicks, and for some unknown reason start spouting out ridiculous comments in some sort of attempt to justify their actions. First they start in on the open flame bylaw, citing that those backyard BBQ pits you by at Home Depot are illegal. "Not so, I have city permission to have one " say one woman at the meet, then the cops start saying things like "do this in your basement " WHAT ???? we all say as we look at them like they're from outer space, like that's safe.....and continue on in a rather condescending manner, knowing that they've made themselves out to be total dorks as well.

And to make things even funnier, there's a woman who comes to out fire meets and brings her 10 year old daughter. The kid spins ( unlit ) and is one of these kids whose never heard the word 'no' in her life. She's actually a pretty annoying kid, but this time she insisted in demonstrated all her poi, staff, hoop and dance skills to the cops using her LED toys.

She took up about half an hour of their time


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Mucky
SILVER Member since Apr 2008

Mucky

Rum-Swilling Combustioneer
Location: Macungie, PA, USA

Total posts: 227
Posted:Originally Posted By: StoutI don't know about where you live, but around here we have these condo dwelling freaks who treat the parks like some sort of sacred space and spend an awful lot of time and effort trying to ensure that the parks aren't used by anybody for anything other than just sitting there.

I've never been stopped by The Man, at least none who were anything more than curious about what we were doing, but in my old neighborhood (well within the boonies), one of the little parks had several signs that listed activities that weren't allowed, one of which was "NO PLAYING." I'm not even kidding; I wish I still had the picture I took of that.


Bouncing Baby Pipe!

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Pink...?
BRONZE Member since Apr 2002

Pink...?

Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
Location: Over There

Total posts: 6140
Posted:I think the best time I've ever had the police & firebrigade called was when we were at one of the Kent Parties, and there was about... 20 of us I reckon? spinning fire on a hill, in a park. The police and firemen came up to us and said they'd received reports of 'devil worshippers setting fire to bushes'.

obviously they realised we were not, and were being safe. They stayed for a while and watched us.


Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:When I did the spin for Maddi, to honour her life with fire, I was in the moat square in the old section of Chiang mai, Thailand. I had no idea if fire spinning in that area was permitted , and I did not really care. I had my headphones on, and really went into a meditation during the spin. I think my eyes were even closed.

When I stopped, and the flames died out, i looked up, and saw not one, but six!!!! police vehicles gathered all around, and a whole mess of men in fancy uniforms all around me. lol. Oops.

I said hello, in Thai, and smiled, and then slowly went over to my bag to put my toys and fuel away.... not one of the police men said a word, just watched my every move. I got my stuff, and had to walk by a few of the cop cars to get out, as I did, one of the police leaned out and said " memsmerizing"( in thai) with a huge grin on his face...


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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LazyAngel
GOLD Member since Jul 2004

LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK

Total posts: 2895
Posted:@ bansheecat grin

I think for us the best one has to be when we were having our regular practise in the park with fire, and we saw a fire truck pull up

Out came the fire blankets and out went all the toys

2 firemen came across the park towards us, so I took my usual approach with the authorities of friendly helpfulness

they told us they'd had reports of somebody setting fire to the public toilets, at which point we pointed to a small fire about 100 yards away and said 'oh what those guys over there?'

'That'll be the one' they said and moved off to deal with it

smile

they declined the offer of one of our fire blankets to help them put out the fire


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Ah, Lazy Angel, friendly helpfulness... works every time wink

The other time that comes to mind was when i was in New York. Mk
( Zao on HOP) , Zamir and I decided we really wanted to spin fire in the center of the walking section Brooklyn Bridge, in the middle of the night. Gorgeous view. Totally illegal, but we thought we would just plead ignorance( though a bunch of Canadians caught with containers of white gas and dangerous things on chains, might look like suspiciously like terrorists--it could easily have resulted in an international incident and internment in Guantanamo.. lol)

So, we did it anyways, and each took a spin, one of us watching out for cop cars. No worries. After a joyful time, I stopped for a little break, and noticed a little binocular thing attached to the bridge rail nearby. I thought it was one of those things you use to put a quarter in and enjoy the view.
Nope.

Well, it was actually a police camera,!!!!! and we had just spent the last fifteen minutes dancing out hearts out right in front of it!

We waved, told them we hoped they enjoyed the show, packed up, and ran...
lol


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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burningoftheclavey
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

burningoftheclavey

lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder

Total posts: 926
Posted:We have been stopped practically everytime we've been spinning in The local park in perth from patrolling policemen. Apparently we need all sorts of permits to spin from the council, because they are really strict, and apparently even drumming is not permitted(!) We get told we look like we obviously know what we're doing but that we need all the right paperwork. However, I have just got Liability insurance and am persuading a couple of others to do the same, and see if we can manage on that alone. *fingers crossed*

We have also been stopped up north by policemen for firespinning in a bandstand.. I guess they thought we were going to set it on fire, it is a local landmark after all..


on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

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natasqi


natasqi

addict
Location: Perth

Total posts: 489
Posted:Haha.. I was like "I don't know you burningoftheclavey" until I realised you mean Perth other than Perth, Australia.

In Perth Australia there have also been some concerns. Sometimes it was about the fire, sometimes it has been about "disruptive behaviour". It's a pity that firedancing does attract the "black- wearing, pot-smoking, alcohol-drinking, littering, anti-social" stereotype. If they weren't there and didn't yell at police/leave bottles etc around, I doubt we'd get as much hass.

We've had fire fighters down too to some South Perth gigs. The time I was there they came and went after seeing all was good, but I know that we have had trouble there with counsel restrictions etc.


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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:^^^interesting about the fire attracting punks giving fire dancers a bad name thing...same has happened in Adelaide several times...each time resulting in us moving to another location in the city...waiting a few months, and then moving back when things have chilled out.

--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:Originally Posted By: natasqi
In Perth Australia there have also been some concerns. Sometimes it was about the fire, sometimes it has been about "disruptive behaviour". It's a pity that firedancing does attract the "black- wearing, pot-smoking, alcohol-drinking, littering, anti-social" stereotype. If they weren't there and didn't yell at police/leave bottles etc around, I doubt we'd get as much hass.

hi natasqi (dexta?) we experience the same phenomena often at our summer site at the melbourne sunday gatherings. My take on it is that troubled teenagers and firedancers are drawn to the site because twirlers need a space where fire danger is mitigated and our black clad friends need somewhere to get loaded where they won't need ID or to clean up after themselves.

The challenge is to keep such public spaces a sustainable prospect for future spinnning goodness. The first hurdle to acting collectively - it's way too easy for a minority to cause problems for the fire community as a whole.

Ironically, it was noise complaints that precipitated the dwindling of the melbourne wednesday fire meet (it's been predominantly musical in nature so it was very exposed to the danger of noise complaints)

I hope your efforts to remain responsible bear fruit.


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Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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natasqi


natasqi

addict
Location: Perth

Total posts: 489
Posted:No, no, not Dexta, she is at Burning Man getting married!!

Originally Posted By: Pyrolificeach time resulting in us moving to another location in the city...waiting a few months, and then moving back when things have chilled out.


Yes, it is custom now for us to quieten down over winter (hibernating if you will) and then we reclaim the space in summer. I think one issue is that in winter, sometimes we are the minority, while in summer when we outnumber them, the more outspoken ones are quite happy to insist they pick up rubbish and don't drink.

Our weekly meets have never been music meets (except for special occasions). And we have tried to make them non-fire meets too. Just an exchanging of skills time.

Our monthly meets (which don't happen in winter) have the drumming or music. But since we're on the foreshore surronded by parkland, I don't think it's that much of an issue.

Take all this with a grain of salt though, seeing as I am two hours South of Perth and hence not been to any meets this year. I can't wait to get back and spin regularly with others again!


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Posted:I haven't had a chance to light up the poi yet since moving in so I thinking about doing a burn some time this week. There is a park right behind my apartment and the police/fire station is also right down the street. Im planning on doing it before it gets dark so I don't get the complaint that someone is trying to light the trees one fire.

Also anyone is the chicago area? I would love for someone to spin with for once in my life. I only know 2 other people who do poi and there back home and quite frankly they have a very long time until that light up.


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:I just use the parking lot outside my dining hall. No one has ever had an issue with it that I am aware of.

'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:I found inviting people and talking them through the process helps when your spinning in a new complex or neighborhood.

cops never stopped me but I've always been on private property with permission. they've stopped and watched though

(very cool-banshee)


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Jareth
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Jareth

Fire Arts Dabbler
Location: Netherlands, Brabant, Uden

Total posts: 37
Posted:I've been stopped by cops before. I wasn't even lighting up, I wqas practising without flames. They came up and started bringing up illegal possession and public wielding of unclassified weapons. I was all like, "What the Hell!?" I was spinning my firepoi and appearantly they thought I was openly practising terrorist chainwielding skills. After I showed them my non-fire poi and explainend it to be an artform it was okay.

Never had the fire dept. called on me... I'd love that experience!


Real name: Sjors
Gender: Male
Age: Almost 22
Location: Uden, the Netherlands (when not on the road)
Disciplines: (Fire)Poi, Firebreathing, Diabolo
Learning: Staff

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MikefromGlos
SILVER Member since Jul 2006

MikefromGlos

Hitman
Location: Gloucester England

Total posts: 985
Posted:in the uk i think (from what i have been told) that as long as u can prove your a student or a professional then its okay to carry the things

he he i am mike the amazing gloscircus person who is mike.

Officaly an exception to the Poi Boys are Girls Thing

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:but what if your neither? I'm just a nerd who spins fire

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:Faith, we can carry knives and guns over here, cops could (generally) care less if you've got a chain with a fuzzy ball on the end of it. It's the weapons you can't see that you need to watch out for wink

#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

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MikefromGlos
SILVER Member since Jul 2006

MikefromGlos

Hitman
Location: Gloucester England

Total posts: 985
Posted:lol..... if u just say ur a student of it or a professional there hardly gunna pull out some kinda laptop and check out... although this did aparently happen to meenik once

he he i am mike the amazing gloscircus person who is mike.

Officaly an exception to the Poi Boys are Girls Thing

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Yes, but it was by a someone new who had just moved into the neighborhood. It wasn't her fault. She told the cops I "didn't look dangerous but maybe just off."
My other neighbors, however, educated her in the fact that our rehearsal space is our yard, driveway and sometimes the street (we live on a dead end).

I mean c'mon, we have a pirate flag hanging from the front of our house and that didn't clue her in to us being "off"? wink


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:hehe
and lurch for shame, I'm not a girly girl, I have no soft and fuzzy poi. I'm still thinking of noosing my aflac ducks


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:Well that's a relief!

To everyone complaining about cops running them out of parks, I've got a couple things to say..

Firstly, MOST, (not all, but most) county/city parks "close" at sunset. Meaning you're not supposed to be recreating in them. Whether or not they hassle you for that alone is largely up to them, unless they get calls about loitering. Arguing with them isn't going to help your case at all. "This is a free country" is one of the worst lines you could try. Trying to argue law is also a bad plan, if they want to hook you up for something they can almost always find a (legal) way. 'Failure to obey a lawful order' is a great one. And if you don't leave when they tell you to you're guilty. There is no arguing that. If you get a cite, argue it with the judge not with the cop.

Trespass is generally defined as 'If a person enters or remains unlawfully in or upon a premises' If you're on public property that's closed (a closed park) it IS trespass. If you're on private property, (privately owned parking lot for example) and the owner doesn't want you there, it's trespass. There may or may not be postings if it's private property, but the owner may have an understanding with the police that no one is allowed there while the business is closed for example.

On the flip side. Generally speaking for anything to be considered "Arson" there must be property damage, usually of a certain dollar amount ($750 damage is 2nd Degree Arson) that may vary state by state. "Reckless Burning" also requires some sort of property damage. IF something happens, and damage property, it would NOT be hard to prove that you were 'reckless' while spinning, no matter how many safety precautions you take. Spinning by it's very nature is reckless.

If the cops are hassling you I would highly suggest trying to befriend them. Talk to them like people, try to make contact with them first. Give them the appropriate respect (whether you believe they deserve it or not). If they've lumped you in with the 'punk' kids that generally make the park a bad experience, do everything you can to break that connection. And make sure the LEO know that they're not part of your group, and you don't condone their behavior. More often than not cops are *not* assholes. They have the ability to *be* assholes, but that's required by the job. For something like an illegal burn the goal is compliance, not punishment. If you've got questions ask them. We've all got Alpha dog mentalities but that's also part of the requirements for the job. But believe it or not, we're genuinely there to help the community, not hassle kids or ruin your day.

That said, if we are rude, or if we are short with you, please forgive us. We deal with the worst 10% of society 90% of the time. This goes for traffic stops too. People don't *like* to see us. It's rarely a highlight of their day to be pulled over, or approached by law enforcement. People are mean, cruel, abusive and downright assholes to the police. We are human too, and can't always maintain professionalism as well as we'd like, so a little understanding would go a long way. Maybe the last 15 people they talked to that day have been assholes. Maybe they just finished serving a death notification. There are a million reasons that could put them on edge.

Okay, sorry for my rambling grin


#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

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MikefromGlos
SILVER Member since Jul 2006

MikefromGlos

Hitman
Location: Gloucester England

Total posts: 985
Posted:of course the law is differant in the uk for example were parks dont close etc

he he i am mike the amazing gloscircus person who is mike.

Officaly an exception to the Poi Boys are Girls Thing

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Same here, our parks don't close. Well three of them do. One's a skate park and the other two are habitually filled with drunks. That didn't stop the officer from telling us it was closed though.

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Posted:The local park around me does close but I have never spun there. I always try to be as respectful as possible with dealing with police. I know they have a hard job so I try not to make it harder on them. I have had some cops that were very nice and respectful to me and then I had quite a few times were the cop is a total dick and flat out insulting. I can think of multiple occasions were police stopped me while walking some were and searched me. Even when something like that does happen I try to be respectful.

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WiccanChica


The wee little one on the block
Location: Colorado, USA

Total posts: 147
Posted:I've never had an encounter with the police about spinning, of course I've never actually lit up either. I have had several encounters with them. Some are complete jerks (especially the one who searched me walking home from school with friends when I was 12, I mean who searches someone who looks about 9?) But some were nice. On some occasions I probably should have been caught (I was out at night and ended up breaking three laws: Breaking curfew, trespassing, and avoiding arrest *nana they were blind*. but I didn't harm anything or anyone)
To my knowledge, most cops, where I live, are compete Asses to anyone under 25. But I respect them, because for the career I want I have to be a street cop for an x amount of time (censored Don't want to, have to cry)
Over all, though, cops are jerks to me... but I respect them best I can and keep my not-so-beautifully-worded mouth shut.


My knight in shining armor turned out to be a loser in aluminum foil.

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:Mike/Stout, make sure you actually check, just because it's not posted doesn't mean it doesn't "close". and it may not always be enforced. By in large though the closing at sunset thing is for smaller city park type areas where they don't want people congregating.

DK/Wiccan, the cops search you because you let them. If they've got PC to search they don't need to ask, and they don't need your permission. If you let them, of course they're going to look. Most people will let the cops do a lot of stuff because they *think* they have to, when in reality they don't. A mere encounter/meet 'n greet is just that. If they just come up to you while you're walking down the street and try to engage you in conversation you don't have to stop, you don't have to talk, you certainly don't have to let them search you. They have no PC to stop you, and you're not being detained on any reasonable suspicion, so keep on walkin. There is a reason they use very specific language like 'hey can I talk to you for a minute' instead of 'Stop, you need to talk to me'. One is an order, the other is a request.


#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

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