A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

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A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by Ranger52899 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:34 am

This was originally part of chapter 15 of Three Traders. Don't be surprised if you eventually see a few pieces of this emerge somewhere else Wink  



 

There were a lot of people in and around the porch, and Riley wasn’t among them. Dale hesitated, not keen to run the gauntlet of that crowd of people and still ....... buzzing. If Riley wasn’t there, he wasn’t keen to talk to anyone else. For a moment, stuck between Flynn’s instruction to go and shower and that discouraging group on the porch, Dale hovered, and then before anyone saw him or commented, made a swift right turn and headed up towards the long grass pasture that ran alongside the paddocks, staying close to the fence and watching the horses.

 

The bunkhouse stood at the end of that line of paddocks, and it caught Dale’s eye as he walked, wanting this sense of space and calm and being outside to go on and on. At the end of the paddocks he stopped, a long way now from anyone on the sun warmed grass, and his eyes still on the weathered wood cabin. Tom had left them somewhere on the walk back from Three Traders around noon. 

 

The cabin stood quite some way from the ranch; it was very quiet out here and in open ground on the edge of the woods, the only real sounds to hear was the rustle of the now golden aspens and the crunch of old leaves and pine needles under foot on the grass. 

The small porch along the front was deserted and the main door stood open. Dale tapped lightly at the door frame, aware there were no voices and no sense of human presence. He was surprised at the voice from higher up: above the open hayloft.

 

“Hey.”

 

On the roof. Dale stepped back, and it was only when Tom moved that Dale saw him; tucked behind the slope on the opposite side, he’d been invisible to anyone approaching from the west, north or south, and sheltered by the woods to his east with all the watchfulness of a sniper. Now he moved so he sat astride the ridge pole, balanced like a cat, face expressionless although he looked rather pale.

 

“Jake’s not here.” he said gruffly when Dale wasn’t sure what to say. “He went to join the fandango in the pasture.”

 

Dale heard the acid in his tone, and apparently so did Tom, because he winced and whatever he’d been tearing between his fingers he threw, tossing it like he wanted to throw something through glass.

 

“Mostly because he knew I’d be miserable if he didn’t. I’m sorry, I’m in a hell of a mood, you’d probably do better to go back to the ranch.”

 

Actually, Jake wasn’t in the pasture; Dale had looked for them both as where one was the other usually was.

 

He didn’t ever in his life remember climbing up a building, there had never before been a moment where it had ever seriously occurred to him – now he stepped back and assessed the bunk house for handholds. It wasn’t easy to find; Dale suspected Tom could probably climb a sheer wall if determined enough and he was far less expert, but after a moment’s thought he climbed up onto the porch rail and from there the windowsill of one of the upper rooms, and from there Tom muttered something and leaned over the edge of the roof to offer a hand and pull. He was strong. Dale, used to Flynn and Jasper’s matter of fact strength, felt the ease with which Tom took his weight and how little it affected his balance. The man was a real athlete.

 

The roof was sun warmed. Dale took a seat on the ridge pole, propped his elbows on his knees and looked out over the paddocks and the pastures laid out below.

 

“The view’s amazing.”

 

“I like looking over things.” Tom scratched lichen from the roof, shredding it between his fingers. Untidy dark hair mostly hid his eyes as he had his head ducked, sitting as casually balanced as a sailor.

 

It was hard to know whether to say it or to avoid the subject. Dale considered both options and took a calculated risk, watching Tom with concern as much as compassion.


“I’m sorry, Ri and I saw you and Jake having a row earlier.”

“That’s one way of putting it.” Tom sighed and pitched another shredded handful of lichen. “It wasn’t a row. Jake doesn’t row. I just yell and say foul things to him, and he, stupid bastard, just takes it. And now you’re going to wonder what kind of lousy Top he is.”


 

“You’re always telling him he is?” Dale said mildly, and Tom snorted, not answering.

 

Dale took a moment to process, putting evidence together with what little he knew of himself and Flynn.

 

“How much did you have to pretend to get him to leave?”

 

From Tom’s sharp look he’d hit the nail on the head.

 

“A lot.” He said after a minute, grimly. “He loves being with the mob, he hardly ever gets to see them, and a lot of that’s because of me. I won’t separate him when they’re at the other end of a bloody field just because I’m being neurotic.”

“Crowds?” Dale asked him delicately. Tom shrugged, not looking at him.


 

“In part. And not wanting Philip’s mob looking at me and thinking what a lousy job Jake must be doing, or worse still, telling him.”

 

“They wouldn’t think that,” Dale said with conviction, thinking that from what he knew of Philip, far from avoiding Tom as a badly handled brat, he’d be very likely to be the one up on the roof with him right now. “As a bloody awful excuse for a brat myself I can promise you they wouldn’t.”

“What are you so awful at?” Tom demanded. “From what I see – and hear – you’re so good it’s frightening!”


 

Dale smiled but shook his head. “Not from Paul, Jasper and Flynn’s perspective I promise you, they get the real picture. Not talking, even on the rare occasions I can figure out that I should, and have an idea of what to say; disappearing; polite social lies – Paul’s made threats over that one that Riley says he’s never pushed Paul to since he first got here. Actually a lot of it for me comes down to communication blackouts. Thinking I’m going to try not looking and sounding like a prat and quietly get my act together by myself, when actually what I’m doing is making things a whole lot worse. Oh and pushing things to total explosion point when I could have said something and dealt with it a lot earlier, a lot more easily. Hindsight is great, isn’t it?”

Tom didn’t answer for a long time. Then without looking up from the new piece of lichen he was shredding, he said stiltedly,


 

“It’s not really temper with me. I don’t shout and rant unless I’ve totally lost it.”

And in this context ‘lost it’ didn’t mean angry; Dale could hear it in his voice. He understood; his own definition of ‘lost it’ or ‘melt down’ was distressingly similar.


 

“Jake says it’s just noise.” Tom said brutally after another minute. “He won’t listen to it or pay any attention to it no matter how foul I was to him at the time. Any normal Top would go mad, or at least make me pick up the tab afterwards. That’s what we were rowing about this morning. I’d gone nuts at him, yelled all kinds of stuff, and he wouldn’t do a damned thing about it.”

 

“Isn’t that kind of using him to beat yourself up?” Dale said carefully. Tom gave him a grim glance.


“Yeah.”


 

“And Jake won’t play.”

“No.” Tom flung the last piece of lichen away. “Because I know the game inside out and upside down, and I don’t play by the rules. I’d cheat him all over the board until I won, and he knows I would. Bastard.”


 

There was a lot of emotion packed into that word, and none of it was angry or hateful.

 

“He calls me a verbal gunslinger.” Tom said when Dale didn’t answer. “Always braced for someone to yell ‘draw’ and always firing first. I can talk us both up in knots. He’ll just barge us both out of the situation if anyone else is around. Or make me sit with him until I quit and calm down.”

 

“Jas is like that.” Dale said softly. “The one time I really lost it around him he sat down on the floor with me and wouldn’t let me move until he said I was calm enough. I was personally ready about a quarter of an hour earlier but he didn’t agree.”

 

“It must be complicated with three of them.” Tom said abruptly. “They’re very different.”

Dale shook his head, thinking of Paul this afternoon, and of how he felt now.


 

“They don’t make it complicated.”

“You might want hats if you’re going to sit up there, it gets hot.” Jake’s voice suggested mildly from below.


 

Dale had no idea where he’d emerged from, or how he’d approached without being seen; these two appeared to play some complicated game of guerrilla warfare on each other as though it was some kind of joke, like their literary quotations. Tom grabbed up another patch of lichen and threw it, not gently.

 

“For pete’s sake Jacob, start with ‘don’t take guests up on unstable roofs’, make an effort!”

 

Jake ducked the lichen without effort, not bothering to comment on missiles either.

 

“It’s too hot for lectures, can we skip that bit?”

 

 “No.” Tom snapped back.

 

“Then you do it and I’ll nod in the right places.” Jake’s shirt sleeves were rolled up, he looked relaxed and cheerful and not in the least like a man in the middle of a major domestic battle. “Dale, I can talk you down by the overhang and the roof of the store room at the back if you’d rather climb, but if you think you can, it’s easiest if you just drop and I’ll catch you. Come down to the edge here.”

 

There was something hypnotically reassuring in his manner, that reminded Dale these two were used to guiding people through jungles – no doubt coaxing people up and down ropes and cliffs on a daily basis- but there was something too that was proprietal about the simple instructions Jake gave to him, and the way he simply raised his arms, waiting, as though this was something that was completely normal for them both to be doing. Dale stood up and hesitated on the edge of the roof, clearing his throat.

 

“It’s really not that far down, I er – I think-“

“Let’s be sure,” Jake began, and seeing him take a step closer, Dale hurriedly looked for a patch of clear ground well away from him and stepped off the roof.


 

 The grass below was soft and he landed on his feet, but somewhat harder than he’d expected, and it knocked the breath out of him. A second later Jake caught and steadied him, breathing out sharply between his teeth. He said nothing for a minute, then spoke with a studied calm.

 

“Are you ok? Ankles?”

 

“Yes?” Dale stepped away from him, head, knees and ankles ringing, but nothing painful.

 

“You may,” Tom said from the roof above, “Want to raise with Flynn that you have a major impulse control problem. That’s about fifteen feet?”

 

Jake, waiting a moment to watch Dale, turned back to the roof and held up his hands. Tom dropped into them without paying much attention; Dale got the impression it was a manoeuvre they were very used to.

 

“Where should you be?” Jake asked Dale when he let Tom go.

 

That was a calming question, the kind of thing Jasper or Flynn would say.

 

“In the shower.” Dale said automatically, and Jake nodded.

 

“Then go be there. Now. I’ll be watching.”

And from here he had a clear view right the way across to the ranch yard. Flushing a little, Dale headed back towards the house.


 

“I don’t believe he just did that.” Tom said beside him. “He looks so together and then out of the blue – he just goes off like a firecracker. Whoosh.”

 

“I’d think Flynn’s got it covered.” Jake shaded his eyes, watching Dale’s progress down the line of paddocks.

 

“Any other Top would have sent him to Flynn or taken him there.” Tom said acidly. Jake shrugged.

 

“No sense in panicking him any further, and I’ll be staggered if Dale doesn’t tell Flynn himself. If he comes out with us anywhere, especially around rock faces, remind me not to let him off the ground without roping him to one of us first.”
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by loyalpainter88 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:57 pm

This is amazing ... Especially the dialogues between tom and dale ... As dale says they both have a communication deficit ... But between themselves they have the i know how you feel and handle stuff to the mark... They can call each other on the brat stuff . I like that the epic jump from the roof in the final edit in the story was in from of lot more people and Paul reprimanding dale is something sweet and Its always fun to hear David's traditions in the ranch family . Its a interesting read as always !!!!
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by curious1_53 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:13 pm

I loved how that laugh-out-loud funny bit of dialog between Jake and Tom (ending with “Then you do it and I’ll nod in the right places.”) so perfectly illustrated the very point (“And Jake won’t play.”) Tom had just been speaking about to Dale.

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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by DeeDee on Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:01 pm

Absolutely loved the guerilla warfare comment!

Dee
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by JL on Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:21 am

This was so fun to read.  I also grinned at Jake's comment about nodding in the right places.  I think it's also very telling that Dale can even surprise Tom, whom I tend to think is hard to rattle in a lot of ways.  I like Jake's comment about roping Dale to one of them...LOL.  Thanks for sharing!
JL-
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by jkfan on Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:05 am

What a treasure.  I love the interactions between Tom and Jake, and the conversations between Tom and Dale.  I understand now why Tom responded to Paul the way he did in the bottle dance.  Paul told Dale to get down off the roof right now, and Tom says, "Oh, don't put it like that." - just as Dale steps off the roof.  A 10 foot drop.  I wondered at the time how Tom knew Dale would do that.  Now, I know.
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by Mackenzietwin on Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:15 pm

R and R,  you guys know how much I'm in love with Tom and Jake. This just added so much. I loved their interaction and the interaction between Dale and Tom.  They both have so much to learn from each other and to teach each other.  Jake's wonderful comments like nodding in all the right places and the need to rope Dale to them if they go out somewhere together.  So great.  Makes me just laugh to think about how Tom and Jake and Dale and Riley go out later on a climbing trip. [A side story I would love to see one day].  Thank you so much for these tidbits and outtakes!
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by Blue Stocking on Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:31 pm

I  love the Tom/Dale relationship.  They are so good for each other.  Such different personalities who shared a common culture as children and can relate on so many levels.  We all need a friend like this. And this so beautifully portrays the growth of that nascent connection that started in the yard when Tom made the effort to connect with Dale on a bad day.
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by Danny on Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:01 pm

*delurks*

Do Tom and Dale have Asperger's?

I do and I recognise it in them too... wondered if it was intentional.

*relurks*
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by jkfan on Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:27 pm

Danny wrote:*delurks*

Do Tom and Dale have Asperger's?

I do and I recognise it in them too... wondered if it was intentional.

*relurks*

Hi Danny - I had a similar question after I read SBE.  Flynn asks Jake if Tom has been diagnosed.  I think Jake said that he (Jake) HAD been diagnosed, but not Tom.  I asked the question - diagnosed with what?  I believe
other forum members guessed it was Asperger's, but it's not spelled out in the books.
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by Ranger52899 on Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:08 pm

Good question Smile 

Dale doesn't have Aspergers - big social communication issues, but rooted in trauma and attachment issues and complete inexperience combined with a very left brained way of working. Most of what the ranch has been doing is giving his right brain a serious work out since the day he arrived.

Tom and Jake, you'll have to wait and see Wink 

They will get off their behinds in that pasture and start letting MEC move sooner or later, we're sure of it.
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by reprehn on Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:20 pm

I can definitely see Tom having Aspergers, though Jake doesn't fit my experience with it (which is, granted, limited). Jake strikes me as more ADHD or some other sensory challenge, perhaps.

Very interesting outtake Smile
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by Chris Dangerfield on Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:07 pm

Ranger52899 wrote:Dale doesn't have Aspergers - big social communication issues, but rooted in trauma and attachment issues and complete inexperience combined with a very left brained way of working. Most of what the ranch has been doing is giving his right brain a serious work out since the day he arrived. Tom and Jake, you'll have to wait and see.
I've always found the way that Tom and Dale relate in terms of their inner challenges fascinating, because they are outwardly such different people and then Jake's constant physical need to MOVE seems so classically hyperactive and/or ADD (something). While both Tom and Dale seem to deal with sensory overload in their heads and simply stress out. Tom runs from it physically. Dale shut that segment of himself down (prior to the Ranch) and simply put on his outer shell self and gave the world a front.

I find it fascinating that the biggest part of the very different shared journeys is all of them learn that there is no shame in being the way they are and then learning to express ones desire for help. Strength not weakness. More important, that it's all about learning to deal with your entire self, gifts and challenges, in ways that are not self-destructive.

Dale teaching Paul that when he stands back from the buffet table it may not mean he's not hungry, but rather that he's overwhelmed by the data coming in from so many different people and for that moment he simply can't make choices about what to eat... just too much. So Paul takes the decision away by filling a plate with favorites and sending him to the Family room. Excess choice removed.

Tom learns that he may need mental down time the way Jonah (in Sealark) needs physical downtime. And he's learning that he can ask Jake to help if he's melting down and Jake will (and always has, even if Tom didn't quite understand the connections, but now he's learning how to ask... strength).

And for both that means strength not weakness.

As you can tell I'm looking forward to more on all. Very Happy
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by Trisha Louise on Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:26 am

“Isn’t that kind of using him to beat yourself up?” Dale said carefully. Tom gave him a grim glance. 

****

Now that is something to tumble about in one's mind,  and I don't feel so shiny for recognising myself in this quote.
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Tom and Dale

Post by joanne70 on Sun May 08, 2016 4:43 am

It's always great when Dale and Tom get to talking. They understand each other, and can talk about things they can't talk to others about. Jake is so laid back, I love him.

Paul would tear his hair out about Dale jumping off the roof Laughing

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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by jkfan on Sun May 08, 2016 11:34 pm

joanne70 wrote:It's always great when Dale and Tom get to talking. They understand each other, and can talk about things they can't talk to others about. Jake is so laid back, I love him.

Paul would tear his hair out about Dale jumping off the roof Laughing
Actually, that happened in Three Traders during the bottle dance.  Paul told Dale to get down right now, and Dale jumped off the roof.  Paul and Flynn were NOT happy.
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by ocelotspots00 on Wed May 11, 2016 12:07 am

I can't believe I missed this posting.  Thanks to Joanne and Cheryl for bumping it back to the top.

Wow...you author people really had a tough choice to make there.  There's so much going on in the scene and it's so integral to the development of the relationship between Dale and Tom.  You could also argue that it's the very first time Dale is reaching out in compassion and sympathy AND taking an emotional risk from inside the family dynamic.  He's putting a bit of himself out there as a sort of offering to Tom, out of concern and caring.  It's a proto-shaman step as well as a hesitant reaching for connection.

And that's huge.

However...if you'd left that scene in there, you would have lost the full intensity of the dramatic moment of Dale stepping off the roof after the bottle dancing.  We, the readers, wouldn't have been as electrified, because we'd have already seen Dale on a roof and jumping off of one from a borderline insane height.  Jake's reaction, while illuminating and enjoyable, would have diluted our experience of Paul and the rest of the marital unit reacting in stunned silence, because we'd have seen something similar before.  Something very very important in the development of Dale's understanding of his value and responsibility in relation to his parters would have been lessened.

Really tough choice there.  Who says these stories aren't edited?!
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by jkfan on Wed May 11, 2016 4:50 pm

ocelotspots00 wrote:I can't believe I missed this posting.  Thanks to Joanne and Cheryl for bumping it back to the top.

Wow...you author people really had a tough choice to make there.  There's so much going on in the scene and it's so integral to the development of the relationship between Dale and Tom.  You could also argue that it's the very first time Dale is reaching out in compassion and sympathy AND taking an emotional risk from inside the family dynamic.  He's putting a bit of himself out there as a sort of offering to Tom, out of concern and caring.  It's a proto-shaman step as well as a hesitant reaching for connection.

And that's huge.

However...if you'd left that scene in there, you would have lost the full intensity of the dramatic moment of Dale stepping off the roof after the bottle dancing.  We, the readers, wouldn't have been as electrified, because we'd have already seen Dale on a roof and jumping off of one from a borderline insane height.  Jake's reaction, while illuminating and enjoyable, would have diluted our experience of Paul and the rest of the marital unit reacting in stunned silence, because we'd have seen something similar before.  Something very very important in the development of Dale's understanding of his value and responsibility in relation to his parters would have been lessened.

Really tough choice there.  Who says these stories aren't edited?!
I agree totally - with one little caveat (which I mentioned in an earlier post).  In the bottle dance, when Paul tells Dale to get down right now, Tom tells Paul he might not want to phrase it that way, just as Dale steps off the roof.  I always wondered how Tom knew that Dale would do that, but now I know.  Dale had already done exactly that earlier - we just didn't know about it until now!!
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by briezee on Fri May 13, 2016 3:30 am

jkfan wrote:
ocelotspots00 wrote:I can't believe I missed this posting.  Thanks to Joanne and Cheryl for bumping it back to the top.

Wow...you author people really had a tough choice to make there.  There's so much going on in the scene and it's so integral to the development of the relationship between Dale and Tom.  You could also argue that it's the very first time Dale is reaching out in compassion and sympathy AND taking an emotional risk from inside the family dynamic.  He's putting a bit of himself out there as a sort of offering to Tom, out of concern and caring.  It's a proto-shaman step as well as a hesitant reaching for connection.

And that's huge.

However...if you'd left that scene in there, you would have lost the full intensity of the dramatic moment of Dale stepping off the roof after the bottle dancing.  We, the readers, wouldn't have been as electrified, because we'd have already seen Dale on a roof and jumping off of one from a borderline insane height.  Jake's reaction, while illuminating and enjoyable, would have diluted our experience of Paul and the rest of the marital unit reacting in stunned silence, because we'd have seen something similar before.  Something very very important in the development of Dale's understanding of his value and responsibility in relation to his parters would have been lessened.

Really tough choice there.  Who says these stories aren't edited?!
I agree totally - with one little caveat (which I mentioned in an earlier post).  In the bottle dance, when Paul tells Dale to get down right now, Tom tells Paul he might not want to phrase it that way, just as Dale steps off the roof.  I always wondered how Tom knew that Dale would do that, but now I know.  Dale had already done exactly that earlier - we just didn't know about it until now!!

Does this actually happen in addition to the bottle dance? It would seem redundant for there to be two roof drops. Dale does learn not to repeat the exact same thing.

I had always thought that Tom could see himself following poor impulses when stretched wire thin, as Dale was here, and kind of guessed a direct order would short circuit Dale's brain like it might do to Tom.
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Re: A Tom and Jake fragment from Three Traders

Post by jkfan on Fri May 13, 2016 3:01 pm

briezee wrote:
Does this actually happen in addition to the bottle dance? It would seem redundant for there to be two roof drops. Dale does learn not to repeat the exact same thing.

I had always thought that Tom could see himself following poor impulses when stretched wire thin, as Dale was here, and kind of guessed a direct order would short circuit Dale's brain like it might do to Tom.
The Tom and Jake fragments here are pieces that were edited out of the final book.  Dale really didn't suffer any repercussions from jumping off the roof in front of Jake and Tom - so there wasn't really a 'lesson' for him to learn.  JAKE, however, has learned something about Dale's impulse control.  If Paul, Jas, or Flynn had seen it, they would have expressed their dissatisfaction in a way that would make an impression on Dale.  In fact, when they DO see Dale jump off the roof in the bottle dance, Flynn says, "Standing jumps from a ten foot height are not a great idea.  We'll talk tomorrow in detail about why."  Past experience suggests that the 'talk' will probably involve a paddle!!
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