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My friend Lloyd is a strapping British gent of the type you might expect to see just getting into his later days of engaging in hooliganism at a soccer match, with his close-cropped hair and his fondness for shirts with broad and colorful horizontal stripes. The thing about Lloyd is, for some inexplicable reason he likes to append every proposition with the topper, "That's the problem now, isn't it?"; sometimes appropriately, sometimes simply oddly. Appropriate: "There's a lot of hunger in the world. That's the problem now' isn't it?" Not so much: "The leaves are changing colours. That's the problem now, isn't it?" if pressed ("why is that problem?") he usually has a profound enough answer at the ready, as to how the proposed problem reflects the passage of time or the ways of the world. But sometimes his tendency in using this phrase is to do so in a manner which utterly confuses and draws out whatever the point is which he is trying to get to.

Example:

Lloyd approaches the pimply-faced teenage register worker at a typical American fast food burger place.

"I'd like a hamburger." Leaning in, he intones with some intensity, "That's the problem now, isn't it?"

"Um, is that -- is there a problem?"

Lloyd crosses his arms and cocks his head. "Well it's not a problem for you, is it, now? You've got stacks of 'em sittin' on that shelf behind you. Don't you now?"

The teen will inevitably turn to confirm that he does indeed front stacks of hamburgers, neatly wrapped and ready to be sold. He turns back to Lloyd. "So-- uh, you want a hamburger?"

Lloyd raises an eyebrow and stares at the kid for just enough time for the kid to wind back the conversation in his head to the opening line, which Lloyd then compounds: "Yes. Yes I would like a hamburger."

Bless you, Lloyd, you're the kind of friend who makes the world interesting to live in, and I know I can always depend on you in a scrum. If I ever get in one of those.


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FERRASSIC

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