Mini-Series — The Senses — Taste

Hearing, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch

Welcome back to my mini-series on the five senses.  Last weekend I interrupted this series by posting a Valentine’s story.  The previous installment of this series was about the sense of smell, and I was glad everyone came out to sniff around! (Okay… I’ll try to control myself with the play on words.)  Now for the next-to-last installment of this series — Taste

Purple mouth

Think about the many different ways the sense of taste could be used to enhance your writing.  It doesn’t have to be the taste of food or drink. Consider other ways that taste could come into play. I had a friend with no sense of smell.  She said she could taste the air when it carried a strong odor.  Concentrating on that, I found she was right! My point is that taste need not be limited to foods.

For my example of taste I’m using one of the “interactive” serials I’ve provided here at this blog. Click the button at the top of the page if you want to know more about this serial.  This tidbit is from episode-6 of A Ghost in the Kitchen — Three Ingredients, Cookbook-2.  All the episodes are together and in chronological order on the serial homepage.

This serial is a culinary mystery-fantasy set in the 1920s. It’s narrated by Paisley Idelle Peabody, better known as Pip.  In this tidbit Pip is working in her grandmother’s vegetable garden.  Describing Pip’s actions, or the smell of the air is fine. However, causing the reader to think about a taste adds fullness to the scene.

Early Lucille 2

Young Lucille Ball as Pip

A scent of mint was on the breeze and I inhaled with pleasure.  I sat on the ground in Granny Fanny’s garden wiping dirt from a turnip and an interesting idea popped into my head.  “I wonder how turnips would taste cooked with some mint,” I pondered aloud. 

Cinnamon Bun, Granny’s Flemish Giant rabbit, looked at me quizzically and twitched his dirty nose.  I could have offered the huge bunny a turnip, but he clearly enjoyed digging up his own.  Just as we both went back to the dirt, a loud noise cracked the air.  I jumped half out of my skin, and Cinnamon Bun dashed to the security of his hutch.

The loud sound was followed by the beep-beep of a horn.  I looked down toward the road and saw a Dodge Roadster.  A moment later Andy Avis jumped out and hurried to the back yard, where I sat in the vegetable garden.

***

As many of you know, the serial stories are spontaneous and unedited. Looking back I could have improved this scene by having the odor of the exhaust from the car’s backfire overlay the tastes that were in Pip’s mind.  Or I might have brought out something about  the garden soil for one of the other senses.  I’m sure you get the idea.

Since this installment is about taste, I’m adding a bonus.  Click on over to A Pug in the Kitchen for this delicious offering from Suzanne.  Also, congrats to Suzanne on her new furry family member.

Creamy Spring Turnip Soup with Wilted Greens and Bacon

Creamy Turnip soup.jpg

Your Turn!

Hey! Come back!  Now it’s your turn.  A photo of an old truck and gas station might seem like an odd choice for an exercise about the sense of taste, but challenging your senses is the point.  Look closely at the image below — put yourself into the picture.   It’s a brisk day.  You were out on the road and stopped at the old gas station to fill-up.  You may or may not be the person driving the red truck.  Or perhaps you are not a patron — maybe you work there, or live across the street. I’m sure a scene is in your mind at this point.  Now add fullness to it by mentioning a taste.

Red Truck Gas Vintage

What did you taste?   Leave a comment with just a few words about a taste this photo brought to your mind.

Open Invitation:  If this inspired you to just write something or otherwise create anything according to the sense featured today, that’s even better!  If you want, you can use the comments to leave a link to your story or blog post.  Kindly link back to this post if you blog about what you wrote, cooked, painted, or photographed.

Thanks for visiting.

Mega hugs,

Teagan

 

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

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126 thoughts on “Mini-Series — The Senses — Taste

  1. Elly May didn’t feel well. Might have been the brewskies from the night before. Nothing in her stomach this morning, she pushed off the steering wheel to the running board. This time the bathroom better be clean. Someone had a load of manure close by. She covered her mouth and stumbled forward. Between that revolting rot mixed with the smell of gasoline, she tasted yesterday’s shrimp and lobster shooting up her esophagus like a geyser. 😀 😀 😀

    I’m so far behind, I think I might be early. How do you work and write and post and edit? o_O ❤ ❤

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  2. Hi Teagan! Taste and smell are one of my many pleasures as I was blessed with evolved sensitivities to taste and smell which go hand in hand. Most of what we taste are actually from the nose and not the tongue. That said, In the picture of the truck I imagined walking up on a fine day and the air mixed with the odors of fuel, hot engine oil and dirty grease. and as I got closer I smelled the warm rubber of the tires mix with the smell of the pavement. All of it mixed to give the station a familiar smell I associated with a cold 15 cent six-ounce coke in the glass bottle and a 10 cent cinnamon roll. The pleasant memory makes the off-putting smell of engines, rubber, and fuel a welcome sign for a treat inside. Thanks for the memories! Hope to visit again sooner. Work is much and pursuits of reading pleasure are few these days. How have you been?

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    • Hi Daniel, it’s so nice to see you. No worries — it’s much the same with me. Triple-booked, you might say, but still working on the same personal goals. (Unfortunately no change in that.) I can’t get to any where near all the blogs I love to visit.
      What you shared on “taste” was vividly wonderful. Thanks so much for coming out to play. Mega hugs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it was nice to visit and i need to make sure I don’t let so much time go by. But, you are right. I’m interested in keeping up with a lot more than I actually can. mega-cyber-hugs back atcha! 😀

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  3. Wow! What a fun post! So many memories evoked. I recall ice cold Coca Colas, The sun beating down, sticking to the seat. I enjoyed reading the comment section also. I feel like I discovered a whole new world! Lori

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  4. I can taste pear-drops, Teagan, but that’s because I carry them in the glove compartment of my car. As soon as I saw the truck, I got the taste of one of my favourite sweets. I hope that Petrol station sells them as I’m running low.
    Hugs to you.

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  5. I only eat turnips in my mother’s beef stew. I refuse to eat then any other way. I don’t even like the word. I do like old trucks. The old truck memories I have is being tossed around in the the bed because the kids always had to ride in the back, no matter what the weather. I remember the taste of exhaust on my tongue and also how we screamed in protest when the dog farted from all the boiled eggs my dad fed him knowing it would cause a stink!

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    • Ha!!! That made me laugh out loud. Thank goodness I had already swallowed my coffee! 😀 But what a thing for your dad to do. Many times the telling is much funnier than the experience.
      It’s great to see you R.C. Thanks for coming out to play. It was delightful. Mega hugs!

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    • Hi Kirt. It’s cool when odd little things like that happen, isn’t it! Somehow it seems fitting to me too, though I can’t explain why. I remember as a little girl going to “big” discount department stores where there was a popcorn machine (might have been SS Kresge’s). Maybe something like that tied to the general feeling you got from the picture. Either way, popcorn works! Thanks for coming out to play. Mega hugs. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Okay, here goes. 🙂

    “We should have stopped at the last station.”

    I reached over and covered my husband’s hand with mine. “You had no way of knowing that would be the last station for who knows how long.” I sighed. My biggest concern was that we’d run out of gas before we found food. My stomach had been rumbling for hours. Surely the people around here must eat. But nobody was even selling produce at a roadside stand. I was hungry enough to eat raw turnips.

    I tried to tune out Jimmy Buffet singing about cheeseburgers in paradise. but it was no good. Every image I managed to replace it with was also of food. Grilled salmon, fried potatoes, cheesecake with whipped cream–I gained at least ten imaginary pounds just thinking about it.

    My husband’s voice broke into my reverie. “Finally.”

    My head jerked up. An old, single pump station was coming up on the right. It was beyond praise. I rushed inside and they had an actual rack of candy bars, sitting amidst the racks of oil and car parts. I grabbed a handful of Hershey’s bars and fumbled for the money in my pocket.

    I tore the wrapper off, and the smooth liquid taste of chocolate exploded in my mouth. I moaned and took another bite.

    “Hey, can I have one of those?”

    I gave my husband a long look and turned the words of our wedding vows over in my head. Maybe there was a previously overlooked loophole. Then I sighed and passed one over.

    He grinned. “I asked inside. There’s a burger joint just down the road.”

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  7. Oh, I taste it! Oil-fried pastry, fritters, something like Italian Farfellette, or Icelandic Kleinur, favorite snacks of my childhood! So, the wife brought a lunch to her man, and they went inside, but there is that white bowl, do you see it? They are there, the fritters, for him to snack on.
    Hugs!!!

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  8. It may be a brisk day Teag, but that long drive has left me parched, and after filling my tank I can’t wait to get inside and crack open a bottle of diet c
    Coca Cola and guzzle it down while my tongue tingles with dance as the bubbles quench my thirst. xo ❤

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  9. Strange place to cry for my mother. I never managed at the funeral, or when we emptied her house or I re-read my letters to her when I was in college,- all neatly tied in string . No, here in the middle of bloody nowheresville. See I stopped to fill up, grab a coffee maybe but this truck blocked the pump. Inside the owner was eating a donut. When I explained he handed me the last one from the box. He had one of those slow nods, like he feared his head might come off. That’s when it hit me, when I took a bite. I watched him through the grimy window – Mum would have been at that in seconds, hated dirty windows that woman – his hair all greasy. The tears didn’t help none either. I suppose the oil was on his fingers when he gave me the donut. Same oil as they put on her hair in that funeral parlour – always had mad hair did mum – hated not being able to control it. The last time I touched her, that kiss on her head. Same godawful taste, like the soap when she washed my mouth with when I cussed that time. I think she’d be pleased it was soap that brought her back to me.

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    • I’m happy to see you Chitra. I always learn so much at your blog.
      Yes, I really need to try Suzanne’s turnip soup.
      There’s one more sense to go. The next and final one will be “touch.” Thanks very much for reading and commenting my friend. Mega hugs!

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  10. When I was travelling with my parents in the deep South we saw old gas stations like that, the smell of the gasoline was so strong sometimes you could almost taste it but the first taste that came to mind is coca cola, odd maybe but this immediately brought me back to my childhood and an old gas station with an old red coca cola machine, ice cold, sweet and it always tasted better from a bottle not a can.
    Thank you Teagan for using my soup recipe, you are the best, I love this series and wish we had more senses to explore. Percy is doing great, took him to to park today where he had the best time. He actually smiled.

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  11. This was a delicious post Teagan – meeting up with Pip and Andy and imagining all those tastes! When I got out of the truck, my throat was so dry and dusty that I had to get myself a Coke from one of those old vending machines – the cold, fizzy sweetness was like heaven in my parched mouth 🙂

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    • Hi Andrea. The early memories of those vending machines on hot days seems to be strong in many of us. I can still feel the perfectly chilled bottle, with droplets of water, in my hand, and the sound of the old fashioned opener, that was part of the vending machine — its scrape and pressure against the bottle as it opened with a big fizz.
      Thanks for coming out to play and sharing your delightful image. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I had been walking for hours down a dusty back road sided with fields of tilled soil, listlessly hanging the cheap plastic fuel can in my hand, sweating bullets from the blazing sun, the taste of dirt and grit in my mouth. I was thirsty, I was hungry. Then I spied the run-down gas station in the distance, with an old bright red truck parked in front. Oh! What I would do for the jolt of a fizzy ice-cold Coke, and maybe a doughnut! I ran as fast as my tired legs would take me and skittered to a stop at the front door. Taped haphazardly to the front door was a grease-stained piece of paper, with three heart-breaking words scrawled in shaky handwriting: “Closed on Sundays.”

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  13. Were this a low and battered truck, with dead bugs splattered on the windshield and mud thicker than molasses on the tires from cousin Chester, drunker than Cooter Brown again last night, cutting donuts in the Enright’s cotton field after the rain, my eyes would surely be watering from the hickory smoke coming from the diner next door, where they cue pork round back every Saturday for the locals who’ll be standing in line to pull them some, after church at Holy Pres. on Sunday.That pig would be rubbed with sauce so biting, the taste would creep up on you before you ordered your plate and a side of slaw But seeing as how this truck is so lovingly tended to, that its rims have been painted red and its grill shined up so bright you could pick your teeth in the glare, I ‘spec cousin Chester’s sober. He’ll come sidling up any minute now, wanting to show Bessie off. He’ll be running the dogs off with that cheap Old Spice he wears when he’s trying to catch the ladies. Even the dogs know that smell ain’t natural.

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  14. Great one Teagan. Here is my take: Entering the store, I inhale smells that are confused and defy description. What stands out though is the way these smells are manifest into tasting like saturated oil. There is the leather, cardboard, carrots, and gunpowder all offered as one unctuous dressing. I resist the urge to go outside and throw up.

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    • LOL, John. Only you could mention throwing up and make me laugh out loud. As a native of the deep south, I know all too well the combination of scents in that kind of place, on a hot, humid summer’s day creates a taste that would cause that kind of reaction. I should probably apologize to the blogosphere, because it got similar reactions from several readers.
      Maybe I used a sledgehammer where a feather duster would have been sufficient. 🙂
      I know you “got it” and didn’t even need the drill. But I hope at least some people understood the point I wanted to make about how powerful “taste” can be.
      Thanks very much for taking time to come out and play. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. As my father and I got out of the truck we could not believe what we smelled. Was this true? It couldn’t be, here in the middle of nowhere the scent of fresh bagels being baked brought back memories from our home in the old country we had to leave. We tried to hide the tears that came from deep within.

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  16. Great Post Teagan and loved the exercise.. The Red Truck brought back a memory of tasting the fumes not from a red truck.. but a red bus which was our school bus.. ( not the sort in USA ) We had to travel 5 miles out of the countryside into a local town via the old buses.. The sort where the cab driver was separate from the main bus. If you look up 1930’s bus styles you will see the sort of bus I mean 🙂
    I suffered from travel sickness and these old bone shakers would see me arrive at school age 11 upwards to 15 feeling so sick.. 🙂 I still get travel sick on long journeys today.. Yet I am fine behind the wheel of my own car.. but a terrible back seat passenger 🙂
    Loving your series 🙂
    Enjoy your weekend.. Hugs Sue

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  17. I love this series Teagan, but it’s very complicated today. I’ll start with the fact that all trucks should be red. There’s a story behind that. I won’t share it here, but the image of the red truck brings it to mind. I know, taste. I’m reminded of how the candy form the vending machines in old gas stations always kinda tasted like an old gas station. But, more than that, I told you this was complicated, I had a friend who had restored a truck very similar to the one pictured. I almost always met him for a couple of beers, so it’s hard not to taste those ice cold beers. Oh darn, it’s 7:52 am 😦

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    • Yeah… That’s why I put a little warning in this one. I deliberately made this one difficult, mostly because it’s easy to simply describe a taste.
      But the trigger it gave you for beer is spot-on for the kind of thing I had in mind. (Hey, it’s 5 O’clock somewhere! 😀 ) And if you were describing that gas station in some write-up, what you said about the vending machine candy, vividly brings out the setting. You totally got this one, even if you didn’t realize it at the time.
      I have a cold, so I’m not tasting much myself right now, so I sympathize.
      Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Teagan, thank you for transporting us on this fine Saturday morning. That picture makes me think that part of that gas station is a little country store selling local berries that taste like ambrosia on your tongue as they burst with sweetness. Clearly it’s winter and I’m missing berries. 😉
    Hope this weekend is filled with treats for your senses. 🙂
    Megahugs and all the best. 🙂

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    • Donna, what a vivid description! I could see everything in a way that was very different from what I originally imagined. That is the difference including “taste” in a story can make. Thank you for taking time to come out and play, my friend. Mega hugs! 😀 ⭐

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  19. Pingback: The Corner Gas Station | Musings on Life & Experience

  20. I can taste everything! Taste is such an important part of writing as, indeed, are all the senses. If the senses don’t come into play, the writing is flat and meaningless. You use all the senses excellently. But I think you know that. Happy Weekend and Hugs! xx

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    • Know that? LOL, Sarah I’m ever in need of encouragement; always assuming that it is never good enough (whatever “it” may be). Thank you very much for your kind encouraging words. Have a splendid Saturday. Mega hugs.

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  21. I actually had a truck like this….it was canary yellow:) Seeing it reminds me of the taste of breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning in the States, something I always enjoyed. I am enjoying this series, and hope that you are enjoying a lovely relaxed and creative weekend – Sending love, colour and hummingbirds…Janet. xxx

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    • Janet I can so easily imagine you with a wonderful old truck like this — and of course it would be yellow! I so look forward to your visits, and to the hummingbirds.
      The hummingbirds must have arrived, because I just made detailed notes for part of a big scene in Bloom, when I haven’t had the peace of mind to work on it for about three weeks! Mega fluttery sunny hummingbird hugs my friend. ❤ 🙂

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  22. I stopped and smiled as the scent of old engines filled me bringing with it warm memories of being with my Dad as he repaired engines. The smell of petrol also brought those memories to the surface and I felt tears gather as I remembered him, but they were good memories.

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    • OMG! Suddenly I need grits for breakfast! 😀 Or maybe even lunch. I do love grits and was more than a little put out when I couldn’t find them while I lived in New Mexico.
      Olga, I can see why your mind went to breakfast. Something about the picture makes me think of early morning… so breakfast. Thanks very much for taking time to come out and play! Mega hugs my friend.

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  23. Interesting one, Teagan. Well, I suppose I can taste the scent of gasoline and the cold, sweet Coca-Cola that I’ll get out of the old red machine for a quarter. Perhaps there’s some homemade chocolate chip cookies on the counter for a nickel. 🙂

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  24. I had an old truck like the one in your photo years and years ago. Before I got the truck, it had set for some time. After I towed it to the property, I stuck a hose down in the tank, pulled it out and saw there was still a bit of old gas it in, and who know what else. I got a gerry can to siphon the old gas into, stuck the hose back in the tank, sucked on the hose, and ended up with a mouth full of old, dirty gasoline before I got it siphoning the gas out of the tank into the gerry can. It wasn’t the first or last time I got a mouth full of gasoline from siphoning gas out of car and motorcycle tanks, but that was the nastiest gas I have ever tasted. Your photo reminds me of the taste of old, nasty gasoline.

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  25. I’m a fan of turnips but as vegetarian, not of the bacon. So the taste of turnips with cream disappeared when I saw the garage picture. Sadly, my taste was that of petrol. Odd, I know, but recently I got some on my hands when filling our car up and it added an unappreciated flavor to my subsequent snacking.
    Maybe turnips with bacon would be preferrable 😉
    Have a super weekend ❤
    Hugs!

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    • Ugh! Christoph, there have been many times I’ve gotten gas on my hands like that and it does seem to get into one’s mouth. o_O
      But if you go back and read your comment, you can see how evocative a mention of “taste” can be. The moment I read your comment I remembered vividly those experiences.
      Thanks very much for taking a moment to read and comment. Mega hugs! ❤ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Go on. Explain to me why I did smell again.

    I saw the red pick-up drive into the garage to fuel up. The delightful aroma of fresh bread wafted across the street and my tongue wallowed in the taste that was carried by the morning air. Each taste bud was spinning with delight as the air rolled across it. My mouth was a symphony of taste while my brain was sure it could define the taste of each separate loaf baked from the bread rolls, to the French stick. Each played it’s own tune in my mouth until I was almost overcome by the flavours.

    xxx Even more Ginormous Hugs Teagan. xxx

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    • David, I’ve often thought that smell and taste must be the most closely associated of all the five senses. I found myself doing the same thing you did — I almost posted a snippet that was about smell!
      Thanks for sharing this vivid bit about “taste.” Mega hugs my friend! ❤ 🙂

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  27. I stepped down from the cab of the pick-up to buy some tissues while my tank was being filled.I’s been unable to shake this cold for a week and was well and truly bunged up. I hadn’t smelt my food in all that time nor felt inclined to eat it truth be told. The smell is usually what tickles the taste buds and provide the appetite.
    Suddenly the smell of petrol invaded my nostrils.The sharp tang broke through whatever blockage was there and I could smell again. No smell has ever been more welcome.

    xxx Gigantic Hugs Teagan xxx

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    • That was terrific, David. You seem to have channeled my cold — at least I hope that’s as close to having one as you are. I hope this finds you well, my friend.
      Oh? Another comment from you follows? I’m having a good day!

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  28. A tasty post, Teagan! Hmm, never seen a truck like that in real life. Squinting at the sign on the garage I think it says ‘TUBES’? Set me off thinking of tubes of macaroni – and macaroni cheese – which set me off thinking of school dinners when I was very young – which set me off thinking of the way we queued in a line with our plates – which set me off thinking of f two of the ‘dinner ladies’ who served the food. One had bony hands, one had soft-looking plump hands. I always tried to manoeuvre in the queue so I was served by the plump lady because I thought her macaroni cheese was nicer. Always thought they made it themselves in the school canteen. Well, I was only six!!

    Then again… looking at the truck reminded me of a lorry driver my sister went out with once. he was a right w****r. She still has poor taste in men!!

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