Men at Work (1990) Poster


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kimnil806 February 2005
This somehow forgotten movie is pretty funny by todays standard.Not that the comedies today are that smart really... Brothers Sheen has nice chemistry together and delivers many funny and memorable dialogues.A hoot is also Vietnam-vet Keith David,this guy is one bad dude...You've seen this before,but the script is not that bad and the movie moves along in a pleasant pace.The villains are also portrayed as idiots and the cops as smart asses,who will get what they deserve by time. This is easy entertainment and you don't remember it for that long,but it's a pleasant journey while it lasts-just don't think too much.
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Hilarious of the best of the '90s
DoobieKeebler23 August 2003
People who dismiss this as juvenile humor or another stupid buddy comedy are totally off the target. Emilio Estevez's screenplay is quite an intelligent story with a number of colorful characters. Real-life brothers Estevez and Charlie Sheen have EXCELLENT chemistry together - their comic timing is perfect, and the scenes where they're just hanging out, talking about their plans to open a surf shop are a true highlight.

Another true highlight is Keith David. This is, without a doubt, his finest performance captured on film. Playing the rough boss's brother-in-law Louis, who is employed to keep a watch on the mischevious garbagemen pals, David is just perfect. Hearing him lecture about "another man's fries", his Vietnam days "in the jungle", and his speech to the cops are just all priceless moments. It's one of the funniest marriages of actor and role - and Mr. David just plays it all so well. Watch him snap at the pizza man who's "seen too much."

All in all, "Men at Work" is a delightful, crowd-pleasing comedy that is able to make me laugh far more than the types of films that are heralded as "excellent comedies" like "Dr. Strangelove" and "Annie Hall." Give me this any day.

And Charlie, you may put this down...but in all honesty, this is your finest work to date, even ahead of comedic roles in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and the two very good "Major League" movies. It's lightyears better than the low points of "Spin City", too.

"Men at Work" is highly recommended, and is one of many films on IMDb whose low rating you can completely disregard. Or don't disregard it, but then you'll just be even more pleasantly surprised by the ensuing hilarity.
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Local sanitations workers find body of local politician, mayhem ensues.
hoadleygr16 August 2004
In his directorial debut, Estevez directs self and brother Charlie Sheen in a small budget comedy about two garbage men (sanitary technicians) who come along the dead body of a local politician on their route. Mayhem follows them as they try to find the killer on their own instead of going to the police, who are looking to bust our two unsuspecting heroes. Estevez does a good job for a beginning director and doesn't try to overdo it. Sheen and Estevez are good, not great, together as they were in 'Young Guns'. Keith David is the solid part of the movie, his portrayal as the 'ex-military' Viet Nam Veteran, asked to baby sit garbage men carries the movie with his unpredictable cop hating nature. Leslie Hope is very nice to look at and give credit to Estevez, makes her character a strong one, not a helpless female as women once were portrayed in movies. Movie has given me much enjoyment over the years as my children enjoyed playing garbage men around the house in their younger days.
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A Guilty Pleasure At Its Finest
Bill Clark29 November 2001
This little known movie written and directed by Emilio Estevez is near the top of my all time movie guilty pleasures list.

Estevez and Charlie Sheen play two garbagemen who stumble upon a plan by Maxwell Potterdam III (John Getz) that involves dumping hazardous waste into nearby harbors, thus destroying the underwater environment in their area. The city councilmen is also involved in this scheme.

However, this is all a loose plot for the hilarious shenanigans that ensue with Carl and James (Sheen and Estevez), their "observer", Louis (Keith David), and a couple of unlucky cops.

Keith David comes close to stealing the show from Estevez and Sheen with his character of Louis, a Vietnam vet who still suffers from a bit of shellshock. He sees everything through the eyes of war, and this makes for some hilarious sequences, particularly when the friendly pizza delivery man is kidnapped.

All in all, this is mindless, but funny entertainment. It is funnier than 90% of the comedies made these days, and many have never seen or heard of this film.

It should be noted that the VHS tape is out of print (although did release it as an "Amazon Exclusive", but it is now on special order). It can still be found at some rental locations, but has also yet to be released on DVD (I believe MGM has the rights to the film, but I'm not positive). Here's to hoping we see a DVD sometime soon!

Grade: A
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antonius-223 January 2004
A very funny film, which most people who saw it when it first hit video stores will agree. Watching it years later it holds up very well indeed, Emilio and Charlie as Carl and James, are clearly having great fun working together and this chemistry heightens the comedy. Our 2 favourite binmen (garbage men)go about their job with a relaxed attitude to working and ultimately pursue their dreams of running a surf shop. A personal favourite moment is when they answer trivial pursuit questions with comedy responses before answering correctly, proving both wit and intelligence. After apparently accidently executing a women hitting politician all hell breaks loose and the hilarity ensues.

The montage scenes are great, flying dustbin lids etc, and the other characters are funny, comedy mafia goons, rival binmen, a shouty boss, a meek pizza delivery boy and the obligatory vietnam vet providing laughs as their loco supervisor. They don't make montage scenes like they used. The dream of a sequel still lives on, if you will it it is no dream.
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A Classic for all the Wrong Reasons
seanvales13 September 2000
Are you looking for perfectly structured Mise-en-Scene? How about eloquent dialogue and acting?? No? Neither am I when I sit down and watch a comedy about two looser garbage men played by the Estevez brothers. This flick is what it is, and in that respect, it's amazing. Sure, the last 25mins are total garbage, but what comes before has me and my friends rolling on the floor in hysterics. Here's these two idiots, they seem to have no friends besides themselves, and their relations with women appear to consist of the odd peep into their windows or occasional stalking. They suck at their job, and have the local cops hating them for what appears to be a variety of reasons we are not privy to. What flows within this basic framework is a ridiculous 'adventure' in which the boys attempt to solve a local crime and avoid a murder rap by dragging a dead body around ala 'Weekend at Bernie's". Add to the mix the always amazing Keith David, playing an insane Vietnam vet who is charged with monitoring their activities on the job, but only ends up being crazier than the ?Sheens? ever could be ("Never, EVER, touch another man's fries"). The antics reach a fever pitch when David's character kidnaps the Pizza Boy played by that dude who played 'Chainsaw" in "Summer School". Eventually the dead body dons a Nixon mask, and the traditional "we couldn't think of a funny ending, so here's some lame action sequence" ensues (See "D.C. Cab). I usually stop the film here. You don't need to finish 'Men at Work' to love it. The pratical jokes, the memories of Da-Nang, and of course the infamous Pellet gun, make the first hour worth every minute. A comedy classic ... at least I think so.
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Laughed my a** off!
Now this is what most of Adam Sandler's films should be. Because if you're gonna do camp humor, this sure is done correct. Men at Work features stupid jokes and tongue-in-cheek performances. Especially Keith David is in top form. Sure the plot is stupid as hell and sure this ain't no Tarantino film, but hey.. SO WHAT?! Isn't comedy's most important duty to make you laugh? This sure made me laugh. Recommend.

**** / *****
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One of the few movies that really takes me back..
madmullet4 February 2003
Its funny how some people try hard to capture images and moments of REAL LIFE in a film. Most try too hard. I can remember watching this film as a kid. I would rent it from the rental store every other week or so, i still dont know how i got started. Although its jokes are pretty bad, the acting is sub-par, and the behavior of every character is overly juvenile for a group of adults, there is something relaxed about the whole movie. The cast is very good, including Keith David as Louis (one of my favs), and a number of other goofy cliqued characters, like the hitmen, the crooked business exec, the uptight leading lady, and the comedic garbage buddies, Carl and James (Sheen and Estevez). I can remember some of the situations ghosting ones i had experienced in my own life. Men at Work proves that movies dont have to sell, or be critically acclaimed to be thoroughly enjoyable.
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Men At Work: Midnight Classic
mcr03d2 June 2005
The fact that this is a memorable movie, meaning I still remember it, says a lot. The fact that this takes one of Hollywood's greatest actors' sons and makes them garbage men, even more daring. The fact that Keith David is in it, is even more accommodating.

Men At Work is a comedy classic.

You're probably ready to shoot me with a gun marked common sense, but no, this is really something else. Men At Work is the last in a long line of midnight movies that were released heavily in the 80's(i.e. Weird Science, Little Monsters, etc.) The formula of taking one situation and going over the top with everything, on an extravagant night when everyone else is asleep is a midnight movie. This just happens to involve toxic waste, which must have been a big deal in the eighties, because now, it's only packed with action figures.

Anyway, it's a classic and stands out because it's just fun. The directing by Estevez isn't bad and it's also got some funny situations. The acting is what it's supposed to be, low key, but fun.

Just imagine Double Dragon, but as garbage men.
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Funny as hell!!
rena16512923 June 2003
Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez star as two garbagemen on the road to nowhere. One night, in Carl's (Sheen) apartment, they see a confrontation between a couple across the street. Carl shoots him with a pellet gun after he sees the man push the woman. What he doesn't see after that is two men go into the apartment and kill the man, put his body in a garbage can, and leave. Carl and James then find the body the next day on their garbage route. Then all hell breaks loose as they try to find the killer. Very funny movie!!
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This movie is hilarious
mm-3917 September 2002
No this film is not about that New Wave 80's band from Australia, but its a funny film. This movie is satire, and over the top characters to the max. I love it! David Keith as the unbalanced ex Vietnam vet supervisor is great. "I hate cops" and "I even hate rent a cops more" is great. He pushes an already unbalanced situation farther. One feels for the pizza guy, and the part "we give no food to the enemy". It has no real slow parts. There is a chemistry between Martin and Emelo. I wish they would act together again. Even has an un wimpy environmental theme to it. Watch it today, get the movie NOW! 8/10
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Very funny
You-Dont-Know-Me19 August 2003
This movie is a 9 out of 10. I watch it every time its on. The only reason it is a 9 out of 10 is the interaction between the characters. Sheen, Estevez, their black trash partner, the rent a cops, and sheens new girl friend are all so funny together. The story is basic and anyone could write it, but the feeling the characters give you during this movie is special. You have to be impressed with anyone who could make a movie this simple to be so good!
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Oscar winning plot and acting
thedude-315 June 2001
One of my favorite all-time movies. It just doesn't get any better than this. The actors interact in a subtle, yet comedic fashion. The movie shows that good triumphs over bad. It is hard to understand why this has not become a classic!
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In need of much funnier material
SnoopyStyle5 May 2014
Carl Taylor (Charlie Sheen) and James St. James (Emilio Estevez) are two slacker garbage men who dream of their own surf shop. Then they get saddled with the bosses' angry brother-in-law Louis Fedders (Keith David). Meanwhile politician Berger had taped his conversation with the corrupt business owner Maxwell Potterdam III (John Getz) about their illegal dumping conspiracy. A couple of goons kills him, but they retrieve the wrong tape and lose the body after it falls off their car. The garbage men find the body. In an unlikely coincidence, Carl had shot him with a pellet gun the night before. Now they're not sure what to do and it's "Weekend at Bernie's" time. They think the girlfriend Susan Wilkins (Leslie Hope) is involved and the bumbling group tries to investigate. When the pizza guy (Dean Cameron) sees the body, Louis kidnaps him.

It's an oddity to see the brothers working together in a movie written and directed by Emilio Estevez. It tries to be funny but the writing is not there. There are a couple of slightly wacky characters with a few funny lines. It could have worked if either brother put in an outrageous performance. When the jokes on the page aren't good enough, a special kind of performer is needed to make up the jokes on the fly. It has a couple of moments but there are not enough of them to be truly funny.
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Slower than molasses
Karl Self18 December 2008
I was duped into watching this by the many friendly reviews here. Boy, are they way off mark! To give this 9 to 10 points and call it "one of the best movies of the 1990ies" is just unjustifiable. The big problem here is lack of pace and a paper-thin plot. It's like slapstick on Prozac. Everything trundles along predictably and listlessly. The plot is weak to begin with -- two garbage men peep on their foxy neighbour, witness a murder and unravel a waste disposal conspiracy -- and the movie never manages to go much further. There are some amusing situations and decent acting, but that's not anywhere near enough to save this jalopy of a movie.

It's simply a comedy that doesn't get its fat ass off the ground, so why waste your time?
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Sometimes Funny, But Nothing Special
tfrizzell4 November 2000
"Men at Work" is a somewhat enjoyable film about two garbagemen (Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez) who find the corpse of a high-ranking political official in the trash. Now they are scared that the police may think that they had something to do with it, so they just carry the corpse with them all day and try to find the real killers. It is as stupid as it sounds. Estevez must have gotten some of his inspiration from "Weekend at Bernie's". However, as previously mentioned there are some very funny moments. Keith David and Dean Cameron both do good work as they get involved with the action as well. There is no real direction and the screenplay never does come together. Not much to sing about here. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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Do yourself a favour
gcd7018 September 2007
Writer-director Emilio Estevez shows a definite lack of talent here with this un-redeemable, supposed comedy. The script is completely hopeless, let alone the fact that it is unoriginal and badly worked. The comedy just does not work. When Estevez isn't using poor taste sex jokes, he is borrowing used gags and re-doing them very poorly. You would think the teaming of Estevez and brother Charlie Sheen would be isn't.

The entire cast is uninspired and unfunny, never managing to raise a laugh, and barely coaxing a smile from their audience. Do yourself a favour and leave this one on the video shelf.

Thursday, June 25, 1992 - Video
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Comedy fans: avoid this as you would an oncoming garbage truck
nordic_princess6830 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I thought I had seen this film before as the plot summary sounded familiar. However, when I watched it one afternoon (in need of some mindless-but-amusing entertainment), I didn't recognise anything - if I had seen it before, I must have blocked the horror of it from my memory.

This film is dreadful, and it shows its age. In fact, it looks older than it is: more like a mid-80s moronic comedy. Whilst I am a fan of toilet humour and can see the funny side of many things, this is "comedy" at its most puerile and homophobic. The plot is as thin as a Supermodel, which wouldn't bother me if only the film were funny.

There is only one amusing line in the whole film, spoken by the character Louis: "Looks like somebody threw away a perfectly good white boy!" In fact, Louis is the only likable character (and that's not saying much). James and Carl are the type of irritating, immature men that a sensible woman would run a mile from, their practical jokes about as humorous as the war in Iraq; the character of Susan Wilkins is colourless (looks like Julia Roberts, but lacks her charisma) and there is zero chemistry between her and Carl - though it may be unfair to blame the actress, as I don't know what she could have done with such a poorly written part; and the villain is neither funny nor scary nor memorable.

There is good trash and bad trash. This is trash that definitely should not be recycled.
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Pump Up The Jam With A Dead Tricky Dick And A Couple Of Beach Bum Binmen.
Spikeopath11 September 2011
Men at Work is written and directed by Emilio Estevez, who also co-stars with brother Charlie Sheen, Keith David, Leslie Hope, Dean Cameron and John Getz. Music is by Stewart Copeland and photography out on locations that include beaches at Redondo and Hermosa, is by Tim Suhrstedt. Plot finds Estevez (James) and Sheen (Carl) as two carefree garbage collectors who find a dead body in a barrel during their rounds. Trouble is, is that the dead guy is the man Sheen shot with his pellet gun the previous evening. Thinking they might be responsible for his death, and prompted by their newly acquired chaperon, cop hating Louis Fedders (David), they unwisely decide not to call in the cops. So with an unhinged Vietnam War vet and a dead body on their hands, Carl and James are in big trouble.

Undemanding picture that's more enjoyable if you happen to be a fan of either Sheen or Estevez, Men at Work often struggles for laughs but is intermittently lit up by the odd humorous moment that comes with a side order of cool. There's a little drama in the mix, and even a delicate hint of social commentary via the illegal toxic waste dumping core that the frivolity is wrapped around. But really this is all about the two Brat Packers running free and Keith David superbly stealing the movie from the both of them. When the "we got a dead body to keep from the cops" comedy runs out of steam, and it does a little too early in the piece, it's left to David to bring the laughs with his cop hating rants and coiled spring like intensity ready to unleash on anyone who gets in the way or dares to eat his fries. Hope is amiable and pretty, though she only serves as a love interest for Sheen, while Getz isn't in it much and the two hit men on the boys tail don't bring anything new to that well trodden comedy table.

When it hits its comedy stride, the funny sequences that drop in are just that, funny (golf clap, the nasty, human waste exploding balloons, Keith David), but these moments only serve to highlight the scripts shortcomings elsewhere. 6/10
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This is what a GOOD B-Movie looks like
billshattner31 July 2007
When one looks back at this film (released in 1990, thus displaying all the characteristics of the 80's), one's first reaction might be to deride it as cheap, or at least silly. That being said, the more one watches it, the easier it becomes to identify the factors that make this a classic, even if it's of the cult variety. For one, the movie never takes itself too seriously. Two, despite some of the jokes falling into the "badoom-ching" category, much of the humor is genuine, and one or two running themes are paid off quite well. Third, and most importantly, there are a handful of good performances in the movie; Sheen and Estevez are excellent together (not to mention their 80's style haircuts), as are their two "rival" trash men, played by Geoffrey Blake and Cameron Dye. Interestingly, the movie contains quite a few "pairings" of characters, if you will, with a duo of hired thugs and tandem of self-important bicycle cops beautifully adding to the humor. However, the finest performance in the film might come from Keith David, who plays the deranged and imbalanced veteran, Louis Fedders. All things considered, this is not cinematic genius personified. In fact, by today's standards, this is a garden variety comedy. However, neither of those statements diminish, in any way, my enjoyment of this film, and I fully recommend it to any fan of Sheen, or anyone who enjoys a good "blue-collar" comedy. So, in that vein, I salute you, Carl Taylor and James St. James!!!
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"That's my car looks pretty undriveable to me". Great fun everyone in the cast is great, especially Emilio and Charlie, who worked incredibly well together!
callanvass28 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is great fun for everyone, I really enjoyed it, everyone in the cast is great especially Emilio and Charlie who worked incredibly well together!. All the characters are pretty cool, and the story is a lot of fun, plus Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez are simply amazing in this!. This is seriously underrated and should be higher then 5.4 in my opinion, and while it's nothing great movie wise, the movie is hilarious, and is totally fun all the way, plus Keith David is an absolute riot as the psycho Vietnam guy!. It's also very good as a "Buddy "Buddy" movie, and it's very well made and written by Emilio Estevez, plus it had some funny action scenes as well. I laughed my ass off when Charlie Sheen shot the mayor in the ass with a pellet gun, and it was also amusing when David Keith went nuts on the pizza delivery guy! plus it had some really funny lines as well. John Getz is fun as the villain,and Charlie and Emilio really impressed me with there fighting skills, plus the ending was very funny. This is great fun for everyone, I really enjoyed it, everyone in the cast was great, especially Emilio and Charlie who worked incredibly well together, I highly recommend this one!. The Direction is great!. Emilio Estevez does a great job here with very good camera work, and keeping the film very funny throughout. The Acting is lots of fun!. Emilio Estevez is amazing as always and is amazing here, he is extremely hilarious, seemed to be enjoying himself, had amazing chemistry with Sheen, had a really cool character, and cracked me up throughout (Emilio Rules!!!!!). Charlie Sheen is also amazing here, he had amazing chemistry with Emilio, had a great sense of humor, played a really cool character, also had good chemistry with Leslie Hope, and put a grin on my face throughout (Sheen Rules!!!!!). Keith David is absolutely hilarious as the psycho Vietnam guy, he added some great humor, really seemed to be having fun, I would love to see him work in a sequel with Emilio and Charlie, he stole a lot of the scenes!. Leslie Hope is hot, and well with what she had to do I liked her. Dean Cameron is funny as the pizza delivery guy and as a hostage, I dug him. John Getz is fun as the villain, and didn't take himself seriously. Rest of the cast do fine. Overall I highly recommend this one!. ***1/2 out of 5, here's to a hopeful sequel!
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Good, lightweight entertainment
mattymatt4ever18 August 2002
"Men at Work" is not a memorable film, or one I would watch on repeat viewings, but I had fun with it. First of all, it's great to see two brothers work together on a film. And of course, it helps that they're both talented actors. So naturally, Charlie and Emilio have an immediate chemistry. So far, I've seen a movie where Charlie teamed up with his Dad ("Cadence") and one where Emilio teamed up with his Dad ("The War at Home"). This is the first time I saw the two of them on screen together, other than a short scene in "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1."

There's many funny moments, including one where the two of them are hanging off the back doors of a truck. It's not a very smart comedy, but it's damn entertaining. Emilio shows his talent behind the camera as well. And I liked hearing that song "Pump Up the Jam," which I haven't heard in a while. The plot is predictable and nothing special. Basically, you gotta be in it for the laughs and the fun.

My score: 7 (out of 10)
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like Citizen Kane, only WAY better
Scott Tenorman17 April 2002
I don't use the word "awesome" lightly, but I think that 'Men at Work' obviously falls into that category. The first time Charlie Sheen (Carl) and Keith David (Lewis) teamed up, it was in "Platoon." And if you thought that movie was funny, well then you'll have trouble locking and loading your funny sac after seeing 'Men at Work,' truly a great film.

To paraphrase, two garbagemen--James (Emilio Estevez) and Carl--are in dire straits. Few films had tackled the plight of American garbagemen before 1990. And after this movie, there is really no need, because never has "the job" been portrayed so accurately on the silver screen. In supporting roles, Leslie Hope and Keith David are spectacularific; never again would they get roles that afforded them such creative balance in the rest of their careers.

The deeper social message is further conveyed when brothers Carl and James find the body of a politician in the trash in a scene that though today might seem tame, was in 1990 (and pre-Sept 11) a very daring and controversial move by director (and star) Estevez. Also, there is the evil corporate powers that want to dump toxic waste into the Pacific Ocean. These scenes are really where the movie shines, making it the most thought-provoking examination of environmental issues since Frogs (1972).

When I first saw this movie a few years ago, I knew there was something special in the chemistry between Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Later that year, by the water-cooler at my office, a co-worker informed me that the two actors are in fact brothers! Wow, I thought and moments later said. You will express similar amazement at this "awesome" film, which I give **** (four stars). I only hope that, like the Incredible String Band, this movie will someday get the appreciation it never recieved in its own time.
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Excellence in sibling acting
macgruder8 February 1999
Few movies have family members together in them. This movie shows that these two brothers (Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez) are a great comedy duo. I cannot stop laughing every time I watch this movie. Even though it may be pretty stupid, I still think it's funny when drunken garbagemen shoot people in the ass with a pellet rifle, and Vietnam vet gets defensive over his fries.
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