WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction

Fiction Novel excerpts, short stories, etc.


untitled

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 03-23-2017, 01:07 PM
copenhagen_dipz's Avatar
copenhagen_dipz (Offline)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Nowhere.
Posts: 207
Thanks: 47
Thanks 27
Default untitled


1


Robert Green knew he was a failure.

Maybe that's why it didn't surprise him. Maybe all that surprised him was it hadn't happened sooner. Whatever it was, the news - his wife's revelation she'd been cheating on him - didn't seem to affect him. He'd remained stoic in the face of the information. He didn't react in the stereotypical fashion: getting angry, smashing something or throwing a glass against the wall, calling her a whore, breaking down in tears. None of it. He simply remained silent, staring her in the eyes - or more accurately through her. His gaze fixed on some far off point behind those two pale blue dots in her face which had drawn him into her the first time they'd met.

The pain, the tears, the heartache, the big ball of dread swirling in the pit of his stomach, none of it would come for a few days. He simply packed up a few belongings into a bag, grabbed their dog - a two-year-old miniature Daschund named Leon - and left the home they had shared together for the past three years.

He sat now at a bar swirling a glass of whisky. It had been two years since his last drink. He wasn't the stereotypical alcoholic. In fact he wasn't sure he was an alcoholic at all. He'd always held down a steady job, never blacked out, never lost his temper on his wife when drunk. None of the tell tale signs or melodramatic actions of a drunk. But he knew he relied on the booze more than he would have liked, knew the drinkers gene flowed through his Irish blood and eventually made the choice to quit. He worked the steps, went to meetings and collected his sobriety chips.

And yet he was here. He lifted the glass off the bar and looked at it one last time as if to give himself a second to change his mind, before downing the double in one gulp. He wrapped his palm on the bar and soon the glass was filled up again.

"A pint of PBR as well," he said.

Soon the pint was next to his glass and soon both were empty. For a while he thought of nothing in particular before paying his tab and wandering out of the bar.

Outside he flipped the collar of his jacket up and braced himself against the wind as he struck a match and lit a cigarette. He sat on the ground with his back up against the side of the establishment, his feet next to a broken bottle and trash, and slowly inhaled the smoke in through his nose and out through his mouth. He thought about putting the butt out on the inside of his wrist but decided against it. He wasn't sure why the thought entered into his head but dismissed it since he didn't want his wife's actions to drive him to do something so absurd.

Back in his car he turned up the radio and slowly drove through the busy rush hour streets. Leon lay in the back seat with his eyes closed but not asleep, enjoying the drive and blissfully unaware of the events which had just transpired.

"Should we get something to eat Leon?" Robert asked from the front seat, not turning his head around. Leon opened his eyes, registering the inflection in his owners voice, before closing them again.

Robert pulled off into a gas station parking lot and got out of the car. Inside he bought a few sticks of beef jerky, a couple packs of cigarettes, matches, some Advil and a bottle of pepto. He sauntered out and ripped open a stick of jerky. He ate half of it and fed the remaining bites to Leon as he drove to the bank.

He decided to empty out his bank account. He wasn't exactly sure why but figured it would be a good idea to liquefy whatever assets he could. The woman behind the counter - young, blonde, attractive, friendly - asked him if he was going on a trip. He pondered the question for a moment before answering yes. And so his mind was made up. He'd leave town.

It had been a long while since he'd done anything at all - aside from work, the monotony of the nine-to-five, starfish dead bedroom sex with his wife, walk the dog - and recognized if there was ever a time to get out of town it was now.

He wondered if he could convince the woman at the bank to leave with him. Wondered if she'd mind the wedding ring on his finger that it hadn't even occurred to him to take off. He wondered if she'd maybe find the whole idea romantic. But then he wondered if she'd find him a pathetic, sad sight. He wondered if someone like her could ever be attracted to someone like him. He'd been good looking in his younger years but it didn't last. His thin, boyish frame never filled out to one which belonged to a man. His thick head of blonde hair began to fall out strand by strand, until he was left with a noticeably receding hairline. In that moment he wondered about who it was his wife had been cheating on him with. He wondered if this man possessed the qualities - so often found attractive by the fairer sex - that he lacked. He wondered what it was about this individual that made his wife so intoxicated she didn't care about her wedding vows.

He left the bank and headed for the liquor commission. On the way in he walked past a bum asking him for spare change. Robert didn't even glance at him or register his question. He perused the aisles aimlessly for a while, unsure of what to purchase. Eventually an employee came over and asked if he needed any help. He declined. After about twenty minutes he'd made his selections: a two-four of PBR, a bottle of whisky, a bottle of scotch, a bottle of bourbon. He paid and left the store, struggling to carry the paper bag they'd haphazardly stacked his purchases in.

On his way to the car the bum again asked Robert for spare change. He stopped and glanced down at him. The man was a mess. In his forties most likely, a panhandler's cardboard sign with marker scrawled across it, a dirty old hat placed on the sidewalk with a few coins in it. The man looked up at him, his dead eyes showing the faintest hint of blue, his hair long and beard mangy, his clothes and face dirty and unwashed.

Robert continued onto the car and placed the bag in the back seat. He struck another match and lit up a cigarette, before breaking open the case and popping the tab on a can of beer. He took a long swig and looked back at the man on the sidewalk. The sun, which was beginning to set, could be seen above the roof of the liquor commission. The bright warmth of the afternoon was beginning to fade into the cool dimness of evening. Robert shook the can in his hand before downing the rest in one pull. He tossed it on the ground and crunched it beneath his foot before walking around to the front of the car.

"Hey you," he shouted.

The man looked up, his eyes hopeful.

"Yeah, you," he said. "You know how to drive?"

__________________
If I fail to win my case, there is nothing left for us to do, but to slit our throats.-pjp

Last edited by copenhagen_dipz; 03-25-2017 at 09:24 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-23-2017, 04:53 PM
brianpatrick's Avatar
brianpatrick (Offline)
Verbosity Pales
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,173
Thanks: 286
Thanks 687
Default

So, this is a fantastic little piece. Here's what I want you to do: go through and remove a shit-ton of commas. Remove every one that is not absolutely necessary. Once that's done, I'll give further crit.

Good work, man. Really.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-24-2017, 08:29 AM
spshane (Offline)
Abnormally Articulate
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 112
Thanks: 32
Thanks 23
Default

Like the hell out of this piece. My mind wonders about the use of the word "stereotypical". At first glance, it seemed like there were better word choices in each case, but then several sterotypes seemed to follow: the Irish alcoholic, the classic been-cheated-on dude, the cheating married man, etc. So, then I thought this is like an exercise in stereotypes. "Glass of whiskey" seemed off to me, but then again I'm not the expert on whiskey. You don't drink whiskey from a glass; you drink it from a______________. Whatever that word is. Side note: I almost got my head taken off once in a liquor store for not knowing the difference between Scotch, whiskey, and Irish whiskey. The guy who ran the store was apparently Irish and it turns out that Irish people feel quite strongly about their Irish whiskey.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-24-2017, 10:30 AM
Gtaall (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 11
Thanks: 1
Thanks 0
Default

pretty good, i cant see anything wrong with So good job mate.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-24-2017, 02:10 PM
moonpunter's Avatar
moonpunter (Online)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Midway, Iowa
Posts: 235
Thanks: 13
Thanks 42
Default

First a couple of minor points:
He's simply remained silent
He simply...

more than he would of liked,
would have liked

To be the voice of dissent here, this beginning is slow and mostly cliche. A guy's wife cheats on him and he gets drunk in a bar...it's been done a million times in books, movies, and TV. You start with a lot of saying what he ISN'T doing and introspection instead of action. If you haven't already, read Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages for some ideas on how to start your novel off to hook readers. I think the end of the chapter when he's hiring the bum to drive him is where it finally gets interesting. Starting there would probably be better, if not starting with them already in the car and on their way.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-25-2017, 09:20 AM
copenhagen_dipz's Avatar
copenhagen_dipz (Offline)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Nowhere.
Posts: 207
Thanks: 47
Thanks 27
Default

Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
So, this is a fantastic little piece. Here's what I want you to do: go through and remove a shit-ton of commas. Remove every one that is not absolutely necessary. Once that's done, I'll give further crit.

Good work, man. Really.
Alright. I've edited the original post. You're right, there were comma splices everywhere in the piece. Not exactly sure what I was thinking. I probably deleted about 20 or so. There might be some left that I missed. Thanks for the kind words Brian. I'd appreciate any further crit you may have.

Originally Posted by spshane View Post
Like the hell out of this piece. My mind wonders about the use of the word "stereotypical". At first glance, it seemed like there were better word choices in each case, but then several sterotypes seemed to follow: the Irish alcoholic, the classic been-cheated-on dude, the cheating married man, etc. So, then I thought this is like an exercise in stereotypes. "Glass of whiskey" seemed off to me, but then again I'm not the expert on whiskey. You don't drink whiskey from a glass; you drink it from a______________. Whatever that word is. Side note: I almost got my head taken off once in a liquor store for not knowing the difference between Scotch, whiskey, and Irish whiskey. The guy who ran the store was apparently Irish and it turns out that Irish people feel quite strongly about their Irish whiskey.
I drink whisky from a glass - a short glass specifically. What's the word you were searching for? Maybe a tumbler?

Originally Posted by moonpunter View Post
To be the voice of dissent here, this beginning is slow and mostly cliche. A guy's wife cheats on him and he gets drunk in a bar...it's been done a million times in books, movies, and TV. You start with a lot of saying what he ISN'T doing and introspection instead of action. If you haven't already, read Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages for some ideas on how to start your novel off to hook readers. I think the end of the chapter when he's hiring the bum to drive him is where it finally gets interesting. Starting there would probably be better, if not starting with them already in the car and on their way.
I made those edits. Also, thanks for the honesty. I appreciate it. I recognize there are some clichés in this piece, which as of right now I'm okay with. I mostly just want to try to write an enjoyable pot boiler to be honest. A road tale, unlikely friends, lots of booze, etc...How would you make it less cliché? Would you suggest something more mundane that causes the protagonist to fall off the wagon? I get your point about there not being enough action off the bat. I suppose the chapter could start off with him entering into the liquor store, with the necessary background information being given through flashback. Any other suggestions?
__________________
If I fail to win my case, there is nothing left for us to do, but to slit our throats.-pjp

Last edited by copenhagen_dipz; 03-25-2017 at 09:31 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-25-2017, 11:24 AM
brianpatrick's Avatar
brianpatrick (Offline)
Verbosity Pales
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,173
Thanks: 286
Thanks 687
Default

Originally Posted by copenhagen_dipz View Post
1


Robert Green knew he was a failure.

Maybe that's why it didn't surprise him. Maybe all that surprised him was it hadn't happened sooner. Whatever it was, the news - his wife's revelation she'd been cheating on him - didn't seem to affect him. He'd remained stoic in the face of the information. He didn't react in the stereotypical fashion: getting angry, smashing something or throwing a glass against the wall, calling her a whore, breaking down in tears. None of it. He simply remained silent, staring her in the eyes - or more accurately through her. His gaze fixed on some far off point behind those two pale blue dots in her face which had drawn him into her the first time they'd met.

The pain, the tears, the heartache, the big ball of dread swirling in the pit of his stomach, none of it would come for a few days. He simply packed up a few belongings into a bag, grabbed their dog - a two-year-old miniature Daschund named Leon - and left the home they had shared together for the past three years.

He sat now at a bar swirling a glass of whisky. It had been two years since his last drink. He wasn't the stereotypical alcoholic. In fact he wasn't sure he was an alcoholic at all. He'd always held down a steady job, never blacked out, never lost his temper on his wife when drunk. None of the tell tale signs or melodramatic actions of a drunk. But he knew he relied on the booze more than he would have liked, knew the drinkers gene flowed through his Irish blood and eventually made the choice to quit. He worked the steps, went to meetings and collected his sobriety chips.

And yet he was here. He lifted the glass off the bar and looked at it one last time as if to give himself a second to change his mind, before downing the double in one gulp. He wrapped his palm on the bar and soon the glass was filled up again.

"A pint of PBR as well," he said.

Soon the pint was next to his glass and soon both were empty. For a while he thought of nothing in particular before paying his tab and wandering out of the bar.

Outside he flipped the collar of his jacket up and braced himself against the wind as he struck a match and lit a cigarette. He sat on the ground with his back up against the side of the establishment, his feet next to a broken bottle and trash, and slowly inhaled the smoke in through his nose and out through his mouth. He thought about putting the butt out on the inside of his wrist but decided against it. He wasn't sure why the thought entered into his head but dismissed it since he didn't want his wife's actions to drive him to do something so absurd.

Back in his car he turned up the radio and slowly drove through the busy rush hour streets. Leon lay in the back seat with his eyes closed but not asleep, enjoying the drive and blissfully unaware of the events which had just transpired.

"Should we get something to eat Leon?" Robert asked from the front seat, not turning his head around. Leon opened his eyes, registering the inflection in his owners voice, before closing them again.

Robert pulled off into a gas station parking lot and got out of the car. Inside he bought a few sticks of beef jerky, a couple packs of cigarettes, matches, some Advil and a bottle of pepto. He sauntered out and ripped open a stick of jerky. He ate half of it and fed the remaining bites to Leon as he drove to the bank.

He decided to empty out his bank account. He wasn't exactly sure why but figured it would be a good idea to liquefy whatever assets he could. The woman behind the counter - young, blonde, attractive, friendly - asked him if he was going on a trip. He pondered the question for a moment before answering yes. And so his mind was made up. He'd leave town.

It had been a long while since he'd done anything at all - aside from work, the monotony of the nine-to-five, starfish dead bedroom sex with his wife, walk the dog - and recognized if there was ever a time to get out of town it was now.

He wondered if he could convince the woman at the bank to leave with him. Wondered if she'd mind the wedding ring on his finger that it hadn't even occurred to him to take off. He wondered if she'd maybe find the whole idea romantic. But then he wondered if she'd find him a pathetic, sad sight. He wondered if someone like her could ever be attracted to someone like him. He'd been good looking in his younger years but it didn't last. His thin, boyish frame never filled out to one which belonged to a man. His thick head of blonde hair began to fall out strand by strand, until he was left with a noticeably receding hairline. In that moment he wondered about who it was his wife had been cheating on him with. He wondered if this man possessed the qualities - so often found attractive by the fairer sex - that he lacked. He wondered what it was about this individual that made his wife so intoxicated she didn't care about her wedding vows.

He left the bank and headed for the liquor commission. On the way in he walked past a bum asking him for spare change. Robert didn't even glance at him or register his question. He perused the aisles aimlessly for a while, unsure of what to purchase. Eventually an employee came over and asked if he needed any help. He declined. After about twenty minutes he'd made his selections: a two-four of PBR, a bottle of whisky, a bottle of scotch, a bottle of bourbon. He paid and left the store, struggling to carry the paper bag they'd haphazardly stacked his purchases in.

On his way to the car the bum again asked Robert for spare change. He stopped and glanced down at him. The man was a mess. In his forties most likely, a panhandler's cardboard sign with marker scrawled across it, a dirty old hat placed on the sidewalk with a few coins in it. The man looked up at him, his dead eyes showing the faintest hint of blue, his hair long and beard mangy, his clothes and face dirty and unwashed.

Robert continued onto the car and placed the bag in the back seat. He struck another match and lit up a cigarette, before breaking open the case and popping the tab on a can of beer. He took a long swig and looked back at the man on the sidewalk. The sun, which was beginning to set, could be seen above the roof of the liquor commission. The bright warmth of the afternoon was beginning to fade into the cool dimness of evening. Robert shook the can in his hand before downing the rest in one pull. He tossed it on the ground and crunched it beneath his foot before walking around to the front of the car.

"Hey you," he shouted.

The man looked up, his eyes hopeful.

"Yeah, you," he said. "You know how to drive?"

His gaze fixed on some far off point behind those two pale blue dots in her face which had drawn him into her the first time they'd met. >>> I'd thin the filtering here. Like: His gaze fixed on some far off point behind those two pale blue dots which had drawn him in the first time they'd met. (We are already in the moment. No need for: in her face, and into her.)

He wrapped his palm on the bar and soon the glass was filled up again.>>> I'd remove 'up' here. Of course it's filled up; it can't be filled down.

He sat on the ground with his back up against the side of the establishment,>>> I'd remove 'up'

Really minor stuff I noticed. Just little things that poked out a bit.

Is this the first chapter of something? It's not quite a short story and seems like it's a set-up. Maybe a road trip book?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-25-2017, 11:30 AM
brianpatrick's Avatar
brianpatrick (Offline)
Verbosity Pales
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,173
Thanks: 286
Thanks 687
Default

Originally Posted by copenhagen_dipz View Post
Alright. I've edited the original post. You're right, there were comma splices everywhere in the piece. Not exactly sure what I was thinking. I probably deleted about 20 or so. There might be some left that I missed. Thanks for the kind words Brian. I'd appreciate any further crit you may have.



I drink whisky from a glass - a short glass specifically. What's the word you were searching for? Maybe a tumbler?



I made those edits. Also, thanks for the honesty. I appreciate it. I recognize there are some clichés in this piece, which as of right now I'm okay with. I mostly just want to try to write an enjoyable pot boiler to be honest. A road tale, unlikely friends, lots of booze, etc...How would you make it less cliché? Would you suggest something more mundane that causes the protagonist to fall off the wagon? I get your point about there not being enough action off the bat. I suppose the chapter could start off with him entering into the liquor store, with the necessary background information being given through flashback. Any other suggestions?


Oh, I see. You answered my question already.

Personally, I love a good potboiler. Throw in some adventure and some wacky or over the top characters with lots of dimension and I'm on it.

I think the important part of any story is not the cliche (or not) generalities, but how the characters perform in it. How they grow and evolve. What they learn. This of course requires the writer to have something worthwhile to teach.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-25-2017, 04:23 PM
moonpunter's Avatar
moonpunter (Online)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Midway, Iowa
Posts: 235
Thanks: 13
Thanks 42
Default

I made those edits. Also, thanks for the honesty. I appreciate it. I recognize there are some clichés in this piece, which as of right now I'm okay with. I mostly just want to try to write an enjoyable pot boiler to be honest. A road tale, unlikely friends, lots of booze, etc...How would you make it less cliché? Would you suggest something more mundane that causes the protagonist to fall off the wagon? I get your point about there not being enough action off the bat. I suppose the chapter could start off with him entering into the liquor store, with the necessary background information being given through flashback. Any other suggestions?
As I said the first time, I think starting with him recruiting the bum or him in the car with the bum. If you're writing a road trip story then start on the road and you can reveal the rest later. If you can think of something less mundane than being cheated on then go with it. If you want "a potboiler" then maybe he's witnessed a crime. Maybe he's committed a crime. And so on.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-25-2017, 06:41 PM
copenhagen_dipz's Avatar
copenhagen_dipz (Offline)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Nowhere.
Posts: 207
Thanks: 47
Thanks 27
Default

Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Oh, I see. You answered my question already.

Personally, I love a good potboiler. Throw in some adventure and some wacky or over the top characters with lots of dimension and I'm on it.

I think the important part of any story is not the cliche (or not) generalities, but how the characters perform in it. How they grow and evolve. What they learn. This of course requires the writer to have something worthwhile to teach.
I'll add in those edits to my word document. Thanks for catching them. Adventure and wacky over the top characters is exactly what I imagine will punctuate this story when I'm finished with it. I wrote two more chapters today and will maybe post another up at some point. Thanks for your advice Brian.
__________________
If I fail to win my case, there is nothing left for us to do, but to slit our throats.-pjp
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-25-2017, 06:49 PM
copenhagen_dipz's Avatar
copenhagen_dipz (Offline)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Nowhere.
Posts: 207
Thanks: 47
Thanks 27
Default

Originally Posted by moonpunter View Post
As I said the first time, I think starting with him recruiting the bum or him in the car with the bum. If you're writing a road trip story then start on the road and you can reveal the rest later. If you can think of something less mundane than being cheated on then go with it. If you want "a potboiler" then maybe he's witnessed a crime. Maybe he's committed a crime. And so on.
In regards to your first suggestion, I think it makes a lot of sense. I'm going to try to re-work this piece soon to incorporate it. So thanks for the crit.

But potboilers don't necessarily involve crime and re-writing the piece to exchange infidelity for 'witnessed/committed a crime' - as to what drives the protagonist to fall off the wagon - doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. Both situations seem equally cliché.
__________________
If I fail to win my case, there is nothing left for us to do, but to slit our throats.-pjp
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-25-2017, 08:42 PM
moonpunter's Avatar
moonpunter (Online)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Midway, Iowa
Posts: 235
Thanks: 13
Thanks 42
Default

So think of something better. I'm just throwing out some suggestions.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-25-2017, 08:58 PM
copenhagen_dipz's Avatar
copenhagen_dipz (Offline)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Nowhere.
Posts: 207
Thanks: 47
Thanks 27
Default

Originally Posted by moonpunter View Post
So think of something better. I'm just throwing out some suggestions.
I already have. Thanks for the sage advice though. I mean: 'think of something better...' how more stimulating can advice get?
__________________
If I fail to win my case, there is nothing left for us to do, but to slit our throats.-pjp
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-25-2017, 10:42 PM
moonpunter's Avatar
moonpunter (Online)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Midway, Iowa
Posts: 235
Thanks: 13
Thanks 42
Default

Originally Posted by copenhagen_dipz View Post
I already have. Thanks for the sage advice though. I mean: 'think of something better...' how more stimulating can advice get?
You have to do the heavy lifting yourself, snowflake. 😛
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-26-2017, 08:47 AM
brianpatrick's Avatar
brianpatrick (Offline)
Verbosity Pales
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,173
Thanks: 286
Thanks 687
Default

Originally Posted by copenhagen_dipz View Post
In regards to your first suggestion, I think it makes a lot of sense. I'm going to try to re-work this piece soon to incorporate it. So thanks for the crit.



But potboilers don't necessarily involve crime and re-writing the piece to exchange infidelity for 'witnessed/committed a crime' - as to what drives the protagonist to fall off the wagon - doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. Both situations seem equally cliché.


If you change around the starting point of the story can you edit what's posted here so we can see it?

I'd be interested to see if such a change makes much difference.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Insomnia's Proverbs and an Untitled Poem RosettaStoned Poetry 7 06-28-2009 07:35 AM
Contest Results l Poetry l Humour (July 2008) Q Wands Previous Contests 2 08-03-2008 09:41 PM
Contest Results | Poetry | Romance (February 2007) Icarus Previous Contests 6 03-04-2007 11:47 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:30 PM.

vBulletin, Copyright © 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.