Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Men's Unmentionables

Warning: this blog post contains descriptions and links to images that should not be found on America's most popular retail site (but unfortunately are). I have refrained from showing you any highly offensive pictures. But if you want a good laugh, clink on the links or, better yet, do a search of men's undergarments on Amazon.com.

After a few weeks of nagging (no, not from me, from my other half), I found myself in the position of having to buy some male undergarments. Easy enough, right? After six-and-a-half years of practically-wedded bliss, I had literally built up my hubby's entire wardrobe. You see, it all started when the object of my affection dressed more like a construction worker than a suave young stud. Somehow, by the grace of God (or more likely, generous portions of alcohol), my knight in shining armour managed to woo me in nothing more than a tattered, faded, paint-splattered polo shirt -- mind you, that he didn't even buy, but that was delegated to him by his previous job to wear at work -- and a pair of extremely loose, threadbare pair of khaki pants. That shirt, along with a torn, paper-thin gray tee and some holey socks, was the full extent of his attire. Talk about opposites attracting! You can see the gargantuan task that had lay before me. Over the years, I brought home piece after piece, from socks to trousers to boxers to new hole-less tee shirts. I added to the collection polo shirts, jeans, long-sleeved tees, sweatshirts, coats, shoes, pants in colors other than khaki, then eventually suits and button-down shirts. Through my patience and persistent efforts, I slowly but surely turned him from a shabby (not chic) specimen to a respectable-looking professional.

The problem was, his closet was now bursting at the seams and threatening to invade my carefully carved-out closet space that I had tenaciously fought for. What began as a small section that he shared in my closet and a simple set of drawers that contained all his underthings had grown to a veritable closet in its own right. I was not surprised, therefore, when he demanded his own closet in our soon-to-be master bedroom in the new house that we had bought. "Fine," I contended (or rather, hissed), but under one condition: he could have his very own closet if I was allowed to annex 6 feet of wall space in the bedroom, enclose it, and build a laundry closet. I mean, the new master bedroom had not only a small walk-in closet but a second closet, so it was only fair to share. Little did I know the mousetrap I had walked into. Now that he had his own closet, he continued to expand his clothing collection, sometimes even buying pieces himself! Yes, he actually walked into the store and bought himself a few pairs of pants and a pair of shoes. I was shocked and worried at the same time. What if he stopped listening to me and started buying clothes that he liked instead of clothes that I liked? It was unthinkable.

But then I realized that, the more clothes he had, the lower my dry cleaning bill would be (assuming he would actually wear more of the clothes) and the less laundry I would have to do. And I already do laundry twice a week! You'd think a guy with 3 weeks worth of shirts and pants would be easier to care for. Not so. Turns out, he wears the same 4 polos and pants all week long, then the same 3 tee shirts, jeans, and shorts Friday through Sunday. The rest of his overflowing wardrobe just sits in his closet, for which he claims various excuses. Too short, too tight, too faded, to underarm-stained, too this, too that. So why doesn't he give the things he doesn't need away, like I do every 3 months? Oh no, because what would he do if he gained a few pounds/lost a few pounds/needed some shabby clothes to do chores in, or just decided that he liked hunter green again? And to make matters worse, the small group of "acceptable" articles that he wore sometimes only lasted for half the day, then he would decide to change into something "more comfortable" or more suited to whichever mood he was in. Yes, my friends, my husband has become a girl (at least in the wardrobe department). Don't ask me why I do all the laundry in the first place. It's another mousetrap that I walked into when I insisted on building a laundry closet in the bedroom.

Anyway, I grudgingly agreed to buy more stupid gray undershirts. Being the lazy bargain shopper that I am, I immediately went online to find the best deal possible so I wouldn’t have to go to the store. Before you give me the benefit of the doubt and allege that I have a certain discomfort level with buying men's unmentionables -- the female version of "male tampon buying syndrome" so to speak -- I appreciate the thought. But let me assure you that I have no qualms whatsoever with buying any unmentionables, male or female. I could care less if I'm in the grocery store buying maxi-pads and the checkout clerk yells for a price check. No, I'm not embarrased to buy "personal" stuff. Just plain lazy. My snookums' entire boxer collection has arrived by mail from Old Navy. If I can buy something without leaving the house, I will.

I set to work, typing in “men’s gray undershirts” to start my search. Logically, Google led me to Amazon. Not so logically, Amazon then commenced to spit out 4 pages of decidedly "gay undershirts." And so much more. A little too much, I'd say. Picture after picture came up of underthings that I didn't know men wanted to buy. I can understand jock straps, but next to the jock straps were images of males donning thongs, slings, strategic padding devices, completely inappropriate-looking workout garments, and other inexplicable inventions. The ridiculous poses and facial expressions that the models bore made it even more laughable. The wort part was having to look at the huge bulging male anatomy shrinkwrapped in various constricting materials. I simply could not imagine any male actually putting these contraptions on.

I was horrified enough when I was contently watching one of my favorite shows one evening, "What Not to Wear", and the male co-host, Clinton Kelly, made me do a double-take. It was a special episode about strategic undergarments that made a woman's not-so-best assets look much more flattering, and thus allowed her to wear ensembles that she previously wouldn't have dreamed of wearing. Well, towards the end of the episode, after all 3 guinea pigs had completed their transformation and were modeling their new looks, Clinton Kelly beckoned them all to come close and peer down his backside. He then proceeded to do a self-wedgie and produced a thin strap of support fabric from inside his jeans, proudly demonstrating a male thong. I almost fell out of my chair. The 3 poor girls were at a loss for words -- their facial expressions ranged from pity to sheer horror. Even Stacy London's mouth fell open.

Look, I own a large collection of thongs. They have excellent uses in a female's wardrobe. They're practically a staple in the summer, when a girl wears a lot of thin materials. Personally, I don't feel the need to wear thongs under jeans, but then, I don't generally wear skintight jeans. I also figure that denim generally has enough thickness to allow for a pair of sheer silk bikini briefs or at least some gossamer lace panties. However, I'll give a girl her thong if she wants to wear it under everything. But please tell me, what would compel a guy to wear a thong under a regular pair of jeans? Clinton Kelly, being an exceptionally well-dressed man, knows better than to squeeze his behind into a pair of tight trousers. Plus, we all expect to find some briefs or boxes under a man's pants. There's no need to eliminate the male panty line. Unless you're a male stripper and your work outfit consists of a single G-string, what possible reason could a man have to wear undoubtedly uncomfortable underwear? (More perplexing, what possessed Clinton Kelly to show his thong on national television?) Yet, there is a plethora of male "speciality" undergarments.

Lest you think Amazon.com is a family-friendly site, think again. You'll find row after row of bulging full-frontals and enhanced profiles of men squeezed into rather cramped quarters, so to speak. Some of the garb made me reconsider my lunch. Now, if more of these men looked like Mark Wahlberg or Matt Damon (after the "The Bourne" trilogy makeover), it would be a different story. Heck, I'd give up my lunch hour to ogle Mark Wahlberg in his Calvins. In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger for providing some of the least unpleasant images of men in underwear (except for Calvin Klein's inopportune body thong) as well as for showcasing some of the best-built bods around. Not that they were any more family-friendly, but at least they were friendlier on the stomach. Unfortunately, some of the men in the other ads looked like Deuce Bigalow or, on the other extreme, a gay version of Ricky Martin with strapping quads. Not a pretty picture. I have nothing against gay and lesbian individuals, but I don't want to see gay porn stars on steroids modeling underwear on Amazon.com. And while I concede that there is definitely a place for novelty undergarments, I'm completely clueless as to why a search for "men's gray undershirts" would yield both a lime-green Classic Silk Knit Thong (classic, you say?) and a Male Power Posing Strap (warning: this image is highly unsavory).

I mentioned this to my friend Anna and sent her some of the most disturbing images. She was equally puzzled. Here are some of my favorites. This outfit (right) does nothing to flatter a man's ego. In fact, the first thing I thought of was, did this guy wet his pants? How about the derriere-enhancing Padded Boxer Butt Brief? You reach out to give his cheeks a squeeze, only to discover that they're not his real cheeks. Or this Male Power Super Sock with a “contoured pouch for profile enhancement,” which also comes in a fetching leopard print for your wearing enjoyment. I mean, how inadequate must a guy feel to buy extra bulge? Try to imagine the embarrassment when the poor guy has to take it off and show his real size. I know, I know, women have their push-up bras. But that's because women's bosoms have traditionally been acceptable to display throughout the course of history. Besides, men are always clammoring to see more of them. Women, on the other hand, do not want to see male enhancement in public.

I was practically rolling on the floor when I read this product name and description (below image): "Balls In One Brief - Finally a brief that holds everything in place and doesn't squish your balls! Designed to fit a mans anatomy perfectly with a cool mesh pouch for your sack and a unique fit that helps your shaft to point up... Also available in thong and Erector Brief styles." I have cropped the bottom out of the image but you can see it in all its glory and read the helpful product review by clicking on the image. The poor model looks like he is about to be strip-searched in prison. That, or a female dominatrix is forcing him to take his shirt off. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for this dreadful image. Whoever invented the Undergear Big Rib Bodysuit should be forced to wash women's underwear in public and hang them outisde his window. Men should not be allowed to wear this contraption! I'm not even going to ask how the black spandex Padded Hip And Butt Panty Shaper For Crossdressing, Transgender And Transvestite Men made it into the search results.

More bewildering to me was that real men actually left reviews for these products, using their full names in some cases and in stunning detail. I don’t even want to imagine that men wear these things, and I sure as hell don’t want to know their names and what they do for a living! For example, when reviewing the Male Power Super Sock, Joe Average "Joe" (yes, this is his real Amazon username) from Florida writes, "Unfortunately, my experience with this product is less than stellar. For one, I am a very hairy man. A VERY HAIRY MAN. The look was completely different from the picture. Secondly, upon closer inspection of the product pictured, it appears that the model has a SOCK stuffed in the front! That must be what they mean by super sock. Anyway, when I crammed my package in there, it looked a prairie dog popping up out of its hole. Lastly, watch out for the string...it gets stinky." Whoa!!! That's way more information than a girl or even another guy ever needed to know. It's one thing to review shoes on Zappos.com, but quite another to enlighten the general population about your no-so-fresh feeling. I can safely predict that Joe's dating adventures are about as stellar as his experience with the Super Sock.

Then there is perfectly practical gear that looks anything but normal in the picture. When I first saw this Under Armour Men's Long Sleeve Turf Gear, I mistook it for a Halloween costume. Luckily, Anna was quick to enlighten me on the virtues of Under Armour. Apparently, it is not an undershirt at all, but a moisture-wicking fabric. She also threw in the all-important factoid that it was invented by a former University of Maryland football player and has really become the gold standard for athletic wear. Football players love them. Of course, I dig football players! By all means, wick on, wick off... But you might want to consider modifying your print ads. Right now, they probably scare the pants off young children (no pun intended). The ad shows an imposing maroon (or red) Incredible Hulk torso with no head, just an open neck, and no sign of a man’s body underneath. My immediate thought when I saw it was, does it pop out of the box that way, all brawny and muscle-toned, flexing both bicepts? My next thought was, boy, I'd hate to be the skinny teenage nerd or the middle-aged man with serious love handles taking this out of the box for the first time. It would make me feel a teensy bit inadequate. And my third thought was, I’d be afraid, very afraid, that as soon as I put it on, that it would turn me into the maroon (or bright red) Incredible Hulk.

By the end of my browsing experience, I was so disturbed by the frightening images I had viewed, I was effectively curtailed from purchasing men's undergarments online ever again. Alas, I was forced to leave the house. Anna suggested that I hit Target or the Gap outlet instead. A few days later, I found myself sifting through piles of undergarments alongside males of all stripes. To their credit, they didn't bat an eyelash as I turned over the entire stock of undershirts. I have witnessed, on the other hand, plenty of men stared down by women as they sorted through racks of bras and panties in the lingerie department. The notable exception is Victoria's Secret, which goes out of their way to make men feel welcome and even helps them purchase the right attire. One can only hope that these men are buying it for someone other than themselves (and preferably a female).

Surprisingly, it wasn't that easy to find multi-packs of simple, gray undershirts. I kept running into multi-packs that had assorted colors, or undershirts that had pockets. Or, undershirts that had banded collars and sleeves. I found two separate packages of potential shirts but neither were in the size I was looking for. Naturally, I found plenty printed gray tee shirts, "hefty" tees, and v-necks, none of which I needed. Target had some eligible options, but they were either the right size and wrong color, or vice versa. The only acceptable combination came with extra details I didn't want, or cost more than $10-15 each -- way more than my budget. I almost broke down and bought designer undershirts at Macy's that cost $20 per shirt, but then I remembered that I was on an unusually tight budget. Fortunately, I had much better luck at TJ Maxx, where I managed to find a tee that was gray, lightweight, unprinted, unbanded, and came in all different sizes. There were even multiples so I could get 2 or 3 in the same size. The best part? It cost only $4.99. Perfect for my slim budget. I took home 2 and figured I could come back for more if my picky man liked them.


I'm glad to report the he liked the tee shirts and is already wearing them. Thanks for saving the day, TJ Maxx! And, my eyes. Sorry Amazon, but I won't be visiting again anytime soon. Who knows what could happen? I might be searching for an innocent pair of "tennis socks" and be accosted by an enigmatic mime in an electric blue Complete Body Unitard (right) who appears to be performing a scene from "Cats." Or a lovely pair of shag carpet-like ruffled Petipants (undies?), which look alarmingly like they were spun from Dolly the sheep. How, exactly, do these two items fall under the category of "socks and hosiery"? (Though I am pleasantly surprised to have come across a rather useful and appropriately-classified item, toe-less pantyhose -- for those who insist on wearing peep-toe pumps in the dead of winter and need some leg coverage.) Next time I want to buy men's undergarments, I'll stick to Old Navy for boxers and TJ Maxx for the rest.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Cost of a Couture Coffee Habit

As I sit here and savor my exceptional cappucino with a decadently buttery, flaky, warm croissant, I contemplate how fortunate I am to be able to enjoy this in the comfort of my own home, in my bathrobe and bunny slippers. I wrote last summer about how much I had come to depend on the simplicity of my beloved instant Starbucks espresso pods. Well, I'm happy to report that my Starbucks addiction has been replaced with an addiction to fresh Illy espresso beans. You see, one of the wedding presents we received last fall was a completely automatic espresso machine, the Saeco Charisma. Normally, it retails for $700, but being the good shopper that I am, I lucked out just as this model went on sale at Costco. My uncle actually found the great deal. Upon returning from our Italian honeymoon adventure, my hubby and I had grown accustomed to experiencing absolutely perfect espressos and cappucinos whenever we wanted them -- and we always wanted them.

Although we weren't trashing our current Gaggia Carezza that had started us on our homemade espresso habit, frankly, the little Carezza just wasn't cutting it lately. It had always been a little temperamental -- emotional, we called it, like many Italians -- but now, it was having nervous breakdowns. The coffee's crema wasn't coming through sometimes, it leaked water constantly, and it took a long time to heat up. If you didn't heat it up enough, the first cup wasn't good and you had to dump it. If you didn't let it recharge sufficiently between shots, it ruined the second cup. There was also the issue with the espresso pods. It was a blessing to have them, so much easier and cleaner were they than grinding, measuring, and tamping coffee beans, then cleaning all the grounds and dust out. But the pods made it hard to make large capuccinos or lattes, supposing you wanted a double or even triple shot. And forget about entertaining guests. It was okay if no one was in a hurry and you could wait 5 minutes between serving each person a single shot, but it was impossible to make 4, 6, or 10 grande beverages in a row. Don't even think about trying to steam milk afterwards. So I resigned myself to the fact that, having now been spoiled by the Italians for life, we might need to upgrade our machine.

I mentioned to my uncle that it would be really swell to own a totally automatic machine so I would get my fix even faster with more consistent quality. I had often visited him and he would make the most amazing espresso drinks for the entire family-- he could make 10 double-shots without waiting for the machine to "reload." Now, to all the purists out there who insist that the only "true" cup of espresso is the kind that you freshly grind on the ideal setting, tamp to perfection, and steam pressure into your cup -- frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. These purists claim that an automatic machine makes it difficult to control some of the aspects of the process. Well I say to them, it's not my goal to become a professional barrista. My sole purpose is to quickly make a consistently tasty, painless cup of cappucino with minimal preparation and cleanup, and still have time to prepare a great sandwich or sweet with it.

My uncle asked if I would like to own the same machine as he does, and naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. So he suggested that we send him back the very generous check that he had given us and instead, he would buy us an automatic espresso machine. The timing couldn't be better, he claimed, as the same Saeco Charisma that he owned, which retails for $700, was currently on sale at Costco for just $450. This multifunctional model takes whole coffee beans, grinds them at an adjustable setting, makes single, double, or even triple shots with your desired concentration just by pushing a button, and even steams milk. It needs just 1 minute to heat up and no rest periods between multiple cups. Cleanup is easy, just open up the front door, slide out the tray, and dump out the grounds after every few uses. We were very excited to try it.

About a week later, I brought home the Saeco Charisma in its gigantic box after picking it up from my uncle's house. We couldn't wait to unpack it, and there was a lot to unpack with this sizeable contraption. After we got everything unwrapped, washed, and set-up, we just had to try it out. One problem though -- we didn't have any fresh coffee beans. Being Saturday night and with nothing really open, we were forced to wait until the following morning. Without undo hesitation, I ran out the next day to Balducci's to buy the ultimate luxury in coffee: Illy coffee beans. Finally, I would be able to enjoy espresso the way it was meant to be enjoyed -- freshly ground and pressure-brewed. As soon as I got home with the stash of beans, I opened up the vacuum-sealed can and inhaled the incredible aroma of what some people call the world's finest coffee. Yes, I looked like all the idiots in the coffee commercials, sticking my nose right into the can and taking huge whiffs like I was trying to get high off the coffee vapors. But I didn't care. And this wasn't Maxwell House, it was Illy. So the inhaling was good.

Now, I will admit, it took us a while to figure out the correct grind setting for the coffee beans. Some people prefer theirs ground to a powder while others like a little coarseness in the grind. We found that a little bit of coarseness was good. We also had to adjust the concentration of the brew. This was easy, we set it on the highest concentration for maximum potency. Now, all we had to do was press the button -- once for a single shot and twice for a double shot -- and we were treated to the intoxicating aroma of freshly ground beans plus the rich flavor of an espresso. And floating on top of the deep brown liquid was a nice think layer of golden crema. Ah, bellissimo! One taste was worth a thousand words. Illy coffee measured up to its reputation, and the Saeco Charisma measured up to its $450. Another nice thing about buying electronic equipment at Costco is that you can deal directly with them for repairs or replacements. I've heard horror stories from consumers who have tried to deal with Saeco. Just don't.

It took us another couple of weeks to fine-tune our grind and concentration settings, but we finally settled on our preferred combination, with a little bit of advice from my uncle. We also tried different coffee beans. Having run out of Illy one weeknight and with Starbucks being the only open option, we brought home a bag of Starbuck's espresso roast. Well, I'd like to say it was a fine-tasting specimen, but it wasn't quite what we had gotten used to. So we didn't bother with Starbucks again. We tried some organic brands from Whole Foods as well as our favorite Dunkin Donuts Hazelnut coffee, which is the only bean allowed to touch our drip coffeemaker. We tried some flavored beans from Ghirardelli and some other brand that I have now forgotten, but the coffee was weak. We finally agreed that Illy coffee was worth the expense. At $11.99 per can, it was no bargain, but if you're lucky and live near a Balducci's, you might receive coupons once in a while. They can vary from $5 to $10 off your total purchase, and they definitely help defray the cost of our expensive habit. To say that Illy coffee is priced high is an understatement. If you compare it with Starbucks Espresso Roast beans, which cost $10.45 per pound, Illy's just-over half-pound can is a little exorbitant at $11.99. Believe it or not, most online retailers charge between $12-14 per can, even when they're trying to sell you the economy "valuepak" of 6 cans. But if you must have the best, you'll grudgingly pay for it. At least I can save a few bucks with Balducci's coupons. Thank goodness for the little things.

And it is worth it. Every penny. The taste of a freshly ground, freshly brewed espresso is unbeatable. Add in perfectly steamed and frothed milk, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of cocoa powder, and you're in heaven. Sit down and enjoy your morning latte or cappucino with a warm, flaky croissant or a toasted sesame bagel with cream cheese and you've found nirvana. Have an afternoon latte or an evening espresso with a big chewy cookie or a gooey cinnamon bun and you'll feel like a kid again (albeit, a kid who is allowed to drink espresso beverages). My mother-in-law even taught us how to make a yummy Italian delicacy that she saw Giada De Laurentiis make on her show once. Brew a single shot of espresso, then pour over vanilla ice cream. Presto, you've got an instant fancy dessert! We modified this recipe slightly by pouring espresso over coffee ice cream and adding a piece of waffle cone.

Being the discount diva that I am, I once again sat down and calculated how much I was saving by indulging in my cappucino habit from home instead of spending it at a coffee shop. Last year, I calculated that Starbucks espresso pods saved me $600 to $900 per year. Now let's see what my couture coffee habit from my totally automatic machine was saving me, if anything. Let's say you have a tall latte or cappucino 5 days per week for one year. Divide the price of the automatic espresso machine by 5 years, which is theoretically how long a machine of this quality is supposed to last. That's $450 divided by 5, which equals $90 per year. Add in the cost of Illy coffee beans. I would guesstimate that each 8.8 ounce can of Illy coffee makes about 30 single shots, so 15 double-shot servings, or 3 weeks worth of servings. Divide 52 weeks by 3 and multiply by $11.99, the price of one can. That comes to $208. Add in the cost of milk. Well, you're going to buy milk anyway, so do you really need to add it in? Okay, add in $100 for milk, because with an automatic espresso machine, you'll go through twice the milk. I assume you have cinnamon and cocoa powder in your cupboard, so just add a tiny sprinkle. I personally no longer find the need to add flavored syrups to my coffee, now that I actually enjoy the divine taste of my coffee. However, if you like caramel, vanilla, or hazelnut lattes, subtract the cost of Illy coffee and buy Starbucks espresso roast instead. It's a weaker coffee, but the syrups will cover up much of the coffee's real taste anyway. The money you save on coffee beans will cancel out the few extra-large bottles of syrup you'll go through per year. So, the grand total for one year's worth of homemade espressso beverages? $398. Divide that by 5 beverages over 52 weeks. That comes to $1.53 per beverage.

Is it cheaper than Starbucks? You bet!! It's about half the price of a tall espresso beverage. And if you're in the habit of buying grande beverages, you'd really save a bundle by brewing at home. You can save between $390 and $442 per year! Just imagine how much you can save an entire household -- double for a household of two, triple if you have 2 roommates or teenagers (or adult children). $390-442 buys a lot of shoes. Or a weekend getaway to Florida. Or a case of your favorite wine. Or a knockout Marc Jacobs coat, on sale of course. Or a fabulous new Coach bag. Or a fabulous used Gucci bag on ebay. Or a new 19-inch flat-screen monitor so you don't have to squint. Or a new comfy armchair (plus Ottoman if you buy it at Ikea). I'm sure you can find plenty of ways to spend the money you save.

But is it better than Starbucks? Are you kidding me? You get the best-tasting coffee with Illy beans. Not to mention the comfort of your favorite chair at home. Plus much cheaper (and I would argue better) pastries and bagels to go with it. You can even add a little liqueur if your workday didn't go so well. Or a few drizzles of chocolate syrup to upgrade to a mocha for free. (I know you keep chocolate syrup on hand. If not, I'm sure you keep hot fudge sauce on hand. No? Just melt some chocolate chips or a Hershey's kiss, for heaven's sake. I know you have some form of chocolate in your home. It doesn't count as an added expense.) You can make all those refreshing iced mochas and frappucinos for less too.

The best part? You can make it anytime you want, and you don't even have to get out of your bunny slippers. That alone is worth it. My coffee cup runneth over.

Photos courtesy of Illy (coffee in can and coffee in 2 cups), 1-800-Espresso (Saeco Charisma automatic espresso machine), and AtomicCafe.com's gorgeous photos of coffee art from the Latte Art Show.)

I read that the Saeco Charisma has been discontinued. But there are several units still being sold by retailers, for much less than the original $700 price tag. I just saw the Saeco Charisma priced at just $399 at Amazon. It is sold through J&R, an online retailer. It doesn't indicate whether this price is for a new or refurbished model, but there is nothing in the description to indicate that it's not new. I saw a refurbished one on Amazon for $300, but it may be gone now that the new one is selling for $399. There are also some retailers selling it between $500-600. Hey, if you buy it for $399, your cost per beverage drops slightly to $1.49. You can't beat that!