A conversation with Mel Meekham

Hello. It’s great to meet you. Great.

Tell me a bit about yourself. Mmmn. Yes. Mmmhmn. Terrific. Well that all sounds terrific.

Can I ask you something? Have you ever been on the World Wide Web? You have. Terrific. And what are your thoughts? Very insightful. Have you been to a site called Vagina Voyage? Vagina Voyage dot com? That’s my site. I take the pictures, I find the models. Find them at the beach and at the mall usually. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a young woman to take off her clothes for the camera? It’s not very difficult at all. The key, I don’t mind telling you, is to use a French accent when you speak. Like zeese. You say to zem, you say, Hello, you are very byooteefool. I am a photographer een town from France, here to tek some fancy photographs. You weel allow me to tek your photograph?

What do you think of that? Very impressive rather undersells it. You’d realize that if you’d visited Vagina Voyage.

I’ll tell you something. I used to be a gymnast. Spectacular sport, gymnastics. The sport of eagles. It requires absolute discipline of the body and the mind. My specialty was flips. I could do flips all day, backward and forward. I could stand in place and turn as many flips at a go as you’d ever want to see, up to ten in one jump. Strong legs, that’s the key. I could stand on the floor and leap into the air and turn half a dozen flips then land on top of a chest of drawers. That was easy for me, and the judges loved me for it.

Ever been to Transylvania? Home of the vampire. You’d better believe they’re real. Can’t be killed, either. Stakes, sunlight, holy water — all a myth. You’ve got to pacify them, feed them what they love: moth balls. Moth balls and cold, rigid logic. A vampire loves a logic game more than the average joe. Same can be said for his feelings on moth balls, I suppose.

Now werewolves, that’s a different breed altogether. They can be killed readily enough. But the question that pops into your head when you first encounter one is, why would I ever want to harm such a gregarious animal? Friendly as a golden retriever. I know what they say, but somewhere the wires got crossed. Werewolves are the friendliest animals you’d ever want to meet. I only ever killed one wolfman, and he was in human form at the time. Walked in on yours truly and his sister taking some photographs and started shouting. To his credit, she was very young and not all there mentally.

Any interest in the demolition derby? I used to race demolition derby when I was your age. I loved it a great deal, swore there was nothing else in the world. Got to the point where I was organizing the events. That’s when I really started to have fun with it. Used to drive a great big monster truck with eight-foot tall wheels. You’ve never seen naked fear until you’ve looked into the eyes of the other drivers in their beat up Dodge Darts and station wagons as I drive into the ring in a twenty foot tall monster truck. In the derby you have a set of regulations that every car has to adhere to with regards to weight, and of course I was way over. But since I paid the judges salaries…

I used to have the ref who checked the cars sneak a microphone and tape deck into the back seat and later I’d listen to the tapes to hear the drivers’ reactions when I rolled into the stadium sitting on 12 tons of car-compactor. I was surprised to learn there wasn’t a lot of cussing. You’d get one type of guy who’d start praying, another type who’d say ‘hold the phone’, and that’s about it. I’d sneak those tapes onto the P.A. at the funerals and just watch the family get all confused at first then very upset.

Ever date a girl you work with? It can be tough, I’ll tell you. I’ve got a young lady living with me, I met her through Vagina Voyage, and I’ll tell you, there’s no end to the favors they expect. Says she’s too good to ride the bus to school, wants me to have my driver take her. I said as soon as you’re old enough to drive, I’ll let you use any car you want out of the garage, but Raymond has to be available to me at the drop of a hat. I can’t have him halfway to school and the orphanage calls saying they just got triplets.

I was raised by my grandfather, who was a sheriff out in Arizona. Killed twenty-eight people in the line of duty. I’ve got his old Colt, twenty-eight notches filed into the barrel. He used to let me hold it when I was a boy. Told me the main thing was if you even half-wondered whether you should shoot, you should shoot. That old man lived to be a hundred and two. Chalked up eight of his kills during his last year as sheriff, two of them women. They made him retire after that. I’ve got an old holster of his you wear under your jacket. I like to carry that Colt around with me. Feels like part of him’s still alive.

Converse with Mel Meekham now on the discussion board.

There's just something about your mother…

Yo mama so fat, she can only live in one of the largest four or five states if she wants to avoid paying dual-residency taxes.
Yo mama so fat she wobble.
Yo mama, she is so fat that when she walks her fat wobbles all over the place, making everybody sick just from looking at it, it so gross.
Yo mama so fat that she’s murder on the soles of her shoes. They tend to flatten out after just a month or two of daily wear.
Yo mama so fat, and she so into food, that somebody said “Turkey”, talking about the country, and she thought, “Time to eat!”, thinking they was talking about pork or something.
Yo mama she so fat she work up an appetite just by eatin dinner!
Yo mama so fat! Why yo mama so fat all the time? Yo mama, she just so terribly fat!
Yo mama so very fat, she affect the tides!
My mama one fat, fat lady — but yo mama fatter hands down!
Yo mama FAT, all caps!
Yo mama bring fat to a whole new level. If fat to most people means “a really huge person”, yo mama take that to a whole new level!
Yo mama fat. Like, if she was a boat at sea, and her fat was water that got in the boat… nuttin but trouble!

The lessons of Krull

Krull, the 1983 action/sci-fi spectacular, is a film that can be watched simply as an unparalleled piece of entertainment, yes, but the attuned viewer will pick up some terrific lessons as well, guidelines to help him or her live a happy, full life. Krull is a film that, like The Bible and the books of Hermann Hesse, was written with ideas in mind, very powerful ideas that the author not only wanted to share, but maybe on some level felt compelled to. Here are a couple of my favorite Krull lessons. What are yours?

  • Good warriors do not make good husbands — Yes, really: this saying, which is by now a well worn, widely trusted maxim of western culture, actually began with Krull. Lysette, the princess, is told by her cranky yet obviously quite wise father that… well, you know what he tells her. And of course he’s right � Prince Colwyn, about whom the wise king warns his daughter, is a very solid warrior and, we have to assume, turns out to be a really terrible husband. Of course exactly how he’s bad is beyond the scope of the film, which ends shortly after the two young lovers are re-united, but certain very obvious hints are dropped that leave little doubt in a viewer’s mind what kind of husband Colwyn will be: at one point, after camping in the swamp with his motley band of crusaders, Colwyn refuses to help pack up camp, asserting that his time is better spent practicing his sword moves, honing his bow & arrow moves, practicing his wrestling, or, at worst, shining his sword, bow, and arrows; another time, during the long perilous trek to find the Dark Mountain and his princess, Colwyn totally spaces the birthday of a fellow crusader because he’s too focused on how their tiny squad of scrappers will overcome the massive Slayer army and its leader, The Beast; and finally on one telling occasion Colwyn is asked to watch his brother-in-arms’s three and five year-old kids for 10 minutes while he [the brother-in-arms] spends some rare quiet alone time with his [Colwyn’s] wife [just kidding, it’s the brother-in-arms’s wife], but Colwyn gets distracted by some maps he wants to look at, gets all caught up in speculating aloud to himself on the possible location of the Dark Mountain, and totally misses the fact that the kids are sinking in a nearby pool (pit? patch?) of quicksand, even though they’re screaming for help, and so the kids die, or possibly go to live in the wonderful world below the quicksand, as Colwyn tries to explain to his brother-in-arms, but as the brother-in-arms tearfully argues, that seems like a real longshot.
  • The future will be a tasteful blend of cool new stuff and really old stuff — I think Krull is right on with this. Is the future going to be like Minority Report or Bladerunner? With essentially all the same stuff we have today but just developed and improved at a pretty consistent rate? So there are still cars, but they’re faster and safer and sleeker; and there are still houses, but they are all glass and steel and have robot butlers; and there is still Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford, but just slightly younger? No, I think Krull‘s vision is far more interesting, far more revolutionary. The future will have a couple of totally new things, like a really sleek, metallic main gate on the castle, and bad guys that fly around through space in mountains, mountains that can also teleport. But in the future we’ll have moved away from some of the stuff that we currently think of as useful: it’ll be back to horses and bye-bye to cars, hello again to Robin Hood-esque clothing made of leather and rope-belts, and lots of city planning based on a castle in the middle and houses spiralling out from the castle walls. Jesters will probably come back into vogue. We’ll return to hamfisted plays full of exaggerated archetypes instead of complex tableaux of human drama like Krull.
  • If you used to be the Spider Woman’s lover, she will pull certain strings to protect you from the huge murderous spider — A valuable thing to know. Let’s say, for example, that you learn the Spider Woman has a wonderful type of candy in her room, and you want to get some of this candy, to taste it, yet you know that the Spider Woman’s room lies at the center of a massive web that is the hunting grounds for a huge, huge murderous spider. How will you get at the candy? If you used to know the Spider Woman — I mean, like, know her — then you should go to the edge of the web and call out to her some telling bit of carnal knowledge to identify yourself (“You used to purr like a monkey when I slid a cherry popsicle between your glasses and your eyebrows!”). Once she realizes who it is, she’ll turn over an hourglass with roughly 2 minutes of sand in it. The huge spider knows not to attack you while that sand is running � hell, he’s a spider, not a monster! So you’ll be able to safely get across and root around in that bowl of candy like a hog in a truffle patch (pile? plot?). When you’re ready to go the hourglass trick won’t really work, so you’ll need to beam out of there or something. Maybe just shoot the spider. Something.
  • After defeating your main enemy, get the hell out of his lair fast, because it was his life force that was keeping the roof from collapsing and the walls from crumbling — This is something that only fantasy movies seem to be onto, and yet it’s something that D.E.A. and F.B.I. agents and various military personnel probably need to be told. The fact is, if you are going to kill a person on their property, you need to be ready to run like crazy the moment that person takes his last breath, because everything is going to start coming apart at the seams as soon as the bad guy’s life-force isn’t holding his house’s bricks and beams in place. Notice what happens to the Dark Mountain when Colwyn kills the Beast: it not only crumbles to pieces, but those pieces are sucked up into space. So yeah, you killed the main bad guy; now you can just sit there and gloat . . . in space, idiot!

What You Are Seeing

(click to view)
This video, one of many classic slivers of factual hilarity that circulate through the infinite vascular passages of the Interweb year after year, is rarely attended by the backstory; very few people, therefore, are aware of the dark context surrounding this boy’s comical crash landing. But the We Are Scientists, through a typically rigorous series of séances and trips to the library, have uncovered the story behind the stumble, and report it to you herewith…
This short video depicts another sad subject of pop media’s delusion-weaving influence. The child in the clip spent the better part of the morning watching the first season of NBC’s hit Saturday morning cartoon ‘The Gummy Bears’ on DVD. His father, Ernstlich, concerned by the increasing tendency toward “indoor activities” his son had shown in recent months, finally ambushed the screening and dragged the boy down the block toward the public pool, where he intended to manufacture for his camcorder a highly-memorable memory: his son’s first solo leap into the water.
Of course the child had been in the pool before, but always by wading in gently from the steps or being held by the scruff of his bathing outfit and tossed — never had he of his own volition entered avec force. And so Ernstlich was seventy percent sure, as he walked his boy past carefully manicured lawns down level, crackless sidewalks, that the boy would need significant prompting when it came time to roll camera. To that end, he had stuffed into an auxiliary pocket of the camcorder case Milky the Manticore, a handpuppet of Ernstlich’s own exceedingly crude construction of which the boy nevertheless had a near hysterical fear. It was Milky the terrycloth Manticore, you see, who during the child’s scant young years had occupied the dual role of ruthless interrogator and harsh meter-out of penalty. Hot was Milky’s temper and notoriously fragile his tolerance for whining and bedwetting; and if his sentences recalled the Greek king Draco in their extremity, you’d have to go back nearly 4000 years, past Hammurabi and his stone-etched code, to find an execution of law with less rhyme, less predictability, than that of the button-snouted Manticore.
The boy would not require Milky’s peculiar breed of inspiration on this day, however, for his spirit was girded by the Gummy Bears’ flagrant (negligent?) optimism, and perhaps a little bit too the warm June sun; the warm, gently swishing wind, so energized and delicious-tasting after the still t.v. room; and the miles of open air unfurling between him and a jacks-toss of small, finely-carved clouds. So consciously inspired was he, though, by those bouncing bears, that when dad called “action!” the little guy attempted not just a leap into the pool, but a bounce-into-a-leap — the sort of modest maneuver a juiced-up gummy bear tosses off as instinctively as a person adjusting their step to join an escalator. And though the boy felt very strongly in a general way that he had gummy juice charging around in his veins, he hadn’t ever actually drunk any, as he’d have realized had he carefully gone over the morning in his head.
Unhappy postscript: the video stops an instant before the picture rolls forward and dives toward the cement, the camera dropped by a hand flushed and twitching with life, like a raw red framework of muscle and bone waiting to don its Milky suit.

Scenes from the Boda Dome: Job Interview (System transcript 18552.3b-OCT/22/40)

HITCHENS: You’re Edward.

EDWARD: Um, yes. Uh… yes.

HITCHENS: Edward, do you know who I am?

EDWARD: Um… You’re, you’re Mr. Hitchens.

HITCHENS: Hitchens.

EDWARD: Hitchens. That’s, um… I think that’s what I said.

HITCHENS: It’s just Hitchens, Edward.

EDWARD: Oh, it, it–

HITCHENS: Why do you think you’d be right for this job, Edward?

EDWARD: Why do I, um… I think that, um… Well, I think that… Um, Mr. um…, er, Hitchens?

HITCHENS: Just Hitchens. Yes, Edward.

EDWARD: They actually didn’t tell me anything about the job. So…

HITCHENS: I find that hard to believe, Edward.

EDWARD: Oh. But… No. They didn’t tell me.

HITCHENS: I admire your honesty, Edward.

EDWARD: Uh… thanks, thank you.

HITCHENS: However I deplore unpreparedness. Though apparently it’s not your fault, is that right?

EDWARD: No, I… They said you’d explain the job.

HITCHENS: Let me ask you something, Edward. Do you have quick, dextrous hands?

EDWARD: Hands, sir? I…



HITCHENS: Hitchens.

EDWARD: Hit– Hitchens.

HITCHENS: Do you have quick, dextrous hands, Edward.

EDWARD: I… do?

HITCHENS: And are you tolerant of extremely high temperatures?

EDWARD: I… I don’t know, sir. I don’t… I don’t think so. Not particularly.

HITCHENS: Your letter says you are.

EDWARD: It… It does?

HITCHENS: The letter from Employment. It does.

EDWARD: Oh. Well, um… how high? The temperatures.

HITCHENS: Very high, Edward.

EDWARD: Oh. Oh, in that case–

HITCHENS: Let me ask you, Edward, whether you think you could maintain manual dexterity over extended periods in high temperatures.

EDWARD: Um… sir? I’m really not sure I could.


EDWARD: I’m sorry, sir, I’m not trying to… to… I’m not hoping to get out of the job, sir, it’s just I’m really not sure I could… could…

HITCHENS: Edward, of course no one enjoys working under adverse conditions. But you go home at the end of the day to comfort. To everything you need for sustaining a fulfilling existence. And in exchange you work. That’s how we run a society. It’s how society has always been run, Edward.

EDWARD: Yes, sir, that’s true, I just–

HITCHENS: Edward, you dealt cards in Recreation for three years. I have no reservations about your dexterity. Neither should you. This is substantially the same thing, except instead of cards you’ll be working with organics.

EDWARD: O- Organics, sir?

HITCHENS: Living tissue, Edward. Ergo the heat. Incubation.

EDWARD: Sir, I– I–

HITCHENS: I’m awarding you the post, Edward. Please be here tomorrow for standard schedule. Entry is on level 6.

EDWARD: Thank you, sir.

HITCHENS: Hitchens, Edward. You’re welcome.

Sarah, Shea, Cybil, Lail, PP Trouble

name: Sarah
query: Dearest Scientists,
I have an oral law report and essay on sexual assault due wednesday…problem is, it’s 8pm Tuesday night and I haven’t even started! So my question is, should I fake sickness and stay home, only to have to miraculously “get better” by 6pm, when I go see the French Kicks play in Detroit? Or should I face the consequences of an unfinished report and possible reaming out by my law teacher in front of my class, followed by a night of rocking out? What should I do?!

Sarah: It’s a fairly complex situation, you’re right. Actually, you’re on track to an answer, and of course deception is the key; you’re just not taking it quite far enough. Staying home sick with the old 10 Hour Flu is sloppy, bound to raise eyebrows. You want a clean escape, and here’s how to achieve it: Go to class. Listen to the other kids do their reports on sexual assault. When it’s your turn, announce in a voice genle yet firm that the topic is just too sensitive for you, you’re really sorry but you just couldn’t do a report. Shut your eyes when you say this and allow your voice to tremble slightly. After a moment or two of silence, the class will almost definitely move on, no questions asked, and your freedom will be won.
And, Sarah… Enjoy the French Kicks!
name: Shea
query: Esterification lab project due in 2 days. I’m lost and I need to know why the smell changes, slight overview I guess. Salicylic acid and methanol. Acetic Acid and ethanol. Got anything?
Wow. You present us with a quandary, Shea. We’re loathe to undermine your learning by simply removing this obstacle from your path altogether. Yet we’d love to just blurt out the answer BECAUSE WE TOTALLY KNOW IT CUZ IT’S TOTALLYFUCKING EASY!!!
What if we were to give you a hint? A hint written in metaphor: There was once a monk by the name of Salicyl. He was elected by the other monks in his cloister to undertake the important annual trip to Methanopolis to resupply the cloister’s carefully managed stock of Acetic acid. During the weeklong journey to the capital, Salicyl decided a discreet stopover at the Olde Tyme Palace of Prostituency & Imbibation would be most in order. While there, he enjoyed the attentions of the renowned and widely-Known courtesans Clamyd and Syphil, and did in turn visit much attention upon the barrels of alkaloid-nested brock. Well, when two days hence Salicyl reached the apothecary in Methanopolis, he was in such an addled state, his body was so riddled by the infusions it had received at the Olde Timey WhooreBrothel, that he bungled the procurement and brought home to his brethren in Christ, who by this time were positively desperate for that Acetic acid, a barrel of reeking kimchi. He was sentenced by a thoroughly-piqued tribunal of his peers to 7 days of esterification in the Unholy Pit of Ethanol & Madness.
Godspeed, young scholar!
name: cybil
query: my friend refuses to believe in God because she says the bible is sexist. what can i say to her?
First, catch your friend off guard by agreeing with her. Say, “I’m sorry, but it’s true! The Bible is very sexist!! From the powerful symbol of Eve as originating in one of Adam’s little tiny ribs on through to the end, that’s one sexist book!!” Then tell her that if she’s going to get hung up on the sexism, though, she’ll never notice all of the really BIG reasons that the Bible is dumb. Point out to her some of the tremendous inconsistencies in God’s “justice”; guide her to the passages where we’re told people used to routinely live in excess of 600 years; discuss the many instances when Israelite armies were commanded by God to kill not only the enemy’s soldiers, but also the women, children and animals; talk about Job.
Then you could also remind her that, despite all this, the Bible is after all a mere document, one that, in its current iteration, has been subject to the longest round of The Telephone Game ever played; that it has been re-translated, redacted, weeded and expanded under the highly-partisan guidance of so many different interests that it’s unlikely an official tally of collaborators is feasible, much less convenient. Which is to say that if there are particular things that bother your friend, particular aspects that seem out of date or depressingly archaic — such as the sexism — then she might consider chalking them up to the dated origins of the material, material that nevertheless serves a philosophy and perhaps even an entity that are very much timeless and would in themselves not likely offend even a very liberal person (not to say, of course, that merely by objecting to sexism your friend qualifies as “very liberal”), so long as that person generally adheres to some thread or another of what’s considered Western thought.
All of which would tend to suggest that maybe the sexism isn’t such a big deal, either because its severity shrinks when set beside the Bible’s greater offenses, or because it’s possible the sexism was blithely included by the all-too-human hands that actually jotted out the divine testament. But regardless of whether she buys any of that, you might also point out to your friend that whether the Bible and by extension God are sexist has nothing at all to do with whether it’s authentic or whether He exists. Surely it’s possible that God exists and he’s a sexist? Is your friend’s policy that since the Taliban is sexist, Osama bin Laden must not exist? You should be suspicious of your friend the moment she “refuses to believe in God”, because you don’t really refuse to believe in things — you either believe in them or don’t. We’d love to refuse to believe in bin Laden, but it would be a completely empty gesture. That’s because refusing to believe somebody exists isn’t the same as refusing them their existence, which is really what your friend is trying to do to God. Surely what your friend means when she says “believe in God” is “like God”. She refuses to like God, because he’s sexist. Unless she finds some crippling trainwreck of inconsistency in divine sexism, which would have to involve God claiming (a) that he’s always honest, and (b) that sexism is wrong, and then for him to (c) go ahead and be sexist. Which would certainly call the purity of God’s word into question, but then again, it would really just come down to honesty and, ultimately, likeability. And does God say you have to like him? Not really. You’ve got to respect him, certainly, and believe in him, obviously, and then accept his various tenets if you want to go to his after-party instead of to Hell, but like him? Not terribly necessary. If you can find a certain affinity for God, that’s icing on the cake. Job sure didn’t like God much, not for a while there, maybe not ever again.
Cybil! Take your friend to dinner and have a rap session! What’s more fun than rappin’ out about the Divine?!
name: lail
query: I’m looking for some good used bookstores in the city. Where can I find some top notch establishments?
We’re going to assume — safely, we think — that you’re using ‘store’ in a sense synonymous with ‘cache’. In which case you’ll be hard-pressed to beat the Public Library at 40th Street and 5th Avenue (though NYU’s library, if you can negotiate access, is also formidable).
name: pp trouble
query: I find at work that I am not able to pee in the urinal when other people are present in the restroom. No where else do I have this problem. If I’m in the process of peeing at work and someone walks in, whether i know them or not, I immediately stop. Once they leave, nature resumes where it had left off. This is quite a severely embarrassing and inconvenient problem. Please help.
Dearest PPT,
Very interesting, indeed! Now, let us make sure we understand you properly: You say that whenever you are in the bathroom at work and other people are present and you try to pee, you have trouble. But nowhere else at work is this the case — you piss freely and unencumbered no matter where you decide to unfurl, so long as that place is not the urinal. Yes… very, interesting, in, deed! Well, first and foremost, from an etiquette standpoint, so long as the higher ups don’t have a problem with you whizzing in say the kitchen or the elevator or in other people’s trash baskets, we say go ahead and take advantage of what we assure you is a pleasantly liberal and backward-thinking take on waste management.
Of course, in the interest of Science, it would be nice to discover why you experience attacks of modesty only in the place where you are least likely to be the subjected to public scrutiny, to wit, the w.c. Now, we’re not certified psychologists, PPT — we’re not even particularly intuitive — but with that caveat in place, we’re going to cobble together the following little model of what may very well be taking place in your mind: What if what’s happening is that when you go into the bathroom, you suddenly and inevitably go on alert because you know that this is the only place where people can be absolutely sure that, if you’re here, you’re going to the bathroom. Follow us, now. If you stop to relieve yourself on the carpet outside the mailroom, or on the CFO’s chair, or just on the wall in some unadorned stretch of hallway, an onlooker would hardly be able to assume that what you’re about to do is pee. Indeed, there are anywhere between one and a hundred other officially sanctioned reasons for your being there. On the other hand! If a colleague walks in on you just as you’re squaring up to a urinal or even a sink, he can be fairly certain that you’re about tear aside the drapes and expose the young master to sunlight — and your mind knows this, and it CAN’T. STOP. THINKING ABOUT IT. It becomes preoccupied with the instantly incriminating fact that you are in a bathroom, standing in front of a urinal, and therefore, for anybody who’s looking, are very much about peeing. Your head gets so hung up on this fact, this guilt by geography, that it completely ignores this rather crucial detail: nobody who notices is going to much care.
Now conversely, when you’re about to sprinkle on some anonymous wall, your mind is thinking, “If we are spotted, we can easily make up an excuse. We can always say, ‘Oh, I thought I’d draw a picture on this wall, spruce things up a bit,’ or, if the urination has already begun, ‘Oh, I stopped by to spruce things up a bit, and I had to pee, and so in accordance with company policy I decided to just go ahead and do it right on the wall, and in fact I’m probably going to incorporate the yellow wash into the picture I draw. But no, I didn’t come by here specifically to pee — it’s not like peeing is a big deal to me or something I plan or what have you. Like the way I’d plan a night out on the town or even a trip to the supermarket — that’s not how I go about peeing.'” As to why you’re so frantically obsessed with insuring that people not think you give any thought to when or where you take a piss, it can only have to do with insecurity about the fact that you ARE very very thoughtful about your urination habits — as demonstrated by your letter to us!
Our advice? As stated: continue to avoid the restroom. Just make sure never to accept employment from a company that doesn’t let employees relieve themselves wheresoever they please, or if you do, make sure they wave the rule in your contract.