Time for a different negative emotion: Anger.

I haven’t ranted in a while, so forgive me if I seem rusty.
My weekend was fucking terrible. (Rant rust: Yes, I know that all across the world, people were having worse weekends. Children were starving in third world countries, Marines and other service members were dying in foreign wars which have nothing to do with national security and everything to do with horseshit, yadda yadda. There’s me being rusty, here’s me being ranty: Shut the fuck up. I don’t care.) But before I can get into how shitty my weekend was, I have to put it in the context of an equally poor week.
It started out innocently enough. On Monday, I was out of the shop all day. In the morning, I had swim requalification up on another Camp, and halfway through, I remembered I had a dental appointment at 1300. Even though I left this camp at 1130, and even though the (direct) bus we took from ‘home’ up to the swim qual required only 30 minutes, I was almost late to my appointment. This is a direct result of how abysmal the transit between bases is for military personnel – and a potential source for a rant in the future! I got done with my dental appointment by the time work was releasing, so I didn’t have to go in. I was nursing my hip injury from the Wednesday prior, when we did a bunch of stupid scissor jacks, and not looking forward to PT in the morning.
PT in the morning (of Tuesday, in case you’re slow) consisted of a 6 mile run out in town. Normally, I enjoy this kind of thing, but with a strained hip flexor (and the unlucky break of hitting EVERY red light we could, creating stop-and-go pain) this run was somewhat torturous. (Anecdotally, while running, we were mocked by local nationals who ridiculed our presence on the island and showed open disdain for our sacrifices and hard work.) I was in the fast group and still managed to keep up SOMEWHAT, but I was going much faster than I should have. I went to medical immediately after and was put on ‘light duty,’ which means you do not PT with your unit and (typically) go to the gym instead while you follow a treatment plan to heal. The light duty period was to last the rest of the week with a follow up on Monday.
At our final, 1630 accountability formation on Tuesday, Staff Sergeant Kilo inquires as to who will not be at PT in the morning. I raise my hand and when he gets to me he asks “Why the fuck won’t you be there, Durden?” I respond “Because I’m on light duty, Staff Sergeant.” He retorts: “We’re not fucking running tomorrow, so you can be up here.” I respond “Good to go.” Oh, I almost forgot – we were PTing at the company office because there was going to be a company formation at 0730. We were the only platoon to PT that morning, and the plan was to be nasty and sweaty in PT gear for formation. Awesome.
Wednesday morning’s PT rolls around and a brief comedy of errors plays out. We were to arrive at 0615, and right on time, Sergeant Bravo shows up. The company gate is locked and he was to bring the keys; he failed in this task. Staff Sergeant Kilo is visibly irritated, and Sergeant Bravo departs to acquire the keys from another NCO in the barracks. Some 15 minutes later, Sergeant Bravo returns empty handed, and we have to wait for ‘lock-up’ (the Corporal who has the bitch task of arriving early and staying late to secure and unsecure the company) to show up to get inside the company compound. When this happens, Staff Sergeant Kilo takes us inside to retrieve ammo cans (basically 30 pound weights) for the PT he envisions, but is nonplussed to discover that someone had taken all the ammo cans from the company building and relocated them to the barracks. He literally throws a temper tantrum and takes us outside.
He decides that we will be doing a circuit – 10 pull ups, followed by 20 air squats, followed by running a lap around the company building – repeat until HE’S tired (inside joke). (For those of you with zero attention span, recall I am on light duty and not supposed to run.) I remind him tactfully that I am on light duty – “Staff Sergeant, I’m not supposed to run or do exercises that aggravate my injury. What can I do instead?” He responds the way all good leaders should: “Are you fucking serious? You can walk, can’t you?” 
“Yes, Staff Sergeant.”
“Well, walking and running are basically the same thing, right?”
“Not really, Staff Sergeant.”
“You’ll fuckin run. You can go at your own pace and it’s not like we’re running that far.”
“Uh… Okay, Staff Sergeant.”
Now, you might be thinking – why the fuck did I do that? Why didn’t I stand up for myself? Well, there’s a couple of reasons. My injury WAS pretty minor and I didn’t think that running slow would jack anything up. Combine this with the fact that while I could have sat the PT out based on my light duty status, to do so would have put me in a precarious situation where Staff Sergeant could have made the rest of my life miserable (hassling me in the shop, singling me out once I was full duty again) and I just didn’t want to put up with the drama when I figured I could probably do the PT at no massive detriment.
Well, apparently, running slow and doing those air squats jacked my shit up way worse than I thought it would, and I was in more pain than I had been the day before. I leave the shop at 1600 to go to class like usual (on Mondays and Wednesdays – insert typical bitches about shitty class here) and once I get back to the barracks that evening, I am told that Staff Sergeant K intends to force me to do full duty PT Thursday morning, which involves Olympic style wrestling. Nuts to that, I insist – I’m gonna fuckin make my stand.
Turns out I wouldn’t have to. Thursday morning starts off with us meeting out in front of the barracks and Staff Sergeant has us run to the gym – and by us, I mean everyone but the light duty Marines (which including myself numbers three). I say “fuck that,” as my leg wasn’t feeling great, and walk with the other two light duties. I had a rough time keeping up with them (to paint a picture). When we get to the gym, I can see that Staff Sergeant was irritated I didn’t run with the rest of the Marines, but I had thought ahead and brought my light duty chit (military jargon for paper or form). 
“What’s that you have in your hand, Durden?” 
“My light duty chit, Staff Sergeant.” He takes it and looks it over. I knew what it said – no extended standing, no field duty, limited activity involving the extremity, walk/jog and run/jog at the patient’s tolerance according to SMART protocol (among other things). He points out the “run at your own pace” bit and I explain that I tried that the previous day and it exceeded my tolerance, so I felt it was in the best interest of my recovery and most expedient for my return to full duty if I didn’t run this morning. He seemed pissed but didn’t say anything else.
He begins demonstrating different wrestling techniques. Keep in mind that we have never wrestled before and he is by no means certified by any official entity to be a wrestling instructor (though he is a martial arts instructor). Many Marines think that this PT is somewhat ‘super legal,’ which is fancy for illegal. In any case, he demonstrates a couple takedowns on Lance Corporal Alpha, such as the fireman’s and the two leg takedown. He performs a one leg takedown and Lance Corporal Alpha lands incorrectly, dislocating his shoulder.
Staff Sergeant does NOT end PT to accompany this Marine to the proper medical facilities (located on another camp). He states that the Marine can wait until 0800, when medical on our Camp opened up – keep in mind it is 0550 or so at this point. Corporal Alpha, a light duty Marine, suggests that the injured Marine can go to the SMART clinic (physical therapy clinic basically) with him at 0600 and Staff Sergeant approves. After they leave, Staff Sergeant has the first two Marines start wrestling. At this point, I approach him and request to go use the exercise bike as recommended in my light duty diagnosis – he is much less confrontational for some reason. Go figure. (Another go figure moment – the exercise suggested by the medical staff to assist in my recovery actually makes my injury feel better. Who would have thunk it – Staff Sergeant DOESN’T know how to be a doctor after all!)
Anecdotally, this has been in the back of my mind – Staff Sergeant Kilo is the same man who, shortly after I arrived on island, was supposed to report to Quantico for advanced martial arts training. Once his plane touched down, he completely threw out his back by attempting to lift his luggage. He came back to Okinawa and was supposed to take it easy. The first thing he did was PT us the day after he arrived, where he made us all do 300 pull ups – largely a back exercise – while he stood around and watched “because he had a PFT the next week.” (A PFT consists of doing as many pull ups as you can without stopping, doing as many crunches as you can in 2 minutes, and running 3 miles as fast as possible. Most Marines only take a day or two to rest in preparation, as it is all you really need.) Many of us had a CFT (combat fitness test – much more grueling) the very next day. “What an asshole,” I thought, and the thought would only be reinforced in the months to come.
When Lance Corporal Alpha comes back into the shop, we learn he will be out of action (on light duty) for two weeks at the very least. Awesome. Word is passed that field day (regular readers know that this is a white-glove inspection on the cleanliness of your room, CONDUCTED WEEKLY) will be general clean-up (meaning, no inspection). However, I am tasked with the cleanliness of a common area, which means I still have to field day – and I get to clean that area up every morning before 0730 for the rest of my week. This is an omen of things to come. Anecdotally, as I return to my room after the formation (where word is passed that I got fucked) my roommate proceeds to heckle me for my misfortune. The Marine Corps is not discriminatory, and so at this most perfect juncture our Sergeant shows up to inform my roommate that he will be assisting me in my duties because the other Marine was on leave. Haha, jinxed yourself.
I have no problem going to the gym on my own program Friday morning. I anticipate the weekend highly – I’ve found the exercise bike to be quite therapeutic and another Marine and I intend to purchase bikes over the weekend as a means of curing boredom and solving our transit woes. Furthermore, I was going to capitalize on the lack of retarded college group projects in order to square away my uniforms in anticipation of battalion duty later that month.
Word had been passed earlier in the week that we were having a battalion picnic on Friday, which would last from 1500 to approximately 1800. While irritating, most of us were hopeful that we’d get out of work somewhat early (1300 or earlier perhaps), get through the picnic, and then get our weekend. None of this wound up materializing. 
What happened instead was this: we were called into the company classroom at 1400 for what seemed like fairly standard weekend liberty brief – where various staff noncommissioned officers get on their soapbox and talk about not being idiots over the weekend and the commanding officer steps on deck and reiterates and then we all go home and disregard everything they just said (proceeding to get as drunk as quickly as possible and get in as much trouble as possible because being on Okinawa makes you at least 30 IQ points stupider – I hate my fucking life). Instead of all this, however, we were first greeted with some shitty class on something I can barely remember – but the important part is that we would have to sign a roster for attending this class. Remember this because it’ll be important in a second.
After the useless (and brief – maybe five minutes) class, our commanding officer steps on deck. This is unusual because it breaks the convention of a staff NCO saying a bunch of stuff that the CO will then repeat, because we’re all Marines which means we’re stupid and can’t be trusted to understand something the first time it is stated. Captain Mike tells us he likes to keep his Marines informed – which can mean only one thing: bad news. Sure enough, he informs us that (although tentative), word from battalion is that we will have a Commanding General’s Readiness Inspection (CGRI) next week, and therefore we will need to work on Saturday and possibly Sunday. 
Collectively, MOTHER FUCKING SHIT FUCK ASS CUNT GOD DAMNIT HORSESHIT FUCK fires off loudly in the head of every Marine – some Marines have a more vulgar variant. However, our mouths say “rah, sir” though it is devoid of any enthusiasm or sincerity. As my roommate would later in the weekend ponder, “and some people wonder why Marines are devoid of all morals.” He lets us know he’s done and steps off deck, and we are reminded not to leave until we have all signed that aforementioned roster.
Literally, ten minutes later, it is discovered that the roster has only been signed by a handful of Marines (keep in mind that for every thirty seconds of this ten minutes, someone has loudly and abrasively asked where the roster was. For example: “where the fuck is the fucking roster?”). Shortly after this discovery, two other sheets magically appear from beneath the first and the roster signing process is sped up by a factor of three. Amazing.
As a direct result of the tentative word from battalion regarding the precarious status of our much beloved (and in my case, anticipated) weekend liberty, Staff Sergeant K reminds us that attendance at the shitty battalion picnic will be mandatory, as Captain Mike will be passing final word after its conclusion. A silent hip-hip-hooray is shared by all. (If you actually believe that last sentence, you’re a fucking moron devoid of any and all ability to pick up on sarcasm.)
At this point, I have been composing this litany of cheerful events for the better part of an hour. The sweet siren song of alcohol compels me to loosely interpret the rules and purchase a six pack now so that I can return later and purchase another six pack – working my way around the “one six pack per Marine rule” in order to get completely trashed later as a coping mechanism for how fucking terrible this weekend was. Yes, I drink fag beer, and you can shut your fucking mouth. I hate you. Moreso, I hate myself (which is why I drink the fag beer in the first place – it invites ridicule.)
Returning to the narrative (some twenty minutes later – I have half the alcohol originally predicted, because I’ve realized that I may only be half done with my writing for the evening): I change over and hobble across the street towards the field where this “forced fun” (as we refer to it) is supposed to go down. I arrive, scanning the horizon for familiar faces. Among the crowd, I see MSgt Whiskey, who was responsible for eating up a larger portion of my Sunday the previous weekend (tainting an otherwise good break away from the Marines I am forced to work with some 10 hours a day every fucking day of the week – more when the Marine Corps decides to take a giant steaming shit on my chest) by requiring us to attend a BBQ at his house. Forced and unwanted social situations aside (that sounds an awful lot like rape), I wonder why the fuck he’s here. He’s on leave, and if I had the choice, this is the LAST fucking place I’d be – then again, it was an event designed with dependents (spouses, offspring/hellions) in mind. Curiously, his are noticeably absent, which only adds to my puzzlement. 
I take note of several things. One: for a picnic designed with dependents in mind, and masterminded by the FRO (family readiness officer, aka, a Staff Sergeant’s wife – whom I hate for forcing me to add my mother to a list that sends her automatic updates about my unit despite my intention and RIGHT to ban her from my life), WHERE IN THE FUCK ARE ALL THE GOD DAMN DEPENDENTS? Two: the sign for the event reads “3rd Maintenance Battalion Family Readiness Program: Protecting Our Most Important Resource.” My response can be summarized thusly: FUCK. THAT. SHIT.
Seriously (and this is starting to relate to the title of my section header), fuck the dependents. The other day, riding the shitty Green Line (the aforementioned intrabase transit system, in place because the Marine Corps doesn’t allow grown men to drive cars on Okinawa – FUCK MY LIFE), I overheard something fucking retarded on the radio. There was going to be some kind of “dependent appreciation” day coming up shortly, and the DJ (in this case, Douche Jockey) made the comment that “we should show appreciation for dependents every day.” This is fucked up on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin. Apparently we’ve regressed from showing service members appreciation or having appreciation days for them to appreciating their fucking spouses and kids. Why? Because they WILLINGLY bear the burden of being MARRIED to a steady paycheck, quick advancement/promotions and job security in an economy that is otherwise fucking abysmal. Yeah, that’s real tough. (And don’t say “but they have to deal with being away from their loved ones for long periods of time” – so does the fucking service member, and usually they’re getting shot at too. The spouse gets to stay home and spend all the fucking money the service member is potentially dying to earn. Sounds real fucking hard.)
As if that weren’t enough, commanding officers are constantly reminding us of how important and critical a support network that dependents and families provide. What does that say about the service members who succeed despite NOT having this fucking support network? And if you try and say that you don’t have a family, they don’t care. “Just call your mom more.” Don’t you fucking understand? I HATE HER. FUCK!
Furthermore, dependents like to act even more entitled than your average stuck up bitch. They refer to how the government “made” them come to Okinawa (bitch, you married your husband willingly, knowing that he could be dragged halfway across the world – the government made you do nothing. LET’S NOT FORGET THAT COMING OVER TO JAPAN WITH YOUR SPOUSE IS COMPLETELY OPTIONAL AND UP TO YOU TO DECIDE). While pregnant, they like to joke that they are more important than senior ranking personnel who have served their nation longer than this ignorant twat has been alive. 
Let’s not forget that the entire word “dependent” means that they, by definition, RELY on someone else for sustenance and survival. WHY IN THE FUCK ARE WE CELEBRATING THE FACT THAT THEY ARE LEECHES? JESUS CHRIST. All the while, if you are single in the Marine Corps, you are treated like a second class citizen, because you weren’t responsible enough to get married when you were 20. THAT MAKES A LOT OF FUCKING SENSE.
So anyway, we are forced to stand around for three hours while all the other companies in the battalion leave within the first thirty minutes. We start throwing a pig skin around when I am struck by a sandal at high velocity. A PFC Romeo had intended to strike a LCpl Papa with it, but the wind caught it and it instead made satisfactory contact with my face. The resulting herpes-like bump was the subject of much (future) ridicule come Saturday. Outstanding.
Once 1800 (or so) rolls around, it is decided that we will be the only company to police call (by default, since the other fucks left, naturally). Police calling, by the way, means picking up everybody else’s fucking trash. Awesome. Once that’s done we stand around like a giant bunch of retards (not all that inaccurate) and the battalion CO, LtCol Oscar (the O stands for asshole) makes his appearance. He inquires as to how he can make the next event even more successful, and I resist the urge to shout out “by not fucking having one.” Apparently, everyone else is resisting this urge, because no one offers any suggestions.
Nonplussed, he says “either you can think of something or we can stay here all day and push.” ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? What a shitty fucking attitude. People start throwing out bullshit suggestions and he gets smug, like, “yeah, having more Coca-Cola would make the event a billion times more enjoyable!” Fuck you. Let’s fast forward (beyond the twenty minutes of dicking around, being told we’re stupid, pointless anecdotes, a useless formation that is instantly dismissed and reconfigured into a clusterfuck school circle) to our CO’s much anticipated word pass.
In short: MOTHER FUCKING HORSE SHIT FUCK CUNT ASS LICK BABY STABBING FUCK TWAT GOD DAMN SUICIDE FUCK FUCK SHIT. More elaborately: our weekend was to begin promptly at 0700, in uniform, at the company compound. Let’s recap real quickly here: My Friday felt an awful lot like a Monday all of a sudden, and I was pretty sure that Saturday was going to feel like Monday too, especially if Sunday was going to be another Monday. I didn’t think that Monday was going to feel like anything but a Monday. If you’ve been counting, that’s four Mondays and no Saturdays. FUCK MY LIFE.
Not everything was terrible, however. I was reminded of the phrase “misery loves company” when our Platoon Sergeant cheerfully informed another Lance Corporal – known far and wide for his incompetence and laziness – that, as his leave (vacation time) was technically over Friday, he would have to report in for work on Saturday at 0700 with the rest of us. Hahah, fuck you. (Seriously, that was the highlight of my weekend.) I return to my room and find my roommate conversing with a Marine from another company, which gets me tangentially angry.
They’re talking about how a Corporal Romeo – bane of my existence at work, because his incompetence has prevented me from receiving the parts I need to fix my fucking gear for months on end now – is getting MERITORIOUSLY PROMOTED. Maybe I just have no fucking idea what meritorious means, but he doesn’t seem like the sort that deserves that sort of promotion. I express my distaste and am countered by the fact that “he’s in good shape, dude,” and also “he has a black belt, and stuff.” OH, HOLY SHIT. GIVE THAT MAN A MEDAL OF HONOR THEN! ACCOMPLISHING YOUR FUCKING MISSION MEANS NOTHING IF YOU CAN RUN 3 MILES IN 18 MINUTES! 
The Marine Corps’ promotion system is so far beyond broken that I actually don’t even want to rant about it right now. Just know that I was pissed off to learn that someone completely incompetent and incapable (and at least three of his seniors knew it) was getting promoted – meanwhile, good Marines get fucked out of promotions for stupid reasons. I guess you spell justice G-O-F-U-C-K-Y-O-U-R-S-E-L-F these days. 
I wake up after a night of failed online intimacy – OkCupid just doesn’t deliver – and my body aches for more rest. I hobble towards the door, boxers nearly off, when I hear a rapping. Opening the door, I find LCpl Sierra, befuddled, in my door way. “Are you fucking serious? 0700?” It is now about 0610. He was on duty recovery – having pulled a 24 hour or so shift on Thursday-Friday. He was asleep after we got word about our weekend going the way of our other freedoms and rights – so much so that he failed to rouse after a reported three or four separate attempts. Most hilariously, however, his roommate (who is in the same company and was required to be at the same place at the same time) had completely failed to tell him what was up. All of this was immediately evident to me upon seeing him in my doorway, and I respond appropriately: “Dead serious.” He leaves angrily, upset we failed to rouse him. He was so angry that I was angry at him for being angry at us, and I proceed to shower. Angrily.
I am out at the place where local taxis (known as “honchos,” presumably because it is some kind of foreign language for “boss”) typically gather by 0630. By 0645, it is apparent that the taxis will not be arriving, so I limp my way over several hills and uneven terrain, grunting and dragging my useless leg the whole way. Only after we had surmounted the most challenging portion of the trek did a taxi find us (time on deck: 0653) and carted us the rest of the relatively flat but sizable distance to company.
Upon arriving, we see our Gunnery Sergeant, who is the acting platoon commander. (In most platoons, a Lieutenant would serve in his place, but our job is highly technical and blah blah blah. Point is, he’s important, more so than your average Gunny.) He relates to us, comically, that he just found out about this horseshit twenty minutes ago, which explains his civilian attire. Furthermore, he is openly critical of the decision to come in (I think his respectful terminology was “this is fucking stupid and there is no fucking point – it’s a knee jerk reaction,” interspersed among more curses and a general desire to be disobedient and contrary. He later stated “if we have nothing else to do but have to stay here, we’ll do something fun and stupid instead of something work related. Fuck this.”). 
Our morning is whittled away attending more stupid classes and doing some inventories on toolboxes and shit. Mostly we sit around and bitch – though cleverly and subtly, masking our bitching in clever witticisms and off hand remarks. Eventually, around 1020, we are told that we are going to have a uniform inventory/inspection at 1300 after chow. We are let out for chow at 1045. Recall that I had intended to square my uniforms away over the weekend – this is because they were DICKED THE FUCK UP. If you have half a brain, it should follow that they were not ready for inspection. FUCK MY FUCKING LIFE.
The inspection wasn’t so bad – the Gunnery Sergeant that inspected our shit gave even less of a fuck than we did, so that was a relief. I amble my way back to company (it takes some twenty or thirty limp-ridden minutes) and we sit around, doing nothing. Sometime around 1600, Staff Sergeant Kilo (it’s been a while but he’s the one who hazed my ballsack off earlier in the week) interrupts one of our bullshit sessions to have me fetch the keys to the Humvee from Corporal Mike for him. An aye aye Staff Sergeant later, I was on my way to the other section of the company.
Another sergeant and corporal inform me that Corporal Martinez is on duty recovery and that I need to go and repeat my exact story and situation to a Staff Sergeant Bravo. Doing so, he tells me I need to go to the company organics section and talk to Staff Sergeant Bravo 2 to get the keys to the basement, as he had left the Humvee keys there. I limp my way to organics, relay this sequence of events, and Staff Sergeant Bravo 2 tells me that he had just given the keys to Staff Sergeant Echo some two minutes ago. I suggest the possibility that I must have just missed that, when another Gunny (Gunny Tango) comes in and requests I retrieve 200 yards of ‘flight line’ from SSgt Echo. After being questioned three times about flight line, he forcefully insists I go about my business and so I hobble my way back to SSgt Echo.
SSgt Echo tells me that I need to go back and tell Gunny Tango that we only have 100 yards of flight line, and he would need some cable stretchers in order to make it work out. He’d also have to fill out an ID10T tag (spelling this out is far more obvious than hearing it – fuck you) in order to get this done. I trek back towards company organics, realize halfway I’d been had, and FUCK MY LIFE. (I would learn later that humvees don’t have keys – they have an on/off switch. I wouldn’t know that because I’ve never been inside one.)
I’m the perfect butt for this kind of a joke because I try to do the right thing – if a SNCO tells me to do something and it doesn’t sound completely crazy (like, “Hey Durden, go rape and murder that child!”), I fucking do it. The Marine Corps teaches you from day one that, as a junior Marine, you do not have the situational awareness of your seniors and it is critical to mission accomplishment that you follow their directives without much hassle. I try to keep my head down and get the things they want done, even if I don’t agree with or like them, because THAT’S WHAT YOU SHOULD FUCKING DO. This little stunt has completely undermined my faith in the system, because they were abusing my training and discipline to make me look like an idiot IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE COMPANY. And while I understand it was all “in good fun,” and therefore do not raise much stink about it and am mostly a good sport about it, it undermines what little respect I had left for Staff Sergeant K.
I spend the rest of my day trying to keep to myself, because I was already frustrated beyond belief and nonplussed at that stupid stunt. I try picking off the scab above my lip and immediately regret the decision, as the sharp pain automatically produces tears. It is at this most perfect moment that Staff Sergeant K decides to approach me and make sure I was “ok” about the joke earlier – he probably thought I was crying. FUCK MY LIFE.
We finally get word that we’re fucking leaving at 1830. 1400 to 1830 was spent doing absolutely nothing.  At least we get Sunday off, though.
As a final “fuck you,” we are told that LtCol Oscar (recall that the O stands for asshole) is expected to walk through the barracks and therefore everyone with a common area from field day (me) needs to make sure the shit is clean by 0730. So, I don’t even get to sleep in. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: FUCK MY LIFE.
The rest of my evening was spent typing this shit up and getting heckled about my herpes and my mission to find Humvee keys. 
Now you know why I absolutely don’t give a fuck how terrible your weekend or day was. 

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