Welcome to the Mercury's annual Fourth of July issue! At this special time of the year, we like to subscribe to a little thing we call patriotism. Maybe you've heard of it. While some show their love for America by hanging an eight-by-10 foot flag from their porch, we at the Mercury show love for our country by sharing our STDs. That's right, folks; nothing says USA better than STD!!!

Sure, the French may think they've cornered the market on syphilis. But did you know one out of five Americans have genital herpes? Or that 50-75 percent of true-blue patriots will contract HPV? Is that not enough to convince you of our country's supreme VD dominance? Well, how 'bout this statistic: One in two American women will contract chlamydia by the time they're 30. Which means either you, or your best friend, can expect to see a case of chlamydia knocking on your door soon!

So, with the majority of Americans enjoying at least one STD this Fourth of July, we quote the words of President Bush: "Either you are with us or against us." Please join us in celebrating a fine American tradition: the STD.