Cover art by Ben Coleman


Longtime reader Matt C (who apparently had a tough time finding our address) writes, “Jeez, new Merc! No ‘feedback contact’ option? Anyhow, just thumbing through the re-vamped paper, and all I really noticed were larger ads... and seemingly MORE of them! No ‘letters’ anymore? No ‘I, Anonymous’?! Those were the only two things I enjoyed about your paper. I guess I can finally give up on you.”

Thanks for writing, Matt! Allow me to clear up some of your misconceptions about the new bi-weekly Mercury. (Full disclosure: My therapist recently added 20 extra milligrams to my Xanax prescription, so if you’re wondering why I'm suddenly 'Mr. Super Cool/Calm Guy,’ that's why.) Let's take your letter point by point: “No ‘letters’ anymore” YOU ARE LITERALLY READING YOUR LETTER RIGHT NOW, YOU FUCKING IDIOT! Okayokayokay, calm down, calm down.... Folks, the Mercury is turning over a new leaf, and so am I. That's why I've promised to start treating people who obviously don’t know how to read with patience, empathy, and compassion. [DEEP BREATH.]

Next point: “No ‘feedback contact’ option?” Hahahahaaaa, WOW. Okay. Apparently you missed my last column in the VERY ISSUE YOU WERE SUPPOSEDLY READING in which I repeated our address. This info is also on our website in the exact location where contact information is placed ON EVERY SITE ON THE INTERNET. In any case, I’m so very glad you found us—because so far, it’s been such a productive use of my time. [DeepBreathDeepBreathDeepBreath.]

Next: “...all I really noticed [about the redesigned Mercury that I spent FUCKING MONTHS slaving over] were larger ads and seemingly MORE of them.” MAN. Ha, ha, ha, for some reason that one really made my eye twitch! Okay... where should I start? How about with THINGS COST MONEY, DIPSHIT. Now maybe that's not your experience, Matt! Maybe you're one of the Elon Musks of the world for whom mini-submarines are plucked off trees by happy unpaid servants who don't require food or housing—they subsist solely on the pleasure of making sure YOU spend your fun, carefree life getting allll the free shit in the world, AND THEN COMPLAINING ABOUT IT. Sincerely, go fuck yourself in the... nope! Nope! Nope! I'm calm! I’m calm! I can do this. Just one more IDIOTIC point to deal with. Taking another Xanax. Ah, that's better. No it's not, I'm taking another. Okay, let's do this.

Final point: “No ‘I, Anonymous’?!” Ohhhh, my dear, dear friend. What a clearly understandable error you’ve committed! You see, I, Anonymous was previously in the back of the issue, but we moved it to the front (page 5) to give it better placement! So you see, it was actually right in front of your eyes... the eyes you supposedly used to thoroughly read the Mercury, before jumping to wild, wholly incorrect conclusions, and dashing off a fucking STUPID letter THAT MADE MY FREAKING HEAD FREAKING EXPLODE!!!

Anyway... thanks for writing. As always, we love your feedback, and until next time I’ll be happily harvesting Elon Musk’s mini-submarine orchard... FOR FREE.

Yer pal,
Wm. Steven Humphrey
Portland Mercury