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Dear Readers:

Full disclosure: In my last column I kind of lost my mind. But luckily for everyone, I am an evolved person—which means I admit my mistakes, and then in return, you forgive those mistakes. (Thanks for that, btw.) For those who missed my last column: I went batshit nutz when a TOTAL BUTTHOLE by the name of “Matt C.” wrote in to complain about the new biweekly Mercury. His complaints included, but were not limited to, the replacement of the letters section with this column, moving I, Anonymous, and a noticeable increase in “large ads”... which apparently disturbed him because he’d rather see my children STARVE.

Now, we can all agree that Matt C. is a motherfucking turd, and deserves whatever horrible fate befalls him—HOWEVER! What if... Matt C. wasn’t a “he”? What if Matt C. wasn’t a person at all?

As we know from verified investigative reports, Russian bots have been successfully deployed to spread disinformation and divide us as a country. So it stands to reason that if Russian agents are trying to drive regular Americans (like you) batshit nutz, they might also enjoy driving prominent Americans (like me) batshit nutz!

Therefore all signs point to the obvious: Matt C. is a motherfucking turd—and a RUSSIAN BOT. Along with his Rooskie comrades, “Matt C.” has obviously been tasked with targeting the editors of major metropolitan newspapers and complaining about the dumbest fucking shit imaginable in order to drive these gladiators of journalistic truth into an early retirement. After all, democracy dies in darkness! As well as on the golf course.

But guess what, Russian Bot? Unlike those dummies at other papers, I’m not so gullible! As the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice—why are you continuing to fool me? This is bordering on harassment.” That’s why I’m going to begin examining letters from our readers with a far keener eye, because when I retire, it’ll be on my terms! (Probably at age 93 as a greeter at Wal-Mart.)

And with that, check out this letter I just received from “Bill B.”:

“Dear Humpy, I just wanted to send a quick note to say how much I appreciate the Mercury. Love everything you guys do, and I’m sure that you don’t hear that often enough. Thanks for nearly two decades!—B.”

Oh-ho-ho! NICE TRY, RUSSIAN BOT! See, I get exactly what you’re trying to accomplish with your “Oh, now I’m a nice Russian bot” bullshit. You want to build up my faith in humanity, so when your next letter arrives (telling me how much I fucking suck), I’ll dive face first into a pile of Xanax! Well screwwwwwww youuuuuuu, “Bill B.”! Take your “kind words” and stick ’em up your fart hole, Dmitri!

(On the off chance this was a genuinely nice letter, please send another to lovenotes@portlandmercury.com. I’m having a really bad day.)

Yer pal,
Wm. Steven Humphrey
Editor-in-Chief
Portland Mercury