janeff / getty images

If you haven’t noticed, the Mercury now has a way for you to make online donations to our paper on our website. This is a way for generous people—and I am definitely staring hard at YOU, but not in a creepy way—to help the Mercury continue providing all the great FREE content that YOU continue to enjoy... you know, for FREE.

Now this may come as a shock, but as it turns out? Producing a print newspaper is expensive AF, y’all! And we want to pay the awesome people who make all that great content—which YOU receive for FREE—a living wage. And a small contribution from YOU can actually go a long way to making sure the Mercury continues providing all that news, entertainment, and smart-assy wisenheimer stuff—for FREE—for many years to come.

HOWEVER! You (being an overly suspicious person) may be asking, “A-ha! But what if Wm. Steven Humphrey uses my $5 contribution for his own nefarious purposes?” Actually, that’s a fair question, and let me make one thing perfectly clear: It is the Mercury’s mandatory policy to never let me touch any of the company’s money under any circumstances. This is possibly because of my past company purchases that include, but are not limited to:

• A full-sized banana costume that we made our interns wear to city council meetings.

• An array of podcasting equipment bought in 2008 (loooong before podcasting was even a thing), used for one month, and then retired to a broom closet.

• Boxes of tampons that were placed in the employee washroom with a note that read “Compliments of Wm. Steven Humphrey, the woman’s friend.”

• And a large glass trophy case that was purchased with the intention of displaying all the awards we were sure to receive, and today only holds a dildo and two empty cans of Four Loko.

Sooo... yeah! Rest easy, because the Mercury doesn’t let me touch a penny of our money. And that’s too bad, because I actually had some pretty big plans of what to do with your five bucks, which again includes, but is not limited to:

Hiring a staff sandwich artist. GUYS. Our employees waste so much time going out for sandwiches! A staff sandwich artist would make and deliver sandwiches directly to the employee’s mouth, leaving them more time to write FREE stories... for YOU.

A staff motorcycle. For years the Mercury has been faced with two persistent problems: An empty trophy case, and an inability to pop wheelies. With a motorcycle we could enter and dominate the city’s many wheelie-popping competitions, and during the off season, the sandwich artist could use it to go buy sandwich fixin’s.

Fund a year-long deeply-reported investigation into why the world doesn’t need Diet Coke AND Coke Zero. THEY SERVE THE SAME GODDAMN PURPOSE! The only difference is that Coke Zero tastes good and Diet Coke tastes like shit! To prove this we'd need to buy a lot of Coke Zero and Diet Coke—which the sandwich artist could pick up on our motorcycle. SYNERGY.

Anyway, rest assured your generous contribution to the Mercury will NOT go to the above brilliant ideas and will instead help fund the stories that have been keeping you informed and entertained for the past almost 20 (!) years.

In all seriousness, you are an absolute doll—and I thank you for the continued opportunity to write for this paper and serve you. (Even if that means no motorcycle, no onsite sandwiches, and no Coke Zero—which, as you know, renders the shit-tasting Diet Coke useless.)

“The woman’s friend,”
Wm. Steven Humphrey
Portland Mercury