Last week, all of us Mercury minions were sitting around at an editorial retreat, where there was a surprising lack of hot stone massages and salted caramel enemas, and an unsurprising amount of waterboarding and listening to Steve talk about monkeys wearing clothes. But bearing through the pain, it came to our attention that maybe Blogtown readers don't know about the wealth of funny that's currently gathering dust in our palatial archives. Twenty floors below our office there's a huge and mysterious room full of New Columns!, stupid features about Mercury employees drinking their faces off, and the collected and sordid diaries of a soiled mattress down by the river. Here let me grab my smoking jacket and ascot whilst I recline in my leather chair... because it's time for our new weekly blog series Mercury Bullshit of Yore.

This 2001 gem of a New Column! made me fall in love with the romantic notion of soiled mattresses down by the river, of which our city has an abundance. It's an advice column that shoots straight:


Dear Soiled Mattress Down by the River

Dear Soiled Mattress Down by the River,

I have been dating a boy for three years and I'm afraid the romance has left our relationship. Can you offer any tips that might add a spark to our love life?

The Thrill Is Gone

Dear T.T.I.G.,

What you say is sad. But have you tried me? The soiled mattress down by the river? Picture this if you will: a beautiful, clear moonlight walk. You and your lover hand in hand. Whispers and flirts pass your lips. And then? You come upon me, the soiled mattress down by the river. My soft, plump body beckons you. Now you stare deeply into your lover's eyes and say, "Yes, lover. I must have you now!" Arms and legs intertwine as you tumble on to my intricately soiled fabric. You brush aside the greasy Burger King wrappers and empty bottles of MD 20/20, and frantically tear at each other's clothes. Then you make love with your lover. The scent of your love co-mingles with the odor of the hundreds that were here before you. Oh! Will a passerby discover your love? Perhaps they will; for you are on a soiled mattress down by the river. But the fear of being caught only lends to the erotic fervor, as you and your lover surrender to the throes of ecstasy. And upon the completion of your love, as you pick up your bra off the muddy ground, you will be reminded of the lengths lovers must sometimes go in order to restore their love. Maybe you will even say, "Oh, thank you, soiled mattress down by the river. After feeling my lover's bare skin pressed against your damp matted stuffing, I've truly discovered the meaning of love." No thanks are necessary. Who better understands the nature of love than I; the soiled mattress down by the river.

Do you have a question for the Soiled Mattress Down by the River? Then send them to "Dear Soiled Mattress Down by the River," c/o Portland Mercury...

Ol' dirty matty has a tiny spot in our archives with only one other appearance in July of 2001, where it shared a column with Osama bin Laden in which they both gave questionable advice to the lovelorn.