Robert B. Pamplin, the owner of the Mercury's main competition, the Sellwood Bee, announced today that he intends to further expand his empire by purchasing Portland's leader in hard, investigative news reporting, Our Town. Pamplin--also known as the Rupert Murdoch of Oregon--already owns six other rags, including the Tualitin Times and the Beaverton Valley Times. Though this announcement sent ripples of terror through the publishing industry, we are completely confident that the Mercury will eventually triumph! At this very moment, a team of highly-trained investigators are working around the clock to expose every last skeleton in Mr. Pamplin's 60-year-old closet, in hopes that he will be eating out of a garbage can by year's end. Remember this, Pamplin! If that other famous Portland weekly, the Auto/ Truck Trader, couldn't take us down, you don't have a chance in hell.


Today, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, the confederate submarine H.L. Hunley was finally rescued from its depressing, watery grave. The Hunley was a nine-man sub constructed from two locomotive boilers, and propelled by crew members turning hand cranks. It was also the first submarine to sink an enemy ship. Here's how it happened: On February 17, 1864, the members of the Yankee ship, U.S.S. Housatonic, were blowing the shit out of Charleston, when a crew member spotted what he thought was a weird, metallic porpoise. You can imagine the carpetbaggers' shock when they saw the makeshift sub speeding toward them at a brisk four miles per hour, with an explosive charge attached to their bow. The Hunley rammed the explosive into the ship, blowing an enormous hole in its hull. Then the Housatonic crew were all, "Augghh! Augghh! That weird, metallic porpoise blew us up! We're sinking!" And the Hunley crew were all, "Ha! Ha! Ha! They still think we're a weird, metallic porpoise! Drown, you stupid Yankees!" Then, after the Housatonic went down, the Hunley attempted to return to port, but sprang a leak and sank. Then they were all, "Augghh! Augghh! Perhaps we shouldn't have laughed! Now we're drowning!" And after that they sat there for 136 years, until the Navy pulled them up today. No survivors were reported. The end.

See? History can be fun!


Here's a lesson to all you motorists cruising the highways: Beware the hairy honking truck drivers! According to today's Oregonian, a young woman and her daughter were driving along I-5, when the 3-year-old girl began gaily waiving at traffic. Soon, an obliging truck driver honked back. However, the trucker kept honking and waving and honking and waving until he managed to convince the young mother into pulling over. Thinking him to be one of the thousands of our nation's friendly truck drivers, mom obligingly opened her window for him, and suddenly found herself being groped by a disgusting pervert covered with icky, thick body hair! The mom then took flight, reporting her groping to the police. This pathetic excuse for a Sasquatch is still at large, so remember ladies, when driving our nation's highways, some truckers only honk if they're horny! (Or perhaps hairy.)

The brain of an American Indian--colloquially known as the Last Wild Man in America--was returned today from the Smithsonian to its rightful owner. Unfortunately, the man who had been using the brain had died more than 80 years earlier. It seems that in 1911, the last surviving member of the Yahi tribe wandered out of the redwoods of California and into the brutish hospitality of a group of Cal-Berkeley anthropologists. The scientists changed his name (originally Ishi) and treated him as a historic living link to the Stone Age (aka, a freak), inviting visitors to watch the Indian make spears, bows, arrows, and omelets. When Ishi died six years later from a bad case of TB (surprise, surprise), the ever-gracious anthropologists scooped out his brain and shipped it to the Smithsonian, where it remained until being returned today. On the upside, One Day can now rest easier knowing that yet another of the White Man's wrongs has been righted. Hey! That means only 24,687 more wrongs to go!

Lick Bush, 2000! George W. Bush visited the University of Portland today, where he sited education as a "top priority" and promised to "balance" the environment and industry. (According to one witness, he then leapt naked into a giant vat of checks from the timber industry.) Will Bush win in Oregon? According to our Mercury staff statistician, he's got the Starbucks and the Down's Syndrome votes locked up. On the Democrat side, our research shows Al Gore and Joe "Did You Know He's Jewish?" Lieberman have nailed the Coffee People and Polar Fleece contingent. The anarchists and Sasquatch will be voting for Nader, while Bill Sizemore is getting behind Buchanan. Us? We're keeping our fingers crossed. With any luck they'll all lose, and NBC will appoint Martin Sheen, who plays the President in The West Wing, for eight more seasons.

Howard Hamer
wins the Lucky Duck award of the week, after successfully and accidentally crash landing his small plane on the flatbed of a moving tractor-trailer rig. According to today's Oregonian, Hammer was angling to land his disabled plane using southbound US 97 as a runway. He didn't notice the truck until, thinking he was safe on the ground, he realized he was still moving. Meanwhile, the driver of the truck, who was--sweet Jesus--just trying to get to Yakima, had the presence of mind to pull over. We only wish we could've been privy to the hilarious conversation that followed. Pack your duffle, Hamer. The Blue Angels, no doubt, will come courting.


Teen pregnancy may be down 20 percent, but you wouldn't know it from the fuck-me threads being marketed to today's 13-year-olds. Luckily, our edition of Tuned In To Fall: Your Guide to the Hottest in Fashion and Entertainment, from those wise souls at Nordstrom and the publishers of Teen People, arrived in the mail for us this week. (OK, it actually was addressed to someone named Trang K. Lam, who apparently once lived at our address. If you're out there, Trang, you've been pre-approved for a Citibank Visa!) Anyway, here's what's hot for fall 2000: Snakeskin print pants, anything shiny, too-big gold hoop earrings, denim that doesn't look like denim, naugahyde tube tops, standing with your hip thrust out on a crosswalk in Manhattan, and "come hither" gazes. Get it? It's sexy, without the SEX, because the people wearing the clothes are only TEN. Skanky, but without the STDs. Bush, but without the W. And it's all designed to melt if it gets above 80. Anyone else miss heroin chic?

Ann's got the flava!