by Marcus Lester

PORTLAND, Oregon -- Two columnists working for the Portland Mercury--a free weekly newspaper devoted to negative reviews of Planet of the Apes--were killed in an accident that took place on Portland's new streetcar line, officials said Tuesday.

The columnists, Osama Bin Laden and Soiled Mattress Down by the River, were reportedly on their way to the Mercury offices where they were to learn the results of a recent contest in which one of them would lose their job.

At the corner of SW 10th and Stark, a 2000 Lexus with California plates was allegedly blocking the tracks, sending the streetcar into a skid and throwing Bin Laden and Mattress through the windshield and into the roadway. For reasons that have yet to be determined, the streetcar then ran over the two columnists twice, before finally being brought to a stop on top of the two columnists.

Bin Laden and Mattress were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival.

In a statement, the editor of the Mercury said that the loss of both Bin Laden and Mattress is a great tragedy, but also noted that "writing one less paycheck won't break my heart." However, sources inside the Mercury, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated it's no coincidence that the deaths of Bin Laden and Mattress occurred a week before the debut of a new column entitled, Passengers I've Killed So Far, by the Portland Streetcar.