Imagine the following scenario: You bump into an old friend while strolling down the street. The first thing you notice is the totally unusual handbag your friend is carrying. "Was it purchased from Seaplane?" you wonder. Suddenly, the "bag" starts squirming frantically, and screaming at the top of its lungs. "That's no handbag," you cry. "It's a GODDAMN BABY!"

Yes, your friends used to be cool. Now they're breeding like bunnies, and you can't swing an umbilical cord without hitting a new parent who can no longer join you for an afternoon of exploring record stores or sniffing a bump of coke. Now they're "too busy" with "responsibilities"—and yet? Weirdly enough, they claim NEVER TO HAVE BEEN HAPPIER.

Clearly these "babies" are some sort of mental/emotional parasite, with the supernatural ability to turn a formerly "cool" person into a blubbering, baby-talking, diaper-changing, vomit-wiping SLAVE.

AND YET? No one in the corporate media has dared to formally investigate these "babies"—UNTIL NOW. The Mercury isn't scared of ANYTHING, and so have launched the first formal widespread examination into who these "babies" are... where they're from... and most importantly, WHAT THEY WANT. Look out, "babies"! The Mercury has your number! So what are you gonna do about it? Cry?—WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY