Illustrations by Mark Kaufman

Hey Kids! It's Your Old Pal, EL FUEGO THE MATCH STICK!

And I'm here with my friends from the Mercury to teach you all about "fire." You know, "fire" can be very, very dangerous... but it can also be really FUN! It can also be very burny, and leave terrible scars on your face and soul. But it can also taste delicious, and provide hours of destructive entertainment! Wow! "Fire" is really confusing! That's why the Mercury is devoting the next few pages to exploring the wonders of flame: the things it burns, the lives it shatters, and the endless entertainment derived from hearing stories about people's hair catching on fire.

So enjoy the Mercury's Fire Issue, and remember this simple rhyme from EL FUEGO THE MATCH STICK about fire safety: "It's fun to play with matches and gas/but one wrong move could be your last./You'll rush to the burn ward, where doctors work fast/to graft skin to your face from the plump of your ass."