The Man at the End

Dear Reid,

There is this pressing question I have, which only you can answer. I have been secretly spending time in the office of The University Register of late. When everyone leaves and the lights are turned out, I look at the archived issues. Before you try to find out who wrote this letter, and call the authorities, there is something you must know. I have figured you out.

After some analysis of writing styles, consultation with experts in the field, and the application of a boolean search and matching program created by the CIA for exposing forgery and fraud, I have come to the infallible conclusion that there are no real letters in the Dear Reid column. They are all part of a great hoax, perpetrated by a master of trickery who preys on an eager reading public desperate for helpful bits of wisdom and advice.

Your lies have been exposed, Dear Reid; your treachery has been uncovered. The web of deceit you have woven over these past three years extends far beyond the poor, misguided minds which you have duped and swindeled. Your influence has penetrated all levels of society, has infiltrated our very being. It is time to end your reign of terror. It is time to begin a new era, free from this scandal, free from lies, free to live, free from my ex-girlfriend who dumped me for a man with a red kool-aid uni-brow.

With love,
The Man

I… I… I kno… I have no idea what the hell you are talking about! Years of service, of caring, of listening and sympathizing—that’s what I have given all of you. And what have I gotten? Respect? Gratitude? Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things. No, I have heard nothing from you people except incessant whining, tears about your trivial problems, and blubbering over your insignificant worries. And now, to top it all off, I am accused of making it all up. Well, thank you very much.

But wait, a moment’s reflection has given me insight. I have long suspected a secret plot, masterminded by an unknown character in the shadows, to suppress the truth and to keep the masses in the dark over a vast, underground, paramilitary conspiracy whose reaches cannot be measured. The Man has planted evidence, has forged documents, and has left an obscure trail of misinformation which I have quietly followed over the years. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, I have not been dissuaded. This is because of one simple truth: all of the evidence to the contrary is not entirely dissuasive. I believe it is The Man with his hidden conglomerate of spies and underlords, and not I, who has weaved a web of deceit.

I have conducted my own studies, my own investigation, and have come to a similar conclusion as you. Many of the seemingly innocent letters which have come my way, seemingly honest souls searching for a caring shoulder to cry on, looking for a few answers in this crazy, mixed up world, do indeed seem to reflect a similar style of writing.

In looking back at these letters, it is apparent that many of the questions for which answers are sought only scratch the surface of their true dilemmas. Through seeking advice on seemingly superficial issues, with questions carefully designed so that I would read into the deeper meaning, I have been given numerous clues into both the inner workings of human consciousness and the greater mission of this subversive organization.

Yes, it is all becoming very clear to me now. I must apologize to my readers for my initial defensiveness. Over the past three years, I have been led on a winding, twisting trail. I have been deceived with stories of unrequited love, of missing hats, of uni-brows and of exhibitionist kool-aid men. I have been hoodwinked by tales of friends who want to be more than friends, of ego maniacs and of the self-depracating, of foreign-language students and of nearly-naked triathlon runners.

I have sorted through ever so many romantic misunderstandings… I remember a guy they called “Dana” and girl they called “Jen,” a couple who had trouble solidifying Magic Shell chocolate syrup on their bodies, and a dream involving some mysterious glamour-gal called “E.S.” I have been bamboozled by blondes, beguiled by vegetarians, rejected by employers, and offered credit cards. I have been wooed by adoring fans, and I have been betrayed by those whom I have trusted.

The most important clue, while intended to be taken for a red herring, was the mysterious Man with the Can of Spam, a.k.a. Abe Welle, a.k.a. Gabe Willard, a.k.a. Fidel, a.k.a. Tipper Gore (though I am uncertain of this last alias), and his obvious Marxist tendencies. They thought they could throw me off their trail with such a blatant reappearing character, assuming that I would take his existence as nothing more than a decoy, while he was actually the key to everything.

You thought you had won, and you almost had. Your mendacity and deception nearly turned me against my loyal readers. I was actually deluded into believing—if only for a few moments—that my readers had turned against me. But I have seen through your little charade, and now the truth, the real truth, will be known. The truth is XXXX XXXX XX XXX XXXXXX XXX XX XXX.

The only people capable of suppressing that truth now are the newly elected editorial staff of The University Register—hopefully you don’t have any of them on your side. So you see, Mr. The Man, I have finally triumphed. I have beaten you. It is your reign of terror which is over, freeing society from your shrouded tyranny. I’m sorry about your girlfriend by the way, but really, how can you compete with a uni-brow?

It is with this final column, this ultimate accomplishment of my goals and realization of my dreams, that I bid the loyal readers of UMM good voyage. I know it is time for me to go; the stars are fading, but I linger on, dear. It has been a long, wonderful trip, and I hope my bumbling advice has not ruined the lives of too many of you. While this may seem like goodbye, I assure you, you have not heard the last of Dear Reid. You have shared with me your stories, your concerns, your regrets, and your hopes, although most of them were fake. The point is, UMM, I appreciate you, and I know how you feel.

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