Mouth was about to go under, and not for the first time. A knowledgeable woman (she doesn’t want her name used here) called to ask how she could help.

Now this is a woman we respect because she does actually know stuff. When she talks, we listen.

“The Mouth,” she said that day,“will never be popular.”

I swallowed my shock and asked her why not.

“Think about it,” she answered. “Who wants to buy a conscience?”

CARTOON BY SCOTT CHAMBERS, MODIFIED BY EDITOR

confessions of an unrepentant editor

This is a weightier Mouth than usual. Since we came close to going under — and our heads aren’t above water yet — we had to pack in lots of the good stuff.

It’s too packed, actually. The main complaint we hear is that the Mouth is “too big.” (Bigger is actually only slightly more expensive on the kind of press we use.) Complaints nobody says to our face any more — too angry, too radical — are probably more germane to this little chat, but hey.

For a couple of months in the fall, we were as usual drowning in bills when the heavy weather set in: sewer

by Lucy Gwin

backup; not one but two deaths of the Mouthmobile; cancellation of a pending grant we’d started spending. During that panic, my thoughts banged around inside my skull like rats in a sinking ship, squealing two things: There’s gotta be a way out! and But wait! We never got to say ...

Then a good-hearted reader who’s up against his own money crunch gave us the money to mail about a thousand calls for help (as many as we could afford postage for). The warm response we got gave us another chance to publish, and another chance to ask for help. Since who knows if there’ll be

page 42 mouth magazine • we hold these truths