When we do these semiannual fundraising appeals here at Grist we sometimes look over at our peers in public broadcasting with envy.

When they don’t meet their goals, they extend their deadlines. They just keep going. They’re machines! We’ll just keep torturing you, they say, until you give.

We’re nicer than that. We’ve never extended our deadline. We live by the deadline here. But we don’t want to die by it.

So the deadline for this appeal is fast approaching. And, to be honest, the involuntary poetry slam that Grist has become over the last 10 days? It’s just exhausting. But you can do something about it! Give now, and put an end to our misery.

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Here’s what I mean:

My first week at Grist a few months ago, this gull decided to make a home on my windowsill for the better part of a day.

It stared at me. I stared at it. It made noises at me. I tried not to make noises back.

I thought of that bird when I watched our first appeal video — the one with the Muppet-style raven harassing Grist’s founder while mouthing droll Poe parodies.

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And then it hit me — the curse!

If I post here tomorrow
Things just couldn’t be the same
‘Cause Grist’s so plagued with this nonsense
And this verse you cannot change!

Yes, it has come to this: Our lyrical disease has reached an advanced stage, and Lynyrd Skynyrd has infected my brainstem.

In the next stage, I fear, it’s gonna be “Surfin’ Bird,” and we just don’t want to go there.

So take pity on us wretches. Give to Grist now — and it’ll all be over soon.