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I don't know where to start. It's all been so sudden, I hope I don't leave anyone out.

First, I'd like to thank Goofyhoofy for his brave yet saddeningly futile bid for the coveted 3rd Runner up slot. I hope that his friends and family can hold onto the dim consolation that he lost to the better man. True, Mr. Hoofy may gain from this thrashing a brand of cult status among a quaint little niche of pitiful TMF sycophants whose self loathing has reached such a crescendo that even in their virtual daydreams they can only cling to the limping heels of a sympathetically overmatched underdog.

No doubt, those boot licking grape feeders will feebly attempt to wipe the blood off their great hero's keyboard, perhaps in a fit of flailing desperation pointing to G. Hoofy's self-imposed hiatus from the TMF boards during the crucial Feste incubation period as the cause of his oh too predictable defeat. And, if the hoi polloi is crazed enough to initiate a smear campaign, they might laughably attempt to point out that during that same critical consciousness raising time, howardroark went so far as to quit his entire profession in order to concentrate on the LBYM vote and the various Gimme factions. While wholly undeniable and in many contexts incontrovertible, those accusations embarassingly miss the theme from which all of this distracting subtext is dervied. The theme being howardroark kicking goofyhoofy's lifeless tail.

Second, I'd like to thank Michael Read, for the wonderful sense of humanity and sportsmanship he dislayed as he spit gleefully in the face of merit and democracy in favor of his own brand of Pinko propaganda. Yes, Mr. Read, we all can slap each other on our jester caps in a symbiotic orgy of education, enrichment and amusement, intent on making even the largest and plumpest among us feel they could ride to victory in the Belmont if only they dreamed hard enough. And when you have at your behest a sharp tongued wit, what better use for it than to ensure equaniminty and fair play? Deliver the identically hollow congratulatory missive to both the winner and the loser (Goofy, that's you), and you've secured yet another victory for the historically effective position that world operates best as an extended pre-school. And please, don't delude yourself with the hope that you were able to play both sides of the wall, ingratiating yourself to the winner (that would be yours truly) with a subtle yet blaring shift to a more friendly, colloquial titular phrasing. Perhaps that sort of chicanery may work with lesser men, maybe Mr. Hoofy.

Third, I would like to couple my acceptance by entering to the great and likely handsome minds behind the Motley Fool curtain an official notification of anticipatory protest refutation. It has, through sources too invasive to detail, come to my attention that a certain contingent may have attempted to sabotage this great victory by feigning foul play:

I imagine that Mr. Hoofy's minions are behind the smokescreen, and will emerge at the most vulnerable moment to proclaim my victory a fraud. Please consider this submission a post-dated rebuttal to any protest. And in rebuttal, I can only say that if you were to strip me of my so deserved crown on this basis, I would consider it a serious affront to my person, and might in retailiation reduce my average post to a mere nine hundred words. What must you think of me if even by virtue of vice and cheat you claim I can do no better than 3rd runner up? Maybe you should think carefully about that.

Finally, I would like to point out yet another facet of my own splendor. For those of you who have already printed and hung today's announcement, notice toward the bottom where I cunningly predicted landing exactly third, in this very spot, before having known the outcome. I ask you, even though the lesser among us may be marred with uncertainy over whether "3rd runner up" means "3rd" or "4th", is that not genius of Feste proportions?
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