It's with a heavy heart, an underactive thyroid and an arthritic knee that I must inform you that my column writing days are sadly numbered, with this being my second-to-last offering.
I know for my loyal readers this will come as a shock and will undoubtedly be the cause of much distress. For some, it will seem almost too great to bear.
Trust me, I feel your pain, which is why I ask that you email me so I can make contact with you to discuss the grief counselling that I have taken the liberty of arranging for you. As hopeless as it seems now, you will get through this.
When I first came to the Wanganui Chronicle back in May, it was for work experience that I hoped might lead to paid employment.
I remember being given a desk close to the editor's office. I felt like a naughty schoolgirl under the watchful eye of the headmaster. I had the use of a computer that operated with all the speed and efficiency of a civil servant.
It wasn't long before I started seeing my efforts pay off with the publication of my news stories.
My highlight was making the front page in a Saturday edition, thanks to the mighty Mas, who taught me so much.
When they became aware of my unlimited talents it wasn't long before I found myself shackled to the desk and forced to churn out page-filling material. I was released from this bondage just twice daily for bathroom breaks and coffee.
Occasionally, one of the journalists would throw me a crust or, if there had been a morning tea shout, I would be offered the half-eaten remains.
I tolerated this treatment for months and despite their shameless exploitation of my free labour and charming nature, I never complained and kept going with the bigger picture in mind ... my very own column.
Thank heavens for Ross Pringle, an exceptional editor and all-round nice guy, who was clearly in awe of my star potential and took a big chance on me. And so it was that InvestiKate was born.
I had braced myself for a barrage of negative feedback, which is part and parcel of the industry, but the fan mail came flooding in ... yeah right ... I really did get positive feedback, it came via email, texts, the website, phone calls and messages. I have even been approached at the supermarket and local businesses.
I was both genuinely and pleasantly surprised.
Waffle has become a household name and even my good-for-nothing life forms have been thrust in to the limelight. I have resisted the urge to employ a bodyguard to keep the fans at bay, preferring instead to be approachable to common folk and even though I was receiving no pay, I was living my dream.
Now it appears my chestnuts are well and truly roasted and I have come to accept that I am literally worthless.
I know Ross would pay me if he could, but it's not his call.
So with the parasitic life forms to support and Waffle in need of rehab for his shoe addiction, I have no choice but to abandon my dream of being a paid writer and go in search of a position that will actually pay the bills.
If anyone out there has a job for me please get in touch. I can turn my hand to most things and have experience in a variety of vocations from bar wench to management.
Maybe I could revisit my idea of living funerals, go into business as a life form whisperer or plant my own pumpkin patch.
Whatever my fate may be, don't pity me peeps, I'm okay with being worthless - but in saying that I can't help but look at other paid columnists in the Chronicle and wonder, where is the bloody justice?
On the upside, now that I have actually had my very own column, does that mean I can add pillar of the community to my resume? Column/pillar, get it?
I know, it's a weak joke, but hey, you get what you pay for.
I guess I could call upon my army of fans to take up pumpkins and storm the Chronicle, demanding that my column continue for an agreed remuneration, but I am hesitant to inflict the cost of a pumpkin on anyone, let alone my adoring public.
Donations, however, to the newly founded Save the Kate campaign can be made directly to my bank account.
As always, feel free to email me or my editor in outrage. investiK8@gmail.com - or maybe I should change that to investink8. Catch you next week beautiful people, same time, same place for the last time.
Until then, Waffle, the life forms and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May you find many reasons to smile loudly.