What follows is an open letter to the readers of plumswithleafs.com.

Dear friends—

  It pains to write that I have wronged you. Each and every one of the many (and I mean soooo fucking many) of you who read and reread my by now widely acclaimed web essay plumswithleafs.com, by which you have all been inarguably, incontestably, and irrevocably convinced beyond even a faint and waning shadow of a doubt that plums does indeed have leafs. You have been wronged and it is me who has wronged you.

  On the evening of May 14, 2023, I sat opposite my keyboard and with purity of intention and clarity of mind I prepared to compel a generation kicking and fighting as they might into a new paradigm of truth and acceptance regarding the issue of plums and their having of leafs. As has only recently become commonly accepted, plumswithleafs.com is more than the casual musings of an overzealous plum enthusiast who cares a touch too greatly for their particular botanical accompaniment. It is a social awakening which clangs the morning bell of a new dawn. It is a stalwart movement which marches unrelentingly toward the horizon of equanimity. It is a manifesto and an obligation.

  Certainly, about this I have no qualms. Behind this mission and beyond this army will I stand unwaveringly. It is not in essence that I have wronged you, but in execution. Not in pursuit, but in presentation. Not in truth, but in trust. Regrettably, it is in fact the case that considerable portions, and indeed most portions, of plumswithleafs.com were not authored by myself, but by the infamous AI chatbot tool known as ChatGPT. My decision to employ ChatGPT toward this end was made in the interest of the timeliness of the publication. I offer this not to excuse or to justify my behavior, but to explain.

  What has been made abundantly evident to me since my (our) initial publication is that authenticity and integrity are regarded above all else. They are to be upheld in spite of any inclination otherwise. With sincerity, I apologize. With commitment, I vow to come to you now as ever hereafter, my unaugmented, intrinsic, fallible self.

  Yours, with candor and humility—

  One dumb numb-thumbed chum come to drum ba-da-dum-dum-dum on a rum drum for some glum Plum Slum bums