THIS week, Ross Hanvidge reacts to a complaint to the Advertiser over an alleged “trademark infringement” involving a story on a Helensburgh mental health group founder and a comic book superhero from Pittsburgh...

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“Burgh Man has been known to run/skate up to 150mph.

“Burgh Man can lift a two-ton vehicle. Although some think that Burgh Man can fly, he cannot. He can, though, through sheer will power, break the laws of gravity for short distances.

“He can leap over 100 feet at a time which gives the average person on the street the impression Burgh Man is flying.

“Burgh Man has the ability to see into the future. His visions are not always clear, but he has been more accurate than the local weather report!”

Unfortunately, these hyperbolic statements are not excerpts from an article in this week’s paper, focusing on the incredible exploits of a local icon.

READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: September 17, 2020

Rather, they describe a Pittsburgh-based comic book superhero who was the subject of a supposed “trademark infringement” involving the Advertiser.

"Burgh Man is a registered trademark... John Lewis calls himself Burgh Man in your suicide prevention article. Please do not use the name Burgh Man anymore."

As far as complaints go, this one - albeit on a serious topic which is always worth keeping in mind as a writer - tickled our funny bones much more than the standard gripes we’re on the receiving end of, week in, week out.

One - far less humourous - example from recent days: “Helensburgh Advertiser when are you going to do a story on the Waverley that crashed into a pier? Didn’t take you long to churn out story after story about two kids testing positive for Covid but nothing on actual real world news!”

Our thanks to another, unnamed, keyboard warrior for pointing out that, in fact, the aforementioned story had been published and shared *five days* before that critical comment was posted.

READ MORE: Waverley sailing season cancelled after crash injures 24 people

We understand that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep on top of every news story without missing a beat. As reporters working from home, it’s never been more challenging to keep readers updated.

We’re also aware that mistakes do happen, which is why we welcome constructive criticism and address any issues as soon as possible.

But in these pandemic times, when we could all do with a good laugh, it’s worth remembering not to take life too seriously. All the more pleasing, then, that this week’s paper is filled with good news stories from across the area - from funding grants for community groups, a promising inspection report for a local nursery, and sporting success.

As for our use of the phrase “Burgh man”, well, unless my colleague - who conveniently denies he is the caped crusader himself - is suddenly unmasked, then we may have to delve into our thesaurus for future articles. To be continued...

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