DEAR ANN ROMANO: I just read your critique of Terry Gross, "one of the monotonous interviewers on 'Fresh Air'" [One Day at a Time, Feb 14]. Actually, Ann, she's the host, has been since 1973, and she's a blazing intellect. Five days a week she interviews an astounding assortment of artists, politicians and athletes with a skill and panache you might dream of, were you were a bit brighter. Gene Simmons, on the other hand, is a loutish, one-dimensional act whose appeal for a lemming-like, cut and paste specialist such as yourself is understandable. He hasn't had an original thought in three decades, and even then, who bothered to listen? He's as predictable as mud, kind of like your silly column. I guess that's the attraction.

Doug Glancy

Ann Romano responds: I apologize for asserting there was more than one host for "Fresh Air." I was under the mistaken impression that no single person could be that boring.


DEAR PM: Your article about boob mutilation was so depressing, I couldn't even finish reading it ["Where the Wild Things Were," Marie Martin, Feb 14]. I can't believe some shyster got $10,000 to take that goddess and turn her into another boring chick. So what I did was cut out and reverse the "before" and "after" pictures. Then I could just ignore the dumb propaganda for the cosmetic surgery industry and beat off.

Huge Jackman


TO THE MERCURY: In reference to the "In Other News" article "Dark Horse" [Feb 14]. At a time when the government is pumping up the Drug War scare, claiming drugs support "terrorists," it would just not do to have the Oregon Medical Examiner announce that deaths as a result of heroin overdose are in decline. So, ironically, we now have six dead in 36 hours.

The fact that the two countries where the U.S. is carrying out its largest military actions are also centers of drug production does not elude me. Nor does the knowledge that the CIA and other government agencies have historically had their hands in the flow of drugs to this country (as per their own documents).

Admittedly, relating six dead in 36 hours to an insidious scheme of global proportions is bordering on conspiracy theory. But when blind jingoism is the fad of the day, and the motto is "buy or die," one must ask who stands to gain from a renewed war on drugs?

Who are the real drug "war lords," and who would flood the Portland market with an extra lethal batch of heroin, thus raising the fear factor already so prevalent in this country?

Ellis Sol


TO THE EDITOR: You said not to write in about the percentages being off ["Sex Survey 2002," Feb 7]. But you're wrong about other things. Portland deserves the truth!

Of the genital area, you said "it's not going to fall off if you show it the occasional bar of soap." I'm guessing you have never been female. It's not recommended that girls scrub their nether regions with soap or chemicals. These can go up the hoo-ha and cause vaginitis, yeast infections or other problems. Instead, your girl readers should use water and a washcloth, or get one of those nice extension showerheads, making it easier to do a thorough cleansing with just plain water. It helps that those showerheads usually come with massage options. Better than a Hitachi Magic Wand any day.

You also said "There's no such thing as 'geriatric porn!'" Wrong. There are pornsites featuring old women with hanging breasts. Everyone likes something a little different.

Getting It in Portland

The Mercury responds: Alright! Alright! You win! (Two free passes to the Laurelhurst Theater, that is.) For her hatred of soap and love of geriatric sex, "Getting It" wins the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" contest. Got a gripe or weird opinion? Send it to the address above, and you could be our next winner!


Are you a drunk? Are you a poet? Hmm. Then you should enter our "Drunk Poet's Society Contest!" Here are the rules: 1) Your poem must be about drinking, getting drunk, or about the drink itself. 2) Your poem MUST attempt to rhyme. Any poem that doesn't gets trashed. WE'RE SERIOUS!! 3) Your poem cannot be longer than 24 lines.

The grand prize winner will receive $57, a bottle of Robitussin, and a box of lightbulbs. Oh, and their entry will be printed in next month's Drinking Issue! Deadline is WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6. Email it, or send it to the address above. Good luck, you ridiculously pathetic lush!