WHO GIVES A CRAP?

TO KATIE SHIMER: There was a time when I felt sorry for you because I assumed you were one of those people that were not given the gift of wit ["Where Does My Poop Go?" Dec 26]. Now I just think that you are a moron. Never in my life (at least not since I passed the age of five) have I taken a shit and then wondered where it went when I flushed the toilet; I have never actually missed one of my poops either.

Any person that's lived through one of Portland's nine-month rainy seasons knows that the poop always ends up in the river. I don't know anyone that would go tubing in that god-forsaken stream of refuse (or eat any of the poor creatures that have the sad misfortune of sifting human excrement through their gills).

After reading your little story regarding the whereabouts of Portland's discarded poo-poo and pee-pee (while ironically pumping a grumpy myself) I did the only fitting thing. I wiped my ass with it and flushed it down the toilet. I, along with my unimaginative and sadly uneducated little friend, did not need to read your crappy little story to know where it was going (lame pun not intended).

Anonymous

BAND? WHAT BAND?

TO THE EDITOR: Happened to notice your "Letter of the Week" [Dec 26] which argued that high school band wasn't really cool. 21st century news flash: It don't matter no more 'cuz thanks to budget cuts, there ain't no high school band--at least not in most Portland schools. Those folks who did go to schools with bands, whether cool or not, aren't giving today's kids a chance to decide.

Ray Robert

NEVER GIVE UP!

TO SANDEEP KAUSHIK: Here's what it sounds like your article on the anti-war movement was saying ["War Games," Jan 2]: 1) protesting does no good, we are powerless, and 2) since the author can't find a compelling response to protest 9/11 from the left wing, it makes sense to follow the right wing.

It's clear to most everyone that without an organized resistance to the war, we'd have attacked already. In fact, reports have said that the Bush military wanted to attack Iraq immediately after 9/11, even though there are no links between the two, but Colin Powell and others were able to make the case there wasn't clear public support for that course.

I think your article wasn't meant as a serious analysis but to grab people's attention and incite response. And it worked. But it also may help confirm people's feelings of powerlessness, and keep them from being involved at all. And that is just what the right wing would like us to feel. Protesting is a great antidote to powerlessness, and it works.

Eric Slade

THE WORST SENTENCE EVER!

TO ANNA SIMON: I must take up arms against this sentence from Anna Simon's article "Sink Your Teeth Into This" [News, Dec 26]. "Finally escaping into a vehicle, the dogs left Rossell and ran home one block away." Query: If the dogs escaped into a vehicle, why did they have to run home? Perhaps they never learned to drive?

Anna: I can only assume you meant that Rossell escaped and the dogs ran home, but this sentence clearly indicates that it was the dogs who escaped into the vehicle. Didn't you learn about dangling participles in school--GRADE SCHOOL? Were you absent when this rule was reinforced in high school English, and in college? (I am giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that since you are a professional writer, you must have received some training in the use of language).

And to Anna's editor: Did you even READ this before sending it to press? I skimmed the article over lunch and caught this mistake--it sticks out of the article like the proverbial sore thumb. I hope this isn't indicative of an overall downward turn in the quality of writing that we see in the Mercury. While many of the articles are still adequately written, I don't think you can afford to let your standards sink much lower. But perhaps you are shifting your demographic toward the ever-popular illiterati? Those of us who CAN read would like to be able to do so without wincing. I implore you all to hold yourselves to the admittedly high ideal of grammatically correct writing. Use shorter sentences and small words if that's the only way you can manage it, but please don't ever publish a turd like that again.

Harmony

CONGRATULATIONS TO HARMONY for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" For catching us with our participle hanging out, she will win two free passes to the Laurelhurst Theater. Got a grammatical beef? Write in, and you could win big!