I LIKE SLAYER AND CAPITALIZATION

to the editor: I'M OUTRAGED BY ANDREW MILLER'S ARTICLE REGARDING SLAYER CONCERTS BEING LESS INVITING TO WOMEN THAN A "TESTICULAR CANCER SCREENING" ["Gayer than Slayer?" Nov 20].

I'M A 29-YEAR-OLD FEMALE, AND A SLAYER FAN FOR 17 YEARS. I WAS NEVER ISSUED AN "ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK" BRACELET. SHIT, I BOUGHT A PAIR OF FUCKING WOMENS' UNDERWEAR AT THE MERCH BOOTH. YOUR REPORTER NEEDS TO GET OVER HIS HOMOPHOBIA AND GET IN THE PIT.

SHILO BOUTWELL

COLLARDS CREAM KALE!

TO THE MERC: Last week "Jesse" wrote to excoriate you for rating collard greens at four stars, while kale garnered a mere three ["Letters," Nov 27]. Concerning greens, I'm with the Mercury: collards deserve the higher overall rating. As an avid consumer of several bunches of deep-green leafy veggies a week, I'm keenly aware of their relative merits. Kale is primarily a winter vegetable; it can be tough, stringy and/or bitter in the warmer months.

Collards, however, are monolithic in their seasonal reliability, convenience of preparation, and general proletarian predictability. They're just as tasty and nutritionally stupendous as kale, stand up to cooking better, and are convenient, quick, and delicious to prepare year-round.

I hope to see more vegetable reviews in future Mercury issues, and look forward to the lively debate that will surely ensue.

Romy B.

BEAT BUSSE WITH BAT

TO THE EDITOR VIA ANONYMOUS VOICE MAIL: "Hello. Referring to page 35 of your most recent edition ["Mercury Online Gift Auction," Nov 27], it seems that whoever was laying out the photos on that page had it in mind that Phil Busse should be hit in the head with the autographed Sleater-Kinney bat. I can't think of a better idea than hitting Phil Busse with a bat. I really don't care who's autographed the bat, or if the bat is autographed at all--just so Phil Busse is hit on the head with a bat. I don't know if this was subconscious or intentional, but I certainly want to endorse it. Somebody hit Phil Busse with a bat--at precisely the angle implied by that photo. Right on the top of his head. That's it."

I HATE THAT WHICH I CANNOT HAVE

DEAR "CUTE" GIRLS OF THE MERCURY: Are you for real or is this some kind of ironic, self-deprecating stunt ["Win a Date with the Girls of the Mercury," Online Gift Auction, Nov 27]? All political correctness aside, you are some UGLY females. Like, seriously, you-ain't-got-no-alibi, there's a horse in the hospital, put me off sex for a week, UGLY.

Where do I start? Your mom's fancy lipstick that you had a team of chimps apply? Your gaping, gasping mouths, frozen in grotesque expressions of retarded Sweathogs-type laughter? The nappy-ass, Buffalo Exchange clothing?

Look, I'm not Prince or Benicio Del Toro (though people tell me I look like a combination of the two), but I wouldn't fuck you by MISTAKE. Not if you were standing on a pile of cheeseburgers and hundred dollar bills, wearing an Anna Sui dress, holding the cure for baldness in one hand and a kilo of china white in the other.

Perhaps it is the girls of the Portland Mercury who need to win a date--a weekend at the fat farm and a scholarship to Pretty College.

S.

CONGRATULATIONS TO "S." for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week" and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. And don't forget--you still have until Monday to win a date with those adorably cute Mercury gals. Simply go to

www.portlandmercury.com and click on the Online Auction banner!

And while we're on the topic of those heart-throbby ladies of the Mercury, last week we neglected to credit photographer Chris Ho for taking those juicy, mouth-watering photos. Sorry, Chris!

ENTER THE HORRIBLE XMAS ESSAY CONTEST!

HEY READERS! Want to translate your pain into some quick Christmas cash? Then enter our "Horrible X-Mas Essay Contest!" Simply send a 400-word essay describing your most horrible Christmas (or Hanukah). The top five essays will have their work published in our December 25th issue, and receive a holiday themed Mercury gift pack. But get this! The GRAND PRIZE WINNER will also receive 100 DOLLARSÉ and a pack of four 60-watt light bulbs! Entry deadline is MONDAY, DECEMBER 15th so don't delay--send your essays to

santablows@portlandmercury.com , or via snail mail to "Horrible X-Mas," c/o Portland Mercury, 605 NE 21st Ave, Suite 200, Portland, 97232.