TO THE MERCURY: This is for the whiner who got his bike light jacked ["I, Anonymous," April 15]: Your complaint was full of maybes. Well I got a MAYBE for ya: Howzabout not leaving your bike light on your bike for anyone to steal? Face it: Anything left on your bike that CAN get stolen WILL get stolen!!! I've had my rear light jacked from my bike when I left it alone for all of 10 minutes. MAYBE I was asking for it. MAYBE I kicked myself for not taking the 10 seconds to take the light off. MAYBE I felt stupid and humbly bought a new light immediately. But I know for a fact that I didn't bitch and moan that some thief had yet to "learn respect" for "other people as actual human beings." There's no honor among thieves--and you learned that lesson the hard way. Now suck it up, buy an even better light and stop boo-hooing to your local trash tabloid. Or MAYBE just ride the bus. Hippie.

Brian Kay


HEY MARJORIE SKINNER: Just wanted to tell you what a brave soul I think you are. I just read the kidnapping article you wrote ["Kidnapped!" April 22, in which Marjorie is kidnapped for 24 hours by a stranger], and although it went a bit sugary in the end, I cannot believe your moxy! You seem apt to dive into just about anything for a good scoop.

The article on the sex clubs was also quite interesting ["Bang a Gang," Katie Shimer, March 18] and your friend Katie leaving you to brave that hot tub all alone? Bet it didn't even phase you. Your adventures make me proud to be female. While I'm toiling away in solitude, writing new guitar licks and soulful lyrics, I will be thinking of what you might be up to out there. Just remember: If anybody tries to mess with Portland's Marjorie, they'll have to deal with me, and my band Ruby Red! We like your style (and we've got your back.) Stay safe but keep us laughin'.

Robin (Ruby Red)


TO THE MERCURY: Thanks for your article about Marjorie Skinner's rather lame abduction. It made me take a hard look at human nature. The article also mentioned there was a market for "professional" kidnappers who get paid to treat their victims (mostly wealthy executives in NYC) harshly. I asked myself who in their right mind would pay to feel humiliated and helpless, and more importantly, why?

I didn't agree with the kidnapper's claim that many of us have a "daily fear of being abducted" and for some reason want to face that fear. I agree that in a misguided attempt for ratings, the media does focus on the macabre--but you honestly have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being abducted, and I think most people are smart enough to realize this (but if you do feel this way you should definitely talk to someone about it, soon).

Seeing the picture of the author tied and gagged in the kidnapper's apartment, with chest out and back arched, it dawned on me that some women will go to great lengths to feel vulnerable and sexually desirable--especially smart women. But is that why a NYC executive would pay to be abducted? I don't think so.

My theory is that Mother Nature herself is making these people put themselves in danger--and showing them how ridiculous they are. They have no more control over what they're doing than does the lemming, who thinks she's following her sisters to a better place, but is really following them off the edge of a cliff.



TO THE MERCURY: Marjorie Skinner: Hot. Keep up the fine, artistic photography of Marjorie in hot tubs and blindfolds--no matter what fucked up story ideas you have to come up with to get the job done.

Oh yes. Portland says, "THANK YOU, MERCURY!!!"



TO THE MERCURY: This week's column by Mr. Cornelius Van Shack Armentrout ["Marthmallow Peepth... Mmmm, Yeth!" April 22] is the funniest thing I've ever read. I'm a fucking idiot.

Mark G.

IT TAKES A LOT to admit one is a fucking idiot--especially in front of 140,000 people. Therefore, congratulations go out to Mark for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" And for his candid confession, Mark will receive two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, and two free passes to see Avenged Sevenfold at Nocturnal on Thursday, May 13!