TO THE EDITOR: In response to Heather Arndt's misguided and rabid anti-canine diatribe ["Letters," June 24, in which biologist Heather asserts dogs are ruining the parks' eco-system]: First of all, one can only hope Heather is an unemployed biologist. Secondly, there are many conscientious dog owners in Portland that understand the value of this area's fragile natural resources. The need for dog owners to have realistic and generous off-leash areas has never involved a direct attack on any habitat--especially that of cutthroat trout. And by the way, if you have a problem with dogs "running up to (your) crotch every time (you) wanna take a stroll"--girl, wash your cooter. As a biologist, you may want to identify the various cultures in your nether regions that are causing the dogs to become "slobbery."

Ezra Maru


TO PHIL BUSSE: I'd like to take this opportunity to commend you on your article, "The Truth About Hobo Teens" [Feature, June 24]. The wealth of local and national sources used to counter the public's perception of homeless youth were substantial and impressive compared to that used by Ms. Mitchell of the Oregonian to substantiate her claims. I was amazed that someone with the exposure Mitchell enjoys would be permitted to produce such unsubstantiated, hysteria generating reporting for publication.

Darrell Tuffli


TO THE EDITOR VIA VOICEMAIL: "Hello, my name is Barrett and I'm calling in regards to Clayton's Szczech's letter last week about apes not being monkeys ["Letters," June 24]. I would like to say I completely share Clayton's concern that the media, such as yourself, often blurs the line between monkeys and apes. The difference is enormous, and the anthropological significance of this distinction is underrepresented. I only wish that we could get the word out to more people."


TO THE EDITOR: I know you must hate to be wrong, but monkeys really aren't apes. So why don't you apologize to Clayton Szczech, admit you're a bunch of ignorant, speciesist dumbasses, and learn how to use basic reference materials like the Wikipedia. You fucking asshats.



TO THE EDITOR: I am sure that you will be getting numerous emails explaining your error, but just in case both of them had something better to do, let me advise you that Clayton's assertion that monkeys are not apes is, indeed, correct, not ridiculous at all, and actually, something you should have learned in high school biology.

Monkeys, apes, lemurs and, for that matter, humans, are all members of the animal Kingdom, chordate Phylum, mammal Class, and primate Order. The primate Order is broken down into two Suborders... [blah, blah, blah. Let's skip to the next letter. --Editor]



TO THE MERCURY: This is for Clayton Szczech ["Letters," June 24.] If you're going to lecture the Mercury on the differences between monkeys and apes, get your information right. It's true that bonobos, gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and gibbons are apes. However, you forgot that wacky ape, the siamang. Furthermore, you forget to highlight the differences between greater apes (chimps, bonobos, gorillas, and orangs) versus lesser apes (gibbons and siamangs).

Finally, your statements regarding monkeys are less than pleasing. Only the New World monkeys have prehensile tails (that allow for swinging through the trees). Old World monkeys lack prehensile tails and do not swing through the trees. Also, not all monkeys have "tiny little brains." While apes have larger cranial capacities with diversified brain function, many species of monkeys have advanced cognitive abilities. Next time do some research before you shoot your mouth off...

Unemployed in Portland with a Master's in Biological Anthropology

WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY RESPONDS: To everyone who wrote in to correct my correction that Clayton Szczech's correction was incorrect, I'd like to say one thing: You are all fucked in the head. Monkeys are fucking apes, and apes are fucking monkeys. Prehensile, posthensile, utensil... who gives a shit? You wanna know the difference between a monkey and an ape? If it wears a jumper and rollerskates, it's a monkey. If it beats on its chest, it's an ape. AND THAT'S IT. Otherwise, they're EXACTLY the same, because they're hairy, eat bananas, and throw their crap. Case closed!

Oh, yeah... and that last guy wins the Mercury "Letter of the Week."