TO THE EDITOR: [In response to Katie Shimer's article, "Downers are the New Uppers," Sept. 23, in which Katie suggests faking back pain to get downers.] Dude. Girls around here think they're badasses 'cause they shop in the boy's department, have a nautical star tattoo on their arm/shoulder/lower back, and fell skateboarding one time. Well, I piss rocks--rocks that scrape along the bleeding, incurable ulcers in my bladder on their way out.

So if you are that asshole in line in the waiting room pretending to have back pain, pissing off all the nurses with your theatrics, and making it hard for real badasses who have real pain to be taken seriously in the ER, here is some advice: Hit the streets for your fix like any self-respecting junkie would. Or, go do something that would actually make you feel all floaty and good the next day--like landing your first ollie (that's what I'd be doing if I was well and my biggest problem was a combination of stress and boredom).

So, until you're out there on the pavement (be it passed out with a blissful smile or working the kind on a 15-stair rail), get your pathetic, whiney ass out of the doctor's office, and don't even think of putting your name on the same page as the word "badass" again.

Mariellen Carter


TO THE MERCURY: Who supports George Bush? Vandals.

This country stands for many things, and one of them is the freedom of speech. In the United States, everyone has a right to express his or her opinion, even if others may not agree with it.

I happen to believe that George Bush is leading this country in the wrong direction. To express my opinion, I've placed two bumper stickers on the inside of my car's rear window. They're taped inside because I don't relish scraping sticky goo off the bumper of my car.

On Saturday night, I parked in a downtown garage. When I returned, a law-breaking vandal had plastered the outside of my car with right-wing bumper stickers. Since it is my car, I and only I have the right to express my opinion on it. If someone else wants to express their opinion, they can easily put stickers on their own car, write a letter, hire a blimp--whatever.

This basically shows me to what level George W's supporters are willing to sink. What's next? Ripping up lawn signs? Voter intimidation? Electronic vote gerrymandering?

I will continue to express my opinion, and will continue to allow others who may not agree with me to do the same. A diversity of opinions, and the ability to legally express them, definitely makes our country stronger. I encourage everyone to make their voice heard this November. Don't let vandalism, intimidation, or any other form of idiocy get in the way.

Jim Kidwell


DEAR MERCURY: You wanna know why Constitutional Amendment 36 is going to be defeated in November? Because like Lon Mabon of the Oregon Citizen's Alliance, Tim Nashif of the Defense of Marriage Coalition is one shady bastard [News, "Homophobia Pays," Sept. 30]. "Technically legal" funneling of campaign funds into your own business interests, as we all saw in painful detail with Mabon's exploits, never seems to lead anywhere good. I'm sure that supporters of 36 feel just fine about their donated dollars going to print--among other things--the DOMC's tired propaganda about gay marriage tearing the fabric of our society asunder. But eventually, Nashif's business practices are going catch up to him. Vote No on 36--it's wack. The last thing Oregon needs is some donation-funneling homophobe messing around with our constitution.

Sarah Leimert

YOU'LL HEAR NO ARGUMENT FROM US, SARAH! And that's why your wise words win you the Mercury "Letter of the Week," wherein we legally funnel prizes into your pocket, including: two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater, and two tickets to see Hot Rod Circuit and Straylight Run at the Meow Meow on Saturday, Nov. 6! Congratulations!