EATIN' AIN'T CHEATIN'

DEAR MERCURY—After reading Patrick Coleman's glowing review of Mai Thai ["Thaied and True," Last Supper, June 19], I decided to cheat on my longtime girlfriend, Pad Thai Kitchen. I was almost won over... until the bill. Without warning I was charged for RICE. Last time I ate at any other Thai restaurant in the world, rice was considered integral to curry and as such is included in the price of the menu item. I just hope my baby will take me back.

Otis Houston

HULK SMASH JOB MARKET

DEAR MERCURY—I know I am not going to be able to stand much more of your Hulk column. Conceptually brilliant perhaps, but some- one has to clue Hulk into the Portland job market he railed about ["One Hulk's Opinion," New Column, June 12, 19 & 26]. Maybe if the Portland Mercury could actually pay Hulk for his work he wouldn't be whining in the first place. But Hulk, you're from out of town so it's true you have no chance of getting a job here. If you want honest work, the Army Corps of Engineers must need help repairing levies. But that kind of work would take you out of town. If you want to stay local you would make an incredible sign twirler for Mattress World or continue in the medical science field submitting to even more experimentation. Be persistent, Hulk, and you will find your dream job while the rest of us have to wake up to the nightmare.

David C.

VEGAN SPREAD

DEAR MERCURY—I was both excited and disappointed to hear of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's recent move to Portland ["Vegan with a Vengeance," Feature, June 26]. While I welcome further validation of the Pacific Northwest's status as something of a vegan Mecca, I can't help but think that Isa's abundant charm is needed more elsewhere. Couldn't Isa's diplomatic skills and easygoing joshing be deployed to combat anti-veg prejudice in Mississippi? Might not a taste of Ms. Moskowitz's scrumptious-sounding (I haven't tried it yet) banana rabanada convince a few staunch omnivores in Montana or Texas to ease up on the animal products, thus lessening overall suffering? But then again, with her popular cookbooks and website, Isa has already done more than her share of the legwork necessary to realize the "cruelty-free food future" she envisions. She sets an example that other less proactive vegans would do well to follow.

Katharine Merow

BETTER THAN A SLIT THROAT

DEAR MERCURY—Thank you for shining some light on the vegan community ["Vegan with a Vengeance," Feature, June 26]. It was really encouraging to see the recent feature cover vegans in a positive and informative way, as well as offer some ideas for vegan recipes. Also, it was a lot easier to read about a bean salad rather than a poor sheep getting its throat slit ["Silencing the Lamb," Feature, Jan 4, 2007].

 Suzanne Mark

VITAMIN E!

DEAR MERCURY—Long live Ann Romano!!! This is in response to Michael Dawson's dumb letter, "What TV Can't Give You" [Letters, June 26]. First, Ann Romano rocks and the world needs more of her, and second, if your life was half as exciting and meaningful as, let's say, Britney Spears' or John Mayer's, maybe she would be writing about you. But it's not, you're boring, so get over yourself, shut up, and go watch more E! TV.

 C-UNIT

GET YOUR SPIDERS STRAIGHT

DEAR MERCURY—Regarding poor Crushed Little Bird's fear of hipsters and spiders ["Hurtful Hipsters," Letters, June 26]: The Mercury misreported that the Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is native to Oregon. This is a common misconception. Brown Recluses aren't native to Oregon, but sometimes they emerge from cardboard boxes used to move here from out of state, as do hipsters (Velotrac gentrimacbiblojerkis). The Hobo Spider, or Tegenaria agrestis, is native to Oregon, and its bites are often mistaken for those caused by the Brown Recluse. However, the closely related Traveling Hobo Spider, or Scabieherpaclownaria fortyoz, is not native to Oregon, and there's no mistaking that they just bite.

Aaron Vance-Borland

OH JOY, AARON, the only thing we love more than newspapering here at the Mercury are biology lessons! For calling our spidery bluff, you win two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish! where they always weave a web of deliciousness.