TO OUR READERS: Due to an incredibly careless act of negligence, our editor, Wm. Steven Humphrey, stupidly erased all the emails the Mercury received this week. Perhaps this was not a mistake, and our editor simply cannot handle the TRUTH. Regardless, all the letters are gone, and we are left with little choice than to reprint a bunch of letters from old magazines found around the office. If you sent in a letter last week, please do our stupid editor the courtesy of resending it. We here at the Mercury value your opinion, much more than we value the purported intelligence of our stupid, careless editor. --Your Friends at the Portland Mercury
MEMORIES OF A CALL GIRL
DEAR COSMOPOLITAN: Liz Smith's article on the call girl industry ["Park Avenue Call Girl," July 1968] brought back old memories. I was formerly one of the "sisterhood," and the experiences she relates seem very authentic, very familiar. I didn't make the money she seems to be making, but I did very well, thank you.
My most embarrassing experience occurred when I accepted a new customer on the recommendation of a steady client. When I saw him, it was my dad. We were both shook up, of course. But after a couple of double bourbons, we agreed it was funny.
I'm now happily married and busy looking after my children like any other housewife. I have no regrets about the past.
A WHOLESOME, QUALITY MAGAZINE
DEAR PARENT: Welcome to the world of Highlights for Children [September, 2002]! It's a wonderful, friendly place where children enjoy hours of fun and learning every month.
I invite you to browse through this issue so you can see for yourself what Highlights is all about. I think you'll be impressed by our wide variety of engaging stories, beautiful illustrations, fun-filled puzzles and learning activities.
We're very selective about what goes into Highlights, and we're just as particular about what we leave out. There's no violence, no questionable content, and no outside advertising--just wholesome, quality children's material you can feel good about.
We've been publishing Highlights for more than 50 years--and I'm proud to say that we're the most popular children's magazine in America. Let the fun and learning begin.
Elmer C. Meider, Jr., President
EEEEEEE! PARKER STEVENSON! EEEEEEE!
DEAR TIGER BEAT: The first time I saw Parker Stevenson, I could have died [January, 1978]. He's so cute, I wish I could cuddle up to him and stay close to him forever. I know those are just dreams, but I pray that one day I will meet him. Also, please put in more posters of Shaun Cassidy and Mark Hamill.
Karen K. , Hyde Park
ARAB LOVERS AREN'T SO GREAT
DEAR PLAYGIRL: Hooray for your article on the "Imprisoned Princesses of the Middle East" [June, 1977]! It's about time someone showed up the myth of the Great Arab Lover for the pile of camel dung it is.
Ahab the Arab too often turns out to be a minuteman who doesn't know a clitoris from a cashew nut--and doesn't care to learn. Ditto for his brother across the river and over the Gulf, the Iranian. I used to be married to one. None of my experiences with Persian or Arab men were quite as nasty, poor, brutish, and short as Aisha's, but I certainly recognize the mental atmosphere that prevailed.
Paula Rejaie, Houston, TX
PEOPLE READY TO HOUSE MY SHIT
DEAR PLUSH: For the record, ya magazine is craaacck [Issue 5, 2003]. I've been pickin up Plush since day one and people out here ready to house my shit. Somebody stole my Navigator issue!! Guys don't think I'm sayin much cuz I'm not a dude, but as soon as I whip out that Plush, they're all ears. I read each issue like five times to make sure I get all that. All the whips are hott, and I need to get a subscription. One for me and one for my friend Carl. He's nice and all, but I'm not too big on sharingÉ Holla on!
SELECTIVE BREEDING WILL SAVE THE HUMAN RACE
DEAR TRUE: I concur 100 percent with Isaac Asimov's predictions for the end of the century ["Can Man Survive the Year 2000?" Jan 1971], but I disagree with his theory that a simple birth-control program will solve the problem of over-population.
Only a worldwide, strict and absolutely compulsory program of selective breeding will bring our current population under control.
We have proven we can improve corn, roses, chicken, cattle, etc., with selective breeding. Now it's time to consider the human race.
Stuart Parlin, Brigham City, Utah