DEAR COMEDIC MERCURY WRITERS: This note is in response to the "Clip and Send Jihad" [Oct 18]. Do you know exactly what a jihad is? Do you know anything about Islam, the religion, the majority of its followers? Do you not have even the most basic level of respect for something that is life-defining for some people? The humor of the Mercury is based on saying all that "can't be said." Recent examples include excessive use of the word "fuck," "how to make a bong" articles, and now, the employment of religious persecution. Frivolous humor is fine, but with your religion-bashing article you have offended this Caucasian-non-Muslim American (your target audience in this case) and her sense of religious freedom. Thank you for your time, you sick fucks.

A Youth in America


TO THE MERCURY: I fear I may have become Portland's first victim of a Spamthrax attack. Yesterday, I received a tin of mystery meat in the mail, with no return address. I figured it was from a friend who knows I'm unemployed and don't have much money for groceries.

That evening, I put some of the meat in a bowl for my dog and made a couple of sandwiches. The meat had a bit of a chemical taste to it, but the sandwiches became palatable once I loaded them with Dijon mustard, Bermuda onions, and creamed horseradish. I noticed later that my dog hadn't touched his portion.

I had some heartburn, but no worse than usual. Today, however, I've been having strange cravings: bologna on Wonder bread with mayo, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, jello "salad," sprayable "cheese food," and tapioca pudding. My speech also seems to be affected: I called a friend in "Warshington" to see if she wanted some "squarsh" from my garden.

Please advise your readers not to open any packages that may contain unidentified meat.



TO ANN ROMANO: I love the Mercury and I usually read your column first [One Day at a Time] because it always makes me crack up.

Now, please don't flame me--I used to be a proofreader and I can't help it when verbal miscarriages jump out at me.

The latest column [Nov 1] writes of chaise lounges, when there are actually no such objects in existence! The singular is chaise longue (pronounced shayze long). It literally means "long chair" in French. The plural is chaises longues.

Even though it seems likely, the word has nothing to do with lounging about or relaxing, it's just simply "long." How boring! Love you, don't be mad at me!



TO THE MERCURY: Regarding your little snippet review of the music from O Brother, Where Art Thou being "boring" [Film Shorts, Down From the Mountain, Nov 1]. I don't see how songs of crime, fate, death, thwarted romance, and mystical southern spirituality played by some of the best musicians on the planet can be dismissed so easily as "boring." Personally I find it "totally interesting and enthralling." But I guess you sort of have to actually listen to it.

Charles Bassi


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Should you have any demand/interest for seamless underwear from China, please feel free to contact/enquiry to us, we shall do our best to service you.

Mr. Zhou Yong, Managing Director
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The Mercury responds: Dear Mr. Yong, Thank you for your inquiry regarding seamless underwear. While none of the Mercury staff currently owns underwear, it is mainly because of the uncomfortable seams. And while we trust your claims of superior quality, we have been "burned" too many times by claims of comfortable seamless underpants. That said, we're hoping you can send us one sample pair of seamless underwear, so we can each try them on. If we are happy with the results, we will order at least three pairs for every staff member. Thank you for your time, and we look forward to trying your seamless underpants.