WHAT'S UP, MERCURY: How's yer taint? Yesterday I saw this box of hair that was totally, like, second hand. I thought of Carl, you know? SPLAT! He could have been schooled, I mean it.

Did you get any of that? Think it was funny? No? Well there's no reason you should, because they're random jokes from my own life. I included them in order to introduce the Mercury staff to an important concept. It's something called an "in joke." An "in joke" is one that is only funny to the person who thought of it and his or her group of friends. NO ONE ELSE GETS IT!

The glaring example that inspired me to write this little harangue was the "Worst Writer of the Week Award," featuring lucky Mr. Sanders [Jan 17]. I realized it was a joke, but I'm stone cold serious when I tell you I talked to several other people who completely thought you were being serious, and others, like myself, who just didn't think it was funny.

No, folks, I wanted to say, it's just another example of the Mercury's unfortunate tendency towards cozy self-absorption. In any case it seems like you've been pissing in the wind and it blew all over your talented theater reviewer. Nice one! Next time I see a side article with a picture of one of you next to it I'll know to just skip it!

Unamused Fan


HEY MERCURY STAFF: Your newspaper is great. I read it every week. I think it's funny but there's just one thing: why do you guys have to talk about yourselves so much? Trying to give your writing voices personality is fine, I suppose, but you've got to cut it out with all the inside jokes.

Last week's "Worst Writer" award to Justin Sanders is a good example of this, and whoever dreamt up this half-assed idea sure wasn't thinking about how many laughs it would get outside the Mercury office. Not even Wm. Steven Humphrey's capital letters and exclamation points could keep this one from sucking. At the very least you could have given the award to somebody who deserved it, say Katie Shimer.

Joe C

The Mercury responds: Congratulations to Joe C who had the guts to sign his name on his letter of kind advice. For his bravery, he wins the Mercury "Letter of the Week" and two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater! Got some finger waggin' to do? Send your letter to the address above and you could be our next winner!


GREETINGS: Thanks for carrying Smell of Steve Comics and Maakies [Page 43]. They make my day. They're the first thing I turn to when I pick the paper up.

A Reader


DEAR EDITOR: This is to the miserable old whore that was ripping down my fliers a block behind me on Hawthorne on January 16th around 3:00 PM.

Flyering is not vandalism; it is the only advertising us poor folk can afford. I know you rich fucked-up whores have all the advertising dollars you need, but us poor punk bands NEED to use fliers to get people to come to our shows. Hey, remember when I yelled at you? I was all, "OH, MABEL'S THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA, I GUESS NOW IT'S CALLED MABELTOWN," and you were like, "I'm a skanky slut with nothing better to do than ruin all your hard work, besides flyers are illegal." So I says to Mabel, I says, "ILLEGAL?? WHAT, ARE YOU FUCKING NUTS? YOU WANT TO ENFORCE LAWS, GET A GUN! OTHERWISE MIND YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS!" Actually Mabel, you know what? FUCK YOU. I know you're an old woman but if I see you on the street, we're throwin' DOWN!!

But if my friends are there I'll probably just give you the stink eye. I don't want my friends to see an old woman beat my ass. Besides this is between you and ME!!

Nate Fuckin' Turpentine


Hey Romeos and/or Juliettes! Want to really impress that special someone this V-Day? Show 'em that you're the most romanciest of all with a FREE Mercury Valentine! Simply send us your love note of 30 words or less, and we'll print it for FREE in our Valentine's Day issue (Feb 7). Imagine the shock and surprise of your shmoopy-woopy upon seeing your unabashed declaration of love. Then imagine all the BOOTY you'll receive! So don't delay! See page 23 for details on how you can send in your valentine today or just click here and do it online!