TO THE EDITOR, VIA VOICE MAIL: "Hello, Wm. Steven Humphrey, you dumbass! ["I Love Television," Sept 11, in which Humpy wants to appear on Pepsi's Play for a Billion.] If you want to be a billionaire, stupid person you, didn't you look at the odds of winning the Super Bowl prior to this season? It was a billion to one! A billion to one on the Houston Texans of winning the Super Bowl! But, they beat the Miami Dolphins, a well-coached team laden with talent.

What does this mean, you ask? That you, you simple sap, don't have to drink a bunch of Pepsi! You can adopt a football team! I'm sure the odds have changed by now; I haven't checked. But prior to this season, a billion to one, a billion to oneÉ You are a dumbass, because that was the best chance to be a billionaire! And no, I didn't bet either, because I am a fellow dumbass! So, now we have a 12-step group forming. DiscontinueÉ Thanks, bye."


TO THE MERCURY: I think I'm going blind, or mad. Did someone write a letter to the Mercury, and actually request "serious" Al Sharpton campaign coverage ["Letters," Deb Reitenour, Sept. 11]? He's as "serious" a presidential candidate as Schwarzenegger is a gubernatorial candidate (i.e., they're both clowns). Hi. Go back to sleep.



TO THE MERCURY: I'm disappointed to find the Mercury is giving coverage to ANY presidential candidate ["Letters," Sept. 11, "Flying High," Sept. 4]. No candidate who has the slightest chance of winning a presidential election in this country is truly interested in wresting control from the small group of rich men who control it. No matter how legitimate, we shouldn't forget it's impossible to get elected without the support of the richest, most powerful people--people who start wars, destroy the environment, and exploit workers.

Voting for the lesser of two evils might reduce the number of distasteful headlines, but it won't restore democracy, equality, and basic human rights for everyone in this and other countries. If we really want these things, we need to stop playing the presidential game and start talking to each other about how to get rid of the assholes who presume to run the world on our behalf.

David Spritzler


TO MR. CHRISTIAN GUNTHER: This is in regards to your letter in the August 28 issue. Being a Pabst drinker who enjoys a good beer when I can afford it, I find it difficult to swallow that you see only two reasons to drink Pabst. Sure, it's cheap, but that doesn't mean we drink it because we can't appreciate good beer.

The fact is that after we pay our rent every month, we often have to take up a couch-cushion collection to afford a simple twelve pack at the gas station. Saying I don't enjoy other beers is like saying I'm picky about the rocks I'll be throwing through your window when I find out where you live. I would LOVE to use those fancy NW Portland rocks that are tumbled to perfection, but all I can find in my neighborhood are very sharp pieces of cinder block left over from the old shelving units I use to store my records. They still get the job done, even if it is an indicator of how much my paychecks are.

People shouldn't be ridiculed for their choice in beer or their poverty. It's a question, not of quality, but of dignity. Here's hoping you find a syringe in your next bottle of indie brew.

Austin Rich


TO THE EDITOR: We heard from our teacher about a very weird incident involving a peaceful group of bike riders and the "PoPos"! On September 5th, a Portland and Beaverton police officer impounded fifteen "Zoobomber" bikes that were locked on a bike rack at SW 10th and Oak Street, claiming the bikes were an "obstruction." We always thought bike racks were for bikes--but that's just us. We also learned the police threatened the bikers with a taser just for asking why the bikes were being taken. We've always been told we live in a democracy, but this doesn't sound very democratic.

Not many people know this happened. But we think it's important everyone knows about this.

Mr. Baroff's 6th grade Social Studies Class

ACCESS Program at Sabin School, Portland

CONGRATS TO MR. BAROFF'S 6th GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES CLASS for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week." Turn to page 7 to learn more about this shameful incident, and for staying on top of current events, Mr. Baroff's entire class will win Mercury "Somebody Needs a Spanking" T-shirts.