GREETINGS: I have a comment about the "bike sting" operation covered in your fine publication ["Bike Bust," News, May 18]. I am racking my brain trying to figure out why the City of Portland thinks it is worthwhile to set up a "sting" operation to fine bicyclists $242 for rolling through a four-way stop in a quiet residential area. Is it because of a sincere concern with bicycle safety? I think not. If the city was really concerned with safety, I imagine it would pay more attention to dangerous intersections. Or—as is done with automobile drivers—cite the individual bicyclists who ride recklessly and dangerously. If the motivation was to "send a message" to bicyclers, I don't know what message the city imagines we are receiving. My own reaction is to loathe my local government for treating bicyclists this way. Was the sting done to assuage the reactionaries who somehow blame bicyclists for their stressful commute? Oh... and that $242 ticket. Doesn't that seem a little much for a bicycle? Oh, I forgot: Bicycles are subject to the same laws as cars, even though they are a fraction of the size, can go only a fraction of the speed, and can do only a fraction of the damage. At what point will it be recognized that bicycles are NOT automobiles, and that forcing bicyclers to compete in a transportation system dominated by and created for the needs of automobiles puts us at a distinct disadvantage?

Scott Erickson


I feel compelled to make a correction to your serious, nay, severely erroneous reporting that Sean Preston Federline-Spears "popped from the loins of inexperienced mother Britney Spears" [One Day at a Time, May 25]. As you probably know, Spears chose not to have a normal birth because her adoring husband didn't want her pee-pee to come out all wonky. His understanding of the elasticity of women's genitalia continues to astound me. And, the way-past gyrating momma knows that her midriff days are over after the very serious abdominal surgery (which is generally only done in an EMERGENCY) helped little Sean to POP just like good ole Caesar himself. Hmmm... maybe she wants him to be a Caesar someday! I usually LOVE your column, but when I find an error of this magnitude, I am SHOCKED.

A Concerned Mama


DEAR MERCURY: Holy crap!! Do you guys know how much trouble you're going to be in when Chuck Norris sees your lie-loaded Steven Seagal issue [The Steven Seagal Issue, May 25]?! For example, everyone KNOWS Chuck Norris is credited with the Big Bang, when he roundhouse kicked the big energy ball at the beginning of time, causing it to explode (and then ate half the results). It's obvious that you're all just not willing to see the facts, you closed-minded Seagalists. Oh, and don't think that Chuck Norris won't be roundhouse kicking your asses for this disrespect... although, for all we know, the Chuck Norris of the future is roundhouse kicking in your direction right now, which, since his roundhouses have the ability to exceed the speed of light and travel back in time, means that you should be dead right about... NOW!



MERCURY: The best Steven [Seagal] story, which is true, though how the confrontation started differs, concerns Steve and former heavyweight judo champion, "Judo" Gene LeBell, the guy who taught grappling to Bruce Lee, and a guy who was about 25 years older than Steve at the time. Version No. 1 starts: On a movie set where LeBell was overseeing the stuntmen, Steve was trashing them—hitting them too hard—and LeBell confronts him, whereupon Steve kicks LeBell, LeBell ignores the kick and goes to Steve's back, takes him down and chokes him out. Steve wakes up and tells LeBell he can't do it again and LeBell does, and this time Steve pisses his pants. Version No. 2: LeBell and Steve are on the set and Steve tells LeBell that he can get out of any choke. LeBell puts a choke on Steve, Steve attacks LeBell's groin and LeBell chokes him out. Steve wakes up and tells him he can't do it again, and LeBell does again and Steve passes out again and pisses his pants. The New Yorker printed one of those versions. I can't remember which.

Tom Levak

CONGRATULATIONS TO TOM for that fascinating and obviously completely false story about Steven Seagal peeing his pants. Because his lie—er, "story," still managed to amuse us, he wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst, plus $30 to No Fish! Go Fish!, where Chuck Norris and Gene LeBell dine together regularly.