DEAR MERCURY: I feel as if I must respond to Sara Eickhoff's letter titled "I Hate Fun" in the July 6 issue of the Portland Mercury, in which she berates the Mercury for their coverage of the rodeo. Dear Sara: Although I have no idea what your background is or where you're from, let me tell you where you are now: Oregon. Rodeos, ranching, and farming have been a way of life and the culture of the West since long before you've been around. I think that the West and all of its culture and idioms are no less worthy of appreciation than any of the other customs of any other peoples in the world. Soooo... let me say lighten the fuck up, this is our culture, and if you don't like it you can go back from whence you came.

Chris Stevens


DEAR MERCURY: It is amazing to me that the pro-lifers consistently present this particular attempt to undermine women's right to choose by using the concept of a parent being involved in their teenager's life ["Run, Tell Daddy," News, July 13, in which Amy Jenniges reports on the initiative that would require doctors to notify parents of 15-17-year-old girls 48 hours before an abortion is performed]. It seems to me that if the parent was TRULY involved in their child's life, one of two things would be occurring that would make this measure completely unnecessary: Either their kid would not be pregnant, because the obviously involved parent would have discussed sex education and helped them make appropriate prevention decisions, or they would know their child was pregnant prior to the call from a doctor. It is time for parents to do just that: Parent your kid and stop having the government do it for you.



HEY ANN [ROMANO]: I love your column [One Day at a Time], but could you please stop referring to contemporary country music stars as hillbillies? Those of us who love real hillbilly music don't like being compared to Keith Urban and whoever it was who was recently married to some Hollywood star for 15 minutes. There are so many really good local hillbilly bands: Flat Mountain Girls, Jackstraw, Clampitt, Gaddis and Buck, Whisky Puppy, Little Joe, Foghorn String Band, Conjugal Visitors, Trashcan Joe, Dickel Brothers, Misty River, Misty Mamas, and others who are playing real hillbilly music. People such as Keith Urban are Justin Timberlake with a pedal steel guitar and a big belt buckle.


DEAR EDITOR: The Portland police and others are wasting valuable resources targeting the Zoobombers ["Drop the Bomb," News, June 29]. The Zoobombers' mission is simply to ride their bikes down a hill once a week and they have never broken a law. The Zoobombers ride through an expensive neighborhood and I believe this has more than a little to do with the overzealousness of the police. Wouldn't it be great if we could embrace the Zoobombers for their quirky, harmless spirit of fun, instead of wasting so much time and energy persecuting them?


MY DEAR BELOVED MERCURY: In regards to Will Gardner's "My Nude Awakening" story [Feature, July 13]. Will, you're a total hunk, so why are you not letting us see your junk???? I would love to offer a helping, healing hand to massage some soothing lotion onto your sunburned scrotum.


CONGRATULATIONS TO ROBBY for using his perverted fantasy concerning Will Gardner's scrotum to get himself some prizes! As this week's Mercury Letter of the Week Winner, he gets two tickets to see Grant Lee Phillips at Berbati's on Wednesday, July 26, plus $30 to No Fish! Go Fish, where scrotum is considered a delicacy.

Oh, boy! Oh, boy! It's time once again for Pizzazz!—the Mercury citywide all-ages talent show! Now, we know a lot of you felt rushed last year, so this time we're giving you plenty of warning. Auditions will be held on SATURDAY, AUGUST 26, so get your talent ready! Whether you're a tap dancer, singer, hula-hooper, drag queen, contortionist, knife thrower, or something that defies description, you can win A TON OF CASH. Apply now at and show us what you got!