RE: "Summer Is for Skinny People" [Feature, July 23], in which author Sean Nelson discusses body image and why he's petrified of taking off his shirt at the beach.

So actually, you have it a bit wrong, Sean: Summer is for skinny women, and bigger men. People like me also are TERRIFIED when summer hits. 5 feet 7 inches, 115 pounds, for a man? Tell me that is not MORE terrifying than being overweight and taking your shirt off!

I eat lots of food and can't gain weight, so my body looks like a girl's body. Oh, how I wish I was overweight during the summer, instead of feeling humiliated and ACTUALLY unattractive!

Big guys (yes, even overweight ones) get the ladies, while people like me spend all their time alone. So just a heads up, I would gladly switch bodies with you anytime.

Posted by oneofthelast888


RE: "Everything as Fuck" [July 23], in which Ian Karmel advises readers to find their own path, instead of doing something because "it's next."

Some (like myself) start college because they feel trapped and want to support a family (And no, I'm not a mom, I'm a man). However, it is reassuring to hear someone affirm that education is messed up and in need of change. It needs to be free. But before people's motives for pursuing school changes, society needs to change. Until then people will still go to school "because it's next," because it gives them something to put on paper and a sense of security or advantage.

Posted by Yodi Mhan


RE: "Caught Off Guard" [News, July 23], in which grand jury testimony reveals that cops were caught unaware when they shot a mentally ill man brandishing a crowbar.

It's too bad the police aren't better prepared to calmly expect the unexpected. They would have better reactions if they were trained in Aikido, instead of being taught to be afraid of their own shadow.

Posted by Dread Uptown

How exactly do you hide a six-foot crowbar under your shirt? How do you confuse a crowbar with a gun? Why didn't the cops remain at a safe distance while evaluating the situation? If it was clear the kid was suffering from mental illness, why weren't mental health professionals called in to assist? How much coaching did the cop receive before giving testimony? Seems like there are a lot of questions that aren't being asked here.

Posted by Robin Banks


RE: "Empathy Assistance" [I, Anonymous, July 23] in which somebody gets mad when somebody else brings non-service animals into the grocery store.

"Therapy animals" are not service animals, and I don't care what ordinance says otherwise. Just because people are too afraid of offending someone or being slapped with a discrimination lawsuit doesn't excuse that people are abusing the law.

It's simply an excuse for mentally and emotionally defunct people to call attention to themselves. Unless I see a bright-as-hell orange or otherwise noticeable vest with "SERVICE ANIMAL/GUIDE DOG" on it, you're simply milking your "invisible disabilities."

Posted by Steven Staniszewski


RE: "Ask a Soiled Mattress Down by the River" [New Column!, July 23], in which the former Mercury columnist returns to dispense more advice on sex and love.

Ahhh, good to hear from you again, old pal! It's comforting to know you're still lying around, enticing amorous adventurers from all over our fair city to relax and unwind down by the water. If you happen to be on speaking terms with "Streetcar of Death" ["Those I've Killed So Far by the Portland Streetcar," New Column!, August 2001], you might mention that we have missed his dour, eastern European threats of violence and carnage. A bit of yin to your yang.

Posted by rico

CAPITAL IDEA, RICO! Until then, please enjoy the latest installment of "Ask a Soiled Mattress Down by the River" on page 5, as well as two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater for writing the Mercury Letter/Comment of the Week! (And while you're out on the town, take your date to visit Soiled Mattress as well!)