Illustration by Suzette Smith


RE: "True Tales of TriMet Terror" [Feature, Aug 9] and "Great Gobbledigook" [Music, Aug 9], a purposefully facetious Sigur Rós article. The other one was totally straight-faced.

Twice in one issue the word "inchoate" pops up? That shit flies off the page like a kitten in a catapult. Don't let it happen again, showoffs.

-p. royale


RE: "Female Prison Pen Pals: The Controversy!" [Letters, Aug 9], in which readers argue in the comments section regarding the ethicality of our summer series printing pen pal requests from female prisoners. Stukasoverpdx got the last word.

DEAR MERCURY—Stukasoverpdx? Stuka is the nickname of the Junkers Ju 87 dive-bomber, the principal air weapon the Nazis used to devastate European cities during their "lightning war" conquest of Europe in 1940. I think stukasoverpdx might be happier in another town, say Tulsa, Muskogee, or Texarkana.

-John Cowan


RE: The Female Prison Pen Pals series of pen pal requests from incarcerated females.

DEAR MERCURY—I recently wrote about the girls incarcerated at Coffee Creek, AKA "Cattle Creek," 'cause some of these chicks be rolling out of here! No joke! Anyhow, all I want to say is thank you for acknowledging my girls.

-Jennifer Ryan


RE: "True Tales of TriMet Terror" [Feature, Aug 9], an essay contest in which we solicited accounts of real harrowing experiences aboard Portland's public transportation.

Taking the #17 home from work one sweltering summer afternoon I made room for a man in a wheelchair. He was not abiding by any of society's general standards of acceptable hygiene and was quite malodorous. This I could accept as a part of commuting by mass transit in a major city. What I could not abide was his proceeding to remove his shoe and begin to feverishly scratch every surface of the cracked, Dead Sea of an appendage he called a foot. Even the crew of crust punks sitting across from him watched in horror as he worked that graying stump from Broadway to NW 21st.

-posted by jim

DEAR [SENIOR EDITOR] ERIK HENRIKSEN—I meant to send this last week but spaced it out. A few summers ago I got on the midnight MAX downtown heading east. Just after we crossed the river the atmosphere changed. A whole gang got on the train: big, tall motherf*%#ers all wearing the same color scheme with their don't f*%# with me attitudes and an action-hunting glint in their eyes. To everyone's horror, they didn't just hang in a group talking among themselves but immediately fanned out, finding empty seats next to sweet old ladies and embarrassed gentlemen, chatting them up in rude, condescending volleys, harassing and insulting them. Someone must have pushed THE BUTTON, because, thankfully, when we got to NE 7th the train stopped, doors opened, and in came the police, led by a massive woman who reminded me of a character in a Fellini movie. The cops started checking fares while the train stood in the station, doors open, and within minutes all the gangsters had been escorted out. Whew!


Thank you for printing my submission to the "True Tales of TriMet Terror" free-for-all. I must note, though, that two edits were quite jarring: the substitution of "come" for "cum" and the change of "jissom" to "jizzum." On the basis of these edits, I am forced to question whether the Mercury has a style guide. I ask because when I search your website for variants of "jissom," I find three results for "gism," seven for "jizm," 10 for "jism," and only one for "jizzum." Likewise, I get 335 results for "cum," which, as noted above, you changed to "come."


WHILE WE MAY sometimes deviate from the rather casual directive of it, our style guide does state that "come" is preferred. We don't actually have a policy regarding jizzum, but "jissom" just sounds like the Gin Blossoms had a circle jerk. Still, you win two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where you'll please keep your cum and jissom to yourself.