TO THE EDITOR: As a native of Odessa, as well as a current resident thanks to my current status of unemployed (living with Mom and Dad again), I was surprised to find my town mentioned in your paper ["Road Trip: Soap Lake," Jennifer Maerz, Aug 12]. However, I was glad to see that you were not able to write about it, because July and August are the worst months of the year here. Hot, dry, and hot. And boring.

You should come back next month, during the third weekend of September, for Deutschesfest. What happens is this town of 1,000 grows to 15,000 or more and everyone drinks beer, eats sausage, gets drunk, and dances the chicken dance. Then they go to bed, get up the next day, and do it again.

We've got a "block long" Biergarten, Odessa microbrew, live music, German food, sing-along drinking songs, a flea market and a parade. Or you can skip the parade and get an early start in the Biergarten. You can also hang out in the Pastime Tavern where the bathrooms are wallpapered with pictures from porn magazines.

My description does not do it justice. It is best experienced with a large group of friends. Bring an RV or a tent, as there is camping available in town. I guarantee that you can find enough drunks to supply your newspaper with Drunk of the Week photos for the next year.

DEAR STRANGER: After reading "Fare Game" [Amy Jenniges, Aug 12], I was compelled to write. First of all, I would like to congratulate Brian, who won the race... seven minutes is a pretty commendable time. What I do want to point out to your readers, though, is that being a cabbie is a hard fucking job. Sure Brian had a quicker route, but that does not mean cabbies are trying to fuck people over. This one was just wrong, and he will probably start using Brian's route. I was a cab driver for five years off and on, and I have had guns in my face, people throwing up on me, drunk idiots accusing me of going the wrong way when I wasn't. I know that there are some bad cabbies out there, but at least the cabbie in the story had the balls to show up for such a badass race!

So, please treat your cab driver with respect. There are many good drivers out there. When you find one, get their cell number because they will take care of you!

Rick Klu

TO THE EDITOR: Please add incident number #2453 to the "Great Record of Seattle Lameness." Location: ZooTunes Concert Series. Band: They Might Be Giants. Report: The band took the stage and shouted, "This is not a folk show; get up and dance." The audience responded appropriately, but soon a great wave of lameness crested and the crowd hit the duff. A few brave souls continued to dance but were confronted by Zoo security officers who demanded that they be seated. The officers seemed to have studied the crowd-control style of the WTO riot police. Confrontations ensued between dancers, officers, and sitters, culminating in a call to the Seattle Police, who wrote tickets citing two dancers for unruly behavior. Seattle lameness won the day as the band cut their show short.

Peter Mitchell

STRANGERS: Hannah Levin is the best damn writer you have. Please, can she write every single week?

A. Merriman


DEAR EDITORS: Josh Feit's take on the recent arsons as a possible reappearance of an anti-density firebug ["Fiery Anniversary," Aug 12] radically misreads the politics of sprawl and what since 9/11 Ashcroft & Co. would like us to call "eco-terrorism." (When the group Earth First! used these tactics 20 years ago, it was called "monkey-wrenching.") Increased density fights sprawl and is thus good for the environment. It is a safer and legal means of pursuing the goals shared by the freelancers of the Earth Liberation Front, who are known for torching SUVs and McMansions under construction in the woods, but would hardly have reason to set fire to an urban residence with the residents inside.

Grant Cogswell

gay south bender makes hilarious

rape joke!
EDITOR: We all got a great laugh from Christopher's story about South Bend ["Road Trip: South Bend," Christopher Frizzelle, Aug 5]. It's unfortunate that he wasn't able to spend a little more time in the area to see it's not as bad as he made it out to be. Coming from a gay man living in and having been raised in this area, it's actually a pretty nice place to live. I'm 30 years old and have yet to be gay-bashed and the only girls that get raped are the cute ones, so I doubt his friend would have had anything to worry about (just kidding). Anyhow, we're glad he got the word out about our village, 'cause the less Queens we have to deal with, the better.

Michael Halpin Jr.

TO SOMEONE IN CHARGE: Why do you keep Christopher Frizzelle on staff when he can't seem to find the good in anything? His articles are negative and full of details about himself instead of the story itself. Journalism is supposed to be neutral, to provide facts so people can make their own decision about a particular piece of news.

From a former Stranger reader,

Rachel Briney