Pickup Time

Panty raid: Last Wednesday evening, on my way to the bus stop, I stopped at Lamar and Smith streets to pick up the latest Houston Press. I opened the distribution-box door and -- gasp -- discovered the box almost completely empty, totally gutted of all contents except for a couple of dismembered sections.

I managed to assemble an entire issue from the remnants, and as I scavenged for the cover page, I wondered what had prompted the feeding frenzy. Then I found the front cover, featuring a pair of pink panties, a smirking dude and the headline "Keeping Score: Get a girl in record time..." [by Craig Malisow, June 2].

Well. That explains everything.

Jim Walter

Free fall: With the revelation of Deep Throat's identity, we have the opportunity to revisit one of journalism's finest moments and to be reminded that the social value of good reporters seeking the truth is high indeed.

What an interesting juxtaposition it is, then, that the Houston Press cover story "Keeping Score" shows us just how far journalism can fall.

Richard R. Johnson

What womyn want: As a member of the Womyn In Power society, I would normally scoff at your article, as I would at the advice columns in Cosmopolitan magazine. However, I knew I had to read this when I saw the picture of pink underwear on the front cover, and boy, am I glad I did.

Now, I'm 29 and have been almost married several times. I've dated every kind of guy there is, and I could write a book on how many pickup lines there are circulating around the world these days. What I think some men don't realize, however, is that when the show Sex and the City came out a few years ago, the ideas of women and casual sex changed forever. Women started using men for sex, without the men even knowing it. Instead of "looking for love in all the wrong places," we started "looking for sex in all the right places." All healthy and safe, of course.

I laughed out loud several times reading this article, especially about the "neg" language and how women chase after jerks! It's hilarious because it's completely true. I can't believe that guys really study this stuff and prove their theories as if it were a chemistry equation.

Anyway, congrats on your article, which was truly funny and correct. There are so many different types of people out there who are attracted to different things. If your friend Bashev hit on me at a bar and told me he was a grad student at Rice, that would attract me more than the other crap he said, but that's just me. I date and sleep with only really smart guys. There's nothing sexier than an intellectual conversation before hitting the pillows.

Julie E. Furnas

Are y'all hiring? I recall a Houston Press that wrote groundbreaking stories -- not lame, wannabe versions of Cosmo and Maxim features on how to get laid.

Seriously, you generalized women, players and the Red Door with your one lame adventure to a bar with a cheeseball guy. Is the Houston Press really that short on writing staff and articles worthy of headlining? If so, can I get drunk, get hit on all night, write six pages of babbling crap and get paid for it?

Andrea Villarreal

Pivotal point: A sidebar to your article ["The Nitty-Gritty," by Craig Malisow] references the "pivot," a woman a man goes out with "as friends" specifically for the purpose of building his reputation. Since I coined the term "pivot" in my 1999 book 29 Reasons Not to Be a Nice Guy, I was disappointed that my work and my Web site were not referenced.

The concept was actually inspired by my friend "Boards," who got his name for catching women on the rebound. Boards had a female friend who'd appeared in Playboy, and he commented to me that whenever they had lunch together, he would hang around after she left, and without fail, other attractive women would then approach him.

As for the whole article, it's one of the better ones that have been written about the community. But I can say that the results these men speak about were actually understated in the article. The top pickup artists get results with women that wealthy men and rock stars would envy. And the results are reproducible.

Ray Gordon

Sorry, Mom: I owe a big apology to my mom for all the times I rolled my eyes at her when she said a guy "won't buy the cow when he can get the milk for free." I had no idea there was an entire industry devoted to branding women as cattle.

At least now I know to smile before I give a guy my famous drop-dead look when he insults me -- it means he likes me, just like in kindergarten. But that's the thing: I lost interest in five-year-old boys when I was, oh, five years old. Want to be with a woman? Try being a man.

Ellise Shoe

Blowing Smoke

Unenlightened: "Got a Light?" [by Keith Plocek, May 12] was the most irresponsibly written article I have ever seen in print.

I conducted an informal survey in an attempt to determine the age of the person on the front page of the Press holding a cigarette and looking for a light. No one polled thinks this kid is more than 14.

I don't really like to brag, but I'm a nonsmoker, and I meet a lot of women and get dates without burning cigarettes. In addition, the highest court in our state within the criminal justice system, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, has determined that bars, restaurants and even parking lots are public places. As to the contention that secondhand smoke may not be a danger, I wonder if the Press would like to assume liability for families who buy in to this argument and later learn that secondhand smoke was a danger to their children after all. Finally, smoking may burn calories, but it also kills cells, corrodes the lungs and causes major skin damage.

The entire article bases its argument that smoking is good for our city on the unfounded premise that revenue and good times are more important than good health. If the Press wants to grab readers' attention, it should conduct an investigation on the benefits of legalizing marijuana in Texas.

Bryan Marshall Samuelson

Historical Oversight

Main Street Theater: I enjoyed your article on Houston's theater scene ["Growing in Stages," by Lee Williams, May 5] but was disappointed that you failed to mention Rebecca Udden's Main Street Theater. The theater is coming up on its 30th year of providing great theater in the Houston community. Maybe it was just an oversight, but they too deserve mention.

Melissa Perkins


The May 26 article "No Pain, No Gain" incorrectly referred to Dudley Sharp as a former head of Justice For All. Sharp instead is the former head of the group's Death Penalty Resources division. The Press regrets the error.


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