Mean Mac: Your anniversary-edition article about Jim (Mac) McIngvale gave me extreme nausea ["Big Mac," by Craig Malisow, May 5]. Was this article written by Mac's PR team? I have witnessed firsthand his tyranny at his store toward his servants, er, employees and vowed never to purchase from him again.
On a recent night shopping at Mac's, I saw him belittle and degrade a young girl hired to hand out small basketballs to customers who made a purchase. Unfortunately, Mac was there to see her hand two basketballs to a family that had two small children, instead of the required one basketball per purchase. The way Mac reacted, you would've thought she'd given away a dinette set. After he verbally abused this young girl, she left in tears. Most customers, including myself, looked on with shock, not believing what they had just witnessed.
Mac is nothing more than an opportunistic businessman in it for the money. He makes sure most of his charity is well covered in the media, ensuring him some well-coveted exposure. One of the things I enjoy about leaving Houston on weekend road trips is not hearing Mac's commercials on the radio, which I find about as soothing as nails on a chalkboard.
Free swinger: Back in the '50s there was a B-movie so low in budget that when Jungle Jim swung from a tree on a vine, they cut the film so he landed on the same tree.
Urban Jungle Jim took a leap on the Kiam Annex with the hope that he could create a mecca for those with more imagination and peculiar appetites than money ["Urban Jungle Jim," by George Flynn, May 5].
"Willfully" misleading the public with art is a pretty high calling. Surely it is higher than misleading with religion. Maybe regurgitated scrambled eggs are art leading us to a new level of consumption in the future, but I would still want to put lots of ketchup on them.
John E. Pirtle
Downsize the MS 150
Bicycle crowd control: Your item on the MS 150 ["Bloody Biking," Hair Balls, May 5] is accurate regarding bike safety on the tour. I have participated in the ride, and I train with a bike club that consistently emphasizes bike safety. This is a big help, but the fear during the tour is dealing with the other riders, especially the novices.
I like the idea of modifying the ride to start the slower and novice riders toward the back, rather than having all skill levels mixed together.
With regard to friends wanting to ride together, the cyclist can either start with novice friends or schedule a meeting place along the ride to regroup. The other issue is the 13,000 riders. I understand that the actual number of cyclists who ride is around 11,000, but in my opinion that number is too high. The number of riders needs be adjusted to a safer number; frankly, I cannot recommend a number of cyclists for future tours, but I think it needs to be fewer than 10,000.
I think most riders would gladly pay a higher entry fee and accept a higher minimum of donations to be raised for the tour.
The MS Society is a great group of hardworking people, and they will always have my support. And I pray that a cure is getting closer.
Theater evolution: Thank you for your recognition of the Ensemble Theatre in "Growing in Stages" [by Lee Williams, May 5]. We are pleased that you, D.L. Groover and the considerable audience of your capsule reviews have given TET a second and third look. Institutions like TET are important not merely as a showplace for specific plays but also because the body of work over time speaks to an evolving cultural perspective.
Our sincere thanks to the Houston Press for celebrating that achievement!
TET producing artistic director
MIA at iFest?
Show for the show: Nothing from John Nova Lomax about his Racket column bashing the iFest [ April 21 and April 28], nothing about the Flamingo Gardens Stage, not to mention the bashing he gave Scott Essex, a guy he had never even talked to or met.
I just can't believe my beloved Houston Press has gotten so damn stuck up. I ask you, did the guy even go to the festival this year? For even one day? Can you lend the man a C-note so he can go to the festival with his family to get some facts about his column?
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Shouldn't that be the way it works, man? You go check something out, and then you report on it. How can we rebuild iFest without, at least, support from the Houston Press -- the freakin' people's newspaper? I just don't understand, Mr. Editor. Can you help me understand?
Larry D. White
The diner incidentally depicted in the photo accompanying the May 5 restaurant review "There's No Place Like Home" has complained that he does not by any means adopt or endorse the writer's opinion and wants to dissociate himself from our review. The Press certainly agrees; it was our review alone, and this gentleman had no part in it.