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Straight to the Lip:

Two questions concerning your fine publication. 1) Why are there no staples in your paper? Seems like the Reader always wants to fall apart. Staples are cheap. They would make your paper more better. 2) If I repeatedly lick the black ink off my fingers from reading the Reader, will I die of lead poisoning?

-- Neomarxist, the Net

Hey, good news! The Reader, like practically every other newspaper in the universe, uses soybean-based ink. According to the staff of the Matthew Alice Testing Lab and French-Nail Salon, you get 50 percent of your recommended weekly protein if you eat pages 1 through 60! (Duncan's column is particularly high in niacin and bioflavinoids.) We're low octane, but lead free.

Staples are cheap. They're also slow. And when you're a hard-hitting newsrag, you need to write it, print it, fold it, get it on the streets. No time to tidy up all the edges and add staples for finicky readers. Spread it out on the floor, Neo. You'll be glad you did. Besides, first it's staples, next you'd want a centerfold to go with 'em. Or those gawdawful perfume samples. There'd be no end to it. We're veterans of the game. We know a more worse idea when we see it.

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