Ogden Nash said he preferred sins of commission to sins of omission because sins of omission are a bore. What fun is it, he asks, "to slap the lads in the tavern on the back loudly and cry `Whee, let's all fail to write just one more letter before we go home, and this last round of unwritten letters is on me.' "

I agree. But then sins are sins, and I've been lax in getting a few letters out. So I've decided to catch up today.

Dear Levi Strauss;

I am sad and dismayed that you have discontinued my favorite line of Levi cords. For 10 years they've been the only pants worn in my family.

Not that I have anything against the new "stone-washed" variety. In fact, I bought a pair the other night. I must admit they took a good 10 years off my lower body.

The problem is I now look like a 40-year-old man walking around on 30-year-old legs.

Sincerely

Jerry Johnston

In Search of the Lost Cords

Dear Cracker Jack;

According to the recent Harper's Magazine, Salt Lake City consumes more boxes of Cracker Jacks per capita than any other city in America.

I have not had Cracker Jacks in 10 years. Someone's been eating my Cracker Jacks. I'm looking for names, addresses and phone numbers.

Sincerely,

"Junk Food" J.J.

Dear Paul Van Dam;

I know being Utah's attorney general fills your day. So I'll be brief.

It disturbs me that the crime of "homicide" is a more serious crime than the crime of "manslaughter." Manslaughter calls up such graphic, nauseating images. I feel the word should be used for only the most heinous and gruesome acts.

I do believe the punishment should fit the crime, sir.

But I also believe the word should fit the crime.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jerry Johnston

Chairman NCAA (Name Changers Association of America)

Dear Erma Hansen;

It was so good to see you at my brother's wedding reception last Friday.

I especially enjoyed talking with you about the way television, travel and other things have combined to "flatten people out" in small towns - make them similar. I agree that our towns have been drained of the wonderful "characters" they once harbored.

Driving back to Salt Lake from Brigham City, I had a hard time coming up with even one Brigham City character who remains. But I did:

Erma Hansen.

Sincerely,

Jerry Johnston

Joy and J. Earl's kid