Letters to Paula, MA97

Paula Poundstone is waiting to answer your questions about life’s little mysteries. E-mail her at <A HREF="mailto:paula@motherjones.com">paula@motherjones.com</a>.

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Rostoni@tir.com, e-mail: Why do blue jeans have a lump in the outside seam of the leg (usually the left thigh)? I wear Levi’s, but other people have this too with other brand-name jeans.

A: When I read your letter I wanted to get to the bottom of this mystery because I thought I knew exactly what you were talking about, having come across this problem myself time and again. So I called Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco.

But the public relations woman I talked to had no idea what I was talking about. Worse, when I went to prove the point with my own jeans, I had no such lump. (This is why I could never be a doctor. I’d be studying prostate cancer and begin to feel a pain down there.) It’s a good thing I was on the phone, because she seemed to think I was weird enough without knowing that each time I said, “I could swear it was here before,” I was rubbing my finger down the outside seam of my left leg.

She said Levi’s are made with a double seam on the inside and a single seam on the outside. All she could think of was that some men’s jeans have the wash and care tag on the inside of the leg. I was insulted on your behalf and scoffed that that couldn’t be what you meant. I hope that by publishing your letter, we’ll find someone who knows what you’re talking about.

P.S. Check your left leg for a lump with your pants off.

Write Paula c/o Mother Jones, 731 Market Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94103. Fax her at (415) 665-6696; or send e-mail to Paula@motherjones.com

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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