A handsome shed, one runner’s satire, and a response to an outspoken waitress all drew comments from readers.

May 9, 2010

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Gimme Shelter Are there any more sheds like the one on the cover of the Your Home issue (April 18)? It’s a winner, and I would like one just like it.

Diane Sargent / Gloucester

Editor’s note: The shed was built for the home garden of landscape designer Paul Miskovsky in Falmouth by carpenter Mike Katon of Jigsaw Construction in Mashpee.

Agony and Ecstasy Jennifer Graham’s running column (Perspective, April 18) was an enjoyable read, and as someone who used to run obsessively, there was a lot I could relate to. The compulsion, the dedication, the intensity. The daily 7-mile runs through all types of horrible weather. The splinted shins, blistered feet, chafed thighs. I remember the elevated sense of self, the transcendent reward of facing a challenge, and the pride that enduring trials and tribulations and physical sacrifice was a noble path toward peace and spiritual contentment. Then I discovered beer.

Mark Rast / Westwood

I can relate to all that Graham wrote. While I’ve not amputated any body parts (yet), I have submitted to a surgery that few would in order to run again; it’s called an osteotomy. After nine months of healing and physical therapy, I’ve learned the other knee needs the same procedure. And, at 54, I’m going for it. Running is an addiction more Americans should be afflicted with. Our population and our economy would be healthier for it.

Steve Marx / Sharon

Modern journalism: trash the subject, selecting only factoids that match your theme, thereby creating apparent controversy. Graham is runner enough to know it’s making her feel good and making her healthier, yet she panders not only to sensible runners who avoid marathons but also to couch potatoes who love to see runners ridiculed. Jeez! Including herself in the ridiculed group doesn’t excuse Graham’s extreme and questionable choice of writing style.

John Sharp / Arlington

Comparing running to taking OxyContin was beyond the pale. How can one make light of the drug that is a plague to all levels of society in its abuse? Better sense is needed in your editorial department.

James McCloy / Concord

For 30 years, running defined me. Whether I was at home or traveling, sad or happy, my day was planned according to when I would run. It was what I enjoyed most, and it cost me dearly. I persevered through multiple stress fractures and knee surgery, but I was forced to stop for good 2½ years ago after a knee replacement. Addicted to running? No doubt. But I saw more sights and met more people during that time than I would have otherwise. Yes, I’m going through life on arthritic feet and painful knees, but I have no regrets. No pity for me – I had a great run!

Laurie Scher / Boston

Faulty Service Though I usually think she’s on target, I found Miss Conduct’s advice on responding to a waitress who corrects your child’s manners (April 18) way off. That I would take the time to politely instruct a waitstaff person who acted like this one is absurd. My job is parenting, hers is serving. Had that happened to me, that’s exactly what I would have said to her, and it definitely would affect the amount of tip.

Don Roemer / Franklin

Where’s the Rabbit? Regarding Adam Ried’s April 18 Cooking column: Welsh Rabbit? I don’t think so. Try Welsh Rarebit. In any event, the “rabbit” is conspicuously absent from the recipe.

Mark Staples / Cambridge

Ried responds: If you travel in England or consult any number of food reference books you’ll find that both “rabbit” and “rarebit” are used in the name of the dish.(Actual rabbit never has been an ingredient.) According to The Oxford Companion to Food, in which it is listed as “Welsh rabbit” and described as “a savoury which is normally understood to consist essentially in a piece of toast with melted cheese on it,” the “rabbit” version appeared in print as early as 1725. It wasn’t until roughly 60 years later that “Welsh rarebit” appeared in print.

Seen on the web: Readers at had plenty more to say about the manners-minded waitress mentioned in Miss Conduct’s April 18 column.

MJ927 wrote: It would annoy me, too, if a waitress took it upon herself to correct my kids (would she do that with an adult customer?), but I think it might actually be useful. . . . Having a stranger indicate that “please” is expected when they make requests might be a better reinforcer than hearing me say “did you say please?” for the zillionth time.

bimmergal wrote: I totally agree with the waitress. So many of today’s brats have no manners and this persists through adulthood. If you don’t want to hear this from another person, then teach your kids manners!

Corsetkitty wrote: I think this reflects far worse on the egocentrism of today’s overprotective parents. Did it hurt the child? No? Move on. If it irritated you, lower the tip. It does not require a conversation at all.

YankeeSkier wrote: From my waitressing days, I’d rather have a child (or anyone!) figure out what he/she wanted to order in a timely manner (showing respect for the server and other diners) than sit there hemming and hawing over the merits of soda vs. milk even if that was followed by a “please.”

Comments? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.

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