W. B. Larew Jr. of Falls Church writes: "Recently I wished to attend a lecture, and being a regular patron of Metrobus I went to the bus stop and waited. And waited.

"Finally I missed the lecture and returned home. The bus never came, despite waiting almost an hour. This was a lecture I especially wanted to hear.

"Furthermore, this 'no show' on the part of the No. 2 buses has happened often before. No wonder people ride cars rather than Metrobuses.

"What burns me up is that for years you yapped incessantly against O. Roy Chalk and the (then) privately owned bus companies in D. C. and Virginia, despite all he did for bus riders.

"You used the technique of quoting letters against Chalk and never letting Chalk answer them. You persecuted him with such lines as 'Sic D. C. Transit,' etc.

"Well, you got your fondest wish. Chalk was driven out and the holy government took over the buses.

"Now we have deteriorating service, rising fares, and a vast deficit paid by taxpayers. And you never criticize Metro without allowing Cody Pfanstiehl to reply. You owe bus riders and apology."

The charge can be made with equal validity and I used to criticize Joe Stalin and didn't "let" him respond, either.

Of the two, Stalin was the more accessible. I knew where he was - in the Kremlin. Chalk was usually out on his boat somewhere in the Caribbean.

Incidentally, I hope you appreciate the incongruity in all this. You're the one who was eager to listen to a lecture but I'm the one who got it.