"So Much to Read, So Much Ink" {Free for All, Aug. 15} identified a problem that is endemic in American business. Producers of American products and services are insensitive to consumers' desires and, in fact, show an arrogant disregard for their customers' wants.

If you don't like dirty fingers and sleeves with your morning Post, buy any other newspaper and get the same. If you don't like shoddy workmanship in your American-made automobile and arrogant service from your dealer, buy a different brand of American automobile and get the same. If you don't like the warehouse atmosphere and lack of service in one department store, go to another and get the same treatment.

The Japanese developed the Walkman radio and the VCR because the American consumer wanted these products. They produced fuel-efficient cars during the gas shortage because American consumers wanted them, while American automobile manufacturers tried to convince the consumer through advertising that he needed larger gas-guzzling cars. Americans are paying more for foreign-made products because they give them what they want in terms of quality and service.

Let's hope The Post heeds the complaints of its readers and begins to produce a "clean" newspaper. Otherwise, we may soon be reading the Washington edition of the Asahi Shimbun. I'm sure your readers would be happy to pay more for a newspaper that retains the ink on the paper. -- Gilbert Stockman

The daily hunt for information leaves a telltale spoor on Washington Post readers -- ink-smudged fingertips {Free for All, Aug. 15}. Without a preemptive scrubbing, the smudges eventually categorize Post readers by their individual tics: nose massagers, temple scratchers and collar rufflers are marked in the appropriate places with dark vestiges of the morning's lead stories.

An exhaustive study has been conducted to discover a state-of-the-art, life-style-compatible palliative. A group of Capital City consulting firms -- a high-power, leading-edge coalition taking the ad hoc title of Associates Associates -- determined that eating a franchise-prepared breakfast biscuit immediately prior to handling the headlines significantly reduced the amount of ink transferred to the fingers.

Attributed to the greaselike substance found in and on the biscuit that forms a low-detergent barrier between ink and skin, all biscuits tested, regardless of franchise, produced similar smudge-retarding results. Associates Associates did report, however, that biscuits of the sausage-and-egg variety were preferred by a majority of the researchers. -- Drew Clearie