Page Two

Page Two
Well, here we are again, dear reader, stuck with each other for about 10.5 inches because our dear friend Louis Black, almost as an afterthought as he headed for the door a few hours before deadline -- on his way out of town for the long Cinco de Julio weekend, no doubt, before we get ready to publish the Short Story Contest winners next week -- called back, "Oh, you'll write `Page Two,' okay?" and I didn't have the presence of mind to say that no, I didn't have any idea what to write about, and why couldn't he take one of the cellular computers, and telemit a column in (because you can do that these days, you know), so I'm left having to fill the space all the way from that Column Header box up above, to the line down below -- called a four-point rule because it's four points, or 4/72 of an inch, wide -- and there's really no way out of it, because... well, because it's the press, dammit, and you just can't go having blank spaces where columns usually are -- the design department would have a fit, for starters, and they're up to their ears anyway, tinkering with the design for the Annual Beer Issue, coming out July 19 -- but it started me thinking that the funny thing (or perhaps it's the scary thing) is how these words, these pathetic scribblings I'm tossing together to take up space because I can't think of anything better to do with my time (and because a simple list of upcoming issues and events -- such as the Sixth Annual Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, taking place Sunday, August 25 in new digs at Central Park, behind HEB Central Market -- would be at once too mundane and not nearly long enough), take on a strange, surrogate aura of respectability, simply because they're printed (for example, of the people who began reading this column, there is almost certainly some percentage whoare still reading all the way through to this point, and may continue on to the end, even though I clearly stated at the top, and have reiterated throughout, that there is no topic or theme to this week's column, and that, in fact, I have nothing whatsoever to say in this space (except that the 1996 Best of Austin Issue is coming Sept. 13); and because the column is in print -- in the same general format as a real column, on the same presses as The New York Times, on the same grade of paper as the Washington Post -- there is a natural presumption that it carries more meaning than, say, your two-year-old, babbling gibberish in a vain attempt to put off bedtime by another few minutes. Let this serve as a reminder that that is not always the case.


Oops, no room left to plug the upcoming Quentin Tarantino Filmfest, presented by the Austin Film Society and Nancy Schafer, among others; well, Louis can catch you up in future weeks, or check the ad on page 61.

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