PS... A Column
By Paul E. Schindler Jr. Vol. 2 No. 33
Some things are impossible to know, but it is impossible to know these things.
September 20, 1999
This is JUST how it starts.
I have a day job, so I need to make it clear to anyone who comes here that the opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent those of my employer, my family, or your great-aunt Mathilda. Offer not valid in Wisconsin. You must enter to win.
Table of Contents:
Missing A Week: The Nature Of A Personal Column
I am an avid consumer of personal columns. When Stanton Delaplane and Charles McCabe were alive, I read their columns in the San Francisco Chronicle. Now I read Jon Carroll and Adair Lara in that generated and veneered journal, and the woman whose boyfriend broke his back rock climbing and the woman with the triplet girls in diapers.
At one time or another, most of them (especially Adair Lara) have struggled with the question of privacy. How much can you say about your children in such a column, with or without their permission?
Case in point: Marlow e-mailed something to me last week that I consider quite sweet. Of course, it might have been ironic or sarcastic, but I choose to believe it was unconsciously sweet and rather innocent for a woman of 18 on her own in New York City. I await her permission to share the anecdote with you. In the meantime, I feel constrained from using it, and even a little awkward mentioning it in this vague way here.
Of course, there is no requirement for candor. I could be an unreliable narrator. I could (and might, and maybe have already) embellish my life for dramatic purposes. I don't even have to write about my wife, my children or my cats. Not to mention my job (which I don't, much).
But then there is the matter of there being no column, and not even so much as an e-mail apology for the lack of a column.
This is how it begins. I have seen it happen to others, to Dan Rosenbaum and to Robert Seidman. First you miss a column or two, then you go a month, and pretty soon a weekly appointment becomes an occasional appointment, and then it becomes no appointment at all.
It's not even as if I was out of town, or swamped last weekend. If Vicki were writing this column, she'd have had a good excuse; she was at the Russian River Jazz festival with her old friend Linda Lawless. I was home with Rae. We spent Saturday running errands, buying paint, and hanging around the Metreon, where Rae saw Miracle Men for the first time and I saw it for the second.
Sunday, I spent a couple of hours arranging a new bill-paying and accounting system. I took Rae out to breakfast and then to her first Drivers' Ed class (a month of Sundays--literally). I could have gotten in there and written this column. I didn't.
I've got all the usual excuses--my job is harder, so I need to relax harder on the weekends, I didn't have much to say, the dog ate my homework--wait, we don't have a dog. OK, both cats are now climbing up on Vicki's lap. They never do that for me. But I'm not bitter.
I am going to rededicate myself to finding the time to write this weekly missive. Because it is about the only writing left in my life now that I am a double-barreled editor, because writing has always defined me, and because many of you keep reading it and I appreciate that.
Gun Control Reaction
I expected reaction. I got it. This from Jim Forbes, a serious gun owner and long-time friend and colleague:
I found your discussion on gun ownership thought provoking. I have ambivalent feelings about the 2nd Amendment. But, ultimately, progunners raise a couple of points that are extremely interesting.
I was a little surprised to hear Jim has ambivalent feelings about the second amendment, but I shouldn't have been. He is thoughtful about most issues, as is Jerry Pournelle, a gun owner who didn't weigh in with a response to my Sept. 6 comments, probably because he was in Tokyo at the time.
From the other side of the political spectrum, two notes from Ross Snyder:
My attorney once told me the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled that the Second Amendment confers the right to bear arms to any citizens except "a well-regulated militia," whatever that is. Laws restricting gun ownership have never been overturned on the basis of that Amendment, he says.
Ross also checked in with this:
The new Grolier Encyclopedia, no model of high scholarship, but up-to-date and useful delivers this about:
I don't know if you know the work of Terry Pratchett, British fantasy/sci-fi writer. Let me share some of it with you.
In his book Maskerade, he has a line I just read, "He dreamed the dream of everyone in the publishing business--to have pockets so filled with gold he'd have to hire two people to hold his trousers up." In a previous work, he wrote of a king, "He never minced words. People, yes, but never words." Pratchett is a very funny man, and if you haven't read his Discworld novels, you really should. Read all of them!
Of course for all around versatility in daily conversation, he has yet to beat Douglas Adam's line, spoken by Arthur Dent, "This must be some new definition of fun with which I wasn't previously familiar." As either of my daughters could tell you, scarcely a week goes by I don't have occasion to use that one.
None to Speak Of
It isn't that nothing happened, there's just nothing I wish to speak of.
Assuming you have a sense of humor when it comes to religion, you might enjoy the Jesus Dance.
Then of course there is the Hamster Dance. Best viewed on a system with a sound card. I know I can't get it out of My head.
For even more dances, check out Dance In My Pants.
The Top 13 Differences if Animals Played Professional Sports
Monday August 16, I had the No. 1 item; I don't know why it too me so long to share this list.
13> Team of trainers required to get Charlie Centipede's ankles taped by game time.
[ The Top 5 List www.topfive.com ]
Signs Your Team Won't Make It To The Superbowl
From Sept. 9, 1999:
12> Your quarterback gets sacked more often than a busy hooker.www.topfive.com ]
[ Copyright 1999 by Chris White ]
Selected from 125 submissions from 46 contributors.
Today's Top 5 List authors include:
Paul Schindler, Orinda, CA -- 7
Didn't see any
If I had, the facts would be (courtesy of the Internet Movie Database).
Although Rae and I did watch Groundhog Day again last Saturday night. It is still the funniest movie ever made, and my all-time favorite film in any category.
Dog Shoots Man
For some reason, several of my correspondents found this item irresistible. Andy Patrizio was first out of the box:
I couldn't make this one up.
Updated 11:40 AM ET August 18, 1999
STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) - A German dog has shot and killed its owner, police said Wednesday. The 51-year-old man, who had been out hunting with his shotgun, was found dead beside his car near the southwestern town of Bad Urach Monday. Police ruled out suicide and foul play and said the gun must have gone off when the dog jumped on top of it on the car seat.
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