Though we’re unsure exactly what he’s up to, our regular columnist is away this week, on a vacation, or a special project, or a government mission, or perhaps even an antigovernment mission. But that last thing would be illegal, so we had better not even mention it—forget we said anything.
First we asked Charles Dietrich, one of our stand-ins, if he would fill in—or else (you can look at so many things two ways if you try, don’t you find?) he’s one of our fill-ins and we asked him to stand in. Charles is always churning out stuff that no one will publish, and he proposed five or six different topics that he had already explored at 2,000-word-plus length, but we decided none of them were right for us at the present time, though we would definitely keep him in mind for the future.
Next we turned to Sheldon Casimir Brooke III. He needs no introduction, or perhaps he does, but we’re unsure how to briefly summarize the many impressive qualities that make us impressed with ourselves for knowing him, and we don’t have much time to look into it. To be honest, we barely do know Brooke, but we’ve always liked the sound of his name and would like to see it on our site. Regrettably, he informed us that he was indisposed. Indisposed to write for us is what we suspect he really meant, but he was polite enough not to say so.
We then considered the possibility of Joanne. Who’s Joanne? She’s the alter ego—rather, one of the alter egos (we have reason to believe there are others)—of our regular columnist. In these troubled times, with so many trumpets of masculinity resounding in the air, a woman’s voice could be just what’s needed. But she’s rather hard to get in touch with; sometimes all you have to do is mention the rainbow-colored tulle dress shown in the poster for the movie Starstruck and out she comes, and other times no amount of coaxing will do, apparently because she just doesn’t feel presentable. Besides, we realized, Joanne was probably wherever our regular columnist was.
That just about exhausted the possibilities, and so we turned to our last resort: our in-house experimental AI, which we usually allow only to write the responses to inquiries through our Contact page, and since we never get any, he/she/it is woefully out of practice. Nonetheless, here he/she/it is, writing this explanation. Hello, world! It is I. C’est moi. JB-bot lives!