When a columnist goes on vacation or is sick, an editor tends to get calls...
“Where is Clancy's column?"
“He filed the lead news in place of a column. It's on page 9.”
“Oh, OK, thanks.”
“Did you fire Blake Pontchartrain?”
“No, Blake is taking the week off.”
"Blake will be back next week."
"Oh, OK... Hey, while I've got you on the phone: Can you tell me who Blake Pontchartrain is?"
"Yes, I can, and, no, I won't."
But the problem with having a wild reputation is that you can’t take a week off for anything — to take your kids to the beach, to rest up from a cold, to do anything — without people wondering where you’ve gone. So we decided to clear the air: Rose is having surgery, and he would’ve written a column to tell you so, except the surgery is on his hand. Somehow the tendons or ligaments or whatever they are connecting his thumb to his hand gave way, and he’s been in a huge cast — and a great deal of pain — for a week or so waiting until the operation could be scheduled, which was today.
As late as yesterday, we were hoping he could somehow peck out a column of explanation with his other hand just so there'd be something in next week's paper, but it was just too painful, and he asked me to write an editor's note instead. So we’re waiting till Monday to see how the operation goes and when the doctors say he can return to work, but if he’s not in our pages (or on his regular Fox 8 gig) for a little while, that’s where he is: at home, with a ginormous cast-thing on his hand.
If you want to leave Rose a get-well note here, feel free.