Recently Village Voice editor Tony Ortega was pitched a relationship/dating/sex column by someone who'd pitched him when he was an editor at one of New Times' papers in Florida and had received an encouraging response. And this writer probably thought that since one sex column at the Voice is about cybersex (what is this, 1999?) and the other is the syndicated column Savage Love , it might be good to get a local lady up in that piece—especially since the Lusty Lady column had been so unceremoniously canned by Ortega's predecessor David Blum. But Ortega wasn't interested. And he sent her back a truly snippy rejection note—and in it, we discover the conditions under which he might shoot himself!

I'd shoot myself before I had anything like Julia Allison in this paper. What you're pitching sounds like the 256th version of Sex in the City, and that's so played out. I'm satisfied with the two sex columns I have now, and I really don't have room for additional columns at the moment. But thanks for thinking of us.

- Tony

Testy! That's becoming a trend! Responds the pitcher:

Now, while I appreciate his distaste for a dating column and it being "played out" I don't think he had to take it to "shooting himself in the head" levels. I mean really!!! And while I did mention Julia Allison and the idea that, love her or hate her, she has readers, I wasn't pitching a column LIKE Julia's. I was pitching a relationship column that like Julia's, people would ACTUALLY READ, since I don't know ANY women who are reading the Voice these days. And like it or not, relationship columns are classic and people read them, even if only to make fun of them.

One the one hand: Hey, good for Tony for replying himself. Though maybe he shouldn't be. And on the other: Someone get this girl a column!