Goodbye, goodbye, for the real world lurks ahead

Jason Ginsburg

People always ask how I got this job, and I tell them that they can blame Jesse Handy.

I had just transferred here in 1994, and I really didn't know anyone. When I had no one to eat lunch with, I read Jesse's columns instead - and I nearly choked on my food. With The Daily Cougar in hand, I stormed down to the editor's office and said, "I can't believe you run this guy! A blindfolded monkey could write better than this."

To which she replied, "Maybe, but could you?"

"I dunno, but I could try."

And I've been trying to write better than Jesse ever since. I've been writing for The Daily Cougar for more than three years now, and this is my last column. And after three years of sarcasm, cheap shots and spite, I'd like to use this space to finally give credit where credit is due.

First, I'd like to thank the editorial and production staff of The Cougar for making my column possible. In truth, it takes me about 10 minutes a week to write these things. Then I just dump them off and collect my check. It's the other staff members that work hard every night to put out the paper the next day.

Over the years, staff members have come and gone. There were some with whom I have gotten along and there were others who I prayed I would out-live so that I'd be able to urinate on their graves. I'm nothing if not spiteful.

But no matter what my personal feelings were, I have always had the greatest respect for the staff, and I appreciate all that they have done for me.

Next, I'd like to thank Kevin Pennell and Ed De La Garza for keeping me on my toes. After all these years it would have been easy to hack out just a few more and coast until graduation. But Kevin and Ed were just so damn good that they pushed me to keep up with them. And their little feud reminded me of the war between me and Jesse ... except that we used handguns.

I must also pay tribute to Russell Contreras, our columnist emeritus. He actually has the courage to believe in things, whereas I am but an empty cynic. More thanks go out to John Palamidy for giving me a week in Coogie last semester. Like the University Center or Hofheinz Pavilion, John is a part of this school - he is an institution. Appearing in his strip was probably the high point of my Daily Cougar career.

I should probably thank Jesse for getting me this gig, but I won't. I don't want to give him the satisfaction. Besides, his ego's already almost as big as mine.

Over the years, a lot of students and teachers have given me compliments on my column, and my response was always less than gracious. I have higher aspirations than writing for a college newspaper, and I never thought of my column as anything to be proud of.

In retrospect, each of those compliments meant a great deal to me. Whether I showed it or not, those kind words brightened my days here - they made my time at the University of Houston special. Thank you all. And I will miss you.

Ginsburg is a graduating senior RTV major who can be reached at jig38224@jetson.uh.edu for a

little while longer.

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