Back in the days before digital typesetting, if an article failed to fill a page, the newspaper or magazine had to fill the blank space with something else. In the early years of the New Yorker magazine, EB White was employed to fill the space with a humorous piece, which he often did by making fun of errata from other publications. A sample piece, which he lampooned merely by titling it:
Neatest Trick of the Week
Her black hair was drawn tight so that her huge forehead bulged and hung twisted into meagre pigtails down her back.
— the Family Herald
To be fair, he sometimes poked fun at New Yorker errata as well. For example,
Our Pshaw Department
It is, to say the least, an unusual composition, scored for 11 mechanical pianos, one of them mechanical.
—The New Yorker
So many people have told us that that sentence didn’t make sense that we are getting around to that opinion ourselves.
Well, so many people have told me that I ought to celebrate 1,000,000 page views that I am coming ’round to that position myself.
However, I’m a bit pressed for time these days and simply can’t organize a party with a pony ride and a moonwalk and waiters with white gloves carrying around franks in blankets with to0thpicks in, and champagne corks taking off like planes at JFK International. I’ll provide the bubbly and the trifle cake, but I need y’all to chip in. Bring something, be it entertainment or food or other.
And, strictly for my own amusement, I would like to require that any comments posted below rhyme. For example, you might write:
One mil’s a big number,
Those are the facts,
But there won’t be much left
When you deduct all the tax.
So, welcome all to the One Million Hits Celebration. Have a seat, take a slice of trifle, can I offer you a glass of champagne? I’m sure someone will bring the pony rides shortly…