Now with Freshness Dating!
I happened to see a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition recently, for the first time in a while. Like Blanche DuBois, I must rely on the kindness of strangers in this regard. So it's been years. The first thing I noticed (about the issue, anyway) is that now it is a separate issue, with none of that boring sports stuff to distract. In my younger days, it was a special section, picture right after picture, in an otherwise normal issue. Frankly, I think the change is due to advertising - the old way nobody was looking at the ads, but now you have to because the pictures are spread thinly throughout the magazine.
The second thing I noticed was that it was hard to tell the advertising from the content, as the ads used gorgeous models in skimpy bathing suits too. Then I noticed a way to tell the two apart (while I verge on the legally blind without corrective lenses, I have a keen eye for certain forms of detail). In the ads, the models were wearing provocative bikinis with even more provocative expressions; in the content, the models were wearing the same kind of bikinis and expressions, but the models had also pulled their bikini bottoms down to the point where any further and the magazine would be called Gynecology Today. This is a marked contrast to the last time I looked at the magazine, when the emphasis was on legs, and suits were if anything pulled up and over the hip, so that the long line of the model was not interrupted by any extraneous material. I guess a "come hither, I'm ready" facial expression is not enough anymore in these pornographically jaded times; now the body language has to trumpet this message as well. Oh, well, I guess it fits into the image of the sexually liberated 90's woman, you know, where she tells you to "brace yourself" instead of the other way around.
Of course, I don't mean to imply that the American Male has given up his breast fetish. No, we still want our women to have the slender body of a pre-pubescent girl but with enormous hooters that defy gravity. Terry Thomas is still right on the mark in that wonderful old movie "It's Mad, Mad, Mad World" when he complained about the American breast fixation and claimed that America would collapse without the brassiere industry (pun intended). The only difference is that through the miracle of modern technology, we are mortgaged to the silicone implant industry instead. Let's face it, this country will turn into a bunch of cowardly fascists long before we give up our breast fixation.
A recent study confirmed what I've always suspected: getting out of bed in the morning is the riskiest thing you do all day. I don't mean because it leads to the rest of the day and traffic accidents and the like, but I mean the act of getting out of bed itself. The highest risk of heart attack occurs when you get out of bed in the morning, and since heart disease is the number one killer, ergo ipso facto, getting out of bed is the deadliest normal activity. Doctors think that the sudden change in blood pressure, flow, etc. that comes with getting out of bed is the culprit. I wonder if I can get some sort of full disability payments and spend the rest of my life in bed -- strictly for medical reasons. I'm not shirking, I'm avoiding a high risk factor.
We had dinner recently at a nice restaurant at the mall. We had been shopping and I was tired and didn't want to go the food court. My wife asked if I wanted to go to a restaurant instead of a work-aurant (our apologies to Steak 'n' Shake from whose ad she was quoting). So we went to Chevy's where I could rest and relax. We had a special experience because our waitress had laryngitis. I had a hard time not whispering back. I suppose other diners may have raised their voices to compensate, but I was in full conspirator mode. Instead of ordering we were really giving code phrases to authenticate, I was trying to figure out how she was going to slip us the plans to the top secret gizwilly, were we being tailed, you know, that sort of thing. Of course, I'm not really the man of a thousand faces, more like the man of a thousand burps. I certainly prefer to remember it as the night we got Emma Peel as a waitress, and not the night I got heartburn at a Mexican restaurant (again).
I had an insight into aging recently. People are like their stuff. Kids toys are nearly indestructible, just like kids. I'm always putting limbs back on the action figures for my son and snapping parts back into place for my daughter. Oh, they get hurt all right, but they just bounce right back. My daughter fell twelve feet out of a tree and got some scratches and scrapes that healed in a couple of days. If my son doesn't fall down at least once a day, he falls out of bed that night to make up for it. But when you reach your middle years, you don't bounce back quite all the way. Last time I fell down, I was out for a walk with my wife, and I scraped the skin off right down to the pink, and here months later, the skin that grew back isn't quite right. If I'd fallen out of the tree instead of my daughter, you'd be calling me gimpy today. Now think back to when you were a kid and visited grandma's. Yeah, "the don't touch you'll break it" days, where everything was not just super fragile but irreplaceable. That's what happens to you when you get that old. A single fall can shatter a hip beyond all repair. The doctors can't just stick it back on anymore. Any accident causes permanent harm. I don't know what you can do with this insight, but it's worth every penny you paid for it.
I heard on the radio the other day that a survey showed that Pamela Anderson Lee was the number one pick for a dream date among 20 year olds, while Sandra Bullock was the number one pick among 30 year olds. I didn't catch how other age groups responded. What a contrast. The All Natural, All American Girl versus the Queen of the Bimbos. It shows that the 20 year olds want to exercise their glands to the fullest, while the 30 year olds are looking for some soothing rest and relaxation. Or maybe the old guys just ourt of touch and didn't know Pamela was available again.
The Microsoft antitrust trial continues at its torpid pace. Nothing astonishing there. But what is astonishing is how the dirt is being dished. I don't think anyone was surprised when the head of Netscape was the lead off witness. And the allegation that Microsoft offered to divvy up the Browser market a few years back is old news. Even the testimony of executives from AOL, Apple and Intel while illuminating was not particularly surprising. The amazing thing is how supposedly technologically advanced Microsoft execs treated their email, the email that is killing their case. While engaging in predatory behavior, clearly using their monopoly power in operating systems to unfairly and illegally advance their other product(s), (being a monopoly is not illegal, but using monopoly power is) , they left a paper trail. They acted like using email was the same as a private chat: untraceable, and completely deniable. So you have Chairman Bill claiming in his deposition that essentially for the last five years he was nothing but a figurehead who made no decisions, didn't know what was going on, and can't remember anything anyway, while he left an email trail that demonstrates he was calling the shots and knew exactly what was going on and what he was doing. You have prosecution witnesses talking about certain business meetings, and Microsoft supporting the witnesses allegations about what took place at the meetings in the contemporaneous email. You might ask yourself how they could be that stupid, but the better question is how could they be that arrogant. My call (let me warn you, I've been wrong on every big trial outcome for years now) is that Microsoft is going to lose, and lose big, and they will be convicted by their own unimpeachable email.
I've been noticing womens' shoes lately. The dominatrix look is in. I don't know if that's what the fashion people are calling it, but that's what I call it. Big heels are in, but also high heels, and black, and leather, and straps are all in too. This isn't just party shoes here, I mean everyday wear. One lady executive (I helped put her bags on an airport shuttle bus) had in addition to her conservative business suit high heeled black leather shoes with lots of straps that wound around her feet past her ankles. A lady next to me in church had on black leather boots that had a sole an inch high plus what looked to be another 4 in the heel. Some look like the woman is in charge, some look like she doesn't have a say, but all make it clear that there are no relationships of equals. I don't know if that is a reflection on society as a whole, or it's just another example of changing fashion so women continue to buy new shoes (like they need an excuse!). All I know is, just as soon as I get used to it and even decide I like it, it will change to something else and the cycle of my perplexity will begin all over again.
I've always been told that travel is broadening. Something to do with eating all your meals in a restaurant or something. Anyway, I found it to be true on my last trip, but not because of the location, which was somewhere I had been before, but because I worked second shift and so got to watch daytime TV. I got to watch parts of two Jerry Springer shows (hey, even I have my limits) and I learned a few things. One is that my hairstyle is seriously behind the times -- I don't shave any portion of my scalp and then let some other hair grow extra-long to make up. Two is that America is a seriously overweight nation. Three is that voyeurism is alive and well in this country; people watch Jerry Springer for the same reason they slow down to rubber neck at a car wreck. I might have learned more, but so much of what the people on the show say is bleeped out that entire discussions are unintelligible -- nothing but long bleeps with an occasional word thrown in for good measure. And through it all, Jerry wanders around in the audience (I don't think he wants to share the stage, or anything else, with his guests) shaking his head, either from wondering where they dug his guests up or why people keep tuning in, I couldn't tell which.
Thank you sir, and could I have another please?
Take me back to The Murphy NexusTM, please. I've had enough of this.
This page last updated 30 November 1998.
Contents copywrite Kevin Murphy 1998. All rights reserved.