Thursday, April 20, 2006

Playboy After Dark

When I was in graduate school, I went to a Halloween party dressed as a Playboy Bunny. The last Playboy club had been closed for years so the costume held a retro appeal that I couldn't resist despite my strong feminist leanings. The theme of the party was to dress as a literary figure so I said I was Gloria Steinem, when she went undercover to write her expose on the working conditions of the women at the club. What I remember most about the article was that nobody could understand why someone who could type would want to work as a bunny, something that seemed glamorous, but of course, sucked like any waitress job would except even more because of the get-up they had to wear.

I'd had very little direct experience with Playboy save for the times I babysat for people who left it out on their coffee table (the height of sophistication, I thought) and never really knew Hugh Hefner as someone who wasn't already a parody of himself. To quote Hef, he says that the Playboy ideal is a woman who is "uncomplicated and clean, not a femme fatale of any sort, a woman without emotional problems." Good Lord, that's a lot to aspire to! You have to look perfect naked and not have emotional problems?! No wonder I've always preferred Larry Flynt with his "Asshole of the Month" column in Hustler. At least he got to take Jerry Falwell to task.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Every woman is a bunny." Gloria Steinem

Playboy After Dark

1 1/2 oz brandy
1 1/4 oz Red Dubonnet
1/4 Pernod

Benedictions and Maledictions

Asshole of the Month

I never saw the famous cover itself,
only a picture of it covering the face
of a woman at a protest rally. Even
so, I could make out the beautiful
legs coming out of the meat grinder,
could read the quote -- Never again
will we hang a woman up like a piece
of meat
. The first Hustler I saw had
been discarded in the woods, not
something for show and tell at school,
but my friend and I knew it was something
boys liked, its pages stuck together after
a storm. We tried to open up the center-
fold, but all we managed to do was tear
the woman to soggy pieces, ruining something
forbidden and valuable or so we thought.


cindy said...


you ARE the new Gloria Steinem, sister. Michelle Brooks for President in 2008 and 2012!

Jason said...

Who are these people leaving pornography in the woods? I remember finding some "nudie mags" in a wooden lot on my street growing up. Who is putting this stuff in the woods!? Are people getting caught masturbating in the woods, having to drop their tools and make the run for it? Is it a doing it in public thing? If so, do you really need the magazine?

The world may never know.

Wichita-Lineman said...

I too use to find pornography in the woods when I was a kid. The mags were hidden in an old discarded washing machine. I use to tear out pages I liked and sneak them home and hide them in my closet; like some sort of horny preteen squirrel. Michelle, I got news for you, those pages were stuck together way before that storm.

Now you just need to write a poem entitle "Farts in the Wind," and Larry Flynt will be knocking at your door.

John said...

Dear Michelle,

Another classic post. I never have had much use for those kinds of mags, preferring real dates. Love the poem, though, and the picture.