Pete Hamill. Mike Lupica. Joseph Nocera. John Poppy. Stanley Bing. Cheers to you for assembling such a well-rounded stable of brilliant columnists. I’m glad to know there’s still a place for such honest, powerful, and (Stan, you’re weird) offbeat commentary.
OUR LEAD PIECE this month knocks heads with an abortion issue that lies beneath the Abortion Issue. I refer to the emotions that rise up and engulf consenting men and women who, for reasons of their own, opt for abortion as a solution to pregnancy.
YOU CAN TELL TIME digitally, but you can't tell it much. The relentless cackle of little digitals is everywhere today, with LEDs visually chirping away the seconds as on a scoreboard viewed by a team desperately behind. With its flickering immediacy, digital time is confrontational, antagonistic, almost militaristic.
PRETTY SOON, one of the things you won't be able to get anymore is the traditional family station wagon, that dreadnought-size suburban hauler with the simulated-wood paneling on the side. Government fuel-economy regulations will make that car go away.
UNTIL RECENTLY, I would have said, with out bothering to check it out, that Sherlock Holmes was the most famous slipper-wearing figure in English literature—until, that is, I stumbled on an unsettling bit of news: Sherlock Holmes never wore a deerstalker cap.
SO YOU TELL your girlfriend you're going to take her on a holiday to one of the most romantic spots on earth, and after she has tastefully expressed her gratitude and delight, she asks how she should pack. For the mountains? For the shore? For the samba clubs of Rio or the boulevards of Pa-ree?
BOND REGARDED the glass with the cruel sneer of a cat ready to pounce on its prey. He picked up the cognac, sniffed it, and without even a sip, declared, "I'd say it was a thirty-year-old fine, indifferently blended...”—another whiff of the glass now—“...with an overdose of Bons Bois.”
<p>YEAR AFTER YEAR I'd see them in public places: on street corners in Chicago or in Washington parks or standing in the rain out side the United Nations in New York. It was always Captive Nations Week or some great date in a fading national history, and the exiles would chant their anguish and their protests in languages I could never know.</p>
<p>SOME PEOPLE called him Skywalker. Mostly he was just David. His game was above nicknames really, way above nicknames, because of a leap that took him above the basketball world. He was the six-four David who took the college basketball champion ship away from the Goliath known as UCLA.</p>
<p>A FEW MONTHS before Sony announced it was paying a breath-taking $3.4 billion to buy Columbia Pictures ("a piece of America's soul," wailed Newsweek); before the Rockefeller family revealed that it was selling a majority interest in Rockefeller Center to the Mitsubishi Estate Co. ("a vital piece of the American landscape," bemoaned The New York Times); before, in other words, the latest round of hysteria over the prospect of the Japanese “buying up” America—I went to the office of a Los Angeles real estate broker named John C. Cushman III to watch a slide show.</p>
MOST PEOPLE man-age to pass through the day without ever noticing the preponderance of bar codes that now tattoo much of the physical plane. As with so many profound incursions launched by technology, the absurdly omnipresent, aesthetically hopeless little zebra-striped Band-Aids full of secret code have been rendered almost subliminal, blending into the landscape with the gentle appropriateness of rivers and trees.
ARE THE AIRLINE bonus plans dying...or are they just very, very sick? Let's check their chart. Since the triple-mileage debacle of 1988, in which plan members racked up record mileage in record time, the airlines have methodically made it more difficult to do anything with that mileage, chiefly by raising the redemption levels for awards and lowering the number of seats available to the redeemers.
The Place: Cleveland Park, the District of Columbia. Liberal Establishment neighborhood just north of the National Zoo. Historical Note: Grover Cleveland summered here. The Architecture: Victorians with five, six, or more bedrooms, ranging from fairly unadorned stick-style houses to elaborate, turreted varieties.
<p>RELEASED BY the New York Mammoths at the age of thirty-nine, the famous southpaw Henry Wiggen goes to Japan to check an offer from a baseball team, and in the middle of the night en counters one of those private difficulties that men dread. "When I arrived in the bath room I was unable to proceed with my plans," he tells us.</p>
<p>THERE IS THIS BEACH. There is no one on it but me. Am I on vacation? No, I am facedown upon this beach. And the waves are lapping at my hair, which is still lustrous and bushy. Why am I face-down? Because I am either very tired or, no—I am dead upon this beach, have, now I see, been washed up on the shore of this solitary continent, where the birds are wheeling overhead and the sun is hot in the sky and the silence is so soothing, so empty, so, well, refreshingly nothing.</p>
So his correspondents occasionally needle him (“the only female advice columnist with testicles”), but Jeffrey Zaslow stands tall as The Man Who Replaced Ann Landers. Assigned by The Wall Street Journal to cover the 1987 search for Landers’s replacement, he neatly accomplished the assignment by applying for the job, then surprised everyone by winning it.
“It's not like she’s got the flu. She’s in bed, mad and hurting. I’m not sure why it was all my fault, but I damn sure knew it was.”
<p>I SPOKE WITH A DOZEN MEN, ranging in age from twenty-eight to forty-six. These are their voices: I’ve only been in love one time. It was the first time I felt I loved somebody more than myself. Just a neighborhood girl I really cared for. We were going out.</p>
<p>DAVID SONTAG RIEFF IS OUT among the heathen. As his car speeds away from the airport in Pensacola, Florida, he spots a giant billboard that features buxom waitresses in croptops—it’s for a local bar called Hooters. Rieff feigns horror. “Quick, driver!” he cries with a flutter of mania in his voice.</p>
HOT? She makes Grace Jones look like Marilyn Quayle. Sweet? Well, sure, but it’s the sweetness of a little motorcycle, a bap-bap-bap marathon talker/ dancer/personnage, high on hubris, stoked on strictly legal substances (Pharmaton, say, the super-vitamin popped by people like Schwarzenegger), exploding out of her twenty-one-inch frame of reference into forty-nine million MTV households five days a week at 4:30 P.M.
<p>NOW, THIS ISN'T going to be pretty, but it's better for you to read it here than to hear it in the streets. According to Cheryl Lee Terry, a palm reader and numerologist to whom we sent this picture of Ivana's hand, your wife is a strong, smart, shrewd, determined character with a lot of animal instincts, business acumen, and romanticism.</p>
MEN COULD SOLVE THIS whole matter of choosing suitable, stylish clothing by agreeing to wear nothing but navy-blue jumpsuits, white socks, and sneakers—a sensible idea and a very crisp look. But in about ten minutes somebody would turn his collar up, prompting somebody else to roll his cuffs, and before you know it we’d be right back where we started— wrestling with fashion, a sport at which not all men excel.
He won’t make left turns. He mashes up his food. He puts them at the end of sentences, his nouns. But he’s worked with the funniest people in show biz, and now they’ve got a few things to say
<p>HE MAY NEVER BE AS FAMOUS as the people he helped make famous: The Fonz; Mork; Laverne. And Shirley, surely. But if there is such a thing as the Mahatma of Comedy, it must be this man, whose first impression of the Dalai Lama was “He doesn’t do shtick.”</p>
The editors of Esquire are conducting a poll, the results of which will be published in an upcoming issue. Please take a moment to fill out this form, checking off the one woman who you feel has the best of each attribute. Feel free to write in other suggestions, but no wives, girlfriends, or mothers, please.
Mayday! Zero at 12 o’clock! We took one in the decal! We're going down!
<p>YOU DON'T NEED GLUE. Of course, you don't need a set of paints, or airbrush equipment, or jewelers' files, forceps, or a pin vise; you don't need to know the variations of camouflage adopted by the F-5E Tiger II 527th Aggressor Squadron at Alconbury from 1976 through 1988, or know, indeed, anything at all about war or history or military hardware; you don’t need to harbor aggressive thoughts toward enemies abroad or at work.</p>
Grand Hotel et de Milan. Built in 1865 and most recently restored last year, this place so captures the spirit of old Milan that you’ll half expect to find Giuseppe Verdi stalking its antique-strewn halls, humming absentmindedly. He did, in fact, spend his last years in room 107.
When they sat down to eat, they were joined by their anger, memories, and at least one ghost
<p>FUGU IS A FISH CAUGHT off the Pacific shores of Japan. The fish has held a special significance for me ever since my mother died after eating one. The poison resides in the sex glands of the fish, inside two fragile bags. These bags must be removed with caution when preparing the fish, for any clumsiness will result in the poison leaking into the veins.</p>
On pages 142—143: Brooks Brothers boxer shorts ($20) at Brooks Brothers nationwide. To order call 800-274-1815, or write: Brooks Brothers, 346 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10017. Paul Stuart boxer shorts ($23) at Paul Stuart, New York.
I can stare at a painting I did ten or even fifteen years ago and almost instantly summon up the music that was playing on the radio while I was working on it. What a gift, and yet what a dilemma, because I don’t know whether to donate my brain to the School of Visual Arts or the Connecticut School of Broadcasting!