What It Feels Like has become something of a mantra at Esquire. This issue includes our fourth-annual special section devoted to first-person accounts of extreme experiences (page 71), and it follows the publication last fall of our first book on the subject, called, of course, What It Feels Like (Three Rivers Press).
I must congratulate Barnett on writing what could be the best piece of advice to the president of the United States in many years. Barnett clearly spells out an appropriate course of action that would support the U. S.’s desires for security and attract the support of the rest of the modern world.
One night a man rolls over in bed, giving his wife a big grin. She says, “Not tonight, honey. I have a gynecologist’s appointment tomorrow. I want to stay fresh and clean." The man, feeling rejected, rolls over and tries to go to sleep. A few minutes later, he rolls over again and asks his wife, “Do you have a dentist’s appointment tomorrow?”
The SEVEN Most Remarkable Things in Culture This Month
1 Best Surfboard —From The End, a photo book about Montauk, New York, by Michael Dweck 2 Sauciest Language “Fuddled, muddled, rat-faced, arseholed, rather hightitty, bit by a barnmouse, has a brick in 'is hat, sniffed the barmaid’s apron, quisby, tired and emotional, sozzled, tangle-footed, pontooned.”
Will Open Water's much-hyped, real-life sharks be enough to make it this summer’s Blair Witch Project?
“WE’RE GONNA NEED a bigger boat,” Roy Scheider famously mutters to Robert Shaw when the massive great white in Jaws finally pokes its jagged maw into the frame. For Susan and Daniel, the two scuba-diving yuppies at the center of Open Water, the adjective is superfluous.
SPIDER-MAN 2 director Sam Raimi was just 22 when his 1981 feature debut, The Evil Dead, earned him a reputation as a master of decadent gore. The Quick and the Dead left him splattered in box-office failure, but in the subsequent lull, he got rich as executive producer of television’s Xena and Hercules, and he later found redemption on the big screen with A Simple Plan (Billy Bob Thornton, Bill Paxton) and 2002’s Spider-Man.
With its new album, The Tipping Point, hip-hop’s best live act has finally made its breakthrough record
HIP-HOP HAS MORE THAN ITS SHARE OF DIRTY SECRETS, namely that the most credible act in the game has been like a four-year-old at Thanksgiving-better seen than heard. Live, the Roots have offered ridiculous bang for your buck for more than a decade.
IT’S NO SECRET that America has an ever-growing love affair with “all access.” People feel slighted if they can’t be privy to every facet of their favorite stars' lives, (I’m waiting for Us Weekly's inevitable “Match the Celebrity with His or Her Stool" feature.) in response, I’ve decided to up the ante and give you more access than you ever cared for, spoiling your insatiable appetite for gossip altogether.
Alison Griffith Age: 30 Height: 5'4" on a good hair day Weight: I have an hourglass figure, only it's about 2.5 hours. Occupation: I hire and fire temporary employees (until I get fired myself). Location: Orange County, California Last relationship: Ended in February 2002 with a shot of penicillin
1. D. B. (Doubleday, $24), by Elwood Reid. A thoughtful and funny imagining of the life of D. B. Cooper, who in 1971 hijacked an airplane with the threat of a fake bomb, took off with $200K and a parachute, and was never seen again. 2. Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads (Simon & Schuster, $12), by Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden.
LET’S FACE IT —some people really, really love Fight Club. For those devotees, Chuck Palahniuk is a truth-sayer. Remember his mantra: Greed consumes us, consumption numbs us, testicles are the heart of the matter. The book is still one of my guilty pleasures, allowing me to bask in the light of my favorite masturbatory emotions, indignation and regret.
THOSE 18 HOLES at your country club might be nice, but how fast can a golf cart go? Twenty miles per hour? Maybe 30 on a downhill? Eh. Perhaps you want your weekend activity to have a little more velocity, more g force, higher decibels. You’re in luck.
FIRST, NEVER CALL THEM EXTREME SPORTS unless you want to appear extremely dorky. The preferred term among those in the know is “action sports.” In terms of trick moves, the most morbid of action sports is probably freestyle motocross. Must-learn moves include the Corpse, the Dead Sailor, the Mandatory Suicide, and the Kiss of Death.
DESPITE better-than-ever talent, today’s pro tennis is about as must-see as a Chris Kattan movie. To avoid going the way of the NHL, the sport needs a savior, or at least a few good ideas. Well, here’s the shocker: John McEnroe has an opinion on the matter.
SO, BIG MAN, you’ve invested your $2,000 bonus in your first top-of-the-line suit. It’s a joy, isn’t it, your position in the grand scheme of things made manifest in wool? But just one question: Where do you put your hands? To look as if you actually belong in something this divine, it’s not sufficient just to buy the suit and put it on with care.
THE IWC PORTUGUESE CHRONO-RATTRAPANTE is the only watch you’ll ever need to own. Why? It’s not because of its rose-gold case, the timeless dignity of its face, or the 136 years of watchmaking experience behind it, although these are all fine reasons to throw down 16 large to get one.
Sound sartorial advice from Bill Hancock, style expert
Question of the month: Lately I keep noticing guys flipping up the collars of their suit jackets. What’s up with that? YOU’VE JUST STUMBLED upon the biggest movement in men’s style, my boy—tailoring. The American man is quickly discovering that he likes his suit jackets more finely shaped and tailored, thus emphasizing his torso and shoulders.
Our skeptical director joins the cult of BlackBerry
LAST MONTH, I wrote about some new portable computers I tested while directing a television pilot for CBS starring Stanley Tucci. On the first day of the shoot, my television agent from the manly Creative Artists Agency flew in to New York to take a bunch of his clients to dinner, where we ate three-pound lobsters sautéed in the shell.
The Endorsement: Movie Headphones for the Hearing Unimpaired
MARY KAYE SCHILLING
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, there was a time when people went to movies to escape the world. It was dark. And quiet. And the only smell was popcorn. Nutty, I know. There was a kind of wacky etiquette as well. You could tell people to be quiet...and they would!
BOURBON is corn whiskey. Only it isn’t, really, no more than a Hershey bar is pure chocolate—although whereas Hershey rounds out the main ingredient with fun stuff like cocoa butter, milk fat, and soy lecithin, the bourbon distillers have only “small grains” to play with.
CHANCES ARE, A TACU TACU BELL hasn’t opened in your neighborhood yet, but just wait. We are in the midst of a Peruvian invasion, with new restaurants making brilliant use of the country’s signature ingredients—abundant seafood, richly flavored meat dishes, and exotic varieties of potatoes and legumes.
Two Caesars, One Superhero Smack-Down & Seven Rats
<p>Who made the calendar? Credit for the calendar most of us use today goes to God; the earth, sun, and moon; a couple of Caesars (Julius, Augustus, and, to a lesser extent, Sid); Pope Gregory XIII; and John Ashcroft. God, specifically the thundering galoot of Genesis, made the week a seven-day unit as an integral part of the whole creation thing.</p>
Balls are shrinking fast, and the water ain’t that cold. Ten of us have just flutter-kicked across the American River with swim fins and modified bodyboards, but even though we look as badass as a Navy SEAL assault team, the guy next to me, a first-time river-boarder like me, is taking a good look at the white water downstream and shaking his head in a big nuh-uh.
Real Men Don’t Need Boats: Three More Places to Prove It
CLARK FORK RIVER, ALBERTON GORGE, MONTANA. The sick waterflow here (which makes the Grand Canyon look like Thomas Kinkade’s backyard stream) creates huge standing waves on which you can glide back and forth—nirvana for riverboarders.
<p>“HOW CAN YOU HATE THE OLYMPICS?” they ask me. “Are you some sort of antipatriotic subversive? Don’t you appreciate the genius of Bob Costas? Can’t you understand the majesty of world-class Ping-Pong?” These are the questions I face every other year.</p>
I am a very passionate man who loves foreplay, oral sex, and making sure my woman is satisfied before I am, but my wife’s libido is nonexistent. All my friends tell me I am what women dream of. What is going on here? There’s no telling exactly what's behind your wife’s lack of interest.
World-class athletes have been known to eat worms, sip the blood of soft-shelled turtles, and suck down reindeer milk—all in the name of enhanced performance. So when Japanese marathoner Naoko Takahashi won the gold in 2000 and chalked it up to a drink made from the stomach secretions of giant-hornet larvae, the response among Olympic Villagers was not Ewwwwww!
I’VE ALWAYS hated public speaking. On my list of appealing experiences, I’d rank it somewhere between adult circumcision and a Vincent Gallo film festival. But recently, it got a lot more tolerable. I found salvation in a tiny orange pill called a beta-blocker.
If I'm gonna snack at my desk—and I am gonna snack at my desk—what should I snack on? Almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts. Buy ’em raw, mix ’em up, and keep ’em in a cool place. Nuts are the perfect snack because a) they’re delicious, b) they’re filling, so even a handful will curb your appetite, making you less likely to gorge at mealtime, c) they have folic acid and lots of fiber, both of which do your body good, and d) “scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
IT WAS A SUNNY DAY, cold and crisp, 11:30 A.M. on October 20, 2003. I was mearing just blue jeans, a T-shirt, tennis shoes, and a light red jacket. I could see the mist rising off Niagara Falls; you never see the bottom exactly, which is just kind of a void.
FOR ME, a typical workday can involve getting pepper-sprayed, hit with electric darts, and blasted with the ferocious kind of weaponry that can incapacitate a gun-wielding, two-hundred-pound crack-head in less than a second. But I don’t mind, because that means I’m saving the lives of law enforcers who may one day save your life; the officers who use these munitions need to be confident that the weapons will disable dangerous suspects.
AUTUMN: Hi, how are you? ESQUIRE: I'm good. How about you? AUTUMN: I’m great. Thanks for asking. You feeling horny? ESQUIRE: Um, well, actually...I’m a writer. AUTUMN: Oh. ESQUIRE: I'm supposed to be doing a piece on what it feels like to be a phone-sex operator.
Going backstage at the Vancouver strip club Ben Affleck made famous actually means going upstairs—up a stairwell outside the club, down a hallway, and into a tiny office-looking room where the dancers get dressed. A reminder that this is like any other business: the typewritten note posted here that details fines for such infractions as being late or not cueing up your music correctly.
EVER SINCE I WAS A SMALL GIRL, I dreamed of owning a majestic spotted leopard. Growing up, I settled for a black cat named Panther, but all along I had a name picked out for a leopard: Jovani. Twenty years later, I heard of this magazine, Animal Finders' Guide, for people who are interested in exotic animals.
JANET JACKSON wasn’t the only one to bare a nipple at the halftime show. In fact, a man named Mark Roberts bared two. He was the Super Bowl streaker—though CBS shrewdly chose to point its cameras elsewhere. Unfortunately, I couldn’t avoid seeing him.
NURSE: Fred, what time do you get up in the morning? FRED HALE: Well, I might get up around half past four or five. N: What do you do most days? FH: I just lounge around. Can’t do anything. I like to watch the people go by. I like to be outside. I saw one big turkey and a goose this big.
I’M ENJOYING a typical morning on Thursday, April 11, 2002. From the backseat of the traffic copter, I can see the shadow of our ship dance across the surface of Bachman Lake in Dallas. We’re going about a hundred miles per hour. At 7:58, the news anchor starts his windup to toss it to me, and the copter lists sharply right, then left, back and forth.
Captain Frank Mundus and Donnie Braddick caught a sixteen-and-a-half-foot great white off Montauk Point, New York, in 1986. It is the largest fish ever caught on a rod and reel. The irascible Mundus is widely believed to be the inspiration for the characuter Quaint in Jaws.
IT WAS A WALL OF WATER, straight up and down, about two hundred feet tall, and it was black—totally black from the soil and trees. It was traveling about seventy miles per hour, but it was strangely silent. It was snapping these spruce trees along the side of the bay.
WE HEARD A LOUD BOOM. The noise didn’t knock me down, but it was as loud as a military jet breaking the sound barrier. Even then, I wasn’t really sure what the sound meant. I spun around and looked up, and there mas this ninety-story gray column of rock, ash, and gas shooting out of the volcano.
TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS AGO, I left Minnesota for California with $257 in my pocket. I was nineteen. I had come to Malibu to follow the edicts of a woman I would come to call Mother: Elizabeth Clare Prophet. When I arrived at Prophet’s Church Universal and Triumphant, I found my first real family.
THE SENSATION THAT’S MISSING in an aircraft or in a boat over the water is that close proximity to the terrain. I’ve driven both fast boats and fast cars, but with this car you’re riding along with your butt six inches off the ground. There’s just an enormous sensation of velocity connected with that.
Carmen doesn't keep her drawer of drawers in her bedroom. “It's actually on the other side of the house, in a room that was converted into a closet," says photographer Chris McPherson, who took the shot below. Such are the storage measures one must take when married twice.
IT WAS CHRISTMAS VACATION, my senior year in high school in San Diego. I was kind of a geek, and I was determined to win the science fair, so this was my experiment. It was fun for the first few days. Then it got to be a real bummer. The toughest time was always just before sunrise, right from the first day.
I'VE BROKEN PROBABLY about twenty bones in my life. I’ve broken both wrists—one twice and one three times—and I’ve broken my arm once. I’ve broken all my fingers, three or four of my toes. I broke my ankle once. Broke my nose eight times. It’s amazing they still keep me on TV.
SOON AFTER COMING to Allred prison in Texas, Bret Ramos claimed me as his own. He told me I had two choices: I could submit, or I could die. Thus began my life as a prison sex slave. What most people don’t understand is that rape in prison isn’t like it is on the outside.
Please Stand By While the Age of Miracles Is Briefly Suspended
How the president is trying to kill my daughter
<p>A damp, nasty Thursday, January 15, 2004. The President’s Council on Bioethics is meeting in the downstairs conference room of the Wyndham Hotel, four or five blocks from the White House. Minimal risk-to-benefit ratios for cutting-edge medical research are what the panel is trying to calibrate.</p>
<p>1 Who should be on Mount Rushmore? A. Spiro Agnew, Calvin Coolidge, Ann Coulter, both Bushes. (-7) B. Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, Teddy Roosevelt. (1) C. FDR, JFK, Bill Clinton, Paul Krugman. (3) D. Cesar Chavez, Howard Dean, one of Jefferson’s slaves, Susan Sarandon.</p>
IT HAPPENED AGAIN THIS MORNING. I saw a picture of our president—my prestdent-and my feelings about him were instantly rekindled. The picture was taken after his speech to the graduating seniors at the Air Force Academy. He was wearing a dark suit, a light-blue tie, and a white shirt.
KIM BASINGER doesn't do interviews. Neither does novelist JOHN IRVING. So we figured, hell, why not get them on the phone and have them interview each other? We couldn’t get them to shut up.
<p>JI: You’ve probably heard I love the film. In fact, I liked working with Kip so much that I’m trying to bring him on as a director for the screenplay I’m doing now—an adaptation of my novel The Fourth Hand. KB: Well, I know he was nervous. JI: I had no interest in adapting Widow for One Year myself, and I didn’t see how to do it until I met [producer] Ted Hope at the Toronto film festival.</p>
This fall’s breakout collections have a point of view. Whether it’s high fashion or purely classic, whether it’s casual or conservative, it’s all about standing out from the crowd. Fall fashion is not about sweeping statements. It’s about the details. It’s about...
I’m going to be ninety in September. Everybody else can have a piece of the birthday cake, but not me. I have rules, and I follow ’em. No cake, no pie, no candy, no ice cream! Haven’t had any in seventy-five years. It makes me feel great not eating birthday cake.
Pro bass fishing is the new Nascar. BIGGER! It's the new rock 'n' roll. BIGGER! Hey, it could happen.
<p>It's Saturday morning, and outside nothing but blue skies and breezes. I’m watching Behind the Music. I’m watching Behind the Music again even though I don’t much dig Behind the Music. Even though I’ve already seen this and every other episode of Behind the Music six or seven thousand times.</p>
Store Information For availability of the items featured in Esquire, call the phone number or consult the Web site provided. The Guide, p. 51: Michael by Michael Kors suit and tie, 212-452-4685. Brioni shirt, 888-778-8775. P. 52: Armani Collezioni shirt and Giorgio Armani tie, www.giorgioarmani.com.
Most yoga classes in life-time by straight guy not looking to get laid: 2, Steve Armogida, Newton, Massachusetts, who just had really tight hamstrings. Most unnecessary speeding tickets within 20-minute span: 4, Nick Arico, Eagle Grove, lowa, who was rushing home to see a Barbara Walters piece on Simon Cowell.