The Familiar Playboy Rabbit, which has appeared on our covers in one guise or another since the first issue, is so neatly camouflaged this month that even a seasoned reader may find himself at a loss to locate the little lapin. Not wanting to spoil the fun by telling you outright, we'll say merely that this knotty problem can be solved with ease if you'll cease your scrutiny of our sunbather long enough to search out a clue to the rabbit's hiding place in this very sentence. Then resume your epidermal inspection within as we raise an appreciative Toast to Bikinis -- pictorial proof positive that Europe's scantiest swimwear style, after a decade of overseas exposure, now ranks as the Continent's greatest gift of garb to the New World, where it has finally become an eye-filling fixture from sea to shining sea. After this brief encounter, immerse yourself in the high adventure of underwater sporting life with Scuba Gear and Scuba Dear, a splashy five-page synthesis of the latest in skindiving equipage with the niftiest in naiads. We then invite you to sit in as a roundtable of outspoken social commentators generates both heat and light in the fifth of our continuing series of Playboy Panels on subjects of contemporary concern. (Previous Panels: Narcotics and the Jazz Musician, Hip Comics and the New Humor, Sex and Censorship in Literature and the Arts and TV's Problems and Prospects.) This month's symposium on The Womanization of America explores the causes and debates the repercussions -- both malign and benign -- of the American woman's ascendancy to a position of unprecedented power in modern society. For a lighter look at the struggle between the sexes, unwrap A Father's Gift, our lead-fiction package from Walt Grove: the waggish tale of an old dog's new trick in the name of puppy love -- arrestingly illustrated by Playboy Art Director Arthur Paul. Next, hearken to Noises in the City, a touching vignette of bitter grief and sweet revenge seen through a shot glass, darkly, by novelist Irwin Shaw. Then witness The Murder of Edmund Grant by Playboy newcomer Robert Cenedella -- the artfully ironic chronicle of a beat bard's fateful contretemps with a friend who proves to be his severest critic. And for a final fictive treat, feast on a Horror Trio of pleasantly ghoulish fantasies by cartoonist Gahan Wilson, our master of the macabre, in his debut as a short-story scrivener. With equally impressive versatility, the redoubtable Shel Silverstein racks up an editorial double-header in this issue: with Teevee Jeebies Around the Clock, as the satiric subtitler of a brand-new batch of late-show film-llammery; and with Silverstein Plays Ball, as a bushy bush leaguer in spring training with the White Sox, for whom he had hawked hot dogs in Chicago's Comiskey Park until becoming a professional cartoonist for playboy in 1956. Returning to our Chicago offices bronzed from this pre-season in the sun (where his erstwhile teammates enjoyed explaining to curious Floridian fans that their bewhiskered rookie was a switch-hitting Castro convertible disenchanted with Cuban beisbol), Shel learned with delight that his next assignment will enable him to enhance his healthy tan: one week drawing cartoons in a nudist camp. In F.O.B. Detroit, Ken W. Purdy's authoritative appraisal of new directions in American car design and engineering, our reigning automotive pundit punctures the car snob's enduring but obsolescent belief in the natural superiority of handtooled foreign models to assembly-line "Detroit iron." With The Great Paper Chase, best-selling novelist Al (The Great Man) Morgan descries and decries the self-defeating anomaly of today's best-seller-centered book-publishing business, wherein literary success is all too often crassly measured in terms of readership rather than readability. In the third of his new series of incisive inquiries into the future of science, Arthur C. Clarke explores the dimensional extremes of human life From Lilliput to Brobdingnag. Food and Drink Editor Thomas Mario, meanwhile, rubs Aladdin's Lamb with exotic herbs and transports us to the Near East for a caravan of varied viands a la Allah. Savor them; then survey Playboy's Gifts for Dads and Grads, a gallery of luxurious largesse for the twofold present time. Penultimately, join Playmate Merissa Mathes, our ring-a-ding Bicycle Belle, on a joyride through the countryside. Finally, dig Fashion Director Robert L. Green's double-entendre in summerwear -- contrasting shorts and trousers with a single jacket, shirt and pair of shoes -- and you'll have The Long and the Short of It, both for the June sartorial scene and for our well-seasoned sixth-month issue.
Playboy, June, 1962, Vol. 9, no. 6, published monthly by HMH publishing company, Inc., Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago 11, Illinois, Subscriptions: In the U.S., Its possessions, the pan American Union and Canada, $14 for three years, $11 for two years, $6 for one year. Elsewhere add $3 per year for Foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago 11, Illinois, and allow 30 days for change: Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, advertising director, Jules Kase, eastern advertising manager, 720 Fifth Ave., New York 19, New York, CI 5-2620; Branch Offices: Chicago, Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., MI 2-1000. Joe Fall, midwestern advertising manager; Los Angeles, 8721 Beverly Blvd., Ol 2-87D0, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager; San Francisco, 111 Sutter St., YU 2-7994, Robert E. Stephens. manager; detroit, 705 Stephenson Building. 6560 Cass Ave., Tr 5-7250; south-eastern, Florida and Caribbean representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont RD., N.E., Atlanta 5, GA., 233-6729.
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, on the off-chance you didn't know, is the name of an otherwise undistinguished Maori village in New Zealand. The all-time insect broadjump record, if you've been wondering, was set in 1910 by a California rodent flea: 13 inches. And, should anyone happen to inquire, history's biggest pastry was an 18-foot, five-ton cake baked in 1958 for the British Columbia Centenary (large enough, by our calculation, to accommodate no less than four and 20 showgirls).
In A Taste of Honey, a sensitive 17-year-old English girl -- the daughter of a woman who's no better than she has to be -- takes as her first lover a Negro sailor, who leaves her with an offspring in the offing. Shelagh Delaney's London and Broadway hit (Playboy After Hours, February 1961) is no mere mélange of Midlands miseries. It faces the woes of working-class life as angrily as the Angry Young Men, but with grin-and-bear-it guts. Deserted by her new-married mother, the pregnant girl is befriended by a homeless young homo ("You're like my big sister," she tells him), and their housekeeping could be an episode from a far-out Little Women. The film stirs up subjects rarely seen on the screen, but it's never senselessly sensational. Tony Richardson has directed with some touches of the New (now practically Permanent) Wave, but his most important contribution is his discovery of Rita Tushingham, who makes her debut as the girl. Except for the alive eyes, her face looks as if a door had been slammed in it and her figure is about as graceful as her last name. But in a matter of minutes, Rita's humanity and humor will warm the cockles of even the most hardened heart.
Herman Wouk's new novel, Youngblood Hawke (Doubleday, $7.95), is the money-drenched drama of the decade; it probably would have been printed on bank-note paper if the $500,000 movie sale hadn't exhausted the supply. Hawke -- the novelist-hero, modeled more or less on Thomas Wolfe -- is determined to keep the wolf from his door; he wants to earn a fortune fast so that he can concentrate on his Serious Work. Chapters and chapters of this book (and there are chapters to spare among its 310,000 words) are given over to tax deals, contracts, lawsuits, investments and random financial finaglings, all of which high-bracket Herman Wouk understandably finds fascinating. But, fans, there is more here than the sheen of the long green. There is love -- for an older married woman, for a pretty young editor. There is the Artist's stern struggle, circa 1946-1953, with his Art. There is even a sizable section dealing with a McCarthyesque investigation in Washington. The principal characters are developed at considerably more length than depth, and the writing varies from serviceable to banal to some passages that seem just to have happened. ("He had never leaned his trust upon a girl without her breaking in some way and making him bleed.") In Youngblood Hawke Herman Wouk proves yet again that huge best-sellerdom is no accident. Along with his talent for razzle-dazzle plot and realistic detail, he puts forth a set of convictions which his large audience can share without undue strain. He writes with the utter confidence, the unabashed sincerity of the Reader's Digest intellectual. Writer Wouk exemplifies far better than writer Hawke the gulf that exists in our cul-ture between popular success and serious achievement.
The odds are that no one will ever give a completely satisfactory explanation of the enigma known as Lawrence of Arabia, but Terence Rattigan takes an elliptical shot at it in Ross. If he fails to score a bull's-eye, he achieves, at least, a theatrically impressive theory of why the Uncrowned King of the Desert, who led the Arab nations in revolt against the Turks during World War I, and wound up in a Royal Air Force barracks as a pseudonymous nonentity, Aircraftman Ross. Rattigan calls his play "a dramatic portrait," and the description is not overly modest. Between opening and closing barracks scenes, Ross is an uninterrupted flashback that presents its legendary hero in a variety of attitudes and poses. Here is Lawrence, tautly played by John Mills, as the sunbaked mystic who found solitude and fulfillment in the desert; as the sardonic iconoclast who hated military pomp and protocol but made common cause with the strong-minded General Allenby (John Williams); as the mincing Machiavelli, swaddled in white robe and burnoose, wheedling a mercenary Arab chieftain into the unaccustomed role of patriot; and, finally, as the fallen idol, captured by the Turks and despoiled forever of his integrity as a human being. The innocent theatergoer must watch closely if he is to be aware that the basic problem of this imperturbable hero is one of latent homosexuality. Lawrence's secret is plain enough, however, to the perverted Turkish commander (Geoffrey Keen), who orders his prisoner to be sexually assaulted by a pair of sodomistic prison guards and then released as a shameful symbol of defeat. Mills is at his most effective in that moment when suspicion of his own weakness becomes self-knowledge, and his despairing wail of horror, like that of the self-condemned Oedipus, is the closest playwright and actor come to revealing the man behind the legend. At the Eugene O'Neill, 230 West 49th.
Ella Swings Brightly with Nelson (Verve) is very much that. The team of Fitzgerald and Riddle is a dynamically fruitful alliance. From the time the pair tees off on When Your Lover Has Gone through the last resonant bar of Jerome Kern's infrequently etched Pick Yourself Up, all is swingingly simpatico. If lyricist Peggy Lee hadn't tried to share the spotlight with vocalist Peggy Lee, our report on Blues Cross Country (Capitol) would have been happier. Peggy's indigo warbling is fine, the Quincy Jones orchestrations are exciting, and five of the items -- Kansas City, Basin Street Blues, I Lost My Sugar in Salt Lake City, Goin' to Chicago Blues and St. Louis Blues -- are first-rank variations on the blues theme, but the rest are all Lee-lyricked and nondescript. Duet (Columbia), co-starring Doris Day and André Previn, is a four-bell production all the way. The Previn trio (Red Mitchell, bass; Frank Capp, drums) contributes its full share of glitter to the occasion, and three of André's originals (lyrics by wife Dory Langdon) grace the proceedings. The bulk of the honors, though, go to Miss Day, who supplies just the right notes for such eminently attractive refrains as Close Your Eyes, Wait Till You See Him and My One and Only Love.Swinging All the Way with Frances Faye (Verve) is a multitempoed grab bag designed to showcase the ballad-to-belter range of the muscular-voiced miss. Frantic Frances can, when the need arises (More Than You Know and That's All, for example), be touchingly tender; in the more familiar environs of Love for Sale, she is, of course, a nonpareil rocker. Marty Paich's men supply the instrumental kicks.
As an assistant professor of English at a women's college I've become more or less inured to the fact that girls often get crushes on those who lecture them. This professional detachment is due in part to the local rule that we must not indulge in unfraternal fraternization with our students. But this semester one of my classes happens to include an unusually attractive sophomore who follows my words with starry eyes and gives me secret -- and provocative -- smiles every time I glance in her direction. This girl appears to be more mature than the rest, and seems to know what she wants. I know that rules are rules, but aren't some made to be broken? Should I date her? -- C. A., Boston, Massachusetts.
When my mother got married the third time they went to Switzerland for the jousting and I had to move in with my old man. I don't hate him, but he's so goddamn charming. He enters a room and dainty feminine undergarments begin to drop like autumn leaves. No kidding. I've seen him just look at some dame he'd never even met before, and right away I could see old Dad was home free once again. Intellectually, of course, he's a lightweight.
There is widespread disagreement as to just what the world lost on that summer night last year when Daniel Dunhaven leaped toward Edmund Grant and cracked poor Grant's skull open with a poker. We lost Edmund Grant, of course, but some who have read his novels say that was no loss. We lost Daniel Dunhaven, too, for he will probably never write another critical essay. This is not because the struggling quarterlies have closed their pages to his work; on the contrary, both New Broom and Parnassorama have written to the critic himself as well as to the warden of the prison where he will spend the next 99 years, professing themselves eager to continue publishing Dunhaven's provocative critiques -- those same critiques which once caused the poet Alfie Doremus to apostrophize him:
The hypnotic throb of drums filled the room together with the sound of weird, rhythmic chanting and occasional bloodcurdling shrieks. It was easy to imagine some huge barbaric fire flickering on fat tropical leaves, and making the eyes of wild things gleam red and wicked as they crouched watching in the dark. Mingling surrealistically but pleasantly with the drums and chanting, the faint purr of busy traffic rose from Fifth Avenue 30 stories below. When the drums broke off in midvibration, Brett Yardley rose from the couch, conscious that he moved with the lazy grace of a tiger, and turned off his high-fidelity tape machine. Then he smiled with benign manliness at the devastating blonde whose side he had just quit.
Helping to make June days all the more rare in California this spring is a bucolic beauty named Merissa Mathes, a budding actress and this month's cycling Playmate. During workdays auburn-haired Merissa is strictly a city girl, absorbed in thesping studies -- but weekends she likes to go on a spin through the countryside for sunny sessions of away-from-home homework. A graduate of Santa Monica City College, our 22-year-old scene stealer admits to a fondness for exotic food, ghost towns and windy nights in San Francisco; she also harbors hopes of becoming a dramatic success (her recent role calls include local theater productions and a part in the flick, The Phantom Planet). While waiting out the big break, Merissa lives the life of an L.A. bachelor girl, reads avidly (Ian Fleming's James Bond series), cooks up a storm (specialty: veal scaloppine) and dates a number of her understandably enthusiastic admirers.
It may come as something of a surprise to the great mass of Americans whose sole culinary contact with genus Ovis consists of lamb stew and lamb chops, that there is no meat more steeped in ancient lore or more delectably adaptable to exotic variations. Near Eastern wise men have lionized lamb for several millennia. So avid were these ancients in their appreciation of lamb that a Samaritan prophet had to rebuke his people for eating too much of it. Not so today. From the windswept slopes of Greece, where the natives stuff their grape leaves with ground lamb, through the Levant and the arid wastes of North Africa, where burnoosed Bedouins feast on juicy, butter-tender kebabs grilled on sticks over a desert fire, lamb is universally devoured and still held in almost reverential esteem.
Weatherby was surprised to see the lights of the restaurant still lit when he turned off Sixth Avenue and started up the street toward the small apartment house in the middle of the block in which he lived. The restaurant was called The Santa Margherita and was more or less Italian, with French overtones. Its main business was at lunchtime and by 10:30 at night it was usually closed. It was convenient and on nights when they were lazy or when Weatherby had work to do at home, he and his wife sometimes had dinner there. It wasn't expensive and Giovanni, the bartender, was a friend and from time to time Weatherby stopped in for a drink on his way home from the office, because the liquor was good and the atmosphere quiet and there was no television.
Dressed to the nines in pinstripe baseball flannels and toting a well-padded mitt, cartoonist Shel Silverstein recently trekked to Sarasota, Florida, for a five-week spring-training fling with the Chicago White Sox. This trial introduction to the innings and outs of big-league ball was for Shel a boyhood dream of glory come true: while still a beardless Chicago youth he earned his daily bread vending beer and hot dogs at Comiskey Park, the White Sox balliwick. According to our hirsute hero, he came within a whisker of making the opening-day squad: "It was Luis Aparicio or me," he admits modestly, "and I just didn't want to hurt Luis' feelings. As of now, I'm a free agent, available to any ball club that might be a contender."
In 1946, when there weren't more than 25 new sports cars in this country -- and 19 of those were MGs -- the first thing an Owner said on meeting another Owner was, usually, "Hello." The second thing he said was, "Brother, did I run away and hide from a Buick just now, on the West Side Drivel!"
Future historians may well call this the era of Follow the Leader. Despite the devotion our society pays, so noisily and incessantly, to the New, the Better, the Different, most people move gleefully along with the great parade, buying, seeing, doing much what all their neighbors buy, see and do. It has become a Madison Avenue truism that the popularity of a product is a virtue in itself, apart from and more enticing than usefulness or sturdiness or attractiveness. We are, in fact, a generation that equates popularity with quality. We watch top-rated TV shows because they are top-rated. We consider a play worth seeing only if a ticket for it is difficult to get. And we buy books because they are on the best-seller lists.
When the Microscope was Invented at the beginning of the 17th Century, it revealed an entire new order of creation to mankind. Below the range of the visible was an unsuspected universe of living creatures, dwindling down, down, down to unimaginable minuteness. This discovery, coming at the same time as the telescope's revelations at the opposite end of the scale, set men thinking about the question of size.
An oldish farmer married a beautiful wife much too young for him. He discharged both his farmhands -- one because he was too young and virile, the other because he was too old and experienced. A week later he was frantic. The corn was ready to harvest and there was no one to do it but himself and his wife.
Essayist William Hazlitt once defined the soul of a journey as liberty: "Perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases." Today, Hazlitt's idyl dream has been given substance -- notably in Europe -- by the popular discovery of the wheeling-and-dealing pleasures inherent in a rented car. Many vacationers, however, aren't aware of a new twist in roll-your-own traveling: the elimination by one company of the return fee on auto rentals between major cities in seven European countries, an act which unties the touring tourist from hitherto standard routings. In view of this liberalizing trend, we suggest you augment your August ramblings this year by equipping yourself with one for the road.