Hey, Guys, the national sport is not watching CNN. It's spring---time for baseball and other pursuits---and do we have an issue for you! Leading off is George Steinbrenner. The feisty shipbuilder/club owner built the New York Yankees into a powerhouse while going through 12 managers. 13 general managers and 15 pitching coaches---and trading away legions of talent. Shortly after he was thrown out of the game, the mouth that roared promised baseball writer Jeffrey Kluger "a few hours of his time." Result: a candid Playboy Interview.
Playboy. (ISSN 0032-1478), May 1991, volume 38, number 5. Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Second-class postage paid at Chicago, Illinois, and at additional mailing offices. Subscriptions: in the U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Postmaster: Send address change to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007.
In these post-Reagan years, hordes of us are finding ourselves out of college, out of work, out of options and out of luck. Our M.A.s in anthropology are worthless, our former occupations (arbitrager, anti-Communist watchdog) are obsolete and our prospects are dim.
Two wild young women on the road in a 1966 Thunderbird, getting away from it all, are Thelma & Louise (MGM/Pathe). Geena Davis, topping her Oscar-winning work in The Accidental Tourist, is sensational as the misused housewife who joins her friend the waitress (Susan Sarandon, in another earthy tour de force) for a runaway weekend that turns out to be far more than just a move to shake up the men in their lives. Before it ends, with police in several states trying to stop them, these newly liberated members of the fair sex are up to their eyebrows in near rape, murder, vandalism and armed robbery. From a snappy down-home script by fledgling screen-writer Callie Khouri, whose feminism is more spirited than sour, director Ridley (Alien) Scott makes Thelma & Louise look like Easy Rider with a woman's touch. Among the men they leave in the dust, Christopher McDonald and Michael Madsen are standouts; so is Harvey Keitel as a sympathetic detective. This movie is exuberant, spontaneous and brimful of social comment. [rating]4 bunnies[/rating]
Zip Codes: Once you figure out how to program it. Gemstar's VCR Plus+ is your key to worry-free programming of your video recorder. You enter codes now printed on newspaper TV pages in many cities (and in TV Guide) and this computerized VCR remote device automatically programs your VCR for as many as 14 events, $59.95.
Best We're-in-the-Nineties Tape:Brokenness;Oddest How-to Video Title:Crappie Magic;Favorite Video Hero:Tri-Yoga Dan;Worst Special-Interest Video:Life Skills;Best Video Pastime:Effective Kicking Combinations;Best Thrill-a-Minute Video:Turkey Time: Patterns for Spring and Fall;Best It's-a-Living Video:Hunting Sheep, Goat and Moose in B.C.
When Gene Wilder isn't making films (his most recent work on tape is Funny About Love), he's busy playing cinema catch-up in front of the VCR. "I just saw Murmur of the Heart, Au Revoir les Enfants and The Fabulous Baker Boys," Wilder says, "and enjoyed all of them." Not surprisingly, the star of Blazing Saddles and The Frisco Kid lives by the classic Western Shane. "I own that one," he says, "as well as Chariots of Fire and Tarzan, the Ape Man, with Johnny Weissmuller." As his vid library grows, it's not likely that Wilder will be buying colorized videos: "Who wants to see Humphrey Bogart with lipstick on?" Even if it matches his dress?
Jim Thompson was a virtually forgotten pulp crime writer of the Fifties until novelist and copublisher of Black Lizard Press Barry (Wild at Heart) Gifford rediscovered several of his early works in French on a visit to Paris and reissued them. With the recent success of the film The Grifters, based on one of his books, the Thompson revival is in full swing. According to Michael McCauley in Jim Thompson: Sleep with the Devil (Mysterious), most of his books---29 raw, sweaty novels---were churned out in four- or five-week marathon sessions fueled by alcohol and cigarettes. For his first novel. Thompson was holed up in a cheap New York hotel, wrestling with his demon muse while typing at blazing speed, and then lapsed into depression for months. There's not much of an uplifting story in such a life, but McCauley wisely concentrates on detailed analyses of the work to make his biography an insightful guidebook to Thompson's dark literary visions.
I've noticed that sometimes my boyfriend's testicles are tight (as though they are full of something) and other times they are loose (as though they have been drained). Does it have anything to do with orgasm? Does it necessarily mean that tight testicles signify lack of recent orgasm and loose testicles signify that an orgasm has recently happened? What is it in the testicles that causes this change?---Miss N. V., Arlington, Virginia.
Loved the Super Bowl but couldn't help noticing that most of the top players were black and that the fans were white. Then, as football season gave way to basketball and the Gulf war dragged on. I switched to old movies and caught Spartacus. Great flick. Slaves picked from Rome's colonies revolt under the leadership of gladiators, the only role models the slaves had back then.
It was 11:10 P.M.---just 20 minutes before air time---and things were strangely quiet on the set of "Saturday Night Live." The real action was 100 feet down the hall, in a cramped studio kitchenette, where a knot of stagehands and performers crowded around a small portable television set to catch the evening's prime attraction: the fourth game of the 1990 World Series. Out in California, manager Lou Piniella and his Cincinnati Reds were just six outs away from one of the most stunning upsets in baseball history---a four-game sweep of the juggernaut Oakland A's.
The Head of the Asian gang unit pops a video cassette into his police-issue VCR. The screen erupts. In slo-mo black and white, showers of smoke and glass spray a windowside booth. The patrons scramble for cover. Two waiters root under a counter for shotguns and pistols. One, wearing a ruffled shirt and bow tie, lets the buckshot rip, and the gun's kick knocks him backward. Diners grab their weapons and file outside like a trained SWAT team. A woman straggles behind, swiping a tip from an evacuated table. Seems like they've run through this fire drill plenty of times.
Former Internal Revenue Service agent Liz Pasko figures that her old employers get a bum rap, so she's shedding her wraps to make sure you get the message: An income-tax audit needn't be torture, and all auditors aren't ogres.
It's one of the weekend's most vexing questions. How do you go out and play a hard set of tennis, and then show up looking great for brunch? Well, designers have finally figured out what we all knew: Men look great in athletic clothes. So now we have the best of both worlds: stylish clothes with actual sports benefits. Cycling jackets, for instance, have double-layered fabrics to draw moisture from the body, as well as stretchable spandex side panels to ensure smooth turns. These clothes have inspired a revolution in how we plan our day. Take the fishing vest---very popular this year. Wear it at dawn in a trout stream, then on top of a T-shirt and jeans the rest of the day. Besides looking mighty sharp, it has plenty of pockets to stash keys, wallet, pens and even a bottle of killer cologne in.
Ok Grandma, I'm going to explain it to you one more time. You know when you're watching TV and the commercial comes on? Well, in the commercial, I'm the dog's voice. The dog that says, "Pet Fresh. Woooorks till the cows come home. Pet Fresh!"
You brake for cocktails. Your friends order drinks, and you sit there nursing your exclusion from the fun. But these days, there's no reason to feel glum. You're certainly not alone in watching what you drink---the bartender who serves you and the passengers in your car all appreciate your awareness of the hazards of driving under the influence. And fortunately, the alternatives to alcohol are no longer as dull as club soda. Restaurants and bars are offering a more appealing selection of nonalcoholic drinks to the driver who chooses to have none for the road. A few years ago, the only recourse for a guy with his car keys splayed on a cocktail napkin was to curse Shirley Temple or to fidget while his tablemates savored the serendipitous encounters of sour and sweet in a rocks glass. The new options deliver a kick, and they remove the hardship from responsible drinking.
When the Los Gatos high school newspaper asked students where they wanted to be in ten years, Carrie Jean Yazel, class of '88, answered, "In the pages of Playboy." Seven years ahead of schedule, Miss May comes to us as a wish fulfilled. Since prom night, she has moved from Northern California to San Diego, worked as a model, fallen in and out of love and dazzled the registrar at a local junior college. "I keep changing majors," she says with a giggle. "First it was hotel management, then catering. Then, well, there was my FBI thing." Carrie grins. "I always thought it would be so cool to go undercover and find out all this stuff about perfect strangers!" No stranger to quick changes, Carrie has recently been refurbishing her new apartment in a historic section of San Diego. She has another passion, too: 'I loooove to read." This semester, school assignments have drawn her into books on philosophy, sociology and ("Yuck!") algebra. Private moments find her curled up in a big black chair in her living room, deep into Dickens or Hardy while Beatles tunes play softly in the background. In fact, her Beatlemania ("I could listen to them twenty-four hours a day") doesn't always seem so fab to her beau, a 32-year-old film student and aspiring screenwriter. "He likes classical music, and I haven't quite acquired the taste," she admits. "We're always switching back and forth between radio stations." With the home fires smoldering nicely, Carrie has been pondering her future. Yes, she still models and, yes, she has thought about acting, "but that doesn't really excite me much. There was a joke when I was growing up---everyone in my family would say, 'Oh, Carrie---you'll just get married, have kids and be a mommy!' And the thing is, they were probably right!" Sunny Southern California suits this homemaker-to-be just fine for now, but Carrie sees herself planting roots in a calmer clime---Seattle, maybe, or Spokane. "I'd like to have a bunch of kids and a big house somewhere we could spread out, somewhere the seasons change." Carrie's love of the Pacific Northwest harks back to a childhood spent there. Her drive to raise kids may reflect a desire to be just like her folks; this is a young girl who says her parents are "cool. They've down-to-earth, have-a-good-time people. They party more than I do." She gave Mom and Dad a customized version of her centerfold---with Miss May making a goofy face just for them. And while that was a kick, Carrie takes her new role seriously. "Being in Playboy---it's really the ultimate compliment." She remembers with perfect clarity the moment she learned that her schoolgirl dream was coming true. Soon after test-posing for us, she was visiting---who else?---her parents, who were entertaining some friends at a rented beach house in San Diego. "My dad was in the kitchen, making margaritas," she says. "The phone rang. I answered ... and about a second later, I was jumping up and down, yelling, 'I got it, I got it!' We all had margaritas to celebrate."
Before my Promotion, I was a contract agent for the Company, and at the time, there didn't seem to be much hope of advancement. I had been assigned to Operation Orchid, one of the loonier of the Company's projects. The reports I sent back to the Director had green covers stamped Exdis, which meant that they couldn't be distributed wantonly back at the Company. If Orchid had been a vital assignment that decided the fate of the free world, the reports would have been stamped Nodis, meaning No Distribution. "Burn before reading," if you know what I mean.
Madonna wasn't the only musician to face the censors in 1990, but she turned the controversy into money faster than anyone else. Almost as soon as her video Justify My Love was banned from MTV, she slapped a $9.98 price tag on it and sold the five-minute opus to her fans. Madonna's not called the Material Girl for nothing. She also has stature as an artist. The critics liked her Blond Ambition tour, her album I'm Breathless and her work in Dick Tracy. New Kids on the Block, who made all the top bucks in 1990, are still looking for critical acclaim, and quotes from their mentor Maurice Starr haven't helped. Said Starr, "Anybody, everybody can be a star. ... The most important thing you need to make a hit band is promotion. ... The second thing you need is a pretty good song. ... Third---last and least---what you need to have is talent." Pretty cynical, especially when you look at the New Kids' stats: $74,100,000 in concert-ticket sales, $800,000,000 in retail paraphernalia, the top-grossing music video, Hangin' Tough---Live, and five albums on the Billboard charts in January. They busted their butts 154 days last year to make Starr's marketing dreams come true. It's no wonder they're looking for a little respect---from Starr, at the very least.
It Began with the echo of padlocks. Baseball's bosses, who had long conspired against the workers, faced a mob that was hungry for its pound of flesh. So the owners, like the cast of Night of the Living Dead, locked the gates and boarded up the ticket windows. The players stormed in and ate them alive. Labor beat management in the lockout wars by $280,000,000---the price of the collusion finding against the owners.
Don't touch that dial. You could burn yourself. TV is hotter this year---there's something new between Johnny's golf swing and Arsenio's buzz cut: Fly by Night, planned for Tuesdays on CBS. Sally Monroe runs a charter airline, buzzes treetops, ducks creditors, nearly loses her shirt each week, contrives to survive and fly again. She's played by Shannon Tweed. You know Shannon (blonde, above). She has starred in 13 movies and five TV series since reigning as Playmate of the Year in 1982. Now meet sister Tracy, who co-stars in a Fly by Night episode. They're tall and talented.
Whitney Houston is the world's top-selling female recording artist. Her debut album, "Whitney Houston," sold a record-setting 15,000,000 copies. Together, her first two solo albums sold to more than 28,500,000 fans around the world. The title song of her third album. "I'm Your Baby Tonight." is already a number-one single and the album may challenge the sales of her first two releases. Despite her enormous commercial impact and sold-out concert tours, the 27-year-old New Jersey native, daughter of Gospel and soul great Cissy Houston, has been dogged by criticism and rumors. Some critics attack her music as being "white-washed" and "bland." "There are contradictory rumors about her sex life. Is she gay? Is she dating movie superstar Eddie Murphy or his buddy, television personality Arsenio Hall? Nelson George told us. "Ten years ago, when I interviewed the then-skinny seventeen-year-old Whitney, her chief desire was to meet Michael Jackson. Now Whitney is the star people aspire to meet. She seems determined to set the record straight about who she is, attempting to define herself as a public personality. Sitting in a big chair, her legs stretched out before her, 'Nippy'---as her family calls her---has grown and is still growing."
It's all a matter of taste. When you savor a regular beer, you are tasting the sweetness of barley malt and the flowery dryness of hops. You may not have analyzed it so much, but those are the flavors that combine to tease your palate. When you taste a nonalcoholic brew, both flavors are present in precisely the same quantities.
When it comes to status sneakers, you get what you pay for, and not just in envious looks from the locker-room gang. The hype that has accompanied Reebok's superstar shoe, The Pump, for example, isn't just a lot of hot air. Its innovative sports models provide terrific ankle support. And there's also plenty of cult support for footwear from a French company named Mephisto. According to The New York Times, wearing Mephisto's shoes and boots "is like walking on a bed of feathers." Other quality features to look for include durable fabrics such as polymer mesh and washable leathers. Think of these shoes as a kind of high-tech motivator that will keep your feet moving when your mind is screaming, Time out!