Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dreams a Skunk Can't Leeve Entwined

A friend and I were riding up an escalator that led to the theater that was playing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and said friend mentioned, however casually, that it blew his mind to think that it had been nearly twenty years since the previous installment hit the sliver screen. He was right about that, just as he was correct about the absurdity of the vine swinging sequence, but what his words really did were remind me of images, opinions, and old video tapes that had been stashed away within the cerebral cellar, stuff that rarely gets cleaned up for a resurgence.

Nothing to see here, folks. No memories worth mentioning, but I'll mention a few anyway, if only to feed your luscious ire.

Twenty years ago, during the crisp May of 1988, is when I acquired my first issue -of four total throughout the course of my life- of Playboy magazine. I couldn't tell you precisely why that issue was the inaugural experience, insomuch that I hadn't selected it for any particularly striking reason. The cover lacked a beautiful woman, and it was mostly white, except for the headlines, some painted eyes and succulent, rosy lips. Knowing what I know now, I would have consciously chosen such an issue to be my first, but at the time, it must have been due to preternatural factors, dumb luck, or my inability to discern quality from crap. Whatever the case may be, the snowy white issue was to be my first encounter of many kinds.

I'll leave it to your imagination as to how I procured the magazine, as I was most certainly under the age of eighteen; but do me the courtesy of overestimating my ability to haggle, if only for a brief, single instance. (You owe me that much for the time I almost offered you my spare ticket to Lollapalooza, douche.)

I remember two things about that issue of Playboy, the first being the interview with Don King, and yeah, that's mostly etched into my brain because of the pontificator's ridiculous hairstyle, but you understand such things. The second vivid memory is that of the centerfold, one Diana Lee, an exquisite specimen of femininity. If nothing else, I'll freely admit that Ms. Lee was the first person of non-caucasian persuasion that I had ever seen in the nude. Up until that point, my main exposure to unclothed women stemmed from my adoration of horror movies and, as you once assured me, slasher films were adamant about showing gratuitous nudity that satisfied the genre's core audience of young, white males; so white women were all we got. I'm not complaining, as the nubile, bicycle-riding twins from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter deserve a post all their own, but that's beside the point.*

Twenty years is a long time to remember a centerfold from an otherwise mediocre issue of a gentleman's magazine, but her name remains, one effigy adrift in a sea of beautiful women from bygone eras. It doesn't surface often and, to be honest, doesn't elicit ravenous longing on my part, but it's inescapably ingrained within my psyche, much like Kurt Russell was via Big Trouble in Little China and The Thing. It shouldn't surprise you that I'm lackadaisically nostalgic like that.

Diana Lee is probably a forty-something divorcee with 2.7 kids at this point, but that doesn't mean she's been entirely forgotten by at least one silly boy turned skunk, and that's good enough for me.

Psychology Major: So this explains your relocation to Asia. You're so predictable.

Kmart: Maybe it does, or maybe it ruined my perceptions of certain females, in that nothing will physically compare to the fond, pristine remembrance held by a disheveled lad.

Idealjetsam: A bit of both, I'd venture. Don't sweat it, son; I've been there, blown that.

Psychology Major: True.

Kmart: Actually, I just have a latent crush on Don King.

Psychology Major: That's more like it.

Denz: Am I the only one that thinks he's bullshitting us on this?


* I need not mention Amy Steel, but she deserves some love.


Anonymous said...

Jesus, don't you kids sneak Playboys from your dad or uncle's rooms anymore? You gotta get them other ways?

The 70s were so long ago now...

Kmart said...

I don't have time for your accurate, insightful commentary.