Nov/Dec 1999 Miscellany

George Clooney: The Sexiest Man Alive

by Jay Walsh

You gotta be an actor if you want to be the sexiest man alive. With the exception of John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1988, every other sexiest man alive has been a Hollywood hunk. Although in 1993 Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford were the sexiest couple alive, but he's an actor too, and I'm pretty sure she'd like to be one.

So what does it take to be sexy? For starters you need your own maneuver. George Clooney's is called the Clooney Maneuver. People Magazine describes it as, "...that little head tilt he does when his chin dips down and his eyes drop to the floor. Then, Wham! Those eyes are back, full of mischief and magic, atop a sly half grin that all but announces, 'Yep, I'm trouble, but you love me anyway.'" I gotta get one of those. Maybe not a whole maneuver, maybe just a step, or a motion.

My mom just called. I asked if she saw the magazine. She was surprised I read People. I don't, but this sexiest man alive thing has really got my interest. It's such a statement. Alive is a powerful word. It's down to earth, people use it everyday, yet it has an air of excitement, like anything could happen.

A Sexiest Man Deceased issue would never be as popular. There'd be no potential.

Mom didn't have much to say. She lives in Michigan. It's almost always cold there.

There's a picture of George Clooney's mom in his sexiest man alive article. She's standing next to his dad who says about his son's sexy status, "No one stays this hot for long." Not very optimistic. It's impressive his parents are still together. I bet loyalty is sexy. Sexy parents too.

Mom told me my brother's wife moved back in with him. She's from Germany, which could be exotic, except she's an alcoholic. So is my brother. They got married this summer in Manhattan's City Hall. They paid some guy on the street ten bucks to take a picture of them after the wedding. It's a pretty good picture. They look happy. I wonder what bar they went to for their honeymoon.

When I heard he got married I believed it. I believe anything I hear about my brother. That's the way it works with alcoholics. I don't trust a word he says but I'm ready to accept any news about him. He's predictably unpredictable, not very mysterious. He does have dark skin, however.

I just got back from the supermarket where I got really annoyed. I tried to keep my cool because it's a good trait. It was your typical too-many-items-in-the-express lane scenario. I live in Boulder, Colorado. Home of Jon Benet. I know a girl who dressed up as her for Halloween. She wore a big black hat, a feathered boa, and bathing suit. She got a lot of attention. I told her it was just as bad as telling Princess Di jokes.

Boulder is also the home of people who get stoned before shopping. A guy and a girl fitting this description held up the express lane. They were buying stuff to make a vegetarian pizza. They had a ready made crust and a million baggies holding just enough produce. Each bag had to be weighed. They giggled every time they pulled something from their basket. The guy turned to me and said, "Hope you're not in a rush."

Driving away from the store I saw them in the car behind me. I stopped at the parking lot's exit and watched them in my rearview mirror. It was a one way exit so they couldn't pull around me. After a while they stopped giggling. I continued to sit there. Finally the guy walked over to me and said, "Why aren't you moving?" I said, "Because I'm not in a rush." I wasn't sure if it was the right thing. Maybe I should have tilted my head and grinned before looking up at him.

All these sexiest men alive are described as being the boy next door. Are any of your neighbors in movies? Does James Bond come to your block party in black tie? My neighbor is an overweight woman from Kansas who has a daughter with Down's Syndrome. I can hear her screaming. When it's really bad she throws herself against the walls.

My friend Sam has a cousin who's got a weird thing going on with Tom Cruise. Every time Tom has a new movie Sam's cousin imitates the character: The Color of Money made him wear black t-shirts and carry around a pool cue; he went to bartending school after Cocktail; he wore Ray-Bans and an aviator jacket for a long time after Top Gun; and so on. I don't know what he's trying to accomplish.

Every sexiest man alive succeeds without trying. It's their lack of effort that makes them sexy.

In People's article there's an old picture of George Clooney with his prom date. The girl's not that hot but he looks good. Prom nights practically announce trouble but people love them anyway. I don't have any prom pictures. The girl's mother had the camera. We broke up before she got the pictures developed.

In 1992 Nick Nolte was named the sexiest man alive. "He arrived in his own time, and if we didn't like it we could go hug a drum." 1995 was Brad Pitt's turn. People said, "...proclaiming Pitt to be devastatingly handsome was a rite that united us as a people." Then, only a year later Denzel Washington got the nod. "It was a sign of the times that we could say you didn't have to look like Brad Pitt to be the sexiest man alive." That's one progressive magazine. My point is, I bet you didn't know the sexiest man alive is such a tumultuous topic.

So I'm letting this forty-two year old woman have an affair with me. She's fifteen years older but she's really pretty. Besides, I've always been curious. When I told my dad he was so proud. I pointed her out to him in a restaurant. She knew we'd be there and came to spy. My step-mother bubbled with approval. I thought they'd be upset but instead they felt justified. This woman has three kids and lives with her husband. I told my step-mother sometimes I feel guilty. She said not to, these things happen all the time.

My sister's in med school. No drinking problem there. Last year she was seeing a doctor who was married. When she was a teenager she resented our step-mother for being the other woman. Then she went and did the same thing. I told her she was a hypocrite. Now I have to keep my mouth shut. There's something to be said about admitting when you're wrong.

I've pretty much stopped arguing with my sister anyway. Now that she's a doctor she seems to always be right.

Apparently 1997 is a breakthrough year for sexy men. People has decided to name ten more. The article is titled, "10 Sexy Men." "It's a dazzling gallery of achievers, chosen as the sexiest female pulse raisers in their field." You might think this levels the playing field against the dynasty of actors. Don't get your hopes up. One is Jerry Linenger, Sexiest Explorer. He had to spend 133 days in orbit to get his celestial babe magnet status. Another is Prince Felipe of Spain, Sexiest Royal. Need I say more? Your best shot is taking George Strait's title. He's the Sexiest Country Singer. Who knows what an oversized belt buckle and a little denim could do for you ?

I'm sending my brother the Sexiest Man Alive article. Not for inspiration, although nothing else has worked. The article is for his wife. I'm hoping she'll fall victim to the Clooney Maneuver and leave my brother for good. With her gone he might have a chance. He'll be upset and probably blame me, but I'll tell him everyone loves an underdog. Think of the potential. He could be the Sexiest Recovering Alcoholic.

Getting a date with the forty-two year old was a lot easier than I expected. She doesn't wear a wedding ring but admits to being married. She's been with the same man for twenty years. I've been seeing her for a few months. When she's with me it like she's on vacation. I know her attraction stems from who I'm not, rather than who I am. Maybe that's my strong point.


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