copyright Bill Widener 2000

Where the Boys Are

If we gave men perpetual blowjobs we'd rule the world...And at least our hands would be free to greet dignitaries.

-Sex and the City

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm BRAGGING when I say this is the best job EVER.

I said that in December, when we did a cover story on doughnuts.

And I meant it.

It's a great gig when you can come to work and get paid to taste and rate doughnuts.

I love doughnuts. Doughnuts make me happy. We got letters for months. Mail makes me happy (as an editor).

And yet, it just keeps getting better... like with this week's Bachelor Auction.

Because if there's one thing I love more than doughnuts, it's men. A man who would feed me doughnuts would be even better.

I love all kinds of men. Tall. Long hair or short hair. Athletic or skinny. Artsy or professional. Sporty or sedentary. Rich or poor. I especially like men I don't know very well.

"Tall" (and I'll just leave my definition of "tall" as ambiguous, so as not to unduly offend anyone) and "funny" are about the only two things I unequivocally insist on. I have my reasons.

Over dinner one night last summer, my friend Phoef was insisting that a height requirement was unbelievably shallow (and admittedly it is, but I know plenty of guys who have requirements that relate to breasts, weight, thighs, ass, and hip measurements, so PLEASE: spot me this!).

As a rebuttal, I asked her to name ONE exception to my height rule (which I've only broken two or three times) who had worked out. JUST ONE!

She thought a minute and said, "Well.... none of the TALL ones worked out either."

I bring this up, as a roundabout way of getting to the idea behind the bachelor auction.

The idea was to 1. dispute the misconception that all of the good men in this town are married, gay, or already living with someone. I knew hordes of single men who were just wilting on the vine (so to speak), as did most of my girlfriends. 2. When People Magazine located not one, but TWO, of their prospective NATIONAL list of most eligible bachelors, via Ace, we thought we might be well-positioned to locate the catch of the county. (If you read last week's mail, you already know how BIG-HEADED we are.) And 3. We'd been looking for another charity project to take on since the Holiday Party CD. Hence, we came up with the "Buy a Bachelor, Save a Puppy" idea. (All Auction proceeds will benefit Woodstock Animal Foundation, promoting animal rescue, adoption, and low-cost spay/neuter programs.)

We've gotten a few fairly good-natured complaints about the Project. One is from guys who say, "it's sexist" as in, "you'd never let US auction off GIRLS." (Maybe not, but surely there are enough strip clubs, wet t-shirt contests, boob bars, and mud-wrestling events to meet the community's need to see women treated as chattel.)

The second complaint is from women who say, "it's sexist," as in "buying a man is a blow to feminism." To which I can only say, please stop using the word "blow" around here. Let's just say we had to call in a LOT of favors to assemble these date packages, and it's kind of a touchy subject. (Let me also direct feminists to this week's A&E Lead, devoted to the Vagina Monologues, for those who appreciate a study in contrasts. The cast told me they'd forgive me for not giving them the cover if I'd change the slogan to "Buy a Bachelor, Save a Pussy," because apparently, they are all cat lovers.")

The third complaint was from my girlfriends, who argued: NO GUYS are gonna come to this!!! I insisted they will, because we ALL "know" Boys are better at math than Girls. They know that if there are only TEN men who'll be auctioned off in a room that has HUNDREDS of girls in it, all of a sudden, their odds of getting lucky just improved exponentially.

When all's said and done, I hope we'll have raised a lot of money for a cause that is especially near and dear to my heart.

The truth is, I WISH I could take more credit for this event. Or at least that I'd had more time to be involved with it. To hear my friends tell it, you'd think I just lounge around my office all day with a harem of bachelors, commanding, "Boy, boy! Pit me an olive, peel me a grape!!" while I periodically survey the new arrivals and advise the staff, "Have him washed and brought to my quarters at once!" followed at the end of the day by the inevitable, "Bring me another one! This one's burst!!"

In reality (sadly), nothing could be further from the truth.

I have had almost zero involvement with Bluegrass Bachelors. It's been ALL Eloise, all the time. She has worked herself to death, and deserves ALL the credit. On behalf of her extremely charming boyfriend, I've tried to make sure she hasn't had TOO much fun - but I'm fighting a losing battle. She's a born Project Director.

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to far too many people to name here (many of them are included in a sidebar, after the bachelor profiles).

But most importantly, I'd like to personally thank the Bachelors - for being such great sports, for a great cause.

Of course, I'd like to thank SOME of them more PERSONALLY than others. Which is why I'm bringing my checkbook on Friday night.

(Which is also why the staff here has personally invited all the vice presidents of our bank - Greg, Greg, and Greg - to ensure that I don't squander their payroll on my next ten Saturday nights. Come to think of it, I guess maybe that's why our Landlords RSVP'd so fast. And the Accountants...And the Printer...)