Tuesday, January 7, 2014


When I was growing up, my best friend lived right across the street from me.

It was as solid of a friendship as a kid could hope for. We both loved the Yankees and baseball cards. We worshipped STAR WARS, played night games like Capture the Flag and Kick the Can with other neighborhood kids, had sleepovers and re-enacted a scene from WAYNE’S WORLD for the 5th & 6th grade talent show. We built a clubhouse in the back room or his garage and turned the space behind that same garage under a huge pine tree into a little hut.

Every week during football season, we’d each put a dollar a in a little jar at my house. At the end of the season, we’d have about forty bucks and my mom would drive us to the grocery store so we could spend it all on junk food for our own private Super Bowl party. He loved Michael Jackson a bit too much for my taste, and both of his parents were habitual chain smokers so he always smelled like stale cigarettes, but we got along great.

Most importantly though, his dad had a subscription to Playboy.

I knew what Playboy was before I met him, but I’d never actually seen one. This was well before the Internet and long before girls posted nudes (with their head cropped off, of course) on Tumblr or sent sexy texts. An old, passed-around copy of Playboy was all we had.

His dad knew we looked at it. How could he not? As most houses did in the 80’s, they had a place right in the front room where all the magazines lived until it was time to throw them out. Along with Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, People and a few others that his parents subscribed to, Playboy was left right out in plain sight. We’d always sneak some peeks while the current issue was lying around, but the real trick was finding ways to keep them.

One of Jonathan’s chores was to take out the garbage and every few weeks and that would usually include a stack of magazines that his parents didn't want anymore. Everything went right into the trash cans outside because no one had figured out that recycling might be a good idea in the long run.

Jonathan and I hatched a plan.

Whenever the Playboy ended up in the stack to be thrown out, Jonathan would carefully remove it once he got outside. If his mom wasn't in the kitchen or dining room, which both had windows overlooking the driveway where the garbage was and backyard, he’d dump the magazines, take the coveted Playboy and hide it.

Sometimes it had to be hidden in the bushes just outside the back door until Jonathan could get back outside, but sometimes he’d drop the trash while his parents were watching TV in separate bedrooms. In that case, he’d be able to sneak either into the garage clubhouse or the hut and place the magazine in its intended spot. We had an old Lego carrying case about the size of a briefcase that held all of our porn. At first it was in the back of the garage, but that flooded and ruined a whole stack of them. We figured they’d be safer in the hut, but forgot that even in the summer it still rains. Another stack was ruined not long after.

Hiding physical magazines full of naked girls is really hard when you’re 10 years old.

One issue that we took the best care of was June 1994—one of Jenny McCarthy’s centerfold appearances. We were mesmerized by her in every possible way. It’s probably the issue that we held on to the longest—with one of the Pamela-Anderson-in-her-prime issues coming in at a close second.

Those magazines lived in that Lego briefcase for a long time and they become some of our most prized possessions right next to my Don Mattingly rookie, 60+ Bo Jackson card collection and still-in-the-package Princess Leia in Bounty Hunter Gear toy. Only I couldn't really show the magazines to anyone other than our friend Nick, who we let in on our secret stash when he moved up from West Valley.

To this day, that stretch of my childhood where Jenny McCarthy was all I thought about is the only time that I have ever given a single fuck about anything to do with Jenny McCarthy.

1 comment:

  1. That same lego box has the same issues that were left in the garage. Jenny is on top of the pile still.