Naked Ambitions The quest for a new Swimsuit theme calls for drastic measures

February 25, 2003

Not to alarm you, but this may be the last Swimsuit Issue you ever
get.

No, seriously. We're tapped out of ideas for this thing--blanked,
on E. We've done every swimsuit theme imaginable. We've done the
3-D thing, the 1920s thing, the Greek goddess thing, the
futuristic thing. We've even put athletes and their wives in
swimsuits. You might not believe this, but one theme under
consideration is Cheryl Tiegs: Sexy and 70!

We've got to do something. I mean, we can't just put one of these
out with the cover line: Tall Women Wearing Not Much More Than an
Oven Mitt and leave it at that. There's got to be some
respectable reason that it comes to your mailbox, so that your
wife or girlfriend won't beat you about the head with it as soon
as she sees the cover. It's got to at least pretend to be about
swimsuit fashion and sporty resorts. You know: On the Go in Pago
Pago!

We only bother with the themes for the women, of course. Guys
don't give a cheeseball what the theme of the Swimsuit Issue is
every year, as long it's not The Hottest New Burkas! But you need
some fashion and travel or the thing starts looking like
something Hef laid out in his grotto. But, honestly, what
swimsuit themes are left? At this point we're down to:

--Naked Models Discuss Swimsuits They Once Wore!

--The Models Shoot the Photographers!

--Cute Wading-Pool Baby Pictures of the Models! (Hey, you wanted
more topless shots, right?)

--The Anti--Skin Cancer Issue: Every Picture Shot at Night!

Or how about this? When the Swimsuit Issue comes out, one of the
models delivers it to your house!

Uh, Mom? Heidi Klum's at the door. She says Dad ordered her.

We've got another big problem. There are no new kinds of
swimsuits to show. We've shown models in suits made of bottle
caps, cigar bands, cactus, hot chili peppers, paper money, coins,
sand, seaweed, chains, lemons and coffee beans. We've featured
swimsuits made of fishnet and swimsuits made of fish. We've done
bikinis, monokinis, one-pieces, and no-pieces, when we painted
suits on the models. All the stylists have left are suits of
armor, suits made of live woolly caterpillars and a swimsuit made
from a single Taco Bell steak quesadilla. We could show models in
lawsuits, I suppose. Katiana wears the latest Al Davis civil
action! We could have models eat the suits and then reveal them
by X-ray.

Another problem is, we're out of places to set the thing. We've
shot it everywhere on the planet that's warm. We've shot it
everywhere on the planet that's pretty. We've even shot in places
that weren't especially warm or pretty--Greenland, for instance.
What's left? Medicine Hat's Tanning Salons: You'll Flip!

Lord knows we've shot on practically every island known to man.
We've done the Hawaiian Islands, the Seychelles islands, the
Caribbean islands, Christmas Island and the Falkland Islands.
According to our research there are only three islands we haven't
shot on: Fire Island, Rikers Island and Gilligan's Island.

Actually, that's not bad. We rescue the old Gilligan's Island set
out of some back lot and put it back up. Then we have, say,
Rebecca Romijn-Stamos lying languidly in Gilligan's hammock. Or
Daniela Pestova snuggling up seductively to the Professor's
radio. Or maybe put Marisa Miller (left) in Mary Ann's old
polka-dot bikini. That ought to bring the cannibals out.

It's sad, but these are the locations for our next three shoots:

--We'll See More of Ya in Peoria!

--Keokuk, Iowa: Hidden Paradise

--YWCA Pools: Lapping Up Life!

Thankfully, I have the perfect solution. With this idea we won't
need a special theme or a perfect location. And we won't need to
worry about getting the latest swimsuits. We simply put out the
usual assortment of women who would make a Marine bite a hole in
a tank but slap a regular SI cover on it. Something boring enough
to melt lead. Something like Baseball's Balk Rule: An Exhaustive
Report. And then put Bud Selig on the cover. Problem solved.

What woman is ever going to open that?

COLOR PHOTO: STEWART SHINING

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)