I was but a young lad when Hall of Famer Jim Palmer began doing print ads for Jockey underwear — ads that presented Palmer to the world as the thinking man’s beefcake. Survey them, and you’ll find in his gaze not the slightest hint of embarrassment. He’s not exactly reveling in the moment, but he exudes the sense that there’s nothing at all untoward about going through one’s day clothed in nothing more than decorative grippers. As it turns out, he was right.
I would like to think that what follows is the exemplar of the genre. Please quaff deeply …
His pallor is a bit on the “nuclear fallout” side — a nod, I am quite sure, to the mounting Cold War tensions of the day. The place he went to tan, no doubt, had “parlor” in its name. He is lifting weights but not heavy weights. After all, one must remain lithe and pliable if one is going to make love to America. One must also remain quick and agile in case America’s husband comes home at the wrong hour.
The chest hair is ample enough to suggest the thumping masculinity just beneath, but it is sparse enough not to suggest a lower-evolved sort. Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull or Riunite on ice? Jim Palmer serves the latter. The body wave atop him? Thank you, Wella Balsam shampoo and asbestos-lined styling dryer with attachments.
And what’s he looking at? Perhaps a second paramour has arrived. “What are you doing here?” Jim Palmer asks. “As long as you’re here, please join us. Would you like some Riunite?”
The massage oils are imported. Sometimes, he warms them in a fondue pot.