Humor by Greg Schwem

The People magazine lay on the kitchen island along with a stack of bills and Christmas catalogues. I glanced quickly at the cover before pushing it into my wife's pile.

"Well, it's official. Bradley Cooper is the Sexiest Man Alive," I said with a yawn.

"Go ahead," my wife responded. "Start trashing him the same way you do every man who wins the title. I only hope poor Ryan Reynolds (2010), Johnny Depp (2009) and Hugh Jackman (2008) have recovered from your vicious verbal barbs."

"I'm not trashing them. It's the 'alive' reference that bugs me."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that word doesn't pop up in other rankings. When the Cardinals won the World Series, nobody said they were the 'Best Baseball Team Alive.' Forbes magazine annually ranks the world's wealthiest individuals but the editors stopped short of calling Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu the 'Richest Guy Alive.' When Dan Shechtman received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this year, nobody referred to him as the 'Smartest Man Alive.' "

"Maybe he isn't."

"He discovered quasicrystals. Sounds pretty smart to me."

"So what's your point?"

"My point is that there may be somebody out there who is sexier than Bradley Cooper."

"You obviously didn't see 'The A-Team.' Woof woof." She added, "Look, it's just a figure of speech."

"But People magazine is a national news publication. They owe it to the readers to back up their claims, especially when they're splashed all over the cover. I mean, there are over 3 billion living men on the planet. Did this Cooper specimen really beat out 3 BILLION other guys?"

"Some of those 'guys' are wearing diapers and riding around in car seats."

"Yes but how do we know that there isn't some strapping 28-year-old hunk living in the frozen tundra of Alaska who outranks Bradley Boy? I'll bet there is. His name is Branson."

"There is no hunk named Branson living in the Alaskan tundra."

"You don't know that. Neither does People magazine. Until its crack investigative journalism team can prove otherwise, we have to assume he exists. "

"Whatever. I'm sure he's not as sexy as Bradley Cooper."

"Oh, really? The People article says Cooper is a good cook. Big deal. Branson can kill a caribou with a bow and arrow, roast the meat over an open flame, and stitch a ridiculously warm and stylish floor-length coat with the leftover pelt."

"He can't do that," said my wife, whose breathing was rapidly increasing.

"Oh, yes he can. According to People, Cooper rides a motorcycle. What would you rather do? Put your arms around Cooper as he squires you through smoggy LA on his noisy, gas-spewing Harley or snuggle up with Branson while he navigates a dog sled through unspoiled outdoor terrain?"

My wife's eyes had glazed over. I moved in for the kill.

"Then you'll return to one of the several log cabins that Branson owns, thanks to his phenomenal success in the Alaskan real estate market. He will light a scented candle, illuminating the room in a romantic amber glow as he whispers sweet Italian nothings in your ear."

"He speaks Italian?" my wife said dreamily. "Why?"

"You can ask him while he's rubbing your feet with his thickly callused hands. The same hands, I might add, that swing the ax and chop the firewood for those long, cold Alaskan nights. Of course, you won't even feel the cold. You'll be too busy focusing on the caribou coat that he is slowly unbuttoning, revealing an eight-pack of abs..."


"I'm not trying to win," I said. "I'm just saying that Cooper should be careful before he accepts the World's Sexiest Man Alive trophy, if such a thing exists. Better yet, maybe People magazine should have an actual contest, instead of just anointing some celebrity who clearly doesn't need any more publicity."

"Fine. Go ahead and suggest that," she said before leaving the room.

It may have been my imagination but, from the corner of my eye, I think I saw her pull 'The A-Team' DVD from the cabinet and throw it in the trash.

Humorist Greg Schwem is a stand-up comedian and author of Text Me If You're Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad

Humor & Funny Stories - Humor by Greg Schwem - The Sexiest Man Alive is Out There Somewhere

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