Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Friday, September 10, 2010



All my life I've pondered a difficult question: How do blind people read PLAYBOY MAGAZINE? Sure, it's easy to get a Charles Dickens novel read to you on an audio tape. Or one could read the LA Times in braille. Both would be pretty similar to actually reading a book or looking at a newspaper. But PLAYBOY is all about the pages themselves. Sure, a blind person could hold the magazine...but it just wouldn't be the same!

Well, thanks to volunteers at the TAPING FOR THE BLIND FOUNDATION in Houston, folks can ...for the first time ever...get verbal descriptions of Playboy Magazine. A local DJ for a classic rock radio station named SUZI HANKS was approached about the project. She was happy to use her, deep, sultry voice for something other than announcing yet another classic from LED ZEPPELIN. And the results have been amazing. It's one of the most requested items from the foundation's catalog. But she denies trying to 'sex-up' her takes. Says Hanks: "I just read it, and I'm a woman. That's pretty much all the sexy."

She doesn't read the magazine cover-to-cover. She begins with the articles and the jokes. She also describes the cartoons and reads the phony 'letters to the editor.' But sooner or later, she gets to the centerfold. Okay, Okay, I'll give you a sampling:

"She's a Latina, brunette with dark, chocolate eyes. She has long curly brown hair. In the first photo, she is sitting in the ocean. She has a very large grin on her face, pink lipstick. She has a small tattoo right over the small of her back, over the dimple area, that appears to be some sort of tribal design. It is red. Her legs are kind of crossed. Behind her shoulder, down past her arm, you can see her breast peeking out. There are no tan lines at all. She is not wearing any nail polish or jewelry, or...anything!"

Ahem! When asked later why she mentioned the nail polish, Hanks replied: "Sometimes it's all they have on!"

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