ESPN Magazine is an intensely homoerotic publication.
I’ve never been a sports guy, but the same cannot be said for the genially conservative middle-aged men who work in my office. The conversations they have with one another will occasionally waft over in my direction, carrying post-game recaps and playoff predictions like whiffs of exotic but unappetizing cooking. Listening to them gabble at one another is like eating in a Mexican restaurant and listening to the waitstaff, hearing one word in forty which I recognize from an 8th grade immersion class.
The company’s owners are of that ilk, and it is they (presumably) who outfit the bathroom with a cardboard box full of reading material. Ordinarily I ignore that box entirely and go straight for my cellphone like a civilized human being, but my phone shit the bed over the weekend and I’m still waiting on the replacement to show up. So today I sat myself on the can, and started rifling through the box for something to read.
That box contains maybe two dozen magazines of variable vintage, and while there can be found among them an edition of Newsweek (from 2014) and, inexplicably, a copy of Better Homes and Gardens, the bulk of bathroom reading catalogue is sports magazines. Despairing for a better alternative, I picked up the one on top, and it looked like this:
It’s a surreal experience to be at work, wearing a button-down, shitting out last night’s 7-11 taquitos and having that half-bearded boy toy gaze longingly back at me from where I hold the magazine at arm’s length, brow furrowed, while I try and figure out whether or not this is some kind of weird joke.
I mean, come on. It can’t just be me. That’s a come-hither if ever I saw one.
Just look at it.