But when George Clooney got the title a second time in 2006, I was inspired to continue my quest. Sure, the fact that he is ruggedly handsome, square-jawed and extremely fit were factors to consider — assuming you’re into those kinds of things — but he has a much more important quality, which is that he’s actually WAY older than me.
By a good five years.
Which is almost a decade, really.
So, given our conclusion that George Clooney is practically a Centenarian, I was feeling pretty good about my chances.
Even after being overlooked for Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman and Matt Damon, I remained optimistic that, at some point, I would outlive George Clooney and possibly win by default.
But this year, when Channing Tatum was crowned, I realized my dream was over. I can’t compete with that. Not without surgery. Or, at the very least, fish oil injections to loosen my hips. I also came to the realization that my Look, that ability to set your face into an expression causing intrigue in women and envy in men, had faded into something that was more effective in reminding my kids to scrape their plates after dinner.
In fact, the only thing I still had going for me is that I can still fit into the jeans I wore eight years ago. It doesn’t matter that the waist is so tight my spleen is temporarily relocated behind my ears. Or that the contents of my pockets look like they’ve been vacuum packed…
“Is that a 1964 penny?”
“How long until the impression on your leg goes away?”
“Depends. One time I had a Susan B. Anthony dollar that lasted a month.”
“I hear you. I’ve still got a bruise from my car key — see?”
“Wow, you’re good.”
Given that a quarter of a billion Chinese people believed that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Eun was declared “Sexiest Man Alive” after a parody appeared in The Onion newspaper, I might still have a shot.
It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t true. It only matters that 250 million people saw the parody and thought to themselves:
WHAT?!? Well… okay.
This gives men like me hope that someday millions of people might be duped into mistaking us for being sexy.
This hope illustrates a fundamental difference between how men and women think.
Women, by their very nature, are theoretical thinkers. For example, just because fitting into the same jeans they wore in their early 30s is now like trying to stuff eight pounds of hamburger into an espresso cup, they believe, “theoretically,” those jeans no longer fit.
Men, on the other hand, think in terms of practicality, i.e., if we can “practically” button our jeans without losing all feeling in our legs, then they obviously still fit. It doesn’t matter that our mid section is hanging over our belt like an over proofed dinner roll.
What matters is that we are in our jeans, and therefore “practically” in the same physical shape we were during our early 30s. Assuming, of course, that we were shaped like an inverted milk jug.
That said, I am going to begin my campaign to be next year’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”
I will be starting in North Korea, just as soon as I get the feeling back in my legs.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his blog at www. nedhickson.wordpress.com)