Admittedly, I have given up my dream of being called “Sexiest Man Alive” by anyone other than my incredibly supportive, beautiful and nearsighted wife.
Back 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 had a much more important quality that gave me hope: 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, Matt Damon, Channing Tatum, Chris Hemsworth, Dave Beckham, Ross Murray, etc.
Still, I remained optimistic that, at some point, I would outlive George Clooney and possibly win by default.
But last year, when 39-year-old Beckham was anointed (Don’t bother looking for photos of the anointing, ladies, I meant that figuratively) I realized my dream was probably 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 that causes sexual 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 have going for me is that, in 2012, 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.
It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t true. It only matters that 250 million people read that parody and thought to themselves:
What? HIM?!? Welllll… okay.
But that means pinning my hope on having millions of people being duped into mistaking me for being sexy which, let’s be honest, sounds like a lot of work. In fact, reaching the decision to no longer throw my wet towel into the ring for this competition has proven to be very freeing. I no longer carry the burden of constant public scrutiny about what I wear (that still fits), how often my car is in the gym parking lot (while I’m eating lunch nearby) and whether my beard makes me look younger or older (than George Clooney).
I’d like to point out that I’m writing this before this year’s announcement just to show how much I no longer care about being named “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine. I realize I am openly risking my anointment with this, but I think we can all agree when it comes to the size of my risk, it’s a small one.
Besides, being the “sexiest man alive” in the eyes of my wife is the only thing that matters.
Which reminds me, I really need to call and have her eye exam postponed again…
Ned Hickson is a nationally syndicated humor columnist with News Media Corporation and the editor of Siuslaw News. He is also the author of Humor at the Speed of Life, a collection of more than a decade of humor columns; and Pearls of Writing Wisdom: From 16 shucking years as a columnist, a writer’s survival guide. Both are available from Port Hole Publishing.