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Mike Redmond Column

Please refer to the Mike Redmond Column main page for columns published in other issues.
Mike can be contacted via e-mail at




 Down, Boy! Hefner Set to Wed Again

Hello, class. Today we shall take up the subject of Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris, those two crazy kids in love.

Well, actually, make that one crazy kid and one even crazier geriatric.

In case you haven’t been keeping score, here’s the deal: Crystal, a blonde of the type so often seen on Hef’s arm these last few years, is the 2009 December 2009 Playmate of the Month and an entire 24 years old. Hefner, also known as “Hef,” also known as “Make Sure There’s A Defibrillator In Every Room,” is 84.

Let’s do the math, shall we? 84 minus 24 equals Old Enough To Be Your Late Great Grandfather.

But love knows no boundaries and age is nothing but a number and all that kind of nonsense. Wedding bells will soon be ringing and if the groom turns up his hearing aid, he might even be able to hear them.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Mike Redmond, you are just jealous because Hef Hugher has a 24 year old fiancée and you do not.”

And to that I say “Of course I am.” No, wait. To that I say “Are you kidding? I have SHOES older than that person.”

Look at it this way. At 24 that person has likely never used a dial telephone, never changed a television channel manually, never known a world without microwave popcorn, and most importantly never known Playboy magazine when Hugh Hefner was actually someone who deserved to be taken seriously.

I realize this skirts dangerous close to the old “I just get it for the articles” lie told by every man who was ever caught “reading” Playboy magazine, but the fact of the matter is there once was a time when you COULD just read Playboy for the articles thanks to Hefner’s unerring skill as an editor.

In a way, I owe my living to Playboy. In those pages, perused with feigned nonchalance while hanging out after school at Dee’s Newsstand in LaGrange, Indiana, I discovered the work of the author Jean Shepherd. Of course, I also discovered Misses September through May, 1969 to 1972, but it was Shepherd who made the more lasting impression.

Really. I can’t say as I recall a single one of those Playmates, but Shepherd fortified my desire to become a writer and, eventually, a humorist. Which is not to compare myself with Shepherd. For one thing, he actually made money at it.

Later in life I happened into a large collection of Playboy magazines dating back to the late 1950s. In those I came across the Playboy Philosophy – Hefner’s own work outlining his belief in free speech, the separation of church and state, civil rights and other matters having nothing to do with 36-24-36.

It seems so quaint, maybe even naïve, in these days of instant downloadable porn and 24-hour political invective -- girlie pictures and reasoned discourse together in one magazine.

That was Hugh Hefner as I prefer to see him – as a pajama-clad, pipe-smoking, Pepsi-drinking intellectual with a genius for finding talent, considerable talent of his own, a belief in civil liberties and a healthy single man’s interest in s-e-x.

Now he’s just some weird old dude with a babe on his arm … for all we know, propping him up. You just can’t take him seriously anymore. What a shame. He has become a caricature of his satyric (as opposed to satiric) self.

Marrying someone 60 years his junior? It reminds me of another old joke: At his age, the man shouldn’t even be buying green bananas.




© 2011 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.