Holy shit! The fossilized magazine helmed by the oldest geezer (see: corpse that reeks of stale cat urine and utter expiration) with an erection, Hugh Hefner is finally coming to the realization that no one really cares about Playboy the magazine anymore, and the airbrushed, vaguely nude women that sparsely grace their poorly printed pages.

I can say I've honestly never read or bought a Playboy. The lure of celebrities baring all never appealed enough for me to pay $8 and some change. Plus, I'm familiar with the internet and all of the FREE, much more revealing offerings it bestows (or so I've heard...angel baby here).

So when my editor says, look at this news story about Playboy and write about it, well, my first objective was to obtain a Playboy. I set forth on a mission to Exotica to obtain the latest issue (which happens to be the college issue). I really wanted to stop at Kanpai and eat a few sushi rolls first, but dammit, I had a goal and I was too broke to enjoy Kanpai's deliciousness.

Into Exotica Red and I go, and we made quick for the magazine stand. Shit, there are still A LOT of triple-x print rags available. I guess perverts that don't have internet access or DVD players (or gasp...VCRs) still buy smut rags...shoulder shrug. Anyway, there are a shelves of explicit rags. I saw one called Buttman. Reminded me of Duffman from The Simpsons...OH YEAHHH!!!

We located the Playboy and paid. Mission accomplished. After we ran our errands and stopped by PG later that evening to hear some interesting music, I set upon my goal of seeing what the heralded and classic Playboy was all about.

Besides poorly drawn and unamusing cartoons, there were three spreads with nude women, and I use "nude" very loosely. Some broad with crappy pictures in the sunset and shadows, graced the centerfold. She's Miss October, which sucked, and then I stumbled upon the touted college girls, which were featured from the Big 12. I may have not attended a Big 12 university, but I went to Ball State, and I don't recall any girls looking like the ones in this magazine. I think it's a sham. Alas, this was also a letdown. There were a couple of nipples and one camel toe that popped out undisguised. Big deal.

Playboy

So naked chicks aside, lets get to the meat and potatoes of the Playboy---the content. Annnd it SUCKS. There was a long-winded interview with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whom I enjoy, but Playboy even managed to make that boring and barely readable. There's also just a calamity of other hodgepodge shit thrown together. A style page featuring some wretched boots I don't think any man would wear, a bunch of useless raw data stats, terrible advertisements that are supposed to appeal to high brow men who yearn for watches with 27 jewels, guns, cars, music, books, blah blah blah, and a story about a sports doctor and some fictional short story a college kid from somewhere wrote. WHO CARES?

It's all trash-garbage content that I've already read in much better publications such as Rolling Stone and Men's Health. Not to mention Esquire and GQ have Playboy outpaced by a mile. The content within the Playboy magazine was stale, terribly dated and aesthetically displeasing. And earlier I mentioned one magazine cost $8 and some change, but according to the flyers that kept falling out from the pages, I can get one years subscription for $15. Holy shit, what a deal!

So, can Playboy survive without it's shadowy, barely nude women? Obviously the brand is looking to adapt with the times and move in a different direction. What will become of the printed magazine? Will it turn into Maxim 2.0 or go to the grave like FHM? Here are five suggestions that I've come up with to give it a fighting chance.

1. Rebrand the magazine as Playboy XTREME. While the web site and original brand look to distance itself from nude women, this print mag could surpass all the other triple-x rags on the shelf. No more shadows, no more airbrushing, no more Barbie dolls. Just pure, unfiltered, raw sex oozing on every page. No words, just hardcore pictures. And to top it off, make every picture Scratch n' Sniff. It'd be like a big sack of Dum Dum suckers in mystery wrappers...you never know what you'll get. That's part of the appeal! Some guys like butterscotch, some don't.

2. Wait for Hef to kick the bucket, then kill the brand. Playboy is an archaic term. Who the hell goes around in today's society and fancies themselves a playboy? Put him in the ground and the brand with it. R.I.P. next to Kodak, Blockbuster, and all the other dinosaurs that waited too long to adapt and change. Then get someone that isn't 183 years-old to take over and rebrand. Change everything.

3. Give it away for free, like The Onion. When I was living in Minneapolis, The Onion was a free paper available to the masses everywhere you went. Everyone likes free shit, and surely people will pick up a Playboy if it's free, because why the hell not? Consider it marketing, since the magazine doesn't turn a profit anyway. Sell advertising...

4. Turn Hugh Hefner into The Cryptkeeper once he dies and have him pose with celebrities in twisted shoots. Morbid, yes. But what other magazine is doing that? It's like Weekend at Bernie's every month, only with a man with no flesh.

5. Okay, so I'm really reaching with number 4. And honestly at this point, I don't have a fifth way for Playboy to resurrect it's magazine and become relevant again. I have a sinus infection, my bones hurt and I'm tired. So, I'll let you, readers of the tri-state, decide a fifth way Playboy can continue to hang around the shelves a little longer. Let me know what you think!