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This is the space in which I'm supposed to give readers insight into the magazine's content and sing the praises of the writers, artists, and inside people who contributed to the issue.

Well, other than one article that Vickie wrote, I did everything, so, I suppose a few words about Vickie might be in order.

Here's a lady that exceeded my expectations by country miles. We were, at one time, as they say, an item. Vickie actually typed many of the articles that ended up in the pages of Downtown Magazine back in the 1980s. She was, without a doubt, the fastest typist I have ever seen, and she seldom made errors. That was my job.

Anyhow, between then and now, we went separate ways, she married, raised three kids, mostly on her own, and made her way through life with spunk and vigor. I think she got that from her mother.

Vickie composed the answers to the "Vickie Says NO" piece. When it comes to what guys should and shouldn't do, Vickie certainly knows the ropes. She pretty much wove them. So, if you guys have a problem, Vickie's your gal.

There is a good deal less than what I originally intended for this alpha test. I wanted Matt Taibi to write something. He will, eventually, I'm sure. One thing about Matt, he's prolific. I think he writes in his sleep. And he doesn't cut corners or use AI. Matt is the real deal and I'm going to get him to write for idleguy.com, at least once in a while, maybe a regular colum.

There were plans for an event calendar, a story on the BRICS, a few other things - actually a whole enchilada of other things. Heck, the pro and college football articles took me three days apiece to write. I bit off more than one IdleGuy could chew. I had lawns to mow, dogs to play with, a six month ordeal with a Subaru nobody could figure out. That particular nightmare is almost over, I hope.

There will be more. This was just a first step, but an important one, for certain.

It took longer than I thought to put this issue together, and it's still not complete, but I learned a great deal, honed my latent coding skills, and put together some concepts that will pay off in the long run. The Daily Idler is just one of what will be more innovations, experiments, and evolving vistas.

As for putting this mess together by myself, that was probably the goal in the first place. I've been self-publishing for a damn long time, so the work should be top-notch. I started working on this July 15, and here it is August 22nd, and I'm putting the baby to bed. It's not what I had imagined. I wanted to do more, but time, as my father rightfully advised me on more than one occasion, was my greatest enemy. Dad also said more than once, "he can go take a shit for himself." He had a way with words.

This is all Hefner's fault. He started this practice of endorsing the contributors to his madness, and, make no doubt, Playboy magazine was somewhere on the scale between manic and insane.

People pamper themselves with images of Hef laid out on his bed, poring over layouts and naked women, and maybe he did that, but publishing is an art, and Hugh Hefner just about perfected it when technology didn't make your life as a magazine publisher easier. It involved wit, guile, perception, experience, daring, toxic chemicals, linotype machines, printing presses that could sever a man's arm, business dealing with distributors, hassles from the government, and a whole lot more.

Hefner made it look easy, as people who are at the apex of their profession often do. Not many people today have a good idea of what it took to publish the world's leading men's magazine - and keep it at the top of the heap - for 60 years. That's all Hef did. The man was a genius. It's a shame people want to tarnish his reputation. On the scales of good and evil, there was no contest. The good he did outweighed any notion of doing wrong by a thousand times.

My hope is that in this attempt to emulate a guy who was always one of my heroes, that I can at least leave something for posterity that at least measures up to about Hefner's knees. Anything beyond that will be gravy for everybody.

This is a familiar place.

Half drunk, half asleep, half naked, the last article is being written. The long road to deadline is staring down, like an irate father objecting that his daughter's suitor has outstayed his welcome. Winding the clock, quietly, but with purpose.

What is different is that it's still August 23nd. Back in the days of actual print publishing, the night would give way to dawn. I spent an entire year not sleeping on Tuesdays. It's different now. It's still today, the same day that started around 4:00 am. There's a bed awaiting my slouching frame, promising a safe passage through a night of dreams and then, tomorrow.

This alpha test turns out to not have been all that bad. As a matter of fact, looking it over, now that it's nearly done, a case can be made that guys might pony up a couple bucks to check it out. The New York Times charges a dollar a day. I'm only looking for two bucks a month. Sure, you get volume from the Times, but you don't get girls, attitude, humor, and a sense that this is there for you.

I wanted to test myself and see where this was going to take me. I never gave a thought that there would be a moral aspect, but there is and it struck me like a bolt of lightning from the heavens.

Men must do more. Men, good men, men of courage and principle, must take matters into their own hands, which is what I hope I have begun.

It's getting late. I don't want to miss that deadline.

Fearless Rick, Wednesday, August 23, 2023, 11:37 pm ET.

Playboy Back Issues
at Downtown Magazine


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