Men about whom one can only ask, 'What's to love?'


It's that time of the year again. Which is to say: Time for Esquire magazine's annual "Women We Love" issue.

They've been doing it for five years now -- selecting women who, to use their words, "have changed the face of the world as we know it" -- and this year their cover girl is Candice Bergen. Other women they love include: Eleanor Roosevelt, Annie Dillard, the Uh-Huh Girls, Dolly Parton, Gloria Steinem and "Pat," the sexually vague character from "Saturday Night Live."

There's also a smaller selection by Esquire of: "Women We Don't Love." It includes the likes of Monica Seles, Winnie Mandela, Yoko Ono, Nancy Reagan and Frances Lear.

I'm not sure why, but I found this section the more interesting of the two.

In fact, it downright inspired me.

So here, without further ado, is our first annual "Men We Don't Love -- Plus a Few We Do" column. The results were culled from the thousands of friends, family and colleagues who responded to our queries.

(Note to reader: All mathematical figures in this article are approximate. Sort of.)

The envelopes, please.

The first category is: Men Who Should Be Winners of Any "Men We Don't Love" Contest But Are Disqualified Because Naming Them Is Such a Cheap Shot. Among the disqualified winners in this category are Geraldo, Maury Povich, Dan Quayle, Sylvester Stallone and Sen. Orrin G. Hatch. We could name them. It would be easy. But it would be wrong.

Next: The Man We Are Least Likely to Turn to If We Need Marital Counseling. The winner is the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who is quoted as saying: "Feminists and all these radical gals -- most of them are failures. They've blown it. Some of them have been married, but they married some Caspar Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom. These women just need a man in the house."

The Man We Don't Want on Our Side When We're Down for the Count: Lanky lunkhead Sen. Alan K. Simpson, who seemed to think he was praising Dan Quayle when he said: "There isn't anything more you can dish out to him, and that's a good place for a human being to be, when you've had every truckload of trash dumped over your head and damn near come up to your neck, and you just pry your way out and keep right on living."

The Man We Hope Never Meets Violinist Itzhak Perlman: Ferret-eyed, power-mad real estate huckster Donald Trump, who writes with pride of his propensity to stand up early in life and make his opinions known: "In the second grade I punched my music teacher because I didn't think he knew anything about music."

The Man We Pray Never Drops by Our Corner for a Pickup Game of Basketball: Kvetchy, 80-inch high, poor-sport Charles "The Elbow" Barkley of the Dream Team, who told Bob Costas: "We're not here to make friends. We're here to promote ourselves."

The Man Who Should Never Be Allowed Near Sharp Instruments: Ill-mannered, mega-rich media mogul Ted Turner, who now owns about three-fourths of Montana and New Mexico but still likes to pinch a penny here and there -- especially when it comes to ex-wives. He pointed out that "Henry VIII . . . didn't get divorced, he just had [his wives'] heads chopped off when he got tired of them. That's a good way to get rid of a woman -- no alimony."

The Man We Hope Never to Be in the Company of When He Feels Sleepy: Noble-looking dancer-choreographer, ladies' man and New York City Ballet artistic director Peter Martins, who recently was charged with beating his wife, the young prima ballerina of his company, because she wanted to talk and he wanted to sleep. To make his point, he pushed her down on the floor, slapped her face, picked her up and threw her into another room.

In a special category we're calling "Dead Men We Don't Love," this year's winner is dead writer Henry Miller, who said: "I don't know why the women's liberation movement dislikes me so. Women have been a definite influence on my life. I adore women as a whole. I enjoy them as a breed, like a dog."

And in the Man Who Never Married a Woman He Liked category: Aging actor Tony Curtis, who said: "Very few of us are fortunate enough to marry multimillionaire girls with 39-inch busts who have undergone frontal lobotomies."

And now for the condensed, Reader's Digest version of "Men We Love."

The Man Who Personifies the Best of Family Values: Homer Simpson. The guy is a total lunkhead, but he loves his family and works hard to bring home the irradiated bacon.

The Man Who Knows Something We Don't: How Dick Clark hangs on to his preternaturally young, mummified preppie look is beyond us. But it gives hope to us all.

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