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Open Letter to Maxim 

Hey, mama's boys: Cleveland should have been your Greatest City on Earth.

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Maxim magazine
New York, NY

Dear Editor:

It has come to my attention that your esteemed periodical recently announced its Greatest City on Earth. This is indeed a lofty honor, given Maxim's profound sociological import as the nation's foremost chronicle of "sex, sports, beer, gadgets, clothes, and fitness."

I have long been a fan of your magazine. Recent articles such as "Sixteen hot and horny women create a step-by-step, moan-by-moan guide to help you please every woman, every time" illustrate your contributions to a better understanding of our cultural zeitgeist.

However, I must take issue with your selection of the Greatest City on Earth -- or in this case, the Greatest 13 Cities, since you chose a different one for each of your 13 editions. My question: What the $%#@ were you thinking?

I query with the utmost humility, since I realize you are likely a New York candy-ass who does shots of Apple Pucker with your pals from the racquet club, all of whom are named Chad and Christo. But your omission of Cleveland -- a.k.a. "The Venice of the Rust Belt" -- is disturbing. It might even be an outrage! -- though this has yet to be determined.

Instead, you picked Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington, and Denver. Please don't misunderstand: Some of these cities are quite pleasant. I once spent time in the Chicago train terminal; it has an impressive selection of hookers. And many older Clevelanders enjoy Detroit's casinos. Unfortunately, our bookies have yet to embrace the concept of free bus rides and buffet coupons. (Memo to bookies: Pitch this idea at next union meeting. We've got to stay competitive.)

But some of your choices, to put it gently, are completely ^%$#&*@ moronic.

Had you consulted a map, you would have learned that Toronto is in Canada, which isn't part of Earth. Or that Dallas is in Texas, which isn't even part of the human species. And D.C.? How could you possibly select a city filled with briefcase-toting pointy-heads who scurry around yelping, "Jeepers, I'm late for the Select Subcommittee on Hair Gel meeting!"

Most disturbing, however, is your selection of Denver for its "toned, tanned, well-read, limber-in-any-position goddesses with sports-conditioned hard bodies and adventurous personalities." Obviously, you've never wet your beak on the sweet deity known as The Cleveland Woman.

Imagine, for a moment, that it's Saturday afternoon. You're lounging in your favorite chair, watching the basketball tournament, wolfing down a couple of American-made brewery products. In the other room is your beloved, who's finishing up the drywall in your new den so she has a fitting place to watch the Pro Bowlers tour on big screen, which she purchased with her Teamsters check for driving a beer truck. She handles the nail gun with the grace of a gazelle, or perhaps a wolverine; it's hard to tell. When you offer to help, she lets loose a cultivated spray of expletives, concluding, "You just watch your little basketball game, and I'll handle this."

Later that night, you take her out to show your gratitude. You're laid off; she picks up the bar tab. Just as you're about to profess your love near the romantic setting of the pool table, some chump in a wife beater and barbed-wire biceps tattoos interrupts: "Hey, get a room. I'm trying to use the pool table over here."

Your beloved whirls with the splendor of a middle linebacker and launches a quick jab, the sound of collapsing bone soaring over Pantera on the jukebox. A subsequent uppercut leaves Biceps Boy a sprawl of blood and flesh and embarrassment on the floor. She celebrates by buying rounds of Jameson -- so many that she hauls you home in the bed of her F-350, carries you into the house, then repairs the mortar in the basement wall before she goes to bed.

This, my friend, is The Cleveland Woman.

As you're from New York, your unrefined taste in women is understandable. You reside in a city populated by emaciated supermodels who, taken as a group, bear a strong resemblance to the boys track team at Horace Mann Middle School. They don't even own their own circular saws. Have you ever had a supermodel help you move a sleeper sofa down three flights of stairs?

Frankly, your lack of schooling in the feminine arts leaves me to question whether you possess the expertise to pen your usual penetrating analysis, such as your recent treatise, "Has bonking your girl become passé?"

There are other reasons to select Cleveland, of course. As your magazine once noted, we have more bars per capita than any city in America. This alone should qualify us for Greatest City on Earth under the Standards of Masculinity set forth by the Dayton Accords. We also have a fine selection of gentlemen's clubs. And while our crime rate is not as manly as, say, Detroit's, Cleveland is far more picturesque. Were you fortunate to bear witness to a bright spring morn, the sun glittering off the debris floating down the mighty Cuyahoga, you would know the bounty that is Cleveland.

I write this letter not to criticize your superb magazine. As previously stated, my fondness is steadfast, blah, blah, blah. However, the next time you choose the Greatest City on Earth, if you would do me the courtesy of not filling the selection committee with Ivy League mama's boys who wouldn't know a decent city if it bit them on the face, I would be most appreciative. I have enclosed $16 in unmarked bills for your consideration.

Pete Kotz
Cleveland

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