LAST DAYS SPENT THIS WEEK TRAVELING across the country in an assortment of large commercial aeroplanes. Finding ourselves far from the news sources traditionally tapped for this column -- Internet news wires, local dailies, gossipy drunks -- we made do with what we had at hand: a variety of magazines available at airport newsstands. Each day we hit a different newsstand for a different magazine. Fuck current events -- this week, Last Days Goes Glossy!

MONDAY, JULY 26 Our journey through the world of smudge-proof periodicals begins with SkyMall, the on-flight mail order catalog built on the concept that increased altitudes heighten the human need to purchase bizarre, overpriced crap. And who can argue with that? Aside from furtive masturbation and Percocet, nothing makes flight time pass faster than flipping through page after page of luxury items for lazy, upper-tax-bracket-dwelling honkies. From the electric tongue cleaner (which "vibrates at 8,000 rpm to comfortably and effectively cleanse your tongue without causing a gag reflex") to the microprocessor-powered self-cleaning cat litter box to the $8-an-ounce Wagyu steak shipped from Kobe, Japan, SkyMall provides expensive solutions to non-existent problems, and keeps its customers coming back for more. From the looks of it, SkyMall shoppers are busy, driven, and freakishly hairy: Scattered among the catalog's pages are a whopping 10 hair-removal devices: four Epiladies (including the muff-friendly "Lady Bikini" trimmer, "an ideal and economical stocking stuffer"), two 24-karat gold plated motorized hair tweezers, and three battery-operated nose-hair trimmers.

TUESDAY, JULY 27 From the luxury of the strip mall in the sky we descend to a much more prosaic gazette: TV Guide, the lovable 5 x 7 digest that has somehow managed to stay in business for over 700 years. Actually, the longevity of the Guide will come as no surprise to anyone who reads this week's tantalizing, titillating cover story. "TV Confidential" exposes the true and false of classic TV rumors. From the visibility of Madonna's nipple in the "Papa Don't Preach" video (true) to the untimely deaths of Scott Baio and Adam Rich (false and false) to Michael Nesmith's mother's invention of Liquid Paper (true), "TV Confidential" pulls no punches in trashing the most cherished myths of our generation. The costliest casualty: the everyone-swears-it's-true story of the reply Newlywed Game host Bob Eubanks received after asking a contestant, "Where's the strangest place you've ever made whoopee?" (Rumored answer: "That would be in the butt, Bob." Confirmed verdict: It never happened.) But this soul-crushing blow was leavened by Susan "Cindy Brady" Olsen's admirably sassy take on the persistent rumors of her death: "I always liked being rumored to be dead, because it put me in company with, like, Paul McCartney. If you watch one of The Brady Bunch episodes backwards, you can hear Greg saying, "I buried Cindy."

WEDNESDAY, JULY 28 What's deeply tanned, hails from Germany, and is a combined 114 years old? Siegfried & Roy, that's what, and this month's Vanity Fair profiles the inseparable and ambiguous pair in all their magic-making, tiger-training, $55-million-a-year-earning glory. Immersing himself in the hermetic fantasy world of the most successful entertainment act in Las Vegas history (eat shit, Elvis; fuck off, Frank), writer Matt Tyrnauer illuminates "the boys'" heritage (both were raised by Nazi soldier fathers), shares the dietary habits of the show animals (during the interview, the lions and tigers are fed white peacocks, a donkey, and several goats that were a gift from David Lee Roth), and conclusively clarifies just who is who (Siegfried, 60, is the blond responsible for the magic; Roy, 54, is the brunette animal man.) Both men express profound shock when questioned about their sexual proclivities ("We are married to our profession," says coy Roy), and the profile ends with S&R's manager scrambling for spin control: "I plead with you that you will not call Siegfried and Roy animal trainers. Whatever you do. Please. Say that Roy is a tiger from another life, because that's a fact. And call Siegfried a magical force, deep in the depths of his soul, because that is a fact."

THURSDAY, JULY 29 Speaking of men who should be shot out of a cannon: This week's National Enquirer features an exclusive peek at the upcoming autobiography by world-renowned wife-beater Ike Turner. Entitled Takin' Back My Name, the book gives the maligned Ike the chance to document his life and tell his side of the Ike 'n' Tina Turner saga. The revelations are plentiful: The 67-year-old Ike writes that he lost his virginity at age six to a 50-year-old woman, before moving on to his 9-year-old babysitter and another middle-aged woman. Ike has been married 10 or 12 times (he's unable to recall the exact number), but calls his 18-year marriage to Tina Turner "a joke," saying "it never happened," and that the pair were "married" by a strolling photographer in Tijuana while Ike was still wed to another woman (lucky her). As for his legendary bouts of domestic violence, Ike writes, "Sure, I've slapped Tina. And there have been times when I punched her without thinking. But I never beat her." In closing, the obvious connoisseur of clobbering reveals, "I did no more to Tina that I would mind somebody doing to my mother in the same circumstance."

FRIDAY, JULY 30 Today we pump up the testosterone with Truckin', the World's Leading Truck Publication (take that, Truck Digest!). Profiled this month is a truck that owner Jerry Chandler calls "the Big Piglet," and rightly so. His 1970 Chevrolet C10 has a blunt nose, weighs more than a ton, and is painted pink! ("All that's missing is a curly tail!" writes Truckin' staffer Allyson Harwood.) Jerry found his truck sitting next to a barn in his hometown of Oakhurst, California, and for two years used it to haul wood. Then divine inspiration hit, and Jerry spent the next five years gussying up his piglet. After countless renovations and thousands of bucks, the Big Piglet can now hit a top speed of 137 mph and put out 416 horses at 5,800 rpm -- all while maintaining a respectable 12-15 miles per gallon. Over the past four years, Jerry's powerful pink masterwork has won 77 awards at 23 shows, several of which were blue ribbons.

SATURDAY, JULY 31 From the hyper-masculine world of big pink trucks we move to the pseudo-feminine world of rampant sexual obsession found this and every month in the popular women's mags Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Both perfume-reeking glossies featured expansive articles on how to please your man (if you can starve yourself skinny enough to deserve one). Cosmo offers instruction on "How to Be a Genius with His You-Know-What!" (hint: suck it) while Glamour lists the 126 secret turn-ons of guys. Among the greatest hits: sleazy waitresses, thong bikinis, brunettes in Capri pants pushing baby carriages, women who kickbox, Georgia O'Keeffe paintings, Ms. Pac-Man, Drew Barrymore, the women of the Weather Channel, and cow illustrations on milk cartons (no, we did not make that up).

SUNDAY, AUGUST 1 We wrap up our week back at home, and nothing says "home" like the celebrated homemakers' monthly Family Circle. In addition to articles on "Building a Better Burger" (add ground vegetables to the ground beef) and "Fighting the Potty-Training Wars" (use a whip), the current issue features a story on the curative power of laughter. It seems a hearty chuckle boosts the immune system, decreases the level of stress hormones in the body, and hastens healing. Unfortunately, to illustrate their point, the magazine's editors chose the reprehensible comic strip Cathy, the only thing in the world that makes Almost Live look funny by comparison. Cathy synopsis: Cathy feels fat; Cathy calls her mother; Cathy screams "Aackkk!!"; we wish we were dead.

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