Where else would you go to fill a cavity?
The Chewseum is a resource for the neighborhood. Drunks have knocked on his door needing a bar bet settled. Kids have stopped by to do a school project. His grandchildren giggle at how hairy everybody looked in the '70s.
Of those 7,668 originals, 92.5% go to males, but we know of at least one that goes to a woman. That's because she won it in a divorce settlement.
"I still love him," said the woman, whose ex-husband asked that we keep everybody's name out of it, "so I read it on Thursday and then quickly mail it to him on Friday.... He'll come back to me someday, when his money runs out. See, he didn't just give me the magazine, he gave me everything."
Hey, whatever it takes to keep the subscription going.
Perhaps the guy whose 50-year subscription means the most to him is the reverend. Walther's going blind. Won't be long before he'll lose his sight altogether. He says he's really going to miss his SI. He pilfers nuggets from it for his sermons. In fact, for years, the reverend was religious about reading every word every week. "I calculated it once," Walther said, "and it came up in the millions of words. Can't remember now, but it was a bunch."
Well, the reverend didn't read every word, because, like some others, he's always tossed the Swimsuit Issue as soon as it arrived. "The female is being exploited in it," he said.
That's the other thing a lot of the Forgetful Faithful have in common. They've been married about the same number of years they've gotten SI. Which brings us, at last, to the point of this column: Contrary to what our critics say, the Swimsuit Issue does not break up marriages, it saves them.
But only if the husband throws it away.