This is a pretty sexy column, so read it at your own peril

Friday, March 8, 2002

Hang on to your Cheerios bowl, because I've got a lot of ground to cover this morning.

I'm about to reveal the secrets of men's fantasies. I'm about to tell you the real name of my favorite valley in the Ozark hills west of here. And I'm about to give you a much overdue update on the World Famous Downtown Golf Course and All-You-Can-Eat Catfish Buffet.

What men dream about: I'll bet some of you are already gritting your teeth and wondering why in the world I'd talk about sex and maybe even nekkid women this early in the morning. Hang on. I promise you won't lose your appetite.

By the way, do you know the difference between a naked woman and nekkid woman?

A naked woman doesn't have any clothes.

A nekkid woman doesn't have any morals.

But let's get back to spilling the beans about what men really think about when their minds drift off, which happens a lot, according to a bunch of fancy psychological studies.

Most men, when asked about their private thoughts and hidden desires, generally talk about their fantasies about the opposite sex. They are lying, of course. They say they're thinking about you-know-what because it's the manly thing to say. And the thing men want most out of life is for other men to think they are real macho he-men.

It's all there in the research studies. Look it up yourself.

What men really dream about -- even when they are awake -- was on display all day Wednesday at the Show Me Center.

Imagine, if you can, walking into the Show Me Center -- for free -- and finding yourself surrounded by millions of dollars worth of ... .

Let's not go too fast here. I don't want you to choke on the most important meal of the day.

Suffice to say that some smart cookie out there -- I'll bet it was a woman -- has hit upon a gold mine.

Maybe you saw the ads in the paper this past week.

The hook?

The grabber for every male of the species was so simple it borders on being sinful.

Folks, the Show Me Center on Wednesday was filled with what lies at the heart of every man's libido:

Power tools.

Big ones. Little ones. Expensive ones. Some that only cost chump change. Most of them could rip off your arm or poke your eye out.


Grown men were wandering around like starving children lost in a candy store, drooling all over themselves. (I tried to explain I'd been caught in a sudden downpour on the way back to work, but no one believed me.)

If men were honest, they would list their basic needs in this order:

1. Power tools.

2. Television remote control.

3. Firearms (hunting, gathering, protecting the clan -- you know the drill).

4. Junk food.

5. Vehicle capable of going 140 mph.

6. Anything made by La-Z-Boy.

7. Duct tape.

8. Riding lawnmower.

9. Baseball cap.

10. Women.

Oops. I probably should have stopped at No. 9.

And the real name is: For nearly 40 years I've been writing columns in one newspaper or another about my young years on a farm in that special valley over yonder. Many of you feel like you know Kelo Valley as well as the valley or neighborhood where you grew up.

This week's mail brought a letter from Dorothy Malloy Geurin of Falls Church, Va., who, it turns out, is a descendant of the man for whom Kelo Valley is named.

Except it's not Kelo.

Mrs. Geurin's great-great-grandfather, Joseph Killough, came from Hickman County, Tenn., in the late 1850s and settled in the valley that still bears his name.

So from now on you'll be reading about Killough Valley instead of Kelo Valley. Same place. Same memories. Different spelling.

A special thank you to Mrs. Geurin for taking the time to set the record straight.

The latest on the golf course: Some of you have noticed that the World Famous Downtown Golf Course hasn't received much attention in this column for several months. You are correct. But it's no accident.

I handed the two candidates for mayor a sure-fire campaign issue on a silver platter, but neither has taken up the cause, thereby pretty much alienating the golf vote. The candidates haven't mentioned the golf course once in their forums or interviews.

What are they thinking?

Surely they understand that one of them will lay claim to the exalted title of Hizzoner on April 2. I'd hate to be responsible for what shows up in this column in that regard if the new Hizzoner hasn't taken a stand in favor of golfing in general and completion of the downtown course in particular.

But this isn't a threat. Nosiree. That's not my style.

May the best golfer -- er, man -- win.

R. Joe Sullivan is the editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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