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This was so worth reporting.

Wrapping up 2003, Tuesday Morning Quarterback names as his Man of the Year -- Ira Black, editor and publisher of Nor'easter, a local magazine for boaters on the Chesapeake Bay.

TMQ and the Official Wife were motoring around the tidewater last year -- note to accountant, have just made that entire weekend tax-deductible -- and we picked up a copy of Nor'easter, published in the quaint shore town of North East, Md. Flipping through the boat-service ads, town gossip and ship-comings-and-goings columns that reminded me of the novel The Shipping News, TMQ couldn't help but notice a few completely gratuitous photographs of women in revealing swimsuits. Now, as a matter of policy I favor gratuitous photographs of women in revealing swimsuits. In fact, by writing this item I just created a gratuitous excuse for NFL.com to run a swimsuit photo nearby. But Nor'easter magazine is hardly the Dallas Cowboys. Where, I wondered, did its cheesecake photos originate?

Page 67 of Nor'easter held the answer. An ad proclaimed, WANT TO BE A SWIMSUIT MODEL? The ad copy read, and I am not making this up:

Nor'easter magazine is looking for swimsuit models, no experience necessary. If you'd like to pose for publication, call for more information or stop in and pick up a model release form. There's no charge -- in fact, you get to keep most of the photos. The whole process takes less than an hour. Bring your own swimsuit.

As requested, a gratuitous swimsuit photo.
Turning the pages of Nor'easter, I gawked at pictures of women in skimpy two-piece numbers draped across the mooring posts of Chesapeake Bay docks or adorning the masts of sailboats. My wife zeroed in on the fine print, realizing that each picture said at the bottom, PHOTO BY IRA BLACK. And then the full genius of the Tuesday Morning Quarterback Man of the Year washed over me. Ira Black has come up with a scheme for getting babes to come to his office in bikinis! And he doesn't even have to pay modeling fees -- rather, he magnanimously decrees that "there's no charge" for young women to undress in front of him. Nor'easter magazine ends up with gratuitous cheesecake pictures it can print at no cost, and Ira Black gets to hang around babes in bikinis.

I'd thought I'd come up with something really clever when Tuesday Morning Quarterback gave me a perfectly legitimate business reason to gawk at the swimsuit calendars of NFL cheerleaders. But Ira Black has devised a perfectly legitimate business reason for nearly-naked women to stand around in his office! That makes Ira Black of North East, Md., the Tuesday Morning Quarterback Man of the Year.

- Pookah

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