Feeling particularly bullish last night, I bought a copy of wank-rag Zoo for the first time in my life. The cover features the headline “100 Hottest Bodies in the World”, but to make it displayable in shops, the model’s nipples have to be covered. This nipple ban is stupid, as every other inch of the girl’s anatomy can be seen perfectly clear.
One of the first features in the news section was about the Haiti earthquake. Was there a harrowing account of life for the survivors by John Pilger? Had John Simpson been deployed to report on the deepening humanitarian crisis? No. The Zoo girls (an army of sparsely dressed angels) were prostituting themselves to raise money. £1 bought you a kiss, £5 a flash, whilst £50 won you a special ‘boob sandwich’. It didn’t say, but £5,000 would probably have procured you a hotel for the night, three lines of crack and the best-looking hookers in Tottenham. All in the name of charity.
And the total cash raised? £554.91, which is possibly the worst charity total ever. It’s a pathetic amount even by Zoo’s rock bottom standards. Perhaps playing up to stereotypes, the men handing over their cash for Haiti were wearing high-visibility jackets, working in the construction industry. A caption besides one of the pictures has a worker saying “this will help erect my scaffolding” with a cheeky scallywag grin.
You might expect the jokes page to be full of smutty rubbish about knockers, but there is an attempt from one reader to bring a dose of sophistication to proceedings. “In 2009, the FBI reported a 20 per cent decrease in the number of people robbing banks. There was however, a huge increase in the number of banks robbing people”. Well I never! A few more jokes like that and Zoo readers might start switching to The Economist.
The most hilarious section comes in the form of confessions from girls about their “most intimate secrets”. I put these words in inverted commas for the simple reason that what is printed cannot be penned by real girls – more like sweaty men without an internet connection. Take this example from Ella in Birmingham about getting caught short by her boss: “I was on my knees with him deep in my mouth, stripped to my bra and thong when his boss walked in. I gulped and screamed”. Oh yeah, if I was a woman, the first thing I’d do after such an embarrassing incident is write to a magazine published explicitly for the titillation of unknown strangers.
Issie from Portsmouth reminisces about a mad crush: “My first love was a boy I’d fancied at school for ages. We finally got together at a sixth form dance where he was DJing. I was with him behind the decks when I got the urge to be really naughty. I kneeled on the floor, unzipped his trousers and started playing with him. I loved being in control and watching him try and mix while I pleasured him”. What amazes me is that they combine about three different dream scenarios and still try and pass it off as authentic.
On another page, Madison, another Zoo angel, stripped down to little more than bra and leggings, runs a “sex school” for the sexually uneducated. Great! Where do I sign up and what are the fees? Is there a practical examination? Unfortunately (I say unfortunately because I doubt I would have complained if she worked at my school) Madison would be struck off if she were a real teacher. One letter was written by a bloke upset that his girlfriend wants a threesome and wants to invite another man. He is given the sharp riposte: “If she’s really desperate for it, start lubing up, matey!”
Dave from Leeds needs to be sent to the back of the class with a dunce hat. He asks Madison if there are ways of “making my penis smaller as my girl keeps telling me I’m too big for her and that it hurts her”.
Poor Dave from Leeds. I bet he must hate having to share his private concerns with thousands of Zoo readers. All those people knowing he has a massive knob; I don’t know how he’ll cope with the humiliation. Maybe Madison should offer Dave some counselling for the trauma he is set to experience? But no, Madison suggests an opening device. “You can get something that opens up the bum [really?], so maybe she could try using one to open her foo-foo”.
What on earth is a foo-foo? A type of yoghurt? A brand of organic herbs? However, something tells me you shouldn’t start asking female till workers at Asda which aisle the foo-foos are kept. Besides, what the hell is an “opening device”? Are we talking about a bulldog clip or something, because that sounds painful? They’re animals at Zoo.