Saturday, August 13, 2011

Of Mice and Bunnies

Hugh Hefner has been in the news alot lately.

His fiancee broke up with him in June ... she apparently found out that there was a 271 year age difference between the two of them. Then earlier this month, there was a social media rumor that Hef was dead.

"Not so ... Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated," He said as he lay next to his new girlfriend who will finally get her braces off next week.

I go way back with Hef ... not that I ever met him ... But he DID have a big effect on my career when I first started working at All Children's Hospital as the PR Coordinator.

I got a phone call from the hospital president asking me why a Playboy Bunny was coming to visit the hospital. There was an article in the Times that she was coming to visit the kids, hand out magazines and sign her autograph across her centerfold picture. It was part of a promotion for a fundraiser that one of the local restaurants was doing for the hospital.

"It must be a mistake, " I stammered. "I don't know anything about this. I think she must have done this on her own."

"Well stop this then ... and call the paper and get this retracted," He said. "These are children ... for God's sake ... what's wrong with these people."

I got busy on the phone trying to track down where this all started. I called the restaurant and found out that the "bunny" had done an interview with the reporter and she had commented that she would LOVE to meet the children at the hospital ... not that she was actually coming to sign autographs.

So ... I called the reporter who wrote the story.

"... so as I said ... there was a mistake ... she is not scheduled for a visit after all."

The reporter was silent.

"If you could do me a GREAT favor by printing a retraction about this visit. I think the families would be relieved."

"Relieved?" The reporter said. "Are the parents upset?"

"Well ... there is a concern ..."

"Someone complained?"

"Listen ... the fact is ... she is not coming to the hospital. These are kids ... Playboy is not published for them."

"But they are giving money to the hospital, correct?"

"Well ... the restaurant is doing a fundraiser ... but that has nothing to do with ..."

"So let me get this straight," The reporter said. "You are accepting money from these folks but won't let them in the hospital to see the kids?"

"No ... that's not what I said ... "

"So DO YOU like Playboy?"

"LISTEN ... BUDDY," I lost it. I learned a valuable lesson about reporters and interviews that day ... they definitely don't like to print retractions about mistakes they made. "We are really more the MICKEY MOUSE type ... not PLAYBOY ... got it?"

"Got it."

The next day the headline read: ALL CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL IS REALLY MORE MICKEY MOUSE  ... the quote was attributed to me and was reprinted at the end of the year as one of the "worst quotes for 1986"


A Daft Scots Lass said...

I love Hugh! and all his bunnies, especially all his bunnies.

joel said...

Gillian ... I've had a penchant for those adorable creatures as well.

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