“What’s a Centerfold?”

I heard that question today.


I came across J. Geils Band’s video “Centerfold” and listened to the Reactor ask what a centerfold was. They did not even understand the song, which shocked me.

Thinking it was a fluke, I watched another Reaction. Then another. And another. One after the next, people under 45 missed the obvious (to me) storyline of the song/video.

Litmus Tests of the Elderly

I’m one of the elderly now.

My life includes these experiences:

  • Party lines
  • Life without microwaves
  • TVs with three channels
  • No remote controls for TVs
  • Having to hang clothes on the line
  • Phones having cords on them and dialing the number one wanted to call
  • Prank calls
  • Rolling car windows
  • No seat belts
  • Phone booths
  • Waiting for pictures to be developed
  • Few divorces
  • Moms who didn’t work
  • Running around outside until the streetlights went on, never checking in
  • Driver’s Ed classes in high school

And surely dozens more we had in the olden days.

Ultimate Test of Age

Now there is the centerfold.

The young have never, will never, experience the joy of opening a Playboy (which stopped printing magazines in 2020) or Penthouse (which stopped printing in 2016), inhaling the wafting scent of manufactured pages, before immediately turning to the centerfold.

She, the woman whose body graced those double pages, opened herself to us, allowing us to see her body close-up, her eyes staring right into ours.

The Young…

…will never have the experience of having two pages stuck together.

That’s just sad.