Childhood celebrity crushes are more than just rites of passage for the young American male. They’re integral parts of the beginning stages of manhood. They’re part of the foundation. We all had them, and we all remember them. One minute you’re sitting on the living room couch after school, slugging down Crystal Pepsi and eating Gushers by the fistful, watching that episode of Saved by the Bell where Kelly is strutting around The Max wearing her gray Bayside sweatshirt with the neck hole cut out in such a sexy way that makes it hang off of one shoulder, then the next thing you know you look down and a one-eyed lap snake is staring back at you. Boom. First TV boner. Just like that. It’s a confusing, embarrassing discovery for a youngster, but that feeling quickly fades and turns into pride once he’s able to make sense of it.
I’ve been sitting here for the past hour or so trying to remember who my #1 childhood celebrity crush was. I have it narrowed down to three beautiful young ladies so far. The first is the aforementioned Kelly Kapowski. What a high school dime piece she was. Head cheerleader, long and full brunette hair, tight little cutters — the total package. I’d have traded my favorite lunch box and He-Man Trapper Keeper back in the day to fill Zack’s white high-tops for a day and make a run at her.
The second crush I remember was Wild On host Brooke Burke. She was more of the exotic variety with that dark hair and olive skin, and she filled a bikini like nothing I’d ever seen, like nothing I knew was even possible. I have no idea what that show was about, but I caught every episode. I recall waiting 5 to 10 minutes on AOL dial-up waiting for a topless Brooke Burke photo to download. Good times. Worth the wait.
The third TV crush that sits at the forefront of my mind was a blonde, which is abnormal for a brunette guy like myself. She had legs for days, made a one-piece look diabolical, and emitted a sexual appeal that could turn a seasoned gay man straight. Her name is Wendy Peffercorn, and she’s a Great American Slampiece.
Wendy was a suburban town lifeguard with big city dreams, and she didn’t take shit from anyone on her way to a prosperous American lifestyle. A “prized kill” is what the locals called her behind her back, like that fabled 20-point buck that was rumored to graze around the outskirts of town. Everyone wanted to tag it and bag it, but it was deemed so hopeless that few ever thought of trying. Still, Ms. Peffercorn commanded the attention of every swinging dick that could tie a pair 4-inch inseamed swim trunks in the summer of ’62.
One of those swinging dicks belonged to a young Italian stallion by the name of Michael “Squints” Palledorous.
Squints, although tiny in stature, was all balls. He was all balls with the heart of a lion and flashed some smooth outfield leather. He was a quality catch in his own right, and this was before he would pull a stunt on a hot summer day that would cement Peffercorn’s rightful place in slampiece lore.
With Wendy in his sights, Squints dared to dance with the devil at the risk of community-wide shame, that and equally shameful neighborhood swimming pool banishment. Squints was a dreamer, though, and he took his shot. It would end up being the one heard ’round the world, or at least the west coast.
And he sticks the landing.
The fake drowning to suckface move? Only Squints, and only Wendy. It was their destiny. The only way to pull a classy lady is to pull a class move, and Wendy exuberated class. They kissed. They kissed long and hard.
She loved it.
Squints walked a little taller that day knowing that a lifetime of waking up next to Peffercorn likely awaited him.
From Wendy’s perspective, taming a young steed like Palledorous is a testament to the caliber of woman she was, and still is. The pool scene, after grabbing the attention of the whole town, gave the locals something to talk about for years to come. Several years later, when Squints and Wendy finally made their relationship official and subsequently tied the knot, they’d serve as a walking beacon for the American dream. A power couple.
With a walkaway ass like that, it’s no wonder they had nine kids together.