The beautiful, intelligent and versatile Burke is noteable for her modeling and TV reporting. Brooke Burke was born on September 8th, 1971, in Hartford, Connecticut, but raised in Tucson, Arizona. Her exotic, original looks can be attributed to her family's heritage, which blends her French/Irish father with her Portuguese/Irish mother. The middle child of seven siblings (with three older sisters and three younger brothers), Brooke wanted to pursue an a typical career -- but never dreamed of becoming an entertainment media figure.The aspiring rock band drummer got her start in entertainment after she was noticed for her stunning good looks. She was accompanying a friend to a modeling agency and was immediately noticed by a talent scout. After dabbling in modeling while in Arizona, Brooke won an acting scholarship, headed to Los Angeles, and began her broadcast journalism studies at UCLA. In her extra time, she worked as a model and gained considerable experience while posing for the Frederick's of Hollywood catalogs. Becoming a high-profile model was not difficult after having signed with modeling and talent agencies such as Ford, Wilhelmina and Cunningham Escott Dipene. Brooke was ready to add up to a dozen magazine covers to her resume, not to mention several television commercials, namely the Bally Total Fitness commercials (as the "beautiful body"), Discover Card commercials (as Derek Jeter's dream date), and commercials for Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch and M Professional Cosmetics. When E! Entertainment Television was searching for a replacement for its show Wild On in 1999, a swimwear company that Brooke worked for recommended her to the entertainment channel. After the encouragement of a friend, Brooke went for a casual meeting and interview with E!, which led to a trial show in Spain. E! was looking for a spontaneous, personable and down-to-earth person, and since Brooke fit the bill perfectly, she was signed to a three-year contract with the network as host of the travel show, Wild On. Her job has taken her to the most exotic spots in the world, from Australia and Bali to Belize. Known as an "experienced traveler," she even enjoyed a stint as a spokesperson for the Norwegian Cruise Line.
Thanks to the success of Wild On, Brooke's exposure increased exponentially, and a Play..boy appearance in May 2001 certainly didn't hurt. Once her run on Wild On ended, she stayed on E!, but this time as host of the popular countdown show, Rank. In the meantime, Burke kept busy with appearances on The Weakest Link and That's Life, and by starting her own women's swimwear line called Barely Brooke, based on her designs and experience as a swimsuit model and extensive traveler. She also proved how good she could look in bikinis with her own calendars in 2003 and 2004. Brooke left her hosting duties on Rank in 2003, but the sexy brunette is still keeping busy, this time with acting. She made guest appearances on shows like Monk and Less Than Perfect in 2004, and has three movies in the pipeline: The Hazing, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller), and Knuckle Sandwich, all set for release in 2004. Brooke Burke also lends her voice to the "People and Places" category of Atari's Trivial Pursuit video game. When not working, Brooke enjoys staying home with her husband, plastic surgeon Garth Fisher, and their daughters Neriah (born March 2000) and Sierra Sky (born April 2002). While at her Los Angeles home, the jet setter stays fit by practicing yoga, kickboxing and pilates, scuba diving, taking long walks, and relaxes by cooking and reading.
Brooke Burke Qutoes:
"When I was young, I wanted to do something more low-key, like become a drummer in a rock band."
"I never intended to make the cross-over from modeling to hosting, let alone acting, but when an incredible opportunity comes along, I'm up for it."
"Before the show I was a real paperback-by-the-pool sort of girl. I?d backpacked through Europe and modeled in South Africa, but I would never have ventured out on a puddle-jumper, then a bus ride, then a two-hour boat trip up a river through the jungle to see Belizean ruins. I always thought, Hey, I?m here to chill."
"I like feet. I definitely have a fetish. I love to see a man?s bare foot, but it?s got to be taken care of. If they?re not well manicured, you?ve got to wonder what the rest of him is like. [laughs] I don?t want to get in bed with somebody and feel his gnarly feet."
"Forget all the bars and schmoozing and everybody checking out everybody else. My ideal date would be to park in a dark place, check out the stars, and have a great conversation. When all else fails, you can just make out. If I really wanted to get down and dirty with someone, it wouldn?t be at some chic five-star hotel it would be in the rough with a roaring fire burning outside a tent."
"Coming from the modeling industry I have to exercise a lot, but I do enjoy it... I don't want to put my swimsuit on if I'm not fit."
"I'm horrified of lobsters. And shrimp and lobsters are the cockroaches of the ocean."
"I don?t want to say, ?This is where I?m going to be in five years and I?m going to get there no matter what.? I want to leave it open. I?m not a desperate actress dying to star in a B movie in a bikini. I?m waiting for a role where I can put my heart and soul into it and deliver a line like Meg Ryan did in Top Gun: ?Take me to bed or lose me forever."
"I was at this bar in the Australian outback, watching Aussie?rules football and learning local slang. So I?m there getting ?perved,? which means everybody?s checking me out, and this guy with a lot of beer in him comes right up and says, ?So, hey, how about that root??, which means to have intercourse. I was so shocked, I don?t know if I said anything. But I like forwardness. No American guy?s ever done that to me.?
"In the United States, viewers don?t get to see a lot of things we can show in other countries. We didn?t get to show our naked Twister game from Wild On Jamaica, but we definitely filmed it. We also filmed a sexual? positions contest, but you?ll never see it. The craziest thing you?ll see in America is our Spring Break show, which means a lot of college girls flashing their breasts. I mean, a European woman wouldn?t care about that. She?s already topless. Why would she need to flash??
"I was sunbathing topless in Ibiza, and my friend wanted to eat at this caf頷here everybody goes without putting on their tops or bottoms. He assured me, ?No, it?s cool. Don?t dress up.? I went into the caf頡nd sat down with him when all of a sudden I hear, ?Brooke!? It was my dentist. I just played it cool, but needless to say, I changed dentists?
America’s sex symbol and international party finder Brooke Burke is ready for her close-up
Brooke Burke is the very definition of an itsy-bitsy-bikini-stuffing wet dream of a babe come true. Nature made Brooke so desirable that her first boyfriend in Tucson, AZ, intentionally failed eighth grade to be with her. By age 18, she snagged a cushy Hollywood modeling contract, and at 26, she became a star with E!’s booty-baring travel show, Wild On . . . before marrying plastic surgeon Garth Fisher of Extreme Makeover. Despite her success, Brooke’s creed remains the same. “The Hollywood scene is messed up,” she says. “That’s why being nice is so f*cking important.”
Not only is this 32-year-old bombshell genuinely nice, she’s also a savvy businesswoman. “I’m turned on by ambition,” she says. “Like when I was hosting Wild On . . ., I designed a swimsuit line of my own. Then doing a swimsuit calendar seemed to make sense. I tie one business opportunity into another.” Brooke’s latest venture is acting. From TV guest spots (Bernie Mac, Monk) to indie films (The Hazing), she’s now making her feature-film debut with Vince Vaughn in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. “I can actually say I’m a working actress now,” she says. “It seems there’s life after E!” And then some.
We hear your husband’s clients are now coming in asking for “Brooke Burke’s breasts,” and last year your calendar was the No. 1 seller—beating out both Pam Anderson and Carmen Electra. It seems you’re now officially America’s reigning sex symbol. How does it feel?
Bizarre. I guess I look at some sex symbols and it’s a hard title to live up to because I’m so not one in my real life. sh*t, I’m a mom and a dork who’s the biggest American Idol geek you’ve ever seen. It’s the same as everyone thinking I was this wild-child party girl during my seasons on Wild On . . . But if you’re talking about a sex-symbol-with-a-heart or a sex-symbol-next-door, somebody who’s a little bit more real, I like that a lot.
OK, but early in your career you were quoted as saying, “If I can get famous because of my legs and my breasts, I’m in with a chance.”
I don’t remember saying it like that, but my point was whatever it is that takes you there, I’m fine with. See, there was this great shot of me getting out of my car, short miniskirt, all legs, Gucci high heels and a low-cut shirt so you could see lots of boobs. Chivas Regal did this campaign with it using a caption that read, “Yes, God is a man.” There was this huge scandal with a women’s rights organization that was so completely offended that anybody would have the audacity to exploit my breasts and my legs—and not show my head—and then go one step further and assume that “God is a man” that they had to know how felt about being exploited. I’m like, “Exploited?” So I took a strong stand in that I am who I am: I’m not getting paid to show up at the library in a suit with my hair in a bun. I’m a businesswoman. There used to be a joke when I had a beer contract that “boobs sell beer,” so what can I say? Exploited, never. Smart, yes.
So why are American men so obsessed with those beer-selling boobs?
Because they don’t get to see them because we have laws that women aren’t allowed to go topless. Nudity is such a taboo subject in our country that it’s this obsession. You’ve got these beautiful nude beaches everywhere else and it’s a whole other outlook. It’s just freedom and has nothing to do with sex until you get to the United States and people are like, “Ahhh! You’re naked!” But let’s face it: I hate wearing bikini tops! None of us like to wear them, and if anybody tells you they do, that’s bullsh*t. We hate them! Here you can watch somebody murdered on TV, but God forbid you see them in their natural state.
Though your natural state isn’t completely natural, is it? Your chest got a little amped up back in the day. How did that change your life?
It didn’t—I don’t pay that much attention because I had nice breasts before I had them done. I don’t have regrets, but if I had the decision to make now, I might not have done it because I actually find smaller breasts sexy. There’s definitely a stigma that comes with having large breasts, which is a challenge to get over. Since I’ve had two pregnancies, the public has mostly seen me when I’ve had milk in these huge breasts. But look at my boobs now. Do I have huge boobs? I mean, they’re not out of control.
We’ll dodge that and talk Dodgeball now.
I’m in one of the funniest scenes in the movie because here’s this guy, Vince Vaughn, coming to pick up on me with these outrageous lines, just oozing with confidence: “Hey, baby, you and me on the volleyball court. I take my shirt off and—pow!—you see my pecs and— pow!—you see my six-pack!” He’s so outrageous, but it’s really charming. I love that balls-out approach.
Is that how your husband won you?
Absolutely. Our first date we went on a trip to Hawaii. He said, “Let’s just go have some fun.” I thought in the worst-case scenario we’d drink beer and be friends, but we ended up falling madly in love and haven’t spent a night apart since. See, I’m not lukewarm. I’m hot or cold.
So what’s your definition of hot?
It’s a feeling. It’s a look in someone’s eyes. It’s the way someone smells.
And what’s your favorite smell?
I’m not opposed to a natural body scent. Like a healthy person coming home from the gym—that’s sexy, that morning scent. I’m not the kind of girl who has to jump up and go brush my teeth. And I don’t need the shower right after either.
Good girl. So what’s the worst thing a man can do or not do in bed?
To not shave is not a good thing. Don’t shave so you can go to work. You’d
better shave when you come to bed with me! And pedicures are an absolute must.
Yes, you’ve often rhapsodized about your kinky attraction to men’s feet.
I don’t have a foot obsession. I just like feet. But sometimes I have fans who want to take pictures of my feet. One fan said, “I want to take a picture of your feet and I don’t want you to pose.” I said, “Knock yourself out, honey.” See, I don’t find that weird, that’s my problem.
Brooke Burke: Floor Show
Brooke Burke is back on our cover, on our carpet and on E! We're on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Brooke got her start as the world-travelling host of E!’s Wild On series that was wildly popular for showing scantily-clad drunk people in exotic locations all around the world.
STUFF: Is life truly great, or is the title of your new show a sham?
BROOKE: Life is pretty darn good. I can’t complain. I just went to Vegas and got a presidential suite. They gave me $300,000 in chips to play with in a private gaming room. Of course, I kept winning, and then I had to return my entire stack after we finished filming the show. It was killing me. Killing me.
You inexplicably dropped out of our life for a while. It hurt. Where the hell were you?
All of my businesses made money. My calendar outsold the Sports Illustrated calendar, but I also realized that I was working 100 times harder trying to find work than I ever did when I had a steady deal with E! At the end of the day, I’m pretty laid-back; I’m just not a dramatic, angry, aggressive person. So at the auditions, they were like, “OK, imagine you’re burning in a building and you just lost your sister. Now go!” I couldn’t do it. It was not my gig.
But you won an award for Best Performance by a Human—Female at the Video Game Awards. Did the cyborgs resent you?
Samuel L. Jackson won for best male human, so I was in good company. [I won for my part as] Rachel Teller in Need for Speed Underground 2. She’s a very sexy, strong chick who runs this underground world of tricked-out cars. The game sold four million copies worldwide in the first month. It really turned me on to this whole tuner culture [of car fanatics who transform Chevettes into NASCAR-worthy rides]. I love to trick out my own cars. I drive a Hummer, and I put new wheels and tires and chrome on it. New mufflers, new light, sound system, rims.
We’ve read that you’re ranked as the sixth-most-searched woman on the Internet. Do you find that cool or creepy?
It freaks me out, but you know what? I’ll take it any day of the week. As long as there’s interest, I’ll keep doing this. But it is a little strange. According to one survey, my name was right below anthrax.
Brooke Burke Family Discount
This Connecticut-born beauty is married to Garth Fisher M.D. who is one of the country’s premiere plastic surgeons.
Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction?
The very first movie I did—and I won’t tell you what it’s called—I played a roller-skating waitress. I was wearing this very short skirt and these bloomers were supposed to go under it, but I didn’t know that. So I skated around without the bloomers. After we were done shooting, the director came running out and said, “Oh, my God! Where were your bloomers?” Luckily, that never made it into the movie.
Brooke Burke: The Wild One
Brooke Burke of E!’s Wild On is a dream girl with a dream job. She spends half the year partying around the world and the other half recovering. Here she shares her love for beer, feet and a little purple man.
Wherever Brooke Brooke goes, madness follows. She’s wrestled alligators, flown rockets, been beaned with 10,000 tomatoes and had 11 porcelain plates smashed on her skull. These are the occupational hazards of hosting the second most popular show on E!, right after a program hosted by a guy named Howard something.
She’s half French, half Portuguese and half Irish. You do the math. Raised in Tucson, Arizona, Brooke endured a job at Mr. Pretzel and the teasing of schoolmates (“Brookeburke! Brookeburke! Sounds like a chicken!”) before she showed them all up and became homecoming queen and a model at the age of 18. Last year she landed the choice job of partying around the world for Wild On. And in September, she started hosting Rank, a show that serves up lists of everything from the 25 Sexiest Men (set your VCRs!) to 15 Things Not to Do While Having Plates Bashed on Your Skull. We ran into Brooke at her L.A. home (well, not so much ran into as lightly brushed against), where she was putting the finishing touches on her extremely sexy new calendar (order one at BrookeBurke.com), a collection of bikini portraits of her in exotic places all over the globe. Unfortunately, Tenafly, New Jersey, was somehow omitted from the list. A percentage of sales from her calendar and other boutique items on her site will go to the Red Cross Relief Fund. “Now is a time to stick together, have faith, celebrate life and celebrate freedom,” says Brooke. “Any little thing we do for those in need will help make a difference.” Sounds good to us.
STUFF: You party pretty hard on Wild On. Ever get really loopy?
BROOKE: We did Wild On Greece. At one bar they have this pink toga party, where they bring one honorary person into the center of a circle and they do this fire ceremony and sing songs and do Greek dances. Then the guy who runs the place busts plates over your head. He asked me if I would do him the honor of being the chosen one. I was like, “Sure.” I got into the center, and they started feeding me ouzo—one shot after another. Then someone came over and said, “Sit still, and whatever you do, don’t move your neck or back.” I was like, “Oh, no.” Then he came over and smashed 11 plates over my head.
Did you crack this dude in the jaw?
No. A few minutes later he asked me if I would represent them in a beer-chugging competition. In my stunned, ouzo-influenced state, I was like, “Sure!” And I won. I can race a beer.
So can you, like, do a shotgun?
Yeah, but I prefer it in the bottle. If I’m in a fine restaurant and I want to have a beer, I’m going to drink it in the bottle or I’m not going to drink it at all. I like glass bottles. I like they way they feel. Have fun with that one!
I also hear you have a thing for feet?
I get a pedicure probably every week. I just love feet. And toes. I think you can tell a lot about a person by their feet. I think if someone doesn’t take care of their feet, they probably don’t care about the rest of their body. Do I look at men’s feet and think, He’s hot? No, but if he’s hot and he’s got nice feet, then I’m like, “Oooh, nice!”
Have you ever dated anyone famous?
No. But growing up I was desperately, madly, passionately, hopelessly devoted to Prince. I had a Prince shrine in my bedroom. I had posters of Prince on my ceiling. I could hardly watch his videos—I would hyperventilate.
OK, moving on. What’s one secret about women that you’d like to share with men?
I think there’s a way to every woman’s heart. But don’t try to figure out a woman, because when you figure her out, she’ll just change on you. Unless you go for the 25-and-up type. Women go through so much changing while growing up. I think the late twenties are a bit more stable.
Where would you recommend trying to pick up a girl?
The grocery store. Check it out—think of how much you can learn about someone by looking in her grocery cart. Let’s say you’re looking through a woman’s cart and she’s got frozen dinner and some canned soda. I wouldn’t really chalk her up as the best homemaker. If she’s got some herbs, fresh meat and really great salad items and some wine and some nice beauty products, maybe she’s a good cook and takes care of herself. Maybe she’s into romance. My point is: You’ve gotta check out the products.
Last night I purchased Anusol and a pack of Dentyne. Sexy?
What’s the strangest come-on you’ve ever gotten?
I met a man who gave me a series of greeting cards. One of them said, “I was thinking about you—miss you.” But it built up to this one pornographic card with a bunch of cash in it. He offered me this absurd amount of money [$30,000 to be exact] to spend one night with him. It was disgusting! I said to him, “You should have just asked.” And I walked out.
In the bedroom, do you prefer to be taken or do the taking?
I like to be taken—most definitely. I am a woman with an aggressive personality. But seduction is even sexier to me.
Any other tips?
Just be thorough. I mean, if you’re going to love someone, you should really love every inch of her. My feet are extremely sensitive, as is the small of my back. I think if you could speak to a handful of my girlfriends, they’d agree that if a man doesn’t love your toes, he just simply doesn’t love you.”
Brooke Burke Fun Facts
Won first beauty pageant at age 14.
While accompanying a high school friend to a modeling agency in Scottsdale, Arizona, Brooke was discovered by a talent scout who happened to be there.
Her biological father left the family when Brooke was two years old.
Was raised by mother and stepfather, Armen Hartounian. Her mother worked three jobs to support the family.
Her stepfather used to park his car in front of the side door of the house to keep Brooke from sneaking out at night!
Studied broadcast journalism at UCLA.
Appeared in commercials for Bally's Total Fitness and Discover Card (with Derek Jeter.)
Has modeled lingerie for Frederick's of Hollywood.
Brooke Burke posed nude for Playboy magazine.
Enjoys: Spending family time, doing Pilates, taking long walks, horseback riding, reading psychology books, cooking holiday meals and going to see movies and plays.
Has a daughter, Neriah. She takes her daughter wherever she goes!
Volunteers her time to work with such charitable organizations as Athletes & Entertainers for Kids and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
Brooke Burke: Wet and (Still) Wild
Having kicked E! to the curb (along with the majority of her clothing), Brooke Burke dives into a serious acting career—and a lot of water, which makes this shoot all the more interesting.
Eating lunch with Brooke Burke is like eating lunch with anyone else—except that you are constantly fighting the urge to propose to her every time she opens her mouth. As Brooke sexily (which pretty much applies to anything she does) pokes a fork through the grilled-chicken salad before her, she outlines the decision-making process that led her to dip her perfect-10 body into gallons of water, you can’t help but be taken by her incredibly sweet yet devilish demeanor. You also can’t help but think that your girlfriend looks like Ralph Malph by comparison.
The famously hot Ms. Burke first caught America’s collective leer as the host of E!’s Wild On. Sure, we initially tuned in to enjoy the comedy stylings of Art Mann, but after a season or two, we began praying that his segments would end with his being eaten by an alligator so that the rest of the show would be devoted to Brooke doing…well, whatever the hell she felt like. And what she felt like doing was ditching E! and moving on to the movies.
Her first film, a horror flick called The Hazing, comes out later this year. Last October, she took to the stage in a Stuff-sponsored play called Pieces (of Ass), in which hot chicks talk about the ups and downs of being hot. She has also bagged a role in the new Ben Stiller flick Dodgeball: The Movie, playing a hot woman whom Vince Vaughn hits on in the supermarket. The thought of Vince preying on our little Brooke both delights and disgusts us. Kind of like the transvestite hooker we picked up on Santa Monica Boulevard a few hours ago. Hey, it gets lonely on business trips!
BROOKE: It’s just the two of us in this romantic booth. Oh, no! [A spider crawls across the table.] I hate spiders.
STUFF: Are you going to be thinking of that spider the whole time we’re here?
I just killed him. I used to not be able to do that. I can face my fears now. I am really proud of that. I have overcome the biggest fear of my life. OK, that is an exaggeration. I’m still really afraid of them. But I can yell and scream and let you write about it, or I can just kill it and deal with it. I had a pet tarantula when I was a kid, so I don’t know how it developed. But I spend so much time on my own that there is no one to sort of rescue me from evil spiders. It’s kill him or he’ll kill me.
You just finished this dodgeball movie, right?
I play an attractive woman. That was really hard. [Laughs] Vince Vaughn tries to pick me up in a health-food store using these ridiculous pickup lines.
We assume that this happens to you a lot in real life.
It really doesn’t. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not out a lot or that when I am out, I am so focused on what I’m doing [that I don’t notice]. People don’t approach me or talk to me that much. I wouldn’t mind if they did.
Really? You’re going to need a police escort after that statement.
It’d be nice if they did.…Well, not every second of the day. I do get approached in the grocery store a lot. They usually ask for recipe advice. I don’t know what it is about the grocery store. That’s why I stopped going. [Laughs] I think you can tell a lot about a person by what is in their shopping cart. If someone has a couple of cans of soup and cases of beer, I’ll pass. [Laughs] When I was growing up in Arizona, they had singles night in the grocery store. It sounds really lame, but they would play great music in the aisles.
You started as a model, then became a TV host, and now you’re in the movies. Cindy Crawford tried the same path, and she hasn’t won any lifetime-achievement awards.
I think the problem is, you have to set realistic goals. I think if I had the chance to be the lead in a feature film, it might not be the wisest choice. Sometimes you take on too much. I like to take things one step at a time and conquer them.
Has Brooke ever been a crook?
I’ve had some driving experiences. I was driving my friend’s car on my birthday on the first day of school—16 years old, before I had my license—and I got pulled over. The cop drove me to school and walked me through the halls for everyone to see. My parents were always understanding—I was punished and humiliated enough at school. I got a bunch of speeding tickets in one year. I’ve slowed down and become calmer as I’ve gotten a little older.
Who do you count among your obsessions?
I was obsessed with Prince in junior high. I loved him. I had a shrine to him in my room. Black lace, posters, everything. When I moved to L.A., he was at a club I was at. I had the opportunity to meet him, but I was so starstruck that I hid under the table. When someone is such a big star to you, to meet them almost takes it all away. I remember seeing him on the dance floor with a lollipop in his mouth surrounded by bodyguards, and I just thought, No, I want to remember you like you were. It can spoil it if you meet someone you admire and they’re a jerk.
Has that happened to you?
I don’t know if I want to go there. Should I open up a can of worms and start a war?
By all means, yes!
Probably the rudest person who ever interviewed me was Howard Stern. He was just boring and rude.
It wasn’t original, not researched, the same sh*t as every interview.
It just sucked. World War III, here we come. [Sighs]
You shot your 2004 calendar right after you had your daughter, and you look amazing. Our baby mamas want to know: How did you do it?
Everyone assumes that I went to my husband, Garth, who’s [a surgeon] on Extreme Makeover, and had a body overhaul. Like I was a man before he got to me.
That’s not true, is it?
No! I’m just really devoted to working out and staying healthy. I have a workout video coming out this month called Core Secrets. I don’t have time to go to the gym. It’s a hassle.
Do guys always ask you to spot them?
Yes. Gyms in L.A. are such a scene.
Which is exactly why I choose not to work out. Are you a fan of your husband’s show?
[Pauses] That’s a very controversial issue. [Laughs] I’ll try not to bury myself here. I think it is an opportunity for a lot of people to make significant changes.
But do you like the show?
[Long pause] I think reality shows are a guilty pleasure. It’s a strange time in television.
Do you have any womanly advice for all the lonely men in the house?
I think there is a way to every woman’s heart. A guy might not be the studliest or the most successful, but I think if he’s made of good stuff, there is a way. Confidence, honesty and being romantic go a long way. I was in relationships with men who didn’t want to give a compliment. You know, “Oh, you hear that you are pretty all of the time.” Or “People tell you that you are sexy.” But for a woman, the person she wants to hear it most from is her man. It is great [if that’s] what everyone else is thinking, but what matters is your loved one.
You exude sex all day long at your photo shoots. Is it fun?
I love to be photographed. A lot of celebrities hate it, but I love it. For this Stuff shoot, we were racking our brains to think of how we could top the gold shoot [August 2003], which is my all-time favorite shoot ever published. You look at a lot of men’s magazines, and there are some really forced poses—a girl in high heels with a sexy look on her face. For me, personally, and most guys I know, they want a beautiful, sexy girl, but they want to see something that is more organic and believable. So it’s tough to think of a concept that feels natural and doesn’t make you feel stupid doing it. I mean, I could just throw on a pair of heels and arch my back and pose in front of some metal door, but that’s just not my style.
Way to put down our high-school yearbook photo.
So we came up with this concept of the pool of water. I wanted to do something really sensual, really erotic, without it being about the shoes and the clothes. I’ve never been more wet in my life.
Do you go home screaming for sex?
It depends on how long the day is! After 15 hours, I can be a little tired. The makeup artist owns my body for the day. I have to be oiled and misted. It’s fun, but on a normal day, I just roll around in jeans and a T-shirt.
You don’t get oiled up every day?
In my dreams I do.
We have a lot in common.
It’s just fun to live out an erotic fantasy, and this is exactly what this shoot is. My erotic fantasy.
OK, let’s end this interview before my head explodes.
Brooke Burke: Desert Fox
With a new calendar and movie, onetime E! Wild woman Brooke Burke is still the hottest thing in Hollywood—and the Mojave Desert. Joan Rivers, don’t read this. The reason we used to watch E! was to see the gorgeous Brooke Burke tell us everything we needed to know about exotic locales. Good thing that once she left Wild On…, she remained on the voweltastic channel as the host of Rank, a show that rates everything from the most beautiful people in the world to the most beautiful people in America. Up next for Brooke is a horror flick called The Hazing, which is not to be confused with our documentary on our favorite driving condition (titled Hazy). We caught up with the brunette beauty to discuss life ambitions and politics, but she just wanted to wear a bikini made of 14-karat gold-leaf paper. We argued about it for hours before deciding that the bikini thing might be good, too. OK, Joan, you may begin reading…now!
STUFF: Tell us about The Hazing.
BROOKE: It’s about what happens to sorority and fraternity pledges as they go through the hazing process. They’re confined to a haunted house for 24 hours and get possessed by a spirit.
Sounds, um, different.
I play a college student who’s trying to seduce my way to a better grade. I open up the film.
Sounds, um, scary. What about something scarier…like your own version of The Anna Nicole Show?
I would certainly let somebody follow me around and see my private world, but I don’t think it would be that fascinating. Anna’s a freak. People love to watch somebody do something outrageous or humiliating. It’s kind of sad that the American people are fascinated by watching other people humiliate themselves. I have a pretty damned normal, stable life. I work out, maybe meet my girlfriends for lunch. I think cocktail hours with the girls would have the same shock factor of Anna Nicole Smith.
What do you talk about? Computer games? My favorite is The Sims!
Women communicate with all their senses. Men don’t do that. A guy might describe a steamy night with a girl in one sentence, but a woman would take up a whole paragraph describing how it felt, smelled, sounded, tasted.…
Yeah, but we single space and omit unnecessary words like love and onion. Have you been on any weird auditions lately?
For a pay-per-view special, I was asked to play in a girls’ football game during Super Bowl halftime. We would all be wearing lingerie and pumps. They wanted me to be the quarterback.
Sounds great! Two-hand touch, tackle or tickle? Are you going to do it?
I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. I said, “Hell, no!”
As I was saying, that’s awful! How could they ask such a thing?
They wanted the girls to meet twice a week for practice—to get competitive and really good. I mean, I played football when I was younger. But a bunch of chicks in lingerie making complete asses of themselves? Girls with no dignity are not sexy.
We couldn’t agree more. By the way, are you into mud wrestling?
I’m not that into it, but I think there is something sexy about a girl being able to really get down and dirty. We’re talking hair, face, nails…just really dirty.
So, you’ve openly discussed your foot fetish. How’s that been working out for you?
Well, I don’t think I really, truly have a foot fetish. Maybe it’s because I love women’s shoes. I have a really fantastic collection of photos of my feet from around the world. I’ve photographed my feet in Hawaii, in the Adriatic Sea off a sailboat heading for Croatia, on a glass platform in New Zealand.…
Where are these photos?
They’re in a section of my Web site [www.brookeburke.com] called Foot Freaks. I’ve been getting these insane e-mails from people requesting more photos. And I mean really bizarre requests, like, “Can we see more of the ball of your foot?”
We’re more wrist men here. Elbows, too! What’s the stupidest thing that’s ever been written about you?
The New York Post has this gossip thing about me that is so impossible, it’s almost hilarious. They’ve had these “spottings” of me with another man in New York City—while I’m out of the country with my husband.
They’re always pulling the same thing on us. So the rumors aren’t true about you and…
No! One of the stories said I was seen on the dance floor at this press party with Tony Soprano’s kid [Robert Iler]. I never even saw the dance floor, let alone danced on it.
What’s the dilly with your new infomercial? Are you getting all Suzanne Somers on us?
It’s with the balance ball, and it’s called Core Secrets. This is a workout that you can do for 30 minutes and get a head-to-toe workout.
And you use one of those big beach-ball thingies?
The whole video is: Brooke shows you what you can do with your balls. There were so many funny outtakes from this video. Once, I said, “Everybody has balls. Now I’m about to show you what you can do with them.”
You have a new poster coming out, too, right?
This is my first poster in stores—at least that I’ve approved of. People love to have fun with your images and sell them. They take your head and have your body doing something you would never do. But this poster will show me in the gold bikini. You’ll be able to get it in all kinds of gift shops, but I think Wal-Mart is going to be very afraid of the gold.
You can say that again, sister.
Isn’t it funny how uptight our culture is? They can carry a violent video game, but they’re afraid of a little feminine skin. I want to know when someone’s going to come out with a women’s magazine that shows some male flesh.
You mean like Playgirl or Men’s Health?
Not Playgirl. Chicks don’t want to see that. For any man who wants to know, we don’t want to see the whole package. We want to leave a little more to the imagination. It’s not photogenic.
OK, this is getting very hurtful, and I think you should stop now.
I’m really putting my foot in my mouth. I think it would be really challenging to make sure it was in its perfect state.
Maybe we could put 14-karat gold-leaf paper over it?
God, I’d feel really bad for that oiler.
Hot and Cool Brooke Burke
Stunning Brooke Burke has made a name for herself as the popular host of E!'s travel series "Wild On". The highly rated show takes viewers to some of the hottest, most exotic travel destinations in the world. Burke has traveled with the show to locations both popular and unusual in places like Spain, Chicago, Jamaica, Bermuda, Yucat‡n, Waikiki, the West Indies and the Amazon.
Beyond "Wild On" Burke has a new series also on E! called "Rank," which covers everything that is hip, hot and cool in movies, television and pop culture in general.
Burke began as a print model at age 18 in her native Arizona and was subsequently signed to high-profile agencies like Ford and Wilhelmina. Her unique beauty, a reflection of her French, Irish and Portuguese lineage, has landed her several magazine covers and billboards, as well as editorials, posters, swimsuit calendars, videos and commercials for the likes of Bally Total Fitness and Discover Card.
Burke, who studied broadcast journalism at UCLA, enjoys working out with Bikram yoga, not on the road with "Wild On" or hosting "Rank". When not working (which is rare) Burke spends time with family, friends and her pets.
Chauncé Hayden: Most would agree that you have the best job in the world.
Brooke Burke: That's what I keep hearing. That's the most common thought that people share with me.
Well, are most people right?
If I had to go back and do it again, I wouldn't change anything. The last two years of "Wild On ... " have been the best years of my life. So many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and getting paid to travel and see the world and make friends is pretty incredible.
Just how wild are your "Wild On ... " experiences?
I did it with my newborn. She traveled all over the world with me. Contrary to the wild child image that everybody thinks I have.
That's quite a different image.
I know. But I really have a very stable family life. I hardly ever go out when I'm home.
But the camera doesn't lie. You certainly look like you're having a good time.
Everything everybody sees on the show is very real. I'm really partying and having fun. But that's for the sake of the show. In my real life, everything is really down home and earthy. It's very much a contrast from the image that everyone has of me.
Do you disapprove of that wild image?
I think it comes with the territory. People who I'm close to know how I really am. I think it's just part of the fantasy related to the show. (Laughs) I don't spend too much time thinking about what everybody else thinks!
How surprised are you that you went from being a swimsuit model to a host of your own television show?
I actually never thought I would even end up modeling. I just took advantage of the right opportunities. I actually didn't envision myself in the entertainment industry at all. Although I really feel fortunate and it's been such a great ride. I never dreamed about any of this. It all just sort of happened. The next thing I knew, I was off to Spain to do my first "Wild On ... " show. Soon after, I signed a three-year deal, and now I'm planning a new show as well. Everything has just fallen into place.
You say you took advantage of the right opportunities. What was the opportunity that led to your being discovered?
I auditioned for the "Wild On ... " position through a friend of mine who had some contacts with the people at E! Entertainment. When I first heard about it, I wasn't even sure I wanted to do it. I was really happy just doing what I was doing. But my friend told me that I didn't need any experience, and since I loved to travel it would be perfect for me. They just wanted somebody who had a zest for life and who could mingle and blend with people. So I met with the producers and they sent me off to Spain to do a trial show, and that was it.
And the rest is "Wild On ... " history.
You're a very beautiful woman. Do you ever stop and think how being beautiful has led to such great success?
I don't think it's just my physical appearance. I studied broadcast journalism at UCLA and I'm writing a book right now. I think there are a lot of other things that went into the making of where I am right now. If I had just been modeling and nothing else, I might agree with you, but I have to challenge that a little bit.
You can see how one might assume that without the perfect body and face, the opportunities you've taken advantage of might not have been there. Does that offend you?
I'm not offended by it. It's just that there's so much more to my career than just putting on a bikini. I interview celebrities, and I'm doing a new show called "Rank," where there will be action and adventure sports involved. And on "Wild On ... " there's only a small amount of time that you actually see me in a bikini. Personally, I look at the whole picture, but everybody is going to have their own opinion. I just make the best of the situation.
Are you still modeling?
I love modeling. I love being photographed! It's something I really enjoy doing. I know that a lot of celebrities don't feel that way. But when I decided to produce the 2002 calendar that's out now, it was one of the most passionate projects that I've ever done. I shot it all around the world and worked on the design and edited all the film. I pretty much produced the whole thing myself.
How many women can actually say they love to be photographed? What is it like to look at a picture of yourself and think, "Damn, I look good."
(Laughs) Well, I don't always think that! I definitely take a lot of bad pictures! I just love the world of photography. I love the concept of how a photo comes together, from the contrast to the location to the styling. I love every part of photography. So when I looked at pictures and produced my calendar and edited the pictures, it wasn't just about looking at myself and thinking I'm attractive. I try to take myself out of it and get into the whole process of putting it all together.
You mentioned your new show "Rank" that will also air on E!. I know you'll be interviewing celebrities and doing some crazy extreme sports. But what else can you tell me about it?
It's very different. The best way to describe it is as E!'s pop culture countdown. We cover everything in entertainment. Everything from celebrity interviews to the sexiest stars in Hollywood to TV's guilty pleasures to the best Oscar moments. It's a lot of fun, and it's more of a straight hosting gig. It's shot in L.A. and it's pretty straightforward. It's a whole different direction for me, and the ratings are really great right now. It's nice to know I can carry a different kind of show.
Was "Rank" the next logical step for you?
Personally, I always try to keep growing. When this opportunity came along, I thought, here is a chance not to travel as much, and I really enjoy it. The show is fast-paced with a lot of "A"-list celebrities. It was something new and a great challenge for me.
And "Wild On ... " isn't doing to shabbily either. Right now it's second to the Howard Stern Show on E!.
Yeah. And "Rank" is right there as well.
They must love you at E!.
They've been so good to me!
Do you think you could ever beat Howard Stern in the ratings?
Sometimes we do! I think he has such an incredible following and he's so creative in his own little niche. Plus, my viewers are usually people who watch his show. So we go hand in hand.
Have you ever appeared on the Howard Stern Show?
No, I haven't.
Isn't it strange that "Wild On ..." follows Howard Stern on E!, yet you've never been a guest on his show?
I know, I know.
Are you against appearing on The Howard Stern Show?
I'm not against it. I just don't know what we would talk about other than the usual! (Laughs)
So in other words, you don't want to go on the Stern show and discuss your breasts?
Right! (Laughs) I don't want to discuss my breasts with the whole world!
Has Howard complained that you won't do his show?
He has, but E! has been really supportive of my decision. They only want me to do what I want to do. Although I think there will be a time when I'll do his show. I just need to be in a really strong place in order to get through his show.
I think most would understand. However, you did agree to do Playboy. Was it a hard decision to appear naked in a men's magazine?
That was done in a very different way than the typical Playboy layout, and I had absolute photo kill rights. Yes, it was totally but I didn't show that much. My decision to do Playboy came from both a spiritual and emotional place. It was a pretty intense decision process whether or not to do it. But I'm very happy with the way it came out. I feel honored to have been able to grace the cover of Playboy, and I think it was shot in a very tasteful way. It left a lot to the imagination, which is hard to do when you're nude!
You've traveled all over the world. If you could pick your favorite place, where would it be?
I think Bali. It had a uniqueness to it that's incomparable to a lot of the destinations I've been to. It's very spiritual and has a very special vibe. I also love St. Barts. It's one of my favorite islands in the West Indies.
No fear of flying?
I really don't. I think it's safer now. In fact, I was on a plane from New York to L.A. on September 11th, and we did an emergency landing. I was with my whole family and it was a really close call. It was very, very scary. We took off at 8:30 a.m on American Airlines, and about an hour and a half into the flight, the pilot came on and said, "All flights are being grounded in the United States, and I have no further information." We were on the ground in 12 minutes. It was so chaotic and terrifying. We drove the rest of the way home. That was a close call, but I just don't think that's my way to go, and I think flying now is safer than it's ever been. I also spend most of my time on a plane.
Speaking of taking risks, you've done a lot of crazy things, including wrestling a 14-foot crocodile.
Yes! But the scariest thing I've ever done is fly in a Russian MIG jet fighter.
I just love to experience things. I would do almost anything once.
Except lobster dive, I hear.
Yeah, I'm really afraid of bugs and things like that.
Didn't you call lobsters the cockroaches of the sea?
(Laughs) Yeah! I don't eat them and I don't want to see them. They just freak me out! I really have to try to overcome it! Hey, we all have our fear. Mine is bugs and lobsters!
How does your husband deal with your hectic schedule?
He's amazing! I'm very lucky! He's a doctor who puts in 12-hour days, so he knows what it's like to sacrifice and devote 100 percent into a career. So he's very supportive of me. Although it was rough that second year of "Wild On ... " when I took my daughter on the road with me. He really missed both of us. But now he's really happy to have us home and he's very supportive of me, and he knows who he is and he's accomplished so much because of his great commitment.
It's great to see a celebrity not married to another celebrity.
Yes, we're a very normal family. He's mister stable and I'm the adventurer. It's a good balance.
Has a celebrity ever come on to you?
Never. I never would even want to date a celebrity. (Laughs) I've been very lucky in love. I couldn't find anyone better than who I have.
Finally, ever go on the Internet and type your name under a search engine to see what comes up?
Yes, I have! And it amazes me what I've seen. I don't know where people get photos of me that I've never seen myself!
Ever go into a chat room?
Never! I've never even gone into my own chat room because I think that's just so weird. I wouldn't want to know what people are saying about me!
Brooke Burke: Smooth
Like the velvety drop her womanly form has promoted to great effect -- and controversy -- Brooke Burke is easy on the senses
Legs are tremendously useful. Not only do they ensure that your upper torso remains a healthy distance from the ground during travel, they're also great for many other essential activities, including jumping, fleeing unpaid taxi fares, and kicking the occassional hobo. But in the advertising world, the leg assumes even greater status. Indeed, the fantastic pins of 29-year-old Los Angelino Brooke Burke, when photographed exiting a sports car and placed beside the slogan "God is a Man" on nationwide Chivas Regal ads, sold more truckloads of Scotch than previously thought possible. They also caused countless bill-board-related car accidents and, more pleasingly, drove hundreds of knee-jerk feminists into furious Tourette's-like rages.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Brooke won an acting scholarship in her rattlesnake-rich home town and moved to California, where she studied journalism. There she popped out a nipper -- daughter Neriah -- and before long found herself earning rapturous audiences as the presenter of Foxtel's E! Wild On TV program.
One modelling exit from a pleasantly angled vehicle later, and the down-to-earth starlet was on her way to the big time. And so it is that FHM has linked up with the charming Brooke Burke, actress model, presenter, and testament to the anatomical savvy of the big man upstairs ...
Those Chivas Regal Scotch ads certainly kicked up quite the
Yeah, there was a huge controversy. I was so shocked. I was in Australia shooting Wild On: The Outback and I got this call from a journalist who was tracking me down, not wanting to tell me why. He
finally caught up with me and he said, "Oh you're famous in Sydney -- your ad is everywhere." Apparently a feminist group caused a huge controversy about the ad and it got voted to be taken down. I keep getting asked if I feel exploited, but as everyone knows beauty sells booze, and I think it's a beautiful picture. Of course, the funny thing is no one really knows it's me -- of course they will now -- but if I can get famous because of my legs and my breasts then I'm in with a chance.
What do you think of the Scotch-drinking man?
I don't really care what my man is drinking, but I'm more of a beer, wine or tequila kind of girl.
You drink a lot on your program E! Wild On.
It looks that way, doesn't it. If I'm in a different country and they have a special drink they want me to give a shot, I'll drink it. I experiment with a little of everything when I travel.
Have you ever been violently ill after swilling an exotic cocktail?
I don't think it was a specific cocktail; I think it was a violent blend of cocktails.
You recently blessed Australia in person with a visit for E! Wild On. What did you get up to?
It was one of my favourite shows. I fought off a four metre crocodile
with a stick. They took me to this crocodile farm where Malcome Douglas breeds crocodiles and I thought I would be interviewing him and getting a little background and seeing a few crocodiles. They didn't tell me that I would be actually going into the crocodile pen. It was the scariest thing I had ever done. There was a female and a male in the pen and Malcom was going in; I had to keep my eye on the male, holding this stick, and if it moved I had to hit him with the stick. At one point the male crocodile started to come out of the water in my direction and I hit him and thankfully he stayed away.
American football is played by large marshmallows in pads: did you check out any of our more masculine codes?
I actually had a go at Aussie rules. It was rough. I got to kick,and I
even got to jump on a player's back and catch a pass. I didn't get tacked, thank God. I then went to this bar where there were about 3,000 people crowded in to watch football. They all got unbelievably drunk -- or "got on the piss". I actually went in with a cheat sheet of Aussie slang. This one guy walks right up to me and goes, "How about a root?" I was shocked, went speechless and tried to get out of there. I can't imagine an American man coming up to me and going, "How about you and me, honey, right now?"
Ah, Australian charm. You do this show all over the world and must get approached by lots of different men while filming?
Not like the Aussie men, ha, ha. the camera is usually intimidating and puts men off from approaching me. I love to mingle with everybody, but I never usually meet men who come up and spin me a line. But the Aussie men, they are fearless.
Is it true you used to model?
I did a lot of body modelling, lingerie modelling, catalogues, and commercials. I'm passionate about photography.
But you wanted to be a rock drummer when you were growing up?
I know it's goofy, but I did. My dad wouldn't buy me a complete kit, he bought me one drum and made me practise an hour a day.
You grew up in Arizona; did you have your own lasso and hat?
I'm a hick at heart. I own a pair of black suede chaps with rhinestones down the side and I love a good country bar -- there's nothing better than drinking beer and shooting pool.
What sort of normal jobs have you had?
I used to work at Mr. Pretzel and I was also a bartender. I had the record for the number of shots sold. I'd walk around in a cowboy outfit, and in each holster was a bottle of tequila and I'd go round the bar serving them. I was a good saleswoman -- I could pour a good shot.
What sort of man do you go for?
The greatest thing a man can have is confidence, be sincere and know
how to have a good time. I can't be with somebody who is completely set in their ways -- they have to be flexible. I've got to be able to take them to a bar and drink beers, stay in a five-star hotel and fine-dine, and then go camping and they won't mind. I also like strong hands and feet.
What about hairy toes?
Feet can be beautiful. I guess I don't dig hairy toes, but you can tell a lot about people by their feet and their shoes.
What's been the most romantic thing that's ever happened to you?
Someone bringing me coffee in the morning is bed is romantic. I like the little things: I like fresh flowers -- not roses though, they're so thoughtless. Of course the most important thing is to be a good kisser.
What makes a good kisser?
Oh gosh, this is top-secret stuff. The first kiss is all-important, you can tell a lot about someone's potential from that one kiss. If they're a bad kisser, it's all over and I'm not going any further.
Do you think a prospective lover should immediately stick the tongue in there?
It depends on the situation. In the heat of passion it could be appropriate. I think wet kisses are really nice, but everyone is different. I think a good kiss should be really strong, with the entire mouth so you can check out the dentures, ha, ha. It's like being on the dance floor with a partner -- if there's not a lot of rhythm going on there that could be a problem.
Do you like showing off your body?
I'm settled with who I am, and comfortable with my body. I'm not embarassed about showing my body at all. I've done a lot of body modelling, which obviously has helped.
When you meet a man for the first time, do you find that they converse with your breasts?
I don't find that, because if someone was talking to my breasts I wouldn't let that happen. You have to get eye contact.
Whereas women would never ogle a crotch ...
Women are a lot more subtle, they definitely check it out but they don't talk to it.
The Secret Life of a Beautiful Woman Brooke Burke
She loves big silver cowboy buckles and chewy red Swedish fish, three-inch Gucci stiletto heels and Lamborghini trucks. She hates being alone. She doesn’t kiss on the first date. She feels high highs and low lows, often in rapid succession. Sometimes she’ll push you away because she wants you to try again. She's been offered $30,000 for one night.
Once in Tucson a guy was so busy staring at her that he walked into a pole and knocked himself out. Once, crossing a street in Beverly Hills, she caused a four-car accident. She's exactly the kind of woman who makes men restless in their relationships.
Her toes are long, like fingers. One of them sports a silver ring. She has a tiny tattoo of a cottontail bunny on the nape of her neck, a souvenir of a drunken night on the town with her two best friends, former Playboy centerfolds. She loves backgammon, bowling, clive bars, sunbathing in the gambling in Las Vegas: blackjack, baccarat, pai gow. She loves French lingerie, always in matching sets, and scented candles, oodles of them, all over the room. She loves the word love--and the words romance, ambience, intimacy, and hot. She's been kidnapped by a bodybuilder, stalked by a Persian nightclub owner, electronically surveilled by an Israeli mobster, relieved of her worldly possessions by a family of wealthy Egyptians, sued by a downstairs neighbor who claimed that her vocal lovemaking destabilized his energy.
She has dark eyes and dimples, bright teeth and full lips, a beauty mark on her right cheek, the beginnings of fine lines in the various localities across her heart-shaped face that register emotion. She is the girl next door grown up, feet planted firmly on the summit of her prime, looking expectantly, tentatively, hopefully toward the future. Her speech is punctuated with musical exclamations - Oh my God! Holy sh*t! Rad! That's the bomb! - and though she hardly moves her lips when she talks (she can, in fact, carry on a conversation while a makeup artist applies lipstick with a brush), her tonal range is preternatural, from alto to coloratura, church mouse to screaming meemy. She invents adjectives: froggy, foofy, fugly. Her take on language is like her take on life: She makes it fun, she makes it fit her needs. She doesn't always care if others understand.
Her primary goals in life are marriage and motherhood. She's been engaged four times. She thinks it's probably better to marry someone who loves you more than you love him. No man she's ever been with has truly known how much she cared. She is ardent and enthusiastic, nurturing and sincere, spontaneous and insatiable. When she was young--a coltish, bucktoothed tomboy who gave up cheerleading to play football--she collected Matchbox cars, which she still keeps in their original carrying case, stashed inside a large antique hope chest, along with her old photo albums. Her first car was a cream-colored Porsche convertible. Her first night in Los Angeles was spent locked in a laundry room in a house in the Hollywood Hills, seeking refuge from an erstwhile acting teacher. She listens to Kool & the Gang, Mariah Carey, Kenny G, Shania Twain, Isaac Hayes. She likes tank tops and shorty shirts, cashmere and soft leather, baby-doll nightgowns and black garters, handbags by Chanel. She believes that men and women can be friends. Friends have given her clothes, diamonds, plane tickets, a Jaguar and a Jeep, three months in her own suite at the Ritz-Carlton. She's still friends with the Israeli mobster. He took his ring back with a shotgun. He is currently in prison. They correspond.
She owns her own condo in Santa Monica. She can watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean from a hammock on her private rooftop deck, which doubles as a doggy latrine and could use a good cleanup. She can maneuver her black Lexus SUV through freeway traffic, talk on her cell phone, look up numbers on her palm computer using her fingernail as a stylus, and still manage to flip off an errant driver. She's never tried to flirt her way out of a speeding ticket. She's never found the guts to say, "No, honey, please don't go. Let's work this out." She thinks it would be nice, for once, to figure herself out, to understand herself better, to be more sure, to integrate more fully the things she knows with the things she feels.
She is a Virgo. She was born in 1972. She was born in 1971. She was born in 1970. Her grandfather was a Portuguese sailor. Her father split when she was two. Her mom worked three jobs. Her stepdad parked his car in front of the side door so she couldn't sneak out of the house at night. She used the window. She was an ugly baby, eggplant-colored and hairy, sick all the time. She still coughs like a croupy infant, with a hack like a hound from hell, though somehow it works for her, as does the dog-bite scar on her cheek—a cocker spaniel named Lucky--endearing little flaws that take her down a few pegs from perfect, make her seem more real. She giggles freely, laughs conspiratorially, grazes your arm lightly with her fingernails, leans her forehead into the space near yours. She rarely cries. Her most arresting feature is her eyes: deep, glittering orbs in almond-shaped settings. She says thank you to every compliment, no matter how small, no matter how tangential. She pays scant attention to things that don't involve her. She doesn't watch the news or read the paper; she doesn't remember names. When she's eating and wants to say something, which is often, she holds her left hand delicately in front of her mouth while she speaks. She hates her name: Brooke Burke. The way it looks: the busty double B's, the cutesy double e's. The way it sounds--like chicken talk: Buk Buk.
Brooke won her first beauty pageant at fourteen. She had her first boob job at nineteen. At twenty-two, she had a pocket of fat removed from just below the cheekbone on either side of her face. Once, in a mall in Tucson, where she grew up, a guy was so busy staring at her that he walked into a pole and knocked himself out. Once, crossing a street in Beverly Hills, she caused a four-car accident. Her likeness has smiled down upon Sunset Boulevard from a billboard. She's appeared on Star Search and Jenny Jones, in Sport magazine's swimsuit issue. She does a lot of catalogs for swimwear and lingerie and a television commercial now and then, most notably the stylish spots for Bally Total Fitness. An inventory of her catalog shots can be found on two unofficial Web sites posted by fans. She makes a minimum of $1,500 a day for print work. She will not bare her nipples or her kitty for any price; she is not that kind of girl. She has no interest in becoming an actress; she is not that kind of girl, either.
She is cute as a button, pretty as a picture, eminently f*ckable, totally unavailable. Barring one regrettable incident, she is a confirmed serial monogamist, a one-man woman. Since the eighth grade, when the first love of her life deliberately flunked in order to stay behind in the same school with her, she has never gone more than a month without a boyfriend. Her current boyfriend drives a Mercedes V-12 convertible, a $120,000 car. She recently misplaced it in a shopping-mall parking lot. His name, Garth, is tattooed on her instep. He's forty, a plastic surgeon, one of the best in Beverly Hills, a blue-eyed graduate of Ole Miss known for his sweetness and good looks, for his pioneering techniques in scalp flaps and breast augmentations. On their fifth date, they went to Hawaii. They've been together every night since--nine months so far. The tattoo, in blue cursive letters, was a birthday gift. She knows it was risky, but it felt like the right thing to do. She calls it her public confession. Garth was flattered and pleased. One thing he loves about Brooke is her capacity for giving. The other day, for no particular reason, she bought him an alligator watchband from Cartier. His last girlfriend required a monthly stipend. Her price for cohabitation was a diamond ring. She never gave him anything but a hard time.
Brooke and Garth have talked about taking the next step-or at least about taking the step after the next step, because the next step will be moving into the house he is building, a $2.5 million, seventy-five-hundred-square-foot "estate home" with a three-story atrium entryway and a fireplace in the master bath. Just yesterday, in fact, four days before Christmas, while she was visiting his office, stopping by for a few moments to drop off a picture of herself in a red satin Santa suit, a little holiday surprise for his desk, Garth's great good friend and business manager came right up and gave her a big hug. It was no ordinary hug, this one. It was a huge, strong, lingering hug - you might even say a pregnant hug - followed by a chaste little kiss on the cheek, followed by an arm's-length biceps squeeze and a knowing look. That had never happened before. Never, ever. Never! Holy sh*t! Come to think of it, everyone in the office was acting weird. The receptionist, the nurses, even the techs. Looking at her funny. Smiling oddly. Strange. Really strange. And then the business manager just walked right up and wrapped her in this bear hug and then kissed her and wished her well and then looked at her like, like –
Oh my God!
Oh my GOD!
Oh. My. God.
Something's up, she is sure.
Brooke strolls with her pit bull down the sunny side of the street, a trendy little avenue of boutiques and palm trees just east of the beach, wearing large Donna Karan sunglasses and a vintage leather jacket, unzipped to reveal the low-cut neckline of her tan knit shirt, the hemispheric swell of her breasts. Her long brown hair lofts behind her in the gentle salt breeze, trailing the aroma of Coco Chanel.
"Excuse me. Excuse me! Hellooooo.”
He is tall, mid-twenties, handsome like a college quarterback. He carries a gym bag and a cell phone, wears a baseball cap and a crooked grin. He passed her one block back and his eyes bugged. He stopped, turned, watched her for a few moments, transfixed, the muscles of her taut thighs and high ass undulating subtly beneath her faded Levi's, and then he took off after her in a leisurely pursuit. Now he's three yards hack and holding steady, matching her step for step. "Hey!" he calls, a tad beseeching. "Just a minute."
She accelerates, lengthening her stride imperceptibly, pretending not to hear. It is three days before Christmas and she has presents to buy, much on her mind. There are curtains a~ colors and fireplace fittings to be chosen for the new house; she needs to find someone to sublet her condo. She has a go-see at two, her test shots for her new comp card are ready for pickup at the photographer's studio, her reservations for New Eve at the doggy hotel have yet to be confirmed. She's still undecided about her outfit for Garth's office party tomorrow night. Will the backless be too much? Maybe the black lace would be better. Or the leather pants. Something's up; she wants to look smashing. To top it off, her best friend, Neriah, one of the tatooed triumvirate, is due home this afternoon from Las Vegas. She's been gone for a while visiting her man. She called this morning, said she was flying in, said she had big news. Last time, the big news was a brand-new Mercedes convertible. Oh my God! What could it be!
"Excuse me," calls the quarterback, throttling up a notch, hailing her like a coast-guard vessel on the high seas, trying to come alongside and cast a line. "Pardon me! Please!"
She adjusts the strap of her handbag over her shoulder, loops a stray hair behind her ear with a manicured nail, stays a brisk but nonchalant course down the sidewalk. In a town teeming with beautiful women, Brooke is still a magnet, a prime example of what she likes to call the BBD--the Bigger Better Deal, the kind of woman who makes men restless and noncommittal in their relationships, the kind of dream date they like to think is waiting just around the corner, anxious to enter their lives. Once or twice a day, someone stops dead in his tracks and stares at her, or someone says something, tries to meet her, to get her number. They call to her from car windows across two lanes of traffic, make small talk about ibuprofen at the drugstore cash register. Maybe because Brooke is not particularly tall. Maybe because she's not particularly famous, or because she's brunette instead of bombshell blond, and men tend to want to date blonds but marry brunettes. Maybe because when she smiles, she lights up a rather large area around her. Whatever the reason, there is something about Brooke that seems approachable, that draws people in. Men see her and think for just a moment that it might be possible to have a pinup girl of their very own, the perfect woman with whom to share all their toys.
When she first came to Los Angeles from Arizona, if someone looked her way, she'd gaze into his eyes and smile her best smile, not to invite conversation or approach, just to be friendly, to be the best person she could be. She rarely does that anymore. There have been too many invitations to parties that turned out to be intimate dinners, too many business meetings with Joe Blow and his cousin Sam the writer, too many psychos and too many restraining orders, too many long nights of giggling at stupid jokes, acting as if she wanted to be somewhere she didn't want to be, acting as if this sweaty dodo with his smelly cigar might really have a chance with her when the night was through. Over the years, she's become more discreet, more careful, not nearly so nice. It pains her to say this--being the kind of person she's always been, a woman who finds her deepest solace in the company of a man, a man's woman--bur a girl like Brooke needs to protect herself. A girl like Brooke needs a house alarm, a dog, a gun, and caller-ID blocking.
The quarterback closes the gap, reaches out and taps Brooke on the shoulder. "Excuse me," he says again. She wheels around. They almost collide.
"Can I help you?" Her tone is businesslike, cool but not cold, short but not indignant, a little wary.
"Um, uh--hi!" he stammers.
The pit bull growls. "Sit, girl," she tells the dog, a thick-bodied, brown-black bitch on medication for a thyroid problem.
"So," he says, searching for an opener. "What do you do?"
"That's kind of personal, isn't it?"
"I guess," he says. He shuffles his feet. He beams. It is clear that his looks are his usual route in, but the door isn't opening. He's at a loss.
"So what do you want?" she asks.
"I, uh--well, uh--"
"Do you think it would be possible for us to dine together?"
"Dine together," she deadpans. She smiles a fake smile, a kind of grimace. She shakes her head. "I don't think so. I'm engaged."
"Engaged?" he asks. "Really." He lifts a skeptical eyebrow, points with his cell phone at her left hand. A chunky gold bracelet slides down his wrist. "Where's your ring?"
"Yeah. Your engagement ring."
"Who says you need a ring to be engaged?"
"Most people, I guess."
"Well, I'm not most people."
"So what do you think?"
She sighs again. "Listen, I'll tell you what. See that coffee shop over there?"
Shielding his eyes with the cell phone, he squints across the street. "You mean that one?" "I'll meet you there in an hour, okay?"
"Great! Excellent! Okay!" His face breaks into a big smile. He shifts his weight from foot to foot. "One hour from right now." He taps his watch. "Say, one-twenty?"
"Perfect. One-twenty will be perfect."
"Okay! Well! I guess I'll see you then!" He waves goodbye, begins backing away.
"Let's go, Cali," she says to the dog.
"Wait a minute. What's your name?"
She calls over her shoulder, headed south: "I'll tell you when I see you.”
"I'll be waiting," he croons.
Late afternoon in Brooke's condo, a dramatic one-bedroom with a vaulted ceiling and two-story windows. The sun has set, the Cabernet is poured, the scented candles are lit, oodles of them, all over the room.
Brooke and Neriah sit facing each other on either end of an overstuffed sofa, legs crossed Indian-style, each of them nuzzling a cat. A little more than a year ago, between men, feeling sad and mighty froggy, they roomed together here for a while.
Brooke had lust broken off her engagement with a German model named Stefan, a strapping piece of manhood with shoulder-length hair and deep brown eyes--Oh my God! Their relationship was pure adrenaline: extremely volatile, very chemical, very unhealthy. The thought of him still makes her roll her eyes and pretend to swoon. Neriah had just fled a long relationship with a youth pastor from her tiny hometown in northern California. One night he just went off, calling her the devil, trashing their log cabin, vowing they'd never marry, because she'd appeared naked in three million magazines. It was a dark time for both women, and every evening, schedules permitting, they'd rendezvous at sunset, break out the wine and one of Brooke's ornate weed pipes, and take their respective seats on the deep, velvety sofa. They called it the Therapy Couch.
Neriah has just returned from Las Vegas with a five-carat diamond ring on her finger. When the initial wave of shrieks and hugs and Oh my Gods subsided, they immediately called Nikki, the third of their triumvirate. Now Nikki is here with them in voice and spirit, via speakerphone. She recently married Ian Ziering, an actor on Beverly Hills, 90210. The rule among these women is that your man comes first; it's been quite a while since they've all been together in the same room. The decibel level is deafening. "Neriah! You're getting married! Oh my God!" shrieks Nikki. "Isn't this the best!" squeals Brooke.
"I know. I know. I know!" cheers Neriah, throwing a fist in the air.
"So what are you gonna do, man, live in Vegas?" asks Nikki. A former dental hygienist from Orange County, Nikki was Miss September 1997, pictured in her centerfold in front of a fun-house mirror. She is a blond of the bombshell variety, known in her circle of friends for her devilish laugh, her quick tongue, her ability to recite the fifty states in alphabetical order in less than a minute.
"I'll probably keep my place here," says Neriah, another beautiful blond, buxom yet athletic, another petite girl made larger than life through surgery. In her Playboy layout (March 1994), she was pictured as a hippie chick, outdoors in the desert. She is famous among the kind of men who read Playboy as the Playmate Who Split the Scene. Shortly after her pictorial ran, she found God (and the youth pastor) and refused to participate in any promotions. Her disappearing act served unwittingly to create a cult following. Recently, the license plate from the scooter pictured in her centerfold sold for more than a thousand dollars to an anonymous collector. You can find her on her own Web site, in catalogs, in guest spots on TV.
"You could always stay with us when you work," offers Brooke. "You know you'll always have a room wherever I live, bunny."
"Ahhhh!" groans Neriah, anguished. "I don't know. I don't know! Bunnies! I'm starting to get sad now, guys. I am not moving away!"
"Don't get sad," soothes Brooke. "You're not moving away."
"You're not moving away, but you are getting married," advises Nikki, somewhat stern, the voice of experience. When Nikki came home at 4:00 A.M. after that fateful night out with the girls, tattooed and wasted, her husband was none too pleased. They'd been married barely a month. She'd converted to Judaism for him, and Jews, he informed her as the sun began to rise, don't believe in tattoos. Two days later, she had a laser treatment; she was scheduled for three more but didn't keep the appointments. Her cottontail bunny still shows, albeit faintly.
"You mean I don't get to keep my own apartment!" asks Neriah, playfully baffled, putting on a breathy Marilyn Monroe voice.
"You mean she has to actually live with him!" asks Brooke, playfully incredulous, putting on a cute-little-girl voice.
"Yes, bunny!" says Nikki in her Betty Boop voice.
They met several years ago at a Frederick's of Hollywood catalog shoot. There was Brooke and Neriah and Nikki, a few others, including the Tenison twins, Rosie and Renee, the latter well known as the 1990 Playmate of the Year, the first black woman ever selected. The chemistry worked so perfectly that the Frederick's people signed them all for a lengthy campaign, and with the regular gigs came familiarity and then friendships quite rare in their business--phone calls and lunches, solidarity and hand holding, uproarious nights of dancing, karaoke, bowling, expeditions to Playboy Mansion West. Brooke stands out from the rest in the Frederick's catalog by virtue of the fact that she doesn't stand out quite so much, a sort of princess among sex kittens, a beauty among the bombshells--smaller, subtler in proportion, tending to beam into the camera rather than smolder, tending to shy away from the more outrageous and revealing outfits.
While their exact ages remain a bit murky, it is clear that Brooke functions as a kind of den mother or elder sister to the group, a counselor and adviser, a trail master who gathers the wagons for a night out, an authority on diamond grades and auto leases, dinner parties and foreign cuisines, hairdressers and clothing stores, style and business and relationship tactics. She believes that shoes make the woman, that nails should never be fake, that candles and good smells make a home intimate and inviting. She preaches that sweetness is the utmost virtue, that the way you carry yourself dictates the way you're treated, that you shouldn't accept as a gift something you couldn't afford to buy yourself, unless you're sure there are no strings attached, or at least no strings you can't handle.
It was Brooke who first came up with the whole bunny thing. Whenever one of the girls was sad, Brooke would look at her and say, "Don't be a sad bunny," and then she'd place her hands at the top of her head like ears and let them droop. Over time, the bunny thing has taken on a life of its own. If someone is curious, one bunny ear goes up. If someone is blown away, both bunny ears go back. Sometimes the ears become horns.
Now, sitting in her spot on the Therapy Couch, celebrating Neriah's good news, eyeballing that diamond ring, that rock, that huge symbol of lifelong care and commitment glinting there on the third finger of her left hand, Brooke is beginning to feel a little like the odd bunny out. Nikki is happily married. Neriah is next. Something is up with Garth, she is sure. She is excited--Oh my God! - is she ever. She is ready and willing. She can hardly stand it. But she has also been around way too long to count her chickens. She's been proposed to nine times. She ducked out of one wedding less than a month before the date. Que sera, sera, as her mother used to say. Brooke loves her career, takes it very seriously. But she will tell you in a minute that modeling to her is just a nice way to make a living, a fun game of dress-up, a glamorous means of killing time. She knows you can't model forever. A few more years and she'll be through with this phase of her life, and that will be perfectly fine. She has never regarded herself as the prettiest girl in the room. Look at her friends--Holy sh*t!--they're all tens. She got into modeling to see how far she could go. She's gone pretty far. Now she's just about ready for something new. When she gets out of modeling, she wants it to be a happy time. She wants it to seem as if she's making a positive change, growing into another life, moving up to another level. Her dreams and values and ambitions have always been focused upon being a wife and a mother. She was born to these tasks, she believes, was put on the earth for these things. Looking at her, you can hardly disagree. She raises her glass, takes a deep draft of wine. "When are you gonna have a baby, Nikki?" she asks, her voice winsome and faraway.
"You guys, I've been craving one myself," croons Neriah.
"Guys! Listen to this!" says Nikki. "I had this dream last night. I was watching someone's baby. It was a little girl. And she looked up at me in my dream and--I know this sounds, like, really corny, but it broke my heart. She says to me, in this tiny baby voice:'I'm a really good girl.' "
"Ohhhhh!" swoons Neriah.
"Ohhhhh!" coos Brooke.
"And I was like: I love you!" squeals Nikki. "But then the parents came and took her away.
I felt soooooo empty. Bunnies: I want a baby sooooo baaaaaaad!"
"Just hold off for a little while," says Neriah. "I think we should all be pregnant together."
"Definitely! " pronounces Brooke, her blues receding at the very thought of it. "Oh my God!"
"Think about it," says Nikki. "Do any of us want to be fat alone?"
"No way!" says Brooke.
"Swollen ankles!" says Nikki.
"Fat thighs!" shrieks Neriah.
"We could get a three-for-one group liposuction discount with Garth!" says Nikki.
"We all know which bunny is going to be next!" sings Neriah, sly and teasing. She reaches over, gives Brooke a playful shove.
"You think it's gonna be Wendy?" asks Brooke, laughing, deflecting, bringing up the name of one of their friends. "Is she - still with that producer guy?"
"I was just talking to her," says Nikki. "She says he's really boring."
"Then why is she dating him?" asks Brooke.
"Is he rich?" asks Neriah.
"He's got a really big dick!" squeals Nikki.
"Nooooo!" shrieks Neriah.
"And the biggest balls she's ever seen!"
Bunny's feeling froggy. It is Christmas
Eve, and the sky is a glorious canvas of pink and orange and magenta. A cold front has descended over the beach, and there is an almost wintry chill in the air, a strong smell of wood smoke and pine needles and potpourri.Brooke has just returned to her condo, laden with gifts for Garth. There is a pair of royal-blue silk pajamas, special-ordered from Barney’s in New York. A Hugo Boss lambskin coat, a Ralph Lauren alligator business-card holder, a book of poetry called The Language of Love, a Felix the Cat refrigerator magnet, a traveling coffee mug from Starbucks.
And there is the Big Present: a huge, soft, fluffy, luxurious sheepskin rug. She has plans for that rug. Candles and wine and nakedness are involved. She declines to elaborate further. She sits now at her dining-room table, awash in wrapping paper and bows and ribbons and lace of every color and variety, her head resting in her hands.
Though shopping usually makes her happy, though Christmas usually makes her very happy, though she's going home to visit her family tomorrow and that usually makes her extremely happy, she’s a little down at the moment, has been so for the last two days. Shortly after she and Neriah had gotten off the phone with Nikki, Garth came home and went straight to the bedroom, didn't even say hello. When Brooke told him about Neriah’s engagement, he barely reacted. When she tried to show him her new photos, he smiled wanly and told her he was tired, would look later. The photos were the culmination of more than a month of frustrating effort. She'd changed agencies a while back, and they thought she should update her comp card, the six-by-eight-inch photomontage that is shown to potential clients. She'd done test shoots with three different photographers at her own expense. The results looked great on the contact sheets. Blown up, however, they were disappointing, to say the least. You could see the beginnings of tiny character lines near her dimples, near her nose, beside her mouth, a bit of puffiness under her eyes, and traces of crow's-feet. For the first rime in her career, she resorted to airbrushing. Those pictures were important to her in a lot of ways; Garth didn't get it. He didn't seem to care one iota. She has a thing about men not taking her seriously. She may not have finished college, but she's done pretty well for herself, making the most of her God-given talents. She's been to Taiwan and South Africa, Ibiza and Tahiti. For much of her work, she acts as her own agent, is known among clients for being professional and easy to work with, for driving a rather hard bargain. She's not just another pretty face. Her man, of all people, should know that. He made her feel really bad.
But being the kind of woman that she is--a nurturer, a caretaker, a giver, an optimist of the highest sort--she decided to give him a break, to let it pass. A man can have a hard day at the office, she knows very well. He's under pressures she can't even imagine. She swallowed her dismay, set about trying to cheer him up while Neriah waited in the living room. After a little hand holding and TLC, Garth agreed to come out of the bedroom and go to dinner with Neriah to celebrate her good fortune. He spent much of the evening, before the food came, with the collar of his sweatshirt pulled up over his nose. It reminded Brooke of that idiot guy in the bubble-gum comics. She went to bed angry, something she rarely does.
The next night was the big office party: lobster and filer mignon and dancing in a special room at Trader Vic's. She wore a clingy black tube dress with a slit up the side. She was clearly the most beautiful woman in a room of beautiful women. They ate and they drank and they were merry. Drank quite a bit, in fact-she fell asleep on the living-room floor afterward. But nothing special occurred. Nothing out of the ordinary. If something was up, it didn't happen. She must have been imagining things. She must have read things all wrong--the reactions the other day in the office. Now she's questioning her instincts. She doesn't know what's going on, if anything is going on at all. The truth is, the timing for a proposal is all wrong. A house and a diamond and a wedding all at once? It seems pretty exorbitant. Way too much to expect. Or even to want. It's almost disgusting if you think about it. Holy sh*t! What is going on?
Adding to her distress this afternoon, as if she needed something else, is the presence of something new in her life, a big honker of a pimple that has taken up residence between her eyebrows, a virtual third eye. It reared its ugly head before the party. She used some special stuff to kill it, but it burned her skin. Now it looks all brown and crinkly--a giant mass, totally fugly. When it rains, it f*ckin' pours.
Life's little dramas. Every day can't he a holiday--even if this really is a holiday--even for Brooke, who tries her darndest to keep to the sunny side of the street. She raises her head from her hands, regards the array of holiday paraphernalia before her, lets go a large, cleansing, sibilant sigh. She chooses a roll of wrapping paper, lays the book of poems on top, cuts the paper to size, sets about folding and taping and tying an elaborate bow.
Things will get better They always have. They always do. Hell, things aren't so had, anyway. Not if she really thinks about it. "I know what it looks like," she says. "I'm a model. My man is a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. We drive nice cars. We're moving to a big house in Bel Air Crest. It's kind of sick, but you just have to put it in perspective. I never asked for all of this. It all came naturally, and I'm thankful. I'm a happy person. I'm a grounded person. I'm an honest person. I'm living the best life that I could ever be living. And if some of that is because I'm beautiful, I mean, holy sh*t! I am what I am, you know?" She finishes wrapping the book and the magnet and the pajamas and then gets up from the table, carries the packages across the room, past the Therapy couch, reward the six-foot potted palm in the corner, near the windows. It is strung with tiny white lights, hung with ornaments: their California Christmas tree. Underneath are a bunch of presents. This morning they weren't there.
"Holy sh*t!" exclaims Brooke, happiness dawning over her face like the sun on a brand-new day. "When did these get here? And look at the tags! They're all for me! Oh my God! I can't believe him. What a sneak! What a sweetheart!"
She drops the presents she's just wrapped carelessly at her feet, bends over to the sprawling pile of cheerful packages surrounding the tree. At the very top is a small box--a cube, two by two by two.
"Oh my God! Holy sh*t! Holy Moly!" she squeals, retrieving the box. "I wonder what this is?" She holds it suspended in the air before her eyes, turns it this way and that, brings it up to her ear, shakes it. "Diamond earrings, I bet you!" she declares, the decibels rising. "It's gotta be diamond earrings. It's not a ring box. I don't think it's a ring box. If it was a ring box, it would have the round velvet hump on the top. Unless! Oh my God! Unless the ring box is inside of a bigger square box! Holy sh*t! That way, the top would cover the hump! It can't be a ring box. Could it be a ring box' Should I open it! The tare is a little loose tight here. I could probably unwrap it and--"
Oh my God!
Oh my GOD!
Oh. My. God.
Should she open it? What could it be?