Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 11.14.16
Stanstead, Quebec


Getting back to sexy business

As if Americans haven't been through enough gut-wrenching uncertainty, next week they must join the rest of the world as we anxiously await a vital decision: who will be People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive.

The choice will set the standard of male sexiness for the next 365 days, a choice that could influence everything from hairstyles to the horrifying return of men in tank tops.

That's why I'm writing today, to assure readers and the rest of the world that, regardless of who is anointed, I will continue to fulfill my role as the Second-Sexiest Man Alive, thereby ensuring a sexy continuity, if you will. And you will.

My many years' experience as the Second-Sexiest Man Alive will allow us to transition seamlessly in the days and months ahead from David Beckham to whichever celebrity is starring in a blockbuster film this holiday season. I will be the sexy anchor the public can hang onto throughout this uncertain period.

As the Second-Sexiest Man Alive, I must always be ready to step in should the Sexiest Man Alive be unable to fulfil his duties or turn out to be not so sexy after all. I take this responsibility very seriously. Seriously and sexily. I need to be prepared at all times. You can't just turn on these cheekbones, you know. And the ear hair requires constant vigilance.

And it has happened. In March 2014, I had to pout alluringly for 10 full days when Adam Levine was forced to undergo falsetto augmentation surgery. Thank goodness I was tanned, rested and lip-balmed.

Remember, too, that the Second-Sexiest Man Alive is a lifetime appointment, barring severe disfigurement or career-ending Tweets. Thus, as the keeper of institutional sexy memory, I help counsel the Sexiest Man Alive, who is usually new to the job. I tell him things like, "Don't eat the hair gel even if it smells like apples," or, "There is a time and a place to take off your shirt, and a funeral is not one of them," or, "With great sexiness comes great responsibility. And supermodels."

Speaking of responsibility, because the Sexiest Man Alive is so busy being the sexiest, the Second-Sexiest Man Alive tends to fulfil an advocacy role. Thanks to the work of me and other slightly less sexy men, we have virtually eliminated the midlife goatee.

These days, we're paying close attention to advances in genetically modified sexiness, the so-called Supersexiness. We're advocating a cautious but sexy approach. With my second-sexiest-ness, I point out to scientists, "Whoa! Is this not sexy enough? What will happen when you have all that extra sexiness in the air? What affect will that have on climate change and bachelorette parties?"

I didn't choose sexiness. It chose me. I am but a plush toy in the giant, sexy, claw machine of life. It's not something I can control, like halitosis or an uncanny ability to assemble springform pans. Sexiness is a gift, a gift that stops traffic and causes unrestrained weeping.

Sure, some of you have come up to me and asked (once you get over the giggling and the tentative stroking), "Doesn't it bother you to be the perennial Second-Sexiest Man Alive? Wouldn't you for once like to be the Sexiest Man Alive? And will you please autograph my chest?"

On the contrary, I'm thankful I am merely the Second-Sexiest Man Alive, otherwise life would be a terrible sexy burden. It's good that there's a little part of me that's not sexy (my left kneecap). And chest signings are less fun than you think.

I know that in the past I have bemoaned the fact that I have been passed over as the Sexiest Man Alive. But I'm older now. Older and still sexier. That happens with men, which is completely fair.

Yes, there are many perks that come with being the Sexiest Man Alive: the cover photos, the product endorsements, the fruit baskets. But I realize now that without a Second-Sexiest Man Alive, there would be no way to properly quantify the Sexiest Man Alive. Such ultimate sexiness would be indescribable. With me, people are able to see that there is a range of extreme sexiness. "Oh, I see. He's very sexy, yes, but, this guy is even sexier. He's the sexiest of them all! The Sexiest Man Alive!"

It's my job to make male objectification that much easier.

America, World, Scranton: I'm ready to still be sexy again! I know we've gone through some dark and decidedly unsexy times, but now we're ready to bring sexy back! But hopefully not a hairy back. That's gross.