TORONTO, CANADA – Last week Harlequin Enterprises shocked the world of Romance novels when it was reported that they were not renewing their long standing contract with Italian model Fabio. Conventions around the globe were in chaos as writers, book sellers and consumers alike feared the news might wreak havoc in the world they love and cherish. But when it was announced that former Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would be replacing Fabio, the chaos erupted into a mass panic that set the world of Romance novels on fire.
Katie Ramsey heads the Cincinnati chapter of Romance Lovers Unite (RLU) that boasts more than ten thousand members. Cincinnati’s RLU chapter is not just respected by thousands of other Romance novel clubs around the U.S., but it is looked upon as the purveyor of etiquette in the Romance world. Katie spoke with the Daily Rash at RLU’s monthly cocktail party.
“I’m not going to tell you that when I heard Fabio was being replaced by that Russian guy I wasn’t knocked out of my socks. I’m not going to tell you that I didn’t run into the washroom and weep hysterically. But after I saw some pictures of that Russian I began to calm down a bit.”
Katie sipped her diet cola and dabbed her brow.
“Now, I’m not going to give away my age, but just let me say, a half-naked fifty-something Russian on a horse can definitely twirl my whirl….if you understand my meaning.”
Katie laughed and then blushed. She hid her eyes with her hand and apologized.
“I’m easily flustered. Please forgive me.”
“I read that he used to be in the KGB,” whispered Alice Rosehaugh. “You have to be sneaky and mischievous to be in that organization. I’ve read about those kinds of men. It’s very hard, if not impossible, to guess what they’re thinking.”
“I saw the picture of him on that horse and I wasn’t really that impressed,” Barb Washbash shared. “But when I heard that he used to be in the KGB, well, let’s just say that my curiosity was piqued.” Mrs. Washbash leaned in and whispered, “That means he stimulated my interest, so to speak. I read a lot, so my vocabulary is quite expansive…as are Mr. Putin’s biceps!”
Mrs. Washbash turned crimson red and shuffled away into the crowd.
Laura Jardina told The Daily Rash she swelled with pride when she read that Vladimir Putin would be the new cover model.
“I think it’s wonderful that we’ve let Russia participate in Romance. My husband always laughs at their male athletes in the Olympics so I think the least we can do is reach out to them by putting pictures of their shirtless muscular leader straddling a stallion on the covers of our books.” Mrs. Jardina blushed and quickly turned away.
“I like bald men. My husband was bald before he died. But he wasn’t Russian,” Peggy Russell confided.
“I’ve always had a thing for foreign men on horseback. Especially with heavy accents. I really like that a lot,” admitted Jill Cosby.
“Russian men are kind of like those women on Star Trek,” remarked Sandy Donaldson. “Remember those green women? My husband used to love those green women.”
“My wife Beatrice began reading Romance novels twenty-five years ago,” Greg Stanton mused as he nibbled on a cracker and sipped wine. “I used to give her a hard time until I read one of her books. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love them as much as she does. I salute Harlequin for having the guts to dump Fabio and get a real man. I mean, who are we kidding? Fabio? Just a pretty boy with muscles. With Putin we’re talking about real manhood.”
“At least maybe he’s knocked some skulls together. Probably killed a few guys with his bare hands too. That’s what real men do.”
Greg reached out to shake Newt Walberg’s hand.
“I have to agree with Greg,” Newt barked before swigging the rest of his drink.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never read one of those books, but that Russian guy is at least believable. I became wary of Fabio back when he started doing those butter commercials.”
Newt ordered another scotch and lit a cigarette.
“I saw Last Tango in Paris with Brando,” he said, pausing to puff on his cigarette. “So, I know what butter is used for.”