Below I have copied the third in a series of four vignettes written by Sloan Schang for the online literary publication, McSweeney's, titled Circumstances Under Which I Would I Enjoy Whale Watching. This was brought to my attention by a friend, Katie Zeitler, and struck a chord with me because (a) I was a whale-watching guide for one wonderful summer, (b) I have long followed McSweeney's, which consistently churns out quality writing, often from lesser-known writers, and also often of a humorous persuasion, and is worth checking out if you have minute, (c) Who can argue the greatness (and undiminishing relevance) of Tom Selleck? To view the piece in its' entirety click here http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2010/11/5schang.html.
It's 1985 and I'm Tom Selleck. I'm filming episode 109 of Season 6 of Magnum P.I., "Kona Winds," and the crew is resting between takes of a montage showing me walking thoughtfully on rugged Hawaiian shores. The long shot will provide the backdrop for one of the most memorable narrations of the series, something about the mystery and hypnotic power of the southerly winds, which of course is a metaphor for the unrequited love I feel for a woman I saved from drowning in the opening scene of the same episode. It's heady stuff, but I've never been more confident now that I've won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and two consecutive years of People's Choice Awards for Favorite Male TV Performer. During the break in shooting I'm sitting alone on a rocky outcropping, my aloha shirt unbuttoned and wild in the wind. I'm staring peacefully into the expanse of the Pacific, thinking principally about romance, when the thin blue-gray line of the horizon is suddenly interrupted by the unmistakable silhouette of a humpback whale propelling itself upward and out of the water, falling backwards with a tremendous and somehow erotic splash.