Dear Reader,

A woman once said to me: "Men know how to tune-up a car, but don't know the first thing about turning on a woman." In search of an Owner's Manual to try to figure out and fine-tune my knowledge about the feminine gender, the next best thing happened. Cosmopolitan Magazine (for reasons I'll never figure out), chose me as a "Bachelor of The Month." I received thousands of letters from women around the world, dated many (taking notes all the while), and that is eventually how I found a wife. What I learned about women, sex, friendship, love & lust was like driving a Ferrari without brakes around some pretty wild curves. The adventures could fill a book, and they did: WILD LIFE: THE MISS-ADVENTURES OF A COSMO BACHELOR. Buckle-up, open your mind, and enjoy the ride!

Thank you,

Michael Modzelewski

Excerpt from Wild Life

by Michael Modzelewski

I threw on a coat I found in the hall closet, and walked down the long flight of stairs to the street. Out on the sidewalk I cringed as a wailing siren pierced the air. Cars whizzed by. I looked up, but couldn't find the sun or anything that resembled a blue sky. I put my head down and walked, moving slightly straighter now over the concrete. I covered the six blocks to Rathbone's brownstone and knocked on the door.

The Dean of Science appeared, looking a bit grayer and more wrinkled now. He pumped my hand, pulled me into the hallway then closed the door behind us. "Welcome home, Mr. Bachelor," Rathbone exclaimed, looking me up and down. "I must say, you've certainly changed. You've turned into bloody Tarzan!"

I shrugged and spoke slowly. "Juss a bit hard talking again after so long in the bush. And I'm not sure I know what to do about this Bachelor business."

Rathbone scoffed. "What's not to like? You're about to live every man's fantasy. Your picture is everywhere. You're six stories tall in Times Square!" He grabbed my shoulders with both hands. "God, you've turned into a handsome devil. The rigors of Alaska did you good."

I grimaced.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Everything feels so weird and rushed. I already miss my simple life in the Alaska wilderness and I've only been back a day," I told him.

Rathbone looked me directly in the eyes. "I took a few liberties in your absence, but only to help the cause."

"What cause?"

"Come in and see," he said.

Ralph jumped up from a desk and shook my hand enthusiastically and introduced me to two other science department teaching assistants, Steve and Kwame. I felt very uncomfortable. They gazed at me in frank admiration, as if I were a god. They led me into the den now loaded and humming with the state-of-the-art computers, scanners, and multi-line speaker phones with all the hold-buttons blinking. Tall piles of mail covered every flat surface and poured down across the floor. The scent of perfume was in the air.

The walls were papered solid with photos of women. Curvy women. Petite women. Women in revealing bikinis and buttoned-up business suits. Police and firewomen. Actresses' head shots. Women in hard hats high up on steel girders, and astride horses, camels, and elephants. Women standing proudly in puffy parkas atop snowy mountains; women in negligees reclining coyly on beds, carpets, car, and truck hoods; women clad only in garters stuffed with cash, swinging on poles.

"What's all this?" I asked, awestruck.

"Mission Control," Ralph replied.

They took turns reading letters aloud. One came from a mother who wrote recommending her daughter . . . and if she doesn't work out -- call ME! A CEO wanted to rendezvous in Tahiti with all expenses paid. A Hollywood film producer and former Rose Bowl Parade Queen started out, "I've never done anything like this before . . ."

"OK," Ralph interrupted, "where's the kicker?"

"Tha wha . . .?" I asked, still having difficulty speaking.

"Every woman who starts out a letter like that," Steve said, "and believe me there are lots, always slips in something risque at the end. Kwame, find it?"

"Yeah," Kwame said, "check this: 'PS: If you come see me I promise to blow your socks off!!"

"Socks or rocks?" Ralph snorted.

They all laughed, except me.

"The mail contains more than letters . . ." Steve paused to extract an article of clothing from a large padded envelope. He slung a huge bra across the table. It had a note pinned to it: This is just the package. If you want the contents call (201) 364-7186! Love, Desiree. Grasping one end of the bra, Steve handed the other end to Kwame. The walked the bra into Rathbone's kitchen followed by the others.

Steve plucked two grapefruits out of a bowl and dropped the into the cups of the brassiere. They disappeared.

"Another thing," Ralph remarked, "most of these girls' mothers must have really been into romance novels. We've been seeing very few Mary, Janes, or Susans. The common Cosmo girls' names are Samantha, Cassandra, Mandy, or . . ."

"Desiree!" Steve chortled, while sliding two eggplants into the bra, finally filling the cups. We all stared in awe.

I shook my head in disbelief.

Ralph moved to the computer and called for attention. He tapped keys and read off statistics, "So far, 4,594 letters, packages, and phone calls. On the Internet alone where Cosmo has you on their web site you're getting five hundred hits a day."

"What part of the country has written the most?" Steve inquired.

Ralph rapped a few keys. "The South, three to one." Steve riffled through a pile of mail to locate a letter. "Let's call Robbi from Atlanta. She might give us an idea why that is."

I fearfully shook my head and stepped back in retreat. "Since you're having trouble talking, I'll just pretend I'm you," Steve said.

I looked at Rathbone, who smiled and shrugged.

Steve punched in Robbi's number on the speaker phone. She answered. Pretending he was me, he informed her of the finding and asked, "Why the American South?"

"Dahlin', that's easy. We've all grown up on Gone with the Wind and we're lookin' for Rhett. We want a man who's a tad bit reckless and very, very romantic. But today Rhett Butler is on the Endangered Species List. We're more likely to meet Bigfoot. Men use romance to hook you, but after a while that well runs drah!"

Steve thanked her for her opinion and said goodbye, hanging up the phone. Silence hung heavily in the room.

Seeing that I was both overwhelmed and exhausted, Rathbone said, "Come on, I'll walk you home."

As we walked along in the cold evening, Rathbone inquired, "How do you feel about all this?"

"Well, I'm pissed. Not at you and the guys. What you've done is amazing. Thank you. It's just that I never had a choice in the matter and with my first book I want to be taken seriously as a scientist. As a Cosmo Bachelor, I'll be the laughing stock of academia."

"Exactly my first reaction when I heard about it from Liz. But, you know, after giving it some thought and sifting through some of the actual data my deeper hunch is holding true."

"Which is?" I asked.

"It's the very opposite of frivolous; this opportunity that has presented itself. Think about it. When in ten lifetimes, if ever, does a man receive a chance like this?"

"What? To notch my bedpost to the nth degree?"

"No, to study women, the female animal, as you did wildlife."

I stopped walking. "You're serious."

"Yes! You've more than proven that you're a qualified researcher and done so in the most challenging of conditions. Your findings are brilliant. Your Killer Whale book is a landmark work; a lodestar full of original discoveries."

"But those were whales -- dolphins, actually -- these are women." We walked on but Rathbone couldn't let it go.

"Yes, and now you are perfectly prepared. You've just come away from studying one of the most intelligent, complex, and dangerous creatures on earth. Why not study women and their behavior: mating habits and such, as you did the dolphins?"

"Have you gone off the deep end?" I asked.

"No. Do it all analytically. Leave your emotions out of it or you'll lose your controls. And with this incredibly broad database, no pun intended, you just may come out of this with answers substantiated by hard facts. Think of it, with your findings you could alleviate the suffering of half of mankind!"

I felt both terrified and intrigued.

Rathbone gandy-danced away, then stopped and turned around. "And having been away a long time living alone, you now possess the asset hardest for a scientist to acquire."

"Which is"

"A fresh perspective," he replied.

# # #

I sat on the couch staring straight ahead. I couldn't believe how fast my life had flipped. I exhaled a long sigh. Glad Rathbone and the guys have everything over there so I can have my own space and peace. Maybe they should date the girls. They're way more into it than I am.

I absentmindedly clicked on the TV. The movie Jaws was on. In a lull between attacks from the great white shark, the three men were gathered inside the battered boat comparing scars from past wildlife encounters. I leaned forward intently waiting for my favorite scene in the film when the great actor Robert Shaw as Captain Quinn describes being aboard the USS Indianapolis during World War II when it was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese sub: . . .eleven hundred men went into the water . . . three hundred and sixteen come out . . . the sharks took the rest . . .

After the scene, I snapped off the TV and went to bed, improvising with a squint my favorite line from Captain Quint, "A shark's got doll's eyes. Ya don't think it's alive until it bites ya."

I awoke the next morning feeling refreshed. Looking around the bedroom, I thought back to the Victoria's Secret catalog model pinned, in sheer desperation, up on the wall of my Alaskan cabin. I thought of all the pictures of women, many just as beautiful, over in Mission Control, who now wanted to meet me.

My thoughts flashed to what Lucy the Native Elder had said when I left: Where you are going is far more dangerous. However, after surviving Alaska, danger now intrigued me. And women, I sensed, were very much like Alaska: a combination of beauty and danger.

Surrounded now by the comforts I'd left behind and adjusting again to civilization, I felt dulled. I needed a new challenge to keep and hone my edge. But deep down I'd always been afraid of women. We fear what we don't know. I then remembered what Dean Rathbone had once taught me about going into the unknown: Replace fear with knowledge.

Amazon Corvallis Press


Michael is holding a contest exclusive to Newswire readers.

To enter the draw, visit Michael's website and find the answer to this question -

What famous author wrote about Michael Modzelewski:
". .. I have spent happy hours with his writing"?

Email us at with your answers before midnight on Decenber 10th, 2012. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and mark the subject as 'WildLife'. Winners will be contacted via email shortly thereafter.

1st Prize: $50.00 gift card
2nd, 3rd and 4th prizes: $25.00 gift cards each.

Good luck!

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