Parting Shot

Almost 25 years ago, graphics man Alan Berrent took Hustler "into the pink." Before he dies, he wants to make amends.

"Thank you for thinking about SEARCH," she said. "I really appreciate that."

Berrent went home, glad he had run into someone so helpful. He had high hopes for whomever it was she referred him to.

He doesn't need money, he said. He needs help -- lawyers, accountants, teachers, anyone who cares about unwed mothers. He said I had used him for a lurid story about sex, and he was using me for publicity for the program. "So I hope you'll end the story with that 864-0900 number."

The television was tuned to a retrospective on the Playmates of the 1970s. How clean the women looked! After so many years, how healthy, how prosperous. But they were Playboy bunnies, and he was a Hustler man. He had always loved women too much, he said. That had been the problem.

The dog peed again when I stood up. Alan Berrent scolded her once more. She yawned, and reached up to him with her paws. He hugged her and smiled.

"Yes," he said, "only because you're pretty do you get away with that. Here, give me a kiss. Mmm, yes....

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