What Is A Woman?—Frank Sinatra
It’s no secret that Frank Sinatra has made such a thorough study of the subject of women, he could easily be graduated magna cum lover:
But up until now, the studious Thin One has kept most of his interesting knowledge to himself. Whenever he was asked about the femmes, Frankie would clam up. His questioners would be treated to what is knows as Frank’s fast freeze.
But at last, the Old Professor has relented. Frankie has decided to tell us all about “broads.” And if there’s anyone who can claim broad experience in the broad field, it’s Mr. Sinatra. So pull up a sense of humor, class, and we’ll get on with the lesson.
To begin with, Our Boy Frankie differs somewhat with a fellow named Webster. The dictionary tells us the word broad means: “Wide from side to side, vast as the ocean. Liberal, not limited. Open, clear, coarse, gross, indelicate. Obvious, evident, plain. Ample, extensive.” Or, it could also mean “a hunk of gold in the time of James II.”
Sinatra’s definition is much simpler. “A broad,” he says, “is a dame with sex appeal.”
Frank modestly claims he became a real expert on this subject as a result of his role in “Pal Joey.” There are plenty of beauties, including a girl named Ava, who could probably challenge that statement. No doubt they’d tell you that Our Pal Frankie became an authority long before that. But at any rate, “Joey” was responsible for some amusing post-graduate work.
“The character Joey Evans is probably the best-known lady-killer in show business history,” Frank explains. “He’s a heel—a real likeable heel.
“Naturally, he’s an expert on broads. They all go for him and he knows all about them. He even has his own special language for them.
“This gave me an idea. When we started the picture, I decided to work up a list of the various types of broads. In other words, compile sort of a dictionary of Joey’s jargon.
“The way I figure it, broads can be divided into eight different classifications: There’s the ‘Mouse,’ the ‘Tomato,’ the ‘Beetle, the ‘Quim,’ the ‘Twist and a Twirl,’ the ‘Gasser,’ the ‘Barn Burner,’ and the ‘Mish Mash.’ ”
And Frankie goes on to explain this jargon. “It’s really very simple. A ‘Mouse’ is a cuddly broad. A ‘Beetle’ is a flashy broad. One who makes with sharp clothes.
“A ‘Quim’ is a loose broad, one who’s easy to pick up. A ‘Twist and a Twirl’ is a broad who likes to dance.
“Of course, I suppose, everybody’s heard of the word ‘Gasser.’ Well, in broadsville talk that means a dame who’s a real looker, a knockout.
“Now take the ‘Barn Burner’—that’s a broad with real polish and class. Who wouldn’t dig her the most?
“As for the ‘Mish Mash,’ she’s a broad who’s all mixed up. Of course, the one to really watch out for is the ‘Tomato.’ She’s a broad who’s ripe for marriage.”
In the past few years, Our Pal Frankie has proved pretty adept at dodging the luscious Tomatoes, but he’s sure dated his share of Gassers, Barn Burners and Beetles. Not to mention a Mouse or two.
As for those rumors classifying Frank’s frequent companion, Lauren Bacall, as a top Tomato, the Old Professor just isn’t talking. But there’s little doubt that he considers Miss Bacall a fine example of a Barn Burner.
Sinatra isn’t so reticent when it comes to labeling the two beauties (or should we say broads) who co-star with him in “Pal Joey.” “Kim Novak is an out-and-out Gasser,” Frank says. “And Rita Hayworth is a real gone Barn Burner.”
Besides compiling Joey’s Broad Dictionary during the filming of the picture, Frankie also came up with a list of Do’s and Don’ts for the broad who’s out to get her man.
Listen to what the wise man has to say, girls and/or broads. After all, Professor Sinatra is one who should know. Frankie leads off with one big Dont:
“Don’t stalk a man,” he warns. Sinatra has a fine time getting chased by both Kim and Rita in the picture, but he points out that in real life “the male animal doesn’t like to be trapped.
“Men soon tire of the chase if they feel they’re being hemmed in,” says Pal Frankie. “There’s an old cliché about a man chasing a woman until she catches him, but a smart girl stays away from that format.
“Be the hunted and let the man be the hunter. Just like in a poker game, let him lead, and don’t show your hand before he shows his.” An important point.
Once a woman has selected her future mate, she should plan her campaign very carefully, according to Frank. “Never run after him. If he doesn’t keep following you, it isn’t worth it.
“Keep him at bay, but do it in a sensible way,” Frankie advises. “Don’t give him a loaf of bread, but on the other hand, don’t throw him only a few crumbs.
“A girl should be careful that a man doesn’t take her for granted,” says our expert. “Go out with other men. Jealousy in small doses is insurance against boredom and familiarity.”
As to whether or not this technique has worked on Frank, he isn’t saying. But you’ll recall that his courtship and marriage to Miss Gardner appeared to be heavily insured against boredom.
But to get on with the Professor’s advice. As Sinatra sees it, a broad shouldn’t let a man get too amorous when he first enters the spider den of courtship. “Space your kisses just enough to make him want to come back for more,” he says.
“Keep him at arm’s end more than within your arms. Aim some of your ammunition at his vanity and hobbies. If he likes sports, pretend you’re crazy about them, even if you don’t know first base from a head-shrinker’s formula.”
Right here we should point out that both Lauren Bacall and Peggy Connolly talk a good game of football, baseball and what have you.
When it comes to finally cinching the deal, Frank has this to say: “After you’ve softened him up enough for the kill, let him have it with both barrels. Casually, just casually, mind you, start talking about marriage. If he looks scared, drop it for the time being. But don’t wait too long to bring it up again.
“If a broad plays her cards right, at this point she’ll find herself marching up the aisle. At least,” sums up Frankie with a grin, “that’s the way it works in the movies.”
Now, before we dismiss the class, our Professor has one final remark about broads:
“When a man really understands them, he’ll know what two flies say to each other on the window-sill.”
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 1958