YOU MAY REMEMBER the picture of Bjorn Borg, the one-man tennis conglomerate, published on the sports page the other day. I don't think I will ever forget it. The picture showed Borg leaning into a backhand and all around him were the amounts of money he gets for endorsements. It was something to behold - $190,000 for his shirt and shorts to $2,000 for the gut used in his racket. If you started at his shoes ($25,000 to $50,000) and worked your way up to his headband ($50,000), you could figure that Borg is worth maybe $500,000 a year just in endorsements. You should not forget that he also plays a little tennis.
Anyway, the thing that interested me about all this was the side-of-the-bus view Borg takes of his own body - every inch can be rented for display purposes. It must pain him that he can't play tennis in a sandwich board. At the moment, for instance, his headband advertises Tuborg beer and a sleeve is rented to a Scandivian Airlines System. The young man must go to sleep at night, thankful that he is not, of all things, a swimmer.
Don't think for a moment that I am disapproving of Borg. I am not. I am jealous. I too, would like to make that kind of money and at first the thought struck me that possibly I could. Possibly I could rent the space on the back of my suit to some beer company and then go to televised presidential press conferences. Nut, then I thought there was really no need for that. Journalism after all, is not. It's not quite tennis, but it isn't accounting, either. Every other kid in college is studying ti, movies have been made about it, books are written about it, two television series are based on it and kids all over the country are doing term papers on it. I, for one, think it could be merchanidised. It is, therefore, in that vein that I offer:%YYhe Carl Bernstein model typewriter. This is a no-nonsense, non-electric model used by all real reporters. The word "sources" is a single key on this model, which comes in three colors and can be easily affixed to the handlebars of a bike.
The Robert Woodward shoe. A true classic, the same shoes used by Bob Woodward when he went down into Washington parking garages for his meetings with Deep Throat. These are basic, brown shoes with especially constructed soles designed not to squeak. Sneak up on your sources. Change cabs silently. Woodward syas. "With these shoes I walked to the top of my profession."
The Official Jimmy Breslin Model felt tip pen. This is the pen actually used by the famous New York columnist, designed by him to write through the little puddles of beer that form on the top of bars. Note: This pen will not function in affluent neighborhoods.
The Ben Bradice Mode Trenchcoat. The real thing. The type worn by foreign correspondents, modified by Bradice himself for domestic use. This model comes with bullet holes made by crazed Berber tribesmen and it also comes in a reversible model. Wear it on one side and you're Bradlee. Turn it over and you're Jason Robards.
The Craig Claborne Finger Bowl. This is it! The latest in absolute decadence from Craig! Sillier even than his thousand dollar meal! More outrageious even than Gael Greene! A finger bowl with the words, "Remember the starving children" inscribed on the bottom of the bowl. A limited number available.
The Sally Quinn Reporter's Notebook. This is the very same notebook used by Miss Quinn. It comes in two models. One has Sally's name written on the cover in her own script and the other, deluxe model, comes with juicy quotes already in it. This model is recommended for beginners.
The Walter Crunkite Model Moustache Cap. Just like the one used by Cronkite until he retired after the last convention and was replaced by a look-alike.
Society Writer Blinders. An absolute must for covering the Washington social scene. Attend all the parties. See no social issues required nor the embassy circuit.
Victor Lasky Model Correction Fluid. Dab some of this stuff on your typewriter keys and Richard Nixon becomes a martyr , Watergate a mere peccadillo and the whole thing a horrible travesty of justice. Recommended by William F. Buckley for anyone writing about Joe McCarthy.
THe William Safire Model Closet. Just like the one he uses at the Times when interviewing himself about anything that happened during the Nixon administration.
Evans and Novak Model Memo Paper. This paper comes with the words "Secret" and "little known" already printed on it. It is used by all liberal Democrats in communicating with one another.
The Richard Cohen Model Straightjacket. Just like the one given the columinist after he wrote a column about endorsements.