Picks and Pans Review: Excerpt

updated 06/02/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/02/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>LOVE'S LABORS FOUND

FRESH FROM A DIVORCE, KATHY Hinckley, 48, a genealogist from Denver, worked up the nerve to rebuild her social life by writing a personal ad. That's when she stumbled on a problem. "I'm not a Barbie doll," says Hinckley, who began pondering how, exactly, to fairly and flatteringly describe her well-rounded physique.

At a loss, she flipped through the ads themselves for inspiration and found this model of poetic brevity: Plain Fat Chick Seeks Guy Who Likes Broccoli. "All the rest of the ad said was, 'Write soon,' " says Hinckley, who instantly realized that reading the personals was a lot more fun than writing one of them. She borrowed the broccoli ad for the title of her new book (Gibbs Smith, $6.95), a collection of 200 personals, including these, penned by lonelyhearts around the country:—Backfires Occasionally: 1960 bachelor, white with brown top, two-seater (not a family car), rips mile in 7:00, doesn't smoke, sluggish on cold mornings, 77" long, great fenders, no rust.

—I'm a Nut: Adventurous like a macadamia, sweet as a praline and a smile like a butternut. I pick out the good ones that I enjoy. You: A primo cashew, slightly coconuts, and definitely not a goober or a filbert.

—Mentally Ill? Are you restrained in a straight-jacket? Do you think you're a chicken? Did you kill and eat your last boyfriend? I don't mind. This tall, educated SWM would like to meet an interesting woman!

—Hard Up & Desperate: SWF, 39, looks older and fatter. Mean, bossy, possibly schizophrenic. Hates skiing, hiking, camping, music, long walks. Loves Las Vegas, Scotch, intelligence. Call me if you smoke.

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