7/14/2006

Life On The RD List

I have a confession.

I have a subscription to the Reader’s Digest. Yes, it’s a venerable institution and yes, I loved it as a child but I’d forgotten all about it until my mother ran out of ideas on what colours and sizes I don’t wear and sent it as a Christmas gift.

Most people hide their porn, I hide the RD. I’m not sure why but sometimes I feel really dirty reading it. The porn (on the other hand) is scattered on the coffee table in a cross formation for the Church singles nights I hold in my living room. They’re becoming really popular.

One of the best sections in the Digest was always Drama In Real Life. For a time, it was a stirring series with real danger! confronting real people! but then, it seemed to degenerate into more mundane emergencies like Drama In Real Life: Trapped In The Bathroom. That bored me and I started seeing other magazines.

I was flipping through the latest (I didn’t subscribe, my Mother did) issue having already completed It Pays To Enrich Your Word Power when I came across a story on something that held no interest for me.

The interesting part was that at the top of every few pages of this lengthy story, it said Bonus Read.

What made this a bonus read? Were the editors giving us a little something extra for nothing? A free gift with purchase? Had there been heated discussion about how much reading a Reader’s Digest reader could digest? No explanation.


I’m writing a letter.

17 comments:

Berry said...

Maybe they include that title for the stories that especially suck. This way, readers won't feel ripped off for having paid for the crappy bonus story.

(By the way, the word verification I'm about to enter in order to post this includes "bmtoy", and that's just gross. Thought I'd share.)

Tanya Espanya said...

You think you know a person after all these years (17, if you're counting) ...and then something like this comes out into the open.

Reader, digest!

Holly said...

My parents no longer subscribe to the RD, but they did for decades. The house I grew up in had a magazine rack built into the wall by the toilet, and that's pretty much where we kept back issues of RD--indeed it is the ideal place to keep them. Do you remember the series on biology/anatomy, entitled "I Am Joe's ____________"? I remember reading one called "I Am Joe's Pancreas" when I was about ten. That shit was FASCINATING to a ten-year-old. I am convinced that ten-year-olds are the target audience for that publication.

My father gave me a subscription to The Economist for Christmas in 2004. He said, "You'll like it. They endorsed John Kerry for president." I said, "Dad, even the National Review, the magazine started by William F. Buckley, the godfather of modern American conversativism, endorsed John Kerry for president!"

For five months I got The Economist every freaking week and never read it. Then one day I figured I should at least look at it, so I opened it and saw that the letters in its "letters to the editor" section all began with the salutation, "Gentlemen." And I called immediately and canceled my subscription, and because it still had over six months left on it, they sent me a check for the difference, which was about sixty bucks.

Thanks, Dad.

mellowlee said...

The "bonus read" thing was probaby some Evil Ploy to fool the readers into thinking they were really lucky to have the opportunity to read whatever it was. The sneaky bastards.

I haven't read RD in years. One of my favorite sayings is "I will give you the Reader's Digest condensed version"

Saviour Onassis said...

Consider this a bonus comment.

Coaster Punchman said...

My parents also used to buy me RD once a year until I made them quit. I still enjoy reading it at their place (guilty pleasure) but I don't want to give them my money. They are bad, Republican people. In bed with all the wrong people. (The editors of RD, not my parents.)

For example, just check out what they write about in their "That's Outrageous!" series. It's usually something like "the local school district in Bumbleschniggen, California approved $1.25 for safe sex education. Part of this "safe sex education" involved showing students how to use condoms properly, by having them roll the condoms over dildos. Do we really want $1.25 going toward disgusting lessons like this? That's outrageous!"

Assholes. (The editors of RD, not my parents.)

justacoolcat said...

Readers Digest has something other than "Laughter, the Best Medicine"?

I always enjoyed reading that section and feeling superior for not laughing at the peasant's jokes.

Peasants are meant to sweep with brooms.

Is there a Canadian version of "Life in These United States"?

Ofcourse not.

Beth said...

Good idea to display the porn and hide the RD. The ladies will respond better to that.

Dale said...

Hey Berry, if I didn't want to read it, the story sucked. Luckily, no additional cost.

Tanya, is your math right? Am I that old or did you know me that young?

So Dad's gift to you then was some aggravation and 60 bucks, not bad Holly. I do remember the I Am Joe's ________ articles and they were cool. To my young self. And the references in Fight Club.

The letters section is always a must read for me in any magazine I pick up.

That's a long favourite saying Lee, couldn't you condense it?

Any comment from you is like a bonus Saviour. Thank you.

You spent a lot of time defending the parents there Coaster P. I'm considering contacting them. Isn't there a song too -- Do You Know The Way To Bumbleschniggen?

Although clearly you don't know it Coolcat, there is a section other than Laughter, The Best Medicine. It's called Life In These United States.

I believe you're the only one to respond to the porn thing Beth. Hmmmm.

justacoolcat said...

OOOOOhh Canada,
my second favorite suburb

(sung to Freebird)

Dale said...

I love being in the burbs. Sung to me loving to be in the burbs.

X. Dell said...

The "I am Joe's _______" series was actually made into a series of television specials. I don't suppose anyone saw those.

Holly, I wasn't thinking. Someone gave me a subscription American Spectator as an intentionally annoying gift. I should have cancelled the subscription and collected the cash. Damn. I missed that one.

Dale, you have good cause to hide your Readers' Digest.

anne altman said...

that mag is so milktoast it doesn't even make good kindling

justacoolcat said...

The burbs?

I keep waiting for Toronto to form it's own nation.

You can call it TorontDale or maybe DaleOnto or Daleo. I'm no good at this you try.

What's the daleio?

Dale said...

Here's one that I know I didn't see X. Dell. I will just be using the magazines for kindling from here on in.

Oh, Anne. You've spoiled my plan. But you're still the man. With two cans.

And one nation under Dale? Once the world learns of my superhuman strength and my porn collection, the throne is mine wouldn't you say CoolCat? All hail Dale. May need a new slogan, I'm not running for president of the Weather Channel.

Tanya Espanya said...

Summer, 1989.
I went to work in Records, Donna was the manager, maybe? Or was it Del?

I worked the afternoon evening shift, from 1:30 to 9:30 or something.

You thought I was an obnoxious bitch. I thought you were a nerd.

We've been together ever since, and I'll never let you go!

Dale said...

You were an obnoxious bitch. I was a nerd. And now we've switched roles. I'm running to the cottage for the day so I'm hiding if you're looking.