September 1, 2006 - Inside Magazine
Ed is handed flyers when he walks down the street. He is sent junk mail that he immediately throws away. And, he receives emailed Spam that immediately gets deleted. But the thing that upsets Ed the most are those advertising and subscriber postcards that they stick inside of magazines.
You see, while the other things mentioned above are easily discarded, the junk in the magazines is not. Ed has spent many hours analyzing the magazine card issue.
He tells us that not only are the cards a public nuisance, but they also come in two flavors, each equally disturbing.
First of all, there are the cards that are not attached, but merely stuck inside the magazine on some random page. The trouble with these cards is that they fall on the floor. And, it isn’t just a straight drop either. You see they design these cards with aerodynamic properties. They are self-guided stunt-fliers that float in the air like UFOs as they use their special object detection skills to find the nearest couch or table. Then, like pelicans, they dive underneath. Often it takes master-level bending techniques and long arms to retrieve the cards.
The other type of card is the one that is attached to the magazine. When you encounter one of these ads, your get-rid-of-this-now feelings tempt you to rip and pull.
But, from experience, you know better. You know that if you’re not careful in your postcard extraction methods, you could dismantle the entire magazine – and possibly rip the picture of Eva Longoria. Sometimes they pretend to help you with you card extraction by perforating the fold line, but attention to detail is required. This is a problem for Ed.
Yesterday, Ed sent the dedicated staff of edhat.com to the downtown Borders to free the world of magazine inserts. He instructed us to open up the magazine and remove and collect the cards for counting. Is it stealing, we asked? No, he assured us, we were killing two Field and Streams with one Rolling Stone – counting and making the world a better place.
When we arrived at Borders we realized how foolish our lofty ambitions were. The world of magazines is a very big place.
They have more magazines at Borders than there are “For Sale” signs in Santa Barbara neighborhoods. Remove all the cards? Yeah right. We must admit that even for us, merely counting them all would have been an overwhelming task.
We did what we could. We grabbed National Geographic, Quilting, Maxim, GQ, Newsweek, American Photo, Golf, Consumer Reports, Macworld, PC World, Laptop, Millionaire, and many more. We opened them up, searched for ads, and then stuffed the ads into our satchel. In all we inspected 40 magazines (two with Ms. Longoria on the cover) and found 104 cards.
As we were leaving Borders (through the side door) we wondered again if what we had done was stealing. But, since the beeper at the door didn’t go off, we decided it was okay.
So the average number of ads per magazine was 2.6. It’s looking like the Edhat Contestant of the Year is shaping up to be Mud. With a guess of 2.62, Mud wins an Edhat t-shirt and 52 magazine subscriber cards.
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