Confession. This is how I really read The New Yorker.
1. Find your New Yorker right where it always is: in Friday’s stack of mail, tucked between the local coupons and People magazine.
2. Grab that New Yorker and admire the cover. “Get” the cover or “don’t get” the cover.
3. Worry whether you’re really smart enough to get The New Yorker.
4. Open to the Table of Contents and scan to FICTION. Determine if the author is living or dead. Feel strangely relieved if they’re alive.
5. Imagine your very own name in italics next to the all-caps FICTION. How fucking cool would that be!?!
6. Note page number and turn to FICTION. Read the first few lines, maybe a few paragraphs. Realize you can’t remember the last time you read one of these stories all the way through.
7. Admit #6 to no one. See #3 above.
8. Go back to the beginning and quick flip through each and every page for the cartoons. The cartoons!! Yea!! Sigh when finished. Decide on a favorite.
9. Flip past the first 25 pages of New Yorky stuff. Imagine that real New Yorkers use these pages to plan their weekends and evenings. Evenings and weekends way more exciting than yours.
10. Read the first piece in TALK OF THE TOWN. It’s about President Obama. Recall last night’s phone call with your aunt from the Midwest. If you’re so fucking smart, smarty pants, why can’t you convince her that Mr. Obama is a U.S. citizen and is not a radical Middle Eastern terrorist planted in the White House by the devil, as predicted, in the Bible?
11. See #3 above.
12. Toss your New Yorker on the kitchen counter and ogle the shiny pretty pictures in People magazine instead. Pour a glass of wine. Start making dinner.
13. After dinner, when your husband asks if you really even read The New Yorker anymore, that maybe you don’t need a subscription, fly into rabid self-defense. You read them all !! You read them all the way through !! Show him your favorite cartoon.
How do you REALLY read your New Yorker?