We’re in the midst of a global health emergency, and inevitably most will face some degree of accompanying anxiety, stress, or panic. But if you are lucky enough to have your health, then this lockdown can also be a period of quiet reflection and catching up on all those little to-dos that just slipped through the cracks in previous months, starting with that ever-growing stack of New Yorkers on your coffee table. That’s right: It’s finally time to get through those neglected magazines page by page, by using them for toilet paper!
Whether you’re out of more traditional TP or simply respecting your apartment’s rationing efforts, now is the perfect opportunity to bring a handful of those glossy, Peabody award winning mags into the bathroom with you and start getting your money’s worth on that annual subscription for the first time in your life apart from that one week you got really into collaging last year.
You’re too afflicted with ennui to read, but at least you can excrete your waste with abandon, because the amount of New Yorker toilet paper at your disposal is virtually unlimited.
Liberate yourself from the weight of how much short fiction you somehow thought was going to be part of your life with each tear and wipe. Say “Goodbye, quippy Anthony Lane film review! Sorry you didn’t like Birds of Prey!” “Goodbye, caption contest I always thought I might enter but was waiting to think of a really good one.” “Goodbye write-up of an ‘interesting sounding’ chair exhibit at a museum that is now certainly closed for who knows how long.” You were never going to the chair exhibit anyway; at least the New Yorker is currently helping you enjoy your porcelain throne.
What better time than now, as the fallibility of our economic system reveals itself, to grab that conspicuously consumed symbol of elite intellectualism and wipe your literal shit on it? When the double-edged sword of broken yet comfortable normalcy is restored to the nation will you stop paying to receive this magazine you consistently don’t read every week? No. But this experience isn’t about learning a lesson; it’s about clearing off your bedside table and your butt.
So take a deep breathe and allow yourself an indulgent moment of respite from the insanity by sitting down, taking out that meticulously curated and edited publication, and making it relevant to your life for once by wiping it against your anus.