I ask this out of utter ignorance:  Does anybody actually make money on magazine subscriptions?

The reason I ask is that there seems to be a pattern around the port-swiller household in which somebody offers an “introductory” deal and then keeps on mailing new issues long after we’ve stopped paying for them, if indeed we ever officially subscribed at all.  Thus, Vanity Fair (do you suppose these people actually get the allusion?) still makes its way into the basket in the downstairs loo, as does another glossy by somebody named Rachel Ray who seems to consider herself a younger, hipper Martha Stewart.

Then there are all sorts of local mags with names like DC Style – an oxymoron in itself – which simply appear in the mailbox, unasked for and unexplained.  These seem to consist of nothing but photos of local drinks parties and very bad “art.”

I suppose we keep these things on hand for guests.  Personally, I derive a lot more satisfaction flipping through the “Foxtrot” comic collections that the gels keep leaving in the basket.  (The local classickal radio station likes to send out a Newsweek subscription as part of its membership package but I throw those into the trash as soon as they arrive, more or less on principle.)