Who puts those 4” x 6” inserts into magazines? It’s bad enough that most magazines are 90% advertising without including more ads as inserts. I live in one of those townhouse developments where the mailboxes are located nowhere near where I live. My mailbox is in a cluster of 32 mailboxes about a block from my house, but it is easy to find. I can follow the trail of magazine inserts that have fallen out.

Of the magazines to which I subscribe, the ones with the most ads also have the most inserts. Take The New Yorker as an example. This week's issue had six inserts for the same thing – trying to get me to subscribe to The New Yorker. I’ve already got a three-year subscription. It’s a weekly publication, so that means that over the next three years I’ll be getting 156 issues and 936 inserts, all trying to get me to do something I’ve already done.

That many inserts must certainly increase costs. First, the inserts must be printed. And they are not all the same. They all were printed in different colors and designs. That can’t be cheap. Then they have to pay some idiots to put them in the magazines. I have a suggestion. Stop putting them in the magazines, get rid of the people who put them in there, and pass the cost savings on to us in the form of lower subscription prices. Or at least only put one subscription insert in each magazine. Do they think I'm going to fill out six of them?

This issue contained an additional insert that “invited me” to respond directly to The New Yorker’s advertisers. I would have loved to respond to them and told them to “Cut it out.” However the invitation didn’t allow any comments. It simply allowed me to check one or more of 27 boxes that were identified only by the numbers 1 – 27 so that up to 27 mystery advertisers in this latest issue could send me junk mail. The insert asked me for my name, address, and e-mail address, just in case I wasn’t getting enough spam.

I’ve hit on a great idea. I’ve checked all 27 boxes and filled out the information on the card using the address of The New Yorker magazine. If I have time, I’m going to fill out the six subscription card inserts with the names and addresses of the advertisers, check "Bill me later" and mail them. No postage necessary. Let the magazine and its advertisers battle it out with each other and just maybe the winner will be us.