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I don’t read magazines that much (including my on-again, off-again favorite, MAD) because…well, because they’re not like novel-length stories put in book form or even those short-story anthology sampler platters.

Magazines are the prostitutes of the reading world — you pay a small amount for about an hour’s worth of pleasure, then when you’re done, you can leave them in a public place, pass them on to the next sucker, cut them up until there’s nothing left, or throw them in the trash in the hopes that it gets smeared and drenched with scalding hot coffee that has lost its morning luster, icy fruit drinks from a trendy café or convenience store, used tissues, and ketchup-smeared fast food containers.

So why did I bother to buy (and keep) an October 2006 issue, a November 2006 issue, a December 2006 issue, and a January 2007 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, and put Cosmopolitan.com down in my Internet Explorer Favorites?

Simply put: I’m making a comedy fire and need a mess of kindling to get it going. I’m going to collect stories and article passages from Cosmo magazine and Cosmo.com that have to do with dating tips, humiliating moments, women taking revenge, and the ever-popular "sex and what people do to put the proverbial spark back in their relationship"-type stories and blast them full of holes like 1920s mafiosi did to dirty rats and rivals muscling in on their territory…only I don’t need a Tommy gun or some impeccably-dressed hired goon named Knuckles, Mongo, or Rocco to do my work. Just a sharp, dark, yet endearing sense of humor and a couple of hours out of my day. Oh, and the stories Cosmo provides.

READERS’ NOTE: The stories will be in bold while my comments will be in italics. All names will be altered to protect the innocent (I don’t know why, though. Most of these are probably fake).

Story One: Midnight in the Day Care of Good and Evil

From: October 2006, volume 241, issue no. 4 "My Naughty Secret", p. 192

During the summer, I started messing around with my supervisor, who happened to be engaged. After hours, we had sex everywhere in the office…One night, we even messed around in the company’s day-care center. I felt so guilty, I called it off, but the staff didn’t suspect a thing. – Ann

Really? ‘The staff didn’t suspect a thing’?

Guess I grew up in a different time because, in my day, someone would have noticed an unlocked door in a day care center, the sticky, crumby mess of graham crackers and applesauce that was never cleaned up after that erotic feeding session straight out of 9½ Weeks, or several empty bottles of baby oil that have been used as an emergency substitute for KY jelly carelessly tossed in the trash. No, these days, anyone can get away with leaving a pair of black lace thong underwear in some kid’s cubby hole or forget to take out that mix tape of 1970s make-out music from the dinky little Mr. Microphone that incessantly plays such classics as "The Wheels on the Bus" or that insufferable "The Hokey-Pokey", better known as "the lead cause of murder-suicides among seemingly sane parents if played repeatedly and for more than five minutes." And it’s definitely easier these days to explain away coming into work smelling of fingerpaint, Johnson and Johnson’s no-more-tears shampoo, and a night of violent, erotic rough and tumbling as your usual 9pm scramble to get the kids washed and put in bed, followed by your 10pm ride-‘em cowboy session with your husband (or some time with Masturbo, the Rabbit Vibrator), and of course, the conversation will then shift to "Anyone see that new episode of Parks and Recreation?"

And I think it goes without saying how ironic it is to make babies in a place where you’re just gonna drop ‘em off when they become toddlers and life "becomes too hectic for you," so I won’t discuss it here.

What I will discuss, however, is this: I’m glad Ann felt guilty that she was fooling around with her supervisor who was engaged, because when she drops off that ill-begotten spawn off to the company day-care center (that is, if she hasn’t been fired or if the kid hasn’t been put up for adoption or turned to scrambled eggs, courtesy of Planned Parenthood or a drunken, morning tumble down the stairs — whichever’s cheaper/makes her sleep easier at night), she’ll break down into a sobbing mess when all those memories of getting busy in the naptime corner flood back, breaking the levees of her sanity and becoming a stagnant, filthy mess that FEMA will never touch.

Oh, and note to the day care providers, if you notice something white and gooey on the Snack Time/Arts and Crafts table, don’t let the paste-easting kid top it off on his graham cracker.

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