We'll just ignore, for the moment, that their copy-editor left "shoe-in" in a dek for an otherwise interesting and engaging story about iRobot. That's the kind of thing that might have happened just before everything went to the printer.
But there's also a funny bit by Steve Carell, detailing how to get smarter. Cute. Very cute. Until I got to this:
Carrots are very good for the eyes, but they absoutely must be baby carrots so you don't chew too much. I don't think I have to explain crunchwaves to people who read TITLE REDACTED. They already know that when you chew something too hard, the vibrations fire up those crunchwaves, which shake the neurons in your brain. Do that too much and those brain cells shake loose and die. I usually gulp my food, and you should, too.Joke Hitlers. They killed the joke. They looked at the joke, decided they knew comedy better than Steve fricking Carell, and murdered the joke in cold blood. Rule #1 of not being a hack: Do not spell it out. Do not. Spell. It out. Your audience will follow along if you let it. Spelling out jokes only encourages comedic flabbiness, and everyone's funnybones end up looking like the flabby pod people in Wall-E.
Take a note, comedy-challenged editors:
Carrots are very good for the eyes, but they absoutely must be baby carrots so you don't chew too much. I don't have to explain crunchwaves to people who read TITLE REDACTED. Whenever possible, I purée or gulp my food, and you should, too.
I'll spell it out for you. If you say you don't have to explain it, don't explain it. That's where the funny lies: in allowing the randomness to be random, and the reader's imagination to fill in. This is one case when fewer words equal bigger funny.
Wow. I feel better now that I've gotten that off my chest. And ensured that that magazine will never hire me now. But since they haven't returned my calls for going on two years now, I'm not going to mourn that loss too hard.