The Cosmo Game

Aug 17 2006

I almost hesitated to post about this, but then I realized that it’s a *checkout lane at a major grocery store*. I shouldn’t have to have qualms about posting such a thing on my journal. For years I’ve been tracking the trends of Cosmopolitan cover story titles. When I’m waiting in line at the grocery store, my choices of activity are that or meditation. Every, every, every issue of Cosmo has the word **SEX** on it. Usually it’s quite large. Sometimes it appears more than once. Often it’s associated with a number (as in **977 sex tricks to try tonight**). Lately, for some reason, **Bitch** is another popular word to put on the cover. This issue is a real winner: **SEX** appears three times (in *HEAT UP SEX*, *Sexy Summer Beauty Tips*, and, somewhat smaller, *Sex Positions You Haven’t Thought Of*). Of eight cover stories, three are collections of sex tips; apparently the diligent researchers at Cosmo are able every month to come up with dozens-to-hundreds of novel techniques that haven’t been mentioned in any of the other hundreds of issues over the years. For bonus points, **Bitchy** appears twice in a row, and **Ballsy**, a new one, appears once. I’m not sure what this says about Cosmopolitan, about people who read it, about the people who decided it is a good product to put in the checkout line for everyone to stare at, or about me. It’s just morbidly fun to calculate the magazine’s score every month. In Green Bay, I tried to patronize Festival instead of Copp’s because their checkout-lane impulse-buy items were fruit, instead of crappy magazines and candy bars. And now in Seattle, I’ve discovered Whole Foods, which is pleasant and deserves a post of its own.