The New Yorker
What New York Department of Welfare officials found when they raided the Times Square offices of the highbrow publication was more gruesome; mutant scribes with twelve fingers, six on each hand or in rare cases, seven on one and five on the other. The cause?
"Inbreeding, just like you saw with that kid who played the banjo in 'Deliverance'," says Assistant Commissioner Paul Wade. "This place is a cesspool of incest, if I may say so without getting my poetic license yanked for 'purple prose'," he said as he looked around anxiously, hoping an editor had heard him.
White:Â "'That like totally sucks' is improper.Â You should say 'Which like totally sucks.'"
The New Yorker has long been known as a place where it didn't hurt to have family connections in order to get ahead.Â Roger Angell, who has written for the magazine for sixty-two years, is the son of Katharine Angell White, a New Yorker editor for many years, and the stepson of E.B. White, "Talk of the Town" contributor and author of "The Elements of Style", a book used to browbeat English majors for decades.
Ross:Â "Who's this little old lady from Dubuque who keeps writing in to complain?"
"We found it went back further than that," says the Department of Welfare's Wade. "The first editor, Harold Ross,Â had aÂ wife who was related to him by marriage--it was disgusting."
Mehta:Â "But enough about me.Â Let me tell you about my family."
With extra fingers, New Yorker writers such as Ian Frazier could produce articles on grains that ran for several months without even getting around to soybeans. Ved Mehta, an Indian contributor, was capable of generating stories of his family life as a boy in India that would outlive young children born after the first installment appeared.
Remnick:Â "That's unfunny, but it's not that unfunny."
David Remnick, the magazine's editor, said he would look into the matter, but did not want to tinker with a long-standing formula for success. "Sour grapes," he said with hisÂ trademark tone of Olympian disdain.Â "I suspect this comes from someone whose cartoon submissionsÂ were rejectedÂ for not being unfunny enough."