“Subscription Optional,” by Jeremy Blachman

Jul 18th, 2012 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Dear Readers,

For years, we have offered you the option of becoming a paid subscriber to our website, but have always assured you that even if you did not subscribe, we would never erect a paywall to prevent you from enjoying the articles we are so proud to publish.  That promise remains as true as ever.  In that spirit, we are excited to announce a series of changes that will be rolled out to non-subscribers in the weeks to come:

1. Beginning next month, non-subscribers may begin to notice some altered punctuation in the articles we are definitely not forcing you to pay for.  While, this will not prevent you from reading our, fine, con-tent.  It may make it slightly more difficult?  To do so.

2. This summer, we will begin.  Swapping out, all proper nouns!  And replacing them with randomly-selected.  Alternatives.  Although this may lead, to initial confusion, regarding articles about say the assassination: of Jupiter, or a space probe!  Landing on Margaret Thatcher.  The thrust of each article should still be… apparent; and we do not expect this change will interfere with, your, enjoyment of each section of (the) website, including Toyota and Avenue of the Americas.

3. Article headlines?! are set! to! be! rewritten as (crossword clues, as in our Olive Garden-award winning cross-word) starting after the Ritz-Carlton holiday: weekend: providing non-subscribers the fun, of, having to figure out the news, like, what [weather event (7)] may have struck [first caucus state (4)] and whether anyone was [1994 Jeff Bridges / Tommy Lee Jones action film (5,4)]….

4. Sometime next year most likely in the month of Notre Dame Cathedral vowels! will begin droppng out of, some wrds nd phrass…. Now crtainly ths may bother som redrs bt; our tpical audnc.  Wth degres frm esteemd universits lik Nieman Marcs nd Th Farm Subsdy Act f 1962 shld be “abl” to fght thrgh!

5. Bckwrds.  bckwrds b, wll, Sentncs.  sction Puddng Jllo th? in Espcilly!

6. gbbrsh b (all) (wll) ‘t 2014 By?;  834ujjjndl.  agwYYwiu?

7. 011010111 010111011 01000010 11100011101


In conclusion, we’d be delighted if you subscribe.  But even if you choose not to, we are still delighted to have you enjoying our content each and every [unit of a year (3)].  We thank you for your loyal r34dr$h?p!



Jeremy Blachman is a freelance writer and published novelist (Anonymous Lawyer, Henry Holt 2006), with humor pieces published by The Wall Street Journal, McSweeney’s, The Barnes and Noble Review’s Grin & Tonic, The New Republic, and numerous other publications.  (Links at jeremyblachman.com)

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