Sometimes, it’s helpful to see all cards from a six-year-old’s perspective. We sell lots and lots of cards. Elizabeth is responsible for our card selections and clearly she enjoys buying the cards from the New Yorker. These cards are, hands down, are our bestsellers.
These cards are just plain funny. Kids, usually 10 and up, often get the sometimes adult humor. Often though, the captions go right over kids’ heads, and honestly, that’s a good thing because let’s not try and explain one of my favorite cards: One headless praying mantis says to the other: “You slept with her, didn’t you?”
What I noticed at the end of the year was younger and younger kids were not only noticing the cards, but reading them. One kid, clearly no older than four or five, read the following card out loud: “Why, you’re right, tonight’s not reading night, tonight is sex night.” Of course it was the only time in the last week of December the store was actually quiet. Quiet enough that everyone heard this. I cannot say how many heads whipped around when they heard a child’s voice uttering these words. I explained what had happened, and the customers looked visibly calmer.
The last little one to have an encounter with the cards was a gregarious, chatty five-year-old girl who saw the card with a woman in bed with a snowman and the following caption: “You’ll be gone in the morning, like all the rest.” She just kept repeating the impracticality of this sleeping arrangement: “A snowman sleeping with a person. That’s just weird. Why would a snowman do that?”
We all stifled laughs at her disbelief. Needless to say, I spent the next quiet moment moving all the racier cards to the top shelves of the card spinner.