Stranger Than Fiction
What is the most incredibly funny thing that ever happened to you? I’ve experienced so many, I can classify them under Friends, Colleagues, Neighbours, Family, Me. I’m not relating any here—that’d mean trouble. But the many incidents we’ve compiled in “That’s Incredible!” (page 48) are in the public domain and pretty safe to publish.
Our last Humour Special sold more copies than any other issue in 2012, which reveals a lot about how Digest readers also like good, clean fun. And since we can enjoy Digest jokes even after many years, we are reprinting vintage humour from the 1920s, when The Digest started, right up to the 1990s. Also included are favourite articles on two people who never fail to make you laugh: the versatile Walt Disney and comedian Ray Romano.
These past few years, we’ve celebrated Teacher’s Day, 5 September, with stories about exemplary teachers, sent by dedicated Digest readers. We receive all kinds of articles from readers, but the best ones have been those about teachers, making it difficult to pick and choose. I imagine this is not just because the teachers described are unique, but it could be that those who were inspired by special teachers grew up to become sensitive and thinking adults who write well. Just my own pet theory.
Since February, readers and friends have asked me an incredible question: “Is Reader’s Digest closing down?” It followed news reports that our US parent company was filing for “Chapter 11 bankruptcy.” In America, this doesn’t mean that a company is liquidating (that’s “Chapter 7 bankruptcy”). Far from it. It only meant that Reader’s Digest was, wisely, trying to restructure finances and reduce debt. The US business did have high debt as a result of some events of about six years ago, when it was bought out by a new owner with borrowed money. Then came a recession and falling revenues everywhere. Anyway, happily, the restructuring has, since July-end, made Reader’s Digest debt-free and financially sound once again. And, thanks to your support, The Digest remains the world’s highest-selling magazine.