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Recently I discovered that there is no badgering like the badgering that begins when your magazine subscription is about to run out:

Dear Sir,

Our records show that your subscription to Modern Neurotic ends after five more issues.

We know you'll want to continue reading America's premier magazine for the functionally conflicted.

Just fill out the enclosed form and receive Modern Neurotic for the super-low price of just $1.79 per issue. Having a bad day? Too jittery to do the math? That's a whopping 70 cents off our already-low newsstand price!

Renew now and receive an attractive pocket mirror, ideal for discreet over-the-shoulder glances to see if you're being followed.

Dear Sir,

In our modern, fast-paced society, it's always rush, rush, rush. Sometimes we're even too busy to fill out a simple renewal form and drop it in the mail! Is that why we haven't heard from you? We're betting it is!

Just three more issues remain until your subscription to Modern Neurotic lapses. Which is why we're prepared to offer you 24 issues at $1.59 per issue, an incredible 90 cents off our newsstand price!

Anxiety, insecurity, depression, unreasonable fears - nobody covers 'em like we do! And we've got the best stable of medical writers in the business, many of them wracked with the same horrible doubts and self-loathing that plague you!

Renew today and receive a year's supply of brown paper bags, ideal for hyperventilating on the kitchen floor at 2 a.m.

Dear Sir,

Is it something we said? Your subscription to Modern Neurotic runs out after one more issue!

Frankly, we're baffled (and a little upset!) that we haven't heard from you! But by renewing now, you'll guarantee delivery of our eagerly awaited Christmas issue ("20 Sure-Fire Stocking Stuffers for Agoraphobics").

All this at an unbelievable $1.39 per issue, a full $1.10 off the newsstand price!

How can we make such an offer? That's our business. Your business is to fill in the attached form and put it in the mailbox ASAP!

Renew today and receive Ronco's new Hi-Alert security system, ideal for determining if someone is listening in on your phone line.

Dear Sir,

Is this what you want? A sales staff of 65, many of them elderly widows on fixed incomes, sobbing quietly into crumpled wads of Kleenex? Our vice president in charge of circulation, Mr. Frank Cusimano, literally on his knees, imploring you to renew your subscription?

Well, OK, you got it! Hey, we're not too proud to admit it! We're upset! Your subscription has lapsed and we want you back with Modern Neurotic. And, darn it, we'll do anything to make that happen!

Mr. Cusimano, pale and drawn though he is, is prepared to do something never before done in the history of this magazine: a one-time only new subscriber offer of $1.19 per issue, an astronomical $1.30 off the newsstand price!

Renew today and we'll throw in our new guide to hypochondria, "It Hurts Right Here, And Here And Here ..."

Dear Sir,

Well, we hope you're happy. Mr. Cusimano is so distraught that he's now perched on a small ledge outside the window of his 25th-floor office, threatening to jump.

A crowd is gathering below. Uniformed men with bullhorns are trying desperately to coax him inside.

Maybe we're being presumptuous. But we don't think you want the death of this 47-year-old father of three (and volunteer ambulance driver) on your hands.

Here's the good news: It doesn't have to be!

Simply fill out the enclosed card and start receiving 48 issues of Modern Neurotic at the low, low price of 89 cents an issue! That's an unheard-of $1.50 off the cover price!

Best of all, we'll get word to Mr. Cusimano, via the crisis-intervention team now commandeering his office, that his favorite subscriber is back in the fold!

Renew today and have dinner on us with Woody Allen, providing he's up to it.

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