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'Funny, but No': Shoebox Cards' Hits and Misses

For 20 years, Shoebox has brought brutal honesty and quirky irreverence to the once-sentimental realm of greeting cards.

"You should call your mom on your birthday and have a nice long conversation about your life," reads one card. "Hurry up now, your birthday's not going to ruin itself."

Shoebox editor Sarah Tobabin and writer Dan Taylor talk to Robert Siegel about the tricky business of mirth, the humor value of raccoons and Canadians, and the rejected idea that a writer loves so much and can't quite let go of: the "funny, but no."

"The writers don't have trouble being funny or writing jokes," says Tobabin. "The trick is then actually turning it into something that you would essentially pay money to send to somebody else."

Cards and ideas from Shoebox's 20 years are collected in the book Shoebox: Greatest Hits and Misses. Below is a sampling of "funny, but no" ideas.

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