Never mind the not- actually-visible-from-space enormous Maxim cover that may or may not be in Las Vegas desert. An intrepid Maxim reader (looker? scanner? admirer? lecher?) has picked up the actual issue and noticed something interesting about the big gatefold feature:
The foldout is a spread of all 100 covers. From the second issue until last year, they listed Maxim's areas of focus at the top of almost every issue: "SEX * SPORTS * BEER * GADGETS * CLOTHES * FITNESS". (In 2004 they replaced SEX with GIRLS, and in 2005 they stopped listing anything.) In 2002, they began to mix novelty words in there, a different one for each issue. Here is a list of all legible novelty words, in order, from 2002 to 2005:
BADA BING!, U.S.A., PIRATES, ASPARAGUS, WOMBATS, BUBBLES!, SAND CRABS, BONES, EGGS, MULLETS, SEA LIONS, MATH, MONKEYPOX, BARNEY!, GOITERS, TV MAKEOVERS, PASTRY, GARLIC, CHERRIES, SHAKESPEARE, HOBOS, SHRIMP, WALRUSES
Which is all fine and good and more or less makes sense. "Pirates" or "Mullets" or "Hobos" as a jokey cover item fits with the mag's sense of humor. But: Shakespeare? Really? On Maxim? Even as a joke, weren't they afraid they'd scare the fratboys away?
Eh, probably figured they'd just ignore such a big word.