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Blue Origin layout
A photo spread from the latest issue of Work magazine had a little fun with Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket venture. (Work / CIPD / Blue Origin Photo via @christhebarker on Twitter)

It’s hard to top the risque rocket scene in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” but Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket has also spawned its share of comparisons to the male anatomy.

The latest double entendre paying tribute to Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space venture appears in Work magazine, a controlled-circulation quarterly published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in Britain.

Graphic designer Chris Barker, who was also behind the viral “Lonely Hearts” roundup of 2016’s celebrity deaths, deemed it a point of pride that he was able to get his visual joke into print. “Pleased my headline/image combo got through,” he tweeted.

The layout shows Blue Origin’s New Shepard on one page, in all its phallic glory, opposite a bold headline reading, “What Exactly Is Jeff Bezos Trying to Prove?”

In the accompanying article, writer Paul Simpson delves into Bezos’ disruptive business style and how it’s likely to lead to run-ins with regulators. But in this case, folks didn’t want to read the magazine only for the articles.

That comes through loud and clear in the response that Barker’s tweet received. “You guys like nob gags then,” he wrote four hours after his initial tweet.

Then things really got hot: “Your feature’s had over a million impressions in a day. Admittedly not the bit with anything you wrote on it,” Barker told Simpson on Wednesday. Today he reported that the traffic counter hit 2 million, with 5,000 retweets.

“I really didn’t expect this to get this much attention,” Barker said.

Maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising that adding a risque twist to rockets and the lives of the super-rich would get a rise. Just wait until that knobby rocket starts carrying people to the edge of space, which could happen by the end of this year or early next year. Then it’ll be up to SpaceX’s fans to deliver Woody Harrelson’s deflating punch line from the Austin Powers movie: “I’ve seen bigger…”

Check the replies to Barker’s tweet for still more silliness.

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