Reading is extremely important in my family, but not just any reading. I am talking about engaging in scholarly, mind bending, and soul inspiring literature that stiffens the backbone and jolts emotions into overdrive. I am talking about a passion that has given birth to a family Christmas tradition. A tradition, so indoctrinated into the lives of my two sons that Christmas would not be the same without it. Every Christmas for years I have presented each of my sons a special book that I often spent minutes picking out at a local book store. Seeing the anticipation and excitement in their eyes and the misty jealousy in the eyes of their spouses on Christmas mornings is a highlight of Christmas for me. Sharing in their love of reading, if only for the brief moment it takes them to unwrap their special book and lay it aside, is simply invigorating. It brings so much joy that this past Christmas I included my oldest grandson in the tradition and gave him his first special book. Like his uncles, I thought he coped extremely well.
There is only one book that can command such attention and devotion. Only one book is tantalizing and fascinating enough to inspire a family tradition, yet it is seldom found in libraries or on home bookshelves. It is a book that is most often found with dog-eared pages and stained covers lying at the foot of the thrones of kings. Actually, a series of books with over 15,000,000 copies in print, it is a mainstay in homes across America where it holds a place of prominence in America’s number one conservative and liberal “think tank.” Of course, I am talking about the one and only Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.
With over thirty titles and counting in print, these books are filled with a perpetual cesspool of titillating facts, humor, and trivia that only true connoisseurs of knowledge can appreciate. These books are conservative America’s answer to such classics as The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice. Instead of feeling like crap muddling through and trying to stay awake reading such classics, readers of the Uncle John books can engage in flitter flatter of the brain while anointing the throne. Unlike the classics that so often beckon with the glow of a flashlight with dying batteries, Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers come at you with the blinding splendor of a lighthouse on steroids. The books are glaringly void of substance, yet thick and wickedly subtle in wit, and although, they may range from thought provoking (it happens) to pure crap (no pun intended), they are rarely boring, so get out of the way Fitzgerald and Austen.
For the discerning reader with a savory appetite for Americana, “The Bathroom Reader” is the ultimate escape. Indulging in it brings a sense of WOW and clarity into the normal everyday drudgery of life. You never know what awaits you in an Uncle John’s book. As a Christmas tradition, it might appear weird or outrageous, but what other tradition can evoke such Yuletide excitement from the kids as, “Really? Again, this year?;” “Dad, why?;” “But, Dad, you gave me a paperweight last year!;” or “Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the one I needed to finish the ottoman at the foot of the toilet.” Giving such a thoughtful gift brings a warm satisfied feeling, but the knowledge that I am giving my sons and grandson (I guess my daughter and granddaughters could be included if they also had problematic taste) something they can treasure for a lifetime is the ultimate holiday thrill. It is truly a tradition that brings tears to the eyes of loved ones.
However, there are some who may doubt the worthiness of a Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader as a Christmas tradition, but such doubts will be put to rest once they view the sample slices of bathroom wisdom in the following chart. I am confident these gems will encourage others to start their own Uncle John’s Christmas tradition; it’s not half as crappy as it sounds. Ask my sons and grandson! The books have so many uses; for example, they make great pee-pee stools for the little boys in the family!
Slices from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader served with My Thoughts:
|1. Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader: In 2012, John Hopkins University published a report that said hydrogen sulfide, the gas that gives farts a rotten egg smell, had been shown to reduce high blood pressure in mice. The report suggested that someday the gas might be used to lower high blood pressure in humans. The biggest question the researchers had was whether the act of farting or sniffing the fart lowered blood pressure.
My Thoughts: I wonder if they are still looking for human gas dispensers and sniffers. Finding sniffers may prove difficult, but I have a couple of grandkids that are natural shooters with unlimited natural resources.
2. Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader: The Japanese say they can extract an exact chemical copy of natural vanilla from cow poo. They plan to use the cow poo vanilla in products such as shampoo.
My Thoughts: That would certainly give a new meaning to a crappy hair day.
3. Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader: Ancient Egyptians used a spermicide made from crocodile poo and honey for birth control.
My Thoughts: I don’t know if the practice had much impact on births, but I bet the mortality rate of crocodile poo collectors was high enough to stabilize the population.
4. Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader: Sweet Maria, a coffee roaster, markets a coffee processed from the poo of the Brazilian Jacu bird. The bird eats coffee beans and passes them whole in its poo. The bean is extracted from the poo, which when roasted and brewed removes the bitterness from the coffee.
My Thoughts: I am not a coffee drinker nor can I say if being extracted from Jacu bird poo actually makes coffee less bitter, but maybe it does explain that gosh awful coffee breath.
5. Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader: Plant-based foods produce the most flatulence but not the smelliest farts. Animal-based foods, particularly eggs and meat, are rich in Sulphur; therefore, those foods produce stinkier farts. Fructose (sugar that naturally occurs in fruit) is a fart-producer, as are compounds found in cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and, of course, beans.
My Thoughts: All mamas and wives need to remember this the next time they force the kids to eat their broccoli or insist their husbands order the steamed vegetables with their steak.
P.S. To my sons: Look through your inventories of Uncle John books, and send me a list of the titles you have, so I don’t get you a book you already have for Christmas. I wouldn’t want to spoil our Christmas tradition.
©Jack Linton, November 20, 2016