A friend of mine announced his participation in an intellectual exercise that’s becoming so frequent I feel compelled to address it:
Yinz are readin’ my shit on the crapper.
That’s the crude crux of it.
“Hope you don’t mind, but I keep your book right there on top of the tank so I can read it whenever I’m in there doin’ my business,” he said. “I really enjoy it.”
The assumption betrays arrogance, but I believe he was referring to my book.
“I was looking at the one about the light years being less filling than regular years and really had to just sit there and think about it,” he said. “Then I cracked up.”
Ah, yes. “No. 24: Colorful conversation starter: ask astronomer friends if light years are less filling than regular years.”
It is a bit of thought provoker, one I’m glad he reacted to by remaining stationary instead of immediately bounding straight to the local Science Center to seek expert opinion.
“And I cracked up over that one about the difference between irony and coincidence. Good one!”
Whoa. That’s No. 266: “Try not to confuse the words irony and coincidence. It’s not ironic when two old friends of similar taste run into each other at the same B movie. It’s coincidence. Irony is when a wolf eats a vegetarian.”
There’s a 72-page spread between the items. Just how long was he in there, crack out, cracking up?
But I didn’t ask. I just told him what I tell everyone.
“I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my book and couldn’t care less where you read it. Ideally, you’d be fully clothed and reading it aloud through the public address system between innings at a sold-out Pirate game, but just knowing you’re reading it really pleases me.
“Now, how about you buy me a beer and I’ll let you sit here and bask in my wit and the overpowering aroma of Old Spice I apply because I’m convinced it makes the missus feel frisky.”
He said, “Uh, no, thanks. I gotta go.”
Back to the bathroom for more crayon-themed musings? He didn’t say.
Why do so many people feel sheepish about admitting they read on the toilet?
No one feels any inhibitions about reading waiting at a bus stop, another mundane situation that requires our often restless bodies and minds to remain motionless.
My mind craves intellectual stimulation and there is no less stimulating exercise than entering a bathroom to go No. 2.
Are you like me? Ever been so desperate for bathroom reading material you know from the warning labels that every toothpaste container includes enough poison to kill a deer?
Like most men, I’m fine with No. 1 because it allows me to play bowl NASCAR with things like cigarette butts. Really, juvenile potty games are one of the reasons men like me drink so much beer.
It’s completely different with No. 2. The daily duty, or daily doodie, if you will, is demeaning to refined gents like myself -- if you can call anyone ambitious about creating toilet tornadoes with really strong streams refined.
Mankind has conquered space travel. We have cured crippling diseases. We all have really great TVs. Yet for one or two moments every day (be sure to eat your fruits and vegetables) we’re no different from our dogs.
We have to hunker down and crap like animals.
Shouldn’t we have evolved beyond this unpleasantness? Isn’t there an app?
So at least until I see a YouTube video of a bear simultaneously defecating while pawing through a Playboy, reading while pooping makes me feel elevated above common woodland animals.
It’s perfect. You’re alone. If you’re going to hear any distracting noises, they’re your own and you can time them to proper chapter conclusions.
I’ve always done it. I’ve read Steinbeck, Twain, Louis L’Amour -- getting through classic Joseph Heller without ample toilet time would have been a real Catch-22.
I couldn’t have made it through Ohio University in four years without all the time I spent poring over text books while on the commode.
And please don’t misinterpret that as a slam at Ohio’s august Alden Library. We had this divey little Mexican joint near the house and I was always bolting back and forth between one or the other.
So let’s put this topic, shall we say, behind us.
While other authors may find it distasteful to learn their prose is being read in the bathroom, it’s perfectly fine with me. You could say I don’t give a crap.
I thank you for reading my book and -- hello Kindle, iPad and other tablet readers! -- this blog while you’re taking a satisfying dump.
I feel about you the way loyal British subjects feel about Queen Elizabeth.
I love you. You, to me, are the real royalty.
And it doesn’t bother me even one little bit to learn you read my stuff while seated upon your throne.