Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seat of All Knowledge.

I post more pictures of toilets than I do of my kids.

In the circles I travel in, I'm kind of known as a bright guy. Not Einstein-level smart, but the type of guy that people usually come to with questions because I either know the answer or know how to find it. I'm that guy you know who knows a little bit about a lot of stuff.

(Remember that roommate you had who kicked your ass every time Jeopardy was on? That's me.)

I have a secret to confess - it's not schooling that filled my head full of information;

There were no long hours of study in the library;

I don't peruse Wikipedia on a daily basis;

I just have a huge collection of Bathroom Readers.
You remember books, right? The thing people used to take to the bathroom before smartphones were invented?

While I don't have every single Bathroom Reader - I have a lot. What started out as a inside joke for a stocking stuffer at Christmas years ago has turned into a twice-yearly easy gift for anyone that knows me. It's a guarantee that if there is a wrapped, brick-like object under the tree or beside the cake, someone has bought me a Bathroom Reader. (Unless, you know, they bought me an actual brick - but that would just be weird.)

I usually break convention and read them outside the confines of the bathroom, but I'm still able to soak up all the information - I don't think there's a direct correlation between the two.

I like them because they wrap up useful information in a format that is entertaining and not strenuous to read - I guess they figured if you were reading their books in the bathroom, you were straining enough already. They also cover a wide variety of topics that I wouldn't normally read about. Sorry to disappoint any Americans out there, but most of what I know about your history comes from these books and Hollywood.
For years, I thought this photo was pretty accurate.
There is one drawback to the knowledge that gets gleaned from these tomes: it's running into someone who knows the same information because they got it from the same source.

I was having a conversation the other day at work, and the subject got around to Bananas - I work in a grocery store, what do you expect? - we were talking about crops, rotation, suppliers and such, and I quoted a couple of statistics and facts that I had read about in the Bathroom Reader I got for Christmas.  As soon as the words left my mouth, one of the guys I work with looks a me and says "Hey - I was just going to say that! I've got that Bathroom Reader too!" - we had a pretty good laugh about it.

So the next time you come across some who seems to be a bit of a know-it-all, don't hate them or be in awe of their intellect - just understand that they read something other than US Weekly or the shampoo bottle while they are going about their business.


*Uncle John's did not pay me or give me anything to write about Bathroom Readers - if they want to, I'm totally cool with that. I believe the term is "Blogwhorin".


  1. Love those books!

  2. I am fascinated that you're able to retain information about banana crops. How does your brain keep that information?

    On our way to visit Gettysburg, PA, we were telling the kids what had happened in Gettysburg. History buff that I am (snort) I told them that the Gettysburg address was 'signed' there. Husband's dropping jaw actually made a sound when it hit the ground.

    I'd probably stroke out if I had explain banana crops to someone.

  3. The downside: I know tons about Bananas, yet I can't remember where I put my other pair of running shorts.

    I'm worried that later on in life I'll know the origin of the universe, but forget how to tie my shoes.

  4. Homer -- the patriarch of the Simpsons, not the epic poet -- said something about everytime you learn something new, something old gets pushed out of your brain.

    Be careful.