REVIEW: Uncle John’s UNCANNY 29th Bathroom Reader by Bathroom Readers’ Institute
What’s so uncanny about the 29th annual edition of Uncle John’s? This enduring book series has been delivering entertaining information to three generations of readers (so far)…and it’s still going strong! How do they do it? Back in 1988, Uncle John successfully predicted the way that 21st-century readers would want their information: in quick hits, concisely and cleverly written, and with details so delightful that you’re compelled to share them with someone else. (Kind of like the Internet, but without all those annoying ads.) This groundbreaking series has been imitated time and time again but never equaled. And Uncanny is the Bathroom Readers’ Institute at their very best. Covering a wide array of topics—incredible origins, forgotten history, weird news, amazing science, dumb crooks, and more—readers of all ages will enjoy these 512 pages of the best stuff in print. Here are but a few of the uncanny topics awaiting you…
The World’s Weirdest Protests
The Wit and Wisdom of Bill Murray
Forgotten Game Shows
Darth Vader’s Borderline Personality Disorder, and Other Real Psychiatric Diagnoses of Fictional Characters
Manly Historical Leaders and Their Manly Tattoos
NASA’s “Pillownaut” Experiment
The Secret Lives of Squatters
And much more!
No, it’s not just “Reader’s Digest” that entertains people while they’re “on the throne.” Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader presents its 29th edition complete with testimonials from long time fans as well as contents arranged by length as well as subject:
Short—a quick read
Medium—2 to 3 pages
Long—for those extended visits, when something a little more involved is required
Extended—for those leg-numbing experiences
I’d skip the intro written this year by a robot (strange and not particularly funny) but check out the modern expressions translated into Latin.
“Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum.”
I’ve tagged this review as humorous but some of the listings are more interesting, thoughtful, informative, bizarre or just plain weird than funny. Of course YMMV. Some interesting things I’ve learned so far:
– Snail slime? It actually has antibiotic properties! But some of the other centuries old health remedies range from bizarre to horrifying.
– Loudest cat. A 13-year-old cat named Merlin from Torquay, England, has been certified as having the loudest purr ever recorded by a domestic cat. Merlin’s purrs were measured at 67.8 decibels—the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner.
– Someone makes bacon scented underwear which is slightly more appealing than the ones made from beef jerky.
– Mountain Dew was invented to be a mixer for moonshine whiskey and Grumpy Cat is a female.
I’m not the only one who wonders about some of the names given to paint colors these days. Some examples: Magic Potion, Snugglepuss, Hugs and Kisses, Biloxi, and Wishing Troll. On the other hand, Dead Salmon says it all.
I love this bit: Kittens! A 2012 Japanese study found that seeing cute pictures online increases productivity. Yep, I’m watching cute cat videos at work from now on.
The length of the book is quite long and it’s definitely designed to be dipped into on a daily basis rather than read in long stretches. It’s also better read in print or pdf or maybe Calibre just converted it strangely to epub. This is my first time reading it but it might be on my Christmas list too from now on. B