Uncle John’s Greatest Know on Earth Bathroom Reader: Curiosities, Rarities & Amazing Oddities (33) (Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Annual)
What did we do before we had our smartphones to occupy our time in the bathroom? We had Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers, of course. In its 33rd edition, our favorite uncle is back with a collection of odd news, strange facts, and mind-bending trivia, appealing to middle-schoolers and middle-agers alike. This year’s theme is the circus sideshow, with unforgettable characters you have never heard of, such as Mr. Television, Uncle Miltie or Oswald, the Unlucky Rabbit.
True to brand, the volume plunges the reader into odd snippets of history they do not teach you in school, like the Bavarian town that ordered too much toilet paper and the origins of hold music. Many entries reveal a social critique: why a book focused on oddities features men at the center of bizarre stories, such as the many adventures of Florida Man. The editors at Bathroom Reader Institute (BRI) use randomness to insert digestible bits of critical information, such as the slave-owning past of the founders of the Booker Prize and the impacts of robots and automation on the industry. Slight doses of reality do not take away from the series’ original intent: to serve up trivia you did not know you needed to know.
One cannot miss the cultural and meta significance of the Bathroom Reader during a year when millions hoarded toilet paper to prepare for the global pandemic. Despite widespread uncertainty and despair, there is always hope, as exemplified in the life and times of Cowboy Bob. Often humorous, always interesting, this volume is a solid and worthy companion with which to wipe off worry amid challenging, obstructive times.
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