Monday, July 8, 2024

Bringing Boos to the Loo with Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader [Guide to the Unknown]

It’s kind of unthinkable now that we have our phones with us everywhere, but there was a cursed and boring time when going to the bathroom for, ahem, any extended amount of time meant reading the back of the hand soap bottle instead of playing Wordle or whatever your particular thing is.

But in between the age of desperate ingredient-reading and Twitter scrolling came a man, a man who would venture to save us from bathroom-based boredom with a book of fun facts meant to ride the toilet side-saddle. His name was Uncle John, and his book series, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, became a lowbrow mainstay in households across the land in 1988. (Or became a novelty gift, either/or.)

Though Uncle John refers to co-creator John Javna, the books are a team effort written by an authors collective known as the Bathroom Readers’ Institute for the audience they lovingly refer to as Throne Sitters. And within the dozens of volumes of Uncle John’s books lie two that captured the particular interests of Bloody FM’s Guide to the UnknownUncle John’s Strange and Scary Bathroom Reader for Kids and Uncle John’s The Haunted Outhouse Bathroom Reader for Kids Only!

Though this is a well (toilet) we’ve gone to twice before, in episode 237 and episode 306, the structure of these books means there’s always something new to learn. They’re composed of mini-essays and lists so one can customize one’s reading experience to the needed length, which means each book is packed with stuff.

Now, how legit is this stuff? That could be up for some debate. The tone is light, and the books don’t feel particularly academic, as, again, at best, they are made to be read and chuckled at on the john, probably not dissected on a podcast, let alone the children’s editions by people in their late 30s to 40s.

This week, as we crack into the books, we learn a little about the Brooklyn Enigma, a woman who Uncle John says went into a 46-year coma only to briefly awaken here and there to display clairvoyant abilities. We hear about a man who tried to bring a shark head through airport security. We get an unexpected shoe-based ghost deterrent tip and learn some things about vampires that were news to us: that they can’t be heard over phone lines and that they’re grossed out by roses.

So put the seat down, kick your feet up, and join us, cohosts Kristen and Will, for a stupid Uncle John’s bonanza on this week’s episode and subscribe to Guide to the Unknown on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts to get a new episode every Friday.

The post Bringing Boos to the Loo with Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader [Guide to the Unknown] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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