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Books > The Toilet Reader

The can can

A treasure trove of lavatory tomes for tiny attention spans

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Published 1/27/2010

How Many Licks? (or, How to Estimate Damn Near Everything)
by Aaron Santos, Ph.D.
Running Press; 175 pp.

In your entire life, how many times will you poop? And if you collected it all, how much would it weigh? Would it all fit in a train car? What about an Olympic-size swimming pool? I think about this shit all the time. Are you haunted by these questions too? If so, contact the author, physicist Aaron Santos at aaron@aaronsantos.com. Or stalk him — his website says he's a U-M post-doctoral researcher. Santos, a master of the Fermi method of approximations, is the go-to dude for rounding off, approximating and sizing up just about everything. —Travis R. Wright


The Alphabet of Manliness
Maddox
Citadel Press; 204 pp. 

Author Maddox comes off like some self-conscious Idahoan who strolls around in cut-off fatigue shorts sporting a total Chuck Norris for guys like Dane Cook, Gene Simmons and Stone Cold Steve Austin. A is for Ass Kicking, C is for Copping a Feel, G is for Gas, L is for Lumberjack and N  … go figure … is for Norris, Chuck. So Maddox is a bit of a douche, but he's funny enough to indulge while that Pad Thai takes its toll on your sphincter.

How manly is this catalogue of testosterone? "So manly," writes Maddox, "that it needs to be shaved." —TRW


The Quotable Douchebag: A Treasury of Spectacularly Stupid Remarks
Compiled by Margret McGuire
Quirk; 144 pp.

Look at that guy on the cover then look at yourself. Back at that guy. Now at yourself again. One more time. Are you a douche bag? Have you ever said, "Osama Bin Laden is the only one who knows exactly what I'm going through?" R. Kelly has, and he's a douche bag. Try this one on: "Facts are stupid things." Credit that one to O.D. (that's original douche bag) Ronald Reagan. And let's not forget fat old Rush Limbaugh: "Slavery built the south. I'm not saying we should bring it back; I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark." Complete and total douche. Women can be douche bags too. Take Paris Hilton, who said, "I love being all natural." Or better yet, Ann Coulter: The government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised sport." A d'bag teabag! —TRW


Music Listography: Your Life in (play) Lists
by Lisa Nola
Chronicle Books; 159 pp.

Forget your coffee and crossword. Grab a writing utensil, a can of Ozium, some two-ply, your iPod, a freshly rolled doob and get ready for some extracurricular, totally craptacular time spent. Rad illustrative work from Michael Gillette makes Music Listography only that much more shitastic. What songs do you want played at your funeral? Best cover songs? Favorite concerts captured on film? List a song that reminds you of each lover you've had; list the albums you'd bring on a spaceship if you were leaving planet Earth; list your favorite one-hit wonders; the moments in music you'll never forget. You get the point. —TRW


Bent Objects: The Secret Life of Everyday Things
by Terry Border
Running Press; 144 pp.

Sometimes you just have to get lost and stare at something. You want image, you want to think about that image, and you can't reach The New Yorker. Compact and conceptually entertaining, Bent Objects is a world created by Indiana-based photographer and artist Terry Border. Border's blog got the artist a book deal, and it's no waste of paper. The wiry, wacky creatures — made attaching wire-appendages to pin cushions, cereal flakes, Cheetos and prescription bottles — have enough wit to make the photos captivating, and introduce you to a new way of looking at the ordinary (which is the underlying theme here) ... for at least a few minutes. —TRW


Country Music Fun Time Activity Book
by Aye Jay
ECW Press; 47 pp. 
Alright, I'm not exactly sure how this works, but if you can read on the can, you should be able to color to some degree too. That's what the Country Music Fun Time Activity Book is all about. And why not color Kenny Rogers, or work on the epic "Help Brooks find Dunn" maze, or sketch Dolly Parton, from the neck down, use the grid to draw Loretta Lynn, or find out how many words you can make out of Hank Williams Jr. You can even free hand Billy Ray's mullet and take crayons to Toby Keith (red, white and blue crayon only). Don't forget to flush. —TRW


Assholeology: The Science Behind Getting Your Way — and Getting Away With It
by Steven B. Green, Dennis LaValle and Chris Illuminati
Adams Media; 208 pp.
In our greedy "hey, look-at-me" world, where those who win are most often the self-pimping, undeserving assholes, it was time someone dropped a one-stop, Ari Gold-quoting how-to tome on how to be the perfect, own-it-all asshole. In page after bowel-pinching page of droll infotainment, learn the difference between the douche bag and the asshole and why the latter's a compliment, and if you follow all the assholian prompts you will win the girl, the job, the life, the world, and be disliked by a vast majority of people with whom you come in contact. Written in witty and clear  testosterone-y prose by a stand-up comic, an acting coach and a writer — all of them self-described "a**holes" — many lines blur into irony, and instructions are often braindead practical, such as always tip well, never brag of clever Twitter quips, be sure to evolve intellectually and don't play bar games (pool, darts, etc.). —BS

 

Penis Pokey Activity Book 
by Christopher Behrens
Quirk Books

As we all are aware, the standard by which we judge our sexual mores gets lower and more frat-guyish each year — in direct proportion to the quality of free porn streams available — so it stands to reason that this rigid "activity book" would, in it's own, neo-Luddite way, skewer that very idea. 

Evolved from 2006's Penis Pokey, this weighty hardboard offers poppy colors, images you can enhance with the enclosed erasable marker, and shows that regardless of circumstances (flying saucers, sausage factories, two-headed dragons, dancing snakes), there's always room for peni (insertion holes included). There's nothing triple X here, just frolicsome Freudian and Jungian goofs in cartoon double entendres for kids of nearly any size. —Brian Smith

The Toilet Reader is a new, occasional column that will appear in Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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