Chaucer, Hardy, Frost, Shakespeare, Swift and Twain. Amongst others, they were on the long list of my required reading in college. The latter two were a couple of my favorites. Do I wish to go back and re-read some of their classic novels, plays or short stories during a time when we do have time on our hands? Not me. It’s not the type of reading meant for the toilet. Maybe a couple of Thomas Hardy “classics” which would ultimately clog our septic system.
I do love to read, especially when it’s not required. Even though it will be obsolete, until it is, I will still subscribe to the newspaper. One of my favorite parts of the day is taking the Super Quiz with my wife even though the man producing it often gets bored. Subject: Different Fonts. How riveting! We like American culture, geographical areas, famous prisons, some science, sports, languages and other topics besides Plain Clothing or Band Aids. It’s fun. I then read her the daily Seattle Rant. These can be hilarious. “To the man next door who keeps his ten cats in a tree on his property. They keep me up all night caterwauling. I hope he burns in Hell.” I used to read the sport’s page, but, well you know.
Saying 75% of my reading is done on the toilet is probably an understatement. When I’m interested in an article from The New Yorker (my most pretentious magazine) my wife may walk by the bathroom and politely ask me if I’m ok. “I’m fine. Though, I may be little sore when I exit this room.” When the New Yorker becomes too sophisticated, I mean when those ridiculous cartoons which are somehow published for unearthly reasons become agonizingly thought demoting, I return to a favorite standby….Readers Digest. Written at a sixth grade level, it’s right up my aisle. Additionally, most of the publications are uplifting and educational. If I ever decide to get a pony, I now know because of R.D., one of the pony’s many attributes is licking the skin of an unripened avocado until it’s ripe in only twenty licks. Pretty cool.
Then there’s the internet. I can read various articles which may or may not convince me to join certain clubs or cults. This flat earth society one is really tricky. I’m right on the border. My wife would say, “You mean the border of insanity?”
I want to believe in Bigfoot, but most of the stories on the Net attempting to convince you of its existence, really just push you in the other direction. The elusive Sasquatch was not your taxi driver.
We also like looking up lists such as the top 50 movies of all time. We’ll make bets on who will guess the most out of the top ten. I lost the last bet because I put Cocktail, Road House, and Breakin Two, Electric Boogaloo on the list. Personally, I think I was robbed. There must be a reason they are on cable all the time.
Sadly, my favorite author, Pat Conroy, passed away. I haven’t read a novel since his passing. Oh my God! I almost forgot about the Bible. It reminds me of a movie my family has cherished for years, and has now become one of my wife’s favorites as well… Paint Your Wagon. Portraying a full time inebriate, Ben Rumson is played by Lee Marvin. One of his lines after a very pious lady asks him if he’d ever read the bible was “I have read the Bible Mrs. Phinney.” Mrs. Phinney: “Didn’t that discourage you from drinking?” Ben:
“No. But it sure cured my appetite for readin.”
Whether you like or don’t like the Bible, novels, the paper, magazines or any other form of reading, it still stimulates our minds. That’s a good thing, and like the great and powerful former Vice President Dan Quayle once said, “A mind is a terrible thing to lose.”
Prayers for all.