Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How I Read Your Magazine

Last night on How I Met Your Mother, Marshall (Jason Seigel) had a problem that I think many, many people share.  He stops by his friend's apartment on a daily basis to "read a magazine".  While they never say it, reading a magazine is a euphamism for pooping at work.

I can't speak for everyone, but I know that this issue is something that is deeply seated in my childhood, and while watching this episode, I was reminded of many things in my childhood that have brought about the feelings from my history with reading magazines.

When I was a kid at elementary school, I shared a one bathroom house with my mom, my dad, a brother and two sisters.  Bathroom time was at a premium, so there wasn't a lot of time to camp.  And I am a camper.  20 mins on average to read a magazine.  So, I would go at school during lunch or during class.  One day, while enjoying myself, the teacher released all of the class to go to the restroom when I had already been there for 10 minutes or so.  The entire class of boys came in the bathroom and immediately started giggling, snickering, and pointing that someone was in there "reading".  They had to know, so they peeked between the slats of the stall and saw that it was me, subjecting me to the embarassment of a lifetime.  Needless to say, this stuck with me for the rest of my life.

So, reading a magazine is something that I try very hard to keep to myself.  That is tough to do at work, especially for a camper like myself.  I like to have something to read.  For years, this was tough to do.  If you walked through your office with a magazine in hand, everyone KNEW what you were going to do.  So, I would go through intricate routines.  I would wear a jacket, and tuck the magazine into the waist of my pants underneath the jacket.  I would roll the magazine up and put in in my back pocket.  I would search a building for the most out of the way bathroom that I could find...just like Marshall in How I Met Your Mother.  This episode really hit home with me.

Now, I don't have that problem.  How, you ask?  I have the most wonderful invention of the 2000's.  The iPhone.  This wonderful device allows me to walk into the bathroom at work with pride, with my head held high.  I can check my email, read Google Reader, and play all sorts of games.  I can take my sweet time, and it is wonderful.  I am pretty sure that wasn't exactly what Steve Jobs had in mind when he created the Jesus phone, but I am certainly the benefactor of his design genius.

I still prefer to read the magazine at home, but if nature calls and I have to read at work, I can feel confident that no one knows what is going on. :)
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