Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tony McMillen Takes it to the Toilet

Oh yes! We are absolutely running a series on bathroom reading! So long as it's taking place behind the closed  (or open, if that's the way you swing) bathroom door, we want to know what it is. It can be a book, the back of the shampoo bottle, the newspaper, or Twitter on your cell phone - whatever helps you pass the time...

Today, author Tony McMillen takes it to the toilet. Tony's debut novel Nefarious Twit was published by Branch Hands Press December of last year. He lives near Boston but grew up mostly in Tucson, Arizona. Besides fiction he also writes the humor column “Touch The Wonder” where he performs droll vivisections on pop culture with equal parts vitriol and whimsy. The column is published by DigBoston.

What Tony McMillen is Reading in the Bathroom

I’m a man who loves sitting down to pee. Sure, I also love the freedom and ease of standing up and letting her rip too. I’d be a fool to squander this, one of the many biological gifts Mother Nature has granted my sex. But that being said, sometimes I just like to sit down and take my time.

But sometimes you want to take it easy but not so easy that you’re bored, you kow? This usually leads to reading.

My bathroom has always had a steady rotation of reading material. Much like a hotel for books or probably more accurately a flophouse. If my bathroom was bigger I could see the appeal of putting a coffee table in next to my can just to support the sloppy pyramid of books that’s always there. Because the truth is usually anything that’s on my coffee table eventually at some point makes its way to a near permanent residence on the floor of my bathroom anyway.  The books will sit there across from the toilet, usually nestled near or beneath a small forest of underwear, socks and the occasional shirt.

Never pants. Pants are only to be taken off in the bedroom. This is a house of order.

This current crop of toilet literature in my book hotel/water closet is a pretty good window into my reading habits.

1. Sex Criminals, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, latest issue

Love this goddamn book. Brimper for life. Look it up, kids. (Unless you’re actually actual kids, then don’t look that up, play a violent, sexist video game instead?) Seriously, funniest book on the stands, also really sweet and realistic about relationships and sex despite being about time freezing orgasms.  I read it usually on the couch but go through the letter pages (which is titled “Letter Daddies”) while on the can in the morning to get a few laughs while I’m keeping regular.

2. Trilobites and Other Stories, Breece D’J Pancake

Just picked this up while I was in London. Vonnegut and Atwood both had blurbs on the book and that caught my eye after noticing the cool cover art. So far I’m really enjoying this collection of stories. Guy had a helluva voice. I can see some of this influencing dudes like Donald Ray Pollock the author of Knockemstiff.

3. Wes Anderson Collection, ginormous coffee table book

This thing lived on my bathroom floor for half a fucking year. It’s just a beautifully put together book exploring the director’s whole career. Lot of photos and some essays too. It’s good to just open it once and while and soak up the colors and patterns. My girlfriend got it for me for Christmas or my birthday (they’re only 5 days apart) she knew what she was doing.

4. Southern Reach Trilogy, Jeff VanderMeer

I know he doesn’t need any more press but he deserves it. I can’t wait to start the last installment of the trilogy. These books lived in my bathroom for a while but not so that I could pick them up and thumb through them again but because I needed to read them first thing in the morning after or during waking up and relieving myself. Unputdownable.

5. More Comic Books

Comics can be quick so for the last month or so you’ll find some of these titles and more piled up in the corner far away from the splash back factor of my shower:

Savage Dragon, Erik Larsen
Been reading this comic since I was 11. Unpredictable but dependable action and storytelling.

Supreme: Blue Rose, Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay
Really digging this so far. Story is solid and Lotay’s art is dreamy as hell.

Saga, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Read it. Whoever you are. Read it.

The Wrenchies, Farel Dalrymple
Very strange and sort of fever dreamish. Personal but epic too. Weird book, probably not for every one but I just finished it and it’s still hanging out telling me to pick it up and check it out some more.

All in all I think it’s important to keep reading material in the bathroom because if you don’t inevitably you’ll be faced with the difficult chore of frantically searching your bookshelves for the perfect 6 minute read while simultaneous trying to exert Jedi control over your bladder or bowels in an effort to stall the beyond imminent evacuations. And nothing is worse than taking too long to finally settle on a read only to find that you’ve done your Jean Grey trick a little too well and now you no longer need to use the facilities.

So you’re left with a book and no reason to sit on the toilet. What are you supposed to do? Read in the living room?


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