Monday, 14 July 2008

Bath Books

More should be published in the bath book format. I don't see why only toddlers should have the luxury of reading in soggy places. Fat, colourful laminated pages have an appeal to all ages and demographics. To show that this is a serious business proposition, I'm going to abandon prose and use bullet points. This demonstrates that I have too many other important thoughts to warrant mucking about with anything so time-consuming as full sentences. So, my evidence for the
magnificence of this plan:

- Hardcore businessfolk with only half a second to spare in each day could read their FT in the shower;

- flouncy artistic types could contemplate Romantic poetry while soaking and inhaling things they bought in the Body Shop;

- messy cooks could render their recipes immune to any errant liquids (usually oil, but allowing for wine, vinegar, tomato, and, in cases of negligent knife-wielding, blood); and

- people hiding out in damp forests, whether for music festivals, hikes, or just to stay one step ahead of the sheriff, could have something to read that wouldn't go mouldy when they left it on a mossy

Obviously, these tiny groups of humanity alone aren't going to make the bath book the new iPod. However, they're just my back-up, because I have another category that includes pretty much every civilised lady, gentleman and other. Let's face it, everybody sings in the shower. It's something to do with the acoustics. I'm surprised they haven't yet decided to remodel cathedrals after shower cubicles. Singing clearly sounds better there than anywhere else, and I'm reliably informed that cleanliness is next to godliness. So a resurgence in the bath book manufacturing industry
could give every hygienic person a songbook so they'd never forget the words and end up humming until they get back to the chorus.

They could market it entirely on peer pressure - anybody who didn't want to buy one ridiculed as ill-kempt and filthy. What sort of monstrous excuse for a twenty-first century person doesn't shower?

Of course, this would play havoc with those who shared bathrooms, and as a result, there'd almost certainly be a lot more waiting-for-a-shower related deaths (currently riding high in the Top Forty Causes of Murder between 'turn that blasted stereo down, this isn't Ibizia' and 'are you looking at me?'), but I think it could at least partly save both the publishing industry and our souls, and
nobody since Mr Gutenberg's been able to claim that.

As further evidence that this is a brilliant idea, I can point to a really stupid idea that somehow made it out of a madman's head and into the world. You see, in my travels, I have encountered little as
silly as protective banana holsters. Imagine, if you will, banana-shaped, banana-coloured plastic frameworks, hinged like a book, which in theory would keep your bananas safe and secure. I think they may even have rubber strips to lessen any impacts. While it's an ingenious solution to the fatal flaw of a fabulous fruit, it's still desperately sad.

I can imagine a wild-eyed hairy fellow carrying his banana cases onto Dragons' Den with dreams of glory. He'd wave his arms a lot, spit a great deal more than is necessary, then be tragically disappointed when the judges laughed at him almost as much as they did at the self-righteous woman with the woolly toilet seat covers. After the programme, he shouted to himself, 'I'll show them, I'll show them all!' then funded his own production, sold four of his several thousand (all to the same young sporty type with the sort of keen parents who think 'if we buy all the absurd gadgets, the kid's bound to win'), blamed James Caan (on the grounds that he's the easiest dragon to
remember, since his name makes people think of Sonny Corleone in the Godfather. Probably quite a helpful reputation to have in the business world...), lay in wait to murder him, leapt out, slipped on a banana skin and woke up in a secure ward.

So yeah, bath books - they'll make a comeback, you mark my (safely laminated) words.

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