Book Week: What is UKrant columnist James reading?

Abandoned as an infant high in the mountains of Colorado, James was taken in and raised by a family of marmots. They trained him in the art of satire, but warned him: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ He didn’t understand the truth of their words until his adopted rodent brother, Donald Trump’s hair, turned to the dark side.

James could only sit by and watch, helpless and appalled, as his evil brother meme’d his way to the White House. Forever changed by what he had seen, James fled to The Netherlands and vowed to always use his powers for good.

Last week was national Book Week in the Netherlands! Need a tip? Six prominent RUG employees tell us about their favorite book. Today: UKrant columnist James Young.

The Back of a Bottle of Petal Fresh™ Tea Tree Oil Shampoo, Unknown Author

Considered one of the great works of literature in the western canon, the Petal Fresh™ back label is about different things to different people. To some, it’s about the cycle of life, to others it speaks of the irreversible flow of time itself. Regardless, this particular work is undoubtedly best experienced while sitting on the toilet with nothing else to do.

‘I think of it as a mystery’, said James. ‘At first, you wonder “why does a shampoo bottle feel the need to specify that it’s gluten free? But then as the story develops you realize that the answer was obvious all along, and the important thing was what you were doing in the meantime.’

The work is famous for how attached readers become to the characters. ‘You can’t help but get emotionally involved even if you’re just spending a couple minutes on the toilet’, said James. ‘I admit, I cried when it asked me to say goodbye to dry scalp. It was like Dumbledore dying all over again.’

For external use only

The theme of the work urges humanity to not take things too personally, and has become the rallying cry of a generation.

‘Every time I read this it helps me remember not to internalize everything. Like it says: apply to the roots and rinse thoroughly. The right stuff will get absorbed all on its own. That’s why they call them the roots.’

James says that next time he takes a trip to the bathroom he’s looking forward to reading the sequel: Conditioner.


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