In the East Wing of my manor exists a library. There, among the numerous bookshelves, is one that is most dear to me. At a glance, or even two, it appears no different from the rest. Like the others, it’s hand-crafted, mahogany shelves are lined with ancient tomes and leather-bound classics.

But where you merely observe an ornate bookshelf, I keep a wondrous secret. For you see, pull the right book and it will give way, rumbling open to reveal a hidden room. This room (my most treasured study) is the only functioning bathroom in the entire estate. A bit of an architectural design quirk I’ll admit, hiding the only viable water closet in a one hundred and seventeen room mansion behind a bookshelf. Then again, it was the primary reason I got such a great deal on this place, which I assure you, was a steal.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Surely you access this room fairly often, how could you forget which book grants you access?”

This is true, but you must understand, I’ve only just returned from an extended sojourn at my summer estate. An annual retreat I signal for whenever the perishing heat becomes truly unbearable.

It appears, in my three month absence the door-opening text was struck from my memory. In an even graver lapse, I’ve spent the entire morning indulging in the notorious diuretic “the latte.” Needless to say, I can finally relate to those literary, coffee aficionados: Balzac, Kierkegaard and Dave Barry.

Now, as I anxiously tap my feet against woven, Persian silk, pulling volume after volume from my special bookshelf, things grow quite dire.

Is it The Count of Monte Cristo that solves this dreadful riddle? Surely a subtle nod to enclosed spaces will do it…. No.

Was it a crass pun like Moby Dick?… Nay, curse my incorrect, puerile mind!

Ah, perhaps 100 Years of Solitude which is what I yearn for at this moment more than anything… Egads, no again.

Virgil’s Treatise on God’s, King’s and Urination…. Nope. This is getting bleak.

I know, I’ll try The Odyssey as that is what this is becoming…. Drat, unlucky once again.

Ah-hah, it must be Hodgson’s The Secret Garden. My, my once again, nary a budge. This is becoming quite the conundrum.

I now have no choice but to begin seizing books at random, for I fear I may soon burst.

Don Quixote…. Nothing. Though I may have to charge this shelf like a windmill in a moment.

War and Peace, Great Expectations, Crime and Punishment. Nothing, nothing, nothing!

How about— Oh dear. I fear this distressing matter has resolved itself, as I have soiled my trousers most severely. The only thing that flows through my body now, is shame. I do hope you’ll keep this unpleasantness between us, as I am sufficiently mortified and already looking up nearby motels for whenever nature calls next.

Now, If you’ll excuse me I must make haste to the laundry room, which is hidden behind a wine cask in my basement. I sincerely hope I can recall which one.


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