Thursday, July 28, 2011

Weekly Reader Goes Down the Toilet

I was heartbroken to learn that Weekly Reader is shutting down for good. I have such fond memories of this little classroom magazine which covered general news and interest stories in a bland generic manner. It was clearly meant to teach kids and offend no one, with topics like presidential elections ("Who Will Win?"), the space shuttle program ("Ready for Liftoff!) or the annual article about the boy who lived in a bubble.  My brother Paul & I loved it, and as with many things we loved we ended up making our own version. Ours was part mockery, part tribute, but mostly fart and poo jokes. I was around 10 years old so "bathroom humor" (as our mom called it) was big-time funny. Thus Poo's Weekly Reader was born.

Looking back through the 13 issues I'm amused not only by our awful potty-mouthed jokes but also by how dead on our parody was. We mimicked and mocked every aspect of the 1980's Weekly Reader, down to the little bug that appeared in the side bar and asked an obvious question designed to get kids thinking. We'd take turns writing the different sections, rotating them with each issue. For all this work we never showed them to anyone else. It was purely for our own enjoyment and to make each other laugh.

I haven't been about to track down any 80's versions of the Weekly Reader online, but I did my best to annotate this version, aptly covering the "Ass Olympics."  Enjoy! Or cringe! Or both!

Ah, youth. Now off to wash my mouth out with soap.


  1. Some further notes:

    * As if the content of Poo's Weekly Reader weren't offensive enough, when each issue was "published", we would pretend to be a pair of mental retards who eagerly awaited the copy in the mail. (We gave them names but I don't remember what they were; they might have been "Thim" and "Thimina" ) We would do the quizzes on the back in the guise of these mentally impaired characters, which is why the answers were always wrong.

    * The Topsy Turvy Kids may have usually avoided fart jokes, but I distinctly remember one strip which featured a kid farting directly in the face of an old man sitting on a park bench. The delinquent made a statement like "Smell my fart, geezer" (which I'm willing to bet was rendered, "Smell my fart, geyser.") Interesting that this strip also features "gyesers." I sometimes imagine that the 1980s saw a fad of teenagers farting directly into the faces of helpless senior citizens, but through the brave efforts of the Weekly Reader this particular crime wave was finally abated.

    * The current Olympic games are now ruined for me because I know I will never get a chance to see the Synchronized Who Can Pee the Farthest event.

  2. Wow, I can actually say I'm rendered speechless. And that rarely happens. . . . . . genius.