Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Encyclopedia Brown

I bought four Encyclopedia Brown books off eBay, including Donald Sobol’s original Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective. The best thing about these children’s books, of course, is that I could read all four in one sitting.

Even as an adult, I find the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries stimulating. Sure, some of the solutions are incredibly elementary, and some are far from common knowledge (“A left-handed man will almost always cut his left sideburn higher (shorter) than his right sideburn when he shaves.”).

And there is one solution I simply do not understand. “[T]wo words could be read in the normal way – and upside down and backward! . . . They were CHOICE COD.” What is CHOICE COD upside down and backward? I need help.

In general, though, I find myself looking for the clues to figure out “whodunit.” I felt smart as a child reading the books, and I feel even smarter as an adult.

One of the books was Encyclopedia Brown’s 3rd Record Book of Weird & Wonderful Facts. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to read this book—and some facts are either boring or hard to believe—but there are a few tidbits I find interesting. Some favorites:

  • "When sipping a drink, a man is more apt to peer into the glass or cup, a woman to look above the rim.” Is this true? I look above the rim, but do men actually look inside the glass? And why would they do this? Are liquids terribly interesting to look at?
  • “[T]here-fourths of adult women brush their teeth at least twice a day. Only half the adult men do.” Eww.
  • “Men have been noted to fall out of hospital beds twice as often as women.” I had no idea this was such a rampant problem.

If you want to feel smarter—or even get smarter—I highly recommend a dose of Encyclopedia Brown.


Wanna-Be Lit said...

I love you review. Made me giggle. And yes, I feel more intelligent now.

notaconnoisseur said...

I wonder why they don't put up those bars on the sides of men's beds in the hospital. Surely that would help to keep them from falling out. ;) This was a fun blog.

Blogger said...

But did you figure out what CHOICE COD is upside down and backward?