Here’s Anecdotal Proof That Bookstores Inexplicably Trigger The Need To Poop

If you’ve ever been in a library or a Dymocks/Kinokuniya/Collins/Angus & Robertson (RIP) and had the urge to back one out the other end suddenly dawn on you, you’re not the first.
The ‘bookstores trigger bowel movements’ phenomenon even has a name: Mariko Aoki, after the Japanese woman who wrote about her shitty experience in a random periodical called Ho No Zasshi circa 1985.
As the story goes, (insofar as it’s been translated to English), Zasshi’s editors were flooded with letters from readers who’d had a similarly crappy [#sorrynotsorry] experience.
Although general consensus has written off ‘Mariko Aoiki Disease’ as urban legend, this hasn’t stopped people coming with various pseudo scientific theories to explain it, the most popular of which include:
1. The smell of processed paper and ink has laxative effect.
2. The habit of reading on the toilet causes us to associate the two unrelated actions.
3. The posture we adopt when reading (crouched, squat, sitting) is optimal for bowel movement.
While your knee-jerk reaction might be to call BS, there’s actually a significant number of real life case studies to support Mariko Aoiki Disease all over the interwebs.

And now, we bring you an IRL account of a true event that actually happened in a bookstore in Australia.

Ben Tankardartist and unamused bookstore manager, recounts below that one time someone shat in his store.
“I was the manager of a bookshop I won’t name, when one day I was called to the front counter to deal with some kind of disturbance. There was an unpleasant smell as I approached, and I remember that the staff were all wearing identical strained expressions of disgust. Someone pointed. Directly in front of the counter, it looked as though someone had dropped a bowl of Rogan Josh.

The customer had been waiting in line for the register and had almost made it. He had opened his mouth to ask a question, but then his eyes filled with terror and he rushed out. The crap had run down his leg and he had left a trail of it all the way to the shop exit and beyond.

Luckily the flooring was carpet tiles, so I could just cut out and dispose of the affected areas. The shopping centre cleaner came and looked at the trail leading across the marble floor outside the shop. He said he didn’t want to wipe it because it would damage the stone. I’d say a trail of poo is more objectionable than a few scuff patches. It was a benchmark day for horribleness at the bookshop.”

Take from this post what you will, but when nature calls and you’re amongst tomes of great literature: run, don’t walk.