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My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places

My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places

by Mary Roach
My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places

My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places

by Mary Roach


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From acclaimed, New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach comes the complete collection of her “My Planet” articles published in Reader’s Digest. The quirky, brilliant author takes a magnifying glass to everyday life, exposing moments of hilarity in the mundane.

Best-selling author Mary Roach was a hit columnist in the Reader's Digest magazine, and this book features the articles she wrote in that time. Insightful and hilarious, Mary explores the ins and outs of the modern world: marriage, friends, family, food, technology, customer service, dental floss, and ants—she leaves no element of the American experience unchecked for its inherent paradoxes, pleasures, and foibles.

On Cleanliness:
Ed has crud vision, and I don’t. I don’t notice filth. Ed sees it everywhere. I am reasonably convinced that Ed can actually see bacteria. . . . He confessed he didn’t like me using his bathrobe because I’d wear it while sitting on the toilet.
“It’s not like it goes in the water,” I protested, though if you counted the sash as part of the robe, this wasn’t strictly true.

On the Internet:
The Internet is a boon for hypochondriacs like me. Right now, for instance, I’m feeling a shooting pain on the side of my neck. A Web search produces five matches, the first three for a condition called Arnold-Chiari Malformation.
While my husband, Ed, reads over my shoulder, I recite symptoms from the list. “‘General clumsiness’ and ‘general imbalance,’” I say, as though announcing arrivals at the Marine Corps Ball. “‘Difficulty driving,’ ‘lack of taste,’ ‘difficulty feeling feet on ground.’”
“Those aren’t symptoms,” says Ed. “Those are your character flaws.”
On Fashion:
My husband recently made me try on a bikini. A bikini is not so much a garment as a cloth-based reminder that your parts have been migrating all these years. My waist, I realized that day in the dressing room, has completely disappeared beneath my rib cage, which now rests directly on my hips. I’m exhibiting continental drift in reverse.

On Eating Healthy:
So Ed and I were eating a lot of vegetables. Vegetables on pasta, vegetables on rice. This was extremely healthy, until you got to the part where Ed and I are found in the kitchen at 10 p.m., feeding on Froot Loops and tubes of cookie dough.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621450719
Publisher: Trusted Media Brands
Publication date: 04/04/2013
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 180,360
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mary Roach grew up in Etna, New Hampshire, graduated from Wesleyan in 1981, and now lives in California. She has written the bestselling books Packing for Mars (W. W. Norton & Company, August 2010), Bonk (W. W. Norton & Company April 2008), Spook (W. W. Norton & Company, September 2005), and Stiff (W. W. Norton & Company, April 2003). Her articles run in Outside, National Geographic, New Scientist, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine. Her 1995 article, “How to Win at Germ Warfare,” was a National Magazine Award Finalist, and in 1996, her article on earthquake-proof bamboo houses took the Engineering Journalism Award in the general interest magazine category. She also reviews books for The New York Times.


San Francisco, California

Place of Birth:

New Hampshire


B.A., Wesleyan University, 1981

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Soap Opera 1

To Do or Not to Do 4

42 Minutes and Holding… 7

The Way I Can't See It 10

Picture Imperfect 13

Industrial Strength Shopping 16

Meet the Parents 20

She's Got Game 23

Don't Bring Me Flowers 26

Roomba's Revenge 30

How I Caught Every Disease on the Web 34

TV Dinners 37

Frequent Flierrr#*! 40

Hold Everything! 43

Night Light Fight 46

Picture This 50

Driving with Ed 53

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day 56

You Know the Drill 59

Check This Out 62

The Naked Truth 65

Bug Off! 68

Mr. Fix-It-Later 71

The Beer and Bacon Diet 74

Menu Madness 77

Is That What You're Wearing? 80

Good House Hunting 83

Counter Attack 86

Unpopular Mechanics 89

Congested and Confused 92

I Married a Pack Rat 95

Makes Scents 98

I Gotta Be … You 101

Furniture Fight 104

Can You Hear Me Now! 107

Cheaper Than Thou 110

The Grass Menagerie 113

On the Road Again 116

It's Your Fault 119

Taking Its Toll 122

A Kiss Is Just … a Pain 125

Caught on the Web 128

Dishing Dirt 131

Suite Dreams 134

And There's the Rub! 137

Nivea Man 140

Grape Expectations 143

Sit Back and Relax 146

Sleepless in Suburbia 149

Kitchen Confidential 152

Best Cheap Fun! 155

1-800-WasteMyTime 158

Dinner Party Debt 161

Garbage Gone Wild 164

Alarming Events 167

RV There Yet? 170

Yours, Mine & Mine 174

Gratuitous Gratuities 177

Color Me Flummoxed 180

Change Is Not Good 183

One Good Tern… 186

Talking the Walk 189

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