J.J. Abrams Is Still Really, Really Into Mysteries

JJ Abrams at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during the opening night event at CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, March 28, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images/2011 Getty Images

J.J. Abrams loves to talk about his "mystery box." The tchotcke was the focus of his TED talk; he cited it as his most-prized possession back in 2006; and a version of it was on the cover of his special mystery edition of Wired a few years ago. He loves it! (It's a cardboard box he bought at a magic store as a child; he's never opened it, because he likes to wonder about what might be inside.) It's also a recurring theme in Frank Bruni's profile of him in the New York Times Magazine this weekend. Abrams is super into this box:

Abrams's personal suite of offices is on the second floor, and the befuddlements persist there. A green phone with no dial face or digits to press connects him directly to his wife’s BlackBerry. To get to his bathroom, you have to walk up to a wall of bookshelves beside his desk and tug on a copy of "Louis Tannen's Catalog of Magic" (named for the same Manhattan magic shop, still around today, where he got his childhood mystery box). Abracadabra: the wall opens. The toilet is revealed.

Not just any toilet! A mystery toilet.

J.J. Abrams Is a Crowd Teaser [NYT]