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.