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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

All Bemused, All The Time

Every now and then, I take a look at something and think to myself, now how in the world did we live without this?

This is quickly followed by the regret I feel in not having kept a spreadsheet of these discoveries and when they occurred. Just, as my father would say, for hysterical porpoises.

Mary knows the kind of discoveries I’m talking about.

“You know those tweezers you got me for my birthday?”

“You mean the glass ones with the accompanying glass nail file?”

She squints at me as if to size me up. “How many tweezers you givin’ away?”

We laugh. A pact has been in place for a number of years now wherein we have agreed, under penalty of a good dope-slap to the forehead, to watch each other for stray facial hairs. It was quite a solemn occasion, that day we swore that neither one of us would walk around with chin hairs if the other could help it. I still get misty, thinking about it.

Oddly enough, the tweezers had nothing to do with that pledge but were simply part of a two-for-one package with a glass nail file.

And you just don’t know just how fantastic a glass nail file is until you’ve tried one.

“Well the tweezers are one of the greatest discoveries ever. Really grabs on to them hairs. I just can’t get over it.”

“Can’t remember how you lived without them, can you?”

She laughs. “Like the first time you had cilantro. Remember that?”

“Who could forget?”

Mary steps into the kitchen and lights a cigarette. She’s done this since I quit: lights up in the other room, has two hits, puts it out. There’s a clear line of sight from one room to the other, and I watch as she exhales toward the ceiling. My mouth waters slightly.

“I don’t know if you’re ready for this, so I’m just going to lay it out for you.”

“Sock it to me,” I say.

“I was at this garage sale last summer, held in some old guy’s garage. You know the kind: has his tools outlined on the pegboard, has a gas can marked “lawn mower” and another one labeled “snow blower”.

I nod. Mary and I are both admirers of this kind of man.

“Well over there in the corner, affixed under the shelves, he’s nailed in baby food jar lids!” Mary shakes her head grinning, grinds out her cigarette. “They’re hanging there, full of tiny screws and washers and whatnot, see? All you have to do is unscrew the jar itself and the lid stays affixed to the shelf! How cool is that?”

T-Bone, the Labrador of Unquestioned Sincerity, lays his head in my lap.

“Mary,” I say, “That’s almost as good as cilantro.”

She fingers her cigarette pack, decides against another one. “But not quite as good as the rock salt poured into pantyhose and thrown onto the roof,” she says.

The room goes momentarily silent as we both consider the truth in what she’s just said.

Because there are very few things that are as cool as salt-filled, roof-bound pantyhose.



* For those of you in the warmer climes, a pantyhose leg filled with rock salt and launched, somehow, up onto your roof helps to melt ice dams, the glacier-like formations that a season of almost 80 inches of snow creates. A small, untreated dam can pull your gutters off, but a large one can break through your roof.

48 comments:

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I was wondering about the pantyhose...

Now I want a glass nail file.

Gary Baker said...

I'll stop throwing my old pantyhose away. Just in case.

laughingmom said...

Totally cool! I'm pretty certain that my parents had me (third and last child) because my dad had run out of baby food jars for his nails (he's 80 and still has them kept that way)!!

George said...

I live in northern Indiana and have seen many gutters felled by ice and have never heard of the pantyhose trick.

Sue said...

A few loves:

*For hysterical porpoises.
*Chin-hair informing friends.
*Baby food jars on the garage wall.
*And, of course, the hose.

Brilliant, Pearl. *swoon*

bruce said...

i love the jars idea. my father did that. it rocks.

ice dams are a function of ventilation. most houses have choked attics, where the ventilation is poor. i could go thru a whole bunch of stuff about this dilema(sp)...i will stop now.

insulation without ventilation is the devil.

okay i cannot stop...

sorry for the construction bs...

the old nylon and salt trick is pretty cool...

damn i want a cigarette...

congrats on your nonsmokering!

ive said way too much...

later tater!

becca said...

awesome post

Joshua said...

I'm 30, and I keep the jar city of screws and nails and whatnot in my basement. No outlines, but definitely went OCD with the pegboard and hooks.

Camille said...

Oh my God...how did I NOT know about the rock salt filled pantyhose? Why has no one told me until now? I've lived in this God forsaken NE climate for a what now seems like a millennium and NOBODY has taken the time to tell me about this except you dear Pearl. I'm heading for my underwear drawer as we speak - gonna load me up some Leggs!

Oilfield Trash said...

The pantyhose cracked me up. You have to be Macgyiver like to live up north.

The Simple Dude said...

I am without a doubt a gas can labeled for lawn mower and gas can for snow blower kinda guy - snow blowers use mixed gas, while lawn mowers don't - so you better label them!

But the jar thing - thats genius. As if I needed another reason to be excited for spring, now I have some jar-nailing to do!

SD
www.TheSimpleDude.com

Kara said...

Salt-filled pantyhose. Now you've got me thinking. First a patent. Then a prototype. An appearance on the Shark's Tank/Dragon's Den TV show (I'll have to get my hair styled). A silent partner with lots of start-up money. An info-mercial "Call now while supplies last!". And then millions and billions in sales. Gee, thanks Pearl. I'll owe you one.

Flea said...

I adore my glass nail file. Don't know how I lived without it. Not so much on the cilantro, though. You can keep that.

Eva Gallant said...

I never heard of the salt in the pantyhose trick. I can see that would be beneficial!

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! I live in a region largely free of snow, but always throw a pair of pantyhose full of rock salt onto the roof. It's an expression of solidarity, sister. I may also buy a glass nail file. Just to be sure. Indigo

Susan in the Boonies said...

Julia Child's husband did the pegboard with outlines for Julia Child in her kitchen. I will always have a soft place in my heart for Paul Child, for that very reason. It was like the Christmas that my husband bought me a comfortable leather office chair to place in front of my computer, or the day he reserved the domain SusanintheBoonies.com for me. When a man believes in his wife that much, that's a beautiful thing.

And now, to go investigate the brilliance of glass nail files and tweezers. Chin Hair Disclosers are the equivalent of Friends Who Move the Roof Tiles for you. No doubt about it.

Pearl said...

Bruce is right on the attic ventilation thing, that's for sure. HOWEVER! Minneapolis, at this time of the year, normally has 34.9 inches of snow. :-) So far this year, we've had 79 -- and March (still in our headlights) is our snowiest month of the year. The poor roofs (rooves?) have absolute FEET of snow on them. The ice-dam guys, with their scaffolds and torches, have done an incredible amount of business. Pays to be fearless at this time of year.

And just for kicks -- and because my house is three stories high and who the heck can launch a pair of pantyhose, no matter HOW heavy with ice that high! -- I threw a handful of kosher salt out of my kitchen window and on to the porch roof below and watched it melt.

Yeah. I know how to party. What up, Minneapolis!!

bruce said...

yeah. it is nice when the snow goes away...

i am glad we moved to michigan! the glaciers and snow seem to be a little less here. we almost stayed in wisconsin...thank god for small miracles...

love your idea of salting out the window.

sun today is freaking awesome!

Kal said...

You truly do come from immigrant stock. All those home fix-its ideas and appreciation for the real way to remove wildly inappropriate facial hair. Glass tweezers feel like love.

Mandy's Kidding said...

Glass nail file? Makes me think of glass slippers. Now I want to fill a glass slipper full of rock salt and throw it on my roof. Not the same?

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ahhhh...that explanation clarifies a lot for me.

Irisheyes said...

Just to let you all know, the nylons filled with salt really do the trick. The only down side is that from the street the roof appears to have several male genitalia hanging from it.:)

Scarlet Blue said...

I have a hunch that the pantyhose tip will come in handy as the winters in the UK get colder.
Btw, as my father would say, for hysterical porpoises., was your father English?
Sx

Betty Davis said...

I have never heard of this trick before either. If you continue to toss those salt filled pantyhose up on your roof every time it snows, does your rooftop eventually become festooned with deflated pantyhose? What kind of message does this send to passers-by?

lisleman said...

too bad hysterical porpoises can't read your blog. They would have no need for a salt-filled pantyhose or nail files but I'm they enough a good laugh. They are always smiling.

lisleman said...

Oh how I wish your comment section allowed edits.
It should read, "I'm sure they enjoy a good laugh". Good thing they don't read my comments.

Simply Suthern said...

You need a panty hose rock salt gun.

Pearl said...

A pantyhose rock salt gun! HA!

OH, and my father is an Irish/Scot/Czech mix. Very handsome and quite the punster.

Pearl said...

Hee hee. My father is the Chex Mix.

who said...

How many make it to the Roof without snaring unsuspecting flying rats?

Ruthibelle said...

i want a glass nail file.

Leenie said...

How could I have lived this long in this frozen nightmare (that turns into heaven for two whole months a year) without knowing about pantyhose and rock salt??? The visuals alone of a whole pair filled to the brim and lying on the roof just made my day. Yeah, maybe a whole pair shouldn't be used.

MY problem is finding pantyhose. Mine don't get used much what with all the layers of thermals getting priority. Then in the spring I need them to cut up and tie up my tomatoes to stakes so they can get at least a LITTLE sunshine before it freezes...again.

There is a glacier wedged in a corner of our roof that's been there since November. This may be worth the purchase of a new pair of No Nonsensers from the grocery!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

It's good to know panty hose have an actual purpose. I like the nailed-in baby food jar thing and I'm a cilantro lover too. Between the two, it's a close call.
xoRobyn

Cheeseboy said...

I have never read a better post about nail clippers and pantyhose in all my life.

I remember my first cilantro experience. It is something I will never forget. (As demonstrated by the fact that I still remember it.)

Jhon Baker said...

smoking.... pantyhose, driveway salt, glass nail file, tweezers and feminine chin hair... what more could a boy want?
smoking....

SeaD said...

Pearl, I am so glad you explained the pantyhose. I thought you two might be getting kinky!

Gigi said...

Well hell - I've just had my first entrepreneurial idea ever! Apparently, I can sell all my old panty-hose to those of you living in the Great White North. I never wear them anyway. I'll be a millionaire! Especially after this winter.

Mamma has spoken said...

I've seen baby food jars used like that before, I think even my dad did this in his garage.
Never knew that you did this with rock salt and panty hose. I'll keep this in mind if we should get that kind of snow here.

Jeanie said...

I am going to be seen as a genius in my home when I share the rock salt filled pantyhose idea. (I will eventually give you credit).

Nick Thomas said...

Our dog got into a bunch of cilantro and scoffed it down. He didn't move for a while - don't think he appreciated it.

Speaking of pets, it would be remiss of me not to say Happy Presidents Pets Day - the day after Presidents Day, as I like to call it. In the US, we love our presidents..... pets. See my blog if you’re in the mood for a good ol' irreverent howl.

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

I've lived in MN half my life. This year, I've heard that panythose trick like 50 times. NEVER before! It's like meat raffles. How am I just discovering these?

HermanTurnip said...

Cilantro: my arch nemesis. Call me crazy but I can't stomach the stuff. Tastes metallic to me. Now...broccoli with mayonnaise, that's where it's it!

On My Soapbox said...

I'm glad you explained about the pantyhose on the roof. Never would have guessed that one.

Oh, and my Dad has the baby food jars/nuts & bolts storage in his garage!

The Elephant's Child said...

I'm with HermanTurnip. Cilantro leaves are poison - the seeds and the roots are fine, but the leaves destroy any dish they are added to. And, notwithstanding the problems, I am jealous of your snow. Very few places in Oz get any and most places get way toooo hot.

hoodyhoo said...

so far, that baby food jars nailed by the lid to the tool shelf thing is one of the only reasons I want children...

the walking man said...

Quick Pearl send panty hose. My r-90 worth of attic insulation is falling behind.

Pearl said...

My mother thinks cilantro tastes like soap. Must be one of those things you either love or hate...

Hutch said...

After having new roofing and vents and STILL having ice dams, I love the pantyhose thing. I even like the thought of them looking like deflated male genitalia hanging from the roof - we can put out our rainbow flag and amaze the neighbors at how the lesbians are decorating. My best friend's dad had the baby jars with nails and my little Virgo heart thought they were the best invention in the world.