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Saturday, October 20, 2012

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.


vanilla said...

But for the locale, Mary described my Dad's garage, down to the Gerber lids nailed to the underside of the shelves. I miss that man.

Sextant said...

My father advanced the science of jar lids to the shelves. He brought home some kind of hand creme jars from work, about the size of current Cheese Whiz jars. He also brought an empty wooden wire reel. He affixed the jar lids to the sides of the wire real, hung the reel horizontally on a pipe axle and ended up with a double decker lazy susan of suspended jars to store all his small hardware.

TexWisGirl said...

you always make me wish i was a fly on the wall when you and mary get together. :)

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

When the ice dam melts does that lead pipe pantyhose roll off the roof and konk you on the head?

sage said...

hysterical porpoises... I'll have to remember that and can I some old and runny pantyhose to add to my arsenal of weapons against those ice dams (of course, on a year like last year, they weren't much of a problem. I promise I won't wear them except for when diving or shinning shoes (two other uses... the first I've not done personally, but they are supposed to be good to keeping your legs from being stung when diving. and they are great for shinning dress shoes)

Geo. said...

"...rock salt poured into pantyhose and thrown onto the roof.” Good suggestion. I've found it easier to take the pantyhose off before I begin.

Barbara Blundell said...

Thanks for explanation I too wondered if you needed to be wearing the panty hose for it to be effective

Stephen Hayes said...

Thanks for educating me about roof ice.

Ian Lidster said...

The panty-hose rock salt thing is brilliant. And my dad used to nail jar lids in his workshop, too.

Kitty Moore said...

Hahaha.. thanks for the panty hose on the roof explanation, it had me flummoxed!

chlost said...

My sister and her friends have vowed that if any of them were to be in an accident and laid up in the hospital, they will make sure that the facial hairs are tweezed and the gray is covered. Nothing scarier than awakening in the hospital with a goatee and Mark Twain hair.

chlost said...

My sister and her friends have made a vow that should any of them be in an accident and hospitalized, they will be sure that all facial hair is removed and gray hair covered. Nothing would be scarier than awakening in the hospital with a goatee and Mark Twain hair.

jenny_o said...

Those of us who don't have a Mary in our lives can get a poor substitute by stepping into the nearest store that sells 8x or 12x magnifying mirrors. Be careful the first time you look into it, though. You can see things on your face you won't recognize :)

Paula Wooters said...

So, I hope Mary's fixin' to pick you up a set of them there baby food jars for Christmas. I'm guessing you'll have to nail them to the boards yourself, though.

fishducky said...

Have I told you that I'm in love with Mary?

Teresa Evangeline said...

I would need a lady-in-waiting to handle my chin hair duties. And just when I think I got them all, I get in the car to go someplace and look in the rear view mirror....

Eva Gallant said...

I have to remember that salt/panty hose one this winter!

SherilinR said...

i need to get me a pair of those tweezers. on second thought, i'd better go check my chin for stray hairs.

The Elephant's Child said...

Cilantro/coriander leaves are vile. Cruel and far too usual punishment. However, while snow on the roof is not an issue here I love the rock salt in the panty hose trick.

River said...

Roof ice is not a big problem downunder, but I want to know if you held rock salt pantyhose tossing competitions.
We do the nailed/screwed lids thing though and not only in sheds! Many housewives had them attached to the undersides of overhead cabinets to hold spices in their kitchens and other small things like safety pins etc, drawing pins, (thumbtacks), anything tiny that would get lost in a junk drawer.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Rock salt-filled pantyhose. who knew????

Melissa said...

Another befuddled by rock salt poured into pantyhose and thrown onto the roof. I live in a very (VERY) warm part of Australia though, so we know nothing of such things.

The garage sounds like my Dad's.

Rose L said...

I thought everyone used the baby jars storage idea in their closet. My dad did it when I was young (I am 60 now) so figured it was ages old. For crafters, it also works well for storing small things and keeping them handy and in view.

esbboston said...

I go through the permutations for the six words


and come to the conclusion that that particular order is the funniest one although maybe not the most bizarre.

the walking man said...

Uhhh Ice dams can be fought with rock salt panty hose to temps as low as about 19 degrees (f) then the salt doesn't work.

Ice dams for because heat is escaping from your living areas through your roof ergo the best way to prevent them is insulate the hell out of your attic spaces (not the roof, just the floor. We have about a total of r-60 and no ice dams. My neighbors will not pay me for the information I have freely shared here so do no tell them.

Besides I'd hate to see you and Mary on the icy ladder changes places to refill each others panty hose with salt.

Esther Montgomery said...

Almost wish I lived somewhere where I could through socks of salt around. Definitely thinking it would be worth buying some screws to put in little jars nailed to the bottom of a shelf. First, though, I'll have to decide where to put the shelf.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Seems to me that would be a great fix for a ice dam..good thinking! Perhaps you should patent it..make a million and retire:)
Those stray hairs on your neck can grow an inch a day..I swear I check before they are able to curl..yet there it is one day curled softly against my neck:(