Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Modern Life Failure - Domestic Science Fail

I have failed in the use of many modern conveniences. I admit it now before God and the Internet. God help me.

Not that I don't use one helluva lot of modern stuff that didn't exist a mere 50 years ago. There are just some that throw me for a loop. So, herein lies my partial confession. I know I'll have more at some later date. I always do.

Throwing a Sheet-Fit
I like fitted sheets as fine as anything for sleeping on. Yes I do. For those who move about a lot in their sleep and tend to untuck everything they are beyond swell.

What I can't do well is put them on the damn bed. The struggle! The swearing! The Sturm und Drang!

I learned to make beds in the 1960s before fitted sheets were in wide use. For the flat bottom sheet, you put the wide hem at the top and the sheet is easily straightened so that the long sides line up with the long sides and the bottom at the bottom. From there it it's a simple matter of tucking under and doing your hospital corners. Like this guy, you may need to try a couple of times before you get the hang of it, but pretty soon it's a snap.

These fitted sheets? In the name of love and cornstarch, how the hell are you supposed to tell which end goes at the top of the bed and which at the sides? It's all an elastic-sided floppy basket. You turn and turn and you don't know you've put a side at the top until nothing fits.

Then there's the "warping the mattress" problem. Tuck too far under and you've got the corners of the mattress rising from the box spring in an attempt to contort itself into an origami monster.

And do not get me started on folding the stupid fitted sheet so it lies nicely on the shelf when not in use.

I have partially solved the where-is-the-top problem by purchasing sheets with a subtle self-stripe. I must admit that the best solution I've found is hiring a cleaning crew that makes the bed for you.

Mineral Mines
What's with people who can't be bothered to remove mineral deposits and other scale from the showerhead?

Say you're visiting a friend out of town and use their shower. You don't know if the water is going to squirt out one side of the showerhead or dribble out the other. And is it really sanitary? Does that rocky gook provide a breeding ground for bacteria? Are you really that good friends?

Save those fancy new-fangled chemical sprays for those desperate times when a great rock of minerals has sprun up somewhere on your premises. Those boulders just need a good atomic blast of poison.

Holy Gila Woodpecker! Why not just unscrew the showerhead once in a while and soak it in plain old vinegar? Do it a couple of times a year and those nasty mineral deposits won't require so much work, won't creep out your guests, and will keep that expensive showerhead in good condition.

Are You Above the Salt? Really?
My grandmother rarely took medications of any kind. She'd had diptheria as a child and, as a consequence of the morphine pumped into her, developed a strong aversion to medications. The morphine made her feel "rosy." She had a fear of anything making her feel "rosy." And heaven knows we don't want anyone walking around feeling "rosy."

I myself have absolutely no aversion to medications. I take them daily. In abundance. In fact, I've just used a pill to ward off an impending migraine.

What I'm getting at here are the over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and other pain relievers. Add up the money you've spent on over-the-counter pain killers over the years. Scary, huh? Not to mention all those life-will-kill-you news segments on risks for this and that.

Here's what my grandmother did instead of drugs for occasional muscle strain and inflammation and for cramping of various kinds. For the sake of cabbage, just put the epsom salts in the tub and soak! It works wonders. And all you'll feel afterward is the rosy glow of relief.

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