Mark Hunter (ozma914) wrote,
Mark Hunter
ozma914

next week's column: Web Ideas Strike Again

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK


I was going through my old e-mails the other day (because I have no life) when I stumbled across one that said it was “for the lady of the house but then you men can learn some tricks of the trade too.”

My first thought was, “Where have all the commas gone?” Have they somehow fallen out of favor? Or they no longer cool?

My second thought was that the sentence was really insulting. For the lady of the house? What, are they trying to tell us men are helpless and hopeless in the kitchen, that we’re somehow secondhand cooks and cleaners? Sure, it’s true in my case, but still …

Just the same, I thought I’d go through some of the suggestions … because I am hopeless and helpless in the kitchen.

Easy deviled eggs. Basically you put the cooked egg yolks in a Zip Lock bag, seal it, and mash them. Okay, guys, pay attention to the key words: You’ve got to cook the eggs, and you’ve got to seal the bag. Believe me, it doesn’t work nearly as well if you don’t follow those steps. I know that – the carpet knows that – the cats know that.

Then you cut the tip of the bag and squeeze the mixture into the egg half. Men will be happy to know this allows them to just throw the bag away, so there’ll be no cleanup. Unless you forgot to seal it.

Expanding frosting. When you get cake frosting from the store (Duh, where else would you get it?), put it in the mixer and whip it up; this will double the volume of the frosting, allowing you to cheat the consumers. I mean, frost more cake.

Guys, this is very important: The mixer trick does not work on steak, chocolate bars, or beer.

Newspaper weeds away. Apparently you put wet newspapers around your plants. The weeds come up, see the election year ads and mudslinging, and just burrow right back into the ground again.

Broken glass. You can use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up tiny, hard to see shards of glass. This works so much better than my “going to the bathroom barefoot in the middle of the night” method.

Squirrel away. Squirrels can eat your plants, which make the whole newspaper thing kind of pointless. So, sprinkle cayenne pepper on your plants, and the squirrels won’t come near it.

Two points: First, it works on cats, too. (Insert evil laughter here.) Second, if you’re the type who likes fresh veggies, you might want to remember to rinse them really well – otherwise you might get a taste sensation you didn’t anticipate.

On the other hand, you might be the person who invents “hot cucumbers”.

What do you mean, somebody already did?

No more mosquitoes. Place a dryer sheet in your pocket – it will keep the mosquitoes away. Yes, you’ll be the butt of neighborhood jokes, but you’ll lose that nickname of “Itchy”.

Reducing static cling. Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip, and it will stop clingy slips and skirts. Women still wear slips? Actually, they say it works with slacks and pantyhose, too.

I haven’t had the opportunity to test this one. But I can’t help wondering: Why not just place a dryer sheet in your pocket?

Measuring cups. To keep sticky substances from sticking in a measuring cup, fill the cup with hot water first, dump it out, but don’t dry it.

But shouldn’t we be saving water, in this day and age? Cooking uses a lot of water – so remember, many pizza places deliver.

Foggy windshield? Keep a chalkboard eraser in your car’s glove box, and use it on foggy windows. It works better than cloth!

Whenever they add an exclamation point, it makes me nervous. Besides, it’s not that easy to find chalkboard erasers these days … I wonder if a dry erase marker would work just as well? Or a dryer sheet?

Reopening envelopes. If you forgot to include something and have already sealed the envelope, put it in the freezer for an hour or two, and it will unseal easily. The envelope, not the thing you put into it.

This is for your own envelopes, people! Not your neighbors’.

Conditioner. For shaving your legs, use hair conditioner (it is hair, after all). It’s cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth; it’s also a great way to use up conditioner if you didn’t like it on your hair (on your head).

Haven’t tried this one either, but it’s gotta beat wax. Not that I’ve tried wax. Okay, there was the once, but I was young and susceptible to double dog dares.

Pesky fruit flies. Take a small glass, fill it with half an inch of apple cider vinegar, and add two drops of dish washing liquid, then mix well. The flies will be drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Okay, they won’t really be gone – they’ll be in the cup. Which brings me to an important safety tip: Do not leave the cup in the same place where you usually set the cup you drink out of.

Get rid of ants. Leave small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. Because the ants can’t digest it, it kills them, and yet it’s safe for small children. It’s perfectly safe for cats. In a week or so you’ll be free of ants, leaving you to deal with the newly arrived family of mice who came for the free cornmeal. Guess the cats aren’t so bad, after all.

So there you go, clueless guys; now you can cook, get rid of pests, improve your wardrobe, remove pesky body hair, and, um, remove broken glass. Now that I look over the list, I’m wondering why some of these items got put together. I’m also wondering if I’m going to regret mentioning the envelope thing.
Tags: column, new era, slightly off the mark
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