Not to put a damper on enjoying Socorro in the springtime, there’s an old saying Benjamin Franklin came up with that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” but for me, it’s not death and taxes, but rather death and spring cleaning.
As it is written, “when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Right, the things that end up in the attic, actually. I know, I know, some of that stuff has sentimental value, like grandma’s old quilt or that stretched-out t-shirt you got at your first concert, but isn’t there something people say about hanging on to old stuff? If you haven’t used it in the last three years you should throw it away? Like Dirty Harry facing the bad guy, I have to ask myself, “Have I hung on to that broken floppy disk drive for three years, or was it 10? Well, have I, punk?”
There’s a show on cable TV called Hoarders, and I may not be there yet but sure am on my way, I fear. I mean, who’s going to want that obsolete zip drive or that broken TV I’ve been meaning to get fixed. I guess everybody hangs on to stuff they won’t really use anymore, like exercise equipment and clothes that don’t fit you because you quit using the exercise equipment.
Are there clothes I need to throw out? I mean, am I relegated to wearing dad clothes for the rest of my life. Or, can I get some of those skinny jeans I’ve been seeing?
No, trying to be fashion-trendy doesn’t work after you reach that point when you honestly do not understand what’s so great about popular music today.
That’s the point when people move to Florida where my brother is and join the legion of shuffleboard players and bench gossipers. The place where nobody raises an eyebrow when you say you have supper at four and are in bed by 7:30.
But I digress. That Hoarders program encouraged everybody to cut the clutter, which also includes your property and getting rid of junk in your yard unless that junk happens to be an old exercise bike you’re now using as a flower trellis.
One time when I was feeling uncommonly industrious in a clean-up-fix-up mode I tried something I saw on the internet that seemed so weird I had to test it.
You know how cars have those headlights with some kind of outer plastic cowl over them? And then the plastic over time gets all hazy and dull and makes your car look dingy? Well, there was a video on YouTube on how to make them all shiny and clear with – wait for it – a tube of toothpaste. I tried it, and voila, shiny like-new headlights. They look so great I’m looking to find some good reason to drive around at night.
That little trick I’ve learned is just one of a whole long list of what is being called life hacks. In other words, off-the-wall techniques to help all of us live a more wonderful, stress-free life.
Oh, the bliss.
At any rate, these life hacks are supposed to teach you how to do mundane things more effectively, such as the above-mentioned cleaning your headlights with Colgate and a toothbrush instead of boring old soap and water.
But I’ve found using some of these tricks may turn something already simple into a Rube Goldberg nightmare, like what you have to do to perfectly fold a fitted sheet. No can do. And the idea of easily dolloping out pancake mix from a ketchup squeeze bottle sounds like more trouble than it’s worth. I mean, how are you supposed to get the pancake mix into the squeeze bottle in the first place?
There are some useful ones, though, like the one about storing your jar of natural peanut butter upside-down so the peanut oil doesn’t stack up on top.
How about using dental floss to cut a cake? But as for sticking the sliver of an old bar of soap onto a new bar, I thought everybody was doing that already. And I had no idea there were so many things you could do with paper clips or dryer sheets.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t a lot of these just re-cycled from the old newspaper column Hints From Heloise that I grew up with? You know, like “take your bananas apart when you get home from the store,” or “leftover Snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert.”
But face it, this being 2022 the term “hack” sounds a little more edgy or exciting than “household tip,” or “lifestyle hint.” Fair enough.
Anyway, you can Google life hacks yourself and learn all the incredible things you can do with a used toilet paper tube.