"You don't happen to have a plastic knife in your desk? I need to cut this banana."
I didn't have a knife. Sorry. I didn't even think to suggest using a spoon to cut it.
I was using my spoon to do just that this morning, and it made me think of how resourceful I am, having grown up as a Meyer. Here is a list of everyday items that have been repurposed by my family.
- An ordinary table knife can be used as a flathead screwdriver. I know Manda and I resorted to this when we couldn't get access to Dad's tools.
- Certain cabinet hardware - mainly a handle-style drawer pull - can be used as a bottle opener. The "first drawer" in our kitchen still bears the scars of many a Double Cola bottle.
- Who needs Kleenex? You can use toilet paper for the same thing. Observe the four-square limit.
- You've run out of toilet paper? Use paper towels...sparingly! They're murder on a septic tank.
- Out of paper towels? Try newspaper. Or drip dry. Or walk it off. Or take a shower.
- No Band-Aids? Wrap that gash on your thumb with a couple layers of toilet paper and some tape - Scotch, electrical, rubber, duct - doesn't matter. Use what you have. Don't cry about it; it's all in your head.
- No clean bowls? Use a cup! They fit easily in a car's cupholder for cereal/oatmeal/turtle soup on the go. We went through a phase where we bought Dad a ton of coffee mugs, even though he doesn't drink much coffee at home ("and never in the summer"). So when you see them on the floor of his truck, you know why they're there.
- Duct tape is a quick fix solution to minor auto collision damage. It's good for girdles, too. More on that in another post.
- Bar soap is shampoo. And according to Dad, a surefire solution to balding hair. "I've been washing with bar soap for over 50 years, and I'm not bald." Nuff said.
- Dish soap is bubble bath.
- A bathroom sink is a Barbie swimming pool. Add blue food color to give it that off-the-coast-of-Hawaii look that you saw in your teacher's vacation pictures.
- A birthday/Christmas/greeting card makes a great dustpan in a pinch.
- An insulin needle - properly cleaned - can have new life as a squirt gun! Note: Only use needles from those you trust, like your grandma.
- Use a brown grocery bag to coat chicken in flour and seasonings before frying.
- Use the same bag to drain the chicken after frying.
- No hammer? Use a hardcover book to drive in nails. Suggestions: Reader's Digest Condensed Books, the "S" edition of the second-rate encyclopedia set that was purchased from a door-to-door salesman back when they did those things, or The Bible. Maybe. Which do you treasure least? Judgment question.
- No money? Under the age of 5? For her birthday, give your mom a block of wood you found and drew a picture of Grimace on. She'll still be talking about it when you're 26.
- No lunchmeat? Make a sandwich of Miracle Whip and pickles. It will have 2/3 the flavor of your normal sandwich.
- Need your back scratched? Rub it against a doorpost. If you got textured walls in the 70s, then you made the right choice.
- It's the day after a snowstorm and you have no sled? Try out that rubber raft that your parents never use anyway. Or one of those old ceiling tiles in your grandma's attic.
- Can't find gloves? Use athletic socks.
- No Halloween costume? Be a toilet paper mummy. Observe the four-square limit.
- No raincoat? Tie a Wal-Mart bag around your head (not your face).
- Still need more protection? Cut a hole in the bottom and on either side of a black garbage bag and slip it over your head. Ta-da! Hobo Raincoat.
- No waterproof shoes? Two garbage bags, one for each leg. Bonus if they have pull string closures - you can hold on to those while you walk. Ta-da! Hobo Waders.
- No shoes? Go barefoot.
That's my list. Feel free to share your everyday multitaskers.
So there's that,