Friday, 2 October 2009

Bottom tips

I don't usually recycle from "the Twitter", as Non-Working Monkey calls it. But this provoked such outpourings of brilliance, I had to share.

I have been asked, obscurely, to provide a "top tip". I sat and fretted about this for a while, marvelling at the blankness of that part of my brain. I know lots of things that don't work.

Conkers, cloves, freezing your clothes - none of these prevent moth infestation. At least, not infestation by my super-evolved ├╝ber-moths.

I thought about advising 'don't buy a dog', but it sounded bitter.

'Don't cook on a gas hob wearing a dressing gown with voluminous sleeves'. I have the singe marks to prove it.

Or "Just because the HSBC offers you £9000 credit on your card doesn't mean you have £9000 of actual money".

Nothing positive though. More a series of life lessons learned, or not even learned, from mistakes. I was looking for something marginally more inspirational, so I threw it open to the floor.

Replies came in various categories.

There were the practical tips:

"Shine up your scuffed patent leather with Windolene "

"If your butter is too hard to bake with, grate it into the mixture, it'll warm up faster"

"Those tiny bottles of false nail glue (bottle w/ brush) better than Superglue for EVERYTHING + easier to apply "

"Non-oily eye makeup remover gets almost any stain out of anything, including carpets".

"Lipbalm = best thing in the world if your shoes are starting to blister the backs of your feet and you have no plasters"

The correct way to peel a banana.

"Keep individual lemon wedges in the freezer. Then you are never more than 20 secs from a cold gin and tonic".

Then there were verging on surreal.

"No binoculars? don't fret, simply stand closer to the object you wish to see"

"Tie a double knot in your shoelaces and make sure your skirt isn't tucked into your knickers"

"Don't waste money on expensive face creams, simply replace all the light bulbs in the country with 20 watt soft tone"

"Pop a magnet in your mouth and dip your chin in iron filings for instant designer stubble!"

"Two walnut shells banged together will give impression of very small horse approaching".

"HEDGEHOGS make unusual mobile cheese & pineapple cube nibble dispensers at parties"

"Use a disposable nappy in lieu of a tea cosy - keeps it drinkably hot for ages"

"On returning from a night out, look carefully at the tubes around your sink, or you might end up brushing your teeth with Veet". (or, let me add, washing your face with Sisley Celluli-Pro).

Dave Yello came up with "Keep your tail close and your enemies closer". I was a little surprised it wasn't the other way round, but you don't argue with a T-Rex.

My BMF said "Always carry a tea tree infused flannel" . "What on EARTH for?" I asked him. "Er, I just feel safer knowing I can always be clean?". It's an abiding mystery how we manage to be friends. It was even worse when my children still liked raisins. He HATES raisins. Of course, now there's the dog, that might be even worse. Dog or raisins, BMF?

M shares my brain, so she was no use. She just flapped around a bit and said "Masking tape?"

The whole process ground to a halt when some one sent me a link to these Top Tips. They are magnificent. I had such a hard time deciding which one I liked best. I have a soft spot for the frozen toothpaste slices as after dinner mints, but ultimately I thought the best tip ever, surely, was this one.

Do you have a top tip? And if not, why not?

Ps: In the end I went for "Lower your standards".

22 comments:

kathy said...

Surely the label should be "I am very helpful?" Don't sell yourself short, my dear, this is an important public service you provide.

xoxo

Jaywalker said...

True, true. The £9000 isn't yours! It's only pretend money, people! Tag duly added. xx

MargotLeadbetter said...

Top Tips - always my favourite section in Viz. And also Chat. And Woman's Own. Etc. etc.

So:

1) Worried your teeth will be stained after drinking red wine? Simply drink a bottle of white wine before you go to bed to neutralise the stains.

2) Young mothers: calm hysterical crying children in supermarkets by firmly slapping their legs and dragging them away by the wrist.

fabhat said...

I used to have to organise the sent in "homes" top tips for a sunday supplement and they were often so peculiar I used to make up my own. Hours of fun suggesting things to do with old newspapers and soggy items. Yours are much better

Persephone said...

I have astonished at least one person with this bit of knowledge: you can always flush a toilet that isn't flushing by pouring a bucket of water down it. I also amaze the Resident Fan Boy with my toilet-plunging abilities, but that's just a by-the-way...

Z said...

I think mine would be 'it probably doesn't matter anyway'. Seems to get me through life in a cheery drunken haze.

mountainear said...

WD40 - bit smelly but otherwise great in a crisis. honest.

Tigerbaps said...

Save £££s (or €€€s) on expensive iPods and the like. Simply hum a favourite tune. When you get bored with that tune, hum a different one.

livesbythewoods said...

Hmmm. I think I'll go with "don't trust authority figures. They are just as befuddled and incompetent as the rest of us."

Or maybe something about baking powder.

Soda and Candy said...

"Tie a double knot in your shoelaces and make sure your skirt isn't tucked into your knickers"

Shit, I wish I'd gotten this advice earlier!
; )

Helena said...

I trust you guys are not Viz readers then?
http://www.fishtank.org.uk/humour/humour.php3?articleid=61

Margaret said...

"Don't be an idiot." I wish I could say I follow it.

livesbythewoods said...

Helena, yes! In fact I have a link to Viz from my blog!

The Vet's Wife said...

Top tip. Mummy knows best. ALWAYS. FACT. END OF.

Wonderful blog entry, thank you.

MargotLeadbetter said...

Helena - I stole both my top tips from Viz. Darn it, you have tricked a confession of plagiarism out of me. (Also, some of the original ones of Jaywalker's were Viz ones.)

Lucy Fishwife said...

The bucket of water tip for non-flushing loos - YES! I do that. Although in my bathroom it's a big white china Habitat jug (always kept full) which I can hear the cats drinking out of at 2am as their collar magnets clink against it. How rich and colourful my life is...

The City Road said...

I'm feeling oddly practical today so here is a genuine tip, from the days of avidly reading Practical Classics while owning a succession of impractical cars when younger.

Toothpaste removes small scratches from glass - in the original tip, from your car windscreen, but have also rescued scratched sunglasses with this. Possibly avoid the blue stripy sort.

One other useful one, tried and tested; if you get a puncture while cycling and have no repair kit, a sweet wrapper or any plastic material wound around the partially inflated inner tube will allow you to pump the tyre up enough to get home. In extremis, tie a knot in the tube at the puncture point; brutal, but better than walking home.

Iheartfashion said...

Just learned the other day: don't drive on a flat tire, as the tire will shred and then you will be driving along on the rim. Should be obvious, I know.

Jaywalker said...

Margot - you are a woman after my own heart.

Fab hat - go on, you have to tell us some now...

Persephone - I have the super power of non-squeamishness, so am also mistress of the plunger/loo/rubber glove. Sigh.

Z _ I LOVE yours. I am adopting forthwith.

Mountainear - I need to find the Belgian equivalent, I think.

Tigerbaps - ingenious!

LBTW - you can have both.

Soda & Candy - at last we know where we're going wrong!

Helena - yes, I think several of these originated in Viz..

Margaret - that's way too hard. Impossible.

The Vet's Wife - I wish that were true in my house.

Lucy - you were too good at this anyway.

City Road - wow, it's like Boy's Own.

Iheart - yeah, that doesn't sound fun. Poor you.

Grit said...

when you burn the bottom of any saucepan because you have left the wretched thing on a 1000C gas flame then wandered off for an hour to read blogs, do not despair!

tip the charcoal contents immediately into the sink and pour in as much vinegar to the pan as your nostrils can allow. slap the lid on and leave it. when it has cooled, and perhaps the smell of vinegar has dispersed, the burned bit will have turned all runny, like treacle. pan saved! no need for scouring! marvel at chemistry!

this is an amazing tip. it has only failed once when i set the pan on fire. otherwise i use this method reliably, and weekly.

ps. do not use 25 year old organic balsamic vinegar fermented by nuns for this method, obviously. your pan is not worth that much. buy a new pan.

Jaywalker said...

Grit - oh I do a version of this with any/all of toilet cleaner/a dishwasher tablet/bleach. Similar results.

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