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toilet paper

All Entries Family Health Home Life Humor Hygiene

Last Chance Undies

May 11, 2016

When I was a kid growing up in southern California, I’d try to escape the blistering summer heat by playing in the sprinklers on the front lawn or floating submerged in a public swimming pool until my fingers turned to prunes. I counted those hours under water as part of my daily hygienic practices. My mother didn’t.

At that age I didn’t know that the reason they chlorinated the water so heavily was because my classmates were peeing or Hershey squirting in the water. It looked clean to me. The way I looked at it, as long as I spent every day under water, I could go the entire summer without having to bathe. Since that time, I’ve learned a lot about good hygiene practices, but have committed to only a few. It’s not that I have anything against being clean – I just have better things to do with my time than shower, wash my hair, brush my teeth and clean underneath my fingernails.

I wasn’t interested in girls while in grammar school, so I wasn’t particularly concerned about how I smelled. To be honest, I was completely oblivious to it. On occasion, I was known to turn my T-shirts inside out to get a few more days wear out of them before they were candidates for the laundry hamper. Walk into any 6th grade classroom and you’ll get hit with the same smell: a pungent mixture of body odor, crayons and peanut butter sandwiches with a little bit of urine thrown in. It’s called the smell of kids. read more

All Entries Business and Work Health Humor Hygiene

Let’s Get This Potty Started

January 11, 2016

I was in my early 20s, when I decided to take a break from the tedious life I had created for myself and spend a summer in Munich, Germany. Ever since I saw Leni Riefenstahl’s epic documentary of the 1938 Olympic Games, I wanted to experience for myself what it would be like to pole vault in Bavaria.

With barely $500 to live on, I realized that I’d need some way to support my trip, so I hit the straβe looking for work. After several days, the only thing I could come up with was an administrative job in the United States Army Post Exchange Headquarters. It wasn’t the greatest job I’ve ever had and certainly didn’t satisfy my desire to be immersed in German track and field, but it paid for my round airfare, and still left a little spare time to explore southern Germany on the weekends.

One day, during the height of our busiest season, my American co-workers and I began to notice how much time the German nationals were taking for “restroom breaks,” leaving us with the lion share of the work. Since it’s pretty hard to argue with someone over their hygienic practices, I wrote an imaginary memo from the Commander of the Post Exchange System to get deadbeats thinking before taking their 10th restroom break of the day. I forged the Commander’s signature, posted the memo on official letterhead and distributed it throughout the Exchange Headquarters. It read something like this: read more

All Entries Home Life Humor Technology

Instructions 101

January 11, 2016

For the past year and a half, I’ve woken up to a familiar greeting from my digital alarm clock. 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00. Ever since the power went out, my alarm clock has been winking at me, hoping that one day, I’ll learn how to set its time. Fat chance.

It’s not that I haven’t tried. One evening last week, I dragged out the user manual to try to figure out how to change the time from 12:00 midnight to the correct time of the day – which, as luck would have it was 12:00 midnight. Like most user manuals, the 64 page instruction guide is broken down into language sections for French, Spanish, Yiddish, Lithuanian, Tagalog, Japanese, Chinese, German, Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish and Bulgarian. Flip it over and you’ll find Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese, Farsi, Vietnamese, Turkish, Korean, Italian, Thai, Cantonese, Polish, Burmese and even a section devoted to Pig Latin. Thankfully, the last page was written in English.

Due to the litigious nature of our society, I find consumer instructions and warnings on everything I use. But the way the instructions are written, they’re almost impossible to interpret. Instead of clear sentences that tell you how to use a product, you’ll find a series of pictures (with no words) and an 800 telephone number to somewhere halfway around the world. There’s a diagram with one end of a cord going from the S-video output on the DVD player to the input on the microwave oven, followed by three color-coded RCA plugs pointing to the red, yellow and white audio inputs on the toaster. Somewhere in the instructions, you’ll find the obligatory illustration of a human finger poking an electrical outlet with a large, red international circle with a line through it, suggesting that you shouldn’t test the electricity with your index finger. With that, the manufacturer is off the hook. read more

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