So I was WRONG so WHATOrdinary day, mild for an ordinary August. But not this one. Sitting outside in the gazebo, listening to the crickets, the stopwatch of twilight,  fall in and out of sync. The utter lack of inspiration continues unabated, but I’m not worried; if I’m not going to go to Cape Cod and sit on an Adirondack chair and stare at the surf, might as well sit in the backyard and blog about inessentials and trivialities. 


Today’s primary accomplishment so far: cleaning out the kitchen cupboard that holds the plastic containers. 


Really. Over the years disorder asserts itself with frightening glee; what was once devoted solely to a particular style of container becomes a mishmash of brand and lid-style paradigms. My wife doesn’t help matters – she saves plastic containers, which is one of those things I . . . don’t. My mother did it. Saved plastic Sue-Bee Honey containers. Oh, they were fine examples of the container genre, thick and durable with a variety of mid-60s hues, suitable for stamps and rubber bands and other bits of domestic flotsam, but they rate of usage exceeded the rate of accumulation by a factor of five, so there was always a tottering column of the damned things in the cupboard, accompanied by a slippery stack of lids. Since most of the uses did not require lids, the number of lids exceeded the number of containers, but you couldn’t throw any of those away. At any time the Depression might return and we’d have to throw everything into small plastic bowls and set out for California on the old truck, you know. 


I jest, somewhat, and I’m glad she saved them. I have the lids somewhere. I kept them for the graphics. The containers I threw away. 


Anyway: you know how you end up with 25 different shapes and sizes, and 37 different lids. Drives me nuts. The other day at Target I saw a box of containers with a new lid design. You’d never lose a lid again. You’d never be unable to find them. Behold: the lid is stored on the bottom of the container. Snaps right in. If there had been an app for the iPhone that lets you slaughter a virtual goat in praise and thanks, I would have fired it up and done it right there. (You draw your finger across the throat of the goat, but quickly; be merciful) I bought the box and looked forward to throwing out everything else. 


I hadn’t gone through this cupboard in a while. It had some sippy cups – brush away a tear, toss ‘em out – and a strange bacon cooker we’d used a few times before the bacon actually melted the plastic, imparting an unusual and not altogether salutary flavor. Some home-made popsicle molds, purchased by my wife in a moment of nostalgia for her own childhood – she loved making her own popsicles, she said. But Natalie has never been one for popsicles, suspecting there are many other quiescently frozen confections available that provide more oomph. I can take them or leave them myself. Except for banana. But I’d dump a banana popsicle if they were handing out Dreamsicles; those were rare treats, the childhood equivalent of single-malt scotch. They combined a Push-Up with ice cream. O the marvels of the jet age! 


The popsicle molds had a metal rim, which was rusted. Out. 


Found a box of corn-cob skewers. I’m always surprised no one ever commits a crime using corn skewers. They’re damned nasty things, and you never use them without fearing you’re going to shoot one straight through your thumb. Make a great close-combat weapon. 


There seems to be a rule that corn-cob skewers look like corn cobs, which is at it should be. 


Emptied the cupboard, then got the box from the basement. It was then I realized that this new, perfect world of lids and cups forever joined might have a flaw: 


I couldn’t stack them. They’d have to be placed in the cupboard in rows. All of a sudden this made no sense at all. 


Well. I got them out, washed them all, attempt to affix the lids – and discovered that they didn’t snap to the bottom. I hadn’t bought that kind. Somehow I’d bought another kind with oldthink lids. No! I knew the box said something about lids. It made a point of rethinking the lid issue. Sure enough, it had Nev-R-Lose lids or something like that, or E-Z-Stak lids. The lids nestled together, and there were only three sizes. They fit multiple containers. I arranged everything in the cupboard, and it looked nice and neat. Showed my wife when she came home from a hard day of lawyering.


“Very nice,” she said. 


“Just don’t use them,” I said. 


Later, upon examination of the items, I find that the lids do indeed lock into the base of the containers. 


So it’s just win-win all around. 


Later today: oh, I don’t know. This is a lazy week. A Comic Sins update, yes, and the Stribblog once or twice. I tend to update around noon. In the late afternoon: Black and White World, the last of the seasonal sci-fi additions. Summer is when I watch old b&w drive-in-style films in an attempt to capture some sort of bygone hot Chevy night vibe, but those nights never came this year. Usually the slight chill at midnight makes you sigh, realize summer’s gathering up its things and heading over the curve at the end of the world, but this year was different. Summer never turned its face to us for more than a moment.  


58 Responses to Tuesday, August 18

  1. Johnston says:

    We had corn skewers when I was a kid. One night one dislodged as my brother took a bite. Drove the thing right through his cheek! After that, we did not have corn skewers!

  2. bgates says:

    juanito – John Davey :

    GardenStater :
    Christmas work parties are… tense.

    Do they really call them “Christmas work parties”? I would have expected “Winter Solstice (the Real Holiday that the Xtianists Coopted) parties”.

  3. bgates says:

    SeanF :
    You all do realize that the “lid attaches to the bottom” feature is supposed to prevent the lid from getting misplaced while the container is being *used* and not while it’s being *stored* (empty or full), right?

    Even more embarrassing, look who else doesn’t know how to use those things right.

  4. margaret says:

    I just saw in the store Tupperwares that collapse AND hold on to their lids.

  5. Patrick says:

    Neil :We’re switching to Ball jars–when you lose the lid, hey presto! You buy new lids!
    (And I just found out that our fancy-dancy new vacuum-packer gizmo has an attachment to vacuum-seal mason jars.)

    My parents had that same attachment for their vacuum-sealer, and they weren’t too satisfied with it. Nothing beats home canning when it comes to putting up an entire garden of veggies. My mom has taken up home canning recently, ever since she started her garden up a couple years ago. I had a pressure canner that had sat around for a few years unused, so she took it and began reading about how to can various veggies. She’s put up many pints and quarts of tomato sauce, green beans, and corn.

    The best part of home canning is when you use the sealing lids once, that’s it. Once you remove them from the jar, you have to throw them away. As for the screwbands, you can just place them directly on the jars after you’ve washed everything. Everything is dishwasher safe, and nothing gets stained like plastic tends to do, especially when it comes to tomato-based foodstuffs. Also, the jars will keep in any environment for a long period of time.

    Of course, mixed foods like soup with all sorts of veggies and meat don’t do well when canned. Pasta and grains are just an invitation to pure fail.

  6. marn says:


    The problem with storing the lids on TOP of the containers (in their sealed positions) comes in if your containers are not perfectly, completely dry when you store them…mildew!!! I have yet to empty the dishwasher and find any plastic container without at least one drop of water hiding in the seal. So far, I like the Gladware with interlocking lids the best: I can keep the lids snapped together (OK even if not fully dry) and the bottoms stacked together. I have banned all “Polish Tupperware” (my fam’s term for it) to the recycling bin.

  7. Patrick says:

    lanczos :Ahhh, DREAMSICLES! When I just can’t stand it any more, I get some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream (PUHLEEEZE – give the cheap ice cream to the kids – they don’t know any better) and some Orange Soda. Spoon ice cream into a LARGE glass until it is 3/4 full and then fill with soda. Nothing Better On Planet earth.

    There is a restaurant based in Atlanta, with a couple of other locations only within 20 or 30 miles of the promary location called The Varsity that sells a concoction like that. Except they blend the two ingredients together, and they call it a “Frosted Orange”, or when you order it, you call it an “F.O.” Order a couple of c-(hili) dogs “all the way” (a.k.a. with onions) and an order of (onion) rings, chase it down with the F.O. and then drive yourself over to Grady Memorial Hospital to be treated for the heart attack and brain freeze forthcoming.

  8. Greg VA says:

    Talk about finding things that never got tossed, but should have…how ’bout double “d” batteries from 1947? my latest post:

    I can’t believe no one has said this, but who would like to join me in a class-action suit against Glad and all the others for constantly changing the design of their containers just slightly enough to render the last series of their containers incompatible with the latest? We use the top level of our carousel corner cabinet (who invented those gems?!) for Supperware City and the parade of mis-matched pairs never ends! But wait! My wife shows up with another set of new Glad containers for the next left-over session (she makes left-overs consistently taste as good, if not better, that the original meal) and what do you know…they’ve gone back to round containers after selling us on square (before that, it was rectangular)! And, of course, this series of round containers has some meaningless improvement that renders it tower-of-babel incompatible with the last series of round containers. Poor round-headed orphan covers, you’ll be abandoned forever. God bless single stream recycling!

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