Hints from Hell-oise

There’s this long-running column in newspapers and online called “Hints from Heloise” and it’s filled with all these household tips like how to get the most out of your laundry detergent or the best way to organize coupons or get crayon off the walls. Readers write in with their own tips, which make up a good portion of the column.

Typically, the reader-submitted hints are pretty terrible. My ex-husband, who doesn’t react to much and more than once I considered putting a mirror under his nose to ensure he was still breathing, audibly gasped at the submitted hint by a reader who made a list of everyone in the family’s blood type and medical issues and then laminated it and taped it to the glove compartment door in case they were in an accident. Easily available to the paramedics, and I guess you could wipe fluids off because it was laminated. All very practical and very, very morbid.

The original Heloise no longer writes the column; her daughter does. But it’s the same format as always. Because I live my life differently than most others, I’d like to write my own little hints column.

Get a puppy, and I promise you’ll never be bored or lonely again.

Bored? Lonely? Well, here’s my tip for you.

If you find yourself bored and feeling quite alone, it is my expert opinion that adopting a puppy, particularly one that is going to grow up to be huge, will alleviate your boredom and loneliness. As you can see, my puppy Calvin keeps me very occupied. Instead of regularly peeing on the pee pee pads I got him, he shreds them and distributes them around the house. This is particularly nasty if he already has peed on them, which is the case in this photo. I no longer have any potholders because he has chewed up every last one of them. There is quite a bit of potholder stuffing in my living room as I write this. And if I am bored, I can always vacuum and then go to Target and buy myself some brand new and stylish potholders.

I’m also occupied doing laundry because Calvin manages to pull down every towel from the towel bar, my bathrobe from the hook, my dishtowels from the oven handle, and my pillows off the sofa and bed. He and Friedrich have lots of tug-of-war toys, but they seem to prefer to use buy socks and underwear for tug of war. Now I have aeration holes in my underwear.

Dogs are very thoughtful.

And, I pick up quite a bit of doody. Steam cleaners are your friend when you have a puppy who poops more often than Bill Barr is likely to. We go on lots and lots of walkies, Calvin and me.

So I’m not lonely and I’ll never, ever be bored again! Get your own large breed puppy soon so you can be as fulfilled and occupied as I am.

Fruit flies in your kitchen? Fuck that.

I recently found myself the recipient of a fruit fly problem after a couple of bananas went soft on my counter. As you might know, once you have fruit flies, it’s kind of a pain to get rid of them. They are everywhere and quite disgusting.

Well, sometimes you get lucky but don’t recognize it right away. Right around the same time, I dropped the cap to my soy sauce. It fell on the kitchen floor and I looked all over for it, but I never saw it again. (Calvin probably ate it.) I shoved the soy sauce to the side and forgot about it (it is not a mystery that I got fruit flies, I guess, given behavior like this) for a few days, and when I saw it and went to pour it down the drain to recycle the bottle, I saw…dead fruit flies floating at the top of the soy sauce. Quite a few, in face.

Look at all the dead fruit flies!

The fruit flies must have flown down into the bottle and then not have been able to get out given the plastic divider thing at the top that prevents the soy cause from gushing out.

So I did not throw out my soy sauce; I kept it on the counter as a fruit fly trap, and right now it’s like a little fruit fly graveyard with all these dead bodies floating in the brown liquid. I will throw it away someday. Just not now.

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