Friday, 14 May 2010

How to do Everything.

We went to Skegness at the weekend. Wet, windy, freezing; what's new! So bad that I bought two books to pass the time in the motorhome out of the cold. And what is my choice of reading material. Were they bought because they're cultural, uplifting, enlightening; or did they merely look cheap bargains in more ways than one. Book review one, the second to follow.
'How to do Everything' by Rosemarie Jarski. How modest are our American friends. Purporting to teach you 'the skills mom and dad should have taught you but never did.' (Note the use of the word mom, an Americanism if I ever saw one.) The book is trite, mundane, mind bendingly banal but at times immensely amusing. So what did I learn?
The choice of subject is at times amazing. Didn't know how to open a supermarket plastic bag. I do now! Did you know spiders hate the smell of soap and a swatted bee can bring in reinforcements. Do you know how to tie a Windsor knot, make a cat's cradle or slice a pineapple, its all there! I would have never thought of dyeing the water in a vase with food dye to match the colour of the flowers. And how many pairs of shoes do American women own. It is suggested you photograph your shoes and put the picture on the box to tell you which shoes are which! ( I have three pairs, or is it four.)
The book is mainly aimed at the ladies amongst us. Inevitably assuming the female of the species is the 'home maker' and presumably the male is the 'provider.' Not surprising therefore the bulk of the book concerns the home. How to throw the perfect dinner party, make the perfect bed, the best order in which to clean the home, all explained for 'wifeys' benefit. But amongst the advice are some real 'crackers'.
On vacuum cleaners. 'I got the wife implants for Christmas. She didn't want 'em. She wanted a Dyson.' (Roger Kavanagh, The Royle Family.)
On bed making. Did you know a man is twice as likely to fall out of a hospital bed as a woman.
On washing up. Did you know a national survey found that, given the choice, a woman would rather see a man washing dishes than dancing nude.
And one more. If noise is a problem, move to Switzerland. It is an offence to flush the toilet in an apartment after 10pm. It is also illegal to use your lawn mower on a Sunday.
So much to take in, so many new things to learn. Using the toilet, I've been doing it all wrong. 'Pull your underwear right down around your ankles. Half-mast is not good enough'. As Michael Caine would say, 'Not a lot of people know that.'
How to make the perfect cup of tea AND how to drink tea like Prince Charles AND how to read the tea leaves. (Tasseography) Try it, sure to amuse. Did you also know there are, on average each year in Britain 37 injuries involving tea cozies.
And the thing that will stay with me longest?
From the section concerning posture whilst sitting at your computer. With your right foot make clockwise circles. At the same time, draw the number 6 in the air using your right hand. Your foot will change direction. Not the most useful of all the things taught in the book, but what the hell. Well done, Rosemarie, you amused me no end.
What have you read lately, any recommendations?


An English Shepherd said...

But would you read it again!

Wizz :-)

Sueann said...

After all that; I forget what I did read! Ha! A perfectly delightful book review.

Marian Dean said...

This sounds a very amusing book, just the job for whiling away hours of forced inactivity... just what I need just now. Its on my list of "wants".
Great Post.

Love Granny

Lane Mathias said...

I never realized just how remiss my parents were. How could they have omitted the coloured water in the vase ?

That book was money well spent. Great post:-)

Von said...

Skeggie hey, wet and windy hey?
Useful book, essential reading by the sound of it, how did you live without it? Hope your practising your new underpants routine but be careful not to trip over!

the fly in the web said...

Well, that's started a whole round of activity in this household...between colouring the water, checking the tea cosy for terrorist activity and wondering if photos of my shoes might be classed as undesirable, life is looking up!
I did know a friend's child years ago whose ambition was to become a punk and go to live in Skegness....

Nota Bene said...

So glad for that last piece of advice...wasted a whole meaning trying to prove you wrong......

GrumpyRN said...

Have a Readers Digest book somwhere called 'How to do (just about) everything'. Even used it to write a best mans speech.

Opening supermarket plastic bags is something that girls are taught at school - one of those lessons when the boys are sent out to play football.

As Billy Connolly said, "Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on."

I am in the middle of 'The QI Book of the Dead' at the moment, can recommend it, interesting and minimum concentration required.

ADDY said...

How DO you open a supermarket plastic bag? I spend ages trying while the food on the conveyor mounts up in piles!

rhymeswithplague said...

It's very gratifying to learn that my underwear has been in the correct position all these years.

I kid you not, my verification word is "fecer"...

Grumpy Old Ken said...

English Shepherd
Very true, dadt, 'innit!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Thanks, daft,'innit!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Useless but fascinating!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Mind bending!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Life is never dull!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

fly in the web
You can't help but be fascinated by such trivia!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Nota Bene
What fascinates is how they come up with such things in the first place!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Grumpy RN
Your book sounds terrific. Wonder if the young uns still read.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Can you believe I can't find the book. haven't forgotten, will find it re plastic bags. Hope you are well.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

rhymes with plague
It's a funny world at times!