Tuesday, 24 January 2012

How Do Bugs Clean Themselves?

Well, once again I spent too much time watching TV and too little time being a contributing member of the human race. I suppose that someone has to watch the drivel and if you look at it kind of sideways, I am actually giving meaning to the lives of all of the good people that are involved in the television industry. I don’t deserve thanks, but maybe on one of the shows or the movies while they are running those endless credits, they could write something like, “We owe K.H. for the endless hours he has selflessly devoted to our industry over his lifetime.”

Today I dropped into the Mennonite Thrift store, which is my favourite second hand store in the city. They seem to get some of the more unique things donated to them. When I go to the second hand store I walk up and down the aisles and try to put a story to the items. There are boxes of canning jars and you just know that someone had the best of intentions to provide their family with preserved food throughout the winter and early spring. Sadly they misjudged the time and effort involved and for the past three years these jars and lids have been sitting in the basement beside the washing machine just mocking them every time a load of whites needed to get cleaned. It got to the point that the family would run out of clothes and had to take them to a Laundromat because there were just too many loads to be done. It is sad really.

A lot of the stuff is there because someone died and the kids are just trying to deal with clearing out the house so that they can make a quick sale. My son told me that I would have to clean my garage because I sometimes have trouble finding things. I told him that I don’t have to clean it, because I’ll die eventually and then he’ll be the one cleaning it. I get the last laugh after all. I wonder if God will let you watch the kids packing your life up and sending it to the second hand store. Jeez, all of a sudden I am getting depressed. Mostly, everything there at the store is crap. Sometimes however, it is just the kind of crap that you are looking for.
Today, I found a couple of interesting things. Some I didn’t buy, like the carry on bag with wheels. I could have used that the next time we travel. Oh well. There was a ball peen hammer with a broken handle that I carried around for a while. I have always liked the idea of a ball peen hammer, and even though I am not sure what it is used for or even what a “peen” is, I still think I need one. The question is “Do I need one with a broken handle?” It turns out that I don’t need one…today.
What I did pick up was a portable transistor radio that will be perfect for use in my work room. The volume dial is a little staticy when you first turn the radio on, but other than that it isn’t bad sound. It almost looks like one of those classic radios that kids in the states had in their bedrooms while they were listening to the AM stations during the sixties. The other thing that I picked up was a pound of “00” steel wool. There is the odd time that I have wished that I had some very fine steel wool and didn’t have any. From now on I will be the “go to guy” for fine steel wool. I can’t imagine ever using this much steel wool in the years that I have left. It is a pretty sure bet that Brendan will have to sell whatever is left at the estate sale. It is possible that when the kids see all of this steel wool, it will get them laughing and telling stories about what a whack job the old man was. I’d like to see them laughing and telling the grandkids tales of how I taught them how to play.
On the drive home at the stoplight, I looked at the steel wool and was reading what the “00” means.

0000 (finest) is for rubbing down the final finishing coats of shellac or varnish.

000 (extra fine) is for rubbing down paints, varnish and shellac before the final coat.

00 (very fine) Used for polishing all metals, cleaning insects…

This is where the light changed and I had to start paying attention to the road. How could I though? Who the hell needs to clean insects? It wasn’t something that I have given any thought to, but I guess that insects must get dirty. I just assumed they would clean themselves. I tried to think of an instance where I would attempt to clean a beetle or a grasshopper. Even if they were very dusty and I recognised the need for them to be cleaned, steel wool wouldn’t be the first thing that I would reach for. Perhaps I would use warm, soapy water and a soft cloth or just a soft brush of some kind. Maybe an old toothbrush would do the trick. When I got home, I read the rest of the description, which was “…and grit from chrome and glass.” That makes more sense; bugs are the dirt to be cleaned. All is right with the world.
Mind you, how do bugs clean themselves?

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