Sunday, July 7, 2013

Channeling my Inner Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney, best remembered as the cranky commentator at the close of the CBS tele-magazine Sixty Minutes for so many years, came to mind not long ago when I was pursuing the prosaic task of folding laundry towels. His half-whine, half bluster voice echoed in my head, and what follows is an homage, of sorts, to his memory.

There are too many towels in the world. Just the other day I happened to find myself in a department store and while looking for a pair of sensible shoes wandered through the linens department. Did you know there are finger tip towels? They're little scraps of cotton that are slightly larger than a wash cloth and not as big a hand towel. Do we really need finger tip towels. After all, aren't your fingers part of your hand? Mine are. Then there were bath towels and bath sheets. What are bath sheets? Who sleeps in the bathtub unless they are in trouble with their spouse and why do they need special sheets? They aren't even fitted.

And what about kitchen towels? They often come with chickens or ducks painted on them, or maybe oregano and turnips. These seem to be mostly for people to look at, hanging nicely from the oven handle because most of them don't do the one thing they should do, and that is dry things off well. They sort of move the water around without really absorbing anything. But they look nice hanging on the stove. If you like painted chickens. What we really use to clean up spills are paper towels, which may also have pastel chickens or turnips. The logic of this escapes me. How does it make sense to use paper made from trees that take fifty years or more to grow to a useful size to clean up a coffee spill when we could use cotton, which take one growing season on a farm to make kitchen towels that don't absorb much?

Maybe we could use the worn out towels from the bathroom in the kitchen. They still absorb moisture, and since they are around the house anyway, we could quit using paper towels. We could call them rags and wash them in hot soapy water with bleach to get them really clean and safe to use. Who knows, maybe a bleach stain will look like a chicken. Or a turnip.

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