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Yep, you guessed it: necessity was once again the mother of invention. A sink full of dirty dishes is an ugly thing when combined with vehement demands for carrot juice emanating from two cages of insistent ratties. And yet sticky orange cages, to say nothing of sticky orange rats, isn’t by any stretch of the imagination “a consummation devoutly to be wish’d.” Yikes! All cigar ashtrays dirty, Arab Spring reenactment imminent…what to do, what to do? A desperate rifling of cabinets produced two alternatives, both of which proved just dandy:

1) LID FROM CANDLE JAR (SANS PLASTIC GASKET)

I can’t stand waste and really love these jars, so I go to the trouble of draining residual candle wax and then use these virtually indestructible containers for storage of moth-ish staples, dried beans, a wee bit of leftover sauce or soup, hardware odds and ends, and what have you. I must have a dozen of these sitting around, and somehow there are always more lids than jars.

Great solution for a small number of rats, in this case three does. Pry off the plastic gasket, which shouldn’t be on the menu. Virtually tip-proof. Since the low sides offer little incentive to tilt toward one’s self when lapping and the center of gravity is virtually at ground level, one can’t really tip, anyway, but can only flip. Which isn’t to say they won’t do so. But why should they when there is sweet, golden orange carrot nectar to be lapped up? Perhaps later….

2) MAMAW’S OLD-FASHIONED GLASS JUICER

I love how these glass gadgets look, and when my beloved Mamaw’s ca. 1948 glass juicer came up for grabs, I grabbed. Since I also have a super-cool levered juicer that is much more efficient and easier on the wrists, though, Mamaw’s glass juicer collects dust.

Not anymore! Six big bruising boys can belly up to this juice bar without anyone having to cue the pianist to play “Camptown Races,” which never seems to break up bar fights anyway, but only make them even more fun to watch. And speaking of fun to watch, there’s something about my boys shoulder to shoulder while sucking up tasty juices and soups from what looks for all the world like a big rat fountain that makes me laugh. Not that Mamaw would approve. She’d be horrified. But she would, I think, be just ever so slightly more pleased that her old juicer is still seeing some use.

Mamaw, my loathsome vermin thank you from the bottom of their rattie little hearts.

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