Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I’m Cleaning My Bathroom Bowl!

Remember that old TV commercial from the ‘70s that featured a series of middle-aged matrons exclaiming, “I’m cleaning my bathroom bowl,” while engaged in some infinitely more worthwhile pursuit such as sitting under the hair dryer at the beauty parlor or pounding back a few Harvey Wallbangers at a cocktail party? The commercial was for Tidy Bowl (I believe), a product that supposedly cleans your toilet by turning the water an ultrasanitary electric blue. And I must say that I was always delighted when I lifted the lid on a neighbor’s toilet and discovered that the “lady of the house” subscribed to the blue water = clean toilet (I mean, bathroom bowl) philosophy--just because it was cool to see what shade of green I’d be able to turn the water.

But enough about porcelain gods and goddesses. What has stuck with me to this day about that commercial is the concept of being able to do two or more tasks simultaneously. As a chronically disorganized person who is perpetually behind with her to-do list and never seems to have enough time to do the stuff she actually wants to do (like knit a huge-ass afghan), such a concept has tremendous appeal. This is why I am so in love with my new MP3/CD player. Instead of having to carve out two separate blocks of free time for reading and knitting. I can do both at once--knit with the right side of my brain and “read” with the left side (or is it the other way around?). What is really great about this is that I’m not just sitting around on my fanny listening to Zeppelin (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I’m sitting around on my fanny improving my mind by listening to recordings of Fresh Air and other edifying material. This makes me happy.

Also high on my Tidy Bowl list is the hands-free phone headset thingy. Tragically, as I found out last night, ours is broken. Now, I rarely spend any time talking to local friends on the phone, but my friends and family in the Midwest who don’t see me often like to engage me in one- to two-hour-long chatfests. That is a huge and precious vein of time to sacrifice. Not that I don’t enjoy talking to these folks, but there are plenty of mindless chores I could be dispatching while talking, e.g., unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the fridge (way way overdue), putting away laundry, cleaning out the cat box, and, of course, there’s always those 182 squares of huge ass to knit. As a result of spending two completely idle hours on the phone last night, today my to-do list is even more menacing than usual. Nevertheless, as soon as I post this I am off to get a replacement headset--that's what a miser I am about my free time.


Blogger Cagey said...

Knitting has saved me from many a mind-numbing conversation with a friend who tells the same things over and over and over (the stories are repeated for YEARS to come). I even take my knitting with me to her house to bear the agony. She is an old, very dear friend, but man, knitting has been a friendship saver for me.

Haven't tried the books on tape and knitting combo. Must explore that option, although for me, audio will never replace actual reading.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...


It's a good thing your friend doesn't take it amiss that you bring your knitting with you when you visit. I don't know if I'd have the guts to do that.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Sunday night TV is a ritual for us (first HBO, now Desperate Housewives). We are very comfortable with each other - she is the only one I do that to, also - I am not lugging my knitting around to all my social gatherings! I always mumble something about a deadline - that helps.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Rusty said...

I would feel completely left out of this whole dialogue due to my inability (and complete disinterest) in the realm of knitting, quilting, crocheting, sewing, and what-not.

However, I feel validated that I'm not the only one that enjoys changing the colored water. Thank God for my multivitamin, or else many a day would be much less interesting...

7:04 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...


Ah. I get it. Thanks for the explanation.


Am I to understand that those blue Tidy Bowl cakes are still being manufactured *and* that they are actually deployed in your household? I haven't encountered blue toilet water since I was a kid.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Rusty said...

I have seen blue water.

But I suppose I'm thinking just as much of urinal cakes, which you don't wouldn't get to see so much, I suppose...

11:25 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...


I've seen them. Here's the scenario: There's a huge queue outside the women's restroom and no line outside the men's room. A girlfriend and I make sure the coast is clear and do the logical thing: use the men's room.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Rusty said...

Makes perfect sense to me.

One word of advice: don't use the sink in a busy bar.

I recall, one night (in Ohio) going to a bar. It was busy. The bathroom was busy (at times) as well.

I got into the bathroom, and found that all possible receptacles were in use.

Now, when in a bar, I never wash. Ever.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...


I have no doubt that sink pissing occurs on a regular basis in men's rooms. In the women's room? I doubt it. The female apparatus just does not lend itself to that.

12:03 PM  

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