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Tips for Adulthood: 5 Household Items You Can Do Without

Ok, so today’s post launches a new series I’m going to start on Wednesdays entitled: Tips for Adulthood. Today’s list lies close to...

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Ok, so today’s post launches a new series I’m going to start on Wednesdays entitled: Tips for Adulthood.

Today’s list lies close to my heart as it draws from my very own home. In fact, everything I’m going to list is sitting within about 10 feet of me as I write this (except the foot warmer – see #5 below – which mercifully needs a U.S. electrical outlet to operate).

I’ve posted before about how my husband is a gadget freak. He loves coming home with all manner of things that ostensibly serve to make life easier. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. But the other day he had a real doozy. Having visited the local hardware store, he came home with a device – wait for it – extracting pickles from a pickle jar. (Cue: “Who Stole the Pickle from the Pickle Jar?”)

No, really, he did. It looks like a narrow plastic syringe for giving kids medicine, except that when you push it, four tiny metal pincer claws emerge to grab that elusive pickle. Nuff’ said.

Inspired by this dubious purchase (to be fair, it set us back only about one pound thirty), I herewith give you 5 Household Items You (really) Can Do Without:

1. A Pickle Picker (my term of art): See above. FYI: I just tried to find an image of said item and could only come up with “pickle wax remover” which sounds way more frightening…

2. An Avocado Slicer: In much the same vein, last summer he came back from a trip to the States with this bizarre item that slices avocados into slivers.  It’s basically a handle with a round hole on one end to remove the avocado pit and a set of blades on the other end for slicing. Here’s a picture of something similar. Sounds great, no? Try it. By the time you’ve cut your avocado in half, removed the pit and begun to slice away, you will have mushy green avocado everywhere. Promise.

3. A Tiny Blade for Cutting Newspaper Clippings. Because scissors are just so…large?

4. A Small Newspaper Holder: This one is harder to explain but more intuitively plausible as a helpful household device. It’s a lightweight metal stand designed to prop up your newspaper while you read so that you don’t have to hold the whole thing open. Instead, you just fold the part of the paper you’re reading and rest it comfortably on the stand. Which is great until…your story continues on page A14 and then you just need to pick the newspaper up again.

And, finally, the piece de resistance on today’s list:

5. A Footwarmer: My husband thinks he has poor circulation and so complains endlessly about his cold extremities. Years ago, he decided to remedy this problem by purchasing this small, noisy, incredibly un-green device that you fill with warm water and then soak your feet in (it kind of looked like this, but had water in it). I think it may have also had a massage function but my mind is fuzzy because I think we used it all of once before deciding (a). it was bulky (b). it used up too much energy and (c). why not just put your feet in a bath?

That’s all folks!

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  1. Alix D March 31, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    1. I have one of these, though I don’t know where it came from (my mother’s kitchen? My father in Law’s?) While not dunking my fingers in garlic brine is nice, i’ve found mine really only works with small pickles, at which point… why not use a fork?

    3. I’ve one that I inherited from my mom. It’s quite useful if you are a coupon clipper, and is more portable than scissors in those little coupon accordion files they sell at grocery stores. Other than than, I can’t think of a use for it…

    5. That’s not a foot warmer, that’s a foot bath! They take forever to warm up, too. Much more fun to run a bath for myself, and let my (permanently cold, poor circulation) husband stick his feet in next to mine!

  2. delialloyd March 31, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    thanks, alix. my husband warned me that not everyone would find these as random as I do. So far you’re the second pickle picker!

  3. diana April 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    I have a pickle pickler (which I got from my grandmother) and a footwarmer (which I got from my husband, though mine is a fleece thingy no water involved). I’d be loathe to give up either!

  4. delialloyd April 1, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    thanks for weighing in…

  5. Sally Laurent-Muehleisen April 2, 2009 at 12:47 am #

    Hi Delia,

    Guess what? We HAD a pickle picker (which also works for getting maraschino cherries – yes, I like them, what can I say? – out of the cherry jar). I say “had” because I threw it out when I noticed it was getting rusty (Eww!). I had had it for years and years and years and then, suddenly, shortly after we moved to Oak Park, it got rusty. Something about the Chicago water? I dunno, but I believe it was my Mom’s and so dates back to when I was a kid…but it is no more. I did like it and, frankly, it worked better than anything at developing little kid hand-eye coordination when my daughter was little.

    • delialloyd April 2, 2009 at 9:11 am #

      Love the cherry option, Sally. I love those cherries too. Nice hearing from you!

  6. Isaac Gruber April 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    Your husband must have a very gadgety taste. But the writing was very funny!

  7. M. del Mar Paredes Maña April 3, 2009 at 7:05 am #

    Delia:

    I’ve got this one from my husband’s present for my birthday:

    http://www.mardelsur.cl/catalogo/product_info.php?cPath=45_59_98&products_id=352

    It’s similar to that footwarmer you note, but it only works with electricity, it doesn’t need water.

    I really used twice or three times along eight years but there it is. Probably it would be more useful if global warming gets worse and temperatures go down freezing in these latitudes.

    By the way, congratulations for this great Blog.

  8. Barbara DeWitt November 20, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    I was given the Pickle Picker by my friend, Florence who packed up her house and moved to Florida. Using it is so much more fun than using a fork. All of my female guests love it and I’d truly enjoy giving them out as friendship gifts but, can’t find them anywhere.

    • delialloyd November 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

      Well, Barbara, I know just the hardware store in London for you. Welcome!

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