April 1, 2005

Dandruff is everywhere!

"A researcher has discovered unexpectedly large amounts of dandruff and other flaking skin, fur, pollen and similar materials in air pollutants known as aerosols," reports the AP. Is this suprising? I read a long time ago that the dust in your house is mostly flaked off skin cells. What would you prefer it to be?

In a similar vein, have you ever thought about how many dead skin cells are on your sheets when you haven't put on newly washed sheets? My grandmother used to vacuum the sheets to get the skin cells out.

UPDATE: Here's an example of one of the many things I love about blogging. First, some stray newspaper article gets my attention and stirs up an old memory of mine, about my grandmother, which I can share with the world, all in the space of five minutes' time. Then, within fifteen minutes, someone has read my post, had his own memory stirred, and emailed me:
This brought back memories I haven't thought about in years. I spent a day, 30 some years ago, in a Kirby vacuum cleaner sales training session. That was one of the recommended demonstrations. Take the vac head with the special demo filter attachment and vacuum a bed. Then show the potential customer what you pulled out of the sheets/pillow/mattress etc. Suposed to be a real deal closer for a certain kind of housewife. Did your grandmother have a Kirby, by any chance?
I can't remember the brand name Kirby, but I would be willing to bet that a vacuum cleaner salesman taught her to concern herself with the skin cells in her bed.

Back to how blogging is so cool: five minutes after I got the reader's email, I've added it to my post. It's all just about dandruff .... but still....

ANOTHER UPDATE: So my grandmother fell into the category that salesmen would consider a "certain kind of housewife"? Actually, Mom had many fussy extra things she did around the house involving extra wrapping and so on, and we used to joke about some of the things she did. But I can't really remember many of the things. She used to punch several holes in the front of her canvas shoes, so her feet could "breathe." She used to put the bananas inside the cellar door. (They needed to be kept in the dark.) She would add feather stitch embroidery to the neckline of the plain housedresses she bought. But what else? I've forgotten!

YET MORE: Another emailer writes:
Just one of my mother's oddities -- she'd always cut about an inch off the top of one end of a cucumber, then rub it around the cut end "to get the poison out" before she sliced it up to serve her family.

Hey, that made me remember something else about Mom! It's vegetable-related: she would try to cure warts by cutting a potato in half, rubbing it on the wart, then burying the potato in the yard. If it weren't for the burying it in the yard part, you might be willing to believe there was some useful substance in the potato, but burying it in the yard is just admitting that you're being strange. She also thought you could get rid of pimples by dotting some Lestoil on them. (Does Lestoil still exist? It was like Fantastik -- a general-purpose cleaning liquid.)

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