When the girls and I arrived at my folks' place in Hilton Head yesterday, my mom had a present waiting for me, a second hand copy of Polish Your Furniture With Panty Hose and Hundreds of Offbeat Uses for Brand-Name Products.
The book, by Joey Green (author of "The Get Smart Handbook" and "The Partridge Family Album"), is exactly what it sounds like, a how-to-guide for alternative uses for well-known products.
Green, a former copywriter at J. Walter Thompson, became so obsessed with alternate uses for name brand products that he quit his job and spent the next ten years on a quest to uncover the hundreds of mysterious uses for products like Coca-Cola, Vaseline, and WD-40.
He found some amazing handy, household tips. For instance, Jif peanut butter doubles as axle grease. Efferdent cleans diamonds. Listerine can cure acne, fertilize a lawn, and prevent dandruff. You can use Colgate to clean piano keys. Nestea Iced Tea can sooth sunburn pain.
He suggests that SPAM works as furniture polish, but I'm not sure I'd like to give that a try!
And you'll never drink Coca-Cola again after you learn that you can use the stuff to clean corrosion from car battery terminals and to clean a toilet bowl (let it sit for one hour, then brush and flush clean).
I'm looking forward to two weeks of learning cooking and cleaning tips from my mom and dad. After all these years, they're just thrilled I'm going to finally listen to their advice.