M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, July 30, 2003  


Trash and our friend Auteurcakes went to the craft store the other day. Oddly enough, they went voluntarily.

Trash learned how to crochet many years ago. When we were in our early twenties and not exactly flush with cash, she crocheted a few afghan blankets as gifts. Now many of our friends and family members have warm, cozy, beautiful creations made by my wife’s hands. People love to receive them, apparently regardless of how much money we have.

This is neither here nor there, but Trash’s mom also has a warm, cozy, hideous creation that dates back to Trash’s early experiments with the art form. It’s long enough that she and her husband can both fit comfortably underneath it foot-to-foot, but only if they keep their legs together and their arms glued to their sides.

Getting back to the craft topic. A couple of weeks ago, Trash picked up an old crocheting project that she’d set aside a few years ago. We don’t even remember whom it was meant to be for. Auteurcakes was over at the time, and Trash taught her how to crochet. Next thing I know, they’re looking through pattern books and comparing the pros and cons of different needles and kinds of yarn.

And then they experienced a little “mission creep,” and they were talking about making homemade soap and homemade candles. Again, they’ll make lovely gifts and I won’t have to help, so I’m all for it.

So last night, they had all of their soap- and candle-making supplies set out in the kitchen and they got to work. I didn’t even have to worry about the mess because what were they making? Soap! Even if they have some kind of catastrophic spill, the affected area ends up cleaner. I support this project one hundred per cent.

Make that a hundred and twenty per cent, because I quickly found out that the results of failed experiments go to me. The lemon soap that came out smelling like Froot Loops™? Mine. The bar that got an accidental infusion of paprika instead of cinnamon? Mine. It worked out perfectly, because I had just run fresh out of Ivory™, and smelling like a pumpkin pie after my next dozen showers or so is a small price to pay for not having to go to the store. Even more so because they mauled it a little getting it out of the mold so that instead of raised letters reading “HANDMADE” it said “HANOMADE.” I suggested they whittle away part of the “M” and market the soap as “HANOI ADE,” and claim that the scent is based on a refreshing beverage sold in Vietnam and made from paprika. They didn’t appreciate my input. I guess they don’t want to be corrupted by capitalism.

They had a great time. Productive, too. Apparently the process involves melting down the raw soap, mixing it with other ingredients of the maker’s choosing, pouring it into plastic molds, and popping it back out when it cools. They were mixing in bath crystals, the contents of teabags, stuff from the fridge and the spice cabinet (hence the paprika), and anything else they could think of. I asked them to make me a Cajun-seasoning-and-sawdust bar, but they seemed to think I was mocking them.

I didn’t do so well getting castoff candles, because as far as I could see, those all turned out beautifully. As did the vast majority of the soap. It’s just that success is no fun to write about.

And it was a success. They ended up with adorable little gift packages stuffed with hanomade presents that will be greatly appreciated by their recipients. And then, when they exhausted their supplies, they adjourned to the living room to crochet.

Which is funny considering how many nights the three of us (and anywhere from one to fifty others) used to spend staying up until 4:00 a.m. drinking and partying. I think we knew Auteurcakes for something like three years before we ever saw her in direct sunlight. And now she and my wife sit in the living room and crochet.

Except they prefer to pronounce it “crotch-it,” so I know they haven’t gone completely Stepford on me.

* * *

Today’s best search phrase: “toupee combover.” Clearly, somebody is trying to make an informed decision. Perhaps it’s the same person who did a search for “paralysis and ‘nail gun’ and haircut.” Sometimes things go wrong, and you just have to make the best of it.

posted by M. Giant 3:43 PM 0 comments


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