|Jinny has been very ill and is currently undergoing rehabilitation in a Bangor facility so she will not be writing her article for awhile. She is making excellent progress and hopes to be able to return to writing her column in the near future... Adele.
Plato, the Greek philosopher, once said that necessity is the mother of all invention. Although there have been a great many things dreamed up and invented throughout human history for which I can discern no possible necessity, (like body piercing and reality television for instance), I agree with old Plato in the main. We all have found ourselves in circumstances where necessity forces us to use our ingenuity to get the job done. Have you ever found yourself in a situation demanding a screwdriver in order to fix something with no screwdriver of any kind within 10 miles? Have you opted to use a knife or a coin or a nail file? I've used them all.
I got to thinking about the need for cleverness when one is without the appropriate tool the other day when I was at work and had to do a job requiring that I hang over something with my head down and my hair kept getting in the way. With no hair accessories to be had, I put my hair back, coiled it up, stuck a pencil in it with a twist and it worked great. Lots of women have done the same at one time or another. I have used pencils, pens, chopsticks, and kabob sticks on various occasions to put my hair up. For some reason, all of these items work better than pins and I've never had my hair fall down when coiled up and stuck with a chopstick, while I have never been able to keep it up securely for any amount of time with hair pins.
I have had hems fall down at work and seams split and used a stapler to hold it all together for the rest of the day. A stapler is really a wonderful tool. I've stapled hems, seams, belts, and purse straps at one time or another. When I took my kids out on Halloween I always brought a stapler just in case disaster struck and a costume suddenly began to deteriorate.
Have you ever had an itch on your back that is driving you mad and you can't get to it? I can't stand an itchy back. I now have back scratchers hanging all over my house, but desperation has driven me to use all sorts of bizarre items to get to an itch, including pencils, pens, tools, letter openers, sharpening steels, tree branches, wire hangers, umbrellas, and those things on blinds that you turn to open and close the slats. When my back itches I have no shame.
On more than one occasion I have had a squeaky hinge or something that required lubrication and not had the wonderful WD40 to take care of it. I use olive oil. Olive oil is a great thing. I have used it for all sorts of things other than salads and stir frying, including as a treatment for split ends. I have run out of shampoo and used Dawn dish washing liquid, a great and versatile product if there ever was one. My hair came out looking fabulous.
Once, when I was working on my car, I tore a nail and it was horribly ragged and catching on things. I used one of those wood chisels with a rough finish on one side to file my nail. I have used paper clips to hold on loose buttons, rubber bands for shoe laces, and office butterfly paper clips for hair clips. I've used paint brushes as make-up applicators and the strings that tighten the hood on a sweatshirt to tie down the trunk of my car.
One of my proudest moments was many years ago when I was at the beach with a group of people who were bemoaning the fact that they had many lovely, fresh vegetables and no way to cook them over an open fire pit. I recalled that I had a large, round, metal disc in the trunk of my car that I bought for sledding crazily down hills and been too lazy to remove from my car after winter was over. It made a perfect Wok and we cooked the vegetables to crisp perfection. I had one evening of everyone believing that I was some kind of genius. They all got over it the next day, of course.
Like Scarlett O'Hara, I have made numerous costumes out of curtains and drapes. I made my daughter a fabulous Marie Antoinette costume out of drapes and sheers I bought second had. And of course, I am great at making togas out of bed sheets. It's all in how you cut and drape the thing. Try googling how to make a toga sometime. You'd be amazed how many sites there are for college students and party goers wanting to look like the emperor Nero at an orgy.
This necessity and invention idea is all well and good, but I wish that I could come up with something terribly clever and ingenious that would amaze and delight people enough to want to throw perfectly good money away on it, thereby making myself wealthy and happily smug. Plato was a clever guy, I wonder if he had any ideas? I'll have to google it.