Pixel Tracker

Saturday, March 23 , 2019, 6:10 am | Fair 49º


Peter Funt: What You Need to Know So You, Too, Can Survive Alone

Why on earth would anyone bother to make the bed when his wife is out of town?

My wife, Amy, is on a birthday trip to Paris — and my gift to her is that I’m not tagging along to complain as she visits at least two museums, five boutiques and one opera house each day.

I’m home with our Shih Tzu, Dorothy, who is savvy enough to understand that when Amy’s away the routine is a bit different. For instance, the coffee I’m drinking as I write this was brewed yesterday and reheated this morning in the microwave. That’s eight minutes saved right there.

When Amy is home we abide by the Emergency Room Rule, which states that you must always wear clean underwear in case you are stricken and paramedics have to cut off your clothes to save you.

I, on the other hand, believe in the FedEx Delivery Rule, which essentially says that if you’re watching TV while wearing torn Jockey shorts, the FedEx guy will ring the bell once, maybe twice, and then leave the package and go away without ever seeing you.

Functioning on your own requires managing your piles. You have your Partially Read Newspaper Pile and your Unread Magazine Pile. You have your Dirty-Laundry Pile alongside your Slightly Soiled Clothing Pile. You have your Unopened Mail Pile. And, of course, your Dirty Dishes Pile.

I have a rule of thumb about dirty dishes that is similar to the well-known Five-Second Rule for dropped food (food can safely be eaten off the floor if picked up within five seconds). My dishes have a One-Hour Rule: If rinsed within an hour of use they need not be washed.

I’ve heard that some guys stock up on such things as beer, chips and various sweets when their wives are away. I have a friend who collects pizza coupons for months in anticipation of such opportunities.

I, on the other hand, prefer a little game I call Kitchen Survivor — which, in addition to being challenging, requires no shopping. Basically, you see how long you can exist with what was in the house the day your wife left.

We usually have enough leftovers in the fridge to cover the first two days. After that it becomes more difficult, especially for people like me who are good at “heating” but not necessarily “cooking.”

Peanut butter and jelly are essential, at least until the Bread Supply runs out. (Pro tip: dump the jelly into the peanut butter jar, stir with a fork until well blended, and sandwiches practically make themselves!)

On Day Seven of Amy’s trip I noticed that almost every item I used since her departure had found its way to our kitchen counter. My keys, wallet, cell phone, Dorothy’s leash, empty bottles to be recycled, unpaid bills, pots that had only been used for boiling things, golf balls, three boxes from Amazon, receipts from the gas station, iPad, iPad charger, electric shaver and five of our seven TV remotes — all right there where apparently someone left them.

Amy is due back tomorrow so serious reorganizing will be necessary. I’ll have to remember two bulbs that blew, the stain on the living-room carpet, un-watered plants (it may be too late to save them) and what I’m guessing are about 15 unplayed messages on our answering machine.

Also, I should probably shave.

Peter Funt is a writer, speaker and author of the book, Cautiously Optimistic. He is syndicated by Cagle Cartoons and can be contacted at www.candidcamera.com. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.