I read a really strange article today about what sort of random and useful things you can do with ordinary things. The premise of the article was that you don't need fancy shmancy store-bought stuff to do everyday things.

With a small pang of guilt, I admit that I read this article in Reader's Digest magazine. I used to find the magazine interesting, until I realized that it tends to be fairly repetitive. Seems every cover story is about something wondrous and amazing, and quite often articles seem to repeat themselves. Same story, new faces.

The article I read is called "Buff Your Shoes With a Banana." It was actually quite unique, though the writer's anecdote really doesn't do much for the article itself. It was somewhat anti-climatic. But now I'm left with ideas in my head about random stuff.

In the article, the author makes a big to-do about cleaning house, and using all sorts of ordinary things to do the cleaning. There's even a picture of a woman with an authentic pleasantly surprised look on her face, and all sorts of tips on how you can use food for personal hygiene.

I was especially offended when I read the following: "Don't waste mustard on a hot dog--spread it on your face instead!" I guess it's supposed to stimulate your skin and keep it smooth. But honestly! A hot dog without mustard is like a book without words (exclude flip books from this argument). It's just not right.

So as I was saying, there was all sorts of weird hygienic and cleaning uses mentioned, but nothing that really seemed all that exciting. I guess I'm just not real thrilled that mayonnaise can be used as hair conditioner. I did find it cool that white bread is good for picking up glass shards, that at least is something useful.

All this begged the question: what would I find interesting? A variety of things come to mind. For instance, I think it would be neat to have something that could erase ink. I hate erasable ink, because it sucks, but sometimes you make mistakes (with regular ink) that have to be corrected, and whiteout can look pretty bad if you're inept like me. A nice acidic solution from lemon or lime mixed with crisco, for example, would be cool. Though I don't have the most scientific of minds, I'm fairly confident that this would not work. But you get the picture. Something practical, and at the same time useful and cool.

"Oops, I misspelled this word on a really important document, and if I use whiteout I'll get thrown in jail. Good thing I have this citrus crisco solution!"

I suppose widespread knowledge of this incredible concoction might lead to higher incidence of crime, as perhaps people would use it to get rid of incriminating evidence, or they might be tempted to forge things they shouldn't. In that case, I'll keep my incredible solution to myself, and not let anyone in on the secret. It will be safe in my honest hands. Plus, no one will really have to worry because, after all, chances are that all that would happen is the paper gets a citrusy-greasy substance on it, and the ink still shows.

But hey, I can still dream.