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C. Stroup – On a roll

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These are some of the things that roll around in my brain when I’m faced with figuring them out. None of them require a degree in rocket science but they do necessitate an enormous amount of staying power. While I like to think I possess more than my fair share of patience, when it comes to unraveling many household items, I tend to lose it.

As I struggle with the most mundane tasks it’s hard telling what will roll off my tongue.

Let’s begin with my hair curlers. After they’ve been plugged in long enough to get hot, I carefully separate a hunk of hair and proceed to wind the ends around the cylinder.  About the time I get to the part where I secure the curler with a pin, the whole thing begins to unroll, leaving the tresses hanging loose and the curler on the floor. Then I have to retrieve as it rolls under the cabinet beneath my feet. This scenario repeats itself about every time I do my hair.

And while we’re in the bathroom, it’s time to put a fresh roll of TP in place. If getting the TP holder back into its slots isn’t exasperating enough, getting the roll started on the first try is nearly impossible. The manufacturers glue the start of the paper to itself causing it to tear for several rotations. After about a fourth of the roll looks like it’s gone through the shredder, you’re left holding a handful of useless shavings. 

(And while Kleenex doesn’t come on a roll, thank heavens, they may as well since the boxes are designed in the likeness of TP. It is absolutely hopeless to think you can pull the first tissue out and use it. You are so going to end up with numerous worthless tattered tissues. And by the way, the end of a roll of TP is just as pathetic as the start of a box of Kleenex.) 

In the laundry room we have two overhead light fixtures. They’re pretty outdated — you know the old florescent kind that requires the long tubes that you snap into place. Then you need to roll them in both directions until they magically light up the room. I’ve watched my husband, while standing on a stool, (he was on the stool, not me) roll these bulbs around until his arms went limp. It shouldn’t be that difficult. A time will roll around when we replace them.

Moving on to the kitchen where the trash can liners are kept … another predicament presents itself. Pulling on the roll of liners, well, you’d expect to end up with one. Instead, they all stick together at the point where perforations are pointless. For the most part, this holds true for the flimsy veggie bags in the grocery store, too. Be prepared to yank as hard as you can to free one from the roll. And as an added bonus hassle, neither of these bags has a way of opening up. You try all sides in an effort to find a way in … to include rolling the sides around in your hands.
Need a paper towel? You’re supposed to be able to pluck one sheet at a time. Instead, the roll rushes to unwind and you’re at its mercy while seven to ten pieces lay heaped in a pile in front of you.

One of my personal favorites is Saran wrap or the generic of same. Finding the beginning of the roll, which is, of course, clear, presents a challenge every time you use it. It clings firmly to itself inside the cardboard container. I always end up pulling the roll out of its cardboard container while attempting to score a piece. And the razor sharp cutting edge is a joke. It will cut some of the plastic wrap some of the time. Most often, though, I end up tearing off a section which I’ve stretched and nearly destroyed in my quest. And after all that, the stuff only adheres to itself while you’re trying to wrap it around a bowl of whatever.

Aluminum foil is always crinkled on both ends, so it tears, if you can get it to roll at all. Enough said.

Occasionally, I make my own graham cracker crust instead of buying the prefab from the store. I’m not exactly sure why I do this since the store bought version is better than mine any day. But when I do get my Martha Stewart bag on, I start with a rolling pin and broken cracker pieces. The kitchen counter is slippery and I know that. So while I’m rolling away, the same thought always crosses my mind, “Be careful lest the rolling pin slips and causes all the crumbs to end up on the floor.” You’d think I’d learn.

But the roll that sets me reeling is the one for the hose. It’s crucial to roll slowly and with some precision. Winding too fast causes kinks about every two feet or so. This requires stopping and unbending the crooks which immediately curl back into their knotted form.  Trying to roll a hose up is such a waste of time.

These are all things I have to put up with, no choice in the matter. But then there are some subjects I can choose to not deal with. This short list would include roller coasters, roller blades and rolling your own.

I know some people would have to agree with me on the woes of rolls around the house.  While others (and very fortunate others they must be) would have no experience relating to my follies. It would be these people who would roll their eyes while reading this!

Originally published in the September 2014 issue of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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