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RSVPhillippi | January 2019

Dennis Phillippi

I'm Not Always Angry

Okay, it’s been pointed out to me recently that this column has been leaning more towards the old guy telling people to get off my lawn and to slow down driving on my street because kids live here than just straight yucks. From emotional support animals, to evil holiday songs to people that yell when they drink, it seems like all I do is spend my thousand words making fun of idiots. This month I’ve decided to make a more positive approach. Here are some things I’ve found in the last few months that are known as “life hacks,” which are just simple things you can do to make your life easier.

You may have seen on the local news that there is an illness going around that appears to be unique to our area that has been dubbed “Memphis Crud.”  It’s the two or three day sinus and congestion thing that either you or virtually everyone you know has gotten. It’s often accompanied by digestive issues. It can be avoided by doing one thing we should all be doing all the time any way, washing our hands.  You don’t have to do it every 10 minutes, but you should be doing it more frequently than you probably are. Try to hit somewhere in between a frat boy and Adrian Monk. Another way is to not do something we all do, and it’s not as easy as scrubbing your mitts.  Even though it’s tempting, according to one Memphis physician, don’t dip that chip. 

Here’s one I learned years ago and it really works. If you want to check to see if a battery is any good, don’t bother licking the anode, the button at one end, that won’t work and it’s probably more toxic than that clam dip. In fact, in general, and this isn’t necessarily a life hack, just common sense, lay off licking objects as a rule. To determine if a battery will still work, hold it with the flat end half an inch above a flat surface and gently drop it. If it stands up, it’s good, if it topples over it’s dead or dying. It’s the same sort of test as shaking  your Grandfather when he’s stopped moving for a protracted period of time.

Here’s one I learned from a friend of mine that is an inveterate firebug, corn chips make for great kindling. I’m not kidding. Those delicious nuggets of fatty heaven aren’t just good for clogging your arteries, and sampling Carol’s clam dip, they’re swimming in grease that is easily set afire. It may not be the most economical way to start your campfire, or in my friend’s case, garage fire, but if you’re trapped after a plane crash start scrambling for snack chips, it could actually save you life.

A bartender told me a simple tip for keeping your wine cold without watering it down with standard ice cubes. Freeze white wine in an ice tray and use those to cool your wine. Granted, thinking that far ahead about your next glass of wine might say something a little disturbing about how you choose to unwind, but it does actually work. You can freeze grapes for the same purpose, but until they’re fermented, grapes don’t bring any alcohol to the table, or table wine.

The best way to finish off that almost empty jar of hazelnut spread is to put some ice cream in it. This tip was from a friend of mine who had recently gone through a breakup. Actually, it was a series of breakups and he suddenly found all kinds of new ways to deliver ice cream to himself. He’s lonely and a chunky monkey, but in his own way I think he’s getting better.

If you’re like me and you tend to sleep right through your smart phone alarm, possibly because you used wine ice cubes, put your device in an otherwise empty glass and enjoy the klaxon that cannot be ignored. I can’t believe I felt compelled to add “otherwise empty” but, you know, people are stupid.

A guy I know always insists on taking pictures with his phone of things he lends to people with the person holding them so he knows who has his stuff. Yes, it’s incredibly paranoid and insulting, but I remembered to return his copy of Smokey and the Bandit Part 2 because I knew he had undeniable proof I had borrowed it. By the way, Part 2 doesn’t really hold up, just skip to the end and watch Burt Reynolds slapping Dom DeLouise around during the credits, it’s the only real reason to watch it at all.

This one is kind of late because you’ve already opened all your holiday gifts, but whenever you have to open plastic packaging for something instead of jamming one end of a pair of scissors in it and possibly your palm, use a can opener to crack that thing. It works like a dream. Sorry I didn’t mention it last month. I was busy being mad about some idiots.

Something I have always hated having to do is clean a blender.  What can I say, sometimes wine with wine cubes isn’t enough. Sticking my hand down there to try to wash those nasty sharp little blades has often resulted in me nicking a fingertip, possibly because I was washing it after a batch of margaritas. Instead, just put some dishwashing liquid in it, put the top back on and run it for a few seconds. Presto, blender full of suds that just needs to be rinsed out to get back in business.

There, a whole column devoted to making your life better. Sure, a lot of it was devoted to drinking tips, but those make life better too.  I’m sure I’ll have plenty to complain about next month. Happy New Year. Get off my porch.