Help me, Heloise

Help me, Heloise

Dear Heloise:

I’m out of options.  I’ve tried hot water, cold water, baking soda, toothpaste, mayonnaise, Ajax, Pine Sol,  You are my only hope.

You told me to put a dab of lavender on a light bulb to clear insects out of my living room.  It worked.  You told me to put a drop of clove oil on a cotton ball, jam that sucker into plastic wrap, and put it in my shoes to wipe out foot funk.  It worked.  You told me to grab the tablecloth covered with melted wax and shove it in the freezer before scraping with a dull knife.  It worked.  You reminded me that cleaning a dvd with a circular motion could damage data, and you jumped into the 21st Century when the chemical composition of hairspray changed, making it useless for removing ink stains.  I know, I know.  Rubbing alcohol but don’t rub.  Just dab.

Yes!  Fabulous!

Do I soak my feet in vinegar?  I do.  Do I use a hair dryer to blow crumbs out of the slots in the knife block.  I do.  Have I put ice cubes on the dents in my carpets left by furniture I have moved?  I have.

When company comes to call, I put a pan on the front burner, sprinkle a little cinnamon around, and, La, Voila, the house smells like I’ve been baking up a storm. Who knew?  Time to scrape the Kerry/Edwards stickers off my Subaru? Duct tape?  Genius.   

I’ve gone to any lengths,  any lengths to try to live the life you so obviously have mastered.  When you told me you had recycled your old pillows by making a bed for your schnauzer, I got a schnauzer and recycled my pillows.

But I am at the end of my rope.  It’s all my fault; I should have known.  I saw the lamp advertised in a magazine, saw the picture of the genie, and thought, what the heck, I could use a couple of wishes, this could be my chance to take care of retirement, and maybe Alice at Safeway could find me sort of attractive.  Not hunky, not going there.  Just ok enough.

The lamp arrives, I unpack the crate.  The instructions are in Japanese which threw me off.  I copied the sheet into Google translate and find out I have a Seirei, which is a genie but more of a ghost genie.  I probably should have found a real translator because I now know that the command for the Seirei to grant wishes is just a tone from the command to transport a person to a parallel world, which is where I think Alice is since I haven’t seen her at Safeway for more than a week.

When I finally did find a djinn master online (that’s a search I’d rather not do again), I was advised that the next wish, intentional or not, could release thousand of ghost snakes into the water supply, an outcome I would like to avoid.  And then, this thing has an appetite you wouldn’t believe, a distinctive odor (sulphur and peppermint), and an attitude I find really offensive.  Instead of referring to me as “Master”, the title I would think appropriate to my station, he/she/it calls me Kasatta Niku, Rotting Meat.  

I tried to wish it away.  No luck; apparently that’s not in the wish drawer for Seirei.  I tried putting the lamp in the freezer, figuring that might slow the thing down, but it and the lamp reappeared within minutes.  Put it in the microwave, lots of sparks but no change in basic profile.

The djinn master suggested burning sandalwood and sage, which I tried, but only made my place smell like the Health and Beauty aisles at Shop’n Kart.  

I’m out of options and about to drop thousands of ghost snakes in the water system.  Help me please, Heloise.

                                                                Wishless in Ashland

Dear Wishless –

I’m so pleased soaking your feet in vinegar and using the clove soaked cotton balls in your shoes has worked so well for you.  Did you know you can put used cotton balls in your rubber gloves to prevent your nails from tearing the rubber?  If you are fond of the smell of cloves, you can drop your used cotton balls in your vacuum cleaner bag for a refreshing pick-me-up.  Or, dip new cotton balls in vanilla and place them at the back of your shelves in the fridge.  You’ll be delighted with the fresh aroma each time you open that door.  Spring is about to roll around, so fill the hollow stems of daffodils with water and plug them with those cotton balls to extend the life of your cut flowers.  Finally, if you have a camping trip in mind, remember that cotton balls and a dab of petroleum jelly are all you need to start a roaring fire.

As for the genie issue,rest easy.  You are so close to finding your way free of that pesky demon.  Put the lamp in the fridge, not the freezer, then, when the lamp is cold to the touch, put it in the oven.  Leave it for about an hour at 350 degrees, plug the spout with a cotton ball soaked in sandalwood and sage and chuck your lamp out a car window on the side of a country road.

Hope these tips help,


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