Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Dead Man's Foil

Of course we've all read the advice and comfort that columnists dispense to survivors of those recently deceased who are appalled at what they find once their loved ones have left behind.  It starts out as "I'm sorry that you had to find this...", and it quickly turns into an admonishment to those reading the column itself: throw the things away that you wouldn't want people to find once you have died ("but people need to think about their loved ones and what they might find after they are gone."). 

But what of the things that are mundane that one keeps around the house?

Cleaning out Ville Momma, we found all sorts of things that were meaningless to us, meaningless to even her.  Like the second sewing basket - brand new, never used, in its bag in a closet with the receipt dated 2003.  Or the old baggie that contains twist ties - dozens of them, all in perfect order, and of course, bundled and tied by a twist tie.

But for us, it is The Dead Man's Foil collection that we find the oddest, yet most useful thing in the house.

Before he passed away, my stepfather - a kind man who died too young at 80 - owned a commercial meat slicer.  Stepfather was all about buying in bulk, because that's where the savings were.  So he would buy meat and cheese in bulk, bring it home, slice it up and chuck it into the "deep freeze" out in the garage.  This, was the man's shopping modus operandi.

When he died, his children came for the things in the house that had been his, and they smartly took the meat slicer.  What they left behind were rolls and rolls of Reynolds wrap.

Since she no longer had the slicer - which she referred to as "wicked" because it could have easily sliced off your fingers if you removed the guard and the baseplate, overrode its safety devices and turned the thing on wile seeing how close you could get to the spinning blade before it sliced into your fingers - she no longer needed the foil.

"Take some.  The cabinet upstairs is full of foil," she said in her usual hyperbole.

Or so we thought.

Following her death, we discovered literally rolls and rolls of tin foil, boxes of tin foil food service bags - foil foil everywhere and not a thing to wrap - which we have named: "The Dead Mans Foil." Large rolls, small rolls, heavy duty and regular.  All name brand, tin foil.  In the kitchen, in the basement.  Foil everywhere.  And then there was the cling wrap, the plastic bags, the celophane - you heard me - 40 year old yellowed celophane.

What did we do with all that tin foil? We brought it home and we are rearranging the pantry to accomodate the boxes upon boxes of foil. 

So when we clean up after a meal, one of us will call, in our most somber voice "Bring out The Dead Man's Foil."  And despite using it as fast as we can, the rolls seem to be unending.  It really like a horror story. No matter how much we use, there are still boxes and boxes waiting to be opened.

So if you all have a chance to come for a visit, just look for the house with the two gentlemen seated on the front porch wearing foil hats.  We'll keep the light on for you.


  1. Oh Goody, Like minded souls that share my affliction for the tinfoil hat!

    Will you be holding a tinfoil hat competition?
    Perhaps you could start charging a fee for do it yourself tin foil hat making workshops...

  2. Unfortunately it appears that you have aluminum foil rather than tinfoil. Your hats will not achieve the desired affect.

  3. drop it off at THHOF. we can use it to do highlights.

  4. Princess is number one champion of the world in creating tinfoil hats.

    Truly...he's won 2 contests so at Inexplicable DeVice's blog and the other a fresh win at Beast's blog.

    I take my tinfoil hat off to him.

  5. It's very interesting to read today's blog. I cared for my aging mother for years, through the long decline up to the end. Every week I'd stop by and ask her what she needed from the store. Every week she'd tell me she needed plastic wrap. I would think "boy, she sure uses a lot of that stuff, must be because she wraps up bits of sandwiches etc.". Well, one day I had to do the same thing you did. When I pushed my way into the "junk" room as we referred to the small bedroom, there was a bookcase I had purloined when the RCA factory was shutting down. And there on a shelf I saw them, about 24 rolls of - you guessed it - Saran Wrap. I haven't bought a roll of it since. I'm just living off the inventory.

  6. In Queens we just say:
    Fearled Again....