Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dumb Things Kids Do

Maybe you're wondering why there's a picture of a fan guard on the edge of a bath tub in this post?  Well, last weekend, I noticed the dark brown stains splattered over one side of the fan.  they originated about 12 years ago when our son and his buddy experimented with either Go-gurt (a yogurt-like product that used to come in tubes, and was voraciously consumed by adolscent boys) or chocolate pudding, where the boys wanted to "see what would happen" if it went through the fan, in the bonus room over our garage back in South Carolina, where it splattered against the wall.. 

I never got around to cleaning the fan back then, and it baked in the South Carolina sunshine that streamed through the bonus room's sky light, and then cured in the furnace heat of four Arizona summers, being stored in our garage.  I hauled out the fan last weekend from the garage, to accelerate the drying of some "no heated drying" clothes that we hang in the bath room and let the 9% relative humidity air in Arizona dry off the wet clothes through evaporation and convection.  Last weekend I noticed the 6 small screws that held on the guard, and decided it would be worth a try to clean it.

I poured a warm bath (actually ALL hot water) and as the tub filled, I easily removed the guard.  Once the tub was 1/2 full, the guard fit into the water, submerged.  I figured that since the stained guard was some kind of fat / protein / lipid / carbohydrate / synthetic goop combination, that heating it to human gut temperature might help to denature whatever the sticky substance was.  I left the bath room for 2 or 3 minutes, and upon my return, found all of the stains completely dissolved in the warm bath water.   I lifted out the guard to dry on the sill of the tub, and you see a photo of it here, a few minutes later.

As I disassembled the fan guard, I thought of all the many, many, many stupid things I and my friends did as boys, that nearly prevented us from living long enough to become young men - many of the things were much more stupid and dangerous than squirting / flinging go-gurt into a fan.  Most of them, our parents never learned about, and remained blissfully unaware. 

I cannot speak for stupid things that daughters might do, as I have no sisters nor daughters, and growing up I was not close in age or geographic distance to either of my female cousins - a family of 7 male cousins and just 2 female cousins.  I am sure that daughters do some things that drive their parents nuts, but daughters don't typically do extremely dangerous, highly destructive, property damaging, "this'll go down on your permanent record" type of idiocy in which boys readily engage.  The collective IQ of a bunch of smart Jr High or High School boys drops, to about 2X the square root of their combined IQs [for example: take (120 X 4) + (110 X 2) + (140 X 2) = 980.  Then take the square root of 980, and multiple by 2... and THAT's the collective IQ of a bunch of supposedly 'smart' boys.]  Considering this theorem, it's good that splattered go-gurt was as bad as things got that year for our son.  Of course, 2 years later, he went way beyond splattered go-gurt in seeing how far he could push boundaries, driving without our knowing it.... but that's what boys do.

If you find a fan guard covered in experimental food that was pushed into it, or squirted into it by your progeny, try soaking the guard in a warm bath.  Maybe you'll have success equivalent to my experience with this fan.

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