Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Contact Paper - Devil's spawn


The devil invented contact shelf paper. It's evil stuff and I defy anyone, no matter how pious, to try laying it on a shelf without finding themselves cursing everyone and everything in ear shot.  I came close to a nervous breakdown today trying to keep that crap from sticking to itself, to me and to the walls of the cupboard instead of the shelves. The damn stuff stretches, on top of all the rest of the engineering problems; when you pull it to straighten, a big bulge forms which they suggest you prick with a pin. A dumb prick must have come up with this solution because if you prick that bulge, it's going to tear -  for sure, no doubt about it.

Fortunately I learned to swear from my father who was a master at it. Assisting him remove the screens from the windows in the fall provided me with a very colorful collection of curses appropriate for any construction or maintenance related situation. Dad was not exactly handy -  in fact, he had a hard time arranging the forks in the silverware drawer. My mother, a farm girl, was a fearless do-it-yourselfer so she took care of all the maintenance in the house.  When fixes were necessary, Dad fell naturally into the job of supervisor, cheer leader, curser extraordinaire (when necessary) and above all, bartender.  I failed to really appreciate the value and originality of his cursing when I lived in the parental home...only now in my dotage can I really put this part of my education to full use. 

But my rant digresses: Surely someone could come up with a better shelf lining product!! I spent about an hour on the first shelf and the result was kind of OK. Unfortunately I didn't get better as time went on. Finally I was just slapping it on any which way, cutting off the excess with an exacto knife and considering using the thing to slit my wrists just to end the misery. The cupboard shelves are an embarrassment and look like they've been lined by a deranged child. How about someone inventing a spray of some kind - which sets up into a rubbery kind of mat that you can remove when you move on?

The whole experience put me in such a foul mood that I was more than irritated when I read the word "prick" in the instructions. In the food business we avoided this term, even though it is a legitimate culinary term and very meaningful in a utilitarian way to most cooks. Men seem to find the word discomforting when used in package instruction or recipe copy and I was never able to slip it past anyone I worked for. Instead we used the unnecessarily convoluted and weird instruction to "pierce the surface with the tines of a fork". 

And now the devils of contact paper just let it all hang out and tell us blatantly to prick. Well, same to you  - you sticky morons. Get thee to the lab and develop a better product! 


  1. I just Googled "contact paper" for some enlightenment and now realize that it's used for CRAFTING and "by the way" you can also line shelves with it. So the secondary use has become the primary reason for purchase, sort of like the naive people that buy Avon Skin so Soft for actually softening skin instead of as an insect repellent which everyone secretly knows is the best use.

  2. Those damn pricks. I feel your pain!