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After damn near sixty years, I discovered a fabulously simple, time-saving thing.

While barely recovering from COVID myself, I was busy looking after a house full of family members who were still in the throes of coughing, snorting and generally hanging on to life by a tenuous thread, or so they thought, anyway. I, too, was feeling rather like a plate of food that had been warmed up for the millionth time – sad, soggy and overdone.

But there were things to do.

So I’d had a shower – all the COVID articles blathered on about keeping oneself clean – and got to the bit where deodorant needed to be applied. I’d reached up, fumbled with the canister and dropped it. The lid skittered off under the bastardly bathroom cabinet. Kneeling down, I peered into the murkiness to see if it could be located when a rush of dizziness engulfed my head.

I’ll get it later, I muttered and continued my ablutions.

Naturally, I forgot all about it.

The following day, I reached for the can of deodorant and fumbled with the lid. It’s one of those brands where the lid has the same shape as the nozzle. Remembering that said lid had done a bunk under the cabinet, I quickly sprayed (don’t judge – I hate roll-ons)  and replaced the can on the cabinet.

In my hazy funk, I realized that I’d saved some time, not having to wrestle the slick, dew-covered top off with sweaty hands. I wondered why I’d never considered just leaving the lid off before.

Because only sloppy people left lids off, that’s why.

I clearly remembered the horror I’d felt going into friends’ bathrooms at various stages of my life and seeing an array of bottles and tubes, lids off, contents spilling over in many cases. Even a tortured-looking tube of toothpaste was missing its cap.

It had given me the complete willies. Who were these people?

But my aerosol can was on the top of the cupboard, not spilling a drop, and in fact, hardly looked like it was missing a lid. Where was the harm?

Next, I tried leaving the shampoo lid open in the shower. Not really all that daring because it’s a flip top. But that saved seconds too. Also saved my fingers. Constantly washing up (or groveling in the garden) and the dry Pretoria winter causes the skin on my fingertips to split. I always seem to have a myriad of teensy cuts that hurt like a bitch whenever I use them. Imagine my joy when I reached for the bottle and just had to squeeze a dollop into my hand.

My standards were definitely slipping, and I didn’t give a toss.

I also get very irate with family members who insist on closing the dishwashing liquid nozzle. Much easier to simply squeeze green stuff directly into the sink than having to yank the lid up first.

Now, I just need to figure out how to deal with those wretched child-proof caps manufacturers love so much. I understand why, but squeezing, pressing and turning simultaneously when you’ve got a blinding headache could, on occasion, turn even the most patient soul into a raving lunatic.

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