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NOW LET US SPRAY

sprayOpen every cupboard world-wide, or as we call it in Ireland, the press, and you’ll find a plethora of sprays and surface cleansers. There’s a spray and cleanser for everything. Insect sprays for flies and bugs. Cockroach sprays if you’re in Cape Town. Bathroom sprays that will kill all known germs. Kitchen surface sprays that will kill all known and unknown germs. Sprays to clean your granite or marble worktops. Furniture polish to spray on dusty surfaces. Oven sprays that declare they will remove all grease and grime. Sprays to freshen the air, especially the toilets. My favourite one of these is called – Poo Pourri. Jif and jig your way around the house. A bit of Michael Flatley action and your house will be toxic but sparkling. 

Now, tell me this and tell me no more – what happened to Vim? The crunchy stuff that always stayed on the bath surface exfoliating a certain part of your anatomy. What happened to Windolene, that pink stuff that dislocated your arm before it wiped off the windowpane? Where’s Miyagi when you need him? “Wax on, wax off.” 

UNLOADING 

 Will someone please tell me if there’s a spray for seagulls?  They take a sideways swipe at our house and unload their nasty intentions on the walls. I wouldn’t mind if we lived by the sea, but the sods are flying up from Lough Corrib. I’m positive they have a Twitter page with our address on it, tweeting to all their pals to take aim at our walls and windows.

WIPE ON WIPE OFF

There are antibacterial wipes for every surface including your hands. I should have bought shares in the companies that make these during the Covid pandemic. There are floor wipes and ass wipes – tough on stains and super soft on posteriors. You can buy scent-free, or ones scented with tea-tree, lemon, lavender, patchouli and rose. Aah! The fake scent of roses makes me swoon, or did I inhale too much spray stuff? 

ESSENTIALLY YOURS 

toilet paper

I know I’m in polite company, but toilet paper must be discussed. I know it’s not a spray unless some smart ass out there – no pun intended – is inventing a spray for our posterior motifs. However, we are stuck with the wieldy roll that comes in many sizes and often does a somersault as you grab it, unfurling on the floor out of reach. Does anyone remember the Andrex loo paper advert with the dog? Why would you let your dog play with the loo paper, or did you put too much roughage in his breakfast? 

In the olden days people cut up pieces of newspaper to do the necessary. It’s one way of making a political statement depending on whose face is featured. Then the ‘hard’ crinkly stuff appeared ensuring no complaints from your mammy about you using too much. 

Prior to the Covid pandemic lockdown, people were stockpiling loo-paper. Not sugar, or tea, or something edible, but actual loo-paper. I don’t mean to sound crass, but I did wonder if they were expecting a shit storm. 

GO HIGH END 

Before you rush out and buy a mega-huge battalion of paper, ensure every piece is ready for battle. You have to decide on one, two, or three ply – quilted and kind. These soldiers have a big job to do so prepare them well. Be audacious and treat yourself to the high-end stuff. Super luxury paper will treat your posterior with the respect it deserves. It’s softer, thicker and will rise to the occasion. In Germany, luxury toilet paper is gold-stamped. I’ll say no more on that subject other than what’s the point! 

SPIT AND POLISH 

How did we manage before the Wipe Revolution? Spitting on your hankie and then cleaning your child’s chocolate smeared face, before popping in to see Nana, is now banned. The same applies to spitting on your iPhone screen, your spectacles, or a glass before giving your pal a drink of vino. 

Cleaning rags were another home economy. You really don’t want to know their origin, or do you? Great-Aunt Gloria left her bloomers behind, and they were used to polish the credenza. You all have one of those, don’t you? 

FLY PAPER 

Perhaps we should be grateful that there is now a spray to get rid of flies. The alternative was the sticky fly paper hanging from the ceiling. This yoke soon became studded with dead flies, a warning to the rest to buzz off, not that they did. Flypaper adorned with dead flies is now considered a modern art installation. 

Does anyone still roll up their newspaper and whack ineffectually at the air? These flies aren’t stupid and dive-bomb you before flying out of reach. They have that insidious zzzzzzz sound that mocks you. How dare they!

THE SCENT OF A WOMAN 

scent

All that chat about sprays brings me onto a more important subject. The Scent of a Woman. If you want to attract a fine-looking-wealthy man in Cape Town, there’s only one scent you should wear, the scent of fresh koeksisters. Spray it on liberally. 

Sugar infused with a hint of cinnamon this particular aroma will attract the man of your dreams. Hook him and then dump the koeksisters. If he’s expecting a sweet-natured woman who can cook dozens of koeksisters and skin a few rabbits for the stew, he’ll be sorely disappointed. 

You’re a career woman with every intention of scaling up the ladder of success. From now on it’s Chanel No. 5, or if you want to be picky Chanel No. 19. You are sophisticated and wear only designer apparel, until his mother comes to visit. Then you put on your overall, sprinkle cinnamon everywhere and lay out the freshly baked koeksisters made by Mrs Kreel next door. Well, it’s worth keeping mammy happy. 

The only way to an Irish man’s heart is soda bread made just his mammy makes it. Dunnes Stores sell sprays called The Scent of an Irish Mammy, so if you can’t cook just spray. He’ll be too busy admiring your credenza and won’t notice the absence of home-made bread or scones. You go girl!

HANDBAG CHECK 

handbag content

Antibacterial wipes and sprays are even more part of our lives due to the Covid pandemic. Miniature bottles of spray and small packets of wipes are whipped from handbags at the first sound of a sniffle. Border controls are more interested in your non-Covid status than your duty-free overzealous purchases of alcohol. 

Are you guilty of reusing your face masks? Don’t tell me you’re saving the planet. Shoving the used ones into your handbag because there is no bin available is a weak excuse. You’ve been well and truly rumbled. I know who you are, and so does everyone on social media. Bet you didn’t know you had so many friends. 

I suspect handbags and iPhones carry more bacteria than our own spit. Ah well, share and share alike. Let us spit. And the bugs laughed all the way to the bank.

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Helena

My name is Helena Abrahams and I’m from the West of Ireland, where we currently live. I’ve been married to Richard for almost 40 years and. (Bravery award pending). We have 3 beautiful adult children, 2 sons and a daughter. They are the treasures in my kingdom.

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