Never Give Up (a sneaky way back wednesday)

I am here to tell you that WD-40 does not clean your toilet of mineral deposits or lime scale, or really anything. No matter what you read on the internet.

My toilet? Is not clean.

I am, however, inordinately concerned with the health of our septic system now that I have flushed 50cc of water-displacing flammable propellant down into its bowels. A solvent enema for the digestive system of my home.

I coated the inner sanctum of our restroom with the miracle lubricant because I got lost in a black hole on the interwebs.

You understand.

It all started because I wanted to know where that stuff came from. You know, like “Why in creation does Silly Putty exist?” (Answer: Accidental and fortuitous wartime creation of a sainted GE scientist)

Well, I wondered how WD-40 came on the scene. (Answer: Totally intentional creation of the Rocket Chemical Company to prevent rust on planes and rockets and, I dunno, blimps and such. Aeronautical applications. WD-40: Water Displacement, 40th Formula. Kept the Atlas Missile from oxidizing right into thin air. Thank goodness they didn’t give up after 39 tries.)

Anyhoo, turns out there are a lot of ‘alternative’ uses for this miracle lubricant/solvent/hallucinogen out there in the vast compendium of knowledge and BS we call the internet. And me? Well, m’potties are not exactly things of beauty. So why not give it a whirl?

Because it doesn’t work, that’s why. Lemme save you the time, and volatile odor invasion.

I guess we should back up a little farther, in the interest of full disclosure, which the insurance man might be interested in when my septic fails, or my hayfield combusts from below. Centralia, here we come.

I was all up in the internet because there’s been a can of WD-40 on my hearth (let’s just file right on past that one) for a couple of weeks, resting there like a trophy, after it’s heroic resurrection of the fireplace fan from the very jaws of death.

Now before you get all lecture-y, I want you to note, from this embarrassingly low-light photo, that the can is safely situated in the corner of the hearth, with the ash bucket and a diligent watchman (yes, the wooden cat) between it and the direct blast of the furnace. All is well. Calm yourself.

This fan has been dying for years. (Here’s a mini Way Back Wednesday for documentation.) * A slow, agonizing death. Agonizing mostly for those of us who have had to listen to it, squeaking and squawking, rattling and triggering my Premature Ventricular Contractions with its otherworldly vibrato (Oh, what the hey… two minis make a whole, right?).

* For those who followed m’first rabbit trail–the one with the lizard–who are wondering with bated breath how Larry’s holding up… He’s just fine. He hasn’t experienced quite the same jolt of life that the fireplace fan has in recent days, but I haven’t squirted him with WD-40 either. Considering his lack of lubrication, he’s been awake plenty this winter, and shows no signs of oxidizing into thin air quite yet.

In fact, the writing of this very parenthetical, regarding the state of Lawrence’s lugubrious health, was interrupted by a knocking at the aquarium. Seems the boy was hankering for a little smackerel of something. He had exactly three robust superworms. His attempts at number four resulted in his latching onto the tweezers and ruining his appetite. His vision has been better.

He’s currently basking atop his dais in front of the fire, luxuriating in the warmth the fire and fan provide, eyeing up the can of WD-40 longingly.

The princling

Anyway, that fan was a goner in 2020 for sure. Things had slowed to an unhelpful-for-a-fan pace, like if a wee sloth were in there working the rotisserie. The noises were surpassing the bounds of realistic-to-cope-with. We were well beyond the point of diminishing returns, but dutifully engaged the mechanical hospice patient each time we started a fire. Because efficiency.

I was just about to launch the search for a new fan, or possibly a new fireplace altogether, or possibly a faster miniature sloth to employ at the crank, when someone–it may have been my husband, but let’s not pass out credit like it’s parade candy–thought maybe we could minimize the crow calls emanating from the underbelly of our happy hearth and keep the blessed fan in the good graces of the wife for a little bit longer. With a little squirt of the old WD-40.

The wife was skeptical, but being ever-amiable to the suggestions of the husband–besides, it was probably her idea to begin with–waved him on gracefully. **

** Did we squirt the WD-40 into the fireplace fan while a fire was burning in the box? Yes. Yes, we did. And I’ll have you know that that day did not get chalked up on the list of days we almost burned down the house, thank you very much. If it did, it would have been my husband’s idea.

Well, not only did the demonic shrieking cease, the fan doubled it’s RPMs instantaneously. I’m not even kidding. Such are the miracles that come in a blue and yellow can. Back from the brink of death. Saved from the scrap heap. Wrested from the clutches of eternal damnation. Ready for another 13 years of warming our home.


Thank goodness I had such a great idea.

You see how it all happened, the future underground smoldering of Colfax. I was simply carried along on a wave of gratitude for the miracle resting beside my ash bucket.

Surely you’ll all testify in my defense at the town board hearings.

See you there,

9 thoughts on “Never Give Up (a sneaky way back wednesday)

Add yours

  1. I’m so glad you are a writer! I am your biggest FAN 😉
    The way you write makes me feel like I’m in your living room with you, Larry, the watch cat, WD-40 and that cozy fire. Thank you for the smiles today! Also, I sometimes have to use Iron-Out on our potties…does the interweb know where that terrifying, toxic powder originated? Miss you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, Alaska represents! You, my friend, are my first teacher in writing. Where would I be without the Johnson letters???

      Iron-Out? I don’t even want to think about it! Yikes.

      Today I make peace with my stained potties.


    1. Wellllll… maybe that’s why Larry’s eyeing the can so hopefully!

      And dust-free baseboards? I’m not sure I’d even know what to do with them! Might have to test that one out. I’m a responsible adult, though, so I’m going to think it through first. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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