If, like me, you are constantly searching for ways to make the world a better place, you may have stumbled across an article on The Daily Green websiteÂ encouraging people toÂ substitute vodkaÂ for harmful chemicals in a variety of situations.Â These include the use of vodka as a poison ivy antidote, bathroom cleanser and insect repellent.
My question, whenever I read about some hitherto-unknown solution to a common problem such as spritzing your clothes with vodka instead of washing them in order to purge them of body odor, is: â€œWhat made youÂ think ofÂ vodka when you started to stink?â€
I can understand the derivation of some of these uses, such as the poison ivy cure.Â A man and a woman are at a garden party.Â They have a few drinks, then decide to â€œwander offâ€ for, as Elvis PresleyÂ once put it, a little less conversation, a little more action.
TheyÂ make themselves comfortableÂ on what they think is a harmless plot of grass, then realize that theyâ€™re lying on poison ivy.Â The following exchange ensues:
WOMAN: Oh my god, this is poison ivy!Â Iâ€™m going to puff up like a hot air balloon!
MAN:Â IÂ am sho shorryâ€“I mean so sorry.Â Oopsâ€“now Iâ€™veÂ gone and spilled my vodka sonicâ€“I mean vodka tonicâ€“all over you.
WOMAN:Â You idiot!
MAN:Â Â I said I was shorry . . .
WOMAN:Â You know, this actually feels good.
MAN:Â Â Greatâ€“Iâ€™m going to go get a refill.
You can see how that could happen, but bathroom cleanser?Â Iâ€™m sorry, Iâ€™m not persuaded.Â To pursue the question with scientific rigor, letâ€™s use a control group: takeÂ a comparableÂ couple, put them indoors at a cocktail party, and give them both a few vodka martinis:
MAN:Â Yâ€™know, you have the nicest eyes.
WOMAN:Â Why thank you.
MAN:Â Are you . . . dating anybody?
WOMAN:Â No, but I have a strange urge to make porcelain bathroom fixtures bright and shiny right now.
While Iâ€™m reluctant to credit claims to vodkaâ€™s wide-ranging powers, I do enjoy a gin and tonic in the summer and can state without fear of contradiction that this liquor, derided byÂ temperance busy-bodies in 18th century England as â€œblue ruin,â€ has magical powers equal to, if not greater than, those ascribed to vodka by environmentally-sensitive web sites, including mouthwash, footwash, making pickles, aftershave and making pie crusts.Â How do I know?Â I found it on the internet at â€œanything & everything phillyâ€ on philly.com, the web site that proves beyond a peradventure of a doubt that people in Philadelphia know how to live, while we hidebound, strait-laced folks in Boston merely survive with our gin-free pie crusts.
â€œIâ€™ll have a very dry pie crust, straight upâ€“two olives.â€
Not included in the list were a few uses for gin that Iâ€™ve developed on my own, at great personal expense in the form of hangovers, such as:
Substitute gin for coffee on sales calls:Â The dead hand of Americaâ€™sÂ Puritanical past continues to hold us back from meeting quarterly sales goals by insisting that business professionals meet over coffee or an abstemious lunch.Â Letâ€™s listen in asÂ a salesÂ rep for a major manufacturer of tools sits down with a big prospect:
PROSPECT: You know, you were right about gin for breakfast.Â Itâ€™s not bad with orange juice.Â Â What did you call this?
SALES REP:Â AÂ gin Screwdriver, I guess.Â And speaking of screwdrivers, how many #1 X 3 Phillips Head Screwdrivers did you want?
PROSPECT:Â I donâ€™t knowâ€“you think forty gross is too many?
SALES REP:Â You never know when friends are going to drop in!
PROSPECT:Â Youâ€™re right.Â Make it fifty.
Irrelevant, but isnâ€™t that the whole point?
Bonus money-saving tip:Â If you hold an empty gin bottle under hot running water,Â you can make it sweat out another half-shot.Â I read about this startling natural phenomenon years ago but have always faced skepticism when I told others about it.Â Last night after the liquor stores were closed, I put the theory to a test, and am pleased to report that people who claimÂ thisÂ liquor budget-stretching techniqueÂ is just an urban myth are dead wrong.Â
If only it worked on plastic tonic bottles.