2018-07-15 06:35:56 UTC
including Billy Wilder's 1960 multi-Oscar winner (including best picture)
_The Apartment_, where Lemon played bachelor and corporate climber
Baxter. I happened to tune in at the famous scene where he is using
a tennis racket to strain spaghetti, to the amusement of his guest
Fran, played by Shirley MacLaine.
Many years ago this was used as an intro for a humorous article in
_Reader's Digest_ about interesting ways that bachelors have devised
to do various household tasks. The author claimed that he had a
friend who used his fencing mask to strain spaghetti, and he
himself used a strip of window screen.
Another trick that I remember was the author's way of making ice
cubes, or rather ice chunks. Modern plastic ice cube trays are
flexible, and each compartment has angled walls so that if you
hold the tray upside down and twist it the ice cubes will drop
free. Back in 1960 ice cube trays were made of aluminum with a
single large watertight compartment, divided up by a separate
aluminum grid to form smaller spaces for the individual ice cubes.
Once the water was frozen, you pulled a lever attached to the grid
and this would theoretically tilt each of the cross partitions
slightly and free up the ice cubes. In practice the ice could
bind to the rather flimsy partition structure and make this difficult.
The author would simply use the ice cube tray without the partitions.
The resulting slab of ice would pop free of the tray with just a
slight tap, and he would stab it into appropriately sized chunks
with a Japanese commando knife he'd brought back from World War 2.
Innovative domestic techniques devised by bachelors have appeared
in science fiction stories. In Robert Heinlein's short novel
_Waldo_ the title character has myesthemia gravis and lives
in his own space station in free fall. When his physician friend
visits and they have dinner together, Waldo is shown eating his
steak with a surgical shears and a pair of forceps.
I would be interested in other non-traditional ways of performing
household tasks, either from science fiction or from real life.