07 February 2007

Even I UGGed it this morning

ABC 7's weather-ticker reading of "13° " had nothing to do with my decision not to expose my precious heels to the elements this morning.

Neither did the snow.

No, the real impetus for my temporary abandonment of the trait that so clearly defines me and my attitude toward fashion-over-function (see my full profile) had nothing to do with potential discomfort but rather everything to do with what I learned during my tenure as the co-captain of my high school's Science Olympiad Team.

Out of the three events in which my partner Bryan and I participated each year, it was "Qualitative Analysis" - demonstrated by our three first place finishes sophomore through senior year - where we really put the smack in smack-down on the other pairs in our district.

In "Qualitative Analysis," each pair is given 12 beakers of solution, only one of which is labeled: NaCl+H2O, or salt water. With the 12 empty beakers with which you are provided, you and your partner then mix small amounts of two solutions together - either NaCl+H20 and a mystery solution or two mystery solutions - and based on the resultant chemical reactions, your charge is to identify the remaining 11 mystery solutions.

Stay with me -- this has a point.

In the high-stakes, ever-evolving world that is Science Olympiad, how is it that NaCl+H20 has remained the identified chemical reactant for more than two decades?

It's simple: salt reacts predictably and devastatingly with just about everything out there.

Including suede peeptoes.

So for all those women I saw this morning hot-to-trotting in their nice shoes through the blanket of salt on DC's sidewalks and streets, take it from a former three-time regional "Qualitative Analysis" champion and take a wet warm cloth - not a tissue, not a paper towel but a cloth - pour a tablespoon of white vinegar on it, rub those salt stains out in repeated, circular motions, and finally, finish with a good rub-down of Fiebing's mink oil for future protection.

And damn it, wear your boots home.

5 comments:

knew you as Hannie said...

hah hah, you did Science Olympiad. I remember that, too. we all thought it was purely a tactic to build voter support for the next year's election, but then when you did your senior year, we couldn't figure it out.

geek love, perhaps?

bff in chicago said...

all I have to say about Johanna and geek love is this: Cookiehead Volz.

we all have one we regret, JC, we all have one.

Johanna said...

There will be no mention of said Cookiehead EVER again in any forum.

BFF or not.

And yes, we all have one we regret for staying with too long, but we also have one we regret for not staying with forever.

Hint hint.

nyc admirer said...

this Bryan kid must've thought he was in some John Hughes movie to get "stuck" with you as a lab partner.

knowing you now as I do, imagining you traveling to and from high school gyms to essentially mix potions makes me laugh out loud.

did you wear the science geek uniform of pleated khakis, white tennis shoes, tucked in Structure polo and braided brown leather belt?

see, already laughing out loud again!

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