Friday, November 12, 2004


I'm a list-maker. I have lists of all sorts of things, including one entitled, Lithuanians I Have Known. It sports names like Mickus, Mickunas, Dauciunas, Klimosauskas, et al. If I ever start a list of solvents I have known and loved, first on the list would the legendary WD-40.

This stuff is amazing. I've used it on all sort of jobs with surprising results. Years ago my male cat Zeno decided to mark some territory. His territory was my countertop on which sat a touch-tone phone. After Zeno duly anointed the phone with his seminal fluid, the keys were sticky. A counter-libation of WD-40 solved the problem. That was perhaps ten years ago. Zeno is dead and gone but the old phone is still in use, or at least it was until my wife inadvertently sprayed it with dishwater. (Or at least that is my conjecture given my Blame Wifey policy.) Completely nonfunctional, the old phone looked to be in dire need of replacement. So we went out to look at phones, but being cautious and cheap, I didn't buy one. Instead, I hooked up an old rotary phone dating from the 1970's. It had been languishing in my garage for many a year, and despite the infernal Arizona summer garage heat was still working.

But this morning I remembered the WD-40 and gave it a try by simply spraying the keys of the touch-tone phone. Unbelievably, it worked one more time. It unstuck the keys and cleaned the contacts.

So WD-40 takes the lead position on my solvents list. If only my intellect were as penetrating.