Remarkable correspondence from the consistently unremarkable world of email

The following email is from one concerned roommate to another, after discovering that a certain culinary instrument was being used for purposes it shouldn't have been used for. Read on. Send your New Year's resolutions to

--- Michael Neault

From: Rex H.

Sent:Thursday, August 18, 2005

To: Sarah Huston

Subject: A word about chemicals

I just have to mention this. And I'm only saying this because I'm concerned, not mad or upset in any way. Please don't read this email the wrong way.

I was just very taken aback because poisonous chemicals and food areas should not mix. That scares me.

Even when you're at the grocery store and buying a bottle of milk and a bottle of Draino, the cashier won't even put those in the same bag together--they're trained to keep them separate.

But since I'm the one so concerned about this, I will buy a plastic beaker that we can use for cleaning and keep under the sink, and I'll get a new glass one that we can use for cooking. Seriously, it's only a $10 or less expense that I would gladly spend to be sure we're safe and orderly.

I'd just toss the measuring cup we have now. After draino was used in it, I'd rather not have it floating around in our apartment and get it confused. Either that or I can mark it up with a sharpie marker so it's clear that it's for cleaning products only, but it should not be kept near our food. Chemicals are much different than food grease. They can penetrate the microporous surface of containers and that's why they should never be used for food again after used for chemicals. That measuring cup should never ever be used for food again! (Unless you want to call yourself Miss Peacock and say that I was killed in the Kitchen with a measuring cup!) And what's to say that draino is even water soluble or able to be cleaned off with hot water and soap? Draino and other harsh cleaners were never intended to be made safe to use with kitchen surfaces we eat off of--their purpose is to eat away grime from drains in an industrial strength way and it doesn't matter if traces of it lingers in pipes. But it's a huge issue for it to linger on stuff we eat with or off of. After all, many places won't even recycle chemical containers for fear of poisoning later down the line. I'd rather be safe than find out otherwise in some misfortunate way.

I hope this makes sense and you're okay with this. I'll take responsibility for it and make sure things are in order. You won't have to worry about anything...