Gerard’s Blog: Seeing Double Benefits

My day started auspiciously with a double dose of sweetener.  First, in my sleepy state, I grabbed the near-empty container of cranberry sauce, boiled some water, and proceeded to stir and slurp.  A spoon was helpful to capture the swirling bottom-lurking lumps.  This was followed by my lucky strike into the empty honey (yes, local!) jar.  Honey is a particularly valuable asset, as the adhesive qualities mean that an empty jar is never really empty.  I added hot water and drank greedily, rapturing in the wealth in remnants.  I’ve since hidden the jar for an afternoon pick-me-up.

So, my day was off to a wondrous start.  And, my actions translated into fewer breakfast dishes, a job that most often falls on my list of responsibilities.  I call these win-win situations, double benefits.

But, not everyone understands the life efficiencies that are intrinsic to double benefit opportunities.  Take, for example, my children.  They walk to school, love sports, and devote significant time and effort to improve their athleticism.  But when it comes to my helpful suggestions about the double benefit potential of the wood pile or of the snow-shoveling, they then become miraculously deaf.  Selective hearing, it seems, is not an affliction of married men only.

Over the holiday season, Suzanne immersed herself into cooking and baking, taking on that responsibility with all the precision of a scientist on the verge of a world-changing breakthrough.  Science, it turns out, is a gold-mine for double benefits.  Each day, there seemed to be burned sugar beet syrup, or soft muffins, or cookies that just didn’t work with pumpkin seeds and cauliflower as their main ingredients.  I readily adopted the double benefit role of consuming all these experimental failures.  And, to keep them coming, I offered my purely scientific observations as fuel for initiative.

And through all this, there were some diamonds in the rough.  For example, I found a lovely wine-substitute for Christmas dinner in the pot liquor of boiled vegetables.  Nothing drained, nothing gained.  And the double benefits!  I no longer have that empty belly feeling, or the perpetual chill, or the problem of my underwear slipping over my absent buttocks.  Science has been good to me.  Now, where did I put that honey jar?

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