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Cheryl Hughes: Mistaken Identity

Have you ever been so exhausted right before bedtime that you brushed your teeth with Cortisone 10?  I didn’t think so.  None of my close friends have done that either.  In my defense, the Cortisone 10 tube is red, white and blue, the same colors on the Crest toothpaste tube, and they were next to each other on the bathroom counter.  I noticed something was amiss when my lips and tongue began to tingle more intensely than they usually do when brushing with Crest.  On the upside, my mouth didn’t itch for the following 24 hours, not that my mouth would normally itch, but you never know, it could happen.

One of my friends, who is a stylist, was working beside a nail technician in her shop, when the nail tech began to scream.  She had accidentally put nail glue into her eye, mistaking it for Visine eye drops.  My friend held the woman over her shampoo sink and sprayed water into her eye until the EMTs arrived. 

My mother-in-law, Aggie, is blind in one eye.  She keeps her floor polish under the kitchen sink.  She also keeps bleach in a similar bottle.  One day she polished her entire kitchen floor with Clorox bleach.  She used a rag to apply it, so you can imagine what her hands looked like when she was finished.

“Didn’t you smell the bleach?” I asked.

“Yes, but I bleached my dishrag earlier, and that’s what I thought I was smelling,” she said.

Once, my daughter, Natalie, cleaned a spot on my carpet with a can of bug-killer.  When she realized what she’d done, she borrowed a line from the movie, “Nine to Five,” and said, “It looked just like the carpet cleaner except for the tiny skull and cross bones on the label.”

You know, there have been many products invented for one use, and down the road, they were found to be useful in alternative ways, albeit Cortisone 10 as toothpaste will not be one—pretty sure about that, anyway.

The slinky was invented to stabilize devices on ships riding out rough seas.  One day, it was knocked off a shelf and walked across the desk of inventor, Richard James.  James said, “Strictly speaking, I didn’t invent the Slinky.  He practically walked into my life” (

The Frisbee started its life as a pie plate inside the Frisbie Pie Company in Connecticut.  It was a group of Yale college students who began throwing them around campus that transformed the pie plate into the toy we recognize today (

Play-Doh was originally invented to clean soot from wallpaper in houses with fireplaces.  With the invention of vinyl wallpaper, that wiped clean with a sponge, the product was no longer needed.  A relative of the inventor was a nursery school teacher, who gave the putty-like product to her students to play with.  They loved it, and presently, 100 million cans are sold each year (

Do you remember the woman who sprayed her hair with Gorilla Glue spray adhesive?  When she did that, I questioned why anybody would do that, then I read that she had run out of the product she normally used, called “Got 2B Glued Blasting Freeze Spray.”  When you are used to applying a product to your hair that has “Got 2B Glued” in the name, you might be tempted to use a spray adhesive in its place.

The Gorilla Glue website says its product is “100% waterproof and is good for fixing bathroom tiles, wood flooring and decking.”  The company sent the following message to the woman who used the product in her hair: “Hi there, we are sorry to learn about your experience!  We do not recommend using our products in hair as they are considered permanent.  You can try soaking the affected area in warm, soapy water or applying rubbing alcohol to the area.”  The glue had to be surgically removed, using acetone and sterile water (

I’ve told you before how Garey is a stickler for reading directions.  He not only reads them to himself, he reads them out loud to me which sometimes drives me crazy, especially if it is something like a glass shelf, and he reads, “Do not sit or stand on glass shelf.”  I will have to admit, though, if the Gorilla Glue woman had been married to Garey, she wouldn’t have found herself in the same pickle.  The next time Garey reads directions to me, I should probably listen.  I should also probably move the Cortisone 10 off the bathroom counter.


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