Friday, January 14, 2011

Teflon's Guide for Guys (Part I)

On Peeing
Lift the seat.

Aim and pay attention.

Make sure that you hit the target.

If you don't hit the target exactly, clean up after yourself.

Strike that. Clean up after yourself period.

Replace the seat.

Actually, strike all the above. Just sit to pee and everyone will be happier.

Flush, not with your foot, but with your hand. If you're really concerned about germs, then grab a sheet of toilet paper that you can use to hold the handle, and then toss it into the toilet as it drains.

Note: all the above assumes that we're talking about a toilet (not a urinal) and that we're considering dual-gender environments.

On Entering a Home
Notice the floor when you enter.

Notice everyone's feet.

If the floor looks clean (even just barely) or if others are not wearing shoes, take off your shoes at the door.

If there's a white carpet, take off your shoes regardless and check your socks as well.

On Eating
If there's a TV, make sure your back is to it.

Put down your fork between bites.

When you finish eating, take your plate to the garbage can and, using your utensils, scrape the remainders into it. Walk over to the sink, and rinse your plate and utensils, using your hand to rub away any residue. Set them on the counter next to the sink.

If you're dining with someone else, offer to do the same for them. You don't have to explain the entire process to them, just offer to clear their plate(s).

Do NOT dump your plate (grime and all) into the sink.

Do NOT assume that there is a garbage disposal.

On Toileting
After shaving, rinse the sink basin. You may need to rub it with your hand to ensure that nothing you've deposited is sticking to the bottom.

After gargling or brushing or spitting or pretty much anything that results in a deposit into the sink, rinse the sink basin.

If you brush your teeth vigorously, you may want to wipe down the mirror as well.

On Dressing
If you want to check whether or not you need to change clothes or underwear or socks, don't smell just what you've been wearing. Pick out something you know is clean and smell it before smelling what you've got on. If they smell pretty much the same, you're good. If not, change. Even if you think your current attire doesn't smell bad, it does. Don't check for bad; just check for different.

On Cooking
Remember that cooking is not hard. It just requires you to pay attention to a few basics.

Never use metal utensils with non-stick cookware. Use plastic or wood.

Put a bit of oil in your pan before cooking to make sure nothing sticks.

If smoke rises from the pan after you've put the oil in it, then your pan is too hot.

Gas stoves change temperature much more quickly than electric ones. If a pan is too hot on a gas stove, turn down the gas. If a pan is too hot on an electric stove, turn down the temperature and immediately remove the pan from the cooking surface until the surface cools.

Things cook faster when there's a lid on the pan.

Pans with lids on them can boil over quickly, even when the stove is not that hot.

You can make meat, chicken or pork taste good by:
  1. Tenderizing it (hammering each side about a hundred times with a large knife or meat tenderizer).
  2. Rubbing olive oil all over it.
  3. Rubbing a mixture of chopped garlic, salt and pepper all over the olive oil.
  4. Tossing it on a grill or in a pan on the stove.

You can make vegetables taste good by sautéing them in olive oil and garlic. To sauté something, all you have to do is put a frying pan on the stove, add some oil and garlic, and then, after the garlic starts to smell really good, add your vegetables and stir them around a bit.

Don't cook vegetables too long.

On Communicating
Just listen.

Don't even attempt to coalesce what is being said into something rational.

If you're going to say something, ask a question.

Questions that start with something such as, "Why the hell would someone..." or "What were you thinking when…" are likely not going to be effective.

If you do want to understand and you can resist the urge to make sense of what you're understanding, the best questions start with something like, "Please tell me if I'm misinterpreting, but what I'm hearing you say is..."

Don't get defensive.

If you find yourself saying, "But I'm not being defensive.", you are.

Happy Friday,


  1. Good stuff, Tef. I suspect the first and last sections are the most significant.

    Awaiting part II!

  2. Is this a book? Sounds like a best seller!


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