Life hacks a sticky problem

Do you get those annoying ads that come up on your Facebook feed? I seem to get loads of unsolicited information including the dreaded ‘life hacks’! A ‘life hack’ is a handy hint that shortcuts those boring bits of life, thus freeing you up to do the more enjoyable things – like hang gliding, partner swapping and those ‘paint and sip’ classes you’ve read so much about.

The smug smarty pants who come up with these hacks really get up my nose. They seem to have endless time on their hands – allowing them to devise seventeen creative uses for empty toilet rolls. Perhaps it’s just me but when I see these life changing re-purposing hacks I just want to strangle the hacker.

Of course you can access a hack for any area of your life – there are housework hacks, craft hacks, gardening hacks, cooking hacks  … you get the idea.

I saw one the other day that made my blood run cold. It read: ‘Seven hacks that will keep a spider out of your bed’. Up until this very moment, it had never occurred to me that a spider might turn up unannounced and uninvited in my bed!

In this time of filling in time, I decided if you can’t beat ‘em,  join ‘em. So I’ve decided to document my very own life hacks.  And I’ll share this one with you today. Please feel free to hack away at your life using this little trick of mine. If nothing else it will free you to spend more time, well, being bored.

As a single parent, I had to learn to do a lot of things around the home. One of these little chores involved catching and removing pests like snakes, blue tongue lizards, spiders and stick insects from my home.

I don’t want to overwhelm you so I’ll start with the easiest pest to remove – the humble stick insect. While these little creatures seem quite benign, they look really weird and scary. Especially when your eight-year-old discovers a huge one on her bedroom wall.

Of course, they’re not out to hurt you, but you certainly don’t want them collecting in bundles, like small unlit campfires all around your suburban home. 

But how to remove them without following that first instinct of self-preservation to a. run screaming from the room b. hurl the nearest potplant or shoe in their direction or c. fling boiling candle wax over them from a great height?

So here’s my compassionate hack for removing a stick insect.  It’s easy. All you need is a pair of barbecue tongs and two oven mitts.

Simply insert the ends of the tongs into the oven gloves – you now have two extra-long ‘arms’ with soft pincers on the ends.

Take the tongs firmly in your hand, sneak quietly up to the stick insect and gently but firmly clasp the stick insect between your gloved pincers.

The final part of this hack is crucial for successful removal. You slowly walk outside to the carport, still holding the strangely subdued stick insect in your barbeque tong ‘hands’. You then throw the lot – tongs, gloves and stick insect – in one smooth arc-like movement as far into the garden (actually into the next door neighbour’s garden) as you can.

Problem solved. Of course if you post your adventures on Facebook, you’ll pretty soon be getting lots of ads for barbeque tongs and oven mitts.

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