Squeegee (noun)- a blade of rubber set on a handle and used for spreading, pushing, or wiping liquid material on, across, or off a surface
Loofah or luffa (noun)– a scrubbing sponge used in bathrooms and kitchens, sometimes sourced from the fruit of fully developed L. aegyptiaca and L. acutangula species
We moved to our current apartment four months ago, and we didn’t host any overnight guests last year. Yet it’s only been two weekends into 2017, three friends stayed with us and slept on our futon or air-mattress. One of our visitors asked about the squeegee in the bathroom. I didn’t know what he was talking about at first. The squeegee was left by our landlord and didn’t seem to have an apparent use, at least to us. The Internet informed me that the grout that holds the wall tiles in place is made out of cement and sand; cement soaks in water. Over time, wet grout can hold mold and bacteria. Some people also recommend squeegeeing the sliding glass shower door after each use to avoid buildup of water stains and soap scum.
I like the word squeegee, which is an example of onomatopoeia (a word from a sound associated with what is named) like hiss, buzz, splash, zoom, ring… etc. It is hard not to like a onomatopoeic word. Equally funny sounding and present in our bathroom but never used is a loofah. My dad is a big fan of them and carries one with him when traveling. I can’t say I care for them much.
After showering, we set off for exploring. Boston is a great city for tourists who enjoy walking. We followed the Freedom Trail “backwards” starting at the Bunker Hill Monument and finishing at Boston Common. One of my favorite moments was walking through the North End on the anniversary of the Great Molasses Flood. On January 15, 1919, a storage tank containing as much as 2.3 million US gallons of molasses exploded. The accident killed 21 and injured 150. The storage tank at the Purity Distilling Company was awaiting transfer on a mild winter day with a climbing temperature above 40F/4C. Molasses can be fermented to produce rum and ethanol. Due to both the raised internal pressure as part of the fermentation process and faulty tank construction, the container burst as a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph/56 kmh. Weeks of cleanup proceeded with crews hosing the area with salt water and covering the streets with sand. Even a giant squeegee would have been useless for this sticky disaster.
On a more cheerful side, we continued our walk through the North End and picked up a couple cannoli. Our friend chose ricotta and pistachio. I thought if the stores had molasses flavor, it would have been quite fitting for the occasion. It would also be a great ending to a meal with Boston baked beans (navy beans, salt pork, and molasses) and Anadama bread (wheat flour, cornmeal, and molasses). Regardless, our friend ended his visit on a sweet note.