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Holly’s Helpful Hints

Mary Ellen’s Best of Helpful Hints

Holly’s Helpful Hints:

#1:  Do not wear a leotard while cleaning.  That’s just silly.

#2:  No one cleans their brooms.  That’s silly too.

#3: DO shake your booty while cleaning.  It’s a great workout.  (re: the “shake” marks next to her behind in the picture!)

#4: You should really wear shoes when cleaning your house.  Maybe some 3″ heels so you can reach what you’re dusting a little easier.

#5: Two-part advice:  either hire someone to clean your house for you or have a few kids and put them to work.  (Kidding, ALB fans.  I’m KIDDING…sort of…)


0 Responses to Holly’s Helpful Hints

  • You might actually notice, however, that the illustrations are early works of Lynn Johnston, who did the work around the time of her early cartoon books on motherhood (mid- to late 1970s) and before the 1979 debut of her very popular comic strip For Better or For Worse. I doubt that there are collectors still looking for that book, let alone an ex-library copy, but…..

  • Looking at the picture I said to myself “Was that illistration done by Lynn Johnston of For Better or For Worse” fame?

    Google say I was right. 🙂 Go me!

  • It is! Good eye. Love For Better or Worse!

  • Well now this actually looks like an interesting book. A few of the tips may be outdated, but plenty of them are still relevant. And FYI, I clean the cat hair off my broom quite regularly.

  • Damn right I clean my broom, and my feather duster as well.

  • Yeah, sometimes you gotta clean the broom.
    I wish I could have this book. I’m gonna use that fish-in-the-milk tip TOMORROW.

  • I thought it was Lynn Johnston! I was just reading a collection of FBOFW today. Maybe send her the copy – she might get a kick out of it.

  • My grandma actually has a copy of this book, although oddly it doesn’t have that particular illustration and I’ve read through it quite a few time. Goofy illustrations notwithstanding, most of the tips in this book are actually still pretty useful. Though I’m not sure why you’d want to clean bricks.

    • Actually, I really like that brick-cleaning tip! Think indoor fireplaces, outside patios, old bricks you brought in to wrap and serve as book weights…

  • Yeah, I don’t see what’s particularly wrong with this book. There may be some dated references in here but I’ll bet a lot of it is still useful, and at least the woman in the picture isn’t wearing a dress and pearls to dust. 🙂

  • Hehehehe – I wonder if there are additional bullet points for cleaning china…or if the ONLY tip is how to get rid of nicotine stains!

  • That B&W illustration — could it be by either Lynn Johnston, of “For Better or For Worse” fame, or one of the Berenstains? The 1979 date puts it right about when Ms. Johnston might have been picking up odd jobs like this.

    The Berenstains, now known for their rather smarmy, chauvinistic Berenstain Bears series, actually did some now-deservedly-forgotten “adult” humor books before they figured out the kid market. Sample title: “Mr. Dirty vs. Mrs. Clean,” which included an extensive dirty daydream about things like bottomless bars. Their style back then was pretty similar to this too, but ’79 seems a little late for them not to be drawing Father Bear being chided by his always-morally-erect spouse.

    • Google says it’s Lynn.

      I have an old Stan and Jan Berenstain book “How to Teach Your Children About God Without Scaring Them to Death” (or something like that) very funny stuff. All the more fun when you think of how S&J’s son has started doing Christian Berenstain Bear books.

    • I liked the Berenstain Bears. I’m not sure about the Christian stuff. Yes, they were syrupy sweet, and most of the characters fit nicely into prescribed gender roles, but there were moments where people stepped out of them.

    • Someday, Dave Barry’s explanation on how to use my Nook will be a “collectible” (you wish, Dave!). And somebody will post about it while laughing at 2010 reading devices!

  • I clean my broom by taking it outside and sweeping vigorously in the grass a few times. It works perfectly and I don’t have to touch the gross broom stuff.

    • Or try swiping the bristles swiftly against a corner of the house. I’m going to try the grass method though!

  • I clean my broom off – I have hardwood floors and it keeps me from moving around the same dust bunnies all the time. And why not wear a leotard when cleaning if you want to? A friend gave me a tiara when I got married and told me to wear it whenever I did household chores so that I always felt like a princess!

  • My parents have had this book longer than they’ve had me, and I loved it when I was a kid. Read it straight through. Not that I was all that into the actual act of cleaning, but something about all the obscure little tricks just fascinated me. I don’t remember the Lynn Johnston illustrations, though.

  • AHEM- please don’t sandpaper books. At least not those of lasting value- and why bother with others?
    Well, maybe some of the cookbooks I have with multiple generations of use would be improved with this technique. But then I will never be able to figure where the favorite recipes are.

  • I picked up the fish in milk trick from Iron Chef (the original series). It neutralizes the fishy smell that you get when fish is starting to turn (fresh fish doesn’t smell fishy).

  • The advice on what to do with wet pages in a book is legit!

  • I’ve actually met Mary Ellen and I think she is a hoot! She did a lot of spots on daytime television shows in the late 80’s early 90’s and she really can do just about everything. So I don’t think it’s so bad. But for the record I don’t clean in my leotard, occasionally my bathing suit, but never my leo. 🙂

  • I can verify tip #3, above.

  • My mom had this and the Helpful Hints volume II. They were brand-new looking when I gave them away a year ago, so obviously my mother found these hints not-so-helpful.

  • I was sad to see this book in the “awful” chronicles. My mom had it and we used it all the time. There’s not too much that you can’t do if you have club soda and vinegar!