Reasons why I didn't get as much done this morning as I could have

I must say, I've not had something so useless put through the door for a long time.  Not, in fact, since I got  my last copy of that catalogue called 'Innovations' which used to be delivered free, with all those great descriptions of nose hair clippers and special spoons to lift boiled eggs out with and little bits of material that you clipped to your clothes to hide your cleavage.

We got this 'Fat Trap' thing come through, sent by the local water board to encourage us not to pour fat or oils down the drains.  Have you had one?  It comes like this - a bit like a cardboard cover for a CD - and you make it into a box.  (My apologies now if your Fat Trap is actually your most prized possession.  My commiserations, also, to any of your close family or friends.)

I'm not saying I don't agree with the concept.  As they said in the accompanying leaflet, it's a pain for them, unblocking local drains because people have poured fat straight down them.

It's just that we went through this puzzling rigmarole, following all the instructions with concentrated frowns on our faces while we worked it all out, and it all turned out to have been for nothing.  The instructions went something like this:

1. Squeeze the edges of the cardboard so that the box pops up.  [Yeah, right.  For 'pops', read 'finally forms itself into a box with much persuasion'.]

2. Make sure the box is sealed and secure on the sides. [The husband had to go and get a butter knife so that we could mangle the sides into the positions they were meant to be in.]

3. Unpeel the sticky bit over the box's opening, and take out the piece of white paper in the middle of the box.  [I did, but as we hadn't been told yet what this piece of white paper was about, this was a bit mystifying.  Still, I could always put it by the phone to take a message on.]

4. Push down inside the box with your finger so that the plastic inner lining is fully open.  [This felt very strange.  I'm sure it's a common enough feeling for a surgeon, foraging around in someone's abdomen, but to me it was weird.  I felt distinctly under-qualified.]

5. Replace the sticky bit until you are ready to use the Fat Trap.  [This seemed to make a lot of assumptions.  I was, minute by minute, deciding NOT to use the Fat Trap, and had just said to my husband, 'If they think I'm putting a bright blue cardboard box on my kitchen surface with 'Fat Trap' written on it, and then filling it with smelly old frying oil, they can go eat slugs.]

6. We were then instructed that, when the Fat Trap was full of fat, you would use the piece of white paper, which turned out to be a peelable label, to seal the box before you put it in the rubbish bin.  [That was a shame, because while I'd been faffing about, the phone had rung, my husband had answered it, and the paper now had 'Louise says 11.30 is fine' written on it.]

7. To add INSULT to INJURY, at the end of the instructions, it said, 'When you have used your Fat Trap, you can either purchase another one from the website (oh, thanks!) or put your fats in a used margarine tub!

What a waste of twenty minutes of my life.  Why didn't they just send us a letter saying, 'Dear Householder.   Please put your oils and fats in a margarine tub.  Love, Your Local Water Board.'?

I'm telling you, there's a conspiracy out there to stop us from living our lives, reading papers, eating chocolate, phoning grannies, etc etc, like normal people.  And anyway I'm in my own Fat Trap.  I don't need theirs.


  1. From one Fat Trap to another--have a nice day!

  2. Sorry--I just realized you said you were IN your own Fat Trap--not that you ARE one! (I AM.)

  3. Didn't the Boomtown Rats have a song about that? We don't have fat traps in Wirral - we just eat it!

  4. I'll take your idea off on a tangent. We used to live in Camps Bay. When I grew up there it was way off the beaten track. Windy, quiet, not a des res.

    Now it is seething with restaurants and guest houses. I'll skip this bit, you can guess. And the fat washes up on the beach, in balls studded with sand, which the dogs chew, and the vet issues warnings, and the restaurants don't clean their fat traps.

    We do have the ROSE foundation. Collects used oil and turns it into biodiesel.

  5. I just add Fairy liquid (see my recipe for Hollondaise sauce).

  6. Berlimey - I think I might need one of those... or maybe I should get out more... but we have a - yuck! - septic tank so have to pay for someone to suck out our fat. Is that over-sharing?

  7. fishducky - you were right first time.

    brokenbiro - well, I think that's a very sensible way of going about it, especially as it means you don't have to have a silly blue box on your working surfaces.

    Elephant's Eye - I'll take it your comment HASN'T been copied and pasted from a local tourist brochure ......!!

    Frances - You put fairy liquid in your Hollandaise sauce? Er ... have I misunderstood?

    Chris - No, no, please do share more. I was really enjoying reading your comment while I was eating my chocolate mousse.

  8. Frances - have just read your blog post. Now I understand the fairy liquid/Hollandaise sauce recipe. Ha ha!! Read it, peoples. Funny post.

  9. A cardboard fat trap? I look forward to the chocolate kettle.

  10. Hi Fran! I was born in Coventry, Warwickshire (sigh) - longtime resident now in South Africa. Just a question - you can't possibly follow all those blogs on your list, can you? I have chosen 6 and battle to visit them more than 3 times a week. Thanks for popping in - you and I are the only ones i've found with the bookcase template. (NB - I was also an English teacher in another life....)

  11. Just think how many blogposts you could have been reading or writing in the time. Anyway, surely you knew about the marge pot all along?

  12. Steve - a chocolate kettle? That's not going to last a minute in this house. Then we'd have to use a pan to boil the water.

    fiftyodd - you've travelled a long way! No, I can't follow all the blogs regularly, however much I'd like to. I do what I can, when I can.

    Friko - you mean there are uses for marge pots other than keeping sweets in?

  13. What is all this fat that people are collecting so assiduously ? We have a chip stall five minutes away by bike and an excellent fried fish stall a three minute ride away ( in opposite directions , it's true , but no one's life's perfect ) .
    I don't deep fry anything .... not even a Mars bar .

  14. A Fat Trap? Your council has stolen my identity...
    Anna May x (A size 6. Times 3)

  15. SmitandSon - that paints a most entertaining picture of you racing from the fish stall to the chip stall on your bike, all puffing and panting.

    Anna May - I love your maths.

  16. Just had to explain to work colleagues why I was giggling at the computer screen. I can just imagine Dad and the butter knife - oh, although I find it hard to believe he actually managed to PASS ON a phone message...

    (Oh, and the Innovations catalogue! Hours of fun. Yes, we had a severely deprived childhood, but never mind!)


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