Paraffin Wax? French Tips? Risotto Milanese?
June 3rd, 2008

Surrounded by the gentle hum and blue glow of the television from 11PM to 3Am, I'm at my most productive. It's a routine I started in college. I was never able to concentrate in daylight, which might unveil a slightly vampiric side to my personality, and I needed noise to drown out the screaming silence of my room. Unfortunately, these work habits, while productive, mean I often stumble unwittingly into the terrifying world of infomercials.

The other night I was busily tapping away at something or other when I glanced up for an eye break and watched a thoroughly disgusting but completely enthralling infomercial for the PedEgg.

This handy little vehicle of blood poisoning waiting to happen grates all the off your feet with just a few (reportedly) smooth strokes. The PedEgg has metal "micro-files" that will rasp off your rough patches but won't pop a balloon! (I long for the days of dual tin can and tomato cutting.) The PedEgg also has a handy little collection chamber where all your foot detritus gathers instead of falling to the floor. (Because that, well, that would be gross.)

The next time I took an eye break, I found myself watching the same commercial. Except this one wasn't grating dead skin, it was grating cheese. It had the SAME grater panel and the SAME handy little collection chamber. It's ingenious. It's a multi-use that even Alton Brown has to love! It's also bizarre and gross and the two commercials shouldn't be shown on the same channel within hours of each other! And FYI putting a cute little mouse on it doesn't negate the foot factor.

Do you think the PedEgg guy saw the cheese grater and thought, "Cheese? Feet!" Or did the CheeseEgg (not its real name) guy watch the happy old lady dumping her foot shavings in the trash can and think, "Wow, I'll bet that would work really well with cheese." I've seen the cheese grater at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I've thought about buying it, testing it out, seeing if she really handles better than my beloved Microplane. But I can't quite bring myself to do it. I think I'm afraid the CheeseEgg will creep into my bathroom in the dead of night and perch on the edge on the tub. There it will sit, staring me down as I shower, taunting me, knowing how vainly I'm wrestling with my curiosity and my disgust. Knowing I will want to see if it grates my feet as well as it grates my cheese. Knowing that once I find out that answer, I will have to throw the thing out, disgusted by my weakness. Taunted by my smooth feet.

These are the things that pass through the transom of my mind when I'm up being productive at 3AM. (Don't even get me started on the Corn Stripper.)

Originally published at KQED's Bay Area Bites

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