Rob Knight

Alternative uses for Tang?

November 16, 2006


Since we moved into our new home in July, we've been unable to use the dishwasher. Because we don't believe in them? Because we like the intimacy of washing each other's hardened food from our 3 day old dinner plates? Because we like to "Soak in it?" No.

Our dishwasher came pre-calcified with several years of hard water and neglect. The first time we used it, our dishes looked like they came from the gift shop at Mount St. Helens. Yup, covered in ash, or Anthrax, or something.

So, my wife goes searching online for remedies, because no one solves problems better than the internets. Got squeaky floors? The internets say use baby powder. Got a life-threatening illness? The internets surely have some kind of miracle drug you can take. In fact, the internets have probably already notified you of the remedies they have via email!

The internets informed us that there was a miracle cure, but before we used it, we needed to call on the power of Official Beverage of Astronauts. Tang!

Some of you may know of Tang as orange juice. And if you do, that's sad. Tang should only be referred to as "Orange Drink." Never call Tang orange juice. That is like calling Tofurkey, turkey. Or like calling flan edible.

Tang has one useful ingredient, Ascorbic Acid. The key word is acid. Tang is thus, lightly acidic. This means that Tang could -- theoretically -- remove calcium from surfaces similar to the way your third grade science fair simulated volcano went off. Or one of the 10 other third grade simulated volcanoes went off.

Not wanting to deny the collective wisdom of the internets, I decided to get some Tang and attempt to use the healing powers of Tang on our poor dishwasher. Halfway through the part of the cycle where hot water is sprayed throughout the inside of the washer, I stopped the process and opened the door. I just thought it would be fun to fill the house with Tang scented steam. That was a glorious bliss I will not soon forget. Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine your entire house smelling of artificial flavored, artificial colored orange drink. That, my friends, is a taste of heaven itself.

Upon completion, I opened the dishwasher to find that the healing powers of Tang had not visited our dishwasher. Everything was a light shade of orange, including the still present calcification. The collective wisdom of the internets had proven once again that the internet can be a bad place for home care advice.

The real problem is, what do I do with the left over Tang? Seriously, it's Tang! You can't just throw it out. Think of the environmental carnage that would cause. I don't think I could live with myself knowing that I wrought that kind of orange-flavored destruction on our planet. That is why astronauts drank it. Whatever they didn't use, they jettisoned into space! They knew that our fragile earth would likely succumb to the ravages of Tang.

Seriously though, I'm looking for ideas. What do I do with the extra Tang? Any ideas?