Frequently Not Asked Questions: Seven


Is it safe for children to watch Curious George on PBS Kids online?


Curiously, if you had asked me that last week, I would have answered yes. But after a shocking conversation with my grandchild, I would have to answer with an unequivocal “not-yes” or perhaps “not-no.”


Not-yes and not-no represent the infinite number of answers that fall between no and yes. This includes not only vocal responses such as maybe, not exactly, possibly, but also gestures such as a shoulder shrug, a humph, and a side-mouthed tsk.


Why “not-yes” and not yes, or “not-no” and not no? I’m afraid I can’t answer that because Frequently Not Asked Questions addresses only one question at time. Please try to remember that as we continue.


George, the monkey on the back of the man with the yellow hat, is curious, and as you know or should know, curiosity killed the cat. What most people, don’t know is that it was saturated fat that killed the cat. Had you been privileged to be raised by my mother, you would know that cats live only to jump on the table and lick the butter. Any time the subject of cats came up in a family discussion, my mother would snort softly, shake her head, and say, “You can’t trust them. The minute you turn your back, they jump on the table and lick the butter.”


Courtesy of Wikimedia.

Courtesy of Wikimedia.

We lived in a cat-free home but never left any uncovered butter on the table or counter. In fact, we used mostly margarine, but mother was convinced that should a cat be allowed in the house, it would lick all our butter leaving vegetables with nothing to swim in. I never doubted her wisdom and when I heard the warning “Curiosity killed the cat,” I imagined a curious cat atop a table, licking butter until its arteries clogged with fat and it died.


I have nothing against George for being curious, as long as he stays off the table and away from the butter. But if what my grandchild told me is true, I fear something much, much worse from George than butter-licking.


My grandchild spent a morning with me last weekend and talked with me as I took the clothes out of the dryer. When I bent down to take the dryer lint out, I heard words that filled my heart with dread and despair. “Grandma, don’t throw the dryer lint out; we can make something with it. I saw it on Curious George.”


Protect your loved ones. Dryer lint is a gateway craft. Picture courtesy of BD2412. Creative Commons.


I read aloud every Curious George book ever written by Margret and H.A. Rey four or five thousand times when my daughters were growing up, and I know for sure that they never mentioned dryer lint crafts. If they had, I would have burned every one of their books.


Crafting with dryer lint never ends well. Once the thrill of dryer lint is gone, these crafters begin to crawl under beds looking for dust bunnies; then they begin sweeping dresser dust into paper bags to make papier-mâché. It’s not long before they begin saving belly button lint for collages. Fingernail clipping mosaics are next, followed by collected hair found in brushes spun into yarn for itchy boleros. Unless someone intervenes, they will be found stark naked in the bathroom, standing on a piece of paper to collect their own dead skin cells to use as snow dust on ornaments to give to grandparents for Christmas. I would rather my grandchild just jump on the table and lick the butter than begin dryer lint crafting.


What should you do? Again, please don’t ask any more questions. It’s annoying.


In my search on the PBS Kids website I failed to discover a link to the craft my grandchild mentioned, which proves to me and others who have searched for elephants with pedicures that the craft is hidden somewhere on the site. As you know if you have children or grandchildren, elephants paint their toenails red in order to hide in cherry trees. Over your life, I’m sure you’ve never seen one in a cherry tree. Actually, no one has yet spotted any elephants in cherry trees, which proves how well it works. Nothing could convince me more that dryer lint crafts are promoted on PBS Kids and Curious George than not being able to find any mention of it.


Remember, friends, the road to ruin is covered in lint.



Close up: Chalome



Screen: BD2412







26 thoughts on “Frequently Not Asked Questions: Seven

  1. Ban the show! That way ruin lies. In my youth I graduated from draping trees with the hair from my hairbrush (so birds could use it for their nests…which they didn’t, thinking, I believe, that it was wolf-fur and therefore a big DANGER sign) to lovingly saving all that hair in case I wanted to make a rat (the safe kind, the pads Victorian ladies put under their coiffeurs to make their hair seem more plentiful) out of my own hair…. When I caught myself idly wondering whether that hair could be spun into yarn for sweaters I started on the 2-step Program (= immediately chant “THROW IT AWAY” and then do so). I also have used the Program to finally discard the little wishbones from Cornish game hens I had been saving in case I wanted to spray-paint them gold and make earrings….But now regularly on the Internet I see little articles suggesting that dryer lint can be used to make beautiful handmade paper and the cardboard cores of toilet-paper rolls can become exciting 3-d wall hangings or handy receptacles for paper clips, tacks, and small pencils on one’s desk…. I’m thrifty and crafty by nature, and consequently I’m drawn to these notions like a cat to butter. I must cling to the 2-step Program or be buried under my own waste. And p.s.: Remember Yoko’s plastic boxes of her own nail parings?

    • Good for you, RAB. I have two cord holders made from toilet rolls covered in wallpaper that are very handy. They were made by my sister-in-law. I’ve considered making some myself, but force myself to throw the rolls in the recycle bin.
      As for collecting fingernail clippings, it seems to be just one degree away from voodoo.

  2. Of course you couldn’t find it. The internet is made of two parts. The regular part and the dark part. The dark part is where elicit thing (like drug dealing and smuggling) and bizarre craft projects reside. Only techies and small children are able to find that dark area.

  3. For some time now, I’ve prefered listening to music with my grandchildren, rather than carrying on a conversation… and now, finally, I’m learning what I missed.

  4. This explains everything. Now I know why I don’t share a home with a cat. We rarely have butter in the house. The margarine is in the freezer. Nothing for the cat to lick.

    It also explains why my dryer hose rarely has accumulated lint clogging up the hose. Obviously the dog’s Curious George stuffed monkey is stealing it in the middle of the night. Now if I could just find that stash of dryer lint, I could get busy crafting something wonderful. Silly monkey.

  5. My daughters told me I was not aloud to snort/laugh without reading this outloud. They said it did not make sense, but they laughed out loud anyway. We do have cats, and they have never licked the butter. We did, however, have a cat who would lick our powdered sugar donuts if we left the plastic carton open.

  6. Oh I so agree with you about everything. Most of the time I think PBS stands for Pesky Bothersome Sneaks. Maybe if you assigned the craft-making it would be viewed as something to be avoided. Or tell them they can only do the crafts after finding the elephants lurking in the cherry trees, since they are there in part to steal the lint for their own projects. good luck, my dear.

  7. I laughed through this nonsensical thing and ended up agreeing with your mother. I had a cat one time–brought it home with me and kicked it out the next day for messing under my mother’s stove and cleaning it up with my nurse apron. Ruined my nurses kit and I never got another one.

  8. As the mother of a two year old who loves Curious George on PBS, I actually know EXACTLY the episode to which your granddaughter is referring. In the episode, it is very cold outside, so George decides to build a little house for Jumpy Squirrel. He uses the dryer lint as insulation for the little house. We’ve seen every episode, most of them at least twice. So if ever again you need a Curious George episode reference, you can always contact me.

  9. Whoa. Assuming Lexiemom is right, then you *really* dodged a bullet by shutting down the gateway campaign for lint: squirrels are some of the most devious of all the crafters out there, as everyone knows! Even down to stealing for his name the very quality that squirrels fill *me* with, that Jumpy one!! Dastardly, I tells ya. Makes me wanna grab a rubber band and shoot him out of the tree right in front of any camouflaged elephants who might be spying on me, but then I’d have to get the rubber band from where I’ve made all of mine into a big bouncy ball—dang it, *that* craft is out of the bag. It’s a vicious, pernicious disease. I beg you to put down the lint and Back. Away. Slowly.

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