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technical rewrite. (forget dudleys and PAAS -- how we dye eggs at our house)

I only had to take one English class in college. I was a science major and most of my professors didn’t even speak English, so I guess they didn’t see the importance of taking it. (ok, not really, mostly I just tested out of most of several undergrad classes. I only took one math class too).
My one and only English class was Techincal Writing. Which is as completely as boring as it sounds. Also, my school was trying something new and innovative at the time called a “computer based class”. And my section was the lucky winner.  So I walked into my class room that suddenly looked more like the basement of our school library where we all checked our emails and printed them out on a dot matrix printer than your normal lecture hall. All it really meant was that we turned in our papers on a floppy disc rather than printing them out.
I hated this class. Not because of the computers but because of the content. I was never the big grammar fan, but I do love to read and write and normal a writing class would be a piece of cake for me.
But not when you take out ALL of the creativity and give me strict word limits.
I do not remember a single thing I wrote about that semester. It was all how-tos and instructions and informative pieces. They were painfully boring where format mattered more than content and I never proofread a single one without falling asleep. More than once, I wondered if my professor would notice if I just turned in instructions for the bed I bought at Ikea. But maybe those little bubble people pictures might give me away. In other words, I never got anything higher than a B. If I had turned in paper copies of anything, they would have been marked up with red ink.
To this day I hate that kind of writing. And I also hate reading it. Which is why I pretty much read instructions or labels or boring emails almost never. This may explain why I can’t bake.
This morning, my son was begging to dye Easter eggs and did something crazy and flipped over the back of the box and read the following:
PAAS Egg Dyeing Directions:
1. Start with clean, cool, hard-boiled eggs.  2. Cover work area with newspaper. 3. For Ultra Vibrant Colored Eggs – add a tablet and 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a 1 cup container. 4. Bend egg dipper. Gently place egg in color bath until desired shade is obtained. The longer the egg stays in the bath, the darker the shade will be. 5. Remove egg, drain well and place in drying tray. 
 CAUTION: Children must be supervised. Since this is a dye process, colors may stain some fabrics.

This might have received an A from my technical writing instructor, but an F from any mom.  That and in no way shape of form could the box it comes in with a few holes punched out be considered a drying rack. So, here is my re-write.
  1. I never use hard boiled eggs. Mostly because I am not that patient. Secondly because I still haven’t mastered the art of boiling a decent egg. And thirdly, there are only so many hard boiled eggs we can eat. And my kids make throw-up noises when I mention egg salad. So, skip the hard boiling.  Dye them and put them write back in the fridge for the next time your 3 year old demands scrambled eggs for breakfast. If her eggs accidentally end up pink. So be it, she will like them even better that way.
  2. Strip your kids down to their skivvies. Wrap them completely in saran wrap if they will let you. Cover your work surface with all those papers and worksheets your kid’s school sends home. No one gets the paper anymore (and if you still do step 2b:  call and cancel. That stuff is free online, stop killing trees!). I’d suggest taking it outside, but if your kids are naked this might warrant a few phone calls to the local authorities. Even better plan, dye them at a friend’s house.
  3. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Red wine, fill up those little plastic cups with warm water and a lid full of vinegar.
  4. Throw away that little egg dipper (it hardly works) and the waxy crayon. Neither work well. Use a soup ladle. Or just realize your kids are going to use their hands anyways. And they will be stained pink and blue for weeks. Which makes for an emergency addition to these directions.Step 1b – if you are the type that likes a cute Easter picture where your family is all dressed up and looking good. Take it now. Before they have a big giant dye stain from their elbows to their fingertips.
  5. Drink your wine quickly, before someone dunks an egg in there. Google some egg related recipes. Absolutely do not whatever you do, look up fancy egg decorating ideas on pinterest. It will only frustrate you and increase the time spent destroying your kitchen and staining your kids.
  6. Turns out wine isn’t so bad at dyeing eggs. Next year, just buy wine, sharpies and some stickers.


Hahahahaha! Just read this right before we started dying eggs. Pouring myself wine as I type and the kids are already running around in their undies. I think we are good to. Happy Bunny Day!
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