Feeling Salty

A couple of years ago, my lovely cousin gifted me a salt lamp. If you don’t know what a salt lamp is, it’s essentially a chunk of Himalayan rock salt that someone has drilled a hole in and stuck a night light up. But apparently it has a lot of health benefits: it can purify the air, increase focus and concentration, and balance your electromagnetic radiation. Since I’m not an X-Man, I never really needed that last thing, but I DID find that it had a warm glow that was very soothing. Unfortunately, my beautiful salt lamp was one of the many things I had to leave behind when we abandoned our office during the Great Covid Evacuation of 2020. I really missed it in my home office space, then one of my colleagues was going to visit the office (he had a large collection of shoes that he wanted to retrieve and I was like, are we even WEARING shoes anymore? but I can’t judge because the only thing I initially wanted from my office was my Fluevogs) and he offered to bring back some of my personal stuff. I immediately thought of my salt lamp. Thanks to him, who passed it on to another workfriend who lives nearby, I got it back last weekend. I pulled the lamp out of the box full of reading glasses, trinkets, clocks, and other assorted miscellany and left it on the counter while I cleared a space on the windowsill next to my desk for it. When I came back to the kitchen, something very unusual was happening. Kate was bent over with her tongue on the lamp while Ken watched, as if cheering her on.

Me: What the hell?
Kate (innocently): What?
Me: Were you…LICKING my salt lamp?!
Kate: Perhaps…
Me: WHY??!!
Kate: I wanted to see if it really tasted like salt.
Ken: It does.
Me: Did you lick it too?!
Ken: Well…
Me: If you wanted to know what it tasted like, all you had to do was ask.
Kate and Ken: You licked it too?
Me: Obviously. It’s a large chunk of Himalayan rock salt. Why WOULDN’T I lick it? I wanted to know if it lived up to its name—mystery solved. Now stop licking my lamp.

Of course it’s not the first time I’ve tasted salt that didn’t come directly from a little shaker on my table. Last winter, I was walking downtown and it was really windy. In Toronto in the wintertime, they lay down salt on the sidewalks so heavily that it’s literally inches thick, but people walk on it and crush it until it’s as fine as sand and intermingled with dirt and other unsavoury elements. So there I was, walking along and talking to Ken on the phone:

Me: So I’m taking the 4:35 train on—oh my god!!!
Ken: What’s wrong?!
Me: The wind just gusted and blew sidewalk salt into my mouth! Argh!
Ken: Eww.
Me (spitting): It’s stuck to my lip gloss! Oh my god, it’s from the SIDEWALK. People PEE ON THE SIDEWALK!  I’m going to get so sick!

And I did. I had to spend a week on antibiotics because of my sinuses. I don’t know if it was from  the dirty sidewalk salt, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

And then there was the time I found salt in my hair. About four years ago, Ken and I were watching TV. It was actually the Democratic National Convention, interestingly enough, and we were intrigued by American politics. Of course, the bloom was quickly off THAT rose, with our reaction to American politics over the last four years going from intrigued to befuddled, to WTF? but at any rate, halfway through, I ran my fingers through my hair. You know, the way people do when they’re relaxing, and maybe a little bored, waiting for something interesting to happen, like a Bernie Sanders supporter disrupting the performance by running across the stage naked, a la the streaking fad of the 70s. But something felt weird—on my head, that is. It felt like there were grains of sand in my hair. I pulled one out, and looked at it closely. It was clear and crystalline. I put it in my mouth, bit down on it and realized it wasn’t sand. It was SALT. I had salt in my hair. A LOT of grains of salt. I turned to Ken:

Me: WTF?! I have salt in my hair!
Ken: How did you get salt in your hair?
Me: You tell ME!
Ken: Were you shaking the saltshaker really vigorously at dinner? Maybe some of the salt flew up in the air, and landed in your hair.
Me: I think you and Kate would have noticed if I was using a saltshaker like I was playing the maracas. This is insane. How could I get this much salt in my hair?

I was so disturbed that I actually Googled “salt in hair” to see if there was some rare, little-known disease that might cause one’s body to spontaneously produce salt crystals. All I got was “using Epsom salts as a hair rinse to prevent dandruff”. Which I had definitely NOT done. My only choice was to bend over and shake all the salt out of my hair, worried that I might be turning into Lot’s wife.

The next day at lunch, I was still freaked out by what had happened, and I decided that maybe Kate had played a joke on me.

Me: I have to ask you a really weird question. I swear I’m being serious.
Kate (suspiciously): Um, OK. What?
Me: Last night at dinner, did you shake salt into my hair when I wasn’t looking? Like, as a joke?
Kate: (laughing hysterically): What?! Did I do what?!
Me: Don’t laugh! I found a sh*tload of salt in my hair last night and I don’t know where it came from.
Kate: How did you know it was salt?
Me: I tasted it.
Kate: What?! Why would you TASTE it?!
Me: BECAUSE I NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT IT WAS!
Kate: What if it was poison?!
Me: Why would anyone sprinkle poisonous salt in my hair? Just be honest. Did you sneak up behind me and do it?
Kate: No, Mom. I did not put salt in your hair.

I still have no idea where all that salt came from. But at least now, if I’m in the middle of a meeting and craving something salty, I can always just lick my lamp.

84 thoughts on “Feeling Salty

  1. I love your Sunday morning posts. I laughed so hard that I was crying. I had the exact same lamp but mine broke in the move back in 2016. I did get another one…..a basket filled with broken/chiseled Himalayan Salt rock pieces. My bulb recently died (like 6 months ago) and I finally bought replacement. Now I need to just put the bulb in. Then there will be cool calm relaxation all the time. I am going to be sharing this again on The Wonderful and Wacky….you have a talent for comedic placement even if you do not mean to. Have a fabulous Sunday and stay away from the sidewalk salt. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL LOL LOL LOL *taking a deep breath* LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!

    The first thing that I thought, at the very beginning of the post was ”I wonder if this lamp really tastes like salt”. It felt good finding out I was not the only curious one 😉 So, consider yourself warned, when I come to get my quince jam, you might catch me licking your lamp, just to be sure 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m sitting here snorting! Oh Suzanne, your posts make my Sunday’s! And one of my ex coworkers from my previous departments had a huge slat lamp in her office. Stupid baby Kermit would always ask if she could lick it, it was jokingly I’m sure. But she’d ask so often I’d wonder to myself if she’d be able to taste the salt if I shoved it up her ass……🤣😂😆.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Back in the olden days when I used to work for a living, a client handed me a surprisingly heavy gift-wrapped box to thank me for “a job well done”. When I finally lugged the thing into my apartment and opened it, I found to my consternation that it contained a salt lamp. I removed it from the package and placed it atop a very high shelf from which its approximately 2 foot cord dangled impotently in search of a non-existent outlet. This was about 3 years ago. It hasn’t moved. But you’ve inspired me. Tonight, I will move it to an outlet-adjacent location and turn it on before I go to bed. If I don’t wake up looking like the Morton’s Girl, I’m gonna be pissed.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Made my Sunday, as usual. I have to say the sidewalk salt is a big problem for me because it’s so windy here, if I open my door it flies in! Then it gets all over my wheels and makes practically unremovable tracks on my floor. Remember the flood from the apt above me? The maintenance crew tracked the salt all over.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Part 2🙄🥴…my floor and even my grandson and windex couldn’t get it off. The salt lamp looks pretty and does it really seem soothing? I could certainly use that. As kids we used to lick the salt licks in the cow pasture.😁 Thanks, S for another fun post.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I had a chemistry set when I was a kid and it came with potassium chloride crystals. If you look at the periodic table you know that’s just one step away from normal table salt and I knew people on low sodium diets are sometimes given potassium chloride so of course I tasted it. My friends freaked out because the little container said “Do not ingest”. I said, hey, it’s not like I’m eating the sodium cyanide crystals.
    Potassium chloride, by the way, just tastes like a more intense form of salt.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We lived in Utah for a few years. The water was so hard we had to condition it with these salt pellets, 50lb bags worth. They tasted pretty good.

    A craggy mineral statue sitting in an abandoned office (or anywhere, really) would get coated with dust (human skin, material lint, mold and fungal spores, powdered sand, etc.) You might want to wash it off next time you want to season your lunch with its shavings.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Suzanne!!!! I have missed you so much! I have returned to reading with your post and with Tanya’s, and I am a happy happy girl, writing this from the beautiful and chilly Irish town I now live in!!!!!! I also think I may have a problem, because while I am still wiping the salty tears of laughter from my cheeks, I can’t get fluevogs our of my head…..I have deeply loved every pair of fluevogs I have ever owned. Thank you, as ever, Lovely One, for your humour and talent and for making the world better!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. suze hartline says:

    wait..my giant block of salt has a cord in it…I thought it was to heat up the salt so it’s easier to use on my dinner! It’s a LAMP? Oh my Gawd! I’ve been using it wrong for the past 16 years then!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I once found a gecko in my hair–in the 80s–in Florida. I was on a family vacation, and I guess a gecko snuck in and made a nest in my giant 80s hairdo. Imagine my surprise when I went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and found two eyes looking at me from my hair. Only in Florida. Would have preferred salt. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Imagine how befuddled and WTF this American has been over the last four years! Actually, don’t. Nothing healthy comes from revisiting that rabbit hole. When one of my colleagues, early on during the closure, went to the office to retrieve personal belongings, I asked for my BNL blanket! 😂 I mean, it’s not like I can sleep with it (you know, my husband doesn’t quite love and appreciate them the way I do!), but I had to have it. Warm. Comforting. I get the salt lamp, and I’m glad it found its way home to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks for the sh*tload of laughs that I found via C. at the cove. I never knew road salt could be such a problem but it makes sense.
    My Moth aka (man of the house), bought one of these some years ago. He loves gimmicky things and the salt crystals leached down the lamp onto the timber tables it sat on, ruining them. I am highly sceptical of its benefits but then folks claim overnighting in the former salt mines in Poland cures all sorts of respiratory conditions so it could work. And they do lick the walls of the mine too!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My wife left the same model salt lamp stranded at her office during the spring lockdown, but she was able to retrieve it over the summer when the company arranged for employees to go in and collect their stuff, since the work-from-home conditions were likely to last for the foreseeable future. So, now we have it in our home, and every time I look at it, I think it’s an ornamentation that would’ve seemed right at home in Captain Picard’s ready room. Seems very Star Trek–ian!

    Liked by 2 people

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