(And it certainly made the sale of stone girl lawn ornaments sky-rocket!)
The dust jacket describes the book as, "a hugely entertaining and deliciously perverse travelogue...as bracing and intoxicating as half a dozen mint juleps!"
To me, its romantic setting -- the picturesque, moss-draped oaks and cool, verdant, green squares of downtown Savannah -- is punctuated by John Berendt's pithy, observant narrative of the people involved in some of the seedier aspects of the city's life, the grit beneath the apparently genteel and generous skirts of upper crust, gracious, Southern Belle Savannah.
Beyond the sordid tale, however, I came away with one very important lesson:
How To Clean a Toilet.
In the book, the main character recounts the entire story in first person, told from the perspective of his being a newly arrived resident of Savannah. As he attempts to clean up his crumbling apartment, the toilet, apparently, is beyond hope, its bowl encrusted irreparably with the local famously stubborn hard water deposits.
A brick. He should scrub the toilet bowl with a brick. Yes, an actual, run-'o-the-mill, ordinary, red, building brick (although in Savannah, the bricks are a tan color called "Savannah Gray"). A brick, it is explained, is harder than the hard water deposits, yet softer than the porcelain.
Yes, really! It works!
Last week, I decided I was willing to sacrifice the possible permanent marring of one of our lesser-used toilets to experiment on the veracity of this advice (imagine the possibilities if it actually worked!). I used a plain ole red brick (we had exactly one, discarded in the back yard; I smashed it to get a smaller piece) to scrub the inner bowl of the toilet, which previously had been utterly uncleanable (...is that a word?).
And it worked!!! It actually worked!
Here are my before, during, and after pictures to prove it to you. Feel free to borrow this tactic and run with it. ...just make sure you don't flush your bit of brick down the toilet. THAT would be a whole 'nother kettle 'o fish...