Tales from the Cutting Counter:
A gentleman approaches the cutting counter. He is fifty-something, well dressed, tall. "I have these pipes in my basement," says he, "about this big." He makes a circle with his thumb and middle finger to show the diameter of the pipes. "I am looking for something to wrap around them to insulate them."
I hope the incredulity I was feeling did not show on my face. I spoke slowly. "Have you considered, um, pipe insulation?" There's a plumbing supply place less than a mile from the fabric store.
"I have," said the man. "But I notice you have long cardboard tubes inside your upholstery fabric. Do you give those away?"
"No, we reuse them," I said. I am thinking fast, here. "What about pool noodles? You could slit them down the side."
"Cardboard will be best," he said, definitively. "Thanks anyway."
This past week has featured single-digit temperatures, and my guess is that the local plumbers have thawed a lot of pipes in a lot of basements. And nothing insulates pipe better than