Tip Day: Shredding Tip

My daughter Emily and I sat beside my father, who lay on his deathbed. We sang songs and, when he was in pain, we summoned help from a nurse who gave him medication that made him feel worse, with nausea.

For his dying request, Dad asked Emily and me to return to his apartment that night and tear up his files of paid bills, which we dutifully did. For hours. What was he thinking? Was he afraid someone would steal his remaining few days of identity?

I, on the other hand, am pretty much alive. Last night, to make room in my file drawer for the stacks of papers that have accumulated this summer, I removed a file of old medical insurance documents.

I don’t own a shredder, so I needed to come up with a shredding tip, a homemade way to keep someone from going into my trash and stealing my identity.

Appetite alert: if eating, read the rest of this another time.

In the morning, I decided, I would pour week-old whole milk over the papers, hoping that would solve the problem. But it didn’t feel like quite enough.

Luckily, in addition to tip day, today is laundry day. When I went to the basement to put my clothes in the wash, I saw that the sticky traps I had set out for crickets had attracted a mouse as well as crickets.

I felt very bad about this kind of end for the little mouse. Yet, it gave me the good idea to include it in the document bag with the milk.

Just then, Casey was ready to go on his walk, which provided me with one more ingredient to add to the milky, mousey, medical papers.

I’m hoping for the best, that no one will be motivated enough to go through the bag to steal my identity.


  1. Put documents in a double plastic supermarket bag.
  2. Add milk and/or other spoiled food.
  3. Add any dead insects and animals you have around the house.
  4. Add your dog’s excrement and/or used kitty litter.
  5. Tie bag and mush it together.
  6. Drop in trash for pick up.

A few additional ideas I picked up from the internet: Add some kind of goo, put in blender at your own risk to the blender, make the documents unreadable by putting them in the washing machine (and turning it on).

What do you do to avoid identity theft? What else should I add to the documents bag next time? 

See also:

*A Woman Talks About Sex From Her 20′s To Her 60′s (fascinating and relatable)

*Parenting a Parent as He or She Ages

*Are You Having Less Sex Than You Think You Should? One Women’s Story

*Can Working Women Have It All?

*Hipster Dog Names and Quirky Dog Photos

*Joyce Maynard Adopted Two Girls From Ethiopia Then Gave Them Up





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