Poor in New York: Paper Towels & Coffee Filters

I’m sitting at my kitchen table, as the sun spills into my little apartment from all angles. The street is quiet, the windows are open, and the light looks golden as it waltzes on my wooden floors. While typing frantically for a midterm is no ideal way to spend a Sunday afternoon, I could think of worse pastimes. The only thing that would make this activity better would be a cup of coffee.

I clean out the pot, grab the coffee grounds, and find the filters. One problem: I can’t find the filters.

Not on my shelf.
Not by the coffee maker.
Not in the wrong cabinet.
Not even in their secret spot behind the spices.

At first, I’m displeased. Then anger sets in. Must I really change out of my PJs and walk to C-Town? Really? Must I? Because today is Sunday… a lazy Sunday.

Ah, but isn’t laziness the mother of all invention?

Frustrated and decaffeinated, I glanced around my apartment. Teapot, toaster, microwave, paper towels…


We already know paper towels are good for everything. They can act as plates, toilet paper, Band-Aids, cutting boards, and tissues. I use them to scrunch my hair into curls, and I think they’ve even been incorporated into few Halloween costumes.

So I decided this could work (with a little motivation from Google). First I folded the paper towel in half. I then folded it one more time, making a square. Next I formed a cone by opening up the small square (with three sheets of the paper towel creating one side of the cone, and one sheet of paper towel creating the other side of the cone – it’s uneven but it works). Finally, I trimmed off the top of the cone and made a pot of coffee as usual.

Maybe I should be lazy more often. Maybe I will be lazy enough to create the next Snuggie. Maybe I will never buy coffee filters again.
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