Colander & Leisure, North America’s premiere draining products and lifestyle monthly, has put an end to the alibis — by launching Colander Reports, a hard-hitting quarterly that will keep you ahead of the colander curve. To sample our low-down on the coolest, hottest products, check out these excerpts from CR’s issue numero uno, which will hit the street just in time for the new model rollouts.

The Basics

It all starts with shape. The traditional hemispherical exterior has never been improved upon; it must also (and this is easy to overlook) surround a large central hollow. Should a salesperson offer you a deal on “something in a solid” leave their store at once! Consider sending a tip via CR’s anonymous hotline.

But there’s more to a premiere colander than shape. We would not, for example, purchase any model that, to use technical terms, lacked numerous smallish holes arranged in a functional and aesthetic pattern. The mono-hole design, with its single 8-inch central aperture, is unacceptable, despite the propaganda from slickly produced infomercials.

And let’s don’t forget the “fun” side. Swung in brisk circles — be sure it has a sturdy handle! — a well-designed colander emits a plangent whistle not unlike a bagpipe’s skirl.

The Ratings

All but one of our subjects performed flawlessly on the basic test: drain one pound of linguini cooked al dente in six quarts of lightly salted tap water. Or more precisely — since the International Committee on Draining Standards requires that all tests be performed in French — half a kilo of pâtes in six liters of Perrier. Differences in measured drainage times were insignificant and unrelated to product price. The exception was the heavily promoted Pastarama 2000 (Turner Broadcasting), which continues to be plagued by fabrication problems: entry holes on the inner surface of the product misaligned with exit holes on the outer, resulting in stagnant, starchy puddling. We cannot recommend this model.

The Pastarama aside, your own price/performance sweet spot depends on prioritizing the additional functionality evaluated below and summarized in tables 1, 2, and 3 [not shown].

We first used our samples to frame and finish a 15-by-20 sunroom addition to a modest suburban ranch house: digging foundations, nailing studs and shingles, and spackling. None of the colanders tested proved fully satisfactory, but some clear differences did emerge. In particular, neither of the A.I.-enabled models — the Pastadigitator (Bell Labs/Disney) or the Personal Strainer (Nokia/HBO) — can be recommended for serious construction projects.

Next, to evaluate “dimpling factor” in the field, our test scientists pressed a colander firmly against a volunteer’s face for 30 seconds. The cosmetic effect of this procedure is a matter of subjective personal preference, but our objective requirement is straightforward: a well-defined pattern covering at least three square inches of skin (approximately 19 French units of peau). Be aware that the inner and outer surfaces of a colander may dimple differently. If your lifestyle requires both, be sure to try them before you buy — and remember that dimpling from an inner surface will be inconsistent unless a colander is sufficiently large. (Some off-brands offer products that, although exemplary in all other respects, will not comfortably hold the head of an average American adult.) Take the time to squeeze your face, as often as necessary, against every colander of interest. Bring a mirror to check the results and feel free to ask a salesperson or another customer for a second opinion. And be ready to reciprocate!

Perusing tables 1 and 2 with your needs for roofing, siding, and body modification in mind will probably narrow the choice to a handful of possibilities.

Which means it’s time to talk brain waves — a hot topic in the current political climate. A functional thought-helmet can be cobbled together from the foil wrappers of overnight denture cleansing tablets — but, security-wise, nothing beats a well-maintained colander. Thought shielding is difficult to evaluate without knowing the operational capabilities of the particular intelligence agencies, crime syndicates, exoplanets, and smart appliances by which your brain is being monitored, but the industry standard test suite described below provides a helpful basis for comparison.

  • Strap the colander to the head of a dog, making sure to surround its cerebellum fully. (Vol. 12, no. 3 of Duct Tape & Leisure recommends best buys in duct tape for pet-based experimentation.) A volunteer is then sequestered while the dog watches a random sequence of short, emotionally significant videos (episodes of Lassie, all of Old Yeller, mailman selfies, etc.). The product passes this test if the volunteer has no idea what the dog is watching.
  • After his or her own brainpan is colandered, a volunteer is immobilized by being duct taped to a recliner or chaise loungue (see the personals section of Duct Tape & Leisure). He or she then applies his or her telekinetic powers to a set of standardized tasks: levitate a refrigerator; force hot water taps to run with blood; and reset the clock on a blinking VCR. The product passes if it blocks these attempts.
  • A colandered volunteer attempts to project inflammatory language at the Andromeda nebula. The product passes if Andromeda makes no reply. (The definitive failure response is an intense energy beam tuned to dismember the volunteer’s molecular structure, arriving after approximately 5.07 million years after the attempt.) As noted in table 3, several widely advertised products give questionable results on this test.


We live, it has been truly said, in a Golden Age of draining products. Savor it fully with Colander Reports. And no more excuses, n’est-ce pas?

Next issue: $$ from those old colanders! Turn them into nifty wind chimes.