Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Can Opener that Changed My Life

I’m not a cheap person except when it comes to one thing – household stuff. I don’t have a household I have a room with a small space that a relater would call the kitchen, but I call the hallway. So when the occasional household need presents itself I cringe. First, because I don’t know where I would put it no matter its size or purpose and second because my place is so small I must prioritize what physically comes in. This priority is usually reserved for books, shoes and cloths (in that order). Even my shower routine I’ve outsourced to my spacious gym with complementary Kiel’s products.

My resources go towards the other aspects of my life. My life outside my room and it bugs me when something slips through this pattern. Its like having to buy a wedding gift for someone you barely know; you resent it. Which is where my can opener comes into the picture.

On 911 I started a canned goods collection. I dealt with my fear that day by acknowledging for the first time ever that I had no food in the house and with the masses I headed to the grocery store. No one had a clue what was coming next and…well it was something to do besides panic. I was not alone in dealing with my fear by stocking my cupboard. The guy behind me had nothing but cookies and beer in his basket (looking back I should have introduced myself to him) and the woman in front of me had about 50 cans of cat food and five bags of litter. I had a cart filled with water and canned goods. Beans, soup, and vegetables it was a selection that any bunker supplier would have been proud. Plus my two-dollar can opener. In that moment, facing uncertainty and starvation, I could not be bothered to purchase the five-dollar deluxe can opener. I guess the fact that this device was going to give me access to my only food supply didn’t cross my mind. I imagined my immediate future being that of Greer Garson in Mrs. Miniver and she had a can opener, so I got one, but I was not going to spend five dollars on it.

Thankfully the restaurants and deli’s of Manhattan were not closed for long and Happy Wok never closed at all so my bunker in the making was as necessary as all those Y2K stashes. Over time I did eat all of my emergency provisions. There were moments when I enjoyed some home warmed soup or found the desire to make a three bean salad but what kept driving me crazy was that damn can opener. It worked so badly it would sometimes take me twenty minutes to get my white beans.

Every single time I tried to open a can with it I had the thought to replace it, the thing barely worked and it drove me batty. The problem was there was not enough regularity to my using this cheap tool to remember to get one that worked, so the cycle continued for years. Every six months when I found the need to open a can I would go through the same drama of feeling like getting to my condensed food product was about as easy as breaking out of Shawshank State Prison.

Its been nine years of can food frustration with that stupid opener, but no more. I found myself in Williams-Sonoma yesterday buying a wedding gift and there it was – the Kuhn Rikon can opener, designed in Switzerland, in red. I grabbed it not even caring about the price. I needed a can opener that worked. Yes, the long path of frustration and blaming the can is over. I have a can opener and not just any can opener but an amazing can opener, its European, it works and I have been joyfully opening cans all weekend with a smile on my face. I can get to the beans in enough time where I still want to eat them by the time they are out of the can. I'm going to finally look forward to the annual Shop-Right Can-Can sale. It’s a whole new world.

I paid top dollar for this can opener and I don’t care! I LOVE it, even if I only use it once every six months it’s going to be worth every penny.

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