Growing up we had an automatic can opener. A lovely avocado green machine that not only opened the can but pulled up the lid with it's fantastic magical magnet. My parents still have that machine. It is forty-years-old and it works like a charm.
Now I'm not as fancy as my folks. In college I bought a simple hand held model. It worked well and I was satisfied. Satisfied that is until the day the opener disappeared.
Where has it gone? Nobody knows. Perhaps it was carried off by a can opening crow.
Ah but I digress. That disappearance was the beginning of a frustrating series of events. First I went to the garage and dug our really super duper basic opener out of the camping box. Now this opener works. Sort of. The lids come off but not without great effort on the part of the user. This opener was meant to be temporary.
The next time I went to the store I bought and inexpensive opener. Did I save the receipt? No. I expected the thing to work. It did not. Not at all. Okay, so you get what you pay for.
I went back to the store and bought an expensive model. Shall we just say lesson not learned. The damn thing didn't work either. And that was several months ago. I gave up on can openers and learned to live with that which was less than perfect (i.e. the camping model).
That is until last weekend. Last weekend we went to a small farm flea market. One of the vendors had a trailer full of odds and ends -- including the opener pictured above. It was filthy. It was questionable. The five dollar price tag was steep. Did I really pay five dollars for a grungy used can opener. Oh yes. Yes I did.
I brought her home, cleaned her up and placed her in the crock on the counter. Yesterday was the first day she was put to use. Oh my! The can opened like butter. It was a glorious thing! I forgot how simple opening a can could be. I will be keeping this gal for ever and ever.
I only wish I'd found her sooner. You see in my search I didn't think about vintage. I didn't think about used. It seems I simply didn't think. A used can opener was just what I needed. And had I gone that route in the first place there would be money in my pocket and less crap in the landfill.
So the next time you need something new think again. Do you need something new or something new to you?
Happy Earth Day!