Tim’s Top Tips for late life bachelors: Do not buy a cheap can opener

There’s some number of us who wil become late life bachelors. Some through choice, an urge to shag the younger babes rather than that which has sustained us through the decades (don’t, not that I know but those who have done so tell me it ain’t worth it). Some who are separated involuntarily by the vicissitudes of life and death or the waywardness of women.

And some like me who end up working away from home for extended periods because that’s just the way that the cookies crumble and the opportunities occur.

And an important point to make to us all. Don’t, ever, try to save money on a cheap can opener. For the one pure and simple thing about cheap can openers is that however cheap they are they don’t open cans.

Yes, I know, we can make jokes about late life bachelors only ever eating out of cans: but that’s not quite my point. Even if one can indeed cook well, turn that organic garden into a feast, there’s still that weekend fry up that is going to be horribly ruined by attacking the baked bean can with a bread knife*. Yes, I know that they have pull ring cans: which don’t always work. And not all cans are pull ring either.

Whether bachelorhood is desired or not, whether one can cook or not, it’s still true, don’t skimp on the price of a can opener.

*Yes, I am having a ham’n’eggs’n’beans fry up tonight. How did you guess?

16 thoughts on “Tim’s Top Tips for late life bachelors: Do not buy a cheap can opener”

  1. I’m reminded of the episode in “Three Men In A Boat” where they want to open a tin of pineapple and have no can opener. Whatever you do, don’t use an oar…

  2. About the only thing of value my ex-wife brought to our marriage was the french tin-opener. Simple steel blade with a hook on the side. No turning key to slip. No arms to squeeze together. Not a volt of electricity or hint of magnetism in sight. No self-unwinding cork-screw included What it does do is open any can no matter how battered or bent, large or small. Round, square or triangular. Last one I bought cost 35 cents & needless to say, was borrowed & not returned.
    (Does not come in left handed version. Adapt or go hungry.)

  3. … who are separated involuntarily by the vicissitudes of life and death or the waywardness of… can openers.

    So you were sitting on the bed with the can opener between your knees, Tim, and… oops!

    Yeah, we believe you, you’re our mate, innit.

    One very embarrassing visit to A&E, one very expensive op to sew it back on, some very long and unconvincing story to tell the wife about how you came to spend a fortune and lose the crown jewels on the same trip.

    Please give us more updates when you get home. The takeaway for the rest of us is: “Don’t bilk the whore”.

  4. BIS

    that is the ultimate tool. you can open any can. Open a beer bottle.

    and carve your initials in a tree, alongside a heart….has to go in checked-in baggage these days, however.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    I thought Tim was an economist.

    Can’t he just assume he has a tin can opener?

    Some through choice, an urge to shag the younger babes rather than that which has sustained us through the decades (don’t, not that I know but those who have done so tell me it ain’t worth it).

    I would be very suspicious of those people. Not saying they are right. But when I was single married people always told me that marriage was great and I should join them as soon as possible. Freakin’ pod people from some horror film. I assume they just wanted everyone to be as miserable as them. So it follows that, human beings being what they are, the newly single are having the time of their lives with co-eds and they just don’t want the competition.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    By the way, how about a little reporting on Poland’s seizure of its pension funds? Surely that is making news in your parts.

    I see Lech Walesa has put his foot in it by suggesting a merger with his larger more successful neighbour to the West. Which must mean Poland is boned beyond belief. Lithuania might not be dead yet, but it is not looking good.


  7. I think Boy on a Bike and Bloke in Spain are referring to much the same thing. They were standard issue in the ration packs we used to get given in Army Cadets, phased out when they switched from cans to boil-in-the-bag sometime in the 1990s. I used to have loads of those can openers, alas now not a single one.

    I wish I did, because I have been trying to find a decent tin opener for a while now. No matter what you pay, they still skimp on the manufacturing costs by not making the spinning disks from stainless steel, meaning they go rusty very quickly. And the blade always slips like hell, and in one case the bit you turn sheared off completely less than a year after I bought it. I go for ring-pull whenever possible.

  8. Kitchen appliances are funny things. My beloved was very keen on a juicer at one time, so I bought her one for Christmas. We had about two weeks of grinding noises from the kitchen and “this is passion fruit, mango and rhubarb” then we went back to buying cartons and the juicer went in the usual attic box. I tend to think simply is better. My sister bought me an automatic motorised can opener but honestly, unless you’re some kind of professional doing can opening all day, it’s quicker to use the manual one. That also is in an attic box.

    My major kitchen appliance gripe is kettles. They just don’t last like they used to, do they?

  9. In an earlier life, one of my tasks was to collect design drawings for the National Collection. We went to interview a kettle designer, and he told us that he styled kettles for different manufacturers, but the heating elements fitted within were the same ones made cheaply by the same firm. As a robustly constructed element would last for many years, they had every incentive not to make it so. The consumers apparently wanted cheap, fashionable styling, and that is what they received for their money.

    As for tin-openers, several women I have known refused to throw away a worn-out example, and persisted in using it, although it was obvious that it was making the tin into a dangerous object to handle. In one case, I bought a new effective one as a present, and suggested that the old can-mangler should be binned. This turned out to be a mistake, as it somehow questioned her judgement.

  10. When the wee key on a tin of corned beef fails, I find that our primitive, cheapo can opener does a better job than the prettier, pricier one. The Swiss Army Knife stays on stand-by, just in case.

  11. What Tim Newman said. The ones in British Army rat packs could not have cost more than pennies and – once you had the relevant knack – were unbeatable.

  12. Yes, I have a compo ration tin opener on my keyring. It’s about 30 years old and still works like a charm. With a bit of practice it’s actually as quick or quicker than the full-sized version.

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