Many uses of a paint can opener

Posted 3/31/19

Earlier this week my boyfriend and I had a discussion about needless things that I tend to keep that probably should be thrown away.

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Many uses of a paint can opener


Earlier this week my boyfriend and I had a discussion about needless things that I tend to keep that probably should be thrown away.

I wouldn’t say I’m a pack rack, because I do like to de-clutter my life. I would say I am more of a pack cat – that person who can deal with things so long and then, just like a cat, decide that I don’t need them anymore and get rid of them.

While cleaning out from under the carport Drew discovered that I had quite the eclectic collection of old paint can openers. Without hesitation he began chunking them in the garbage, to which I cringed.

Drew’s response, along with a solemn dumbfounded look on his face, was simply, “Why?”

Yes, why keep old paint can openers? Why keep anything more than you need to. “You know they give you a new opener each time you buy paint, right?”

Well, duh of course they do, I thought, while sneaking one of the openers from the trash and sticking it in the tool box. How do you think I collected to many of them?

I understand that most of the things we acquire in our lives fulfill their time with us and then need to be discarded. But it’s hard to convince me that you can’t reuse a paint can opener.

Have you ever thought about all of the things you can do with a paint can opener other than just open paint? It can serve as a bottle opener or assist you in prying the metal flip-top up on a canned drink. You can use the edge of it to pry your acrylic nails off your fingers when it’s way past time for a fill-in. You can use it to scrape things, especially in small spaces that your finger won’t fit. It can jam a door. It can serve as a can opener for those sealed goodies of jelly, pickles and chow chow that are stubborn to open, even after they have been under hot running water. You can string them together and make a wind chime. You can use them to pry the 3d printed item off the base plate in the library’s STEM lab when the object you’ve created is literally stuck.

I am sure we all have a lot of needless things in our houses that we need to get rid of. That is the beauty of spring cleaning – that fresh air opportunity to go through everything we have and throw our excess in the trash. I will say that it helps to have someone else assist you with the cleaning, because in my defense it really is hard to get rid of useless things that we think have some type of meaning to them. Perhaps it’s just the curse of being an only child, but I doubt it.

Upon Drew’s continued throwing of items in the trash, I had to keep asking myself, “Do I really need this?” If something hasn’t been used in six months or more it’s probably time to get rid of it. Clothes. Shoes. Books. Other “junk”.

Later in the week we found ourselves at Home Depot buying, you guessed it, paint.

Once the paint was finished, the lady at the paint counter showed me the colors I had selected, hammered down the lids to the cans and handed me one of those coveted shiny, brand new, silver paint can openers.

“See, I told you they would give you a new one when you got some more paint,” Drew said, loading the cans into the buddy.

To my quick response, “Yes and just remember, one day you might be in your car needing some sort of tool to save your life and low and behold it might be this very paint can opener that does it.”

The Home Depot lady at the paint counter laughed at me.

Drew rolled his eyes.

I made a point to put that paint can opener in the glove compartment of his car, just in case there is an emergency and I get to prove myself right one day.

Laura Pitts is a former reporter at the Daily Mountain Eagle. She is currently director of the Scottsboro Public Library.