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Can we talk about lousy can openers for a moment?

If you’ve purchased a can opener recently, how’s it working for you? Lately, no matter what style of can opener we buy or how much we spend on one, the thing is broken within a year. Worse yet, we purchased one that didn’t work when we pulled it out of the package. It wouldn’t even open the first can I tried it on.

I don’t have a picture of this most recent malevolent contraption because we tossed it into metal recycling at the landfill, but here is a pic of a cast-off one we temporarily replaced it with. Temporarily meaning this one-time opening of a can of refried beans, which were oh-so-fun digging out of the can.

Evidence of a lousy can opener ... a poorly opened can that's ready to cut you like cattle.

Evidence of a lousy can opener … a poorly opened can that’s ready to cut you like cattle.

Um, yeah. I don’t have a good relationship with lousy can openers, which are symptomatic of a larger problem: shoddy workmanship. I mean, if you’re going to go to the trouble of manufacturing something, how about making the thing work? While I understand that capitalism is all about spending money hand-over-fist and planned obsolescence is part of this cycle, shoddy workmanship has reached ridiculous proportions. Our bathroom scale, which we haven’t had for a year, is suddenly broken after I moved it from one room to another. The finish on toilet seats lasts no longer than a couple of years, if that. No-drip faucets drip incessantly. Have manufacturers no pride?

And most of this stuff isn’t recyclable, so I’m stuck with the guilt of throwing things in the landfill. I imagine, at the rate we’re going in wasting resources on nonfunctional items, we’ll be digging through those landfills in the not-too-distant future in order to reclaim the resources we’ve wasted.

We’re giving a new can opener a shot, one we bought at IKEA for a couple of bucks. So far, it has cleanly and successfully opened a can so that it won’t lacerate us. Here’s hoping it’ll last a while.

Our new IKEA can opener.

Our new IKEA can opener.