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Published on October 9th, 2013 | by Richard Black

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The Can Opener and its Relation to Raising Children

One of my favorite facts is that the can opener as we know it wasn’t invented until 1925. Other versions existed since the tin can was created in the early 1800’s but most of them were either variations on a knife or a huge pain in the ass to use.

I’m not sure exactly why I like this fact; the idea that someone found a way to store and keep beets and tomatoes for years on end or the thought that it took over one hundred years for someone to come up with a good way to finally get at the goods inside.

For more than a hundred years people hacked away at tin cans with knives and bayonets before someone came up with the idea of a rotary can opener. We are either a very stubborn species or maybe just not that bright. Most likely it wasn’t a problem that was terribly necessary to solve. I’m not sure what the mortality rate for can related injuries was over the years but but the soldiers in the Crimean War were probably just happy to eat their pickled turnips or whatnot despite the occasional flesh wound.

I feel like I’m doing the same thing as a parent most days, inventing the can and waiting for someone else to invent the can opener, not stabbing my child with a bayonet. The thirty minutes I spend every day wrestling my daughter into a set of clothes may very well cause her to become a nudist or a stripper somewhere down the line and the fact that I won’t cater to her incredibly limited palate might provide fertile ground for an eating disorder.

But dammit kids need to wear clothes and I figure she’ll eat when she’s hungry or become so weak from hunger that she’ll wear clothes and then snarf up whatever’s in front of her. I’ll deal with the eating disorders and her poor life decisions later.

Either way she’ll have something of note to talk to her therapist about thirty years from now.


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