Buying the Electric Cockroach

A while ago I wrote about the clutter in my life. Have I conquered it? No-o-o.

Unfortunately, I love gadgets. I am always amazed at the products they sell on TV. They work so well. They are so-o-o easy to use. I always want to buy them all. I need them. I could order them all.

But there’s a problem. When I buy things, I need to fiddle with them before I buy them. Turn them over in my hands. Poke at the buttons. So, how could I buy something “not available in any store” that I can’t touch?

And then there’s allowing six weeks for delivery? What’s with that? I could walk to Twinkerville, Rhode Island, and back in that time. And then, what if I don’t like it? Sure I can get my money back but I’ve invested twice the price of the product in shipping costs. Nope. TV products just don’t work for me.

Then, one day, I saw a store selling “As Seen on TV” products – packed full of all those “not available in any store” products. Wow!

I came out with some really good, useful stuff. A power mini can opener, potato peeling gloves, an electric nail trimmer. I decided against the wallet that turns into a suitcase. There will be other days for shopping.

I was so excited. When I got home, I dragged out an armload of potatoes from the cooler. At 8 seconds each (like it promised on the package) I could have all these babies gleaming white in under 2 minutes. Scrub-a-dub-dub under the tap and…

PotatoGlovesWas there a switch I had to turn on? I scrubbed some more. And a little while longer. The potato was looking, well, maybe a little cleaner. I took off the gloves, opened the drawer, and took out my trusty peeler.

Next, it was time to open a can. I found a couple of AA batteries (it said, after all, batteries not included) and readied the can. All I had to do was hook the little guy onto the edge of the can, press the button, and stand back. The opener would twirl around the edge of the can, stop, and leave me with an open can and a lid with no sharp edges.

I hooked the opener onto the can, pressed the button, and… nothing. Maybe I hadn’t hooked it on right. A few attempts later, I hit the button, and the opener groaned into action. I watched as it haltingly made its way around, the non-cutting end waggling back and forth, looking for all the world like a giant white cocroach trying to figure out how to get into the can. It made it most of the way around and stopped. Wouldn’t budge. Wouldn’t come off the can.Cockroach

After a lot of poking, yanking, and button-pushing, it made another full circuit of the can and I successfully removed the lid, with no sharp edges, as promised. Almost sliced off a finger on the razor sharp edge of the can, though.

Cute gadget, but I’m not sure I’ll always have 5 or 10 minutes to open a can. It’s still a great conversation piece. (“Hey. Look at this thing. Bet you can’t figure out what it is.”)

I’ll try out the nail trimmer when I get some C-cell batteries. I mean, who keeps C-cell batteries in their house. Really.


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