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Ron Nagasawa

Getting Canned

I’m kind of a gadget guy, so I marvel at all the technology available these days. I’m also a lazy guy, so I appreciate technology even more.

Case in point: We own one of those automatic opening kitchen garbage cans. It’s a modern-day version of one of those step cans where you step on a pedal and the lid opens. On this one you kick a little panel and the lid opens electronically. When we first bought it, it worked great for the first 100,000 openings. I mean, a kitchen garbage can gets a lot of use, rivaled only by the one next to our bathroom vanity where my wife and daughter apply makeup.

Anyway, one day a couple months ago it failed to open and I decided to fix it.

I took the mechanism completely apart against the fears of my wife, whose experience is that I’ll do more harm than good. I found that the shaft to the opening gear was broken, so I replaced it by jury-rigging something with parts from my garage toolbox. The fix worked, and so I celebrated my victory vigorously and in the face of my wife.

The other day, my wife told me that the kitchen garbage can wasn’t working again. Remembering my obnoxious victory dance, I think she was rubbing my nose in it. I told her that I would effect another miracle repair immediately and I broke out my tools and got to work. After disassembling everything, I found that the mechanism appeared to be OK.

I meticulously put everything back together while my wife watched, but it still wouldn’t work. As she walked out of the kitchen, she joked, “OK, Mr. Fix-it, why don’t you go out and get us a conventional garbage can?”

Somewhat defeated, I sat there, when my mom walked into the kitchen. She questioned, “Did you change the batteries?”

Feeling like an idiot because I didn’t, I lied, “Of course I did!” I then surreptitiously replaced the batteries and yelled for my wife to come in. The can worked beautifully, and I took full credit for fixing it once again, as no one knew any better.

But I should know my wife better, as she replied, “Your mom told you to change the batteries, didn’t she?”

I hate it when she does that.

rnagasawa@midweek.com

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