Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Can Openers

How's That For An Exciting Title!

Tanker over at Mostly Cajun is lamenting the impending demise of the P-38 can opener. With the replacement of canned rations with the PVC-bagged MRE's, there's not a lot of demand for manual can openers. Or at least, I thought so, until I saw what else Tanker said they were good for!

Not being an Army type myself, I was introduced to the P-38 by one of the camp rangers when I was a staffer at a Boy Scout summer camp. He called it a "John Wayne". I'd use one to crack open the big #10 cans of peaches or apples for making cobbler when we were out in the brush far from an electrical outlet, and believe me, you felt the pain after wiggling that little SOB around the diameter of that huge can.

On a pre-camp season work crew, we were cleaning out one of the old barn/storerooms at Bendover Acres, and I unearthed an old coffee can 3/4 full of those P-38 openers tucked in behind some old tack. We all helped ourselves to 3 or 4, but looking back , I wish I'd gotten a few more. I've still got one bouncing around somewhere in my junk drawer at home.

I used to carry one on my keychain, until that blade snagged a finger one day as I was digging in my backpack for the keys. That was enough of that foolishness. I can't even think of one time I actually used it to open a can. Most times it got used to clean gunk from under my fingernails.

I've since switched to this type of can opener:

It whoops the pants off of any other handheld opener, and can even give an electric opener a run for the money. I've got three of them, of which I can generally only find one at any given time. If you see one, snap it up. They're a hell of a lot better than those POS plier-style can openers!