I suspect that the collapse of the United States (or humanity as we know it!) may very well have been predicted by my can opener. Or perhaps I should say can openers. We at the House of Rock have gone through 3 can openers in as many years. This seems ridiculous to me. It’s not that they are failing in sharpness and need to be sharpened, they are actually falling to pieces.
Means of failure:
1. Squeeze failure: The gears seem have migrated apart. To get the thing to cut you have to pull the handles to the left and right before scissoring them together – the success rate of this maneuver is low.
2. Gear failure: The gear separated from the cutting tool so the gear will spin but the cutting tool won’t.
3. Complete failure: The blade and gearing fell off in a catastrophic explosion of parts.
There are two alarming things here. The first is the failure of seemingly quality goods. That third can opener on the list was a kitchen aid – a reputable brand! Has the need for low cost goods undermined our ability to provide a sustainable product? I remember Schenk was telling me about a dude whose environmental argument is not focused around the materials or methods used in production as much as around the physical life of the end product. Three can openers in three years is pathetic.
The second alarming thing here is that I didn’t spend time to fix any of these can openers. Instead, I just tossed them and went out to buy a new one. The ease and cheapness of buying and discarding goods discourages fixing them. I can’t imagine that this is a good thing for our sustainability.