The lazy man’s tin can-opener

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Sitting in the dentist’s waiting room, I noticed a sign on the wall advertising ‘flavourless toothpaste’!

Jeez, I thought, is there nothing experts can’t spoil these days? It seems that every pleasure in life is being curtailed.

Doctors tell us bacon sandwiches give us cancer, booze causes liver failure and the politicians have even outlawed beating children!

Is nothing sacred?

Before I could rail loudly against the modern world, my polite inquiry to the dentist staff revealed that there is a demand for flavourless toothpaste that is being met by the pharmaceutical companies.

Not everyone is a fan of mint, apparently. My parents thought that when I was a child. In truth, I just didn’t like brushing my teeth. To get over this, they bought me chocolate-flavoured toothpaste.

It was the 1970s. In those days, not much thought was applied to health and safety matters. I mean, chocolate-flavoured toothpaste! If you’re serious about reducing tooth decay, do you really want to be encouraging children’s taste for chocolate? They should be kept apart.

The chocolate toothpaste proved a false economy. Instead of brushing my teeth with it, I squirted it into my mouth and swallowed it. I thought of it as a spaceman’s dessert. Pudding in a tube.

These days there’s no perceived problem that doesn’t have a ready-made answer.

One such device I saw on TV had me spluttering into my tea. The ring-pull can opener! It’s basically a mini plastic crowbar used to lever open cans with ring-pulls on them (think tins of tuna).

How easy do we need life to be?

And how deflating for the inventor of the ring pull. He sees people struggling to open cans with can openers, so invents the easy-open ring-pull can.

Only to find that his attempt to make life easier is deemed too hard, so the ring-pull can-opener is invented!

When they invent the device to help operate the device used to open the easy-open ring-pull cans, then I know the world has finally gone mad…