Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kicking the Can

     One would not expect the replacement of a kitchen garbage can to be a difficult task – but – we’re four years into the process and we’re still not happy.

It all started when we moved, and my wife declared that a new house required a new can, so we ditched our old reliable one* and bought a similar, but, we soon learned, slightly inferior, replacement. First of all, it was rectangular, instead of oval, so the bags were a tighter fit. And it had a “sticky” latch that didn’t always catch.  But, other than that, the new can served us fairly well for several years. Until my wife decided that it was too dirty on the inside and we needed another one.

           I tried explaining that it was a garbage can, and getting dirty was sort of the point.  Not to mention I’m the ONLY one to see the inside of it, as the last time she took the garbage out will be the first time. But, apparently it’s not my kitchen. Plus, knowing my wife, she was probably worried that at our next party, some helpful guest might offer to take the garbage out and be aghast at the unsightly stained interior. Personally, I can’t think of any of our friends and relatives who would be upset or offended by the sight of garbage in our garbage can – but, if you’re out there, I should probably inform you that we also have water in our pool and salt on our pretzels.  Oh, and chances are good that there’s dust in our Dustbuster.
But the chances were equally bad that I would win this argument, so I bought a new one.

This one lasted two months. And it SUCKED. Literally! It was 13.2 gallons, but all kitchen bags are 13 gallons, so the bags dangled in the can and would collapse into it once the weight of the trash exceeded one pound.  Plus, the fit was too tight and bags tore when we tried to stretch them around the rim. But the worst part was, once I finally managed to install a bag, it always left an air pocket that had to be released after throwing something out, otherwise the bag would balloon in at the top and appear full.

It’s hard admitting the hatred I felt toward such an innocuous and inanimate object, but next to the cat, that garbage can was the most despised thing in the house. Thankfully, the press to open latch soon snapped off and left the can permanently open, displaying all of our garbage to any passing guest - which, truth be told, seemed to me like poetic justice for ditching the too dirty one. My wife felt otherwise.

In fact, she blamed me for bringing it home, and insisted that this time, she’d pick one out. I watched as she wandered through the aisles like Goldilocks. This one was too big. That one, too small.  One was just right, except for the color.  Another would have been fine, if not for step-on feature, which for some unspecified reason, she does not like.

She settled on one with a swing-top, and after two weeks of using it, I have to say…I hate it even more than the last one! It has ALL of the bad points described above, with the added bonus of not staying open, so when I go to peel a cucumber (a daily occurrence for my son’s lunch) or scrape a dish, I have to stick my arm  (and most of the cucumber) IN to the garbage.  Call me crazy, but I think that’s a lot grosser than a few stains hiding under the bag.  

But what do I know? It’s not my kitchen!

There he is, middle left corner. Had I known how much
 I'd miss him, I would have taken a better picture.

* They say you never forget your first, and in this case, it’s true. It was white, plastic, and about waist high. Kitchen-size garbage cans fit snug and perfect. It had a press to open lid that popped up reliably at the touch of a finger, and snapped shut with a gentle push. I cost all of $18 and served us well for many years.