But it takes a clever woman to let him think that
I like to think of myself as a decent man, a peaceful man, a man of good character. There’s no greater pleasure than being able to help those who ask or even better, helping those who are too proud to ask. A smile is the only payment I accept and it’s one that rewards me with the greatest value.
Like all men in long term relationships, I have The List. The List is crafted with love, with detail and with a caveat for failing to comply. Even though I like to help, The List seems to play against that. It takes away the freedom from choosing how or who to help; it’s a chores list. Who likes chores? I decided a long time ago, the only way to get through The List is to consider it as a Help list. Sometimes I am even rewarded with a smile when I cross things off of it.
My wife planned on being out shopping all day on Saturday and as a result I was presented with The List to cover her period of absence. One of my chores was to feed her beloved Maximus. Now I like dogs, but Maximus isn’t really a dog. He's a mini replica. This Prazsky Krysarik and I have a simple understanding; he doesn’t like me and I don’t like him. My cup runneth over knowing he was going to be my responsibility.
5pm arrived and with no returning wife, it was down to me to feed the little love. The instructions:
- Feed Maximus at 5pm. Open a new can of dog food. Put half in his bowl. Make sure you mash it up. Leave half in the can. Cover in cling film and put it in the fridge.
Not as difficult as grouting kitchen tiles, putting up coving or plastering the walls, but as a man I approached it with full conviction. If a job is worth doing it’s worth doing right!
I took the can from the cupboard and searched the drawers for the can opener. We have two. His and hers. I like the standard opener, where you insert the cutter into the top whereas Lindsey prefers the ones that cut along the outside. I chose Lindsey’s as I didn’t want to contaminate my opener.
I tried for two minutes trying to get this bloody opener to grip, but to no avail. I threw it back in the drawer and got the man’s can opener. Mmmm. No grip again. What on earth is this can made from?
Maximus sat in the middle of the kitchen looking at me with contempt.
What can I use? I pondered to myself. Genius, a hammer and screwdriver. I quickly ran out to the tool shed whilst avoiding nips from the growling “almost a dog”. I returned feeling confident. The can was placed on the kitchen work top, the screwdriver was lined up against the lip of the can and the hammer was in my hand ready to strike. This is a real man’s can opener.
A gentle tap as a tester and then a heavier strike. Nothing, not even a dent. That was not a problem, it just needed a firmer hand. Next time I hit it harder — nothing. Harder again — nothing. Anger started to get the better of me, so I struck again and again, harder each time, shouting and cursing at it in an attempt to intimidate it. BANG!
The handle of the screwdriver shattered across the floor, unfortunately missing Maximus. The can though remained intact. F*cking hell, come on!
It was time to stop playing, time for the big guns. Maximus now hid under the kitchen table yapping at me — the little shit. Another trip to the shed and this time I returned with an electric drill and masonry drill bits.
I held the can in one hand and the drill in the other. What could go wrong? I started exerting pressure on the drill as I pulled the trigger. It was having little effect. It needed more pressure. I’m not stupid, there’s no way I would hold the can while I apply the amount of pressure required. I placed the can in the middle of the work top, put both hands on the drill and leant all my body weight into it. I pulled the trigger.
Approximately 2.4 seconds later the can flew across the room, bouncing on the floor and just missed Maximus. I have no luck. The poor little blighter ran into the living room. It took me another 3 seconds to realise I’d drilled a 8mm hole into the work top. To add insult to injury, that was also the time Lindsey decided to come home.
She came into the kitchen to be greeted with shards from the screwdriver handle, an abandoned hammer and drill bits all strewn along the floor, an electric drill stuck into the kitchen work top and a f*cking flawless can of f*cking dog food. My spider senses told me I wasn’t going to get a smile for being such a big help this time.
“What have you done?” Lindsey screamed, fuming.
“I was trying to feed the dog as instructed,” I whimpered.
Helpfully Maximus trotted up to his mum with the can in his mouth. She picked up the can and said to me “you’re such a tit.” Rolling her eyes, she turned the can over — and opened it using the ring pull.
Author Notes: This story is inspired by the prompt "can opener".