COLUMN: Conspiracy to kill seniors by slow starvation

ONE of our lovely Seniors Newspaper readers emailed me suggesting I write a column about the conspiracy to kill off us seniors by slow starvation.

While most of us enjoy a conspiracy theory, this one might be a bit much.

And while I can't really believe our manufacturers and producers are out to kill us oldies, it's worth giving the theory an airing.

It is death by the inability to open a bottle top, unscrew a lid or operate a can opener.

This one has crept up on me over the years.

Where once I had no trouble with my big hands and strong wrists to wrench the top off a jar of pickled onions and dive in, now I need to cry for help (or give up picked onions, a far better alternative) to achieve this small task.

Any jar now poses an insurmountable problem for me.

From the raspberry jam jar to the chutney jar to the humble peanut butter jar, I am defeated by them all.

"Buy one of those super gadgets especially made for silly old people who can't open jars," I can hear you say.

I already have one. In a fancy red colour. It looks like an old-fashioned bottle opener but it is all modern moulded plastic stuff. You put it on top of the jar lid, press down until you hear a pop noise and then the lid should come off easily.

Not so. At least not for me. Whenever I am confronted with a jar lid, I do give it a go first, and then raise my head to the heavens and shout: "Why is everything so difficult?"

Fortunately I live with someone who has bigger hands, stronger wrists and more patience than me.

But for those who live alone it is a question of going into the neighbours with your jar of gherkins or going without. And you don't want that, do you?

It is the same with can openers. Thankfully most cans now come with a ring pull and even I with my weak old hands can manage that, but the ring-pull-less can (coconut milk, big culprit) that requires a can opener, forget it.

My feeble and almost arthritic hands can no longer turn a can opener. Cans and jars and lids are now my enemy.

But here's the puzzling thing… no matter how difficult I find a jar, lid or can to open, I have never once been unable to get the cap off a wine bottle. They come off with just a delicate twist. A champagne cork poses no problem either.

I can't explain this phenomenon, but I don't question it.

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