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Hoo-Hah: A jarring solution

It never ceases to amaze me just how many ways there are to open a jar. If you accept the department stores’ idea of an opener, you’re only given one choice: A piece of floppy rubber that fits around the top of the jar and you just turn the lid and it, reportedly, opens the jar.

But there are fancier, and possibly more effective, ways to open a jar.

Opening a jar has truly become a science. There are many products out there to open your jar, and all are dedicated to the same goal: To help you get to your pickles (or whatever) so you can eat them. All are made of rubber, or simulated rubber (simulated rubber is made, no doubt, from a simulated rubber tree).

Exhibit A:Ratchet approach
At right is an approach that looks like something that came off the engine of a car — sort of like a miniature serpentine belt. It’s a hard-rubber product and comes in a five-pack. It’s made by the Handy company, and is known as the “Grip Mate.”

It comes complete with “teeth” that reportedly help the rubber grip the lid, which you can see on the jar of salmonella-less jar of peanut butter. Now, you young folks can poo-poo the idea of removing lids from jars, but old folks take it more seriously, since their grip typically lessens over the years. But hold on, now: Before you start thinking this is only a product for the older people, consider this: Have you ever tried to open a jar lid with greasy hands? Pounded a lid with the handle a knife? Run a jar’s lid under hot water?

I tested this product, and although it worked for me, an elderly person who owns it (okay, my mom) said it was too hard to get the rubber to expand around larger lids (one size supposedly fits all with this hoo-hah). I found it difficult too, and I’m not old (well, maybe compared to a teenie bopper, I am old). The rubber is just too stiff to work with. And yes, I did get the jar open. And, no, I didn’t eat a peanut butter sandwich after the “grand opening.”

Another thing bad about this product is that it stank — no; seriously, it DID stink. It smelled like kerosene — something I wouldn’t want to have my kitchen drawer smelling like.

Exhibit B:
At left is another rubber product, which looks like something that came off a car’s alternator.

However, comma, it’s much slicker and is more efficient at doing the dirty deed of removing a jar’s lid.

This features a smooth belt that fits nicely into plastic notches in the handle base, offers smoother operation than the Exhibit A hoo-hah and can fit more jars. And, believe it or not, it came from Sears and Rareback. Or is that K-Sears? (I get so mixed up these days).

Seriously, though, it is made, curiously enough, by Craftsman. Below is a photo of it in action. And if you don’t want to use it in the kitchen, you can use it in the shop, garage, etc.

You can see that the belt fits snugly around the jar’s lid. And, in case you’re wondering, this is a simulation. Mom didn’t buy half a jar of olives.

And although this is a simulation, the peanut butter jar demo wasn’t. (I just want to set the record straight here.)

I’m not sure if the local Sears has these or not, but it sells for $12.99 and you can get it here at Sears Online, if that is your desire.

And, if you want to start your grill, you can use Exhibit A above. I figure that if it smells like kerosene, it must be useful for starting the coals (although I did not attempt to light it to test my theory; besides, burning rubber stinks as bad as kerosene).

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