One of my wife's favorite Christmas presents this year was a beautiful huge one-gallon glass jar filled with Big Fat Juicy Spanish Queen Olives stuffed with tangy pimentos. My lifelong buddy Norm from Madison gave it to her. She loves olives. These were grown and packed in Seville, harvested by tall Spaniards in neatly pressed white linen shirts, and packed carefully into jars by virtuous olive-skinned beauties who look like the Sun Maid Raisin Lady.
So, Sunday I tried to open the jar. It was too tall for the electric jar opener. That was a good thing, because when you have a jar of olives too tall for the electric jar opener, you got a whooole wagonload of olives. Gives one a feeling of wealth. So I grabbed the jar gently, and with a twist of my wrist - and nothing happened. So I grabbed the jar firmly, and twisted on it until my fingers almost fell off. Nothing again - this lid was securely attached. I grabbed the jar, wrapped it under my arm, and twisted the lid until my face was red and something under one of my ribs felt like it was giving way. When I popped my eyeballs back into their sockets, I could see that the jar was still standing there insolently sealed, mocking me. The cat was disappointed that I got the eyeballs back in - thought he had a new cat toy. Sorry, Syd.
It really puts a man in his place to be reduced to trying household hints his wife has seen on TV, on one of those "everything you know is wrong" shows. Oh, yes, gently running the lid under hot water, or was it cold water? OK, Dear, was that to make the jar slippery, so it would fall on the floor and break? THAT would get the olives out! Tapping gently along the edge of the lid with the handle of a butter knife. WELL YOU KNOW HOW MARTHA @#$%$ STEWART OPENS JARS?? SHE HAS ONE OF HER @#$%$# SERVANTS DO IT FOR HER!
Then in the night, my guardian angel spake unto me: "Oil Filter Wrench". I didn't own an oil filter wrench, but that can be solved by walking into a self-service automotive store with three dollars in your hand. In my little town whenever someone goes out of business, it is mandatory for some entrepeneur to start a self-service Auto Parts store in the defunct location. Race Trak Auto, Home Grease Monkey, Watcherfingers Kar Partz, Pete's Piston Palace, Lane-a-Road Oil Change - so many have tried to make their fortunes from the guys in the sleeveless t-shirts.
I hit the road. At the top of Howell Avenue, the randomizer started playing "Pulp Culture" by Thomas Dolby, as the lights of Howell beamed at me with their promise of Fast and Cheap Auto Parts. But I soon found that at 7 pm, most of the auto places were closed or out of business. National Ace Hardware even locked the door in my face. I KNOW YOU SAW ME, YOU $#$ BASTARD! Well, next thing you know, I was down all the way past the airport, and still no filter wrench. But when you're 'way past the airport on Howell, you're almost at........
**** FARM AND FLEET! **** Yeah, baby! A place that knocks you over with the smell of tires when you walk in the front door is sure to have a filter wrench. Yes, they did! There was an entire little wall of them, prices ranging all the way up to $70.00. I chose a little red-handled beauty for seven bucks. Got some Sta-bil for the snowblower, too, as long as I was there.
On the way home, Jim Carroll was singing "People Who Died" (guess what happened to Jim last year?) When I arrived home, I got the lid off the jar before I took my coat off. The mere sight of that tool was enough to loosen that olive jar's seal. It was so easy with the right equipment for the job. Wonder if Martha Stewart has an Automotive Oil Filter Wrench in her kitchen?
And if you're reading this, Norm, those are the best olives we have ever owned! Good thing there's a whole gallon of 'em!
Thanks for listening and contributing. For up-to-the-minute thoughts, come on over to twitter.com I'm @dimbulb52
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