Day Eighteen: Something You Bought
One day in the Christmas shopping season a couple of years ago, I walked into Walmart to buy groceries and passed a big cardboard display box filled with these:
Until that moment I'd never even seen one of these in person and certainly hadn't known I needed one, but there they were, on sale for $9.97, and in that moment I knew I had to have one. Now I don't know how I ever got along without it.
It's a reacher, a grabber, a "pick-up gripper." A foldable, rotating one. Squeeze the trigger and the pincers on the end contract. It gets tennis balls out from behind bookshelves, from under beds and other heavy, hard-to-move furniture, and from the neighbor's yard when a dog has pushed one under the fence. When the garbage truck's mechanical lifting apparatus accidentally dumped the contents of a bag of trash--the bag containing about a hundred separate three-inch-square flash cards--onto the front lawn, this little jewel saved me a lot of bending and stooping. Coincidentally, it does a remarkable job of gently pinching dog butts, much to the delight of my granddog, Oliver, who kept backing up to me for more.
The one I bought is sort of a lightweight. I'm not sure I'd trust it to lift a soup can off a high shelf, and it's come apart a number of times. In fact, it's broken right now because I crammed it too hard under a piece of furniture last night, trying to find a ball I couldn't see, and one of the suction cups broke off. I can fix it (I've done it before) as soon as I find the screw that popped out of it. I've used the magnetic sweeper that was this year's must-have gadget to search for the screw, so far with no luck.
When the grabber thing isn't broken, it looks like this. I see that the price has dropped and the reviews aren't very good, but if I don't find that screw, I may have to invest in a new one.