Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Little Pick-Me-Up

One-a-Day Redux
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.


  1. If you don't find it by Tuesday, we can make Scottie crawl around to look for it. Such fun!

    1. Hahaha! My biggest concern is that Levi or Gimpy has already found it. Too bad Scott wasn't here when there were so many roofing nails in the yard. He would have had a great time with the magnetic sweeper. There's something so satisfying about the "ping" sound you hear when a nail leaps out of the grass and sticks to the magnet. Kind of like catching a fish, only without the messy bait. I think he would have enjoyed that.


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