She handed me the container, a macho moment for certain, great time to be a guy.
“Get the top off for me” she pleaded. “My hands just can’t do it.”
As ergonomics go, the container’s top was out-sized for the average grip, four inches across–a bulk quantity of one of our regular daily doses. She intended to redistribute the hundreds of pills into smaller, more cabinet-sized containers.
No problem. Thumb joint arthropathy notwithstanding, I’d crank that sucker open and back to her before she had time to get back to the kitchen.
Wrong. The widest possible grip forced the thumb and index finger into a “C” around the top in a wide open arc–the wider the grip beyond tool-handle circumference, the less the grip force. The slick bottom part of the container rotated along with the top as I turned counterclockwise. Fine.
I put on the dishwashing gloves for traction. No dice.
I found a strap wrench in the closet under the stairs, its non-slip rubber grip and mechanical leverage exactly what it would take to get the job done. Didn’t. My hands were killing me by now.
I banged the top with the butt end of a heavy knife to break the seal and tried again. Thing didn’t budge.
I cussed and sputtered and did what such threatened loss of manly self-esteem required. I grabbed a serrated steak knife outta the sink and cut the flippin’ bottom out of the container. I left it there on the countertop for all the other unopened pill bottles to see.
And the ultimate irony: the medication– Glucosamine. For arthritis.