Monday, May 14, 2007

I beheld the great and spacious tower of tuna. And it fell. And great was the fall thereof.

My grandfather invented the stackable tuna can.

Sort of.

I'll spare you the long story on that, but the fact remains that but for him, your towers of tuna and cat food and what have you might still be tipping onto your head, pounding you into an early grave. I'm sure we've all lost a loved one to a fatal tuna avalanche.

So I've had a special pride in the technological marvel that is the modern tuna can. Until today.

I've been planting my veggie garden this week. As I'm an apartment-dweller, I reserved a plot in the local community garden, which is strictly all-organic. Now, I consider myself a fairly decent gardener, but the thought of facing nature without my killer sprays and space-age fertilizers was a bit unnerving, so I've been consulting a book written by a longtime organic gardener. She shares all her homey remedies for what ails yer veggies and I've been poring over her sage advice, hoping to save myself the heartache of holey tomatoes. She informs me that it is quite easy to deter a common ground-dwelling sweet pepper pest simply by removing both ends of a tuna fish can, lowering it around the pepper plant, and pushing it a little way into the soil. How simply elegant and elegantly simple! How wise and with-it I will look, putting little metal collars around my peppers! How abundant will be my crop!

Except there is no removing the bottom of a modern tuna can. Try it, and you'll see what I mean. In our effort to increase the ease of can stacking we have decreased the ease of providing essential pepper armor.

You call this progress, Grandpa? Forcing your favorite granddaughter to saw at the bottom of a tuna can with sundry cutting devices, all in vain? And what if I slipped and stabbed myself on the jagged edge of one of your newfangled cans? Bled myself dry and joined the martyred dolphins? How would you feel then, hmmmm?

No worse than I'll feel when my naked little sweet peppers are mowed down by creepy-crawlies. Oh, the humanity.


wynne said...

So, did you ever get the bottom off the can without losing a limb?

sharonsfriendjen said...

I have heard that bugs don't like marigolds. My mother has lined her herb garden with them. I don't know how effective this works. I am sure Martha S. (as we will call her) has some excellent suggestions that will not only help the bugs stay away, but will beautify your garden as well.

Rachel said...

Well, now I know who to thank for how neatly my tuna cans stack in the cupboard. I shake my head in dissapointment at all the other cans that slip and slip around in my cupboard.

In such a modern world as this, I am wondering what other great products out there could subsitute for the ol' tuna can trick? Although, tuna cans sure are cheep. Ooh, plastic! A cheep plastic cup is surely easier to slice open than a tuna can. Or it the key that memorable tuna scent clinging to a sharp aluminum can?

Boyd K.'s sister taught my mom how to can fresh tuna in Cali while I was on my mission. My family said it was the best tuna they ever had. Now that they live in Utah, I will never know the joys of freshly canned tuna.

Marie said...

Wynne -- No, I gave up on removing the bottom of the can. If I were as inventive as Grandpa I would have found a way.

Jen -- I think I will try that. The Organic Gardening Lady's message included "companion plant" gardening tips and she says marigolds deter tomato pests, and peppers and tomatoes are closely related, so maybe I can conquer with flowers rather than fish. As for Ms. Martha, I doubt she'd settle for anything so pedestrian as marigolds or tuna cans. She probably imports purple Peruvian chickens to peck the pests off her peppers. To peck the pests off her PECK of peppers.

Rachel -- good point -- maybe water chestnuts? Or pineapple? I suppose there must be some old timey cans out there if I look hard enough.

I love tuna. Even the cheap canned kind. Even after being sent to school with a tuna sandwich EVERY SINGLE DAY for six years straight. Love that fishy smell. But freshly canned tuna sounds divine. FYI, for any seafood lovers who live nearby, the Dan's on 3300 South gets the super-fresh jet-delivered seafood that Market Street Grill doesn't use (they have a special arrangement with the restaurant to buy the remainders of each new shipment), so if you thought buying reasonably priced fresh seafood was impossible in Utah, you've now got the best-kept sea-cret in town.

Joanne said...

I often think of your grandpa. Is he still alive and able to autograph a can for me? I am not being facetious; I think the stackable can is brilliant.

Joanne said...

(I mean that whenever I open a can of yummy tuna, I remember that your grandpa had a hand in changing the way cans are stacked.)