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“Assume a can opener”, “Can’t opener”, and other jokes

😊  Let’s tickle your funny bone and start the day on a light note by cracking  jar and can opener jokes.  Some of them will be sophisticated, and some just plain goofy. I am planning on adding more jokes, video clips and funny pictures to this post as time goes by.

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Assume a can opener

Have you ever heard somebody saying “assume a can opener”? Do you know what this phrase means?

It all started with a joke that was very popular in the 1970s and first mentioned in the book Economics as a Science by Kenneth Boulding. But I present you with the version of the joke as retold by Anatole Kaletsky in his book Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of the new economy in the aftermath of crisis written in 2010 (p.156)

  “An economist, a chemist and a physicist are marooned on a desert island. Their only food is a can of beans, but they have no can opener. What are they to do? The physicist says, ‘Let’s try and focus the tropical sun onto the lid—it might melt a hole.’ ‘No,’ says the chemist. ‘We should first pour saltwater on the lid—maybe that will rust it.’ The economist interrupts: ‘You’re wasting your time with all these complicated ideas. Let’s just assume a can opener.”

So, as we can see, the phrase “assume a can opener” was used in regards to economic theories but later it spread to politics and social science in order to describe oversimplified, distorted, and unrealistic views. 

Now you know that  “assume a can opener” is an equivalent to “unrealistic assumptions”. Next time somebody in a conversation or debate oversimplifies a problem, just tell them: “Assume a can opener.”


– What do you call a can opener that cannot open a can?

– A can’t opener.


Husband and wife had a quarrel during which wife said, ” I will never speak to you again!” The husband waited for night to come and when his wife was soundly asleep he went to the fridge and tightened up the lids on the opened jars. While doing this he smiled to himself and thought, “Let see now how long your silent treatment will last.” wink

(Ladies! In order not to find yourself in such situation get an EZ Off jar opener that will never fail to unscrew tightened lids! Read more here).


My favorite Sesame Street clip about a poor kitty that waited for a can to get opened.



Have you watched the TV series Suits? Then you remember the show’s biggest mystery: the can opener! The authors used a clever trick to get your attention and keep you intrigued for a few seasons, “What do Harvey and Donna do with the can opener?”


Credit for the funny photo picturing a monkey looking at a can of Coke goes to  Eirik Skarstein on Unsplash.


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