Steve's China Blog

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My P-38

About this time thirty years ago I was going through basic training in the Army. Back then when troops were out in the field they ate C-Rations, which are tins of food. In order to open those cans of food we had a simple little can opener that we referred to as a P-38. The P-38 is considered by many as the Army's greatest piece of gear... simple, compact, durable, and easy to use. I was given a P-38 thirty years ago, and not only has it been on my key chain all these years but I still use it regularly.

When I got my P-38 it was a dull silver color, and through the years it has turned darker and darker. On Sunday I was surprised to find to find it covered in a thin layer of rust. I could easily rub the rust off with my fingers, but I can't understand why it got rusty all of the sudden. I've had it all these years, in all kinds of weather, and it's never gotten rusty before. A trivial mystery that occupies my mind sometimes.


  • No doubt it was steel electroplated with some sort of other metal, possibly zinc. After all these years you've finally worn away that molecules-thin layer.

    By Blogger Lex Luethor, at 12:10 AM  

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