The Old Coot is a second-rate opener

By Merlin Lessler —

I was struggling to get the cap off a plastic water bottle the other day. You’d think it would be a simple task. All you have to do is grip the bottle and twist off the cap. But, it’s not so easy because plastic bottle material is so thin that when you grasp it, it squishes in half and looks like an hourglass. 

If you’re an old coot, it’s hard to get a firm grip on the tiny cap. You squeeze harder and harder on the bottle and twist as hard as you can on the cap. So hard that the hidden vein in your forehead makes an appearance, as if to ask, “What’s going on?” When the cap finally breaks loose, the water erupts from the bottle, like Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.

That’s why I get my water from the tap. I miss the good old beverage container days. When the bottle was made of glass and topped with a metal, fluted, cork lined cap. Sure, you needed a can opener (church key) to open it, but they came free with a beverage purchase. Or, you could use the built-in opener in the coke machine, which was located all over the place. Most of the time we didn’t need any of that stuff; the jack knives we carried in our pockets had a bottle opener blade.

Some of the caps had a surprise under the cork lining, if you had the patience and took the time to scrape it off. You might find a dollar sign, entitling you to a free soda. Or an ace, king, queen, jack, or ten card. When you collected a royal flush, you won a special prize. Most often, you found a message that said, “You will be thirsty again in one hour.” 

Those cork lined, metal fluted caps were in use from 1892 until 1960. You would think I’d have gotten over it by now, and I would have if I didn’t get a shower every time I opened a cheap, thin, plastic water bottle. 

Comments? – Send to

Be the first to comment on "The Old Coot is a second-rate opener"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.